Is your pet eating better than you are? They might be!
In fact, high-quality gourmet food is just one part of the hottest new trend for dogs and cats: “Human-quality” products, everything from cutting-edge medical care, to eco-friendly furniture, to pet-friendly aromatherapy candles.
Experts point out that the pet industry has long been seen as almost recession-proof, because most “pet parents” will cut back on things for themselves before they cut back on their pets.
At a recent pet-expo, there were no signs of the recession. Companies were offering pet-safe cookies and cakes that would look perfect at any human bakery. As well as banana-and-yogurt health bars and dog biscuits that taste like gingersnaps. They also offered 4-star dog food, like pan-seared duck with brown rice and blueberry compote or products made with pheasant, freshwater trout, and yak’s milk. And yes – people sometimes eat them, too.
For example, Nummy Tum Tum sells canned organic pumpkin for dogs. But last year, when there was a pumpkin shortage, people called to ask if they could use it to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The answer: Absolutely. In fact, it’s identical to pumpkin canned for people, it just has a different label.
Still, beware of sticker shock. Normal dog food costs about 50-cents a pound. but high-end gourmet food can set you back $7-bucks a pound or about 14 times the price. And it may not be worth the money. Dr. Tony Buffington is a professor of veterinary nutrition at Ohio State University and he says you could probably close your eyes in the pet food aisle and randomly grab something, and your pet would end up with a perfectly healthy meal.