When it comes to their pet’s food, money is no object for many pet owners.
Americans continued their spending spree on their four-legged friends, with pet expenditures hitting another all-time high in 2018. Spending on pet food alone accounted for over $30 billion last year, driven by increased sales of natural and premium pet foods.
(To put that number into perspective, a New York Timesfeature article in 1974 reported the pet food manufacturers were furiously innovating to take advantage of a burgeoning $2 billion market.)
So, it seems that pet owners spare no expense when it comes to the quality, nutrition, and perceived taste of their pets’ foods. So what are some of the latest lavish trends in gourmet pet foods? Below are just a few.
GMO, Gluten, Grain-Free
We’ve mentioned in previous posts that pet owners tend to anthropomorphize their pets, or in other words, apply human characteristics to them. So, it only stands to reason that if a person feels better because of their gluten-free or reduced grain diet, then surely their dog or cat will benefit, too. Although conditions like Celiac Disease and grain allergies are less common in dogs & cats than in humans, some pet owners find that their pets have more energy and fewer skin conditions with a GMO, gluten, and grain-free diet.
These pet diets and foods boast ingredients that more closely resemble what our pets consumed before they were widely domesticated and fed processed kibbles and pates. It’s not too hard to imagine what ingredients go into a primitive pet food; just think about what a wild dog or cat would kill or forage. These recipes consist of mainly raw foods including muscle meats, organs, meaty bones, vegetables, and raw fruits: a paleo diet for our furry friends.
Low Carb, Low Glycemic
This trend is not at all surprising when one considers that56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Pet owners—many of whom also battle to control their weight—understand the importance of low carb, high protein diets. Many of these foods will derive all protein from animal sources.
Whole, Humanly-Sourced Food
Cat food made with only wild-caught fish. Dog food comprised of whole chicken and meat that was humanely raised in natural pastures instead of factory farms. There are now even vegan foods for dogs, made from chickpeas, non-GMO vegetables and fruits. (Sorry, kitties—sadly you couldn’t survive on a vegan diet.) If you’re of this ilk, aligning your pet’s diet with your social mores can be an expensive proposition. For example, feeding a large dog whole food can cost as much as $4.00 per day.
The jury is still out, however, on whether these extravagant gourmet pet food choices are any better for our pets (not to mention tastier) than the less expensive bill of fare. Some studies even show that dogs and cats may be more prone to disease on these diets. That’s why millions of pet owners find that the best approach is to feed their dogs and cats high-quality prepared foods that are specifically balanced for their dietary needs, yet don’t contain the preservatives and fillers of low-price pet foods.
NaturPak Pet manufactures complete and balanced wet pet food products that satisfy the demands of this type of caring pet owner. Using fresh and whole ingredients, NuturPak Pet’s wet foods for dogs and cats are naturally fortified with probiotics, omega fatty acids, and protein. For more information on the benefits of NaturPak Pet food, contact a representative today.