The cost of food for people has been going up recently and the media and the powers behind the media are already preparing us for an even larger increase coming soon. We farmers produce the basic ingredients of food so we are aware of what is to come in the way of price increases a little sooner than most people. This pressure is of course felt in animal feed as well.
I know people that feed their dog for just a few cents a day and you can do that if you don’t mind feeding your dog goat food. Sure it is packaged for dogs and it has that emblem that insures it has all the vitamins and minerals required, etc., but it is still just processed grains which are pretty cheap in this country. Before it was possible to get this really cheap dog food, a lot fewer people had dogs. Dogs in the city were once a symbol of prosperity; owning a dog meant I have more than enough to feed my family and some to spare, I can feed a dog as well.
Things are different now and this time next year we will see even greater changes. The store shelves are filled with a variety of dog food at a range of prices, we have entire stores with nothing but dog food and accessories. There are many more expensive dog foods than cheap ones but most have the same thing in common. They are all packaged for convenience and are generally just bags or cans of processed scraps. I have seen what goes into dog food. Even those that are meat based contain material that sits on the docks of slaughter houses until someone comes and collects it. This collection is regulated, I have a license to collect this material myself but I do not process dog food. It is regulated because this material is hazardous and those that use it must render it non-toxic at some point in their manufacturing of pet food.
Much of this food is relatively expensive and marketed in a way to appeal to people even though they don’t have to eat it. Here is where the controversy heats up; there is some debate about just what a dog is and therefore what the dog should eat. I personally have no question in my mind about what a dog is and what nature has deemed they are to eat. Dogs are decedents of a variety of canines that prey on other animals, usually animals that are not carnivores themselves. Some of these species are still around, wolves and coyotes to name two.
I believe there is no real question about what a dog is but like so much of everything else in our would it has to do with money and the business of making money. As we became more affluent we bred more dogs and some created businesses to make food to feed these dogs. They used the materials that were available to manufacture this food, it was efficient and profitable. The problem is, like our own food, it is not presented to us as what it is: efficiently produced food that feeds millions at a low cost. On its own this is a noble endeavor; but that’s not good enough. We are told that this is not just inexpensive nutrition but the best nutrition, what we should feed out dogs even if we have other choices. Remember it is about profits for one company or industry verses another.
We are able to feed our dogs a more natural and healthy food for them at a cost that is less than most of the foods on the store shelves. This cost savings extends to their health care as well. We invite you to do a little research on your own and consider the options that are available to you.