“The big three mass marketers of pet food – Nestlé Purina, Mars, and Big Heart Pet Brands (recently acquired by J.M. Smucker) – are all investing heavily in the natural segment via brand reformulations, new product introductions, and acquisitions.” per Dr. Becker's article.
The term “natural segment” above refers to the brands of pet foods that I recommend – yes, they are being bought out by the large corporations above. The article went on to describe comments about Nestle Purina's buy out of Merrick and Zuke's.
“Pet owner: Have you changed your formulas now that you’re owned by another company?
Merrick rep: We are focused on doing what we have always done... making the best recipes for the best pets ever... yours.
Pet owner: Ok... so same formulas? I appreciate the response, but that wasn’t exactly my question.
Merrick rep: No changes have been made as a result of the recently announced purchase agreement. We’re excited to continue to do what we’ve always done and that’s why we wanted to let you and other pet parents know about our newest offering... Grain Free Turkey. Gobble gobble!”
Interesting too, that this comment was made by Dr. Becker:
“In fact, the name Nestlé Purina PetCare doesn’t appear anywhere on Zuke’s website,” according to PetfoodIndustry.com. “Even a press release issued about six months after the purchase reiterating the treat maker’s ‘intention to maintain its past product development and distribution strategies’ makes no mention of its new owner.”
She continued to comment that “PetfoodIndustry.com attributes part of Purina’s undertheradar approach with both Zuke’s and Merrick’s to consumer backlash. Pet owners are growing very vocal when big industry players swallow up smaller brands known for their high quality products.”
And rightly we should!
Merrick formulates several grain free diets, a definite boost from grain diets. I recently reviewed their quite formidable website – it appears very convincing that they offer the best species appropriate ingredients in their diet. I have found a few caveats that are misleading and while I won't go into detail here, I do want to reiterate “buyer beware”. It is always important for us as consumers to consider exactly what we are buying and how we are spending our money.
These are multibillion dollar industries.
It doesn't behoove a conscientious pet owner to be complacent, but rather to keep thinking and inquiring about where exactly are these big corps getting raw ingredients, what exactly is the quality and quite possibly how can we do better? Convenience is the gold standard here in this country, but what does that do to serve each other, our pets and the world around us?
Per Dr. Becker – and I second this:
It’s important to realize that your pet’s first line of defense in avoiding low quality or contaminated commercial pet food is you. Don’t depend on pet food companies or government regulators like the FDA to have your dog’s or cat’s best interests at heart.
My first recommendation, if you’re worried about the quality of the commercial pet food you’re offering your dog or cat, is to prepare pet meals yourself in your own kitchen with ingredients you select (and based on balanced, species appropriate recipes).
[This is what we love to do here at Balance VC to educate clients to find ways to add to commercial diets or formulate your own homemade diets.]
Alternatively, I recommend buying from small pet food companies who offer fresh, whole, species appropriate, preferably organic, human grade, and non GMO diets for dogs and cats.
For the complete article click HERE
On that note, I will say after at least 2 years of inquiry myself, I believe I have found a very excellent raw pet food that boasts much of what we are looking for in quality raw food diets. The price is more than plain raw meat but not if you consider the need to balance it by adding more ingredients and the prep time required. It is also very competetive against all the other raw foods on the market. If you have been in recently, you know about Answers Pet Food.
We now carry Answers raw diets – beef, chicken and pork. We will be adding turkey very soon.
We carry it because their raw meat is sourced from small farms that provide species appropriate diets to those animals grass, grain non GMO about 40%,
100% abx and hormone free and all free range. These animals are provided with environmental enrichment and outstanding farming practices that profoundly support their health and well being.
This is the most nutrient dense raw meat source that I could find.
Answers goes further to balanced the diet with whole food ingredients (not laboratory synthesized vitamins).
And then they ferment the meat with kombucha (or whey for cats), thereby making the meat vastly more digestible (as carnivores in the wild, especially dogs are know to do). This diet has been shown to naturally be free from E. coli and Salmonella – these organisms cannot even begin to think about outcompeting the beneficial probiotic species that occur from this natural fermentation process.
My goal is to educate you about what is possible. I understand the need for convenience in our fast paced world.
I believe that what is best for your pet is the optimal feeding program that works best for you! And I support you in whatever that is.
Thank you so much for being supporters of us!