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Do We Need Farm-to-Dog Food?

Do We Need Farm-to-Dog Food?

If you have ever watched a dog, off-leash, and free to investigate the great outdoors, you know that, besides running and frolicking, most dogs will eat an array of really disgusting stuff off the ground. This ranges from insects to excrement and dead rotting animal parts. Just this week I have wrestled a maggot-covered deer leg away from my dog, as well as verbally discouraged her from eating another dog’s excrement. Still, I spend top dollar when it comes to my dog’s everyday food, and have sourced out a dog food company that is reputable and environmentally responsible. In addition, I provide organic dog treats and frequently give her probiotics to keep her system balanced and healthy. I do all this knowing full well that my dog electively eats dead things off the ground. Cognitive dissonance? Maybe.

Still, as conscious consumers we know that conventional dog food is basically a receptacle for all kinds of substandard scraps and filler, and we can’t help but wanting something more wholesome for our dogs, even if they would willingly eat putrid slaughterhouse scraps. There is a new development to bring the kind of farm-to-table ethos to the dog food sector, it is called, what else, Farm-to-dog. This premium mix can include anything from fresh from the farm vegetables to leftover meat scraps from locally sourced and pastured animals. As reported by NPR earlier this week, many producers offering farm-to-fido dog food say it’s a healthful option for pets that also helps farmers and ranchers while cutting down on food waste. It can also help the environment. For instance, the product Wendy is developing is made from wild blue catfish, an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay. But unlike the 30lb bag of dog food that lasts your dog 6 weeks and costs under $40, some of these options cost $10 per day, not for the fixed income animal lover to be sure. There has been a growing trend around raw foods (particularly raw meat blends) for pets, but this more custom model brings in meat, veggies, and a generally more healthful profile for both dogs and cats as well.

Is this just another thing for gullible pet owners to waste their money on, or is it a healthy food option that makes sense for both animals and the larger environment. Feel free to weigh in.

Read more: Blogs, Cats, Dogs, Environment, Everyday Pet Care, Following Food, Food, Green, Nature, Pet Health, Pets, Raw, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Remedies & Treatments, , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

83 comments

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4:12PM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Sounds like a plan to make somebody rich. More for making money then making it better for dogs.

10:38AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

It's the same with cat food as well!

11:57AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

Dog's survived ages eating what ever they could find, i have few trust in most doggie foods, i buy my dogs food by my vetinairen, a never buy them dog "cookies", the get old bread as treat, or there own kibble, i take of from their breakfast or dinner, and because it fed by hand it is special to them, so a kibble at coffee time, at tea time, and a well done kibble, i cook also lambsheart or liver and give it together with their dry kibble dinner, they love it!
I would not have trust in Farm to Dog food, my dog is not a garbage can, even if he eats disgusting things sometimes, but rabbit drops or horse shit is healty for dogs because its vegetal and like vegtables for them!

3:51PM PST on Dec 6, 2013

Make your own Dog food! Try this Natural Food Recipes for Healthy Dogs.by Simon and r.Simon and Schuster Macmillan Company specializing in books related to dogs and veterinary care

http://www.naturaldogfood.com/

10:38AM PDT on Oct 2, 2013

For the person who thought of adding sweet potatoes to their dog's food - dogs can tend towards hypothyroid fairly often as they get older (cats can tend towards hyperthyroid as they age) - and sweet potatoes can exacerbate any tendencies like that - so just keep an eye open...

4:39PM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

Thanks!

6:03AM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

12:24PM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

good to consider

9:32AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

Thank you Eric, for Sharing this!

8:59AM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

Thank you, AWESOME ARTICLE; I did not know all of these.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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