Back in the day, I used to play Buzzword Bingo at every corporate meeting. I played it in my head, that is. I listened while marketing metaphors were thrown all over the place. And when I started this blog over five years ago, it was because I wanted to be part of the space I professed to know about. I needed to eat my own dog food.
When I originally wrote about that, it was in a metaphorical sense. Now, I’m ready to use it in a more literal sense.
Truth be told, the grocery store scares me these days. I used to enjoy shopping for food. I actually found it relaxing to wander aisle by aisle. Now, I pick up food and wonder about the carbs. Too many? The right kind? And how about the fat… Trans fats – bad. Saturated fats – bad. Monounsaturated fat – good. But now it’s getting worse. Does it have sugar or high fructose corn syrup? Or sugar alcohols? And which one is okay? Are there GMOs in this? And what will happen if I eat them?
It’s downright frightening for me because we get so many conflicting stories about what good for us. It’s why more than ever I read the ingredient list on everything I buy. And it’s also why I’m trying to heed to the old adage of shopping the perimeter of the store, where you’ll usually find food in its purest form.
But what about dog food?
Seriously. When was the last time you checked the label of the dog food you buy? I actually do (now) and find it a little, well, gross.
I started checking when there was a rash of dogs becoming poisoned from toxins in bones and treat from China. Initially, my primary concern was the country of origin (usually listed on every treat). I try to buy products sourced only in the USA. But then I actually started reading the ingredient lists of regular dog food and there wasn’t much “food” to it.
You’d read about meat by-products and mechanically separated meat, which pretty much meant they were getting the pieces and parts that were leftover after the real stuff was used. Believe it or not, diet affects dogs too. It can cause the same problems it does in humans: obesity, diabetes, and other problems.
What if we shopped for dogs the way we shopped for ourselves?
We could read real ingredient lists and see things we would actually eat: chicken, barley, eggs, carrots.
In fact, that’s what Purina challenged me to do. They gave me a gourmet recipe that essentially used the same ingredients found in Purina Beyond Simply 9 (White Meat Chicken and Whole Barley Recipe).
So I set the food down for the dogs.
There were no complaints.
And then I set the food down for the humans.
Surprisingly, there were no complaints there either.
The dogs were happy, the family was happy, and I was happy because I felt like were were ALL eating a healthy meal.
Special note: I did buy several varieties of the Purina Beyond (including the Superfood Blend with Pumpkin, something my vet recommended to help firm stools). Because I had just run out of their other food, I didn’t have the chance to blend it with the new food. Some dogs have sensitive tummies and switching foods can lead to stomach upset, which Layla had. After 48 hours on the new food, she’s been fine but if you are switching your dog’s food, it’s a good idea to blend them together during the switchover.
Disclosure: Purina provided me with a several coupons for Purina Beyond for my pets to try their new healthy blend and provided me with a gift card to a local grocery store so that my family could try our own special blend.