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Unique Expenses to Pet Food that Raise the Price

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  1. Marianne

    Thank goodness our government is saving our pets from inconsistent or undesirable font usage. Keep the the comic sans size 14 at bay, but please proceed with the roadkill/already dead animals, “by-products” and God knows what from China! smh

    1. Casey


  2. Gabrielle G. Taylor

    It is SHOCKING what some of these companies are getting away with considering, especially China. Purnia is in major litigation considering. Millions of animals have died miserable deaths because of Roadkill & God only knows what esle including anti-freeze as ingredients to cat & dogfoods.

  3. Lynn Felici-Gallant

    Hello Susan,

    Thank you so much for this important information. We source only local, grass-fed or pasture-raised beef and poultry for our supplemental and customized pet food. Talk about sticker shock? Even we are surprised sometimes at the wholesale prices we pay for meat alone. Add to that locally sourced organic veggies and our food is — unfortunately — out of the reach of many people and pets.

    Many people don’t know the reason this is the case, however. Large agricultural companies recieve billions of dollars each year in subsidies (also known as corporate welfare) to produce food cheaply and in mass. Local and organic farmers are not afforded such subsidies; they farm without such financial help or incentives from the government and taxpayers. The high cost of locally sourced food is the true cost of growing that food.

    We recently experienced a situation that forced us to confront this ugly reality. We ran short on our beef supply because all the small, local farms had processed their small lots of cattle. We could have simply head over to the local cheap supermarket supplier of mass-produced beef but we refused; to do so would totally compromise our commitment to farmers and pet owners.

    We know we are preaching to the choir, but it shouldn’t be this way. To us, however, the only path to change is to either eliminate subsidies for large agricultural corporations, or spread the wealth to small farmers who raise meat and produce ethically and sustainably.


  4. Jill Copenhagen-Greenan

    To shorten the story: 6 mo dog adopted from Humane Soc. ribs showing along back, skin hanging on belly. Coat wretched. Two meds, one for mange. Said to be food motivated. Crazy dog, an adventure in living, but loved her madly, put her on organic food immediately. My food until I bought Honest Kitchen online. Took her off pharma meds, after googling them. Put her on home remedies. It took a full year of real food before her coat felt silky, but the people at the dog park were commenting on how good she looked in weeks, not months. She is stunning, and gets goodies that are probably less than wonderful, but no sugar at least ingredients. Loves red sauce. Loves meat loaf. Oh, yeah, changed to Honest kitchen base mix. Rest of her food is except for a few cookies, organic, pastured. One of her meals costs probably half of one of ours. No meds, except flea and heartworm combo, because we live in an open house, or do I anticipate any even down the corridor of the years. She’s sleek and beautiful, highly active, now two years old. Chub mackerel is next to tuna in the grocery store. Pastured eggs, our dinners. Boy, is she active and smart with a mind of her own. We’ll be about 85 at the end of her life, after which I’m looking forward to adopted an old dog or two or three.

  5. Regina

    Full disclosure here, I did not read this entire article. It started off well, but my eyes glazed over somewhere after Susan mentioned that the font size on the packaging has to be JUST RUGHT!!!!
    (Sorry I used all caps for that, but heck, it ain’t a pet food label!!!!)

    The idiocy of the font correctness on labels just blows my mind. And of course, part of why I couldn’t finish reading the article is because I was pet sitting for someone, and the only thing her elderly, medicated cat could (would???) eat was two flavors of the Iams brand of cans called “purrfect” something-or-other. I tried to read the ingredients on the can, but the font was so small and squished that I could not read it. Well, these cans are sold on a box (something like 24 cans in a box). I figured, OK, I’ll read the ingredients on the box. Surely, with all the room they had on the carton, there would be room to print the ingredients so that they could actually be read.

    Nope!!!! The ingredient list on the carton was the same tiny squished up jumble of nonsense the same size that was on the can.

    Oh, it just now dawned on me that according to this article, the font HAD to be the same size on the box as it was on the can.

    Nevermind the fact that it was impossible to read . . . Oh, maybe that was the point of the font selection?!?!?!

    This is just ridiculous. I have reached the point in my comment that I am just at a loss for words.

  6. James C

    I used to feed my kids Merrick/Castor & Pollack foods due to the quality. Now that they are owned by Purina, the food has gone down hill. My dogs shed like crazy once again, are constantly hungry, and I had to fight with them to eat. SO after realizing I spent $130/wk on their food, I began looking for alternatives. I decided the best course of action was to prepare their food myself. I have cut my food costs down to $15/wk ( I catch chicken legs/thighs on sale for $0.39/lb-$3.90 for a 10# bag, I stock up!) including powdered vitamins I mix in with their meals. I make everything from chicken and rice/noodles/vegetables to steak/potatoes/veggies). The advantage? All HUMAN GRADE food! And I have NO issues with them eating. Not to mention they are full longer (eat less), not shedding near as bad (I have a Rott/Shepard mix and a boxer), they are more energetic, and seem to be healthier once again. I will NEVER go back to “pet” food, even “premium/super premium” brands. I know what my kids are eating and can eat it right with them, sans the vitamin powder. If you really want your animals to eat healthy and not be concerned about the ingredients, prepare their food yourself. It also gives you a voice by using your money NOT buying what these companies offer.

    1. Sharon Oh

      sadly, as we saw in the results of the recent AAFCO meeting, what animals are given as feed does not make ME want to eat – let alone serve unless I find organic.

    2. Samantha Cuellar

      Well said, James, and exactly my sentiments and how I feed my babies. It took me 7 yrs to figure out why my most recently adopted (7 yrs ago) pet kept shedding SO much until I took her off mass manufactured dog food. I even eat healthier since I feed both of my dogs the same food I eat. More and more people are waking up to realize the solution to healthier pets.

  7. Kay

    I’m with James — the cheapest way to feed well is to buy fresh. I’m probably lucky in being able to source delicacies like fresh tripe and salmon heads locally, but foods such as chicken parts, lamb breast, liver, etc. are relatively easy to come by.
    It is good, though, to know that not all petfood companies take a murderously reckless attitude to what they put in their products, and it’s illuminating to see what different planets the profit margins are on. Thank you as ever, Susan, for your eye-opening research.

  8. Jane Democracy

    Something to think about as well… there is no way to prove that the “high end / more expensive” brands actually put in human grade meat or fresh meat for that matter. So you could be paying for something you are not getting when paying extra for these brands. You can’t tell whether a pet food contains chicken meal, turkey meal, poultry meal or fresh chicken or turkey or whether it is human grade or not. When you buy bison or wild boar dog food they almost always have beef or pork in them as well so how much of the fancy novel protein are you actually getting? There is no test to distinguish. And since there is no regulation governing pet food manufacturing (in Canada) who is watching over them?

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