Not long ago I received an email from a consumer who was verbally abused online for feeding her pet a grocery store food. She was told in a forum she had no right to own a pet if she didn’t understand what to feed it.
It was more than 20 years ago that I started to learn about pet food. My dog died from cancer – my vet told me the cancer was more than likely caused by chemical preservatives in her pet food. At the time, I didn’t know what a chemical preservative was, I didn’t understand shelf life, I didn’t know anything more than this was a popular pet food and I trusted it was safe. My vet was kind and patient with me in my pet food education; he didn’t berate me for not understanding chemical preservatives. He taught me, without judging me, the differences in pet food.
Today I know a lot more about pet food than I did 20 years ago, but I still vividly remember feeling blindsided by the truth about pet food I was learning. I felt duped. I felt I killed my dog. It hurt badly, still does. But…I was treated with kindness in my pet food learning adventure and that made all the difference. From one day to the next day, I became a person that wanted to learn more about what I was feeding my pets. It didn’t mean I was an idiot or didn’t deserve to own a pet on day one – it meant I hadn’t learned yet. Similar to I haven’t learned to speak Italian yet. Pet food is a completely different language than human food, and it has to be learned – one lesson at a time – from a patient, and persistent teacher.
This pet owner that emailed me had been beaten up with words. She was belittled because she had yet to learn the completely different language of pet food. She was me at one point in my life. She was all of us at one point. But she wasn’t treated with kindness or patience.
I ask everyone to remember what it was like when you first began learning about pet food. We all got our start somewhere, and honestly we are all still learning (myself included). If you run across someone that hasn’t learned the truth yet, be patient and kind to them. Remember when you walked in their shoes.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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The 2015 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here
Have you read Buyer Beware? Click Here
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