Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eating like a dog

I love my dog…and I'm sure most dog owners do adore their pets, but I have to wonder if we're being hoodwinked by the pet food industry into thinking dog's need gourmet food.

Last night I saw a commercial for Cesar's dog food – it's a fancy food for smaller dogs, so it's not something I normally buy for my Dalmatian. The brand offers a new line of 'canine cuisine' [in other words, dog food] called Bistro which includes flavors like Steak Florentine, Tuscan Stew and Chicken Primavera.

In addition to the usual 'canine cuisine' ingredients such as meat by products, some vitamins and meat flavoring, these fancy little feasts contains tomatoes, carrots, pasta and spinach. Sounds tasty, doesn't it?

Not that a dog could tell. I've seen my dog eat a rock. So I don't think flavor is really chief among his concerns. He certainly could care less about carrots, tomatoes and spinach and generally wouldn't be too interested in eating those things if I served them by themselves. He would eat pasta, I'm sure. But then dogs tend to like carbs.

I have to ask myself, who are all these fancy ingredients really for? Dogs, as a rule, don't have discerning palates. Meat makes them happy, and a nice crunchy biscuit now and then, but spinach and pasta? Do dogs really need vegetables and enriched wheat products for optimum health?

You can't convince me those trappings aren't just to make dog owners feel like they're giving their pets something more than the usual slop that comes out of a 'canine cuisine' can.

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