Natural Pet Food Movement: The Whys And Whats

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Post by Blog Manager, Robbi Hess

“Going green.” “Natural hair and make-up.” “Environmentally friendly” products. “Healthy, all natural pet foods and pet products.” These phrases and lifestyles are being embraced by many pet parents so it only makes sense that food and pet product manufacturers would begin making products or changing their processing methods in order to meet the demands of these 21st century pet parents.

Because BlogPaws understands the needs and desires of pet parents — hey, the BlogPaws team are all pet parents as well — we work with pet companies that believe what we do. In fact, last week we had a #BlogPawsChat with Weruva a pet food company that prides itself on its human grade quality pet foods. Weruva says they “use ingredients that people would actually eat.” If it’s good enough for people then it’s good enough for our pets, right? That’s what we believe.

We talked with Marty Grosjean, founder and president of Only Natural Pet to gather his thoughts on the proliferation of natural pet foods and pet products and the pet parents that are clamoring for them. He said, “There has been an explosion in the availability of natural pet products over the last five years, and it has been driven by demand from pet parents. You can now find natural food and treats in most pet stores, including the big ones. The challenge is figuring out which ones are really natural and which ones are just using the word “natural” as a marketing ploy.”

Label readers like myself understand there are many products on the market that call themselves natural, but when you attempt to read the labels you quickly discover the amount of “natural” ingredients is miniscule. Marty explains, “There are no regulations around calling something natural, so pet parents have to educate themselves, or find brands that they can trust who make only natural products.”

As pet mom to Henrietta, the Diva Poodle, I started looking at natural foods because she spent quite a bit of time dealing with stomach issues (and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning messes, because of them). We switched to a natural diet, supplemented by the vegetables and fruits that she loves and I haven’t had to clean a carpet because of her belly rejecting food since. Additionally, when she suffered a partially torn ACL and I found out she’d need to be on supplements for the rest of her life and/or pain medications when necessary I took to the internet and looked for joint supplements and natural pain medications. I figured if medications can damage the liver of humans, it had the potential to damage hers.

I know I am not the only one who has been seeking out natural products and Marty agrees, saying that, “One reason pet parents  are gravitating toward natural products is that there has been more publicity about what kind of ingredients go into conventional pet products. From the Chinese jerky treat recalls to the EPA warnings about the dangers of chemical spot-on flea and tick treatments, more and more people are beginning to understand that pet products generally have a much lower standard of safety and quality than human products.” Only Natural Pets provides a flea and tick treatment that comes in a dog tag which means no chemicals touch your pet!

Consider that for many of the pet parents with whom I interact — many are empty nesters or Baby Boomers — and our pets have become our “children.” We certainly wouldn’t feed our human babies inferior products or ones that might make them ill, right? Marty agrees, “Most pet parents would not willingly buy risky or unhealthy products for their pets, so once they become educated about the health risks they want alternatives, which are available with natural products. Of course more and more people are buying natural and organic products for themselves as well, so they of course want the same for their four legged family members.”

The Conscious Cat, a member of our Professional Blog Network recently wrote about buying cat products she could trust. You can read the post about her experience with Only Natural Pet and the switch to natural pet products for her cats. Paris Permenter of Dog Tipper, another Professional Blog Network member, interviewed Only Natural Pet staff and uncovered their love and passion for offering natural pet products is because of the staff’s love for pets.

Are you a label reader? What natural pet products or foods have you introduced to your pets? We’d love to hear about them!

(In the photos, taken during a tour of the Only Natural Pet store in Colorado, Marty Grosjean explains to BlogPaws Team members the benefits of and ingredients found in the pet food and the pet products they carry)