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Feeding Our Furries: Healthy & Ethical Pet Food Trends On the Rise

You probably saw our recent Instagram post on start-up animal food company Because Animals where we shared some info on their newly revealed mouse cookies for cats. -- Wait...you’re not following us on Instagram? Check out our feed! @depontefamilyfoundation


Back to Because Animals and their mouse cookies...


What makes these treats so special? They are cruelty-free, sourced with “clean meat” (tissue grown from stem cells). Meaning, no mice were harmed in the making of these treats. This renders them vegan human-friendly while allowing cats to eat the meat they crave.



Not only does this take the ick out of feeding pets for vegans, animal rights, and environmentally conscious pet owners, but by removing animals from the pet food supply chain, the company hopes to end inhumane suffering of animals, reduce the burden on the planet, and produce healthier food and treats for pets.


Read more about Because Animals and their mission in this article from CNBC News.


Interested in more cruelty-free options for your pets?

Check out this Ultimate Guide for Cruelty-Free Pet Owners from Freethebunnies.com.


Healthy Pet Diet Trends

Is cruelty-free a new idea for you as a pet owner? How about raw food diets, organic only, or low-carb, grain-free options? The cat and dog food industries change as quickly as human diet fads roll in and out of our lives, so don’t fret. It can be hard to keep up.



Read on if you’d like to know what’s new in the world of dog food and kitty treats. We did a bit of digging so you don’t have to.


What’s Wrong With Traditional Commercial Dog Food?

While there have been some issues with contamination and recalls over the years, commercial pet food is generally safe and designed to give your furry friends the basic nutrition they need.


For pet owners on a budget or with limited time to cook for Fido, commercial pet food can be the best way to go. Experts urge pet owners to pay attention to the type of food they’re buying to make sure it’s age and breed-appropriate.



Some veterinarians also recommend mixing wet and dry food together as a way to help hydrate your animal while simultaneously reducing the excess carbs of dry food and increasing flavor with the wet food.


Remember that while puppies often eat 3-4 times a day, an adult dog should eat once or twice, depending on its level of exercise.


Want some tips on selecting the healthiest food for your dog? Check out this article from NBC News that talks about general rules of thumb and provides the top-rated options according to their experts.


Here’s another list from New York Magazine summarizing the best dog foods in 2021 according to a panel of 15 experts and veterinarians.


Commercial Dog Food Caution

NBC News reports on a new analysis of compounds found in dog foods that may be linked to doggy heart disease. According to the article, peas are at the top of the list of ingredients that may lead to heart issues.


Rise of Premium and Healthy Pet Food

According to a report by eMarketer, raw ingredients, probiotics, and non-GMO pet food product searches are all on the rise in recent years.


The upward trend of health-consciousness in pet food sales follows a rise in families buying all-organic food for their households.



Human aversion to gluten has influenced pet food production as well, as manufacturers are moving away from wheat and corn and replacing these with sweet potatoes and other vegetables.


Cats’ diets are also seeing changes, with the addition of some vegetables, so long as they are balanced with the fats and proteins of the main ingredient of their food. Cats, like humans, need a good amount of fiber in their diets.

Ingredients such as apples, cranberries, and blueberries are all great being used to boost fiber and antioxidants in cat food, while broccoli has been hailed as a great source of calcium and potassium, both of which are essential to a cat’s health.

Raw Pet Food Trend

Increasingly aware of the nutrient-killing effects of extreme heat used when processing most commercial pet foods, pet owners have turned to raw food diets for their dogs and cats.


It’s a somewhat controversial trend, with folks either touting the benefits or the dangers of feeding your pets raw meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits.


Proponents of a raw diet say there are more nutrients available, it is closer to what the animals would eat in the wild, and it can help keep an animal’s gut in good health.


Those opposed say that raw feeding increases chances of contamination, especially when meat and fish are involved.


Interested in learning more about raw diets for your pet? This article from Prudent Pet breaks down all the pros and cons of this emerging trend so you can choose for yourself.


Convinced that raw is the way to go? Wide Open Pets breaks down what you’ll need to include in your raw food formula.


Homemade Pet Food Trend

Another pet food trend on the rise is home cooking your animals’ meals. More pet owners in general are turning to at-home pet food recipes as an alternative to processed foods.


Home cooking can be beneficial for animals with extreme sensitivities or special dietary needs, and it can help pet owners to pin down exactly what an animal likes and dislikes in a meal.



However, experts warn that most homemade pet food recipes are lacking in fundamental nutrition. A 2017 study of homemade diets for pets found that deficiencies in vitamins A, B12, D, E, and calcium.


Interested in learning more? Pet MD provides guides for creating nutritionally-balanced homemade food for dogs and cats.


Final Thoughts

If you’re reading this post, odds are you care deeply about your pet. And as grandma always said, the most important ingredient in any recipe is love. If you are feeling concerned about a pet’s eating habits or physical health, talk to a vet to determine what the best option is for you.




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