WINK News looks at the rise in dog food designed to keep our fur babies happy and healthy.
Winston is an 8-month-old Merle French bulldog with a drool-worthy multi-color coat. His doctor says he’s the picture of health: “He’s not too overweight, not too thin. His hair coat is really nice and shiny.”
Owner Shelby Welbes pays a premium to keep Winston in tip-top shape, beginning with carefully curated cuisine. She pawed around and picked a Florida-based pet food that offers customized meal plans.
“Rather than making my own food for him, I just thought it was very convenient to try the Totus,” Welbes said.
Michael Gray founded Totus Pet Food after working on recipes for 25 years.
“I would just go to the grocery store and buy meats, vegetables, fruits, and make my own dog food,” Gray said. “And my dogs had extraordinarily extraordinary health all those years.”
A recent survey found that 70% of pet owners are interested in their animal’s diet. But only recently have people started reading labels to look at nutritional benefits.
Estero veterinarian Dr. Rick Lee with Easyvet treats a lot of allergies and sensitive stomachs that he links to food. He says a lot of what we feed our pets is basically junk.
“As we investigate what are the causes of the health problem, a lot of times it ends up being the food or nutrition,” Lee said.
The American Kennel Club suggests reading labels like you would for human food. The ingredient listed first is the largest portion; look for sell-by dates and check the amount of protein, fat, fiber and liquids. This new breed of pet superfood addresses the animal’s well-being.
“If you have special proteins, better quality ingredients, better probiotics and vitamins, things like that will make the food healthier,” Lee said.
Lee even says people could eat the healthiest dog foods if they wanted to.
“One of my customers said that when she was cleaning it out, there was some leftover; she actually tasted it and said it was very good,” Lee said.
It’s long been said that food is medicine, and now that principle is going to the dogs.
Totus is a subscription-based meal plan that includes diets addressing dogs’ special needs. It is one of many currently on the market.