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Announcing new miracle meals! June 28, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, pets, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Sheesh, when I saw this headline in my inbox, I thought it must be an e-mail from RealAge about how I could eat whatsit and live to be a thousand. But no, turns out it was from Duncraft, purveyors of birdseed and bird-related products like feeders and birdbaths. Duncraft was in fact announcing a new line of actual high-protein, balanced meals (think cornmeal, not dinner, they’re referring to texture) specially designed for nestlings.

Just yesterday, I got another shock in the “meals” line. As our friend Ben noted in a previous post, I’d dashed into a local grocery to snag some fresh mozzarella for a marvelous Caprese salad (while he and our puppy Shiloh stayed in the air-conditioned car listening to the latest sports updates on the radio). I was heading back towards checkout with the mozzarella when I saw a refrigerated case that was completely different from anything I’d ever seen in a grocery store before. It was devoted to fresh foods for dogs, packs of meatballs and sausage-like rolls. Grabbing a brochure, I read that the fresh foods were made from chicken, turkey, or beef, plus liver, peas, carrots, brown rice, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals, all lightly cooked to perfection without ruining their nutritional value.

No, I didn’t buy any—I barely had enough money for the mozzarella, and Shiloh has plenty of premium dry food at home—but I’ll admit I was awed. Our friends Delilah and Chaz cook up their own dog food for their beloved Boston terrier Duke, aka Dukie Macdonald, but this is the closest I’ve ever seen to what they make for him, and there it is, prepackaged and ready to go. A “miracle meal” indeed! Even more impressive, a miracle meal available from an ordinary grocery store.

I’ve long been aware of the raw-foods movement in pet foods, where advocates propose giving dogs and cats the equivalent of what they’d be eating in the wild, raw meat and some vegetables and grains (to make up the equivalent of prey animals’ stomach contents). But somehow, I’ve never been tempted. We humans started out eating raw foods, too, until we discovered that cooked foods tasted better and were easier to digest. Why not offer our hard-won advantages to our pets, as well? And if cooked food’s not worth eating, why the hell are we eating it?

But getting back to that refrigerated case of food for dogs—the brochure made the point that it’s not “dog food,” it’s “food for dogs”—does anyone out there cook for their dogs rather than feeding them “dog food”? And if so, what do you cook?

            ‘Til next time,