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The Ruff Report: Dogs and food

Growing trend toward natural food

More dog parents are feeding their pets premium dog food, a report concludes.

A survey by the American Pet Products Association has found that premium formula was the dog food purchased most in the past 12 months and eight of 10 owners feed their pets the dry form. Premium is described as food with extra nutrients, fewer preservatives and metabolized more efficiently than non-premium food.

Forty-four percent of dog parents purchased premium food for their pets, the survey found. The second most popular formula, dog food fortified with added vitamins or minerals, was bought by 37 percent for their pets and the majority use the dry form.

The survey also found that approximately 3 to 4 million dogs have had organic and gourmet dog food bought for them in the past 12 months. (January 3, 2009)

Pet parents turning to natural foods

Sales of pet food at natural supermarkets are surging, a report has found.

The study, done by Packaged Facts, found that natural supermarket pet sales increased 22 percent in 2007.

For several years, leading natural supermarket chains, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, have been outperforming mainstream grocers as consumers embrace natural and organic products of all kinds, the study found.

The report concludes that pet food recalls in the spring of 2007 greatly benefited natural supermarket sales. Sales of pet products in those stores rose 18 percent in the first week of April 2008 compared with the last week of March 2007.
(November 1, 2008)

Survey findings are a recipe for trouble

Owners are worried about the health of their pets, yet most fail to read the labels on the food they are feeding them and have a lack of understand about the ingredients.

Only 20 percent of dog owners and 19 percent of cat owners in the United States say they always read pet food labels and just 38 percent say they understand all the ingredients listed on the labels, according to a survey commissioned by Wellness, a maker of natural food and treats for pets. Yet 85 percent of owners agree that the health of their pets is as important as the health of their family.

The survey also found that 56 percent worry that food contains ingredients they would not want their pet to consume and 55 percent do not know what federal body is in charge of regulating pet food quality. The agency is the American Association of Feed Control Officials. (
October 18, 2008)

Green pet food gaining in popularity

More pets are being feed so-called green foods - such as broccoli, spinach and wheat grass.

A study conducted for Rock Growers of San Marcos, California, a supplier of green nutrition pet products, found 79 percent of American dog and cat owners say they would like to include green nutrition more often in their pets' diets.

The study also found that 65 percent would choose a treat that includes green nutrition over a non-green treat, depending on the price. Twenty-five percent would be willing to pay more for treats with green nutrition. (October 11, 2008)

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