Monday, October 14, 2013

Gone to the Dogs

Gourmet dog cupcakes and cookies at local pet store.

I once asked, on Yahoo Answers, “What should I feed my dog?”

“Dog food, stupid,” someone replied.

Apparently, that shithead hasn’t been to the pet stores I’ve been to.

Or the dog parks. I was standing with a woman when a conversation about what people feed their dogs broke out. One of the participants fed her dogs only raw foods, giving them an entire raw chicken or a whole raw fish out in the yard. Another swore by organic food. (There are at least two organic dog-food stores in Houston.) Another man said he fed his dogs only kibble and was shunned.

“Wow,” marveled my companion, “talking about what you feed your dog here is like talking about politics or religion with normal people.”

And you go into the pet store and there are aisle and aisles of choices, not to mention freezers for kinds that need to be kept cold, including special ice cream for your dog. There’s organic. There’s gluten-free and wheat-free. You can get dog food that is beef-free. (Full disclosure: my dog Lola actually does have a sensitivity to beef. “Sensitivity to beef” is the polite way to say Lola gets the squirts if she eats any.)

But just as children’s books are marketed to the adults who will buy them for children, dog foods are marketed to the people who will buy them for dogs. Which is why you will see dog treats marketed as made with blueberries or pumpkin when I guarantee you that Lola the dog does not consider blueberries or pumpkin food.

Though, I admit, one of Lola’s favorite chew treats is, according to the label, made with yak milk, using an “ancient recipe of the people of the Himalayas and Nepal.”

So, yup, I’ve been sucked in.


  1. Some people feed there dogs bones, but I know that others don't because they worry that the bone will hurt the dog. Where do you stand on this?

  2. Some people are just too obsessed with what they feed their dogs, I am not one of them. However, I do hold my dogs dish because she refuses to eat if the dish is on the floor.