Dog food. No longer a heave inducing tin of rotten smelling animal processing by product that you imagine, these days if you can spend more than one pound a tin you can choose to feed your faithful dog some actual proper food and after all why wouldn’t you. The way that we feed ourselves has changed over the last 20 years as we have all become more knowledgeable about what goes into our foods. We know about additives, chemicals and excess sugars in our foods and how eating right is good for us physically and mentally, the same goes for the non-human members of our families.
When I open a tin of either the Lily’s Kitchen or the Natures Menu for my two dogs, although I am never quite tempted enough to have a taste myself, I am certain that I have eaten much worse before. As a free school meals child growing up in the eighties of this I am certain. Given the choice of Salmon and Raspberry, Duck and Plum or Venison and Cranberry would have been a massive leap in cuisine quality for a 13 year old me in 1986 pushing my tray to the counter and saying “burger please”.
Anyhow, before I paint myself as some sort of doggie Jamie Oliver I should point out what fascinates me just as much as the food quality inside the tin is the artwork and branding on the outside. As the quality of the food has got better the quality and originality of the branding has matched it at a pace.
Lily’s Kitchen for instance is a brand with a very distinctive look. All of the packaging and copy artwork is based on the same simple drawing of a dog walking through the woods, with the different foods in the tin being easy to identify by their own colour scheme on that same drawing. The different colours create a very colourful display and become almost intoxicating to look at, it’s bright but not gaudy and the tagline “Proper Dog Food” is always visible.
Another high quality food with a matching high quality of artwork is the brand “A Taste Of The Wild”. Each flavour has its own fine oil painting of a country scene depicting a number of wolves stalking whichever animal that has ended up in the tin. Each one a proper artwork on its own.
Looking down the pet aisle these days you can see that the other slightly cheaper brands have cottoned on to this. Gone are the days of a bright orange tin with a picture of a dog looking manically happy splashed with a name like Super Champy. It appears that the whole industry has had a makeover, brown paper looking bags, pencil drawings of sprawling countryside and mighty trees are all over the shop.
If you want dog food buying advice from a man who has done a lot of research, yes I really have, I would say just go for the best food that you can afford, avoid food that a dog wouldn’t normally eat and avoid the brands that are owned by huge multi nationals.
Whether you are a dog owner or not, next time you pass a pet shop just go and take a look around to witness just how the revolution in dog food has landed.