Natural, healthy dog food for your pets


Last year, Americans spent over $50 billion on their pets, so Dan Calkins, vice president of business development for Merrick Pet Care, finds there is no issue paying extra for his company's gourmet canine cuisine, such as chicken pot pie and chicken wings.

"It's actually pressure-cooked so that the bone just crushes as they eat it and they get the marrow and there's no negative thing about having the bone in here," said Calkins.

Calkins' taste test reveals it's fit for human consumption.

"People love to treat their pets right, and it's just a fabulous stew that we make for dogs. It's with real chicken, real vegetables; all made in the USA, all locally sourced ingredients," Calkins said.

Antler Chewz, Inc.'s antler dog chews solve two issues: dog stress and dental health. The antlers are completely digestible and provide a variety of minerals for the dog.

"It's [a] natural product, it's naturally shed antler, so no animals have been harmed. The chew itself, it doesn't splinter, it doesn't have any additives," said Victor Lazepko of Antler Chewz. "As they chew, they clean their teeth. It's very healthy, especially for the older dogs.

The Bear & The Rat offers frozen yogurt that contains probiotics. It's not ice cream, so it's the rare dog that doesn't tolerate it. Flavors include: Bacon Peanut Barker, Banana Peanut Barker and Choc 'O' Not.

"You're having a little ice cream, your dog has a little ice cream and it's just a really good, fun thing. But it benefits their digestion, it helps them with their immune support," said Meg Meyer, president and co-founder of the The Bear & The Rat.

And for the main meal, many companies maintain that there's too much grain in a dog's diet, attributing the grain to everything from ear infections, stomach problem, allergies and more. So eliminating grain helps weed out issues, perhaps avoiding vet visits.

"Allergy testing on dogs is very expensive and the first thing people weed out is grain. Usually that takes out the allergy problem," said Cindy Stiles of Earthborn Holistic.

See photos of healthy, natural dog food brands featured at the Natural Product Expo.

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