Will your dog really be better off if you buy the 70-cent-per-can "gourmet" dog food instead of the ordinary half-dollar brand?
Will your finicky cat thrive, yet lose weight, if you switch to an expensive "diet" dinner? Finding the right answer for your pet can be important to its health and to your pocketbook.
Feed for pets is more than a $6 billion industry, with almost 5.7 billion devoted to dogs and cats. According to the Pet Food Institute, a trade association, there are 54.5 million dogs and 63.2 million cats in the United States.
After the first dog biscuits were sold in 1860, change came slowly. Canned horsemeat joined dry dog foods in the 1920s, with dry meat meals and the first cat foods appearing in the 1930s. Commercial variations flourished in the 1960s. The Human's Dilemma
If you stroll down the supermarket pet food aisle today, you may find some 100 varieties of dog food.
Most common are "low-calorie" products to help Rover lose weight. Prominent, too, are brands with nutrients suited to dogs of different ages. Some victuals claim benefits purely cosmetic, such as alleviating canine "bad breath'-a condition more likely to trouble the master than the mastiff. Amid such a profusion of products, how is one to choose?
Specialized pet foods, sometimes called "prescription" feeds or diets, have been marketed primarily through veterinarians or kennel clubs, and intended as part of a comprehensive health regimen. Recently, however, they've begun showing up on supermarket …