Food News

Feeding Your Dog Is About to Get Way More Expensive

Remember Finn? I introduced you to her two years ago when I first moved to Dallas and committed to a life of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and low-grade fatness. She's 16 now, and sleeps a lot more than she used to, but she still eats with the intense enthusiasm that has aggravated me since she was a pup. (Didn't I set a hot dog down right here?)

I bring her up because of two stories regarding canines and their diets, and both will potentially cost you.

The first is showed up on NPR's The Salt. It describes the new farm-to-bowl movement that's taking hold in many cities. Butchers specializing in local free-range beef are turning scraps into dog food that can set you back $300 a month. Another sustainability advocate is making dog food from wild blue catfish, an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay. And there are even dog CSAs if you feel the need to embrace the locavore movement all the way down to your four-legged friend.

Josh Ozersky, meanwhile, advocates that you feed your dog like a man on the Eat Like a Man blog. Ozersky claims that dogs are like wolves, and like their owners, meant to eat meat. There's even a video of his young pup, ravenous and wolf-like, eagerly chomping on a nearly destroyed pork chop. I think his advice is misguided.

Veterinarians certainly don't advocate feeding dogs meat exclusively. And sure, dogs are like wolves but domestic canines live much better lives when they're cared for according to veterinary direction. The average wolf lives 6-8 years in the wild, and just look at ol' Finn up there.

The other problem with new and untested diets are the food allergies they might uncover. If I were to give Finn a NY strip steak, at best she'd light up my living room, and at worst her hair would start to fall out. She'd look like one of those strange hairless terriers that are popular in L.A. only with failing joints and bad teeth.

So if you're thinking about changing your dog's diet to locavore or, be careful about it. you could do some serious damage to your dog. And your rug.