Susan Thixton posted a great article recently about a consumer who was verbally abused on Social media because she admitted to feeding a less then ideal grocery store food. The link to the article is here: Pet Food Consumer Bullies..
We all started somewhere in the pet owning realm, with some knowledge, a ton or none at all! I fed my first two dogs, Rat terrier, boston terrier mix siblings, Purina for years. I was an Animal Science major at the time!? Because of my poor choices then should I not have been allowed to keep pets? The reason I had the 2 pups?I rescued them from my neighbor who had unaltered dogs, that mated and had 8 pups . I would sneak food to them because owners were feeding human scraps, and nothing appropriate for these babies. Their future was not looking bright at all. Mugsy and Koko lived into their mid teens, and I regret I didn’t know better at the time, how to keep them healthy into their old age.
When you are on a learning journey whether it’s your own health, pet health, dog training,being a better golfer, tennis player or cook…being criticized for your lack of knowledge or skill, is the last thing you’d expect or desire! It is quite fashionable now to have an attitude of superiority by some of those that “get it”. Social media is a hotbed for these mean spirited, judgmental attitudes. Most of us have fed corn, wheat or soy at one time or another because 25/ 30 years ago, that was what was available! These products are still VERY mainstream. Unless you were very progressive and rebellious, you weren’t feeding grain free,premium foods as they are known today, much less raw food! Interestingly, there is also a reverse reaction occurring; those who have chosen to feed exclusively species appropriate foods, supplement,minimally vaccinate and embrace holistic approaches are often dismissed as less than adequate pet parents because of their choices. I dare to say that the latter did more independent research and educated themselves fully and are secure in the decisions they’ve made. Their pets are no doubt experiencing optimal health because of it!
If you “get it” and are in the know about how to feed , care dogs and cats for optimal wellness, share the information with those that are still in the dark. Be ready for resistance, eye rolling and those that poo poo it as a sales pitch. Be patient and remember where you began as a pet owner. Who influenced your choices and educated you about how better to care for your fur kids? Think of the difference a little friendly suggestion can make in the lives of someones dog or cat! A vast majority of new clients walking in our door, are the result of a caring fellow pet owner who referred them to us.
About the time I removed the 2 most recognized premium brands in the industry, from my shelves in favor of more appropriate diets, 15 years ago, I was told I would go out of business if I didn’t sell that green bag of “chunks”. I never believed it and we are approaching our 20th year in business. In the late 80’s Cindy Skarda,also had a vision of selling “health” foods for dogs at time when it was far from mainstream. Raw food was already happening on the West coast, in the Midwest it was considered voodoo! Glucosamine, probiotics and fish oil would not be considered legitimate for many years to come.
If it was simply about selling dog food, it would have been a smoother more lucrative road, in the beginning, to just sell what was popular and ignore the facts and turn a blind eye to the not so healthy pet population. It’s not easy hearing that a decision you’ve made is negatively influencing your pets health! There is plenty of backlash in our direction at times. Regardless,we are here to support pet owners as they make their way through maze of information, without judgement or criticism. We are steadfast though. If you tell us you feed a vegetarian or other inappropriate diet to your pets, we will attempt to set the record straight,not based on opinions or propaganda from dog food companies, but on hard facts.
Our commitment to you the pet owner continues to be; Empower, Enlighten and Educate ,
and as always “be your pets advocate”!