Pampering Pets With Organic Food

A lot of you will snicker as soon as you hear the words "organic pet food." It's true that some people find it exceedingly funny that some other people treat their pets exceedingly well. But customers at the Pet Shop Girls in Boston don't seem to mind that much.

Owner Lou Whitney offers pet food varieties like lobster, crab and shrimp, and beef chunks with pasta, carrots and peas at his store. "Everything here is healthy organic food," he said.

Dog owner Kate Bailey was in the market for some dessert for her dog.

"We're going to get some ice cream, actually, today," she said.

Pet owners are worried after recent reports came out about a chemical additive in pet foods linked to Chinese manufacturers that was making pets sick. Whitney said the result has been increased business at his establishment, with "literally dozens" more people coming in on a daily basis.

'Nonfunctioning Machines'

Whitney said you'd be surprised to discover what most pets end up eating when their owners give them conventional pet food, even when it's not contaminated — which is, of course, most of the time.

"They're finding things in the food that are more associated with filler materials, such as corn, corn meals," he said. "And so, they're looking at the backs of these packages … And then they start to think, 'Well, wait a minute, should the dog be eating corn, anyway?'"

Whitney makes a provocative argument that all this corn consumption is making pets sick, pointing to "the amount of cats and dogs that are becoming diabetic, that are having major organ failure, that are having significant joint and hip problems."

"I mean, if you think about it, these animals are designed to be healthy and be athletic, and whatever else, and because of what we are feeding them, we're turning them into nonfunctioning machines."

And veterinary bills — as any pet owner knows — are NOT a joke.

Tasty Treats

So Bailey, who admitted that her father and brothers mock her for all this, got out of the store with a week's worth of pet food for under 20 bucks, including Frosty Paws, a frozen dog treat.

Bailey said it does cost more than conventional pet food, but not that much more on average. She said it will only cost her about 15 percent more to feed her pet the organic food.

We know how much it costs, but how does it taste?

"I do taste all the treats that come into the store," Whitney said.

And the icing on the cake can be found at the pet food pastry counter — doggie cupcakes.

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