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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on May 20, 2009

Buddy begOver time, prices on most things go up. But have you ever noticed how some prices creep while others leap?

After trying several different brands, we finally found a dog food that works well for both of my large breed dogs and we resolved to pay the not-so-cheap $41 per 35-pound bag. Last week, when I went to purchase the food, it was $49. While $8 might not seem like a ton of money, the fact that it was a 28% increase was hard to stomach (like my dogs found the cheaper dog food—but I will spare you the gory details). And it might even be worse than I thought. Apparently, many pet food companies have been reducing the size of their bags.

I tapped into a few online conversations about dog food price increases. People were speculating that the increase was due to the cost of transportation. When I called the manufacturer to inquire, they explained that the increase took place in March of this year in response to an increase in the cost of their raw ingredients. According to Petfood, the prices of raw ingredients increased dramatically in the summer of 2008. Some stores even posted signs explaining the 2008 price increases in raw ingredients like lamb (136 percent,) brown rice (121 percent), and chicken fat (30 percent).

The good news is that the pet food industry has been relatively recession proof due to the fact that the majority of pet owners have proven reluctant to “trade down” their pet's food. Apparently, there is a lot of brand loyalty with pet food. Why is this good news? Because skimping on quality now can be costly later—in unhappy pets and higher veterinary bills.

If only the humans had it so good. Experts say that short-term healthcare cutback could lead to more medical problems and, ultimately, higher spending. Unfortunately, a recent survey by the American Heart Association found that 32 percent (of humans) have made a recent healthcare change to save money, such as delaying preventive care appointments, not taking medications or skipping the dentist. Forty two percent plan to make changes in the near future that may impact their health, such as buying fewer fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, Parade Magazine pointed out in last weekend's edition that some steps people can take toward wellness—like walking—may cost little or nothing.

I personally haven’t made a decision about our dogs' food quite yet. Maybe I’ll think about it while taking the dogs for a walk (which will do us all a little good!)



Art Burack says:
October 14, 2010

For my 13 week Border Collie/ Lab Moxie. She will continue getting IAMs for puppies. Her growth and vitality says it all.

Laura Szalacinski says:
May 26, 2009

8 years ago, I fed my cat Pet Pride, a cheap catfood. It led to him getting a blocked urethra which cost a bit to get fixed. The vet said the cat eating that was like us eating McDonald's every day. Not healthy at all. I switched to Purina brands, which are more healthy and still cost effective.

Meg from FruWiki says:
May 20, 2009

We tried switching cat foods -- not to save money, but because our regular stuff wasn't in stock. Bad move! Our kitties liked it well enough but then got sick. If we ever do try to switch foods, we'll be sure to plan it better so that we can wean them off the first one by adding the new stuff gradually. I can't see us switching to much cheaper food, though. We've paid enough in vet bills already and, frankly, their nutrition is important to us because we want happy, healthy cats.

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