Charlie, my dog-niece, is now 6 months old. As with 75% of pet owners, we consider her to be an important member of the family. She enjoys a variety of canine creature comforts: sleeping in bed with her “parents,” vacationing in the Hamptons and exercising during play dates with her pals. 

The same mindset applies to Charlie’s food. My sister opts for a veterinarian-recommended dog food, made from only the most wholesome, organic, chemical-free ingredients—and she’s not alone. 

“Gourmet foods and flavors once considered upscale and limited only to fine-dining establishments are now appearing in mass channels such as grocery stores and even in commercial dog food,” says Lucien Vendome, executive chef for Nestlé. 

Dogs can also dine on pet foods that contain unique ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables and good-for-you grains. For example, some dog foods are now formulated with accents of antioxidant-rich cranberries and sweet potatoes. Others deliver excellent nutrition through whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice. 

As more of us embrace a healthy lifestyle and eat natural and organic foods, we choose similar options for our pets. Purchases of natural/organic pet foods and treats have skyrocketed. 

Nutritional supplements are another trend, with pet foods that support joints and omega fatty acids that promote a healthy skin and coat. Advanced formulas are available at veterinarians’ offices for pets with specific health conditions.

The Charlie Chronicles

Study findings courtesy of Nestlé