Dog Owner's Shift to Purchasing Healthier Dog Food

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COLUMBIA - Pet store owners and managers in Columbia say they are seeing an increase in dog owners buying healthier food for their dogs this year.

Petco Assistant Manager Jen Boeckman said pet owners look for two features in dog food now.

"People looking at quality of ingredients and order of the ingredients," Boekman said.

The owners of Lizzi and Rocco's Natural Pet Market agree, saying they see people looking for whole ingredients further up on the ingredients list.

"Meat should be the first ingredient on the ingredients list," LIzzi and Rocco's Natural Pet Market owner Kyle Schlosser said.

Although corn is a cheap product to add to dog food, people are also staying away from corn with the knowlege that it is not as highly digestible for their dogs, according to Schlosser. 

Dog owner and veteranary student Chris Lutton has owned his dog, Bailey, since she was four-years-old. Lutton said Bailey is extremely active, but he understands that health is still important for the dog.

More than seven million dogs are estimated to be obese and 26 million overweight, according to a nationwide study quoted in the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention Website. The number in cats is higher, with 15.7 million estimated to be obese and 35 million overweight.

"Petco has their certified nutrition awareness letting people know we're here to answer any nutrition questions" said Boeckman.

Click Lizzi and Rocco's Natural Pet Store or Petco to find out more detailed nutritional information about buying dog food.