A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to SuperZoo, a trade show for the pet industry that was held in Las Vegas.
I have attended a number of trade shows in my time but this was the first time I attended one for the pet industry. What fun! I don’t own a pet, never have except for tropical fish, but I do love animals, dogs especially. Unfortunately, as an adult, I developed an allergy to them that makes my asthma kick in so I have to admire them from afar.
But this show was like no other, some exhibitors had their pets in the booth and those attending brought their dogs with them. One booth even had a pony that was let out now and then by its handler to walk the floor. It was a real dog and pony show.
To my surprise, I was amazed at how many companies had organic-, holistic- and natural-based dog and cat foods. It was like walking around a health food show for animals. I always wondered why animals get certain types of cancer. They don’t smoke, they don’t drink, they don’t have most of the nasty habits humans do. They have their own, but nothing that I would think would give them cancer. And then I realized a big reason, it’s what they are fed. For years and still now, their owners feed them processed foods with fillers, preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. Seeing all the booths enlightened me and I was glad to see that the pet industry has a healthy consciousness as to what animals are being fed.
My brother, that lived in South America, like me, loved dogs. But the dogs he had were all healthy, and now I realize why. Because they were fed the same nutritious, natural foods he would eat. Where he lived, they didn’t run out to the local pet shop to buy dog food in a bag or can. Whatever was cooked that night, if it was good for the dog or cat, they ate. Americans are used to convenience and sometimes that’s just not healthy for our pets or ourselves.
When I was a teenager, I had a babysitting job. This little old Jewish lady had a beautiful boxer, Butch, a former show dog. It could no longer compete because it got into a tussle with another dog and was marked on one of its hind legs. But Butch was like a child, a companion, to this lady.
On Sunday evenings, she liked to go out to play canasta with the “girls” and wanted someone to just be with the dog, walk him, feed him and watch TV with him. Needing money, like all teenagers do, I took the job. I had specific instructions when it came to feeding him. She would cook string beans and rice with some pieces of meat (for taste) for him that I had to warm up. No processed food for Butch, he ate real food. Water from the tap? Oh, no! He had his own bottle of water in the fridge. Butch would only drink cold water. If you would put tap water in this bowl he would not touch it. Sometimes I thought Butch ate better than I did. But now, looking back, the little old lady was right. Butch was healthy because he ate real food.
At SuperZoo there were a variety of companies that had natural stain removers, cat litter made from corn, grooming supplies with natural ingredients, recycling programs for their containers, pet beds made from natural materials, natural digestive aids and general health products such as natural ingredient-based vitamins.
Maybe some of these products have been available for a while, not having a pet I was not aware of them. But now I’m glad to know that we humans are taking better care of our domestic animals by giving them the benefit of good nutritious foods and products that will not harm them. We have been given the responsibility of taking care of the animals on this earth, we should not let them down.