Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dry or wet food? Answered at the pet super market?

Well, I don't think so.
Franny Syufy in her column on About the other day had an article on canned cat food in which she made a couple interesting remarks. She reports that these days she receives more and more e-mails from male cat owners, however she is concerned about the fact that they are not always following her advice. I am seeing a similar trend at my place, it looks like my inquiries about cat food are evenly split between male and female owners. On whether or not the males follow my advice more than the females I cannot agree with Franny’s observations, most often both sides are listening. Though I have to say that I get my inquiries from pet owners who know they came to a place selling pet nutrition. Franny on the other side is supposed to be a columnist on totally neutral territory, though looking at the website I can see why she tends to always favor her opinion towards the countless advertisers on the site.
She also addressed two specific e-mails she recently had received on the specific topic of dry vs. canned cat food. In one the cat owner reported of his cat suffering from feline leukemia and HIV. And he adds that he favors the canned versions despite the fact that his local pet supermarket people told him canned food has the following disadvantages: “It is mostly water”, it “goes right through” and it “makes cats fat”. This advice doesn’t surprise me. I myself frequently visit the local pet super markets and experience generally the same. To be frank, I would say that most of the employees over there have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. In many cases it is school kids. Now granted, I understand all this: First I think it’s great that these kids take on a job in an attempt to make some money on the side. And it certainly is not their fault that they are not being trained properly. Second, I understand the store chain’s pressure to deal with ever increasing overhead and their reasoning for hiring inexpensive help and not providing proper training. Training is an investment and who knows how long these kids are going to stay there to work. At least these kids speak our native language, so that in itself is a plus. However, I just believe that over the long run such cost saving strategies may hurt the chain. This would be good for me because hopefully pet owners are moving towards places where they do not just get proper advice but also proper food. In regards to the food “going right through”, I wish, who ever came up with this idea in the first place should have made them aware that this is the case as well for most of the junk kibble they sell over there. Just because it’s called like it is science doesn’t automatically make it the best food. I’d say, whatever advice you get over there, be very careful and take it with a big grain of salt.
Franny had her own comments on that subject: She did not want to go “against” the “experts” from the XYZ store, but, but in the interest of the cat needing superior nutrition due to its illness, she just hopes that the cat owner buys a “high quality” food, short off saying “you are most likely not going to find that over there. So that to me sounds like she agrees with me. She also commented on a 2nd e-mail she had received on that same topic. In it the writer described the food being sold at those stores in a fashion which I do not want to repeat here (I was surprised that they did). But Franny in an effort of trying to be politically correct all the sudden said that she does not entirely agree with him. A little contradiction here, where is the objectivity? Well, maybe her management just sold an ad on their page to one of these markets.

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