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Pet Treat Goodies Go Gourmet

Jan 8, 2008
Like doting parents, we love to spoil our pets. My own menagerie of cats and dogs are coddled and cuddled in ways that amuses some friends, while others think of it as excess. The truth is, our furry friends love the attention and respond in kind. With good food, plenty of toys and regular veterinary care, our pets are happy, healthy and take up too much room in the bed.

Sleeping space aside, Americans love to pamper their pets. Toys, treats, clothing and other pet related merchandise accounts for roughly ten percent of the estimated 38 eight billion dollars we spend on our pets annually. The market for animal treats has been a growing steadily for the last several years and pet treats have gone from plain to the sublime. Gourmet pet treats are more popular than ever and this fact has not been lost on pet retailers.

A local business incubator helped launch a successful effort to market gourmet doggie treats. A quick check of the online marketplace can yield several outlets that specialize in gourmet gift baskets for your pet. Not unlike the usual fair found in gift baskets for humans, pet baskets are filled with yummy gourmet treats. Now the typical gift basket for pets will not be filled with Swiss chocolates and Jamaican coffee.

What it might have is a selection of toys and treats fit for the furry family member. The concept of giving our pets a collection of treats and toys is not new. As far back as my childhood, I can remember seeing mesh plastic Christmas stockings filled with pet goodies. Nothing from that era compares to the huge selection of doggie deserts and kitty confections available today.

By some reports, the market growth for gourmet pet foods and treats mirrors the market for gourmet people food. Changes in lifestyle habits and trends towards healthier diets have certainly driven many people towards more upscale foods. Many of us consider our pets to be members of the family and they share many aspects of our lives. Therefore, it makes sense that our furry friends would be part of a healthier lifestyle.

As humans, we have a great deal of discretion when it comes to making healthy dietary choices. Our pets rely on us to provide them with healthy food and that includes treats. With exception, my dogs love certain fruits and vegetables, including bananas, apples, peppers and even zucchini. Many pet owners have had similar experiences and this fact has not been lost on the pet treat industry.

There is an element of fun associated with the new trend in gourmet pet treats. Whether its bagels for your beagle or sweets for your Siamese, the industry has responded with creative packaging and marketing. The average dog or cat is not interested in the packing, but rather what is inside. This is not to say that an empty box is not a source of fun for your cat. The packaging certainly appeals to humans, often projecting an upscale image for the product.

Cats and dogs can now feast on ice cream, formulated for their digestive systems. Peanut butter petites, fruity biscuits and other gourmet treats are far from junk food. Successful producers understand the value of providing nutritious snacks that contribute the animals health and dietary needs. For example, chocolate should never be fed to your pet. Alternative ingredients such as carob are often used as a way to satisfy your pets sweet tooth.

Pets deserve the best from their owners and gourmet pet treats are a great way to show appreciation for the loyalty, love and companionship they provide.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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