A new trend in pet food has consumers turning to the butcher for fresh meat to feed their pets.
One retailer, Albright Farms, in Monkton, Maryland, USA, offers cuts of meat and bones specifically for pets. The meat products, from grass-fed and locally raised animals, are another way to promote sustainability of local farming.
“Our mission here is to get as much out of the animal as possible,” said Jake Dickson, an owner of Dickson’s Farmstand, a New York retailer of meats for pets. “Both in terms of profitability, but also philosophically — doing honor and justice to that animal.”
Dickson's Farmstand offers an array of animal parts, such as blood from hearts, tongues and livers as well as slabs of New York strip. Some of the meat trimmings are also ground up into sausage. Though, this meat is a more expensive choice for dog food, running about US$10 for a 1 1/2-pound package at Dickson's.
Another New York retailer following the petfood trend is Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats. The company's US$4, two-ounce ready-to-eat packages contain organic chicken and beef hearts, liver and tongue, and are sprinkled with beef fat.
“If you’re not feeding your dog human-quality food it’s a terrifying thing,” said Jessica Applestone, owner of Fleisher's. “It’s very true that there’s much more of a movement, and we’re very happy to see it. People see that pushing a better diet for their dogs results in less vet visits.”