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Feed Your Dog, Save a Farm

The pet food recalls over the past
few years have taught us a few things. When you buy commercial dog food, your money goes to a corporation that’s likely far away from your community. You simply have to trust that the package label doesn’t lie and what’s in there is safe for your dog to eat.

But if you buy meat, milk or eggs from your local farmer, you can stop by the farm to see for yourself if the animals are treated humanely and whether you’re purchasing a quality whole food product. Liz Cunninghame of Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, Calif. offers a monthly farm tour so visitors can see the difference. She offers natural grass-fed beef, pastured organically fed pork, organic pastured eggs, sheep, goats, Jersey cows, geese, turkeys, meat chickens and guinea hens.

“If you care how the animals are raised, find a local farmer,” says Stacy Martin, owner of Yellow Wolf Farm in Lansing, N.C. “If they’re doing what they say they’re doing, they won’t cringe when you take out your camera. Talk to them about where your food and your pet’s food comes from.” Through a small farmers’ co-op, Martin sells natural grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs and organs to raw feeders. She is now moving to a larger property to meet the increased demand for sustainable whole foods for both people and pets.

Both Cunninghame and Martin have had pet owners specifically request grass-fed beef to help a pet with illness, such as cancer, or allergies to commercial foods or meat purchased in a traditional grocery store. “Seek the best quality you can find or afford,” advises Cunninghame. “Once you switch yourself, and understand how the animal you are eating is raised, you will never go back to conventional meats for you or your pet.

To find sustainable and organic local farmers, go to localharvest.org.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Steve I. | June 21 2012 |

Since dogs are carnivores, another alternative for feeding them quality meat is to hunt. If you're not into hunting, find someone in your area who is and ask if you can buy the leftover meat or the carcass form their deer, hog etc. It makes a great supplement to whatever dog food you use. You may need a bigger freezer though.....

Submitted by Anonymous | November 27 2012 |

Excellent idea. An ethical, careful hunter knows for sure that the animal he or she kills has lived a free and natural life and was not abused or traumatized in a slaughterhouse before dying. Other than buying from local farms, this is the most humane and ethical way for people to feed themselves and their pets.

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