Local Dog Food?

September 07, 2011

The butcher is absolutely back! And making waves in new territory, pet food. Find out why your local butcher might get into the dog food business.

A couple of years ago, The Lempert Report predicted the return of the butcher. Now a few years later, the trend may be getting a bit out of hand with the local butcher possibly changing the pet food landscape.
One of the latest trends in New York, both sustainable and local, is dog food from the local butcher shop. For some, premium dog food isn't good enough, and those willing to shell out some cash are opting for freshly made cuisine from high end local butchers - who already supply the best cuts for upscale restaurants.
The doggie butchers insist that their products, from grass-fed and locally raised, are not just a gimmick, but instead another way to promote sustainability of small-scale local farming as well as optimal canine nutrition.
Jake Dickson, the owner of Dickson's Farmstand in the Chelsea Market, told the New York Times that his "mission is to get as much out of the animal as possible," to minimize perfectly healthy and safe cuts of meat.
Once a week, 6,000 pounds of meat arrives at Dickson's from farms in the Hudson Valley. Most of it is for human consumption, and the odds and ends, or pieces that have oxidized or other "cosmetic" concerns are made it into the dog food. "The dog food is kind of taking it to the next step," said Jake Dickson, who demonstrates the "nose to tail" sustainability aspect of Farm to Bowl, his new dog food operation. All of the pieces he used to throw away are ground, roasted and then combined with produce to make dog food.
The dog food is sold fresh in one-and-a-half-pound, $10 packages as dog food. At one meal per pouch for a medium-size dog, it is expensive! For comparison, a 34-pound package of Purina Puppy Chow can be purchased for around $23.
Customers say their dogs have more energy and are more obedient and more healthy overall. We will see just how long or how far this trend spreads, but supermarkets may want to consider this in the future.