In the doghouse

Features Food & Drink - February 22nd, 1974

by Dr. Herb Friedman

Not surprisingly, the last article  aroused more than a little interest in the pet  food manu­facturers and importers. The people from Ken-L advised me that  the food labeled half in Japanese is not pro­duced here but is made in Australia.

In the last article. I advis­ed which foods I thought were acceptable. In this one I’ll tell you which foods are definitely unacceptable.

First, beware of foods that sell too cheaply. This is true for the military pet-owner as well as “regular gaijins.” There are too many brands being sold where the cost of the can itself is high­er than the contents within. These are junk foods and can only produce sick and unthrifty animals. As in most things, you get what you pay for.

Secondly, do not feed scraps as the main part of an animals diet. Your leftovers, even if of very high quality, rarely contain all of the essentials that the animal needs as a daily maintainance diet. A diet of leftovers will usually tend to overemphasize car­bohydrates and fat at the expense of protein. Left­overs can be fed to most animals after they cat their regular food or added to their regular food, if these leftovers do not consist of bones, big pieces of fat or heavily spiced items.

The cat food shelf in the supermarket is also taking up more space and I am primarily responsible for this. Kal-Kan has far-and-away the largest selection of cat food flavors and de­finitely the highest quality cat food in a can. Other acceptable brands include Whiskers and several of the Friskies cans.

However, price-wise and select ion-wise (11 varieties), Kal-Kan certainly has de­finite advantages for the cat owner. As in the case of good dog foods, these good canned diets are meals in themselves and do not re­quire the addition of milk, vitamins or minerals to form a complete diet that meets the animals’ daily require­ments.

The two dry cat foods currently sold and accept­able are Friskies and Purina. I favor the Purina because our cats fed only a dry diet do better on this than on the Friskies. However. Friskies is a perfectly acceptable dry diet for the cat.

There are now at least three types of dog biscuits on the market and all are good. These are not com­plete meals but rather snacks that supplement the diet. Gaines and Ken-L, each have a dog biscuit variety flavor pack on the shelves. Nabisco is new to the shelves in Japan but it is far and away the largest seller in the U.S.

They have six different types available including Milk-Bone for small, medi­um, and large-sized dogs, one for puppies, and a flavor assortment pack. I chose to represent Nabisco because of the variety avail­able and because of the evaluation of the cooking and food editor of The New York Times who rated dif­ferent pet foods and gave Nabisco the highest taste rating. He said, tongue-in-cheek and biscuit-in-mouth, that Nabisco Milk-Bone compared very favorably with most biscuits for hu­man consumption.

I have tried them; they are very delicious, but I still favor Ritz crackers. How­ever, housewives and busy hostesses—in a pinch… In any case, all three brands are very acceptable.