Will Your Customers Sign The Pledge



Will your customers sign the pledge?
16th May 2017

By Karen Pickwick

Today sees the launch of the world’s first Pet Food Pledge and a national awareness campaign urging pet owners to critically assess what’s in their dog’s diet. Just as many parents carefully avoid ‘nasties’ in their children’s food, dog owners are being encouraged to do the same for their beloved four-legged friends.

The campaign is backed by research highlighting that 85% of UK dog owners are unsure of the ingredients in today’s dog food, with less than a fifth surveyed (19%), actually stopping to read the ingredients in their pet’s food. 

Forthglade, a Devon-based natural dog food company established in 1971, is behind the ‘Dump the Junk’ initiative, along with support from well-known farmer and dog owner Adam Henson.

Dump the Junk aims to educate dog owners about the ‘nasties’ that can be a hidden part of pets’ diets and the potential effects these can have on pet health and behavior, Forthglade says. The campaign will see pet owners pledge to improve their own dog’s nutrition and help spread the word across the UK to ‘dump the junk’. By arming dog owners with the knowledge, the manufacturer hopes they will be able to spot a nutritionally-balanced dog food from ‘a poor quality counterpart’.

Adam Henson said: “We all want what’s best for our dogs, but we lead such busy lives, we often don’t have the time to stop and decipher confusing dog food labels. We put too much trust in what we see on packs and tins; clever packaging and vague phrasing make it all too easy to assume you’re getting something you’re not.

“Dump the Junk is an important campaign set to lift the lid on the real contents of poor quality dog food and help pet owners make informed decisions about what they feed their canine companions. Good nutrition is at the heart of what makes a happy, healthy dog, which is why I am asking UK pet owners to make their pledge today for the benefit of dogs nationwide.”

The campaign has published a Dog Food Nasties Watch-List, which identifies what pet owners should be watching out for and why as well as giving advice on what consumers should look out for when searching for a nourishing dog food. Forthglade says potential ‘health horrors’ include vague non-specific protein sources listed as ‘meat’, ‘meat by-products’, or ‘meat and animal derivatives’. ‘Corn or wheat gluten’ are also listed as ingredients to avoid.

Pet foods containing artificial flavourings or sugars are also being ‘named and shamed’ in the campaign.

Joint managing director Gerard Lovell said: “In the 46 years that Forthglade has been creating natural dog food, the serious negative impacts of low quality and unsuitable food ingredients come up time and time again; common issues include digestive problems, hyperactivity and other behavioural issues.

“There are some great natural dog foods out there but sadly there are also many meals on offer that are best avoided. Unfortunately, the law only requires pet food manufacturers to list contents by category, which is why you often see the words ‘meat’ or ‘animal’, but no indication of species. This allows a manufacturer to alter the recipe between batches depending on what meat is cheap at the time.

“There are also a host of ingredients to watch out for. ‘Corn and sheat gluten’ are cheap waste products from the human food industry commonly added to pet food to make the protein content higher, but are actually an inferior source to animal protein and difficult for the dog to digest – not to mention common causes of allergies.”

Pet owners are being encouraged to take the #DumpTheJunk Pet Food Pledge at www.forthglade.com/dump-the-junk for a chance to win six months’ worth of Forthglade pet food plus a two-night stay at the luxury Deer Park Country House Hotel in Devon (prize worth over £1,200, T&Cs apply).

The pledge reads: “I pledge to support the Dump the Junk campaign, to feed my dog the healthy and natural food they deserve, and help to spread the word about the dangers of nasties in dog food. By signing my name, I am supporting the campaign and helping to ensure that our canine friends eat well, for their health and happiness.”