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Monday, August 11, 2014

When Pet Food Companies Merge

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

If there's one thing that can really get pet parents riled up, it seems to be the merging or blending of two pet food or treat companies. I'm with you. When my pets' food is potentially up for a revised recipe, I want to know all about it. I want to make the choice--stay or run.

Sometimes running is the right thing to do. Some years ago when our Xena was diagnosed with cancer I woke up and read the bag. Her first veterinarian had recommended the food that she had been on for 11 years. I was led down that road blindfolded, and had no idea what I was feeding her. My bad!

Following her diagnosis, I had a long talk with the oncologist about the natural things I could do to extend her life and take stress off her liver, where the cancer had taken up residence in my girl. While her cancer was inoperable her doctors were also telling me they couldn't be sure how long Xena would be with us--a few months maybe. 

Long story short, reducing the stress on her liver wasn't all that hard. I just had to choose organic food to eliminate the synthetic ingredients, preservatives, food coloring and such. This meant that I was going to run, not walk, to a new dog food brand. 

Imagine what a breath of fresh air her new food must have been to her liver. Suddenly it's job was reduced to the point it could actually work at staying afloat. Our Xena stuck around for 3 more cheerful, pain-free years, playing a rough and tumble game of tag with her bigger housemate, Tanner, on the morning before she left us.

And to think I may have considered staying within my comfort zone. Sometimes making a change is stressful, you know? Thinking about this now I reflected on the pet food companies that have merged or purchased other pet food or treat companies. The list is far too long to regurgitate here. Some of these mergers have seemingly gone well, while others have presented challenges to the pet-loving public.

About 2 years ago Castor and Pollux was purchased by Merrick. Merrick had the capital to fuel the growth that Castor and Pollux was eager to bring on. Castor and Pollux had the products to fulfill a growing market for natural and organic pet foods. The synergies of this acquisition brought results that are nothing short of amazing. Castor and Pollux's product line has grown by leaps and bounds, with no end in sight.

The next time your favorite pet food company is involved in an industry sale or merger, the best advice I can give you is to compare labels. And not just once. Watch for ensuing changes as the companies combine facilities and infrastructure.

You may have read that numerous pet food brands are manfactured by the same facilities, producing product for multiple brands. Finding a pet food brand that is self-manufactured can give you a bit more peace of mind. Further, choosing a food that has achieved organic certification and/or the NOP's Safe Quality Food level 3 certification, can only mean better, safer nutrtition for your pet.

And here's one last tip for a good decision. Read up on the company history on the buyer's side. If you like what you read, you're likely to find many of the the same philosophies flowing into both brands as the two come together as one. Press releases are generally searchable online. Research will benefit you and your pet; embrace it!

To your healthy pet,

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As my primary advertiser, I am compensated for the ad you see at the top of this post column. I often share educational articles about the pet industry that reflect what I have learned as I represent Castor and Pollux. My own dogs eat ORGANIX by choice and the thoughts I share above are my own.


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