BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - Organic kibble? All-natural chow? Fido and Fluffy don't know it, but their owners want them to eat better - and they're forking over big bucks to make it happen.
Marketed as a healthier alternative, some premium dog and cat cuisine has gone the Whole Foods route.
Nowhere is that more evident than in a new Pennsylvania factory where upstart pet food maker Freshpet uses fresh meat, poultry and vegetables in a pricey, preservative-free product that requires refrigeration. Sales exceed $100 million.
Major manufacturers like Nestle Purina and Del Monte Foods are also capitalizing on consumers' willingness to spend more on food they perceive to be better for their furry friends.
But the jury's still out on whether food marketed as "fresh," ''organic" or "natural" helps pets lead longer lives.