I think we are all getting a little carried away with marketing buzzwords. 

Dwayne Faber is a writer, speaker and dairy farmer. He and his family operate farms in Oregon. To...

The other day, I was perusing the aisle of our local farm store, dodging the horse and chicken people, and I meandered through the dog food aisle. The aisle was a cacophony of dog food screaming about being the best while besmirching their competition. Titles like “Grain-free, we know you love your dog” or “Lamb from the finest hills in New Zealand, not like the dirty chicken people.” I don’t know if the dog food people have dogs, but I have never been able to feed a dog a carrot or a bean, and yet here they are showing happy, roving canines eating vegetable-injected culinary delights. There was even a refrigerator on the end of the aisle which boasted that dry dog food would end poor Fido’s life 14 months early and the only solution was feeding refrigerated wet dog food.

This adventure was becoming increasingly amusing as I was standing in the aisle eating two tubes of Oreo cookies, made from the finest high fructose corn syrup that Nabisco had to offer, while washing it down with a red Mountain Dew blended with the most natural Red 40 PepsiCo could source. 

The next bag for the most discerning of canine culinary convictions was a dog food blend made with “cage-free chicken.” Cage-free chicken for a dog. Now, I’ve had a neighbor’s dog get into my chicken pen and after all the blood and mayhem, I’m fairly certain that dog was rather pleased the chicken kabobs were actually caged. If I was in marketing, I could make a rather logical argument that my dog would only start to salivate at the concept of a caged chicken and not a free-range one. 

Not to be outdone by the people who want their dog to have an occasional carrot, the next offering was a food that boasted of being 100% vegan. Now, I’m not sure if this was a food where the vegan owners could eat the dog food for something a little more palatable or they didn’t want to have a dog that was happier than they were and had some shred of happiness in life. Somewhere out there, there is a vegan dog with vegan owners that is eating through a vegetable mush with giant, killing canine teeth and being mortified at the thought of its wolf ancestors seeing it now.


Then finally I saw the brand that resonated with me. There it was. The farm dog brand dog food. Finally, something for the common canine. But no, this dog food boasted of organic, cage-free chicken, which immediately turned my dog off because they sounded too fast to catch and a little bougie. 

Not to be outdone by the finest chicken and organic beef, they had a wild-caught Alaska salmon food. Now in the history of the entire dog world, there has never been a dog chewing on a rotten stinky fish and wondering as to the exact method of harvest and location of the fish or its general well-being. 

As I was driving back to the farm and pondering the insanity of modern humanity, I pulled into the driveway and saw my sweet Mia girl lying in the yard happily chewing away on a cat turd and a three-day-old afterbirth. Ah yes, the original farm dog. 

I think we are going to keep doing what we’ve always done. Buy the cheapest dog food we can, and they can get the rest of their nutrients from the second-hand cat food and an occasional free-range afterbirth.