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Why your pet will soon be eating food that’s as healthy as yours


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Photo: Stocksyy/Cara Dolan

As more people than ever are cleaning up their food choices—asking “Wait, what’s in my food?!”—their pets’ plates are getting the same treatment.

Now pet owners and pet food brands are committing to high-quality kibble made from fresh, whole, and clean ingredients (no GMOs for your fur-baby)—and even recipes tested on humans. And the category is taking off: In 2016, the US natural pet food sales generated $8.2 billion (a quarter of the total US pet food market), and it’s projected to grow another 9.5 percent between now and 2021. Your pup might not have a seat at your dinner table, but his food soon won’t be too out of place.

These companies are looking to raise the bar for the unregulated pet-food industry that’s been freely using additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, and much, much worse.

Castor & Pollux is leading the charge in saying no to mystery meat by featuring ingredients lists filled with organic (read: real) proteins and veggies. Nutro’s dry food recipes also feature non-GMO ingredients lists, and are “Paleo-inspired.” (Just like your diet?)

And startups like The Farmer’s Dog, Smalls, and Ollie (which recently secured $12.6 million funding and now ships to all 48 continental states) deliver fresh, refrigerated meals for your dog and cat straight to your door. Kinda like Blue Apron for pets, without the cooking.

“People think of pet food as kibble or canned,” says Ollie co-founder Gabby Slome. With “freshly cooked food” and increased ingredient transparency (Castor & Pollux uses at least 95 percent USDA organic-certified ingredients, for example), these companies are looking to raise the bar for the unregulated pet-food industry that’s been freely using additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, and much, much worse.

Supplements for your furry friend are coming in 2018, too, as brands like Nordic Naturals, Vital Planet, Wholistic Pet Organics, and Hyperbiotics roll out vitamins and probiotics to help with pet digestion, joint support, and nutrient absorption. Soon you and your four-legged BFF will have more similar healthy-eating habits than ever before.

What else is going to be huge next year? We’ve picked 18 for ’18—check out all of our Wellness Trend predictions here

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