Have you ever wondering why Wellbeing for Dogs Founder, Helen McNall, is motivated to provide education for dog owners on feeding their dogs 'real', human food? Read on to learn more about Helen's motivations.
University in the Late 70's and Early 80's
When I was at university, back during the late 70’s and early 80’s, (and I had a Weimaraner) studying Psychology at the University of New England (NSW –Australia), the Agricultural Sciences students (the farmers of the future) had to do a chemical analysis of a leading brand of Pet Food (canned). They found that among other things it contained nicotine.
Nicotine in Pet Food... Really?
Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that nicotine does not have a nutritional value, its main property is that it is addictive. To what purpose would a pet food company add nicotine? I will leave that to you to decide, but their tag line in advertising was that dogs preferred their brand.
As it happens, my childhood family dog was fed this particular brand, my mother believing the advertising that it was better for the dog than the wonderful food that she made for us (and had lots of leftovers). This little dog was eventually diagnosed with throat cancer and had to be put down.
In that era it was a complete shock to me, to realise that corporations were not actually interested in the animal, but focused on their bottom line, getting more sales was the priority not the health and wellbeing of their customers.
Working as a Consumer Psychologist
Ironically, I became a Qualitative Market Researcher, a consumer psychologist, often working with advertising to communicate and influence the brand choices consumers made.
No, I never worked on pet food, I wouldn’t, to me that bordered on selling cigarettes to children, completely unethical, as the dog does not have the choice or the voice.
And so this first outrage at pet food manufacturers led to my starting Wellbeing for Dogs all these years later - to change the way we feed our beloved companions. The first choice needs to be food that you make, not food from a factory that has profit as its motive, no matter what the advertising spin would have you believe.
Wellbeing for Dogs has this as its charter, its mission. But it starts with you.