'For the Dogs' Has a Whole New Meaning - NYT

LISA CORNISH is rattling off today's menu:
Pan-seared duck with brown rice and blueberry compote.
Roasted turkey with butternut squash and russet potatoes.
Salmon with black-and-white quinoa.

Delish. Just keep in mind that all of this, right down to those banana and yogurt health bars, is dog food. Not mere Alpo, mind you — not by a long shot. And to prove it, Ms. Cornish, who works for a company called Petcurean Pet Nutrition, will give you a taste.
If you're wondering why anyone would even consider noshing on dog chow, you haven't been to the Global Pet Expo here, where the impresarios of America's thriving, multibillion-dollar pet economy profitably ply their wares.
If there is a pet heaven, this could be it.
Make no mistake: this is big business, as a visit to the Pet Expo here shows.
Elsewhere, manufacturers are marketing foods with ingredients worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant: pheasant, freshwater trout, yak's milk, organic pumpkin — the list goes on.
The growth in the pet market last year was driven in part by a 7 percent increase in veterinary services. America's pet population, like its human one, is living longer. Human medical technologies are increasingly being used for pets. Dogs' and cats' owners — particularly those without children at home — are taking better care of them, both medically and nutritionally, experts say.
"Pet owners aren't just looking to provide a home for their pets," says Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Association. "They are investing in their pets' quality of life. Oftentimes they do this at their own expense, cutting personal expenses, but not those affecting their faithful companions."
ABOUT 62 percent of American households have a pet, with dogs accounting for 40 percent of the total. Cats are second, at 34 percent. Dog and cat ownership has continued to grow slightly in recent years, even as the popularity of other types of pets, like birds, fresh-water fish and reptiles, has declined.
Pet Pop of Australia, promotes a vitamin-infused "mountain-spring water" for dogs. The price: $3.30 a bottle.
"We actually saw that there was a gap in the market for beverages for dogs," says Bonnie Senior, a manager at the company.