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Imagine a regular diet that includes such items as roasted chicken with pasta and carrots, and simmered beef with wild rice and spinach. Sounds pretty tasty, huh?

It isn’t for you, though. The Wall Street Journal reports that “besotted pet owners” are spending more than ever on sophisticated meals that “wouldn't look out of place on their own dinner tables.”

That roasted chicken dish is from Nestlé, while “Del Monte Foods Co. is adding pasta and vegetables to its famous Kibbles 'n Bits. And Procter & Gamble Co. has introduced Savory Sauce, a "canine condiment" to pour over dog food. It comes in three flavors -- bacon, chicken and roasted beef.”

Todd Lachman, the head of Del Monte's food and pet division, tells the Journal that “the humanization of pets is the single biggest trend driving our business. When I first got involved, I thought it was a bit silly. But now that I've spent enough time seeing how passionate people are about their pets, I don't think it's silly.

And, the WSJ writes, “The new foods are largely aimed at dogs because dogs are more demonstrative than cats in showing their appreciation, and owners are more likely to spend on them, food company executives say. Dogs also can eat a more human-style mix of meat, grains and vegetables, while cats are largely carnivorous.”

Of course, along with these newer, richer foods comes a problem – canine obesity. “Knowing that owners are increasingly concerned about their pets' weight,” the WSJ writes, “Nestlé emphasizes the ‘no sugar’ message on boxes of its Purina doggie ice cream bars called Frosty Paws, which sell for $3.59. It also added a second flavor, peanut butter, to its original soy-based recipe.”
KC's View:
Boy, times have changed. Our old three-legged dog used to be happy if we’d give her an Oreo from time to time…

The thing is, we have a sister-in-law who has completely humanized her dog, to the point where whatever she has for dinner, that’s what the dog has for dinner. (In her case, “besotted” would be an understatement.) We used to think she was just a whack job…but now we find out that she’s actually trendy.

Go figure.