MUNICH -- What do they put in canned dog food and why does it smell so strange? Stefanie Fuchs, 28, asked herself precisely this question for years. Her curiosity eventually led to her become a dog nutritionist and to opening what she describes as the worlds first organic butcher shop for dogs in Munichs Laim district.
At first, people just laughed, says Fuchs. Not anymore. Her store, Beutefuchs, now has over 100 clients from the greater Munich area. Fuchs says the secret to her success is that from start to finish, she demands rigor in what she does: she buys the meat she sells from organic farms, checking first on site that the meat is raised and slaughtered in sustainable and humane conditions.
From her work with vets, natural healers and physiotherapists for dogs, Fuchs knows that 60%-70% of dogs today get sick because of the way they are fed. Diseases that may be due to poor nutrition include arthritis, hip problems and allergies. To aid prevention, Fuchs creates tailor-made raw food diets for dogs.
After examining and weighing a dog, she comes up with a meal plan with the help of a computer program she created herself. Menus include meat, fruit, salad, vegetables, oils, minerals and herbs, she says. The food is then either vacuum-packed or put in jars. Fuchs knows her dog food is expensive per dog it can work out to between 65 and 175 euros per month. But it has clear advantages over conventional store-bought dog food, she insists. The dog is stabilized at its ideal weight, its skin is healthy, pelt shiny, and behavior more balanced, says Fuchs.
Not only that, but owners enjoy big savings on vet bills. Also, says Fuchs, because fresh meat is more easily digestible, her canine clients produce less excrement about half of what a dog served conventional chow would make.
Read the full story in German by Verena Maier
Photo - Sugar Pond
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