Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Water By Poochi

In his usual incisive, insightful way, columnist Mark Morford skewers what is not really the latest in pet culture overload--designer drinking water for dogs and cats. He writes:

As if quenching his sheer dumb animal thirst at the garden hose wasn't enough to make your dog blissfully happy. As if a world teeming with roughly 1 billion unclassifiable odors wasn't already a wondrous canine olfactory buffet. Did you know that dogs have over 200 million scent cells? And that humans have a mere 5 million? The last thing dogs need is for their water to smell like synthetic cow. I'm just guessing.

The reason I say it's not really the latest is because I remember when it first came out--some time in the mid '80s. Along with pet cologne formulated to make dogs smell like their Giorgio-wearing mistresses and clothing that went beyond the basic sweater. It just has taken 20 years for all those prescient businesspeople to build marketshare and develop a "need" for their products.

And it hasn't all been bad. That was also when the pet health food market began to stir. That's been a good thing. Dogs and cats have a much wider variety of healthier foods available to them today, although their people still tend to overfeed and underexercise them. I still remember the horrified expressions of a group of pet food marketers when I predicted--a dozen or so years ago--that homemade, or at least fresh, pet food was the coming thing.

Was I a visionary? Nah. Partly I was just making it up off the top of my head, based on the rise of dog bakeries at the time, but it seemed like a possibility. And when it comes to what people will do for their dogs and cats, you can't discount anything.

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