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The Blue Dog Blog: Manufactured in America


Before March of 2007, dog food manufacturers were mostly a self-regulated group. Profits were paramount and ingredient quality was rarely a subject of discussion. The subject of nutrition was primarily about percentages of protein or fat. Most dog foods were corn-based diets because corn was an inexpensive way to meet nutritional guidelines.

In the spring of 2007, a shipment of corn from China contaminated with melamine, a toxin that causes kidney failure, was manufactured into dog food by a company in Ontario, Canada. This manufacturer made food for over fifty brands of dog food distributed in America. This contamination led to thousands of pet deaths reported to the FDA.

I remember that spring well. My clients were scared for the life of their beloved pets. They abandoned commercial diets and started making homemade diets. Corn became a vilified ingredient and routine tests for kidney failure were the new norm. Thankfully, none of the pets at our clinic tested positive.

In the blink of an eye, the pet food industry changed. Consumers cared about ingredients and “made in America” became a stamp of approval. High quality diets found a greater market share as pet owners voted with their consumer dollars. New diets emerged and the “old guard” was forced to improve their dog food ingredients. Our pets today are enjoying a healthier choice of dog foods. Just as with humans, the quality of the food that dogs eat affects the quality of their lives… and quantity.

The years have pushed the 2007 pet food nightmare into long-term memory, but the trend to scrutinize pet food ingredients thankfully remains. Every day I find myself talking to clients about what is the highest quality food for their best friends.  I advise them to make sure the first ingredient is protein and to make sure it is rich in Omega Fatty Acids.  For example, Paula Deen’s Premium Select delivers these desired ingredients for the benefit of our beloved dogs to keep them happy and healthy.

Paula Deen Premium Select is the newest line of high-quality dog food that is manufactured right here in America.  It is available in Chicken and Rice, Beef and Rice, and Lamb Meal and Rice.  It is also available online at the Paula Deen’s General Store and at Food City Grocery Stores.


Dr. John Schoettle, DVM - Dr. John Schoettle was born in Pennsylvania and raised on Saint Simon's Island in Coastal Georgia. A graduate from Auburn University, John has lived in Savannah since 1992. He founded Innovative Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and has been caring for Paula's pups ever since. An animal lover like Paula, John is active in Savannah’s animal community and plays dad to a black lab named Blue and a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog named Bayou.