Local company Grocery Pup is shunning the dog-eat-dog world of processed chow with its fresh, healthy dog food.

By Lucy J. Phillips, Photo by Hannah J. Phillips

Dear Lucy,

With all of Austin’s pet-friendly patios, I often accompany my humans to restaurants and coffee shops. I know my humans care about what’s in their food because they love eating at places that support local farms, but it makes me wonder: What’s in my food at home? Can you recommend any favorite brands that make fresh, nutritious and unprocessed dog food? I know my humans would love to give me the best ingredients out there, but it’shard to know where to start.

Best, Concerned Corgi

Grocery Pup - Concerned Corgi

Concerned Corgi,

With all the misleading packaging on the market, finding the best dog food can be a puzzle indeed—and I don’t mean the fun kind where you have to find the treat hidden inside a toy. (Don’t you love those?) Our humans do have a hard task when it comes to identifying which brands contain nasty byproducts, chemicals and fillers in pet food. As in human food, there are many unhealthy ingredients that sneak into even the healthiest-looking products, so it’s important to read your labels (or encourage your humans to do so).

To avoid the pitfalls of commercial dog foods, I do know some fur friends who only eat raw diets of uncooked meats, whole or crushed bones, vegetables and eggs. While these diets are believed to promote a shinier coat, healthier skin and cleaner teeth, they could also expose you to deadly pathogens because of the bacteria in raw meats. Yikes!

That’s where my good friend, Lola, comes in. Beautiful Lola is a Pomsky: half husky, half Pomeranian—and 100 percent genius! She is the chief pup officer and taster at Grocery Pup, a local brand that makes fresh, real food with non-GMO meats and USDA veggies. Yum, right? Lola’s parents, Ruth and Javier Marriott, founded Grocery Pup because they wanted to find an alternative to both commercially processed pet food and raw diets. Looking for a gently cooked option, they partnered with a veterinarian nutritionist and experimented with sous vide as a low-moisture way to cook and preserve food. Their goal is to provide foods that are as close to homemade as it gets—without your humans actually having to cook it themselves.

Launched in May 2018, Grocery Pup just celebrated its one-year anniversary. The company’s yummy food comes in three different flavors: Bitchin’ Beef Stew (my favorite), Turkey Pawella (paw-eh-yeah—get it?) and Porky’s Luau. You can find these products online and at Tomlinson’s and local WholeFoods stores, and you can even try out a sampler pack of all three flavors. A 3-pound bag comes with three individually wrapped patties for easy freezer storage and lasts seven days after defrosting (which only takes 30 minutes in water before mealtime). According to the Grocery Pup website, each patty is sous vide for two hours until the food reaches 160 degrees, enough time to kill pathogens without losing any natural nutrients. My favorite part is that you can see all the whole foods while you are chowing down!

So, thanks, Lola, for being a picky eater. And thanks to the Marriotts for creating tasty food that is equally as healthy for pets as it is convenient for our humans. I hope you’ll give it a chomp.

Love and slobbery kisses, Lucy

P.S.: In addition to making delicious and fresh food, Grocery Pup also has some pretty great swag, as you can see from the bandana I’m wearing in my headshot. You can check out more bandana styles and try food samples at a monthly Yappy Hour every first Sunday of the month at South Congress Hotel. Lola and I will be there June 2 from 10 a.m. to noon, if you want to come say hi!

If you have a dog-related question for Lucy, reach out and follow her on Instagram @asklucydog


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