It used to be considered better to feed your dog table scraps than the food sold in the store. Today’s dog food is being made from fresh ingredients that are good enough for humans to eat. The gourmet dog food market has grown 45% since 2009 and continues to grow on Facebook as pet owners are demanding better tasting, nutritious foods for their dogs. Today’s foods are no longer made from the scraps left on meat cutting floors. Gourmet dog foods are blended foods from premium cuts of beef, chicken, lamb, and even duck. Gourmet, or premium dog foods, used to be a specialty item produced only by small companies. But larger corporations have seen the benefit and profit potential of producing their own specialty dog foods. An example of this is Purina’s healthful dog food Beneful. Beneful is a line of dog food produced especially for the discerning pet owner. Purina begins it’s production by inspecting every ingredient that is put into Beneful. Purina is also a member of the Association of American Feed Control Officials(AAFCO), a voluntary group of organizations who work to ensure only the safest of ingredients are used in animal food. To make their commitment to producing safe and healthy dog food, Purina has instituted strong safety and tracking regulations. From the moment the ingredients are approved by their buyers, the feed is tracked and monitored by an on-site team of quality assurance and safety testers. The testing includes constant screening for multiple toxins, and to make sure the food is kept as fresh as possible. The product is tracked until it reaches the grocery market shelf. The painstaking work done is why the gourmet dog food market continues to grow. By placing a greater emphasis on producing a quality, healthy product versus large quantities, dog food producers are developing loyal followers. Premium dog food now accounts for about half of the total market and it appears there will be continued, significant growth in the coming years.