In this March 15, 2019, photo Dr. Lindsey Bullen pets Benko, a golden retriever with weight issues, during a visit at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Cary, N.C. Bullen says she gets several questions a day from clients interested in fresh and homemade pet food. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

Forget kibbles: US sales of fresh pet food are soaring

April 03, 2019 - 1:30 am

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. pet owners are increasingly feeding fresh food to their dogs and cats.

Online companies are delivering pre-proportioned meals of meat and vegetables or frozen raw meat. This spring, Petco will open a kitchen in New York where it expects to make 2,000 pounds of fresh pet food every day.

Nielsen says U.S. sales of fresh pet food in groceries and pet stores jumped 70 percent between 2015 and 2018, to more than $546 million. That doesn't include online sales or people making their own fresh pet food.

Proponents say fresh foods preserve nutrients and improve pets' health.

But some veterinarians question the trend, saying established products are backed by decades of research.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also warns that raw meat has a higher risk of contamination.

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