Americans love their dogs. In many homes, dogs are considered family members and treated to play dates and birthday gifts just like the human kids. As a country who cherishes the family dog, product recalls and health scares associated with foreign-made pet foods, treats, and toys have put American pet parents on high alert.
Since 2007, the FDA estimates that it has received 3,600 complaints regarding foreign ingredients and pet illnesses. In 2013 alone more than 6,000 dogs became sick and 1,140 died from jerky treats made in China. As a result, dog owners are paying closer attention to what is on pet labels.
Today, a surge of “Made in the USA” pet products have dog owners feeling both protected and patriotic. First, domestic productions have a much better safety record. Consumers feel more confident in items that are made under U.S. labor and environmental laws. Plus, product quality is more controlled compared to production facilities in countries that don’t even keep dogs as pets. Yikes!
Perhaps more importantly, raising an all-American dog supports local jobs and helps stimulate the U.S. economy. There are a growing number of manufacturers popping up across the country dedicated to producing Made in the USA dog items beyond yummy consumables, including collars, bedding, apparel and dental hygiene kits.
Small businesses such as Pittsburgh’s own Soggy Doggy Shop has dedicated its shelf space to the best products made within the States. At the Soggy Doggy Shop, pet owners don't need to look at every label to see where the treats, leashes, toys, and yes, even poop bags, have been manufactured. The items in the shop that come from other countries have to pass some serious standards to get in the door.
It is common to pay more for a pet product sporting a Made in the USA label, but, based on the growing demand, pet parents don’t seem to mind. The confidence in knowing every bath, meal, treat and play toy is safe and healthy is worth every extra penny. In fact, 80 percent of consumers polled in a Boston Consulting Group survey revealed they would be willing to pay extra for Made in the USA wares.
After all, Fido is totally worth it!