Back in 2007, there was a dog food recall scare, and professional caterer Vickie McDougal noticed that her Maltese's kibble was on The List. “I figured, 'I'm a caterer,'” said McDougal. “'How hard could it be?'” She began doing research, consulting with her veterinarian and perfecting the recipe. She said the change was noticeable immediately.

“The first indication,” McDougal said, “for lack of better terminology, is that it's all about the poo.” The poo? “Perfect little tootsie rolls. It doesn't smell, it's easy to pick up. You can tell that the dog assimilates all the food products. There's no wasted byproduct.”

After talking to some of her human clients about how well her dog responded to the food, they decided that they wanted in too. So in January of 2008, she got all her paperwork in order and began to sell Vickie's Vittles commercially, and has been going strong ever since. Currently, she's making two different flavors of dog food (beef and brown rice or chicken and oats), as well as gourmet bones.

Compared to mainstream dog foods, the price, obviously is much higher. Though there's a reason for that, as shown by a video she's posted on her website. “When I saw that video, I knew I'd never be able to serve my dog that kind of food ever again.” But what if you care about what your dog eats, but can't afford to treat it like a gourmet? “It's a luxury, certainly. But what some clients do is buy some of the higher grade kibble, then sprinkle on some of my product. But really, it's not just about buying my dog food. I really just want to get the word out there about what people are really feeding their pets.”

Vickie's Vittles are available online at her website, where there is also a rather useful page showing you exactly how much you should really be feeding your dog.

LA Weekly