Vintage dog food packaging.

Transparency: The Most Uncommon Ingredient in Dog Food

Happy Howl. A brand built on trust, truth, and transparency.

You might be thinking, “what does transparency have to do with dog food ingredients?” It’s not necessarily about the ingredients. It’s about the truth behind them, and the lengths brands will go to in order to disguise those truths – and so much more.

But let’s back up – to the very beginning.

Happy Howl was founded on the belief that transparency is one of the most important characteristics for every relationship.

Transparency with your friends and loved ones. Transparency with your coworkers and colleagues. Transparency with your customers and clients.

We live in the United States of America. Regardless of where you stand politically, we live in one of the greatest societies the world has ever seen. For hundreds of years, the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, innovators and thinkers have flourished in the free market economy that is the US. But as we all witnessed in one form or another – with free market capitalism comes greed. For decades, corporations have fooled us into thinking they have our best interests at the forefront of their company bylaws. But on the contrary, as a student of finance, priority number one of public companies is to “maximize shareholder value.” This often comes at the expense of the end consumer.

Why is it that when the small companies we love get acquired by larger, multinational companies their product quality begins to fade? Why is it that every week The Wall Street Journal publishes an article with the title “[Insert Company Name] settles their lawsuit for a record [insert number] billion dollars”? Take these record-breaking lawsuits for example… DuPont’s teflon debacle. Wells Fargo’s account opening fraud. The beloved Chipotle’s food safety scandal. Or even the widespread, heartbreaking Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007. All of these companies not only conspired against the consumer to boost profits, but even purposefully tried to cover up their misdeeds.

We – hard-working, tax-paying Americans – deserve better. Our dogs deserve better.

You might be thinking, “c’mon, you’re talking about chemical companies and financial institutions. Of course they’re trying to screw us over!”

But what about Hill’s? This is the “science based diet” with “precise nutrition” that is “#1 recommended in the US by Vets” and is the “prescription dog food of America.” Well, as it turns out, Hill’s has been responsible for the confirmed deaths of hundreds of dogs due to elevated levels of vitamin D in over 675,000 cans of their food. It wasn’t until pet parents began going viral on social media with these accusations that Hill’s came out to recall their food.

Unfortunately, Hill’s is not an outlier. Purina, Blue Buffalo, Natura, Simply Nourish, J.M Smucker, Mars, Del Monte, Iams, and Proctor & Gamble – among others – have all recalled millions of pounds of food over the past 3 years, but they’ve also paid millions in class-action lawsuits.

No wonder vet care is an $18-billion-dollar industry that’s growing year over year in the US. We are feeding our dogs food that is killing them.

Where is the transparency with these companies? Where is the trust? Who can we trust?
Happy Howl has the singular goal of helping dogs live happier and healthier lives while educating their owners. Our company is motivated by our ability to help dogs. Sure, we want to make money too – we would love for everyone reading this to give our human-grade dog food recipes a try. We know your dogs will love it. But even if you don’t, we still want your dog to live its best life. And the path to a happier, healthier life (for dogs and humans too) starts by making smart choices you can actually live by (and live with). We make those choices in the kitchen – not behind the closed conference room door.

At Happy Howl, our ingredients are as clear as our conscience. That is why we have no issue in parting with a portion of our profits to better the lives of the dogs we live to love.

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