Some years ago, we began to notice a deterioration in the condition of our own two dogs (Fish, the French Bulldog and Norman, the Beauceron – both, sadly, no longer with us). We were still feeding them the same ‘super premium’ food we had been feeding them since puppyhood but something had definitely changed.
At the same time, we realised many of our customers were experiencing similar problems with their dogs and cats. The type of symptoms we were seeing included:
- dull and flaky coats
- regular vomiting after eating
- weight gain
- bad breath
- very large and/or loose toilet
- an increase in body odour
- plaque build-up on teeth
- allergic reactions requiring veterinary care
- itching and scratching
- loss of appetite
- premature aging
Vets are increasingly seeing these and many other problems on a daily basis. We knew it had to be something to do with the animals’ diets, so we started looking for answers.
Moving to a more natural pet diet
Our investigations led us to the natural feeding concept and BARF (Biologically Appropriate Real Food / Bones and Raw Food), and things immediately began to fall into place.
Natural feeding works on the premise that the closer we can feed our dogs and cats to the way nature intended, the healthier they will become. It sounds so obvious it’s unbelievable we are having to fight to promote it.
We’ve seen the remarkable effects of feeding your pet a natural diet first hand. When we changed our own dogs onto natural foods the difference in their health was nothing short of remarkable.
Standing up to the big pet food manufacturers
As retailers, we also decided to change our relationships with some of the largest manufacturers. We searched out smaller natural pet food suppliers who we feel still have our best friends’ health at the heart of their business – rather than just profit.
These are companies whose reputation has been built up by word of mouth from happy owners rather than multi-million pound TV and marketing campaigns.
We all know dogs and cats are carnivores. They need the highest levels of quality proteins and fats to sustain optimal health. What they DO NOT need are high levels of carbohydrates, cereal fillers, preservatives, derivatives of meat or vegetable origin, cheap animal by-products or other unnecessary ingredients - all things you find in many of the ‘premium’ products available in discount pet shops, pet superstore chains and supermarkets.
Taking this principle into the heart of our business has taken us on a completely new and natural direction.
Clear labelling of ingredients
The next part of our investigation led us to look again at the ingredients of all the dog and cat foods and treats on our shelves.
This was a huge and extremely worthwhile job. We now show ALL the ingredients of every pet food and treat we sell. Our crystal-clear labelling means you know exactly what you are feeding your pet.
We’re delighted that other pet stores around the country are following our lead and always welcome like-minded pet care retailers to Scampers so we can share our approach.
Where’s the meat?
What has become very clear is that pet food varies massively in quality. What is less clear is why there is so much less real meat in so many specialist ‘premium’ pet foods? We have all noticed our Easter eggs getting smaller. There’s less coffee in our cappuccino, fewer raisins in our cereals, smaller packs of washing powder… but it’s all still at the old price. It looks very much like this is also happening with our pets’ food and is the real reason so many of our dogs and cats exhibit signs of poor health.
This realisation led to the launch of our successful '‘Where’s the meat?’' campaign, which exposed the reduction in quality of the major pet food brands. It is scandalous that companies such as Nestle and Mars are economising on ingredients while telling their customers the product is the same. When we asked one major manufacturer why they could not put more meat back into their pet food, they answered: “You know we can’t afford to!” That is simply not good enough.
We believe pet parents are the only people who can decide what to feed their pets. It is not right for manufacturers to economise yet leave us believing their foods are still healthy when all the evidence says otherwise.
We have revolutionised how people feed their pets
We now stock the best range of natural, BARF, high meat content and organic healthy alternatives anywhere in the UK. And we have many different feeding ideas and pet foods for optimal pet healthcare that are very affordable.
Our reputation is built on offering pet parents the best quality pet care information, foods, accessories and super friendly service available in the UK. We are passionately independent, have no outside shareholders telling us what to do and are entirely driven by quality not profit.
If you would like to know more about improving your pet’s health, you can talk to any of our seven highly trained pet care advisors or myself. We’ll give you fantastic free dietary advice as well as explain the costs and benefits of all the natural foods now available at Scampers… Your Pet’s Natural Choice.
Piers and Michelle