Many years ago, the CEO of an investment company gave me some wise words: “Pet owners are like grandparents; they will buy anything and spend anything.” He was prescient in his words; in the past five years, the UK’s 13m pet owners have increased their spend on pet presents by £268m. And pet food, too, has undergone a transformation, with Mintel reporting last year that “human grade” pet food is of interest.
Hence the recent arrival in the UK of Wonderboo, premium Swedish dog food that is delivered with a side order of Scandinavian chic. “Dog owners’ awareness has increased, and the same high demands we put on our own food are now placed on the food we feed our dogs,” says founder and CEO Magnus Rosengren. “For many years we have fed our canine friends food without questioning the contents.”
Made with only natural, sustainable Swedish ingredients, Wonderboo (from £14 for seven meals for small dogs) contains no filler or bulk; instead it is made up of 80 per cent pure protein and 20 per cent whole grain barley, fibre, ox blood, calcium, vitamins and minerals. The gourmet food is air-dried at 50 degrees Celsius to preserve the nutritional benefits. Canine owners can pick from Swedish ox, ox grain free, cod or a “Light” variety made for puppies and dogs on a diet. Enter online the size of the canine and how many meals you would like – or a subscription – and pre-portioned Wonderboo will be delivered to your door in packaging that doubles as an on–the-go feeding bowl in this year’s Pantone colours.
Wonderboo “Light” was recently trialled on Gussie Aidin of West Sussex, a King Charles Cavalier formerly of generous proportions; his 2015 Christmas present to himself was an entire fish pie, having worked out how to open the fridge door (now dog-proofed). Used to kibble, he swiftly hoovers up his Wonderboo supper. But when no kibble follows and he realises this wasn’t an amuse-gueule, Gussie is far from amused, letting his feelings be known with a long and very heartfelt solo performance of the Twilight Barking.
By the next morning, he has recovered from his ordeal and trials the non-diet Wonderboo Swedish Ox. Again it is wolfed down, but this time Gussie, quel miracle, doesn’t bark for more; he trots away from his dog bowl to catch up on some loud snoring on his back. Maybe what has been making him want to eat everything he can lay his paws on is that he hasn’t been getting the correct nutrition? Still, it doesn’t excuse the fish pie scandal that shocked Sussex…