A dog may be man’s best friend, but in the Caribbean and Bahamas, a campaign is turning out to be dog’s best friend.
The campaign is an education outreach by the Washington-based Pet Food Institute (PFI). The message it is spreading is making its way through the Caribbean. In the past two weeks, a Bahamian representative for PFI has trekked from Nassau to Grand Bahama, back to The Bahamas and on to Trinidad and Tobago, with a message about how proper nutrition creates healthy dogs with bounce in their paws, strength in their bodies and energy in their lives.
In back-to-back public events – a dog days half marathon in Grand Bahama and a dog show in Trinidad, PFI sponsored gatherings that brought together pet lovers and their pets.
“Trinidad was really interesting,” said Sandra Kemp who represented PFI. “There were more than 100 dogs at the International Kennel Club-T&T Show and the kids were so enthusiastic about playing the Not Safe! foods game. The organizers survived years of struggle trying to get their message across first through their online magazine and by staging events, hosting dog shows and walks. They really stuck with it, even when it was facing very tough times and eventually evolved into a unique organization that was celebrating its fifth anniversary while we were there. They now enjoy a public-private partnership with the government of Trinidad and Tobago so when they host dog shows like the one PFI sponsored or do school talks, training and handling demonstrations or visits to orphanages with pets they are doing so in an official capacity.”
The IKC has also played a role in lives of its volunteers.
Darien Ramesar, 19, said training his own dogs to show has taught him discipline and improved his focus. Keisha Fourniller-Subhaw, who serves as IKC junior coordinator, credits the club with teaching young people to respect life.
The Bahamas and Caribbean are part of PFI’s international goal of increasing knowledge about the value of proper nutrition for pets around the world.
“The Pet Food Institute is dedicated to promoting long and healthy lives for dogs and cats through sound nutrition,” said Mary Emma Young, PFI Director of Communications. “We are excited to continue to share the value of supporting pet health, and the steps that all pet owners can take to provide a complete and balanced diet.”
The Pet Food Institute is a non-profit organisation that promotes initiatives to advance pet nutrition and the overall quality of pet food in The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and Jamaica. For more information please visit www.pficaribbean.com, or follow on Facebook @pficaribbean.