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AMERICA'S BEST

Buy a Bag, Start a Ranch

June 22, 1995|KATHIE JENKINS

What's made of chicken meal, rice, lamb and lots of vitamins and minerals, and contains no byproducts, no artificial colors or flavors, and no chemical preservatives? If you don't know the answer, your pet wants to know why.

Flint River Ranch food, sold only through veterinary clinics and by mail, is the latest in pet nutrition. The 2-year-old company puts out a plain-wrapped kibble that is oven-baked for better digestibility. Most dry pet food is extruded--ingredients are mixed in a hopper, ground up, then forced through a tube, like Cheerios or cheese puffs.

"[Extruded kibble] is cooked with a high-temperature steam so it doesn't destroy any of the starches," says Flint River Ranch owner Jim Flint. "We bake our food in cookie form under carefully controlled temperatures; then we crush it, which results in better palatability and digestibility."

Even Flint admits that dogs will eat just about anything, though. It's the owner's responsibility as caretaker to chose what to feed them. Of course, Flint says, "Cats are very finicky. They like food with a glassy, crunch kind of feel, like a mouse bone. And if they don't like something, they'll immediately cover it up."

Flint River Ranch dog food comes in premium and senior varieties. A 40-pound bag costs $42.30, including shipping. A 20-pound sack of cat food runs $38.75.

By the way, there is no actual Flint River Ranch. "Maybe someday if I sell enough dog food," says Flint, "I'll buy one."

* Flint River Ranch,1243 Columbia Ave., B-6, Riverside CA. 92507.

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