MEET THE FAMILY: FAMILY-OWNED PET FOOD COMPANIES
GREAT LIFE PERFORMANCE PET PRODUCTS
Owner: Dr. Elliott Harvey
Photo courtesy of Great Life Performance Pet Products
Dr. Elliott Harvey and Shiloh
Q: What was the inspiration for starting your own pet food company?
My dog was 5 years old when he died of cancer. I loved my white German Shepherd, and was heartbroken when I was informed he had cancer. I wanted to know why! After researching ingredients, I found that many pet food companies were using harmful ingredients in their food, and I wanted to save other pet owners the heartache that I suffered.
Q: How long did it take your dream to become the actual reality of your company?
Great Life started in 1996, and this has been an amazing journey. When I started Great Life, many people advised me that my product was way ahead of its time, but we are still working on it to become a reality. When consumers really learn about ingredients and stop buying foods that can cause problems, the actual reality of my dream will form.
Q: What have been the most exciting rewards of owning a family-run pet food company?
The many thank-you letters and pictures we receive from consumers stating how delighted they are regarding the benefits of feeding Great Life foods to their pets. Dogs who have been switched to Great Life have shown remarkable relief from allergies, digestive problems, skin problems, organ problems, and more. These dogs become happy and healthy. One story I vividly recall is of a lady who was told by her vet to put down her 4 month old Rottweiler puppy due to many health problems. She switched her pup to Great Life pet food and revisited the vet one-and-a-half years later after winning a blue ribbon for Best of Breed at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Show. The vet refused to believe that was the same dog. Proper nutrition can be very beneficial.
Q: What makes your pet food a little different from other pet foods?
I take great pride in utilizing the finest US ingredients and creating a remarkable, healthy pet food. We call Great Life, “The Art of Eating Healthy.” I also realized that natural raw food is the most nutritious way to feed a pet; however, kibble is the easiest and most sought after way to feed. At that point, I created what I called the “cupcake
principle.” I utilize low heat to cook a natural kibble with one protein source and healthy fruits and vegetables. This was the cake. The raw food diet that encompassed protein, fruits, vegetables, super green foods, and super berries (loaded with antioxidants) was freeze dried. I then added a full spectrum of enzymes and pre-probiotics on the kibble after cooling, enveloping all the pores of the kibble and the outside. This was the Nutri-Coat (icing). We developed a fully active, nutrition-based food, second to none—the benefits of a raw food diet with the ease of serving a kibble and no refrigeration.
Q: What are the plans for the future of Great Life Performance Pet Foods?
My quest to find as many new and exciting ingredients that can benefit pets is never-ending, and we are coming out with a few more new and exciting products. In addition, I have been asked to develop a nutritional and informative video based on my book The Healthy Wholistic Dog.