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Clarence Gaines - the first to make the declaration of "100 percent complete and balanced nutrition".

Clarence Gaines was the founder of the first complete and balanced pet food. Clarence Gaines began his pet food business in 1928, virtually out of necessity. He had 20 pointers and five children and the cost of feeding both was excessive. He worked for his father who operated a flour and feed mixer mill. The feed was supplied to livestock in central New York, and among those supplied was a state-operated game farm. This farm attracted sportsmen from everywhere and Gaines' feeding theories were put to the test on sporting breeds participating in field trials.

At that time, his dog feed consisted of meat meal base, soybean meal, skimmed milk, breakfast cereal bi-products and vitamins. Technologically, vitamins in an available form had come into being and skimmed milk and soybean meal bi-products were fairly reasonable. Initially, Clarence made his food available free for the asking, but eventually the food was added to their other animal feed lines, and within a year warehouses had been established in various locations across the U.S. Two production plants were in full operation by 1940 in the U.S. and Canada. Movement to retailers depended on advertising and word of mouth. 

Gaines Pet Foods Co. Founder, Clarence Gaines, and his dogs

Mr. Gaines was also instrumental in packaging his feed in paper bags. Unlike the burlap being used at this time, "paper looked clean, didn't sift, it could be printed on and sewn like any other". Weights of 50 lb. sacks were used, but most production was in 100 lb. weights.

A third innovation was pelleting. Some customers wanted a hard food, even though the greatest volume was generated through their meal. The pelleted form was called Gaines Krunchons.

Clarence Gaines was the first to make the declaration of "100 percent complete and balanced nutrition" in his dog food. Consequently, he was also the first to do any experimental work to prove his point to the authorities, and also the first to hire an in-house veterinarian - Dr. John W. Patton. Together they prepared literature that was sent out with the shipments of dog food.

In 1943, General Foods purchased the tremendous pet food business that Clarence Gaines had developed. Before purchasing the franchise, General Foods made extensive inquiries with veterinarians about the quality of Gaines Meal. Clarence remained as a consultant for one year.

In the fall of 1982, General Foods sold the Canadian business to Shato Holdings Limited of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Today, Gaines carries on the name in a similar fashion. They continue to remain progressive and innovative with not only their products, but also packaging and design.

All Gaines products are 100 per cent complete and balanced, with constant research being carried out in our Cobourg, Ontario facility.

Clarence Gaines stated that "it has been a source of pride that the Gaines name lives on in the pet food industry... as a major brand, both in the professional field and in broad-based distribution.

Gaines is proud to be the founder of the first complete and balanced dog food. We are confident in this heritage and that we can continue to deliver "Our Best for Your Dog".