Iconic Brand Celebrates Health & Wellness in Their Golden Year

By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman

Have you ever walked down either the cat or dog food aisle at a pet store? Did you notice how many different brands, types, and flavors there are? Today, we want to talk about America’s first holistic pet food brand, Solid Gold. 2024 marks their 50th anniversary of innovating within the pet food category with dry foods, wet foods, treats, toppers and supplements that support your pet’s health and vitality.

Founded 50 years ago by Sissy McGill with the philosophy that every pet deserves to be happy and healthy, Solid Gold made an indelible mark on the pet food space. A mark that is still seen, and felt, on the shelves of pet stores across the country. From its early days as America’s first holistic pet food brand, Solid Gold has spent half a century innovating and evolving their products to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our furrever friends.

So, what inspired the start of the brand that literally created a six-billion-dollar industry in natural and holistic pet food? “I never thought I was a trailblazer. It’s something that had to be done - about time someone did it!” said Sissy McGill. To understand this mindset, we need to first understand the founder, Sissy McGill, and her story.  

A child of the Great Depression McGill learned at a young age that a good, strong work ethic was vital. Her mother, one of the only female teachers in the university system at the time, and her father, both preached the philosophy of “those that don’t work, don’t eat.” A hard lesson for a child to learn, but one that served McGill well throughout her life, even in the development of the Solid Gold brand. 

Years later, Sissy McGill began her professional career as a dancer and teacher in New York. Through her father, Sissy met a bartender from Bayonne, NJ. That bartender was Jackie Gleason. As time marched on, and Gleason’s meteoric rise to fame happened, Gleason asked McGill to join the cast of The Jackie Gleason Show as a “Solid Gold Dancer.” It was a time in McGill’s life that profoundly impacted her destiny. Hence her nod to Gleason, and her time at the show, literally naming her iconic brand after her former moniker.

Sissy eventually married, and divorced, and moved across the country, and began breeding and showing Great Danes at competitions, traveling to Germany with some frequency to learn more about the breed and how best to care for them. Unfortunately, two of her dogs, which were like her children, eventually passed away from bloat which drove Sissy to seek out a better option, and she was determined to come up with something to help keep her dogs healthy. Sissy went back to Germany to discover Hunde-Flocken (translates to dog food flakes). Knowing how much better the ingredients were in this product, Sissy began using this formula to feed her charges. Realizing how much better her dogs were responding to this formula, McGill began developing different formulations, using superfoods, out of her own garage. As she was still breeding, showing, and competing, McGill handed out free samples of the food she was making.

After a few years, word began to spread about McGill’s food product leading to, in 1974, the launch of Solid Gold pet food. The first product? Another homage to her past, “Hund-N-Flocken” which is still a best-seller 50 years later.

Ever since that fateful first product captivated the market, Sissy McGill had continued to innovate the brand through formulas, wholesome ingredients that are better for pets and more. McGill, considered by many to be the reason why natural and holistic pet food became such a popular pet food category, has won countless accreditation and accolades by the pet community and trade audiences for her tireless work in providing healthier fare to furrever friends across the globe. 

Over the last few decades, the brand has developed even more innovative formulas and recipes, now powered by their nutrientboost™ proprietary blend, still paying homage to the way Sissy once incorporated superfoods and wholesome ingredients. Nutrientboost™ is powered by plasma and veterinarian recommended for gut health and nutrient absorption*. As America’s first holistic pet food brand, Solid Gold has always believed that the key to good health starts in the gut.

Through the combination of whole superfoods, probiotics and omega fatty acids, the Solid Gold diet has provided transformative nutrition for pets for 50 years. At Solid Gold, they nourish your pet, inside and out by providing all pets the ideal nutritional foundation they need to achieve gut health and overall wellness.

Using high quality ingredients and unmatched quality in their product line, as well as a best-in-class customer service team, there is a reason why this now iconic brand has made that indelible mark on the pet industry and has withstood the test of time; their very founder and the team that manages the brand today, all of whom have their own furrever ones who eat Solid Gold!  

Solid Gold is available on,,,, and -- as well as in store at many retail locations across the country at PetSmart, Petco, Walmart, Target, and local independent pet stores. 

Speaking as someone who has had over 20 pets in my life, and rescued over 100,000 animals, I can tell you that brands like Solid Gold are extremely rare. Looking at their history, understanding the science behind the brand, and knowing some of the players involved, I can tell you that Solid Gold is everything they have purported themselves to be over their storied 50-year history. And today, the brand continues to innovate and deliver on its promise of providing loving nourishment for our furrever friends.  

*Solid Gold Nutrientboost is veterinarian recommended based on online survey of 507 vets conducted by Applied Marketing Science/AMS in Dec 2023; Respondents were compensated for their time.  

For more information on Solid God Nutrientboost, visit