R.I.P. Dick Van Patten, Founder of Natural Balance and National Guide Dog Month

Dick Van Patten Natural Balance Pet Food

While most people remember actor Dick Van Patten, who died today at age 86, as the dad in “Eight Is Enough,” his career didn’t end when that TV series went off the air in 1981.

Eight years after “Eight Is Enough,” Van Patten co-founded Natural Balance Pet Foods. His idea for pet food made with high-quality, natural ingredients was years ahead of its time. Since its inception in 1989, the company has donated a portion of its profits to animal charities, and has donated food to shelters.

“We wanted a pet food based on sound scientific principles and truth, not marketing hype,” Van Patten wrote on the Natural Balance Facebook page. “We did it!”

In September 2008, after paying a visit to the Guide Dogs of the Desert training center in Palm Desert, Calif., Van Patten was so impressed that he launched National Guide Dog Month to raise awareness and appreciation for these dogs. The funds raised during this month help cover the cost of training a guide dog, which can be more than $40,000.

Dick’s time with Natural Balance leaves a lasting and powerful impression on those who were fortunate to meet him or share a conversation with him,” the company said in a statement today.

“His kind heart and passion extended to people and pets, alike. The impact of his work helping animals will be felt for many years to come.”

Photo via Instagram