NEW IN BREED-SPECIFIC FOODS
In response to the increase in small-breed ownership and growing requests for specific
recipes, Nulo Pet Food in Austin, Texas, recently introduced FreeStyle Small Breed
Salmon & Red Lentils dry food, said Michael Landa, CEO.
“Nulo believes all dogs are athletes and some breed sizes may require fuel that is
more optimally formulated for the unique metabolic and dietary considerations of some
small breeds,” Landa said.
A smaller kibble size supports better chewing and digestion, while high levels of
animal-based protein maintain lean muscle mass, Landa said. The patented probiotic
aids in weight management and the digestive issues often common in small breeds, he
“With the increase in small-breed dog ownership, it comes as no surprise that we
received a growing number of requests for a small-breed recipe,” Landa said.
Looking out for compact canines with ample appetites, Merrick Pet Care recently
introduced Lil’ Plates, a full line of grain-free kibble and wet recipes for small-breed
dogs. The lineup blends high-quality nutrition with a tasty mealtime experience,
according to Pete Brace, vice president of communications and pet parent relations for
the Amarillo, Texas, company.
Lil’ Plates’ small kibble size allows diminutive dogs to pick up and chew every bite
of food with ease, Brace said. Kibble recipes include Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato,
Real Salmon + Sweet Potato and Real Chicken + Sweet Potato.
Six new Lil’ Plates wet recipes feature real meat, fish or poultry as the first ingredient, and include farm fresh fruits and vegetables. All recipes are made in the USA and
contain no corn, wheat, soy, gluten or ingredients from China, Brace said.
Taste of the Wild recently introduced its Appalachian Valley recipe specifically
designed with higher protein and fat levels for finicky small dogs, said John Kampeter,
vice president of marketing for the Meta, Mo., company.
“Our retail partners let us know that small-dog owners are interested in an easily
digestible kibble size,” Kampeter said. “The kibble in Appalachian Valley is easy for
small dogs to chew and digest, with a more energy-dense formula to meet nutritional
The goal of Natural Balance’s Original Ultra Whole Body Health Large Breed Bites
is to offer a comfortable bite size for large-breed canines, with an optimal balance of
premium proteins and key nutrients to support hip and joint health, said Todd Wigert,
vice president of independent sales for Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. in Burbank, Calif.
The product is available in a Chicken, Brown Rice and Duck Meal formula.
“We created our Whole Body Health formula so that large-breed dogs can enjoy a
kibble made just for their mouths,” Wigert said.
The key to effective marketing of large- and small-breed foods
is helping pet owners understand the need for a diet based on
size and how a particular brand might address those requirements, said Jack Drasner, national sales director for Canagan
Pet Foods, which has U.S. headquarters in Largo, Fla.
“There are specifics relative to ingredients and kibble size
that should be explained to pet parents,” Drasner added.
Because large and small breed-specific formulas often
are suggested when a consumer is trying to solve a particular
problem for their pet, an opportunity exists for retailers to develop a “solution center” within their stores, said Todd Wigert,
vice president of independent sales for Natural Balance Pet
Foods Inc. in Burbank, Calif.
Products in the solution center are best marketed by
creating store displays featuring popular large- and small-breed selections, and by using signs and posters to help customers find the products they are looking for, Wigert added.
Newsletters and social media also serve to provide nutritional information.
“I regularly write articles about pet solutions for the
Natural Pawz monthly newsletter,” said Nadine Joli-Coeur,
co-owner of the Texas-based retailer.
Retailers hosting special breed events can take advantage
of the opportunity to introduce brands and demonstrate product differentiations, said Laura Pletz, DVM, technical services
manager for Royal Canin in St. Charles, Mo.
“We are able to take part in hundreds of events every
quarter and enjoy the one-on-one time with consumers and the
chance to answer their nutrition questions,” Dr. Pletz added.
GRAMERCY PRODUCTS’ Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster, inspired by the consumer
favorite Nerf Elite Blaster Series, launches tennis balls up to 50 feet, and it features
an internal spring launching mechanism for safer play. It is great for pets who love to
run and fetch, and for owners with shoulder or arm injuries.
UP COUNTRY offers its Gray Floral Futon. The on-trend, indoor pet futon is the
perfect alternative to bulky, heavy beds. Lighter weight and portable, it can be used
in crates, rolled up for travel or used to brighten any corner of the home. The cotton
fabric cover is machine washable and zips off for easy cleaning.
PETEDGE’S Cool Pup Cooling Mats
provide pets with a cool spot to rest
on hot days. Users can pop the entire
mat into the fridge for an extra cooling
effect; however, the mat stays cool even
when it’s not refrigerated, due to its
innate cooling properties. Made of durable poly-nylon, it wipes clean in a snap.
Each mat is packaged in a four-color box
for easy retail display. Available in small,
medium and large.
ää www.petrageousdesigns.com 800-893-9893