What new ingredients are transforming the nutrition that dogs
receive? How are manufacturers of food and treats incorpo-
rating these ingredients in to the products they introduce to
The next big thing, the new trending pet ingredient is not
an ingredient—it is ingredient transparency. This may seem
somewhat intangible to a manufacturer, but it is not to a
Today’s pet owners have evolved through a near constant
change in pet food trends for more than a decade, from grain
free and gluten free, upgraded kibble or raw, probiotics and
prebiotics. Now they want to settle into a diet they can trust
and stick to, beyond what’s the latest. Today’s dog owner
wants to know that each ingredient is real, safe and pure.
While the marketing departments of pet food companies
are busy telling and selling their stories, customers are more
concerned about the story of each ingredient. Where and
how was the chicken grown? They not only ask if the peas
in a food are sustainably grown and non-GMO, but also who
is the farmer and what’s the carbon pawprint on my dog’s
Obviously, manufacturers have some new demands. They
must form exciting new partnerships with passionate farmers and ranchers. It’s hard to say all of this on a package.
Manufacturers must have clear, simple websites and put it
Chef David Baldus, president and founder of Front Porch
Pets in Wild Rose, Wis.
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Whole foods, clean labels and
minimal processing are standout
trends in dog nutrition.
BY SANDY CHEBAT
Dog owners are on the prowl for natural, grain-free, more nutritious and less processed food, according to pet spe- cialty retailers.
At Yorba Linda Feed Store in Yorba Linda, Calif., manager Aaron Gallegos said, “Customers want to find a more natural, less
processed food,” adding that grain free is often used as a hypo-allergenic diet.
Nancy Stewart, manager and buyer at Bark Avenue Pet
Supply in Mesa, Ariz., said, “Customers are asking for minimally
processed, nutritious foods.”
Matthew Connors, owner of Pets Plus in Tewksbury,
Mass., cited antibiotic-free diets, humanly raised sources
and alternative proteins as trends he’s seeing in natural
diets right now.
Manufacturers are taking note of these trends, too.