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Why we at Healthy Dog Treats are so on trend for 2017, Pt 1

Latest dog treat trends 2017A recent America dog treat trend article suggested eleven trends within the industry. In this article we review the first six of the big dog treat trends !  We also look specifically how those trends sit with our healthy dog treat range.

No laboratory claims on dog treats

“Falling by the wayside is the idea of a formulation that’s ‘scientific’ or lab based because pet owners consider it less human.”  

For a long time science sounding dog food brands, would 'bang on' about how much science was behind their treats and dog food. It seems that the natural and organic movements have started winning the advertising battle and are now usurping 'Science' / lab labelling on products.

Ironically just because they have removed the term makes no difference to the dog food formulation.  Science has been used like fake news, to convince people that feeding their dog is the ideal nutrition. This is bad science, corrupted by money and power.

Instead of feeding dogs meat, which they need to thrive, large food companies continue to use split labelling tricks to make it seem like there is more meat in your product and just keep the same formulation.  If they could make more money out of selling meat treats, science would all of a sudden be put up for a case for dogs eating meat.

Clean labels on dog treats

Apparently this means " paleo diet, organic and gently processed products such as raw, freeze dried and oven baked will clearly become mainstream, as will local and artisanal offerings.”

This might be great for the dog food market, but it won't ensure 90-95% meat based dog food which would actually be the true natural and organic meal.

Does 'paleo' mean what dogs and wolves originally ate, like meat? Probably not.

Its a step in the right direction but really only a tiny bump to make owners feel better. Never equate grains and vegetables with natural or paleo for dogs. Again this is a trend focussed on using new buzzwords as other dog companies continue to put profits well ahead of providing bio-appropriate meals and dog treats for dogs.

Dog treats Natural trend keywords

“In different ways, ‘sustainable’ and ‘family owned’ both connote a home-grown approach, environment-friendly practices, local sourcing and the comfort of familiar brands. " Ref.

Looks like this trend falls into our 'wheel house'.  We are a true family business (as anyone who views our facebook posts and daily pictures of our off lead dog walks in melbourne will know).  However as much as we try, not all treats we source can come from our suburb or Melbourne. They require proper drying facilities and usually a bulk plant near where the animals are caught or farmed.

For instance Victoria has very few kangaroos and very few are culled per year compared to other states. If we dont expect our own human food to be grown and harvested locally, its probably an over-expectation that our dog food and dog treats be made exclusively in our own little towns. Be aware that in fact most of our premium dog food is imported from overseas.

We source locally where we can, but as we also send our dog treats Australia wide people should understand that we put more emphasis on quality and affordable treats to our client than a regional bias might allow.

The Internet influence on dog treats purchase

“The internet continues to be a major factor in the way we receive information and purchase products. It levels the playing field and puts smaller companies on near-equal footing with the once untouchable multi-billion dollar brands.”

As anyone who has been in business knows, there is NEVER an even playing field in any industry or niche.  The larger guys always have more resources and that includes their visibility on the internet. If you have ever wondered why the little guys are not often seen on google ads, its because the big guys outbid them to maintain dominance.

And now that Google has moved many of their ads to the centre column directly above the organic search results that pushes the genuine smaller companies 'free listings', such as ours further down the page.

It is true that the internet is a miracle for many reasons, however if you love our products and prices the only way you will see more of them is if you tell your friends about us. Or consider doing a Google review (option comes up when you search for our name 'Bruces Healthy Dog Treats').

We can't outspend our competitors, but we can continue providing better products and the best services around. Our theory is that is what keeps our customers much longer, once they have found us!

Little processing of dog treats

“The food industry is centring on minimally processed and more-natural foods, and we expect to see similar trends for pet food.”

And you would think by extension in dog treats.  But of course with two of Australia's supermarket chains providing near 80% of our food, what people have easy access to is often controlled by those companies head offices supplier decisions.

If you were wondering, most of our healthy dog treats are slow dried.  The products with any wheat in them (only 15% for mixed treats) have potassium sorbate (human grade preservatives). Our 100% meat based dog treats, which is vast majority of what we sell, have ZERO additives.

We are well before our time on this one.

Dog Treats in conjunction with Limited ingredient diets (LID)

“Pet owners have embraced LID foods, initially to hold off food allergies in their pets. But the transparency of knowing exactly what their four-pawed companions are consuming is also a big plus for doting humans — one that is helping to drive further LID success.”

Now, you will get a lot of varying advice on dog allergies, but you should be aware that environmental allergies are more common than food allergies in dogs. And that dogs are often not allergic to additives per se, but are more likely to have a food intolerance or allergy to a specific protein in either grains or meat.

Because dogs evolved from wolves and wolves were almost complete carnivores (the occasional wild berries not withstanding), a dog that is allergic to a meat protein is usually fairly rare. And yes, its usually because of other things in the meats like steroids or preservatives etc or because of poor selective breeding in creating the breeds.

My dog gets sick from too much lamb or pork fat from our roasts, so I know not to tempt that food intolerance, but he is fine with the lean meat proteins.

However if your dog eats commercial dog food with any beef or chicken in it, and they are ok with that, our dog treats typically have either far less additives or preservatives, or more like NO additives (the 100% range) and so our beef and chicken will also be easily enjoyed by your dog.

Kangaroo and fish are essentially organic and again SINGLE ingredient dog treats that we sell. Yes, dogs can be allergic to these meats, but as kangaroo is used in many vet exclusions diets to test for food allergies the likelihood it will cause an allergy is very low, and the same for fish.

Reference

http://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/6232-pet-food-trends-industry-experts-forecast-for-2017

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