Dog food allergies express themselves in a variety of gross ways and might have your customers describing a dog’s skin like a good French pastry: hot, crusty and flaky. Minor sensitivities can be solved by eliminating the root cause, so stock foods that cut common allergens like corn and potatoes and learn about an elimination diet to help your customers pinpoint the cause of the itch.
PRICE SCALE: $ $0 to $2 per lb / $$ $2 to $3 per lb / $$$ $3 to $4 per lb / $$$$ $4 + per lb
Wheat is a major contributor to pet allergies, and grain-free food and treats are so plentiful you’ve probably got enough stocked to build a display right now. Dogs with serious issues can get prescription foods, but when you’re looking to order more, look for carb alternatives like quinoa and millet, and diets with nutrient-dense legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Grain Free Venison & Chickpea
Holistic Health Extension
Key features: Deboned venison, apple cider vinegar and colostrum contain amino and fatty acids to support the immune system.
Sales tip: For dogs with sensitive digestive tracts or allergies to poultry.
healthextension.com, (800) 992-9738
Chicken au Frommage
Key features: This blend of chicken, cheese, lentils, peas, eggs and sweet potatoes leaves no room for fillers like wheat.
Sales tip: For the Fido craving French cuisine.
frommfamily.com, (800) 325-6331
Daily Dish Stews
Caru Pet Food
Key features: The Daily Dish line looks, smells and tastes like a home-cooked meal, with meat, poultry chickpeas, flaxseed and egg whites.
Sales tip: 100-percent human grade ingredients and packed in BPA-free sustainable packaging.
carupetfood.com, (855) 330-2278
Beef and chicken show up in so many foods that some dogs respond with pimply skin, rank odors or excessive scratching. Protein sensitivities are common with these basic commodities. Novel protein diets feature alternative animals like buffalo, pheasant and kangaroo, which contain new components that dogs are less likely to be sensitive to. Shorthand: Reduce the cause, reduce the effect.
Six Fish Treats
Key features:A nutrient-dense treat filled with 100 percent natural fresh fish — organs and cartilage, too.
Sales tip: Made with fresh, wild-caught New England fish delivered daily and gently freeze-dried.
orijen.ca, (877) 939-0006
Kangaroo Dry Dog Food
Key features: The recipe lists Australian kangaroo protein first — an exceptional source of complete protein, with virtually no saturated fat.
Sales tip: Loaded with B-12, iron, essential omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and conjugated linoleic acid.
zignature.com, (661) 309-1235
Wild Boar and Pea Ascent Adventure Tender Blend
Key features:Nutrient-dense thanks to a side of peas, chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
Sales tip: Cooked in small batches with ingredients measured by hand.
zukes.com, (866) 985-3364
Reduce bald patches and misery in your customers’ pups while boosting nutrients without fillers using limited ingredient biscuits and toppers. Because they contain fewer components, dog owners don’t risk too many food triggers, and limited ingredient dog foods can make it easier to pin down the exact ingredients causing the allergic reaction.
Freestyle Limited +
Key features: This low-carb, high-meat diet uses lean protein sources like turkey and salmon to round out three blends designed for age and size.
Sales tip: Powered by a pure probiotic strain that supports a dog’s gastrointestinal health.
nulo.com, (512) 476-6856
Grain & Gluten Free Bacon Biscuits
Portland Pet Food Company
Key features: These ingredients read like a high-end brunch menu: bacon, organic eggs and Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo bean flour.
Sales tip: Made fresh with ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
portlandpetfoodcompany.com, (503) 449-1960
Core Simply Shreds
Key features: This versatile topper or snack comes in different protein and veggie combinations, like chicken liver and broccoli, and tuna, beef and carrots.
Sales tip: A protein boost without fillers — each recipe has just five natural ingredients.
wellnesspetfood.com, (800) 225-0904
This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.