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Does Your Company Make Dog Food? Here’s What Retailers Want and Will Carry

The PETS+ Brain Squad shares what dog food they’d like to see on the market and in their stores.




Editor’s note: For our new Retailer Wishlist column, we asked store owners and buying managers what they wish existed in the dog food category. Manufacturers, take their ideas and run with them! If you already make a product asked for here, let them know. Or tell us about it at Global Pet Expo. We’ll be reporting live from the show. Email [email protected] to invite the PETS+ team to your booth.

  • “Gently Cooked” then frozen need expansion. —  Patricia Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA
  • More limited ingredient recipes in various proteins. —  Comora Tolliver, Barkers Anonymous, Hendersonville, NC
  • An all whole-meat option. I think it doesn’t exist because it would be really pricey. If someone does it, it does need to be well sourced and transparent.—   Tonya Christiansen, Must Love Dogs, Grand Haven, MI
  • Single protein and single carb to be truly limited ingredient. No synthetic vitamins and minerals. I think a lot of companies need to do a SKU rationalization and also make the kibble size appropriate for all size dogs, as SKUs seem to be getting out of control (small breed, mini/maxi, etc.). —  Cynthia McKinney, Loyl’s Natural Pet, Houston, TX
  • I think we need more air-dried, slow-baked kibbles for an affordable price. —  Jess Calton, Chow Hound Pet Supplies, Walker, MI
  • We wish a manufacturer would develop a “semi-moist” food.—   Jeni Mather, JM Pet Resort, Brockton, MA
  • In dry dog foods, ones that have fewer carbohydrates, and more Eastern Food Therapy foods. —  Ruth Sturgis, Dog Daze, North Syracuse, NY
  • A reasonably priced true limited-ingredient food. No other protein than what the main protein is. —  Michele Saharic, Barkley’s Marketplace, Flemington, NJ
  • More plea flour-free wheat-free chicken-free options. —  Eden LeGrand, Le Gray Haus Dog Boutique, North Ridgeville, OH
  • A dry dog food that has better taste. Even though there are many on the market that claim to taste good, I have not found one that is clearly execptional. —  Agnes Weiting, Perfect Pet Gift Shop & Bakery, Appleton WI
  • We need more raw-coated kibble for beginners of raw feeding. —  Sue Fitzgerald, The Scottish Dog Pet Supplies, Metuchen, NJ
  • I would honestly love to see if there could be such a thing as a healthy semi-moist kibble, something to move people from the overdyed grocery store stuff! —  Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store, Alexandria, VA
  • More foods/treats developed towards vet foods. —  Michael Morris, Yarn and Bone Pet Supply, Camden, DE
  • Not product development, but product quality. I really wish kibble manufacturers would get with the program and start doing the digestibility and nutrient analyses that we’ve been asking for. —  Diana Farrar, Fifi & Fidos Pet Boutique, San Antonio, TX
  • More functional dry dog food options as an alternative to prescription diets. —  Jeff Jensen, Four Muddy Paws, St. Louis, MO
  • Affordable vegetarian options. —  Keith Henline, Asheville Pet Supply, Asheville, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

The Brain Squad is the PETS+ monthly survey panel, made up of owners and top managers of pet businesses across the country. Each month, members are emailed a short survey consisting of multiple-choice and short, open-ended questions. Responses are used in departments and feature stories throughout PETS+. Sign up here.



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This may be the most challenging job market the pet industry has ever seen. But according to Shaylene Keiner, president of Dolittle Search, it’s still possible to hire the “pick of the litter.” In this Media Spotlight interview, Keiner and interviewer Chloe DiVita talk about all things related to today’s job market, how the “great resignation” has seen many folks reexamining priorities and careers and why working with a search firm can save most companies time and money.

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