Planet Dog’s treats are made with healthy ingredients without sacrificing on tasty flavors, says Kristen Smith, brand ambassador of Planet Dog. The company uses natural and locally-sourced ingredients to craft dog treats that pet owners can feel confident about giving their pets. Planet Dog works with companies that take the same care and dedication as they to make certain their treats are meeting strict quality and safety standards.
How is Planet Dog addressing consumers’ demands for cleaner, healthier dog treats?
Planet Dog entered the natural foods market in 2010 with its line of healthy, all-natural dog treats. While most dog owners purchase treats, Planet Dog eats are geared towards the educated consumer who is aware of the potential risks in poor quality food and snacks for their dogs, and who choose the highest quality for maximum pet health. The pet industry has been reeling from multiple recalls of different pet foods, treats and toys over the last several years, and we want to offer simple, healthy and delicious treats made from locally-sourced and natural ingredients.
How does your company determine which ingredients to use?
We work closely with the company who makes our treats, Polka Dog Bakery in Boston, to determine the healthiest ingredients to create delicious and satisfying treats. Currently available in Chicken & Pumpkin Pot Pie Flavor and PB & J (Peanut Butter & Jelly) Flavor, all of our treats are gluten free, and contain no soy, corn or wheat. Each of our treats contain just five or six simple, all-natural ingredients – no preservatives, no ingredients that we can’t pronounce. The Chicken & Pumpkin Pot Pie Flavor includes barley flour, rye flour, chicken, pumpkin, canola oil and ginger, while the Peanut Butter & Jelly Flavor contains barley flour, rye flour, all-natural peanut butter, real Maine blueberries and cinnamon.
Why is this focus on offering pets increasingly nutritious and clean diets so important to pet owners?
Savvy and health-conscious consumers are looking for healthy treats made in the USA with all-natural ingredients, just as they would feed to their human family. As consumers learn more about potential contaminants in pet foods and treats, and hear more and more frequently about toxic ingredients, recalled recipes or consumables made with by-products, they are choosing a healthier diet for their families as well as their pets.
What have been effective methods retailers have used to educate consumers about treat safety and how your company is ensuring treats are safe for pets?
Retailers place a strong emphasis on natural and healthy products, displaying healthful options together, utilizing signage and displays to call out treats and other consumables that address the concerns of those customers who seek all-natural foods. We ensure the safety of our treats through local sourcing of our human-grade ingredients, by working with a licensed bakery that adheres to food safety guidelines and by crafting treats that are high enough quality for human consumption. While the FDA does not regulate dog treats, our treats exceed the standards for FDA approval for human food.
How does Planet Dog strengthen trust amongst retailers and consumers when it comes to ensuring your treats are safe?
The most effective way we have of informing consumers and retailers is full transparency – we list every ingredient on our websites and on the packaging. Each treat recipe calls for a minimal number of ingredients – ingredients healthy people consume every day. Our treats have a conservative expiration date to ensure freshness.
How has the concept of the treat changed over the years, and what flavors, styles and ingredients are currently trending?
As people have become much more conscientious about what they feed themselves, so too are they more cautious about what they feed their pets. There has also been an additional emphasis on maintaining a healthy weight for pets. Coupling these two concerns, pet lovers are looking for healthy, natural, low calorie treats that can be broken into pieces for smaller dogs. Treats with natural anti-oxidants such as blueberries are trending – as are ingredients that may help a specific condition through nutrition – recipes that may promote healthy digestion, or that have added glucosamine for joint health.