Doggie diet trends: marketing mimics or human gimmicks?

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 25th October 2012

The dietary trends of vegetarian, organic, vegan and raw-food are well known for different market segments in the human world. Man’s best friend, the dog, is being offered similar food diets. Dog owners, particularly in the US, are buying up big in these latest dog food trends.

Australian Food News has compiled a list of top human food trends that have filtered into the dog world.

Raw food: Similarly to the human paleo diet, the BARF diet stands for Biologically-Appropriate Raw Food.  Huffington Post reported that a day in the life of a golden retriever on the BARF diet would involve “12 raw (of course) chicken necks, an egg or yogurt, pureed raw vegetables with oil, plus weekly supplements of uncooked organ meats such as tripe or heart.”

Gourmet food:  Although it’s nice to treat yourself to an expensive meal, how about “muttballs and pasta” or “chicken paw pie” for your dog? It’s all the rage apparently in the US, as gourmet dog chefs have been offering pre-packed meals, bake-at-home recipes and even driving travelling gourmet dog food vans.

Vegan food: Many vegetarian and vegan dog owners have decided their pets should follow suit, supplementing bones for a meaty carrot. Similarly, vegan dogs are fed a diet of rice, lentils, soy products and spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Dog beverages: The “puppuccino” is even served in a barista style cup, while some dogs prefer “toilet” or “gutter” flavoured bottled water. Dog beer is also available, as a “Bowser Beer” is malty but “hops and alcohol free.”

Dog cupcakes: Cupcake boutiques have been popping up in the USA and Australia everywhere of late and the doggie cupcake trend is following suit. Made of “dog-friendly” ingredients, many dogs can even get “dog birthday cakes” delivered for their special day.

Home-cooked dog food: There is a growing “dog food recipe book” market that imitates human meals for owners to cook for their dog at home, and ensure they are aware of every ingredient in their dog’s dinner.

Dog weight-loss: For those dogs that have over-indulged in the gourmet food, there are now low-carb and low-fat dog food and treats, and even portion-size bowls to ensure eating is under control.

Dog dinnerware: But how to serve up that vegan carrot or the “bowser beer”?  Well-known Alice Wang has created a range of dinnerware for Pets Plus including a dog friendly wine glass, tipped on the perfect angle to ensure the dog can drink while at the table. Potentially the market for dog dinnerware is huge in the USA.

The limited Australian market for dog dinnerware may have something to do with Australian culture, which favours equality and mateship and discards toffs and ostentatiousness.

Australians also prefer the underdog, which might explain why Australian dogs will remain under the table!


Dog drinking from Alice Wang dog glass. Image courtesy of Huffington Post.