If you own a dog, you’re probably all too well aware of the frequent recalls on all the various foods we feed them. In fact, I always recommend that pet owners sign up to receive email alerts about recalls for dog foods. Checking out the FDA’s dog food recall history is another great option.
And when you’re looking to wholesale dog food, I recommend doing the same thing. In fact, you should be going even further by thoroughly researching a brand before bringing their food into your shop.
Wholesaling dog food can bring you an incredible amount of success, but you must be diligent about quality control because it can sink your company fast.
What Is Dog Food Wholesale?
Dog food wholesale is the act of purchasing dog food products in large quantities directly from manufacturers or distributors at a discounted price to resell in smaller quantities.
Wholesalers can offer different types of dog food, including dry kibble, wet canned food, raw food, and specialty diets. Thanks to different life stages and dietary needs, such as puppy food, senior dog food, and grain-free options, wholesalers have a lot of options to fill their shelves with pet food alone.
In addition to traditional retailers, some dog food wholesalers may also cater to other businesses and organizations, such as animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinary clinics, and dog breeders, who purchase dog food in larger quantities to care for their animals.
How To Find Reliable Brands
When looking for reliable brands to wholesale dog food for, there are several great tips you can follow that will make the process so much easier for you.
Tip #1- Check the Label
Make sure you are comparing the labels of any potential dog foods you’re interested in wholesaling. Typically, you want to avoid foods that are high in by-products/anonymous meats, low in protein, and contain controversial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
Tip #2 – Consider the Company
Despite many pet owners’ distrust of larger brands, the fact of the matter is that smaller brands were linked to 73 out of the 88 recalls during a five-year period. But wholesaling smaller brands is a great way to set yourself apart from grocery and big-box stores.
The key is to look past the label once you’ve read it. Large brands avoid recalls by employing food scientists, animal nutritionists, and other veterinary professionals.
They are regularly testing their foods, source their ingredients from trusted places, and often create their food in-house. So if you’re going with smaller brands, make sure they are employing the same rigorousness when creating their pet foods.
Tip #3 – Identify the Manufacturer
There is nothing wrong with a brand that uses third-party co-packers to create their food. But you will need to apply the same rules outlined in this guide to those third-party co-packers.
Tip #4 – Investigate Ingredient Sources
It’s just good practice to avoid brands that won’t share the source of all the ingredients that go into their food.
Tip #5 – Demand Transparency
Avoid brands that provide a false sense of security or lack transparency regarding their food. You can do this by asking questions: what testing is done, where do you source your ingredients, how reliable is the supply chain, etc?
Tip #6 – Avoid Silent Recalls
While you generally want to avoid brands who have frequently recalled their foods, it’s important to look at why they did and the actions they took. Recalls aren’t uncommon, so don’t discount a brand if you see them, especially if they are open about the recalls to the public.
Tip #7 – Confirm Nutrient Testing
Dog foods are notorious for failing to provide a complete and balanced diet. You can avoid these foods by ensuring the company is imploring laboratory analysis, feeding trials, and testing to meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines.
How To Read The Label On Dog Foods
While important to look beyond the label, learning to read the label on dog foods is essential to selecting a reputable brand to wholesale for.
First, start by looking for the AAFCO statement as this will indicate the food provides a complete and balanced nutrition. If you don’t see it, look for “intended for supplemental feeding” as this will indicate that the product should not be used as a dog’s main source of food.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wholesaling food items that lack an AAFCO statement. In fact, specialty foods prescribed by veterinarians sometimes won’t have them. However, it’s important to make sure the brand isn’t marketing its food as complete when it isn’t.
Next, just because a dog food has “organic” or “gourmet” on the label does not mean it has higher-quality ingredients; it’s often just a marketing gimmick. However, AAFCO does recognize “natural” which means the food is free from artificial flavors — something many pet owners are interested in.
Don’t get too caught up on “guaranteed analysis” when comparing different food brands, as many vets find it’s fairly useless.
Last, you should know the 95/25/3% rule and what it means. If the food is labeled “[Ingredients] Dog Food”, such as chicken and rice dog food, it must contain at least 95% of the named ingredients.
If the name of the food has “dinner” in the title, it can contain as little as 25% of the ingredients listed in the name. If a dog food title contains the word “with” the food only needs to contain 3% of the named ingredients.
As you can see, there is a lot of complexity in creating dog food, and mistakes are very easy to make. But this is why becoming a dog food wholesaler is perfect for those interested in selling pet food, but who want to largely avoid all the pitfalls.
You still need to research to ensure you’re only wholesaling for reputable brands, but by eliminating the manufacturing process, you can focus your attention elsewhere while reducing much of the responsibility.