Innovative. Fresh. Delicious. These are words being used to describe dog foods being prepared by gourmet-food manufacturers that are causing a surge in healthy dog food sales. Breakthroughs in technology as well as a sudden increase in awareness of what goes into pet food are behind the boom in premium dog food sales. The Freshpet production facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is just one of the production facilities benefiting from this boom, but is currently the only facility that produces industrial refrigerated pet foods. “This is the next level of how people are going to feed their pets,” says Richard Thompson, chief executive officer of Freshpet. As pets are increasingly being looked at as members of the family versus pets, people are turning to food options that allow them to feed their four legged babies as nutritionally balanced and delectable meals as they would their own family. Many companies are jumping on board with this latest trend in pet foods from Blue Buffalo Co. to Colgate-Palmolive to Nestle-Purinas Beneful and Mars’ Cesar. These brands have all branched out, offering lines of fresh foods that are specially prepared and packaged to resemble something one would put on the table. For example, the Beneful Brand Dog Food lines includes wet food options with ingredients that are clearly visible and easily identifiable such as chicken, peas, carrots, beef and rice. Beneful’s dry dog food contains no less nutrition and the same quality ingredients in an easy-to-feed bag of kibble. They have even come out with a line of treats that contain real peanut butter or fruit fillings and are made from a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins. The eat-like-your-owner trend is attributed to a 45 percent increase in sales on Amazon of premium dog foods. While the price of premium and gourmet pet foods is much higher than lower-grade kibbles, the peace of mind owners receive from feeding quality foods is a likely explanation for the sudden increase in sales in premium and gourmet pet foods. This trend is likely to continue and a more detailed explanation can be found at The Daily Herald.