Black Gold is a star in more ways than one. Raised and trained by John Allen, he’s a National Champion American foxhound. But he also has a dog food named after him, and his picture appears on most of the company’s bags.
Black Gold Dog Food (www.blackgolddogfood.com) was founded by John and his brother Don in 1997, but the two men’s experience in the pet food industry dates back much further. “We have been involved in the dog food distribution business since the early 1960s,” says John. “Don worked in the feed industry for many years, and I was an engineer and human resource manager for a large electrical manufacturing company. We both went through many corporate buyouts and ownership changes and were tired of the rat race.
Being interested in performance dogs and having a dog food sales background, we decided to start a small company.” The brothers started out by making a reasonably-priced high quality performance dog food. “Our goal was to sell the equivalent of a tractor trailer load per month in all of the lower 48,” says John. “This goal was surpassed in a few months.
We now offer a complete line of dry dog food from economically-priced maintenance formulas to high quality grain-free formulas, and everything in between. We are also national distributors for Dog Forte brand energy enhancement supplement.” John and Don’s success can be directly attributed to their dedication to quality.
“We adhere to strict quality standards and always use ‘fixed formulations’ for consistency in every bag of food. This is a necessity in performance dog diets. Most pet food companies vary their formulations depending on which commodities are lower in price at the time. This causes variation in nutrition and performance.”
Additional products are always in the works for Black Gold Dog Food, and they’ve just introduced two new grain-free foods – one made from salmon and white potato, and the other from chicken and sweet potato. “The market is currently moving toward ‘all natural and grain free’,” says John. “We are also looking at developing a specific formula for the ‘Bully’ breed to aid in muscle building and growth. We are always looking to expand our offerings for specific niche uses, based on customer requests.”
Along with donating to a variety of independent shelters, the company also sponsors the UKC (United Kennel Club) Triple Crown. “As well, we sponsor various other state and national competitions for the UKC in Coonhounds and Beagles, as well as PKC (Professional Kennel Club), AKC (American Kennel Club) and NKC (National Kennel Club).”
John says one of the things he enjoys most is interacting with dog guardians. “We are dog lovers and competitors ourselves,” he says. “Everyone who works for Black Gold is a dog lover first, and a dog food worker second.”