Canidae has hired UK communications agency Umpf to help it as it enters the UK market at the Crufts dog show March 5-8, 2015.

The company will launch its Grain Free Pure dog and cat food brands with trade and consumer public relations, social media and event activation, leading into a bigger campaign that will use traditional and digital channels to play up the products’ quality and grain-free attributes.

Canidae is working with Pedigree Wholesale, the UK’s largest pet and aquatic wholesaler. The distributor also will handle day-to-day marketing of Grain Free Pure, along with Umpf.

Steve Brown, managing director of Pedigree Wholesale, said the foods would benefit from a “fantastic distribution network.”

"There is a huge potential in the UK for what is, for the moment at least, a challenger brand and we have some really exciting campaigns lined up to raise the profile of Canidae in the UK," Brown added.

Texas-based Canidae was founded 18 years ago. It is available in more than 10,000 stores in the US, and sells nearly 100 formulated dry and canned petfoods, plus treats.