Irish stew is one of the new gourmet recipes featuring in the McGrath range of canned food for dogs.

The range, which has been developed by Northern Irish dogfood producer Mackle Pet Foods, is being launched in a bid to tap into the market for human-style recipes aimed at pets.

"We have been closely monitoring developments within the US for some time now and have also researched the petfood market throughout Ireland," said managing director John Mackie.

Quality ingredients were key, he said.

"Our research has revealed that factors such as quality ingredients, nutrition, smell and texture are critical, but the end product must be a balanced meal, which looks good enough to eat yourself."

Recipes in the McGrath range include: Irish Stew with lamb, potatoes, carrots and barley; Mediterranean Chicken with green beans and pasta in a tomato sauce; Beef Casserole with carrots and haricot beans in onion gravy' and Lamb Terrine with garden peas in a mint jelly.

The range was launched in September in Northern Ireland, where it has listings with retailers including Sainsbury's, and the company is now ready to grow distribution across the UK.

"Response to McGrath to date would indicate that extending into our GB stores is a likely option for the future," said Sainsbury's regional buyer Michael ­McCambley.