Just like children, not every dog is the same.
They may be the same breed, but each dog that a customer is buying for is unique.
Because of this, natural supplements have many different ways to be given to the animal: pill, paste, liquid, powder and more.
The new emerging trend is to give the consumer an option.
“We have developed a beef tab and liquid alternative, just so the consumer has an alternative,” Darren Landis, president of Hyalogic, said. “We also give a low to high joint alternative too. It gives the consumer the power of choice. Sometimes they may find a product they really like with the ingredients, but it’s in a beef tab and their dog won’t take beef tabs, they will only do liquid. Now they have the alternative.”
Their product, Premium Hyaluronic Acid by Hyalogic, is meant to be used to promote healthy joints in animals.
Hyalogic believes this is the trend moving forward, that when it comes to natural supplements, like vitamins, you want to give the consumer options. Landis said the arguments for either side, tabs or liquid, is too great and too many people will say one is better than the other.
“We did have some additional options, like a powder formula,” Landis said. “But it seems like people are really choosing between a beef tab and a liquid. Now there will probably be some different delivery methods with treats. Just like on the human side, people want alternatives. They are tired of tablets or pills. They want something that is more convenient.”
PureLife4Pets has noticed the trend in the animal supplement market is mimicking the human supplement market.
“Customers are looking for new ingredients that are pure and easy to administer,” Oscar Tenorio, product line manager of PureLife4Pets, said. “Another issue that keeps rising is the number of overweight dogs and cats. We, as manufacturers of healthy products, have the responsibility of providing comprehensive solutions that contribute to the happiness of families by improving the quality of life of their pets.”
The National Animal Supplement Council was formed in 2002 to promote the health and well-being of nonhuman food chain animals that are given animal health supplements by establishing federal and state regulations which are fair, reasonable, responsible and nationally consistent.
“Pressure fell onto the industry because there were a lot of stop sales by state regulators,” Karen Howard, president of the NASC, said. “The FDA was increasingly concerned about the safety of the products on the market. In response, a group got together and formed the NASC.
“The space we operate in is very unique in that it sits on the drug side, since once FDA ruled that supplements were not a part of the deity supplement and health and education act. We automatically fell into the drug realm. They are considered drugs to a low regulatory priority, with which the agency has regulatory discretion over.”
According to the NASC, the value of having their seal on products translates directly to the consumers.
“Because our audited company adheres to the standards that we have defined,” Howard said, “consumers can know they are buying supplements that they can trust.”
Watching the trends on the pet supplement side, Howard said, it seems to follow the human side around the 4-year-mark.
“Right now we are seeing an increase in herbs, botanicals, prebiotics, probiotics,” Howard said. “It just follows the trend of the human side.”
Consumer Buying Power
According to NutraLife Pet, over the last few years, natural products have become more mainstream, resulting in an upswing in the natural supplement industry.
“In the past, veterinarians were the major drivers of these products. However, as consumers are becoming more and more educated regarding their pets’ health, they have taken more of a front seat in the buying process,” Avigail Glass, president of NutraLife Pet, said. “This stems from what the industry calls ‘Pet Humanization,’ which means pet parents are caring for their pets much like they care for themselves, very proactive.
“Based on this demand, pet retailers and online pet retailers have been expanding their natural supplement offerings.”
Pet Naturals of Vermont has noticed that consumers are more aware and more educated on the use and benefits of supplementation than ever before.
“Many pet owners who buy supplements for their pets, also use supplements themselves and recognize the benefits through personal experience,” Sara Phillips, strategic brand manager of Pet Naturals of Vermont, said. “Holistic veterinary practices are gaining market share among mainstream pet owners, and many of these professionals recommend natural supplements as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.”