Q Which aspects of your Cats Incredible litter enable it to stand out in the pet industry?
A Lucy Pet Cats Incredible litter utilizes patented technology from The Dow Chemical Company that stops the formation of ammonia in the litter box. Throughout the years, the marketing message from litter companies was about odor control, but those products basically just masked the odor and never addressed the cause of the odor. As we developed our cat litter, we took the time to ask what the causes of litter box odor are. In partnership with Dow scientists, [we learned that] the litter odor that most people think of is formed when urine comes into contact with bacteria in the box. That combination creates ammonia, which is what people usually complain about with the litter box. Not only is ammonia unpleasant, it is also hazardous and can be toxic. That is why we developed Cats Incredible litter with our “Smell Squasher” technology, which actually prevents ammonia from forming in the first place. This is what makes our cat litter stand out in the industry—we are not masking odor, we are actually preventing it.
Q What impact has Dr. George C. Fahey had on your Formulas for Life dog food?
A Dr. Fahey is the leading expert on gut health and the role of dietary fiber in health. For more than 40 years, he has studied gut health in companion animals as well as humans. Dr. Fahey’s research is the cornerstone of our P.B.F. (Prebiotic Balanced Fiber) blend, which is in every bag of Lucy Pet Formulas for Life dog and cat food. Dr. Fahey’s research was key to how we formulated our diets. We combined the best of nature with the science of gut health as a solution for better overall health. Today, Lucy Pet is the leader in gut health and we know that, just like in humans, a healthy gut [in animals] is the first line of defense for staying healthy and fighting disease. Our Prebiotic Balanced Fiber blend completely changes the microbiome inside of a dog or cat within two to four weeks. The microbiome is a technical term to describe the various bacteria we all have inside of us. The key to good health is to have the right kinds of bacteria. The P.B.F. blend in our kibble goes through normal digestion, where it reaches the large intestine and ferments. This fermentation creates “food” for the thousands of strains of “good microbiota.” Nutritionists would refer to this as short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed into the gut of the animal. Dr. Fahey’s approach is very impressive and brings new, amazing nutritional technology to the pet industry. All of this science aside, what matters most is how well the food feeds and performs. We continue to receive testimonials about life-changing results in dogs and cats: remarkable stories of increased energy, vastly improved digestion and numerous reports of how our diets cleared up conditions such as IBD and more.
Q How have retailers and consumers responded to your Hip to Be Square dog treats that launched in 2018?
A The response has been great! Dogs love them and trainers also love them because a dog will be very responsive to them. We actually developed them with celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan to get the right size, consistency and palatability. I also had my son Dylan write a song called “Hip to Be Square” for the treats. Consumers continue to seek newness in the treat category. Treats are very much an impulse purchase, so shoppers are very willing to try new products for their pets. Shoppers are reading labels more than ever, and are looking for products made in the U.S., without artificial ingredients. Although natural is still a driver, consumers are also looking for ingredients they recognize. That’s why our Lucy Pet Hip to Be Square treats are made with real pumpkin for healthy digestion. We [also] use wild-caught Alaskan salmon, fresh U.S. duck and fresh U.S. chicken because it makes a difference.
Q What’s the next big offering that Lucy Pet Products has planned for the pet industry?
A We will be expanding our offering of dry food formulas, and will also introduce our new canned (wet) foods for dogs and cats. These will also feature our P.B.F. blend, developed by Dr. Fahey. These have been in development and are launching in Q1 of 2019. Wet food has been the number one request from our customers and retailers, so this was an easy decision for us as a line extension.
Q What can you tell us about your partnership with the Petco Foundation and the City of Los Angeles to provide free spaying/neutering services?
A The work of The Lucy Pet Foundation is very hands-on. Our Spay & Neuter Mobile serves low-income communities that either don’t have access to a vet or are unable to afford vet services. Partnering with the Petco Foundation and the City of Los Angeles has been terrific. Together, we have been able to provide over 22,000 free spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats in low-income areas in Los Angeles. This program has helped to lower the euthanasia rates in Los Angeles and is something that the Lucy Pet Foundation wants to take across the country. This is especially gratifying when we are able to help families keep their beloved pets; some face the prospect of having to give up their pet because they could not afford spay and neuter services. Both the Petco Foundation and the City of Los Angeles recognize the importance of pets, so it is great that we have been able to really make a difference for pets and people.