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Pet Wellness Products Focus on Consumer Demands, Health Needs


Increasing awareness about the importance of maintaining personal health has made its way into the pet space, and owners are looking for brands to provide high quality products with clean ingredients and transparent claims. As pets are considered a part of the family, people want tools that can help their companions live a long, healthy life.  

Because pet health can be a tricky course to navigate, retailers should work closely with brands to learn exactly how the products are beneficial to pet health and wellness, as well as how they are made. Knowledge about health products can come from independent individual research, but retailers should be prepared to educate an overwhelmed customer if they come into their store. Asking questions about the customer’s pet and its issues is the best way to know which product to correctly recommend. Providing pet parents with successful health product options on the shelves is the first step, but expertise is the second. This creates an opportunity for retailers, who can help pets and build trust with customers, while increasing profits. 

Products that aim to improve a pet’s health range from wipes and sprays to oils and supplement chews. Brands have felt the pressure to meet the demand for quality options and are creating easy to use products that are proven to make a difference in a pet’s long-term health.  

Gut 

Although food and treat products have evolved over the years to cater to the latest trends, pet owners and brands are recognizing the need for products that specifically assist with gut health. Adding these products, such as probiotics, to a pet’s diet has proven to help the digestive tract and overall health of an animal. The benefits can vary based on the probiotic, but can include digestibility, immune system support, control or improvement of allergies, reducing signs of gastrointestinal upset, supporting cognition and behavioral response. 

Google reported that in 2021, search volume had more than doubled for cat and dog probiotics compared to five years ago. Brands are recognizing the inquiry for gut health products, and Tomlyn is one of many brands that are aiming to offer a solution. 

The brand uses quality formulations with wholesome ingredients and proven, scientific knowledge to drive its uncompromising ethical approach. The Tomlyn Pre & Probiotic Nutritional Supplement Flavorless Packets for Dogs contains the highest colony forming units (CFUs) on the market and is a source of live (viable) naturally occurring microorganisms. The advanced formula has more than eight billion CFUs of probiotics per packet to help support proper digestive and bowel health.  

Brittany Green, product manager for Tomlyn, explains that the company “wanted to make sure we had all the bases covered as far as providing products that would help the long-term benefit of maintaining a healthy gut.” For this reason, the supplement comes in 30-count packs for daily use to build up the proper bacteria in the pet’s immune system to give a better response.  

For Vetnique, creating products that “boot the scoot” – a common act for dogs that scoot their bottom across the floor due to an anal sac issue – was the brand’s goal. The result was Glandex, a supplement that supports the underlying causes of a clogged anal sac and works from the inside out. With its veterinarian formulations, the patented Glandex scientific formula works in multiple ways to keep the anal glands healthy and is a better alternative to frequent squeezing of the anal gland, which can further irritate the glands.  

“Glandex helps support healthy anal glands in three main ways. First, it has a unique fiber blend of both insoluble and soluble fibers, which helps to naturally empty the glands. Second, it contains natural anti-inflammatories to help support a healthy inflammatory response and normal histamine levels,” explained Vetnique founder and CEO James Bascharon, DVM.  

“Because allergies can be a big part of anal gland health, Glandex helps to target underlying allergies as well as overall digestive health. It supports healthy microflora and healthy digestion as it contains both probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes.” 

Other brands in this category: 

  • Optagest Plant-Based Prebiotics & Digestive Enzymes for Dogs & Cats from inClover is scientifically formulated and clinically tested to provide optimal gastrointestinal support, form normal stools, increase the bioavailability of nutrients in food and support good digestion in dogs and cats from the inside out. 
  • Native Microbials recently launched Arkus Daily, the first and only probiotic made with microbes that exist naturally in healthy dogs. Arkus has only five all-natural ingredients, is non-GMO, gluten-free and soy-free. When the powder is sprinkled on food each day it helps optimize the dog’s microbiome, supporting better gut health and a stronger immune system. 

CBD 

Cannabidiol (CBD) has taken the pet industry by storm since it first came on the market in 2016. Its health benefits make it one of the strongest trends today due to advanced research and changing laws that have facilitated CBD’s wellness potential. How each CBD product is made and how it delivers the cannabinoids can differ. 

For ElleVet, creating a product with good absorption was crucial for the product to be successful. CBDA is essential for absorption, and Amanda Howland, co-founder of ElleVet, recommends looking for a 1:1 ratio of acidic to non-acidic molecules in the product and asking for the pharmacokinetic study data that will show absorption of the product.  

She also notes that though the brand has done clinical trials in various areas, such as joint discomfort, itching, neuro support and stress, correct dosage is the golden ticket.  

“Dosing with CBD and CBDA products are different for different applications. Your dosage for joint issues and mobility issues is around one milligram per kilogram of body weight given twice a day,” Howland said. “A baseline for stress is higher; it’s about twice that. You can choose whichever product you want, but it’s the dosing that is really the key to success for different issues.”  

ElleVet’s offerings include Hemp CBD + CBDA Chews, Hemp CBD + CBDA Feline Complete Paste, Hemp CBD + CBDA Oil for Dogs and a separate Feline Oil, Hemp CBD + CBDA Soft Gels and CBD + CBDA Calm and Comfort Chews.  

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, One Farm has been making botanical wellness products for pets since 2017, and recently partnered with Ziggy Marley to create Ziggy Marley Apawthecary. With five products, this line features CBD oil, CBD relief cream, organic water-soluble CBD, agility chews and agility superfood topper. 

The newest offering in the line, the Agility Superfood Topper, was designed to prolong agility, combat inflammation and support the overall mental and physical wellness of a dog. Made with organic ingredients sourced from sustainable farms, the powder topper can be rehydrated with warm water for a broth the pickiest of eaters can enjoy.  

“The bone broth is not only very palatable, but also contains naturally occurring collagen [to] ‘lubricates’ joints, turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and tart cherry to help recovery and reduce pain,” explained Tracy Werner, sales manager for One Farm. “The water-soluble CBD lessens pain and inflammation as well as promotes whole body homeostasis, and three functional mushrooms support healthy cell turnover, slow down the progression of joint disease and support the immune system.” 

Not sold on big retailer sites, One Farm takes pride in its clean organic ingredients, certified USDA organic ingredients and transparent sourcing from like-minded growers/producers. 

Other brands in this category: 

  • Pawse is a health and wellness company that farms and manufactures its products based on its rigid quality standards. As a result, Pawse products are sold at competitive prices with labels that clearly state how much CBD is in each serving and product.  
  • Formulated by leading scientists at Canopy Growth, Martha Stewart’s CBD for Pets line features science-backed, gourmet flavored CBD soft-chews and supplements for dogs and carries the NASC Quality Seal.  

Healthy Aging 

The thought of losing our pets is daunting, yet inevitable. It is for this reason people look for products to assist with the aging process, hoping to add a few years to their companion animal’s life. With aging also comes a new set of care requirements.  

After VetriScience heard from both pet owners and retailers about their interest in supplements specifically for aging and senior pets, the company began developing four unique supplements for dogs that would make up its Golden Years line.  

Derek Archambault, vice president of marketing at FoodScience, the creator of VetriScience, explains that the Golden Years supplements are specifically formulated with extensively researched ingredients to help combat the effects of aging in dogs of all breeds and sizes.  

“Golden Years Calm & Confident contains Sharp-PS Green (Phosphatidylserine), which can improve brain function, memory and learning. Golden Years Strength & Stability features L-Carnitine (Carniking), an amino acid that helps maintain muscle mass and increase energy levels,” Archambault explained. “Golden Years Energize & Thrive helps counter the effects of aging with a combination of branched-chain amino acids, B vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids.”                

Once dogs enter their senior years, which some veterinarians classify as 7 years of age and older, their health can decline including the ability to walk. Jennifer Pratt, director of marketing, sales and business development for Walkin’ Pets, notes that “pet parents often miss the first signs of mobility loss,” but this loss “no longer has to be an end-of-life decision.” 

Other brands in this category: 

  • Wapiti Labs makes a Senior Mobility supplement that is available as a powder or tablet, and helps support and maintain long-term health, body functions and quality of life while also improving joint mobility, kidneys, immune system and healthy blood cells. It also helps to support eye functions and includes elk velvet antler, which is believed to promote digestion.   
  • Walkin’ Pets offers Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair, Walkin’ Up-n-Go Rear Leash and most recently, the brand has rolled out its custom Walkin’ Pets Braces line, which will allow pet parents to get custom fabricated knee braces, elbow braces, and other leg supports that are made to perfectly fit their dog’s leg. 

First Aid 

Accidents happen. An overzealous dog can turn a fun puppy play date into a frenzy with just one wrong nip. First aid products can not only give an owner instant peace of mind, knowing they can treat the animal right at home, but can also save the owner – and their wallet – a trip to the vet.  

Vetericyn Wound Care line was designed to jumpstart the healing process. Available for reptiles, poultry, small animals, horses, cats and dogs, this product line cleans and heals cuts, sores, abscesses and post-surgical sites while reducing the chances of infection and scarring. Safe if licked or ingested, the line comes in liquid and hydrogel forms and the brand recommends using the liquid to clean the wound site and then applying the hydrogel to protect and provide moisture to the wound. 

Whether it’s in the car, house or workplace, people often have a first aid kit handy for emergencies. ClotIt, by Groomer’s Helper, thought the same should be available for pet emergencies. The kit allows owners to treat minor wounds or deal with more serious ones while transporting pets for professional help and contains ClotIt Blood Clotting Powder. 

The non-staining, non-stinging powder is made of all natural minerals and works with the animal’s natural blood clotting system to stop bleeding rapidly in all wounds from minor to severe with. All wounds are different as are all pets, however, ClotIt will stop bleeding in dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and all farm animals. 

Other brands in this category: 

  • Skout’s Honor’s Probiotic Hot Spot Hydrogel for Cats and Dogs is a 100 percent natural and non-medicated product that features aloe and algin to soothe, heal and protect wounds including hot spots, skin abrasions, lacerations, cuts, burns and irritated skin. 
  • Dogswell offers five first aid products including Remedy + Recovery Wound & Infection Medication for Dogs. A topical lotion for use on cuts, burns, bites, stitches and infections, this antimicrobial cleans the area around wounds or broken skin, kills bacteria that cause infection and speeds return to healthy skin.  

Vitamins and Supplements  

Although foods and treats are made with nutrition in mind, some animals, like small pets, need additional vitamins and supplements. As the demand for small animals steadily grows, so does the need for tailored products. Whether it be a liquid, chew or topper, these types of products can be an effortless way to add what is missing from their regular diet.  

Founded in 1981, Sunseed is the result of 35 years of innovation, desire to create high-quality products and a deep love for animals. The company recognizes that animals, besides cats and dogs, need health and wellness products. Made for small animals, Vita Prima Sun Drops Advanced Daily V Liquid Vitamin Supplement can be added directly to food or water. The main fortified nutrient, Vitamin A, provides support for the immune system, mucous membranes and growth and reproduction. Vitamins D3 and C help with bone development and the nervous, muscular and immune systems. Supplementary Vitamin C is particularly important for pet guinea pigs and this product offers a simple and easy way to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. 

Oxbow Animal Health, a 30-year-old small animal wellness brand, offers premium whole foods, supplements, treats and supplies for rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas and more. The company, which was acquired by Manna Pro in January of this year, specifically makes a supplement line, Natural Science, to give extra nutrients to small pets. Animals that take the Vitamin C product can benefit from usage during times of stress, illness or recovery. With high fiber Timothy hay, the stabilized vitamin supports the wellness of small pets. Other offerings in the Natural Science line includes Natural Science Papaya Support, which is designed to support the digestive health of pets. 

This past February, Annamaet launched Enhance, a supplement that provides the necessary amounts of calcium, sodium, zinc, copper, choline, vitamin D, vitamin E and the B vitamins that a dog needs — all provided in highly absorbable forms to ensure the pet remains vibrant and healthy.  

“Since the beginning, Annamaet’s top priority has been to provide the best nutrition for our dogs,” said Robert Downey, founder and president of Annamaet Petfoods. “As people continue to care more and more about their pets’ nutrition, our job is to provide products, like Annamaet Enhance, that assist and boost their dog’s diet.” 

The brand recommends that dog parents discuss Enhance and the dog’s diet plan with a veterinarian to ensure its adequacy for the dog based on life stage and any health concerns.   

Other brands in this category: 

  • Kaytee makes a High-Calcium Grit Supplement for Small Birds that is formulated with health-boosting minerals to support cockatiels, parakeets, canaries and finches. 
  • In 2021, GREENIES introduced dog supplements to its product offerings. Formulated by a team of Ph.D. animal nutritionists to address targeted health concerns in an easy-to-feed, high-quality format, the supplements line features three easily identifiable varieties: Hip & Joint, Immune Health and Skin & Coat.  

Ears, Eyes & Dental 

Finicky pets can be uncomfortable being touched in sensitive areas like their ears, eyes and mouth. Nevertheless, having quality products owners can easily use is a must as owners become more aware of the importance of at-home maintenance.  

Jax and Cali, a small, family-owned holistic pet care brand, offers products in all three categories and has made a name for itself in the pet care community. Company president and founder Gail Beregovich explained the brand created pre-moistened toothbrush wipes after experiencing the difficulties of using a traditional toothbrush with toothpaste on her own dogs. 

Formulated with natural enzymes to inhibit and reduce bacterial growth, plaque and inflammation, Beregovich notes the importance of using dental products. “Good oral care will help prevent periodontal disease (often subtle and unnoticed) that, when left untreated, can result in heart, liver and kidney damage as well as tooth extraction and costly veterinary visits,” said Beregovich. “Use daily to keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy.”  

The brand has also released Jax & Cali All-In-One Ear Swabs and Jax & Cali Tear Stain Wipes.  

Many breeds of dogs and cats experience tear stains and brands, like Swedencare, are creating products to keep a pet’s face clean and fresh. “If not removed, tear stains may eventually dye the fur close to dog’s eyes. Tear stains in dogs are unsightly and sometimes signify an underlying medical condition,” explained Scott Reinhardt, vice president of sales and marketing for Swedencare.  

The Lyxvara EZ-Derm Wipes can help remove these stains as the mild, fragrance-free formulation helps clean eye discharge. Swedencare also offers dental products such as the ProDen PlaqueOff to help maintain fresh breath and clean teeth for dogs and cats – for all life stages.  

According to earthbath, each pet deserves quality products that will meet their unique needs, and a healthy skin and coat makes for a healthier, happier pet. Amy Johnson, sales and marketing associate for earthbath, notes that the company is “always on the lookout for opportunities to make home grooming easy and enjoyable for pet parents.”  

Pet parents need an easy way to keep sensitive areas like the eyes and ears clean to prevent irritation or infection. Both the Eye Wipes and Ear Wipes contain witch hazel, which is a natural astringent with the potential to ease irritation and inflammation and contain organic aloe vera which may reduce inflammation, promote healing and alleviate allergic reactions that are common in the eye and ear areas. 

“Pet parents are becoming more aware of the importance of consistent pet grooming which mirrors their own routines. Just like we may clean our eyes and ears on a regular basis, our pets need that level of care, too,” said Johnson.  

Other brands in this category: 

  • Pure and Natural Pet dental products are USDA-certified organic to ensure that only the safest ingredients are being used. The brand’s products – Bamboo Toothbrushes, Dental Gels (clean mint or sweet potato & cinnamon), an easy-to-use Dental Spray (mint) and convenient Dental Kits – are not only tough on plaque and tartar, but they also effectively clean teeth and gums.   
  • Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Ark Naturals offers a comprehensive range of dental products that provide unmatched oral care for every dog breed. The formulas are designed to meet pet parent needs by providing a solution for all dogs regardless of age, activity level, plaque, tartar build up and more. The products also vary in form, from a soft baked chew to a harder and longer-lasting chew.  
  • Oratene, a dental product line under the Zymox company, features brushless products to freshen a pet’s breath. Offerings include a Enzymatic Brushless Water Additive, Enzymatic Brushless Breath Freshener, Enzymatic Brushless Oral Gel and Enzymatic Brushless Toothpaste Gel. 

 

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