There is no denying that trends in animal health supplements closely follow trends in human dietary supplements. Pet owners striving to take better care of themselves understand they can also support the health of their pets with supplements. And when incorporated as an element of whole animal care that also includes a high-quality diet, routine veterinary visits, and competent care and training, animal health supplements can play a key role in keeping pets healthy and happy.
When evaluating animal health supplements to carry in your store, you can ensure you’re selecting the very best products by closely scrutinizing labels and product marketing materials for answers to the following questions:
Supplements are not magic bullet products. If a company overtly claims, or even implies, the product will treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease, they are breaking the law and misleading consumers. Outrageous product claims should be an immediate red flag.
While lot numbers do not guarantee quality, they do indicate the manufacturer likely complies with some type of quality standards that require product traceability. Lot numbers are essential in helping manufacturers notify customers if there is a problem with a product.
It should be easy to determine the ingredients in a product and how much of each ingredient is contained in a single administration. Ingredients should be listed in descending order by amount but be aware that large numbers may be misleading. An ingredient with a large number followed by “ppm,” meaning parts per million, actually indicates a dilute concentration of the ingredient, and may not be a meaningful amount at all.
The product label should clearly list contact information for the company supplying the product. When you call, you should be able to speak to a veterinarian or technician on staff who can answer your questions about the product itself, and about testing and quality standards in place for the product. If you can’t get direct answers, consider choosing a different product.
The NASC Quality Program provides strict guidelines for product quality assurance, adverse event reporting, labeling standards, and product testing. To display the National Animal Supplement Council’s Quality Seal on their products a supplier must pass a comprehensive third-party audit every other year, maintain ongoing compliance with rigorous NASC quality standards, and pass random independent product testing to ensure they meet label claims.
One final consideration when selecting products for your store is price. Cheap products are typically cheap for a reason; quality ingredients and responsible manufacturing come at a cost. Do your best to offer a range of products to fit every budget while purchasing the best quality products you can get within each price range.