Solutions Made Simple
With a growing lineup of enzyme-based healthcare products, Pet King Brands helps consumers address a variety of common pet health problems safely and effectively.
Aside from all of the normal obstacles entrepreneurs encounter, Pamela Bosco, president of Pet King Brands, had her own extra set of hurdles to overcome when she started the company. She was a stay-at-home mom caring for three children and an ill husband, but when she saw an opportunity to create a new kind of pet healthcare product, she seized it. Almost 20 years later, the company has a full line of skin, ear and oral care, with plans in the works for many new innovations in the coming years.
Bosco’s brother, Michael Pellico, had created a patented enzyme system that was formulated for use on the skin and in the mouth. It was being used in oral care products for humans to treat dry mouth when Bosco began to look into adapting the formula for use in animals. The idea was sparked by her own difficulty finding an effective treatment for her German Shepherd’s chronic ear infections and further fueled by a veterinarian friend, who had commented on the limited options for good ear care products on the market at the time. After making adaptations to make the formula safe for use with animals, she introduced the ZYMOX brand in 1998 with a product for the treatment of dogs and cats with ear infections.
“I knew ZYMOX was going to revolutionize the way people helped animals with painful ear infections because ZYMOX worked without antibiotics,” she says. “Since that time, I have developed a complete line of dermatology and oral care products for veterinarians and retailers, all utilizing the patented enzyme formulation created by my brother.”
Several features of the ZYMOX and Oratene brands have helped them stand out in the marketplace from the beginning. In addition to being antibiotic free, the products are safe for long-term use and have been designed to be easy to use. Their brushless oral care products, in particular, were a major innovation at a time when brushing was really the only method for removing plaque biofilm from pets’ teeth. The Oratene Brushless water additives and toothpaste gels offered a much simpler and faster way for owners to address their pets’ oral health.
When the brand first launched, ZYMOX products were solely available through veterinarians. The company chose to start out in the veterinary channel because it was the most direct route to reach pet owners looking for skin and ear care solutions.
“Ear infections and skin allergies are some of the most common issues veterinarians see” Bosco says. “We knew we could help more animals, initially, by working with the veterinarian.”
Additionally, having the support and recommendation of veterinarians helped Pet King Brands establish its reputation as a trustworthy maker of effective, research-based pet healthcare products.
“I think it’s always best to have veterinarian recommended products and their support in order to gain the trust of the pet owner,” Bosco says. “Many of us know how hard it can be to have a pet suffer from a chronic health problems and the need to turn to someone of expert opinion for their advice on what would work best.”
Once Pet King Brands had established itself as a trusted source for pet healthcare products and demand for its ZYMOX and Oratene product lines had grown, the company expanded into the retail channel.
“Pet owners were expressing the need for the convenience of purchasing the products at their local stores in urgent pet health situations,” she says. “Retailers also wanted to become a one-stop resource for pet owners and our products were a natural fit to offer.”
While there was demand for the expansion, making products available through retail wasn’t without its challenges. The company had to balance setting up a wider distribution network with making sure retailers were on board and informed on the product lines. The change also led Pet King Brands to shift its marketing strategy from a veterinarian-oriented approach to a more consumer-facing approach.
“We now have more ability to do direct consumer marketing campaigns that include a very broad social media platform to promote consumer awareness,” she says. “We have also increased our trade show [presence] to include more direct-to-consumer shows that build brand awareness and educate the pet owner on how to properly use our products.”
The increase in consumers educating themselves on pet health also helped the company’s transition from vet-only distribution to a wider retail audience. Bosco sees that shift as one of the largest changes in the industry since she started her business.
“Vets are still highly regarded and we always need their support, but I’d like to acknowledge the consumer and how intelligent and educated they can be,” she says.
Onward and Upward
Pet King Brands plans to bring its unique enzyme formula to more categories and find new applications to expand its range of effective healthcare products for pets. The company recently entered the large animal category with products for equine use, and it has a number of other products in development for companion animals. Bosco says the company is also branching out further in its current categories, with plans to introduce an oral care treat.
“The sky is the limit with our enzyme technology, with how it can be used and what it can do for pets everywhere,” Bosco says. “It’s so exciting to have this opportunity and see how far we can take this.”
Bosco credits the success of her company to the effectiveness of the products and the enthusiasm that has earned from the customers. Thanks to its loyal customer base, Pet King Brands has been able to grow significantly from its small beginnings into a well-known and trusted brand.
“I like to think that the product and the brand is where it’s at today because of the acceptance and the positive reception it’s had from the consumer, retailer and vets,” she says. “Once they try it they love it, and that’s what’s kept us going. When you see it working on a pet who has had a chronic problem, I think that’s what amazes the pet owner.”