Better Health

The right assortment of dog supplements and remedies can boost health and add incremental sales.




Dogs can’t read labels, so their humans do it for them. That includes not just foods, but also supplements and remedies. As consumers learn about the various benefits that certain ingredients offer, they want to make sure the pills, tablets, treats and other products contain the right components. Retailers that keep up with the on-trend ingredients can benefit from these added sales.


When Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based King Kanine launched phytocannabinoid rich King Kalm Crunch treats, retailers and consumers had questions about the ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). “Retailers asked can they sell it, should they sell it,” says partner Jon Neveloff. “The conversations we were having with stores and consumers 12 months ago are not the conversations we are having now. CBD is much more accepted now,  and there is more knowledge about it.”


Today, people want to know that the ingredients are natural. “People are realizing they can get their dog off the synthetic drugs,” Neveloff says. “We have an all-natural alternative that works just as well or better when compared to synthetic drugs.”


The company’s newest product is Klean Paws by King Kanine. It’s similar to hand sanitizers that humans use, but without alcohol. The user applies the foam to the dog’s paws and rubs it in. Then the dog is ready to jump on the couch or the human’s bed. King Kanine plans to launch a 5-oz. version for humans to have at home or to carry with them, and larger containers for dog parks and other sites.


Still All-Natural

Natural ingredients are still a key driver of sales, not only for supplements but also remedies. “Natural ingredients and products have been on the rise for many years and show no sign of decline in the future,” says Dan Archetti, national sales director for Westmont, Ill.-based Pet King Brands, Inc. One of the biggest trends in remedy products is natural ingredients, antibiotic-free and veterinarian recommended, for pets affected by allergies, ear or skin infections, he says.


Archetti says allergies and ear infections are two of the top health conditions that veterinarians see. The company manufactures the ZYMOX Dermatology line, an antibiotic-alternative that uses advanced enzyme technology to effectively manage red skin hot spots or infections of ears and skin due to bacteria, fungus or yeast. The line includes ZYMOX Shampoo that helps calm and sooth itchy skin, ZYMOX Conditioning Rinse that nourishes the skin and coat and features the patented LP3 Enzyme System, ZYMOX Topical Cream and Spray to prevent and manage skin infections, and ZYMOX Ear Solution for infected ears, which is formulated  with hydrocortisone for added inflammation relief. The company also has a formula without hydrocortisone for pets sensitive to it.


The natural ingredients trend will continue to grow as pet parents realize its potential.


“Innovative alternatives to antibiotics for infection relief will also be on the rise due to increased resistance to conventional pharmaceutical treatments,” Archetti says. “Natural enzymes will continue to show effectiveness against infectious microbes and will remain a gold standard for natural antimicrobial relief.”


Easy to Take

Dogs love treats, so manufacturers are developing supplements in soft chews or other treat forms. For example, at H&C Animal Health in Parker, Colo., the most popular supplement, ActivPhy Joint, is veterinarian recommended and helps support normal mobility. ActivPhy contains glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), creatine, turmeric, omega-3s and blue green algae extract, which the company says supports the body’s normal anti-inflammatory response while providing antioxidants. ActivPhy is available in Small Bites for dogs under 30 lbs., and in Regular Chews for dog over 30 lbs. The soft chews make the product more enjoyable for the dog than taking a pill or powder.


One new variation of supplements as treats comes from Tempe, Ariz.-based Vet Worthy. The company’s Vita-Freez supplements are liquid formulas that are packaged in blister cards in bone-shaped cavities. The pet parents put the package in the freezer, so when it’s time to give the dog the supplement, it’s in the form of a frozen, bone-shaped treat. “Every retailer we show it to loves it,” says Chuck Francis, president of Vet Worthy. The treats do not have to be frozen, so retailers can merchandise Vita-Freez on the shelf.


The new line includes Vita-Freez Joint Support with 500 mg glucosamine and also chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid (HA), and green lipped mussel, available in Early Care, Adult and Senior formulations; Vita-Freez Multi-Vitamins in Adult Multi + Energy and Senior Vitamin + Joint formulations; Vita-Freez Skin & Coat + Allergy with omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals; Vita-Freez Calming Aid with chamomile, tryptophan and l-theanine; and Vita-Freez Digestive Probiotics.


Checking the Dosage

Manufacturers say the amount of the beneficial ingredients is important to consumers. Nutri-Vet, a brand of MannaPro Pet, offers peanut butter Hip & Joint biscuits that provide 500 mg of glucosamine in one biscuit. “In a comparison to other functional treats on the market, a consumer would need to feed 20 to 300 treats per day to equal the dosage found in one Nutri-Vet biscuit,” says Mindi Tomey Brothers, director of marketing – pet for the Chesterfield, Mo. comapny. “Our concern is that consumers will try those products, not see results and abandon the category. Educating consumers on recommended dosage levels is critical to customer satisfaction and continued purchase of the category.” The Hip & Joint biscuit is the brand’s top-selling item.


The outlook for supplements in general is positive. “With pet ownership at an all-time high and more health-conscious pet parents, the supplement category is poised for continued growth,” Tomey Brothers says.  PB


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