The Three Wellness Trends Revolutionizing the Pet Industry

Pet parents are seeking out products that are environmentally-friendly, contain ancient grains and include calming qualities.



Natural and specialty products continue to drive growth for the pet industry as pet parents extend their personal preferences for wellness into their product choices for their furry friends. Sales of conventional pet food and treats remained relatively stable over the past year, however, naturally positioned pet food and treats grew 25.7 percent and certified organic pet food and treats grew 15.8 percent as consumers increasingly seek to align the way they feed their pets to the way they feed themselves. Shoppers are looking for:

• Environmentally-friendly products—Consumers are concerned about their carbon footprint, and pet companies are addressing their concern with environmentally-and socially-conscious products. Brands like Skout’s Honor and West Paw are introducing nontoxic, biodegradable, eco-friendly products that do better for the planet. Another eco-friendly toy company, Spunky Pup, offers a craft collection of toys made with certified organic cotton and natural coconut husk fill. Companies like Bark Potty are even innovating waste management with the creation of a pee pad that can replace up to 60 pee pads due to its natural neutralization of unwanted odors.

• Inclusion of ancient grains—Pet parents are investing in higher-quality products with better ingredient profiles like ones that include ancient grains (defined as a grain that has not been changed over the last several hundred years) over refined grain products. Ancient grains are known to be higher in protein and often free of gluten. Hound and Gatos is a pet food brand that delivers animal protein and ingredients such as spelt, quinoa, blueberries and broccoli. Many ancient grains thrive in lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation, making them attractive to consumers who shop with their carbon footprint in mind.

• Possessing calming qualities—Pet companies are now bringing function forward. With anxiety being a top concern for pet parents, companies are innovating gels, chews and bars to aid in relaxation. Earth Animal’s Zen Pen claims to be a powerful transdermal whole-plant hemp extract gel easily administered through the ear. Thunder Wunder recently launched calming chews containing melatonin, chamomile and passionflower.

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