PET BUSINESS: How prevalent are ear and skin problems in pets today? How do products like Zymox address these problems?
NAOMI KIRBY: The Zymox line addresses the most common health issues of dogs and cats: ear infections, skin allergies and hot spots. The pet owner struggling to find relief for their pet will often be frustrated as the recurrence of these conditions is typically high. The need to find effective alternatives to ineffective antibiotics becomes a quest.
PB: Two years ago, Pet King Brands began offering its ear and skin care products through pet stores—before, they were only available through veterinarians. What prompted you to increase the availability of your products?
KIRBY: The demand for antibiotic alternatives is the key reason we expanded into the retail segment. Zymox products never needed a prescription. This made it easy to offer these highly effective, simple-to-use products to the consumer to help animals suffering with dermatology complications.
PB: Earlier this year, Pet King Brands introduced a line of oral care products. What made you get into this category? How do Zymox oral care products differ from other products on the market?
KIRBY: The Zymox oral care line was introduced to the retail market because we knew we could fill a niche no one else could, and that was to provide oral care products that were truly brushless, easy to use, ideal for daily use but also provide a therapeutic benefit for the pets with special health needs.
The enzymatic formulation of the oral care line contains two completeenzyme systems: The LP3 Enzyme System, which inhibits odor-causing bacteria PLUS the MD2 Enzyme System, which works to make plaque biofilm water soluble and unable to bind to the tooth surface.
The therapeutic benefits reside in the LP3 Enzyme System as they selectively target microbes, regardless if bacterial, fungal or yeast, and helps to help restore oral flora. This formulation is steeped in over 30 years of history. A pet’s saliva may become compromised as a result of age or disease, such as diabetes, and even the side effects of commonly prescribed medications. This results in a need for a change in oral care.
PB: What do retailers need to do in order to be effective at helping pet owners to solve their pet’s skin, ear and oral problems? How can they be more effective at selling solutions such as those offered by Pet King Brands?
KIRBY: There are several things retailers can do, such as strategic placing of product near high-traffic areas, as well as utilizing the displays offered by Pet King Brands, which can work as silent salesmen. The key to building stronger sales will be in doing what retailers do best, and that is to engage with the pet owner to discover the many health needs of their animals. Ear and skin infections are so common; so are allergies and the complications that arise due to allergies. The pet with special needs is also becoming very common, with many pets developing health issues as a result of aging, obesity or even genetics. It’s through the dialogue that the retailer can then make suggestions and share new options.
PB: What does the future hold for the skin, ear and oral care categories? What does the future hold for Pet King Brands as a company?
KIRBY: Ideally, more manufacturers will be researching alternatives for antibiotics for ear and skin infections, as resistance from overuse has become such a wide spread problem. In the coming year, Pet King Brands will be developing enzymatic antimicrobial products for large animals.