Start-up Birdnip launches nootropic supplement… for dogs

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Start-up Birdnip launches nootropic supplement… for dogs

Related tags Cognitive health Psychology

With powdered Bacopa monneri, Rhodiola rosea, shiitake mushroom, kelp, carrot and beet, start-up Birdnip wants to improve cognitive function in dogs with its debut product Nootrodog. But will a nootropic supplement for our four-legged friends have legs?

It’s still too early to tell, as the company is still in its early stages and just launched its product this year. But according to founder and CEO Michael Galvez, “consumers know that what they give their animals has a direct effect on their health and happiness,” ​he told NutraIngredients-USA.

His product launch rides on the wave of interest in ‘biohacking’ the human body—a trendy term for nutrigenomics—which, internet search data suggests, is in an upward trajectory in popularity the past six years.

Nootrodog is formulated to “increase your dog’s memory, promote mental clarity, and strengthen overall cognitive health,” ​according to the company.

Available on Birdnip’s website​, the powder supplement, meant to be mixed in with a dog’s food, is sold directly to consumers. They come in three different sized pouches depending on dog size (0-30 lbs, 30-70 lbs, and 70lbs+), ranging in price from $25.55 to $49 per pouch.

Is there science backing it?

Bacopa monneri, featured in Nootrodog, is a popular ingredient used in human supplements designed for cognitive health, mainly because of the scientific literature supporting its potential benefits, such as two scientific reviews published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology​ in 2014 and Complementary Therapies in Medicine​ in 2016.

While Birdnip is transparent with what ingredients go into the final product (“No other ingredients are included other than what is listed,”​ Galvez said) and includes abstracts of peer-reviewed articles on the potential cognitive benefits of each ingredient, all of the studies had either human or rodent participants.

“There is currently no clinical-level research specifically on dogs, ​[but] human grade nutrition is increasingly being found to be extremely beneficial to canines. This is why you see more and more human-grade food options available for dogs,”​ Galvez argued. “What we know and are learning to be beneficial to us as humans, is directly translating to our dogs.”

“At the moment we have not conducted any in-house clinical trials, but this is definitely in the pipeline. It stands to be the first study of its kind in this space,”​ he added.

A focus on canine health

Galvez, the only full-time employee at Birdnip, has previously worked for Soylent, and has worked in smaller startup companies around Los Angeles and Austin. He hopes that Nootrodog will set the tone of what Birdnip is as a company—one that focuses on canine health—and steer the direction of what future product launches will be.

“Nootrodog is a product that plants our flag in the industry as who we are and what we believe—a forward thinking, science-based company with an eye to the future,”​ he said. “While the tech industry races to build advanced A.I and robotics; we believe our greatest future is only going to be possible right alongside our four-legged friends,” ​he said.

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