More pet owners are searching for proactive pet health management, experts say
Pet ownership soared during the pandemic and pet parents became attuned to the health of their canine and feline companions.
Indeed, a recent survey by Kerry found that more than a quarter of dog and cat owners in the US are now more concerned about the health of their pets than they were before the epidemic.
“The growth of the pet supplements market has held steady [since the end of the pandemic] and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2022-2030, making this a $3.2 billion market,” Rob Brewster, President, Ingredients by Nature, told us. “Within the last 12 months, we've seen increased requests for pet supplements fortified with probiotics.”
And pet owners no longer just rely on veterinarians for information about their pet's health, said Dr Ariati Aris, Scientific Affairs Specialist, Malaysia-based PhytoGaia, but they are also looking at other options such as consulting websites that promote pet wellness and utilizing information from reliable people or organizations that regularly provide services to their animals, such as retail pet food suppliers.
“During the pandemic, spending more time at home also meant more engagements with pets, which boosted the trend of pet humanization,” said Dr Aris. “This situation has continued, and more pet owners are now searching for proactive pet health management.”
Going back to that 2020 Kerry report, among the big trends observed were immunity, digestive health, and stress management. Immune support continues to attract attention, said Dr Aris, but IBN’s Brewster said his company has not had much interest in supplements for stress or anxiety.
“Over the past 12 months, it's really been focused on pre and probiotics, saponins and our natural green coloring agent, Vitala,” he said.
IBN offers prebiotic short-chain fructooligosaccharides (sc-FOS) branded GOFOS, and 21 different strains under its Brewster Probiotics range, including Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli, and others.
Prebiotics and probiotics can offer both digestive and immune benefits (and more), and Dr Aris said that, in addition to immune support and gut health, PhytoGaia has observed a growing interest in healthy skin and coat.
“Obviously, concerned owners wanted to strengthen their pets’ health as much as their own,” said Dr Aris.
PhytoGaia offers a fat-soluble palm phytonutrient complex called PetGaia consisting of full spectrum tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-), alpha-tocopherol as well as plant squalene and phytosterols which is naturally extracted and concentrated from sustainably-sourced crude palm oil, without the use of solvent and chemical.
“It is first of its kind in the market with a natural complex of tocotrienols, tocopherol, plant squalene and phytosterols,” explained Dr Aris.
“Due to its capacity to revive and energize cells, this antioxidant combination (tocotrienols + squalene) will encourage the creation of new skin cells and strengthen the immune system. It benefits for pets including cats, dogs and rabbits by promoting healthy skin and vivid fur.”
The ingredient is already found in finished products in the US market, including soft shews and liquids, and chews continue to lead the way for much of the market, said IBN’s Brewster.
“We have formulated hundreds of products geared toward pet health, and the most commonly requested format has been chewables. However, we have seen more powder requests and toppers for kibble,” he said.
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