Manufacturing pet supplements within the UK, Supplement Factory recognize that quite often, pets are treated as a family member. Often partaking in family activities, gifted treats and toys, as well as being showered with adoration. But why don’t more people provide pet supplements with essential vitamins, minerals and ingredients to support their growth?
Most people are tricked into believing that their pet’s food contains all the nutrients an animal needs, but is this true?
History Of Pets
Pets have been the faithful friends of the human population for tens of thousands of years and the bond between pet and man is stronger than ever. In America, around 78 million dogs and 85 million cats are owned by people nationwide. This is followed by 14 million birds, 12 million small mammals and 9 million reptiles in the USA alone. It is thought that only the wealthy had pets to begin with, to show that they had money and time to keep pets. It is thought that the rich would keep baby animals for their own amusement and when grown up, less cute and unrulier were thrown back into the wild or even eaten.
In more recent decades, pets are often thought of as children, with their own personalities that are broadcast across social media platforms, watched by millions. But are their diets as rich in nutrients as we think? If we look at it from a human perspective, is every meal you eat healthy and balanced? Even the most health conscious don’t meet the recommended nutrient intake for every meal. Many of us take a form of supplement to fill in any potential gaps to ensure the body stays healthy.
Much like people, variety is the key to a healthy diet for dogs and cats also. If your pet is eating a commercially prepared food all week long as it is convenient and cheaper for you, most nutrient needs are met but not all of them. Adding a vitamin and mineral supplement is a fantastic way, much like humans, for ensuring the extra nutrients are absorbed to keep a furry family member healthy. Vitamin-rich pet supplements can help support brain, heart, eye, kidney and liver functions, as well as minerals and antioxidants benefiting the skin, coat and overall health.
Human & Pet diet crossover trends
As in human diets, the crossover trends are usually a preference towards all- natural and organic pet supplements, as well as relieving an ageing population and a rise in pet obesity.
Dogs now have an average lifespan of 10-12 years, however, cats are living to be around 17-18 years or older. A third of the USA’s cat population is currently over 7 years old and in these senior animals, joint pain and arthritis are a very common sign of ageing. Much like a human supplement would, pet supplements for joint relief in animals contain functional ingredients such as DHA, Vitamin C and glucosamine.
Glucosamine is a natural substance found within the body of both humans and animals, with the highest concentrations found within the joints and cartilage. As pets age, the production of glucosamine slows, causing pain and stiffness within the joints. Providing a pet with a glucosamine supplement can help support to the production of glucosamine and restore activity levels. As most families are willing to sacrifice more to help pets live longer and stay their usual selves, glucosamine capsules are a sure-fire way of providing relief to pets, much like humans with arthritis.
Issues facing the pet supplement category
The pet supplement market’s biggest challenge is the much higher sales growth of nutraceutical treats such as biscuits and soft chews designed to be more enjoyable for the pet rather than attempting to make a pet swallow tablets or capsules and absorbing the benefits. However, new alternatives are entering the supplement market in the form of powders, liquids and pastes that can be placed into the food, water or onto treats to be consumed. This has an additional benefit of being suitable for more types of pets, as the owner has the power to customise the dosage given based on the size and needs of the pet.
Organic pet supplements almost doubled worldwide between 2008 and 2014, rising from 6% to 11%. It is estimated that by 2020 this number will rise by a further 25%.
Global Pet Dietary Supplements Market
Global Pet Dietary Supplements Market 2016-2020 states, ” development of age-related health issues will be a key driver for market growth. As pets age, their memory, ability to learn, and the functioning of sensory organs tend to decline. With advancing age, most pets also become obese, and their health deteriorates. For instance, as dog’s age, their metabolism changes and the need for calories decreases. Due to metabolic changes, dogs tend to put on weight, which leads to diabetes; damage of joints, bones, and ligaments; heart disease; increased blood pressure; decreased liver function; digestive disorders; and other related issues.”
In 2014, one-third of the world’s pets were provided with a dietary supplement, whether through vet advice or purchased from retail stores and the concern for animal welfare remains strong with pet owners.