The recently released 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, which was conducted by The Engine Group and included a total of 9.206 responses from pet owners across the United States, reports that 70 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which is up from 67 percent reported in its previous survey. While the forecast is strong across every pet product category, the health segment is seeing a significant amount of growth.
Pet health and wellness has taken a giant leap over the past couple of years, with several factors playing a role in this change. With people treating their pets like family members, the pet industry continues to see a rise in premium products and services. An example of this is the popularity of the bSerene collection from Scientia Pet. The line includes a calming diffuser and spray designed to improve the lives of cats by offering drug-free stress relief through calming pheromones that mimic the feel-good signals cats naturally produce to feel safe.
According to Scientia Pet, research shows the feline facial pheromone can also reduce tension in multi-cat households. In addition, consumers are reporting that the diffuser and spray improve a cat’s mood and alleviate anxious behaviors, including furniture scratching and urinating outside the litter box.
Pet parents are growing increasingly concerned about the health of their pets, and they’re willing to spend money to maximize the health of their companion animals. As pet ownership continues to increase, we can expect the health sector of the pet industry to grow with it.
The global pet supplement industry is set to reach $1 billion by 2027, according to an analysis by Grand View Research, a market research and consulting company headquartered in San Francisco. Grand View Research points to growing awareness regarding the daily maintenance of pet health as one of the key factors driving the market, with such brands as Nestle Purina, VetriScience, Ark Naturals, Zoetis and Bayer as being key players in the global market.
In analyzing the brands and products that play a major role in the pet health sector, it becomes obvious that it is as complex as the health issues being targeted. Among popular supplements are those designed to manage anxiety, improve the immune system, reduce the risk of digestion problems and enhance the skin and coat health.
“Overall, pet supplements are following the trend in human health and the desire to live healthier lives,” said Derek Archambault, vice president of marketing for FoodScience Corporation, the Vermont-based company responsible for several brands, including VetriScience, which last year launched its Golden Years line. “Humans see their pets as part of the family and want to see them live healthier and longer lives too. In particular, ASPCA says that 50 percent of all companion animals suffer from some behavioral issues. And we know that 70 percent of pet owners are going online to self-diagnose and looking for solutions to their pets’ behaviors.”
Archambault points to a June 2021 article from Auburn University that has coined the term “Generation P” for dogs adopted during the pandemic. With dog owners talking to their veterinarian or dog trainer about helping their Generation P dog adjust to being home alone and avoid potential behavior issues, FoodScience recommends Composure Long Lasting as a product that retailers should be getting in front of customers who suspect their dog may have separation anxiety when the home routine changes.
“The pandemic has had an impact on pet behavior as many pet parents have been working from home with their new dog or cat that they got since the start of the pandemic,” he explained. “These pets have only known their owners to be around all of the time. As things reopen and pet owners begin to leave their dogs when they return to the office they will be looking for solutions like supplements that address separation anxiety so their pup can feel at ease and relaxed throughout the day.”
Wapiti Labs, a Minnesota-based producer of elk velvet antler supplements, says that elk has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The company describes elk velvet antler as “nature’s perfect supplement.”
“Our Elk Velvet Antler supplements are a whole-body supplement for dogs and cats with several options to choose from,” said Bridget Titterud, marketing director at Wapiti Labs. “All of our products are NASC [National Animal Supplement Council] certified for quality and assurance. Benefits of our Mobility supplements include support of the hips, joints, liver, kidneys and the immune system. We use a proprietary process that ensures key organic compounds and elements from the elk velvet antler and herbal ingredients remain intact, making our supplements the most innovative you will find on the market. We also offer Chest, GI Tract, Recuperate, Strength and antler chews options.”
The company is proud to have earned certification from the NASC, and it ensures retailers and customers that Wapiti Labs doesn’t “put anything in there that doesn’t have a reason.” In addition, Wapiti Labs’ natural pet supplements are endorsed, recommended and distributed by veterinarians practicing both Eastern and Western herbal medicine.
Since launching in 2009, the Vetericyn brand has become a household name thanks to its wound care products for pets and livestock. Its team has been passionate about using innovation and cutting-edge technology to produce the safest, most effective products in animal health and wellness. The pet wellness brand introduced ALL-IN, a complete dog supplement powered by one-of-a-kind absorption technology. Vetericyn partnered with A.S. Narain Naidu, PhD, FACN, FLS, a medical microbiologist/ immunologist with more than 35 years of research expertise, to advance the area of dog supplements utilizing his breakthrough technology and background on bioactive molecules.
Backed by eight patents, Vetericyn’s ALL-IN is a clinically proven, life-stage dog supplement that combines a proprietary delivery system that gets ingredients absorbed into the cells. According to Vetericyn, ALL-IN is the only supplement for dogs that combines age-specific, patented complexes with a protein-based system to transport its vital ingredients throughout the body. Packed with vitamins, minerals, omegas and prebiotics, ALL-IN contains the essential building blocks dogs need at their particular life stage to promote digestive, cellular, bone, mental and immune health.
Human health and wellness platform rē•spin, founded by Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, recently partnered with pet wellness brand HAPPYBOND to create a line of elixirs for dogs. Berry says she shares a deep love for wellness and pets with Anja Skodda, CEO of HAPPYBOND, which led the two female entrepreneurs to collaborate on the pet products line, which is called HAPPYBOND x rē•spin.
“This line really is the joint vision between both brands and our parallel missions, so it’s only fitting that it’s called the HAPPYBOND x rē•spin collection,” Berry said. “We were able to seamlessly align our belief systems to create a line of high-quality elixirs that help to tackle some common issues faced by our pets. I believe that our pets are members of our families, and we provide love and care for our families – whether it’s our children, siblings or parents — without a second thought. The market is full of health and wellness products for humans, but our pets are often left out of the conversation. I wanted to find a way to bring them back in. As extensions of our families, their well-being deserves to be prioritized so that they can live long, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.”
During the development of the pet line, Berry was intent on making sure that the products align with two of rē•spin’s core pillars: nourish and strengthen. Berry notes that her own dogs were inspirational on her entering the pet product market. In fact, they played a large role in the formation of the product line, which tackles the issues of digestion (Tum Tamer), immune support (Be Well) and skin/coat (Shine On).
“I thought about my dogs throughout the entire process,” she explained. “I wanted to ensure that there were products available that got to the root of their issues. As humans, we have endless options available to us when facing health woes… yet when our animals go through discomfort, they do so without access to all the medicines and treatments we benefit from. It’s great to know that we can find solutions for our pets when they’re suffering through common issues without them having to just soldier on without relief.”
Best known for its Brushless Toothpaste dental chews, Ark Naturals has been a leader in pet supplements, health and wellness products. The brand designs a variety of natural remedies that protect dogs and cats from tooth to tail, including oral care, joint relief, skin and coat remedies, cognitive function, calming, digestion, and overall wellness.
Since being founded in 1996 by Jay and Susan Weiss, the company’s mission has been to provide natural products to care for pets between vet visits. Ark Naturals boasts of an advisory board that includes Dr. Nancy Scanlan, DVM, a leading holistic veterinarian, and Dr. C. Leigh Broadhurst, Ph.D, a scientific advisor and nutrition expert to help formulate its products.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) released its COVID-19 Pulse Study: Pet Ownership During the Pandemic during Global Pet Expo Digital Access. The market research report revealed some insights into consumer attitudes during the pandemic, including data that shows 35 percent of dog owners and 31 percent of cat owners purchased some type of CBD product for their pet during the past 12 months.
Without question, the fastest-growing pet supplement category is CBD. According to data found on Exploding Topics, searches for “CBD for dogs” are up 42 percent just over the last 2 years (July 31, 2019 to July 19, 2021). To further support the notion that pet CBD continues to grow in popularity, “The Pet Trends to Watch for 2021,” a December 2020 blog post on the Martha Stewart website, included the following comment from Phillip Cooper, president of Pet Industry Expert: “CBD use for pets is still a very fast-growing trend. Many CBD firms are now launching CBD treats touted as a treatment for many ailments.”
Indeed, this growing popularity has the pet CBD sector resembling sardines in a can. Brands are doing what they can to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Earlier this year, Canopy Growth launched SurityPro, a portfolio of science-backed, broad-spectrum CBD products that carry the NASC Quality Seal. SurityPro is scientifically formulated to deliver carefully controlled CBD content for customized daily use in dogs of all sizes. Canopy Growth calls SurityPro the “new generation of advanced pet specialty CBD product for dogs to support calm behavior, joint health and flexibility, healthy aging and an enhanced overall mental well-being.”
In addition to SurityPro, Canopy Growth recently partnered with Martha Stewart to launch another line of CBD products for pets that includes CBD oil drops and savory soft-baked chews for dogs formulated with premium hemp-derived, broad-spectrum CBD. The flavors, created by Martha Stewart, include chicken and cranberry, chicken and blueberry and chicken and blueberry + anise, as well as chicken-flavored wellness drops.
To ensure all products meet the highest quality standards, Canopy Growth continues to work closely with the veterinary and academic community, regulatory authorities and leading scientists. The company’s research team conducted two recent studies that signify important research on the topic of CBD use in pets.
According to Canopy Growth, its 28-day study in dogs is a step towards better understanding the long-term impact of daily CBD use and how it interacts in the canine body, while a feline study is just the beginning of Canopy Growth’s work in understanding CBD use in cats. The completion of these studies demonstrates Canopy Growth’s continued commitment to CBD science and industry-leading investment into research.
“While cannabinoids, particularly CBD, are of growing veterinary research interest, there is a lack of data, especially in cats,” said Dr. Justyna Kulpa, PhD, senior scientist at Canopy Growth, of the objective and importance of the two studies. “We sought to address relevant research gaps through well-designed blinded and placebo-controlled studies. The results lend to our continued exploration of the potential therapeutic applications of CBD in companion animals.”
“Both of the most recently completed studies are trailblazing in the field of veterinary CBD research,” said Robert Menardi, DVM, director of veterinary educational and technical services at Canopy Growth. “We are confident this and subsequent research will provide valuable knowledge for the veterinary community and consumers.”
Another brand dedicating its efforts on cats is Treatibles, a pioneer in creating full-spectrum CBD products for pets since 2013. The brand recently launched its Treatibles Soft Chewables to benefit senior cats and those felines that prefer a softer consistency. According to Treatibles, hemp-derived CBD can improve the life of cats experiencing anxiety, joint discomfort, mobility issues, digestive upset and other issues.
Offering specific formulas for dogs, cats and horses, the company third-party lab tests its products for cannabinoid content and to rule out pesticides, heavy metals and biocontaminants. Additionally, final products are tested to ensure consistency and potency.
Kadenwood, a leading consumer seed-to-shelf CBD company and the largest vertically integrated supplier of CBD in the country, last October launched Purity Preferred, which was created with canine and feline well-being at the forefront of the development process.
Purity Preferred owns and operates hemp farms and greenhouses in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland and West Virginia. This allows the company to research new farming techniques and technologies without jeopardizing quality and reliability. The brand’s first two benefit-focused products, Purity Preferred Calming CBD oil drops and Purity Preferred Hip & Joint CBD oil drops, are formulated using a blend of Kadenwood’s proprietary broad-spectrum CBD oil along with krill oil and moringa oil, both which are active anti-inflammatory ingredients. In addition, Krill oil can improve short- and long-term cognitive ability for further support, while moringa oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress to help promote optimal health.
Purity Preferred Hip & Joint CBD oils also feature copaiba, an essential oil that has proven beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent to help reduce symptoms of arthritis. The brand is driven by the belief that, when it comes to CBD, potency is key. The two benefit-focused formulations are available in a range of potencies, allowing pet owners to select a product to suit their needs based on the size of the pet. According to Kadenwood, the company supports its products with industry-leading investments, including national television, and drives retailer traffic through unparalleled trade and retailer support.
CBD Living is an international, world-class company that was formed by a team of global scientists, business minds and thought leaders. With a portfolio of more than 100 CBD products, CBD Living utilizes three different delivery systems for the absorption of CBD. In addition to CBD, the brand’s products also include important nutrients needed to promote an overall healthy pet in its mission to target the reason why a pet may be anxious or in pain.
According to Bill Disegna, founder and CEO of CBD Living Pet, the company sources its raw ingredients from reputable dietary suppliers locally in the United States. To guarantee product safety, all materials and finished products are tested by third-party labs for potency, microbiological contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals and residual solvents.
Heading into its seventh year, Seattle-based Austin and Kat is relaunching their flagship classic CBD chews and tincture collection. As one of the first-to-market in 2014, Austin and Kat is continuing to set the standard for innovative pet wellness products with their relaunch of their classic collection using an evolved ingredient profile based on the latest science and natural remedies.
The classic chews are still made with Kat’s original recipe developed in 2014, but now are produced in a softer format scored for easy portioning. The biggest step forward has been to formulate the products with CBD-rich hemp from Treehouse Biotech for a more effective, contaminant-free product.
“Treehouse has allowed me to improve the quality to something unattainable even a few years ago,” said Kat Donatello, Austin and Kat’s founder. “They are the first NASC-approved and USDA-organic certified hemp extractor and provide premium CBD with over 11 different detectable cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN and CBC and terpenes. It’s amazing to see the difference.
Austin and Kat’s classic tinctures now feature the powerful antioxidant CoQ10 from Kaneka combined with a full-spectrum black pepper extract to prolong the effects of CBD and encourage the entourage effect. Additionally, all strengths of tinctures now include optimized carrier oils like hempseed as the Omega-3 fatty acids are key to unlocking the long-term benefits of CBD.
Pet Releaf, the market-leading CBD hemp health brand for pets, controls its entire manufacturing process from seed to sale, from plant to pet. The first pet brand to receive program certifications from the three most trusted organizations in their respective industries – NASC, U.S. Hemp Authority, and USDA Organic – Pet Releaf is involved in every step when it comes to the organic farming process to the CO2 extraction and production facilities. Its hemp is sourced from USDA Certified Organic Hemp Farms in the United States. Pet Releaf also goes through third-party laboratory testing monthly to ensure product quality and potency.
“As we’ve pursued our mission to change what healthy means for pets, we’re proud of the recognition, awards and certifications our products have earned throughout the industry,” said Stephen Smith, co-founder and president at Pet Releaf. “These credentials further validate the Pet Releaf difference and enables consumers to make safe and empowered purchasing decisions for their beloved pets.”
While dogs and cats are atop the list of pets that can benefit from CBD products, brands are not limiting themselves to those two sectors. Pet Releaf recently debuted its first CBD product line designed specifically for horses suffering from joint pain and other ailments. Equine Releaf was designed specifically for horses because of the added complications they often endure given their larger size and heavy weight.
“With [Equine Releaf], we are expanding our mission to change what healthy means for pets by extending our effort into the farm and feed market,” said Steve Smith, co-founder and president of Pet Releaf.
Founded in 2014, NuLeaf Naturals has been committed to creating the world’s highest quality CBD products in their most pure and potent form. With over 1600+ retail partners across the United States, NuLeaf Naturals is a market leader in the production and distribution of premium cannabinoid wellness products. Its organic hemp plants are grown in Colorado with pristine Rocky Mountain water and harvested at peak perfection. NuLeaf Naturals controls the entire farming and production process from seed to shelf to guarantee its full-spectrum cannabinoid extracts contain no additives and the only ingredient is organic hemp.
“At NuLeaf Naturals, we believe pets are members of the family and deserve the same premium quality CBD products,” said Christian Chambers, sales director of NuLeaf Naturals. “As a natural alternative, CBD may help keep your pet calm and relaxed, promote healthy hips and joints, and skin and coat health. When you give your pets NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil, you can rest assured it is safe, consistent and effective.”
Washington-based Holistic Hound is known for its acclaimed line of organic, full-spectrum hemp and mushroom supplements with CBD. Since Heidi Hill launched Holistic Hound in 2003, the brand has taken pride in the quality of its supplements, as evidenced in its adherence to NASC’s strict quality control guidelines and third-party testing for purity and potency.
Holistic Hound’s premium line of CBD and CBG oils, bites and chews, mushroom powder and balms are designed to provide holistic health and therapeutic wellness throughout all life stages for both cats and dogs. Its U.S.-made products are distributed via wholesale to neighborhood pet stores nationwide.
Built and run by pharmacists and scientists, Farmer and Chemist was founded by Dr. Doug Burgoyne, PharmD, FAMCP, and Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA, to provide a high-quality product and experience for patients using CBD. Known for such human products as Problem Salved and Lickety Split to treat inflamed muscles, joint pain, chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety, the brand can trace its products back to the source plants it was derived from.
In the pet CBD sector, Farmer & Chemist produces RUFF DAYZ, beef-flavored chews that have shown to help relieve anxiety, pain and even nausea. The brand’s extraction process utilizes the entire plant for a broad-spectrum oil, containing all phytocannabinoids and terpenes naturally found in hemp.
The latest newcomer to the pet CBD market is Cooper & Cosmo, which launched this past June. According to founder Natascha Verhaert, after 23 million American households acquired a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of pet fear and anxiety are now up 25 percent with approximately 60 percent of pet owners concerned about pet separation anxiety once their new work schedules begin. In response to this, Cooper & Cosmo offers pet parents the solution of premium-quality CBD and other functional ingredients to support their pets’ emotional balance and help them cope with fear and anxiety.
What sets Cooper & Cosmo apart is its focus on animals as individuals and as a whole. The brand’s products are recommended by veterinarians and other experts as part of a holistic approach to pet care that includes such things as nutrition, lifestyle and emotional well-being. They are also designed to address the specific needs of cats and dogs in different circumstances and at different stages of their lives. Supporting calmness and emotional balance in puppies and kittens, for example, while helping to strengthen mobility, digestion and immune system in their senior years. The product line is also backed by a range of fun training exercises, practical health tips and tailored advice that empowers pet parents to adopt an integrated approach to caring for their pets.
“The pet industry is evolving from a more functional product approach to a lifestyle approach to pet well-being, where brands have a new role to fulfill as health coach instead of a label on a product,” she said. “As a female entrepreneur, immigrant, marketer, dog mom and passionate pet lover dedicated to support pet parents who adopted a pet during pandemic and coping with pet separation anxiety, I hope my story inspires others too.”