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The Pet Health Aid Market Sees Innovative New Offerings

Unconventional options and tracking aids are at the forefront of new products to help improve the well-being of pets.


PPN LLC at Furly's

One of the more dynamic product categories in the pet industry, the market for pet health aids frequently sees innovative new offerings, including those released at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., this March. In addition to improvements on older offerings, pet health products track developments on the human side of the industry, and many of the new products address a few primary concerns, including wound care, treatment of infection, calming solutions, health-tracking technology and general health and well-being.

Antibiotic Alternatives
When it comes to wound care, the trend is moving away from antibiotics and toward alternative options for pets.

“Overuse and abuse of antibiotics has spawned a generation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that no longer can be eradicated or neutralized by prescription,” said Dan McFadden, vice president of animal wellness for Oculus Innovative Sciences in Petaluma, Calif. “This is a serious health hazard globally.”

Oculus Innovative Sciences introduced its MicrocynAH advanced animal health care products line in January 2015, formulated with the original and proprietary Microcyn technology to treat wounds, skin conditions, and eye and ear irritations, McFadden said.

Microcyn technology was first developed for human use in the management of diabetic foot ulcers, stasis ulcers, lacerations, rashes, burns and more, and it is highly shelf stable up to 36 months and safe, he added.

“The use of the advanced MicrocynAH in wound, eye and ear care can reduce the need for these antibiotics,” McFadden said.

Similar to the development of prebiotics for humans, pets now have options to deal with intestinal imbalances. Tomlyn in Fort Worth, Texas, released Pre and Probiotic Supplements for dogs and cats at Global Pet Expo.

Prebiotics and probiotics can help pet owners improve their pets’ overall health, said Jim Spiezio, DVM, a veterinarian for Tomlyn. The products are formulated to help regulate the levels of beneficial bacteria in pets’ digestive tracts, where imbalances can occur due to antibiotic use, dietary issues and other related problems, Dr. Spiezio added.

Skin and Allergies
Treating paw, ear, and skin and coat issues with all-natural remedies is increasingly popular.

M Boutique International in Vero Beach, Fla., introduced Paw Therapy Cream at this year’s Global Pet Expo, said Dana Humphrey, a company spokesperson. The company developed it in conjunction with celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky, she added.

“It’s made with really high-quality, all-natural ingredients,” Humphrey said. “The cream is nontoxic, and M Boutique has been making people products for years.”

Pets’ ears are getting some love, too. Natural Paws’ newest product, EARoma thEARapy, is the first spray-able ear wash, said Elyse Horvath, founder and president of the Scottsdale, Ariz., company.

“EARoma thEARapy is strong enough to get those ears superclean using natural ingredients, and allows the ears to dry out quickly without the sting of alcohol,” Horvath said, adding that the product is easy to administer and includes aromatherapy.

“Natural Paws is excited to see the shift to holistic care of our pets,” Horvath said. “Seeing people look closely at what they are using on their pets—and themselves—is a great step toward a more global awareness about health.”

Health aids with gentle ingredients, and those that are eco-friendly, are in demand, said Lisa Burns, founder of Eye Envy Inc. in Torrance, Calif.

“The biggest shift in the types of [health aid] products being released is the quality of the ingredients, eco-friendly products, products that are environmentally friendly and products that do not contain harsh ingredients that can cause your pet harm,” she said.

Consumers specifically are looking for natural and organic ingredients that are safe, even if it means a product costs more, she said.

Calming Clamor
“It seems like everyone is looking for a calming solution,” Humphrey said.

Calm My Pet answered that call in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the introduction of a line of pet calming products, including essences, which can be applied directly to pets, and aromatherapy products, which are made from therapeutic essential oils, said Pamela Fisher, DVM, founder of the North Canton, Ohio, company.

“My program combines therapeutic music with custom formulated, fragrance-free emotional essences and organic aromatherapy topical sprays,” Dr. Fisher said. “Pet owners always are looking for easy-to-use, fast-acting organic products to support the well-being of their pets.”

Health Tracking Trends
Many pet industry players have seen the potential to leverage the human fitness tracker trend for the pet market.

Binatone, which has North American headquarters in Carmel, Ind., released the Motorola Scout 5000 at Global Pet Expo. The 5000 is a remote pet collar with a wide-angle camera and is not intended for small dogs, the company reported. The collar includes real-time GPS tracking, a remote HD video stream feature, a pedometer to monitor activity levels, bark detection and a push-to-talk function, the company stated. A 2500 model will be released to suit smaller dogs.

Also introduced at Global, Pod by Pod Trackers ANZ Pty Ltd., based in Lavender Bay, New South Wales, Australia, features GPS and a fitness tracker function, the company reported.

Rounding out the fitness tracking category, i4C Innovations Inc. in Chantilly, Va., introduced Voyce, a wearable band designed to track multiple fitness parameters and vital signs, at Global this year. The band can measure resting respiratory rate, resting heart rate and how much activity and calories a pet has burned, the company reported. It also can store a dog’s medical records, the company added.  

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Pet Product News

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