Understanding Natural Product Categories
More and more pet owners are seeking natural products to support their pet’s health and well-being. They want access to the same quality of food, nutrition, supplements, vitamins and natural products they seek out for themselves. Vets, pet health professionals, and pet stores are moving towards natural options and an integrated approach to answer this need.
In Australia there are an estimated eight million pet owners, primarily of cats and dogs, which means Australia has one of the highest domestic animal ownership rates in the world. And we know Australian pet owners are wanting the best for their pets as $12 billion is spent each year on food, grooming, vets and insurance for their furry friends.
As we look more and more towards natural products to enhance the well-being and longevity of our beloved pets, it is beneficial to understand the difference between natural product categories:
Nutrition: a high-quality and well-balanced diet is the foundation for health, it’s the simplest and best way to deliver essential nutrients to the body, such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Nutraceuticals: the term, blending “nutrients” and “pharmaceuticals”, coined to refer to foods used as medicine, e.g. Turmeric used as an anti-inflammatory.
Vitamins and supplements: used when there is a deficiency or relative deficiency, that isn’t being met by diet, can include common vitamins such as C, and minerals such as calcium. Supplements can support the organs and body tissues, aid detoxification and give energy to assist the healing process.
Herbal medicine: medicine made from whole plants or parts thereof, can be tablet or capsule, liquid or topical. Today’s pharmaceuticals evolved from herbal medicine, taking actives but ignoring the nutrients and complementary ingredients included in herbal products.
Homeopathics: based on the idea that “like cures like”, to work on the deepest constitutional causes of illness. They do not mask or suppress symptoms, but homeopathic treatments trigger an internal self-healing response.
These natural options can come in different formats, including: liquids, pills, chewables, sprinkles and powders, plus some topical applications. Liquid drops have the advantage they can be added to chewables, sprinkles, neutral pills, powders, bedding, food and water, making them incredibly flexible.
Natural medicine for pets is gaining momentum thanks to scientific investigation and clinical studies that prove its efficacy.