BY LINDSEY GETZ
There was a time when dog owners would assume that their dog just had gas and leave it at that. But manufacturers and retailers report that these days, dog owners are paying a lot
closer attention to their dogs’ digestive health and what they can do
to help improve it. A better understanding from pet owners and a
demand for more solutions continues to drive the market for products in this category.
“The days of just assuming the dog has gas and leaving it at that
are over,” said Heidi Nevala, president of Natura Petz Organics in
Minneapolis. “There is so much more emphasis on the digestive sys-
tem for humans that they’re paying more attention to it for their pets
as well. People know that the digestive system is directly related to so
many other things, including immune health, skin and coat, and just
a general re;ection of their well-being.;
Brad Gruber, president and COO of Health Extension Pet Care,
based in Deer Park, N. Y., also pointed out how pet owners are in-
creasingly making the connection between the foods their pets eat
and conditions associated with digestive problems.
“They are looking for products that prevent their pets from be-
ing sick and the complications that arise from poor digestive health,”
Gruber said, adding that pets need more support than what is pro-
vided by their food alone. “On occasion, we have to nourish digestive
health beyond food with supplements, such as probiotics and diges-
tive enzymes to address a pet getting sick or its digestion disrupted.”
In general, the term “probiotics” has become part of people’s ev-
eryday lexicon thanks to products for humans such as Dannon Activ-
ia yogurt, said Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets in Dallas.
She agreed that as more people become educated about their own
digestive health, they’re paying closer attention to that of their pets.
Patti Vincent, owner of Puppy Love Dog Store in Beaumont, Texas, said that she is seeing customers coming in with issues about their
dogs’ digestive health. She said she works closely with these customers to determine the best solution but that her go-to aid is goat’s milk
from Answers Pet Food, a liquid probiotic that she says takes care of
As interest in products related to dog digestive health grows, retailers
need to be ready to respond with information and solutions targeting a pet’s individual needs.
Pet owners are paying
attention to dogs’
digestive health, and
retailers can help them
by offering food and
supplements to address
“The days of just assuming the dog
has gas and leaving it at that are
over.”—Heidi Nevala of Natura Petz Organics