65 May 2017 Pet Product News International
Joey Herrick, founder and president of
Lucy Pet Products in Thousand Oaks,
Calif., said that the basics of human digestive health is a good place to start when
getting up to speed on canine digestion.
For example, it might be useful to read
articles on gut health for people, as many
of these same principles apply to dogs.
While most people are already
humanizing their pets in many ways
and making the correlation between
human gut health and pet gut health,
Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey
Pets in Dallas, said that it doesn’t hurt to
remind pet owners that they should be
paying attention to their dogs’ digestive
health just as they are their own.
“My tagline that I use on people
when selling probiotics is ‘I use a probiotic, so why shouldn’t my dog benefit
from one, too?’” Redwine said.
George C. Fahey Jr., Ph.D., professor
emeritus of animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
helped create Lucy Pet P.B.F. Prebiotic
Balanced Fiber technology, which is
found in Lucy Pet Products’ recent food
introduction. He pointed out that the gut
is the largest immune organ of the body.
“As such, nearly everything related
to dog health is impacted by the
health of the gut,” he said. “It is critical
that the gut remain healthy if all other
organ systems are to operate in an
“Dogs should eat high-quality foods
that address their nutrient require-
ments, immunological status and their
microbiota profile,” Dr. Fahey said. “If
all three are working in concert, we
would expect the dog to be in excellent
health most of the time, and to be more
effective at warding off outside insults
that will result in disease.”
If customers come in talking about
digestive health, there is a lot of oppor-
tunity to discuss diet and potential food
issues. When talking to customers, Lucy
Postins, CEO of The Honest Kitchen
in San Diego, said it can be helpful for
retailers to point out the signs of food
intolerance and how food sensitivities
can manifest as gastrointestinal upset.
Dogs’ digestive issues are sometimes related to dogs not drinking
enough water, said Jim Reimann,
brand manager for American Pet
Nutrition in Ogden, Utah. There is an
opportunity for retailers to educate
their customers on ways to help with
dehydration, which is a common
cause of constipation, he said.
“Retailers can continue to reinforce
the importance of always having a
bowl of clean water available to the
dog,” Reimann said. “They can also help
educate pet parents about alternative
ways to provide additional moisture to
a traditional dry kibble diet with either
canned food or a semimoist topper.”
ONSUMER EDUCATION INDUSTRY VOICES
What can retailers do to get shoppers to pay attention to dogs’ digestive health?
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