HEIDI HILL, co-founder of Holistic Hound in Berkeley, Calif.
CHANDA LEARY-COUTU, director of consumer experience for WellPet in Tewksbury, Mass.
GLENN A. NOVOTNY, president of Emerald Pet Products in Walnut Creek, Calif.
TODD ROWAN, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Bixbi Pet in Boulder, Colo.
BETH SOMMERS, president and chief merchandising officer for Pura Naturals Pet in Ardsley, N. Y.
PET PRODUCT NEWS: “Natural” is a broad term.
How does your company define natural as it relates
to pet products?
Heidi Hill: At Holistic Hound, our mission as
both a retailer and manufacturer of “natu-
ral” products is to support the health, well-
ness and longevity of our animal compan-
ions through supportive modalities. For us,
that means whole, real foods, and supple-
ments that feed the whole body instead of
isolating a symptom and do not stimulate
or suppress body functions by synthetic or
chemical means. We aim to help pet own-
ers nourish their pets in a way that is spe-
cies appropriate and bioavailable so that
they can thrive, not just survive. Getting as
close to nature with diet is the essence of
“natural” for us.
Chanda Leary-Coutu: To us, the definition is
simple—“natural” means real ingredients
without any fillers. This means you’ll never
find artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in Wellness Natural Pet Food recipes.
Instead, you’ll see high-quality proteins
like duck, lamb and turkey as the very first
ingredient in our recipes, balanced with
nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and super-
foods like broccoli, kale and flaxseed—in-
gredients you know and recognize, often
from your own diet.
Glenn Novotny: At Emerald Pet, we define
“natural” starting at the ingredient level.
Every ingredient we use must meet strict
natural requirements with statement of
proof that it is absent of any synthetic processes during manufacturing.
Ingredients are key to defining what
qualifies as a natural pet product,
according to manufacturers.