Pet supplements and nutraceutical treats primarily comprises products for dogs and cats, but coverage also extends to horses and other types of companion animals including birds, small mammals, and herptiles (reptiles and amphibians). Specifically excluded are 1) pet foods marketed as complete and balanced diets, including those featuring novel ingredients such as glucosamine; and 2) supplements for fish, most of which are water treatment products to control algae, fungi, parasites, etc.
The market can be divided into two product categories:
- Supplements: The term “supplement” refers to products sold in traditional supplement forms, including pills, chewable tablets, powders, liquids and sprays. Within the equine classification, it also includes feed additives in pellet, granule, nugget and other extruded forms.
- Nutraceutical treats: “Nutraceutical treats” are defined as edible treats that contain supplements or novel botanical ingredients designed to address specific health conditions, such as glucosamine for joint health or omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Such products are available in traditional forms such as biscuits and jerky strips, as well as newer formats such as gravies, lick-off pastes, nutrition bars, and beverages. Most dental care treats—which function primarily by scraping the pet’s teeth—are not included in this definition, the exceptions being those primarily positioned on a functional ingredient or health benefit beyond mechanical teeth-cleaning. By this definition, dental care treats such as the original Greenies are excluded, while Greenies JointCare treats (which contain nutraceutical ingredients including green-lipped mussel, glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, and flaxseed) are included, as are products like Greenies SmartBiscuit and Pedigree Breathbusters treats, for which breath-freshening via botanical ingredients is the primary product thrust.