The nutraceuticals pet food industry is presently worth about $5 billion based on research conducted by
Mordor Intelligence published in Jan. 2016. The main reasons cited for the growing trend is favourable
consumer acceptance of quality nutraceutical ingredients and a demographic that is increasingly better
informed about health benefits of quality nutraceutical ingredients. People want to keep their pet
healthy, and not just treat ailments after they happen. Nutraceutical are often used as both
preventative and as part of a treatment program. Common ailments in pet include obesity, joint disease,
skin and hair problems, oral health concerns and cancer. There are literally hundreds of different
ingredients that are capable of exerting some type of health benefit for each ailment, or better yet to
prevent ailments from occurring. The tricky part is designing a product that has achieves the maximum
effect you are looking for, safely.
Many commonly used nutraceuticals are already used as flavouring agents, olfactory agents, and as
topicals. The dietary amount needed to support a health benefit is almost certainly greater than that
needed as a flavouring agent, and it is likely that many such ingredients are safe at the required
The main categories of nutraceutical ingredients presently on the market as food ingredients and
supplements are anti-oxidants, omega fatty acids, joint health products (such as chondroitin sulfate,
glucosamine and MSM), and prebiotics and probiotics for supporting gut health and immune status.
Ingredients in pet foods are regulated in the USA and Europe, but not in Canada. Canada, however, does
have a notification program in place for supplements (Veterinary Health Products). Many companies
currently have ingredients in pet foods without adequate regulatory approvals in place. This may be fine
so long as these companies have compiled their regulatory dossiers and are on their way down the
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