Natural and Organic Foods
Natural pet foods are free of chemical pesticides, antibiotics, and preservatives. The term "natural" is often used interchangeably with organic, but the latter designation has strict requirements for how ingredients are produced and handled. Organic foods are also grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or genetically modified organisms, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Animal products in organic dog food must be raised with access to the outdoors and fed certified-organic feed.
Many pet owners are drawn to organic foods because they're better for the environment, but you should check a product's label carefully before buying. Organic foods have to meet the USDA National Organic Program standards for ingredient sourcing, processing, and manufacturing. The National Organic Program also requires that organic foods contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
Pet food that's labeled "organic" must carry the USDA seal and must have a statement from a certifier on the package. The company must also list its name and contact information on the packaging. Many organic dog foods have a high price point because the production and handling standards are rigorous.
Honest Kitchen offers dry and wet dog foods made with mainly organic ingredients. The company's kibble is certified organic, and its wet foods are organically-grown and humanely-raised with organic meat from animals that are free-range and given no antibiotics or hormones. Honest Kitchen is also committed to sustainability and lists its impact report online.
This dog food is made with 100% organic ingredients that are sourced and processed in the United States. The food is free of chemical pesticides, additives, and preservatives, and its protein comes from humanely-raised chicken. The food is certified organic by Oregon Tilth, which is one of the primary USDA National Organic Program accredited certifiers.
This brand has wet and dry food available in several different flavors. The number-one ingredient in this food is organic free-range poultry, and the company uses no artificial preservatives or flavors. The food also includes nutrient-rich superfoods like flaxseed and blueberries. The only negative is that this food contains carrageenan, a natural thickener that's been linked to colitis and other inflammatory diseases.
Water and Food Bowls
When it comes to water and food bowls, precision isn't your pet's strong suit. They may haphazardly grab a drink while playing with a toy, or they might Jackson Pollock their water around the edges of the bowl. Bowls that minimize this splashing and dripping can help keep floors clean. These no-spill options include models that are heavy and non-skid, as well as those with angled lids to help water drain back into the bowl. They also help reduce the need for refills and make cleaning easier.
While stainless steel is the hands-down winner for food and water bowls, it's important to remember that it can harbor dangerous bacteria if it isn't washed on a regular basis. The best way to avoid this is by choosing a heavy ceramic or stoneware bowl that can withstand being dropped and is dishwasher safe. These bowls also tend to be more durable than plastic, as they are unlikely to scratch or chip easily. Alternatively, opt for a glass or ceramic bowl with a thicker lip. This type of design reduces the likelihood that a more enthusiastic eater will bat the bowl around and cause spills.
In addition, consider a slow feeder bowl that's designed to help pets chew and digest their food better. These products typically work by embedding the food inside of crevices or shapes that your pet needs to move their tongue around to access it. This can help prevent them from eating too quickly, which can lead to indigestion and stomach upset.
Finally, when storing food, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator as much as possible. This will slow down the growth of contaminating bacteria, such as salmonella, that can form when food is left out for too long. It's also a good idea to store raw meats separately from other foods because they can contain salmonella even when thoroughly cooked.
Another option for those looking to start a pet product business is private labeling. This process is similar to wholesaling but allows you to use your own brand name and logo on the products that you sell. You can find plenty of private label manufacturers through our Supplier Directory, and many of them will offer dropshipping services as well.
Pets need regular physical maintenance to keep them looking their best, such as grooming their coats and trimming their nails. Grooming products and supplies are an essential part of any pet-care business that wants to provide high-quality service that keeps pets healthy and happy.
The grooming supplies a pet owner needs to maintain a pet’s health and appearance depend on their breed, coat type, and any allergies they may have. For example, some dogs have itchy ears and require frequent cleaning to remove debris that can cause infection. Using a quality ear cleanser will help eliminate odors, prevent infection, and ease itching.
Another important grooming supply is a shedding brush that effectively removes excess hair and distributes natural oils throughout the coat. Pet grooming brushes come in a variety of styles, from slicker brushes to pin brushes. Each type of pet grooming brush targets a different aspect of the grooming process, so having a wide selection is essential for a successful grooming session.
Some grooming supplies that are beneficial for both pet parents and pet-care professionals include grooming gloves. These comfortable nylon gloves have non-abrasive rubber tips on the fingers and palms that gently capture loose fur without pulling or tearing it. They’re also machine washable to make cleanup easy. Another pet grooming tool that makes our list is a grooming mat, which helps reduce fatigue in the hands of a pet groomer.
Professional groomers use dog combs to help detangle and remove matted hair. A good grooming comb should be durable, easy to clean, and versatile enough to use on any pet’s coat type. For example, the Hartz Groomer Combo Pet Brush is an all-in-one tool that has stainless steel bristles for detangling on one side and nylon bristles for distributing coat oils on the other.
For in-between bathing sessions, pet groomers use waterless shampoo to keep a pet’s coat fresh and smelling great. A popular option is the Advet Hygienics waterless shampoo, which contains soothing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, arnica, and echinacea. It also contains probiotics and is gentle on pets’ skin.
Pets need playtime toys that stimulate their brains and give them something to focus on during the long stretches of time when they're left alone. Enrichment toys, like food- and treat-dispensing puzzle toys or a durable rubber toy that you stuff with your dog's favorite treat, are great options for keeping dogs mentally engaged. Plus, they can help address chewing, separation anxiety, boredom and instinctual behaviors like digging or barking.
When choosing toys, look for ones that are made with non-toxic materials, such as natural rubber or organic cotton, which is regulated by third parties and has higher standards than traditional cotton. Also, look for toys that are BPA-free and free of phthalates, which are known to cause reproductive and developmental issues in dogs. Phthalates leach out from vinyl toys as they're chewed and can irritate your dog's gums, mouth and skin.
Among the many toys available online, this stuffed bear from Wild Knots is both cute and durable enough to stand up to aggressive chewers. Its internal "skeleton" is made from rope, which most dogs find gratifying to chew on, and its exterior plush is designed to be tough enough that it can withstand a lot of gnawing. A built-in squeaker keeps the action going and this toy also comes in small, large and extra-large sizes to suit all breeds.
Another toy that promises to keep pups entertained is this interactive brain game toy, which requires them to lick and solve puzzles to unlock treats inside. Testers found that this toy held their dogs' attention and kept them mentally engaged for hours at a time. The only drawback is that it can be difficult to set up for owners without tech skills, but CleverPet seems to have a good customer service department ready to answer questions.
If you want to create your own line of pet products, it's possible to manufacture them yourself, although this option is the most expensive and time-consuming and requires investing in a mold or cast to make custom products. Alternatively, you can work with an existing manufacturer to bring your ideas to life. Some manufacturers offer a variety of pre-made pet products for you to choose from that are ready to be sold, while others provide customizable product design and branding services.