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Retailer Wishlist

Powdered Organs, Rep Visits and More of What Retailers Want in the Pet Supplement Category

Retailers share which products and support they wish were more common in the pet supplement category.




  • A mix of organs — heart, liver, kidney, uterus, stomach, brain, eyes, pancreas, etc. — in powder form or frozen raw. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ‘N’ More, Muskego, WI
  • Raw fermented fish stock. Please someone make this. — Cindy McConnell, A Natural Pet Pantry, Osprey, FL
  • Cat-specific natural and/or organic supplements. What happened to the natural (petroleum-free) hairball gels and over-the-counter dewormers? I envision a purée packet with supplements added in such as an omega-3 version, a cranberry extract version, a probiotic one, a calming one, all with the highest-quality ingredients and preferably non-synthetic. Hydration with benefits. — Victoria Park, Park Pet Supply, Atlanta, GA
  • Clean ingredient chews. So many use ingredients that negate the benefits of the nutrients they promote. There is no benefit to using anti-inflammatories like curcumin and yucca when you pair them with carbohydrates that cause inflammation. — Becci Scott, Fetching Dog, Scottsdale, AZ
  • I would love to see fiber supplements made with whole ingredients! — Penny Murano, Unleashed, New London, NH
  • More products targeted to hormone therapy, helping pets spayed and neutered young to avoid some of the health issues that come with this. — Jeff Jensen, Four Muddy Paws, St. Louis, MO
  • Third-party verification as to potency and efficacy! — Gloria VonZech, The Principled Pet, Collingswood, NJ
  • Be able to give me every single bit of information about your product — sourcing, manufacturing process, ingredients, etc. Being an NASC member helps, but it doesn’t mean sure-fire entry. We work with a lot of dogs and cats with health issues. I try to avoid supplements with multiple ingredients because I may need to work on one thing at a time, and some supplements have ingredients that may be allergens, or too much/too little for that dog. Bring me your new stuff, but validate it and be prepared to defend it. — Diana Farrar, Fifi & Fidos Pet Boutique, San Antonio, TX
  • Simple packaging that states exactly what product is for. — Helen Bennett, The Grooming Place Pet Shop, Chester, MD
  • I’d love for a supplement rep to come to the store and spend time with customers. They have always been in contact via phone or email. — Brett Foreman, Eupawria, Owego, NY
  • Educational videos to play in store. — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Bakery, Ankeny, IA
  • Online training for staff. The more interactive the better (a quiz!). Shelf-talkers with a clear, simple explanation of benefits. — Jennifer Silverberg, Fetch Pet Supplies, Springfield, MO
  • Limited ingredients. By the time they add flavoring and binders, etc., it doesn’t always work for pets who have food allergies. — Joanna Shaw, All Pet & Equine Supply, Mountain Home, AR
  • More options for healthy weight gain. — Jennifer Guevin, Holistic for Pets, Bradenton, FL
  • ISOs on “new to store.” — Denise Strong, Pawz On Main, Cottonwood, AZ
  • Clarity and transparency! Ingredients, processing, dosing. Make it clear and easy! — Jennifer Baker, Grateful Dog Bakery, North Ridgeville, OH
  • Stress reducer and appetite stimulant with probiotics and electrolytes for birds/reptiles under stress, ill or traveling. — Rhonda Olson, Rhonda’s Aviary, Milton, FL
  • Transparency with where the ingredients are sourced! — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • More actual therapeutic values in treat form. Not just slapping “joint support” on the label because it has a minor sprinkle of glucosamine in the bag. — Beth Staley, Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove, IL
  • Probiotic/joint combination supplement. I feel those are the two we are able to retail well. — Paige Elder, Buzz N’ B’s Aquarium & Pet Shop, Erie, PA
  • Longer shelf life. Supplements seem to have less of a shelf life than other items. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw, Wolcott, CT
  • A really good cognitive-function support, with CBD. Something for dogs that are adding, or with seizure disorders, we’ve had a lot of requests for those two lately. — Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store, Alexandria, VA
  • Kidney products specifically for dogs or cats diagnosed with renal disease. More supplements made from whole foods and with no filler ingredients that are chewables. It would be great to have samples. — Dorothy Vetrovec, Nature’s Feed, Spring Grove, IL
  • Made in the USA products. Variety of benefits are always good to see (joint, anxiety, wellness, etc.). More supplements for cats. — Jenny DuBrock, Don’t 4 Get About Me, Pingree Grove, IL
  • More whole-food based options and less synthetics. — Christina Cummings, The Wild Pet, Charleston, SC
  • More products that are not only grain-free but also without sweeteners and fillers. There are so many that look really interesting, but I hesitate to carry them since we work with so many dogs that have allergies and sensitivities. — Beth Kidd, Dogs by Design, Irwin, PA
  • Stop adding all the “extras” to a supplement. If a product is intended to address a particular condition or nutritional deficit, then that is what it should do. Don’t add X because it is also good for Y, and then also include S because it helps with Z. Simplify. Understand that many of the pets are also taking other supplements and/or meds. All that “extra” is counterproductive. — Laura Backus, Purrrfect Bark, Columbus, NC
  • The truth! What ingredients are in it? Where were the ingredients sourced? Where were the ingredients processed and the product manufactured? — Janice Anderson, Anderson Acres, Bakersfield, CA
  • Transdermal supplements and CBD for cats. — Keith Henline, Asheville Pet Supply, Asheville, NC
  • Training. Supplements are difficult for clients to wrap their head around with so many choices, and staff training is essential for their success. — Sheila Spitza, Wet Nose, Geneva, IL
  • Consistent product knowledge support that helps our employees understand why and when their products would be suggested to customers. — Elaina Stanley, Three Happy Hounds, Fernley, NV
  • Shelf talkers to help explain products when we are busy helping other customers. — Colleen O’Fallon, Sweet Paws Bakery, Gainesville, FL
  • More training for employees and help with getting the messaging out to customers (promotions and social media). — Amy Schiek, Lucky Dogs, Skaneateles, NY
  • More help in training. Give me some three-to-five-minute videos talking about a specific product or small line of products that I can use with employees and to refresh myself! Want us to sell more of your product? Show us how to do it! — Darrel Day, Dog Gone Holistic, Lithia, FL
  • First, my belief is that there are way too many supplement manufacturers and new supplements that are saturating the market. I am open to exploring new supplements/products if they have a meaningful purpose, have great ingredients and are unique/not something I already have/am happy with. We could always use more training and support from the manufacturers we do work with. — Danny Offenbacher, City of Paws Petcare, Philadelphia, PA
  • Employee training, samples and demo teams for events! — Sherry Shupe, Fur Baby Pet Resort, Milford, DE
  • In-store demos where they also teach my employees. — Janelle Pitula, Wags to Whiskers, Plainfield, IL
  • I love POS/POP like brochures. We offer a lot of customer service, but it’s nice to also have a brochure next to the product you can send with them, or if we are all with people, at least it can be a silent sales tool. Vendor training is great and needed. Also samples really help sometimes if it’s a treat as people are worried picky animals won’t like it, and some supplements are spendy. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • Information that can be given out to consumers, and samples are always a big hit. — Jennifer Hall, All Things Pawssible, Charlottesville, VA
  • Support! Selling tips! — Stephanie Cox, Central Animal Inn, Herrin IL
  • I would love greater support for our stores when it comes to selling their products. Whether that comes in the form of POP, brochures, samples, media/video. Any of these would be greatly appreciated. — Heather Persinger, Aristopets, Lewisville, NC
  • We only bring in supplements that are NASC certified. Beyond that, free samples for staff because supplements require a total understanding before you can educate customers. We appreciate a clear explanation of how their supplement is different from other brands, training by zoom or in person. — Jennifer Thomas, Lucky Dog Pet Grocery & Bakery, Lawrence, KS
  • Education is key. We need supplements with real results, something we can “show” customers how it helps. Our team needs to be well educated and really believe in products for them to sell. — Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Support, training, shelf talkers… anything we can share with customers to show what benefits the product has for pets. You have to show us why your stuff is better than other products available! — Jodi Etienne, Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-tique, Bradley, IL
  • Demo from the reps! That is the best way to move a product. — Jennifer Flanagan, Nature’s Pet Market Sherwood, Sherwood, OR
  • We need a CBD deliverable that is sublingual without it being a tincture. Some dogs won’t take treats with CBD in or on them, and older people have a hard time getting the right amount in the pet’s mouth from a tincture. — Julie Johannes, Powder Hounds Pet Supply, Bigfork, MT
  • Especially in the CBD field, I need more education: Why is one product better, how does absorption work, straight CBD or mixed with other ingredients? I would love to see more supplements for dogs that improve cognitive function. — Shawn Kombogiannis, Pet Wants, Lakeway, TX
  • Wouldn’t mind not having to compete against their direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns that undercut our wholesale costs. Throw in a higher IMAP for Chewy as well as an Astro frequent buyer. — Rebecca Martino, Stately Pet Supply, Clarks Summit, PA
  • What sets their products apart from others, what makes them unique. The supplement market is very oversaturated, especially by ones with hemp and/or CBD, and it’s hard to explain to customers why a skin, joint, calming, etc. supplement with CBD is better/worse/same than one that doesn’t have it. — Jennifer Marshall, Northwoods Pets, Rhinelander, WI
  • Clear instruction on use of product! It scorches my shorts when a customer brings in a product we don’t sell and wants something comparable, yet the product instructions are so vague it’s no wonder the customer is clueless. I’m speaking from the fish and reptile side. — Liz Harris, Creatures Featured, Madison, FL
  • I like supplements that are target focused. There is a place for general purpose supplements, but I’m more interested in learning about the consumer’s animals and working with what they need. I also focus on the lowest effective dose. It has benefits for the animal, the consumer’s wallet and my credibility. I would love to see more yeast-free and CBD-free options. Enough with the hemp already. The other thing I’d like to see is focus on more dental supplements and other oral care. Less dental treats, more dentriface etc. — Jack Carey, Food for Pets, Manchester, NH
  • It’d be wonderful if they kept us up to date on new products or changes they’ve made before the next shipment arrives and we are surprised by a change of ingredients or the way it looks. Lisa Kirschner, Sit, Stay, ‘N Play, Stroudsburg, PA
  • Seasonal allergy products or combinations that actually work. It’s trial and error sometimes, wading through all the claims and misinformation, all in the name of $. We are always on the hunt and have found things that help, but in the South, allergy season is about 11 months. — Pamela Modica, Lazy Creek Pet Food Center, Lexington, SC
  • Truth. There are so many supplement manufacturers out there that claim their product is the best. I need to be able to understand and explain to my customers why they should buy one over the other to support their pets’ best life. — Michele Saharic, Barkley’s Marketplace, Flemington, NJ
  • NO MORE CBD! 😛 Or at least if there is, have it be more interesting, offering something unique. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Product lines just for independent pet stores. It would be great if when a brand decides to go into big box, that they call it something else and the packaging looks different. — April Meier, Pawsitively Scrumptious, Crestview, FL
  • Soft chews for large-breed dogs with a high-quality joint supplement. — Christine McCoy, The Natural Pet Enrichment Center, North Royalton, OH
  • More all-natural ingredient panels, and U.S. made. Once made, marketing that shows the natural ingredients, and that it is U.S. made and sourced. — Ruth Sturgis, Dog Daze, North Syracuse, NY
  • I want to see some quality, university-supported research that shows they are beneficial! I get a little touchy about supplements. Based on my experience and knowledge, supplements are a lot of snake oil and a little science. For pets with specific issues, I think they can be good additions, with glucosamine/chondroitin being a good example. But I think there are a lot that have a good “story” of why they should work, but don’t actually contribute to improving pet health, longevity or quality of life. I also think that under “normal” circumstances, as long as a pet is fed a high-quality diet with some variety, they shouldn’t need supplements. Any time I have asked a rep for quality research for their products or press them a bit for actual proof, I don’t get much in response. Maybe I’m asking the wrong person or get a little pushy and scare them, but that’s been my experience. Not sure if they answer the question, but like I said, supplements are a hard one for me. — Cassie Nilsson, The Mill Stores, Whiteford, MD
  • 100% USA-sourced and -made supplements. Nothing from overseas! Supplements that are truly beneficial to pets from a holistic standpoint and not driven by marketing trends. — Pattie Zeller, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA
  • Transparency and third-party testing are very important to us. — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones Academy, Providence, RI
  • Powder form of pre and probiotics that is tasteless. — Paul Lewis, The Green K9, Mount Dora, FL
  • Research! For my own pets, I dive deep into what research has been done in a case study and how the ingredients are going to help specific issues. It’s really easy to be sold on certain products (especially supplements) when there is a good marketing pitch behind it. — Natalie Bosch, Albany Pet Hotel, Albany, OR

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