document.write(''); Study shares pet owners' perceptions of probiotics - Simo Baha

Study shares pet owners’ perceptions of probiotics

With the humanization of animals, pet owners are increasingly looking for ways to improve their pet’s health as they do for themselves. These pet owners are increasingly turning to probiotics to help improve overall health or specifically target health issues such as digestive health, immune health, skin health, and more.

During May 2, 2023 Pet Food Forum (Held annually in Kansas City, Missouri, USA), Lidia Alaverdova, Head of Global Marketing and Global Animal Portfolio at ANH Cr. Hansonshared independent research on millennial pet owners’ perceptions of probiotics for their pets in the US and China.

The survey found that 27% of pet owners turn to probiotics, with the majority being millennials. These younger pet owners tend to invest more in their pet’s health, spending more money on food and their pet’s welfare and visiting their vet regularly.

“Beyond general health, there are many other benefits associated with probiotics,” Alaverdova said.

Among these other benefits, the top three motivations for pet owners to give their pets probiotics are digestive health (61%), immune health (59%) and healthy aging (58%). Some other reasons include urinary tract health (53%), skin health (52%), oral/dental health (50%), stress and anxiety (47%), allergies (45%), healthy development (45%), and weight control. (44%).

“We also asked them to rank the different ingredients in relation to the overall health and well-being of pets,” Alaverdova said. “All we did was put a list of ingredients in front of them, and people had to choose which ones they associated more with having a better connection with overall health and well-being.”

Both probiotic users and non-users had probiotics in their top five ranked ingredients. For users or individuals who have purchased a probiotic in the past 12 months, it ranks first at 78%. For non-users, it was the fourth component at 26%.

Many pet owners have been proactive in finding the right probiotic product for their pet.

“Coincidence That Pet Owners Found Products With Probiotics?” said Alaverdova. “Apparently not, 86% of them said they actively sought out probiotics or pet foods containing probiotics.”

A veterinarian’s recommendation remains a key part of a pet owner’s decision for probiotics to address a specific problem and well-being, but some pet owners will do their research online. When it comes to welfare, some pet owners were willing to try friends’ recommendations.

Type of probiotics used by pet owners, duration of use

The study found that pet owners used an average of 2.1 probiotic products. Among the product types most commonly purchased are pet foods containing probiotics, but 91% of users supplement with other probiotic products.

Probiotic foods/snacks accounted for 58%, probiotic supplements as a top dressing accounted for 44%, and probiotic daily supplements given directly to the pet accounted for 41%.

Regarding length of use, most pet owners have been using probiotics for one to two years (58%). While 26% have been using them for a year or more and 16% for three or more years.

A pet food containing a probiotic had the best frequency of use. Supplements, given to pets as a gavage or orally, were given either daily or “occasionally”.

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