Pet Product Health Claims Broken Down

Earlier this week we overviewed the realities of clinical trials for pet products. These trials are how various pet products gather the health claims they use to advertise their products. Everything available to your pet, from food and treats to canine/feline-specific treatments, all tote some form of health claims. But what do these claims actually mean, and how can you sort through them to find what’s best for your pet?


Natural and Fresh Ingredients

Many pet products contain the health claims of “natural” or “fresh” ingredients, and while you may immediately think these are the healthier option, it’s important to understand what this language actually means.


Natural ingredients are those that haven’t been preserved or cooked with any chemicals -- this means they could have gone through freezing, drying, fermentation, extraction, and any other preparation technique so long as they maintain their natural composition.


Fresh on the other hand, implies that the ingredients haven’t been treated to anything but refrigeration.


Light Pet Products

Pets in need of weight loss are often prescribed light food and treats as a dietary remedy.


Food or treats that are labeled “light” when they have a lesser energy content than a comparable product (such as a competing brand of pet food.) It’s important to note that these claims can only be applied when the energy density of the product measures at least 15% less than the alternative product.


Organic Ingredients

Unlike the natural ingredients health claim, the pet products labeled as organic have specific standards they must meet.


Pet products can only be labeled as organic if they have been approved to do so by the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs. Further, 95% of the ingredients must be organic in origin. For an ingredient to be determined organic it must:

  • Be produced in a facility with restricted cleaning materials and pest control.

  • Not contain any genetically modified organisms, at all.

  • Only contain flavorings that are naturally or organically produced.


As you navigate the health claims surrounding pet products, remember that the best pet products are the ones that contain complete pet food, or an appropriate combination of products to create a complete diet. Also, take into account your pet’s age and any health concerns, and always remember to monitor the health of your pet closely to ensure they aren’t displaying any signs of an unsuitable diet.


Interested in creating your own pet product clinical study?


Citruslabs provides a simple and affordable way to prove that your products actually work. At Citruslabs, we design a clinical trial that is right for you and your budget, so that you can start sharing research-backed product claims without spending a fortune. We offer the cohesive planning and management required to conduct successful clinical trials, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Let's talk! You can contact us here.