The organic and natural pet product industry is on the rise as pet parents have realized the importance of sourcing the best for their pets. We asked experts in the region about their opinion.
The demand for organic pet nutrition and truly natural pet care products in the Middle East is high and steadily increasing
“The demand for organic pet nutrition and truly natural pet care products in the Middle East is high and steadily increasing. In today’s day and age, pets are viewed as important members of the family, and pet parents want to do everything they can to help extend their pet’s life expectancy”, shared Charly Pruden, co-founder of Pawdega, UAE’s first holistic and natural pet health store and a safe place for pet parents to shop without having to worry about toxic ingredients.
Meanwhile, Amruta Kshemkalyani, founder of Sustainability Tribe, #ZeroWasteUAE Social Initiative and AK Sustainability Advisory, mentioned, “In the Middle East, awareness among consumers about organic, natural, and sustainable products is increasing. Pet lovers are keen on finding natural and sustainable alternatives for pet food and pet care products. One of the reasons is organizations like our Sustainability Tribe have been educating consumers about how sustainable, organic products are helpful for overall wellness but also how thorough conscious consumerism consumers can contribute to climate action.”
Katherine Cebrowski, the co-founder of Furchild, a healthy meal catering and meal plan service for pets, mentioned back in 2018 that she delivered over 500,000 pet meals to homes in the UAE, mainly in Dubai. It has only grown much more since then.
The pandemic has pushed people to learn about the importance of pet gut health, immunity, good nutrition, and disease prevention
“People have become more aware of the importance of eating organic foods and protecting their health by using organic and natural products, and they want to do the same for their cats, dogs, and horses. Additionally, the pandemic has also pushed people to learn about the importance of pet gut health, immunity, good nutrition, and disease prevention. This has led many pet parents to make healthier lifestyle choices for their pets as well,” Pruden commented.
Furthermore, she stated that in the UAE, where the cost of veterinary care is high, and people do not have pet insurance, a lot of pet parents find it important to focus on preventing diseases as much as possible, “Pet parents across the UAE are increasing their pet’s health by feeding human-grade raw food, feeding pre&probiotics, using organic supplements, certified organic shampoos, and even making sure the toys that their pets play with are made of non-toxic material.”
“People have realized the benefits of switching their pets’ foods from processed kibble and canned pet foods (junk food) to fresh, healthy meals – the pets tend to be more energetic, have shinier coats and produce less and not too smelly waste,” Cebrowski opined.
Dramatic increase in demand for natural, organic, truly safe and non-toxic, and human-grade pet products.
“We expect the local organic and natural pet food and pet product sector to continue growing. Since the opening of PAWDEGA, the first holistic and natural pet health store in the UAE, we have seen another dramatic increase in demand for natural, organic, truly safe and non-toxic, and human-grade pet products,” Pruden started. “PAWDEGA currently imports safe and non-toxic pet products from Canada, United States, Australia, and New Zealand after the products have passed an intensive vetting process in which every single ingredient of every single product is investigated to be safe for pets.”
Be transparent and ethical in every aspect
“Our advice for any supplier of organic and natural pet products is to be transparent and ethical in every aspect and to truly understand the products’ ingredients and composition. The UAE pet community is starting to take a closer look at so-called natural pet products and loyalty is given to brands who truly want the best for the animals,” Pruden shared.
“Suppliers need to find authentic organic and sustainable pet products because consumer’s buying choices are not dependent on labels on products or packaging. They are more demanding and keen on finding more information about products. Plus word of mouth or reviews from the pet lover community affects more when it comes to selecting pet products. Businesses also need to take extra steps to provide value and service to pet owners,” Kshemkalyani said “One of the Sustainability Tribe & especially, our #ZeroWasteUAE Social Initiative Partners, Urban Nook can be a great example. They offer upcycled pet beds. After performing a full lifecycle analysis of their product, they started a service of collection of pet beds back from the owners who faced the tragic loss of their pets. This way they added a circular economy angle to their business as well as providing support to grieving pet parents.”