By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

An Associated Press article hit the newsstands this month proclaiming that tests reveal some animal supplements skimp on medicine. The article went on to say that a company had tested 6 joint supplements and 4 of them didn’t pass the muster. According to the National Animal Supplement Council, there are 665 pet supplement ingredients on the market.

Hmmm, how do I know if my pet’s joint supplement is safe and effective?  Here is a quick test.  Check your pet’s joint supplement against these three questions.

  1. Has your product been Vet Tested through Independent Studies, with Statistically Significant results?  Be aware of general claims such as “vet recommended” or “researched”.  Often these are code for my neighbor is a vet and he recommends this product, or I gave the product to 5 friends and they liked it.
  2. Is the product label transparent with a section for Product Facts with Active Ingredients in order of quantity and In Active Ingredients in alphabetical order?  Be aware of products with this statement:  *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This means they are labeling for human standards and may not understand your pet’s needs or what ingredients are okay for people but toxic for dogs and cats.
  3. Does the product display the National Animal Supplement Council Quality Seal?  This lets you know that the product and the company adhere to transparent labeling, adverse event reporting and third party audits.

Having been involved in the pet supplement industry for 14 years, I know there are good companies and products out there.  I also know that this is a growth industry with low barriers to entry.  You have the responsibility to your pet to do the research and read the labels, they are counting on you.