The Value of Prevention with Animal Wellness

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

You have heard the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With your furry kid, this is a saying that rings especially true.  Our dogs and cats count on us to do the right thing for their care and diet. We make decisions that impact their health on a daily basis.

Healthy Options

Feeding a high-quality food is a great value in avoiding conditions that accompany a poor diet. Unfortunately, that is often not enough. We know one in four of our dogs and cats will develop joint problems in their lives. This is often uncomfortable and expensive. We also know conditions, such as digestive upset, are common and lead to the number one reason for veterinarian visits. Dental disease impacts 80% of dogs by age two, often leading to kidney and heart issues. The list goes on.

Supplementation

Supplementation is a smart choice for animals across the age spectrum to support a whole-health solution. Finding a supplement you trust to contain the right amounts of only the best ingredients at the greatest value is key. At In Clover, we formulate all of our products in-house. We believe in using only the finest ingredients in just the right amounts. We do the research, sourcing and background work that can be overwhelming for the pet parent who wants the best for their fur kid.  Using our foundation of solid science research, our full concentration is making supplements for animals.  This allows us to focus on what is important to you: providing the best supplements at the best value.

The table below shows you how you can get your dog and cat on the highest quality whole-health program for much less than you would imagine. Cost is for a 10-pound cat or 50-pound dog for daily supplementation.

Condition Cost per day Product
Joints & Mobility $0.26 – $0.70 / $0.33 Connectin (canine & feline) / Jump (canine)
Digestive/GI $0.10 – $0.47 OptaGest (canine & feline)
Skin & Coat $0.33 / $0.18 Glow (canine) / Sleek (feline)
Dental $0.33 / $0.18 Grin (canine) / Smile (feline)
Urinary Tract $0.18 Flow (feline)
Weight Control $0.18 Slim (feline)
Respiratory $0.18 Spry (feline)

When to supplement your dog or cat

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

If you take a supplement or two because you care about your health, does it make sense to do the same for your dog or cat? Many pet parents and veterinarians are saying “yes” to functional and issue-targeted supplements. Lisa Sanford of Brandenton Florida is one of those pet parents. “My 13-year-old Catahoula (Boris, now retired from flyball) is acting like a puppy again because of Connectin joint supplement. He brings me toys again to throw for him and springs around. He is my ‘heart’ so this means the world to me!”

The primary categories of pet supplements include those for joint health, skin and coat health, GI tract health, dental health, weight control and UT health. Too often, pet parents think there is nothing they can do when their dog or cat shows signs of a health challenge. But, our pets don’t need to suffer, and discomfort does not have to be a part of the aging process. Supplements go a long way in helping pets feel better and stay healthy and active at all life stages. Even with complete diets, supplements serve an important role in maintaining health and wellness and managing health challenges.

Demand for supplements continues to rise. Simmons Market Research Bureau says approximately 17 percent of pet owners give their cats and dogs some type of supplement. These numbers are growing by more than 15 percent per year.

Four Things To Look For When Selecting a Pet Supplement

To be sure you are providing a high quality supplement for your fur kid, ensure they have these four characteristics and ask questions of your pet supplement manufacturer.

1. Quality. The product displays the NASC quality seal on the label. This shows an attention to quality systems and adherence to adverse event reporting. Manufacturers should also have standard operating procedures, lot numbers that offer full traceability of the product from creation to one year past the “best by” date and a complete catalog of retention samples of every product.

Contact the manufacturer about a product or consistency concern and ask them to compare the retention sample. The answer you get is telling.

2. Thoughtful Development. There is a toll-free phone number on the package and the product developer is available to you or your veterinarian to answer questions.

Ask why particular ingredients were included in the product.

3. Efficacy. The manufacturer should be able to supply scientific evidence to support their supplement.

Ask for white papers or abstracts on the product.

4. Safety. Above all, you want to ensure anything you give to your pet is safe. Supplement producers should adhere to strict policies and practices to do everything in their power to ensure a safe product.

Ask for an overview of your supplement company’s adverse event reporting procedure and all serious adverse events that have been reported on the product.

Supplement Needs for Older Dogs and Cats

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

Because our senior dogs and cats are unable to make the digestive enzymes necessary to absorb and digest key nutrients, it is important to supplement their diets with a high quality digestive enzyme product. Look for a supplement with key plant based enzymes such as protease, amylase, cellulase and lipase. Make sure that your supplement does not have fillers such as lactose, rice hulls or animal digest that may cause digestive issues. If the supplement has the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) benchmark of quality seal, you can feel good about the quality that has gone into the product.  

Start supplementing your pet’s digestive system today, you will notice the difference in decreased amounts of  stool, change in stool odor, color and consistency.  Your pet will feel more vibrant!

Preventive care and supplements

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

Remember your grandmother’s saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” We all know she meant that if we take care of ourselves, we’ll stay healthy and avoid seeing the doctor.  The same is true for our pets. Instead of apples, however, a good diet, exercise and supplements will keep pets healthy and may reduce vet visits.

A quality food is the first step to better pet health. A good food can give dogs and cats more energy, a healthier skin and coat, better digestion, and more fully developed muscles.  When a good diet is combined with regular exercise, pets will more likely maintain a healthy weight, reducing chances of obesity and the health issues that accompany it.

Supplements also help dogs and cats remain active, vibrant and healthy. In Clover’s premium, natural supplements help support the most common health concerns that lead to trips to the veterinarian.

  • Joint Health: Connectin – complete formula showed results in 15 days*
  • Digestive/Immune Health: OptaGest:  4 enzymes plus prebiotic
  • Dental Health: Grin Daily Treats with green tea for tartar control

*data on file

When Diet May Not Be Enough – What to Look for in Supplements

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

You can help your dog or cat live a long, healthy life with good food choices.  Quality pet foods lead to healthier pets. But there are situations when feeding a good food, clean water, and exercising your pet may not be enough. Some of the most common health concerns for dogs and cats can be supported with natural pet supplements.

Joint Health – Up to 25% of dogs and 1 in 5 cats experience joint discomfort. Injury, repeated physical stress on the joint, excess weight and genetic predisposition can all contribute to unhealthy joints, reducing the quality of life for the animal.  There are key active ingredients to look for in natural joint supplements for optimal results.

  • Joint Building Blocks:  Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Hyaluronic Acid
  • Ingredients to combat soreness: Yucca, Black Cohosh, Cayenne, MSM
  • Ingredients to fight free radical build-up:  Turmeric, Ginger, Devil’s Claw, Alfalfa, Vitamin C
  • Ingredients to support healthy blood flow:  Nettle, Celery Seed

Digestive/Immune Health – 6.5 million dogs and 12.4 million cats suffer from chronic digestive problems, creating discomfort and reducing immune health. Healthy digestion leads to a strong immune system, among other benefits. Digestive supplements should contain enzymes to break down and deliver nutrients from a pet’s food to every part of the body. Situations that lead to insufficient enzyme levels include advanced age, strenuous exercise, illness, stress, processed food, genetic factors or antibiotic use.  The four key enzymes for dogs and cats are:

  • Protease for Muscle: Provides protein digestion in the stomach and small intestine
  • Amylase for Energy: Digests starchy foods to release simple sugars
  • Cellulase for Fiber: Provides dogs and cats with the enzyme needed to reduce the bulking effect of fibrous foods
  • Lipase for Overall Health: Digests fatty acids allowing the pet to absorb Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamins A, D, E and K

Also, digestive supplements with fructooligosaccharides (FOS) support intestinal balance and a healthy immune system. FOS selectively feeds the beneficial, native bacteria in the dog or cat’s system.  Unlike probiotics (live microorganisms), FOS does not have to be refrigerated and is more customized to your pet’s unique system, promoting growth of bacteria already naturally present.

To find high quality natural supplements that will work well, look for products that add back what the body would naturally make if it were healthy. Compare ingredients and look for supplements that contain clinically-tested levels of active ingredients, and minimal inactive ingredients. Finally, look for the NASC Quality Seal.  This means the manufacturer has passed rigorous quality audits.

There are many common situations where a pet owner might consider adding supplements to their pet’s healthy diet; times when the pet’s own natural processes may not be able to keep up with the demands placed on its body.   Supplements that add back what the body would naturally make in a healthy state can help keep pets healthy, active and vibrant.

Are Pet Supplements Safe and Effective? What to be aware of plus three quality tests for your joint supplement.

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.