Asian carp pet treats and customized digestive supplements were two of the five finalists in Purina’s 2017/2018 Pet Care Innovation Prize.
BareItAll petfoods | Chicago, IL | Founders: Michael Cody and Logan Honeycutt
BareItAll makes food for dogs and cats using the invasive Asian carp as the main protein source, creating a commercial market to help reduce the populations and prevent them from entering the Great Lakes.
AnimalBiome | Berkeley, CA | Founders: Holly Ganz and Kari Goodman
AnimalBiome analyzes the microbes living in dogs’ and cats’ intestines to help address chronic digestive disorders by offering microbiome-based supplements and non-invasive diagnostics.
More about Pet Care Innovation Prize
These two companies and three other pet-focused startups have each won US$10,000 and are competing to win the 2017/2018 Pet Care Innovation Prize grand prize from Nestlé Purina PetCare. The other finalists include a pet-life management app, a dog-walking app and a vendor-friendly customizable subscription box for dogs. The finalists get business support and vie for a free booth and support to exhibit at Global Pet Expo.
The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a partnership between Purina and investment firms Active Capital and Cultivation Capital. The American Pet Products Association also will offer support, providing a booth and marketing assistance to help the grand prize winner at Global Pet Expo in March 2018.
Invasive species as novel pet treat ingredients
Dog and cat treats made with Asian carp boast of being limited ingredient, made in the USA, wild caught and non-GMO, all while helping freshwater ecosystems and economies. Along with these qualities, dog treats made from feral axis deer in Hawaii, USA also claim to go beyond humane and cruelty-free to become “stressless.” Soon-to-be-released feral hog dog treats can assert that the treats help wildlife conservation and restoration efforts.
Dog and cat microbiomes
Animal Biome analyzes a dog or cat’s fecal sample to determine what bacteria and other microorganisms live in the animal’s gut. Knowing that may help pet owners select supplements to aid their ailing pet’s digestion.
Probiotics have grown in popularity in pet foods, as they have in human foods. Research examined one potential probiotic, Enterococcus faecium. These bacteria lead a double life in the pet food industry, as both probiotic in formulations and a substitute for Salmonella in kill step validations.