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LIVING WITH PETS (Ark Blog)

Friday, December 13, 2013

In the December 2013 issue of Pet Business Magazine, Pet Business announced their 2013 Industry Recognition Award Winners. We are proud to announce that Ark Naturals very own Gray Muzzle, an Ark Naturals Company, product line took home the 2013 Industry Recognition Award for the Supplement Category!

"It was another banner year for the pet care industry, which was expected to surpass the $55-billion mark by the end of 2013, according to the American Pet Products Association. While much of this success can, ofcourse, be attributed to pet owners’ continued commitment to caring for their animals as valued members of the family, it would be a mistake to overlook the role that product manufacturers have played in keeping the pet care category vibrant and engaging for consumers. These companies are using innovation to make pet ownership easier and more fulfi lling for shoppers, thus adding to the momentum behind the public’s love affair with pets. Many of these manufacturers play a vital role in giving pet stores the ability to differentiate themselves in what has become an extremely competitive retail landscape. For these pet specialty retailers, tapping into the steady stream of ground-breaking new products coming into the market has proven invaluable in keeping assortments fresh and functional to stay one step ahead of the other retail channels that have climbed into the pet care ring. With this in mind, each year Pet Business honors the industry’s biggest standout products with our Industry Recognition Awards (IRA). Now in their 12th year, the IRAs are selected by the Pet Business editors after scouring the industry for the best and brightest products on the market. This year, in addition to feting products, we have added two new categories to the program— best packaging redesign and best vendor website. Both categories honor elements of pet product marketing that are essential in today’s marketplace, and
the winners in each have done an exemplary job in their respective categories.
And the 2013 Industry Recognition Award winners are…" - Pet Business Magazine, Dec. 2013

To read the full digital verison of this publication visit: www.petbusiness.com

Here at Gray Muzzle we are beyond honored to be chosen for this award. Since the launch of Gray Muzzle, just this last year, we've had one goal in mind, help our senior dogs in their third act. We're glad Gray Muzzle is effectively touching so many lives. 

To find out more information about our Gray Muzzle products, visit: www.gray-muzzle.com for product overviews and purchasing information.


Article and Graphics provided by: www.petbusiness.com

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Olde Dogge Inn

Albion, New York

After introducing Gray Muzzle for Senior Dogs, We challenged our retailers to create their own "Best in Show" Senior Department! We’re proud to announce that our November Winner is Olde Dogge Inn in Albion, NY! Check out their fabulous Senior Department below and if you’re in the Albion, NY area, stop in and take a browse around their store!

Olde Dogge Inn

14472 Ridge Road

Albion, NY 14411

Ph: 585-589-5004

www.oldedoggeinn.com


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Friday, November 1, 2013

Just yesterday, (10/31/2013) Florida Weekly published an article to help share Hansa Rose's story with Southwest Florida in hope of finding Hansa Rose her forver home.

Please share this story on your social media sites and with friends to help join the efforts!

Wanted: A home for Hansa Rose

Hansa Rose has been in foster care with Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue for almost two years. She’s been a favorite canine in the animal-assisted play therapy program at PACE Center for Girls-Collier at Immokalee, but now she’s ready for a permanent place.

Karen Hill of Brooke’s Legacy suspects Hansa Rose was a “bait dog,” one that is chained or otherwise confined and set against another dog for sport. The right side of her face doesn’t match the left (the right eye is there, but it’s set way back), and she has very few teeth. Ms. Hill estimates the lovable boxer/Labrador mix is about 3 years old. She has been spayed.

Whatever mistreatment she suffered in the past has not damaged Hansa Rose’s disposition, however, she loves people and is OK with cats (other dogs tend to upset her).

Brooke’s Legacy thanks Ark Naturals Products for Pets for sponsoring the effort to place Hansa Rose in a permanent home. For more information call: (239) 434-7480 or e-mail Admin@BrookesLegacyAnimalRescue.org or visit www.brookeslegacyanimalrescue.com

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hansa Rose Needs a Forever Home!

Ark Naturals and Gray Muzzle have paired with Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue here in Naples, Florida to find this special dog her very own forever home. Hansa Rose is a 3 year old spayed female Boxer mix saved by Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue shortly before she was to be euthanized and we have decided to sponsor Hansa Rose’s adoption contribution to an approved adopter*!

Hansa is a real special, sweet girl. Her face is a little different on one side – she has very few teeth and her right eye is there but set way back. Brooke’s Legacy isn’t sure exactly what happened to her, but she is a very sweet girl who has been through a lot and really deserves her own happy ending.

Hansa has been doing Animal Assisted Play Therapy at the PACE Center for Girls in Immokalee. She loves people, forgiving all the abuse she has suffered. This is a great dog that has been overlooked. She can be overwhelmed by other dogs but is OK with cats.

Help us SHARE this great cause on Facebook, Twitter, and all social media sites to Help us find this beautiful, sweet, loving girl her own forever home.


Please visit BrookesLegacyAnimalRescue.org for more information about adopting her into your home.

  

*All approved adopters must be present in person to complete the adoption. Brooke’s Legacy does not ship animals.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

After recent news reports regarding Pet Jerky Treats with imported chicken from China have caused illness and death to some animals, we've received an overwhelming response from our customers. We're here to put our customers at ease and rest assure that Ark Naturals and Gray Muzzle, all products including our Sea Mobility Joint Rescue in all flavors are and always will be 100% Made in the USA.

Below is a note, straight from the desk of Ark Naturals President, Susan Weiss:


For Immediate Release:

HERE WE GO AGAIN – MADE IN CHINA JERKY TREATS –

CAUSING ILLNESS AND FATALITIES

Once again, Chinese Pet Jerky Treats are causing serious illness as well as fatalities. I thought this problem was behind us, but here we go again……Once again the problem has surfaced. Purportedly, nearly 3,600 dogs the first time and now hundreds more have fallen ill or died. We wonder why retailers continue to keep these products on store shelves, on on-line sites and in pet catalogues.

I write this article today to try and reach the pet owners who have not yet heard or do not know the severity of the risk associated with Chinese jerky products for pets.

Today the phone calls and e-mails began again asking “What about Ark Naturals?”  We assure you that all Ark Naturals and now our new senior brand - Gray Muzzle, have always been made in the USA in USDA/APHIS facilities and/or FDA/OTC facilities.

Regarding the made in China products, the situation is so serious that once again the FDA has issued a cautionary statement warning of the risk in consumption by pets of chicken jerky treats imported from China. The FDA urges pet owners to use caution with regard to chicken jerky products, stating that if pet owners choose to give their pets these products to look for the following warning signs and to contact your veterinarian if these symptoms persist beyond 24 hours.

There is increasing pressure building for the FDA to take action.  Currently, the FDA’s website states that ‘scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses… and that, ‘unless a contaminant is detected and we have evidence that a product is adulterated, we are limited in what regulatory actions we can take’.   FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products, and to contact your veterinarian if these symptoms persist beyond 24 hours:

  • decreased appetite
  • decreased activity
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • increased water consumption and/or
  • increased urination

How to know if the products you purchase for your pet are Made in the USA?

By law, products NOT manufactured in the USA must disclose that on the label.  However, the manufacturer can print this using the smallest size print possible and can place that information in a place you may never see it unless you look carefully.

After reading this, it is my hope that pet guardians will choose not to take the risk with their beloved pets and choose pet products that are made in the USA.  We as a company feel strongly about both the quality of products made in the USA and the fact that we don’t outsource our workforce.  Please read labels.  Your pet’s life could depend on it.  

 


About Ark Naturals® and Gray Muzzle

Founded by Susan and Jay Weiss in 1996 and based in Naples, Florida, Ark Naturals® offers natural health, remedy and lifestyle products for pets.  All of Ark Naturals products are made in the USA in either USDA/APHIS registered manufacturing facilities or FDA/OTC facilities, depending on the product. Our ingredients are sourced from human grade raw material suppliers, specially formulated for pets. We guarantee our products contain no artificial additives, dyes, flavor, yeast, soy, irradiation or harmful preservatives. Ark Naturals products are veterinarian recommended and formulated and meet the exacting standards that are a hallmark of our company.

In 2012, Ark launched a second stand-alone brand known as Gray Muzzle.  Gray Muzzle products address the needs of senior pets.

Ark Naturals now has over forty different all natural pet products and is a founding member of the NASC® with an audited A+ rating.  Ark Naturals is also a member of the NPA® (Natural Products Association and APPMA®.  For distribution inquiries, product information and publicity inquiries please call Alexa Taddeo, 800.926.5100 or alexat@arknaturals.com.  Please visit our web sites www.arknaturals.com and www.gray-muzzle.com for more information.

 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pick up your copy of the Pet Business Retailer Handbook and turn to page 64 and 65. Ark Naturals since 1996 has taken the Natural Health and Remedies category by storm. Read below the full article on Ark Naturals, including a snippet about our Gray Muzzle Senior Products Line.

Enjoy!

  

Natural Remedies and Health

Susan Weiss, president of Ark Naturals Products for Pets, says educated retailers with a variety of natural health products for everyday problems will see great sales over the next year.

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS THAT CONSUMERS ARE GIVING THEIR PETS? WHY DO YOU THINK THEY’RE SO POPULAR?

Dental, joint, flea and tick, and herbal calming products – Products that are popular tend to be products from which the human can visually see a benefit. Products that are less popular are the vitamins, antioxidants for exactly the same reason. The benefit is hard to measure and see visually. It’s not because the products are ineffective, it’s because the nature of the antioxidants.

 

WHAT TREND SHOULD RETAILERS LOOK FOR IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

Great Sales! Education, blogs, websites and social media have made it much easier for the consumer to feel more comfortable purchasing natural remedy products.

I believe that now is a great opportunity for retailers to re-set their stores and make this category more visually important. Make it easy for the consumer to see what the retailer has to offer. The most successful retailers are the ones that are nimble, adaptable and wiling to think outside the box.

 

HOW IMPORTANT IS EDUCATION IN THIS CATEGORY? WHAT ARE KEY SELLING POINTS RETAILERS SHOULD KNOW FOR THESE PRODUCTS?

In 1996, when I started Ark Naturals, it was a monumental challenge to convince retailers that remedy, wellness and natural lifestyle products could sell. Many of today’s retailers have not been in business long enough to remember that.

Products that are made in the USA and are natural solutions for everyday problems should be emphasized. More importantly, retailers have to do the same thing as their customers and should be educated and read blogs and manufacturer websites. You can’t sell what you don’t understand.

 

WITH ALL OF THE “GREENWASHING” THAT GOES ON TODAY, HOW CAN RETAILERS ENSURE THAT THE PRODUCTS THEY CARRY ARE TRULY NATURAL?

There is no definition for natural. It’s the same thing for foods that label themselves “premium”. They are self-styled words, sort of like crowning yourself the prettiest girl at the party. All-natural is another issue. For example, glucosamine and chondroitin are not really natural. Natural is something that grows on a tree or in the earth, and glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and others are neutraceuticals, which is something that started out from a natural source.

 

WHAT SHOULD RETAILERS LOOK FOR IN A SUPPLIER OF NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS?

The company’s longevity – The category suddenly got hot, and we see new brands. Most of the “newbies” are only in it because it’s become popular – not because they have a passion for helping animals naturally. The few companies that have been around for years are passionate about the potential of natural. We understand the potential benefits and can talk about it more easily than the newbies.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR RETAILERS TO MERCHANDISE THESE PRODUCTS?

Endcaps – one suggestion is a monthly calendar where the retailer features a different issue each month. Handouts pointing the consumers to information would be helpful. Network with vets and nutrition specialists, and ask them to come to your store. Also, don’t be lazy – re-setting your store multiple times in a year freshens up the store.

 

WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS LEND THEMSELVES TO CROSS MERCHANDISING WITH THE NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS?

We just introduced a line of senior products, branded as Gray Muzzle. We have a contest running across the USA for stores to set up exactly what you are talking about.

Most of us who have a senior dog or cat for the first time what to do the right things for their pets but may not know everything that is available in the senior category. So, ramps, special leashes, softer toys, special shampoos, piddle pads, etc…, would be a great fit with Gray Muzzle.


Article and Graphics Courtesy of Pet Business Magazine

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If you've had the chance to pick up the September 2013 Issue of Pet Age Magazine you'll notice Ark Naturals and Gray Muzzle featured! Pet Age recently sat down with Susan Weiss, Owner/President of Ark Naturals, about her passion for the natural products industry, why it’s become so popular and her advice for others.

    


Full Story Below:


Back Story | Ark Naturals

A Pioneer of Natural Products

Reference: Pet Age Magazine September 2013 Issue

When Susan Weiss started her business, the word “natural” wasn’t a household saying.

We recently spoke with Susan Weiss, owner of Ark Naturals, about her passion for the natural products industry, why it’s become so popular and her advice for others.

Q: Tell us a little about Ark Naturals.

Weiss: Ark Naturals is solely owned by myself and my husband Jay. We founded the company in 1996, when no one in the United States was interested in natural. Frankly, that was incredibly difficult.

Other companies that tried to introduce pet healthy products are long gone. We persisted and today we are the brand leader in what is still considered a niche category. We are known as a top-shelf line, and it’s not about the prices – it’s about the quality of our formulations.

One of the things that sets us apart is that we have products in two channels of business. The natural product category – i.e. health food stores such as Whole Foods (with Ark – not a human line) and the pet channel.

Our products are formulated by Dr. Nancy Scanlan DVM, the executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and Dr. C. Leigh Broadhurts Ph.D affiliated with the USDA.

Q: How did you start Ark Naturals?

Weiss: We started Ark with all our own money. I had become involved in the natural product industry, and realized that if natural, holistic, herbal, etc… can help with humans wouldn’t they help animals as well. I thought it was a great idea, however, it took years of hard work to convince retailers and consumers that my idea made sense.

Being ahead of the curve is always “dicey”. Seriously when we got an order for $50.00 from a store – we thought we hit the lotto.

We solicited both the natural channels i.e. Whole Foods as well as the pet channel. The pet channel was totally uninterested in what we offered. The natural channel was slightly interested. It took about 8 years for the pet category to give us a nod.

 

Q: You were one of the pioneers of the holistic wellness and remedy for pets. How have you seen it change?

Weiss: Years ago, when we exhibited at a trade show, we would have to stand in the aisle hoping we could stop a retailer who was walking the aisles to give us a minute of their time. I can’t tell you how many retailers told us, “no one wants natural.”

One of the problems with my category is that it really requires education.

When we started the vast majority of retailers didn’t think anyone would purchase these type of products. Additionally, pet retailers were frightened about the ingredients, how to pronounce them, what they offered.

Fast forward to today, and things have changed: How much a human spends per year on the healthy, well-being and happiness of their pet, the number of pet friendly hotels and it would be impossible to find a retailers, even one with a tony amount of space who does not carry natural products.

I feel that I played a large role in helping retailers understand the potential not only for the health of these for legged guys, but that they had a great opportunity to grow their business.

I take my role as one of the pioneers in the category very seriously. At the end of the day, I always remind my staff, my retailers, etc… that we are dealing with living breathing creatures, and that we need to be super careful about what we recommend and how we educate, because messages delivered, are sometimes mistranslated by the retailers, consumer, etc…

 

Q: What’s your advice to other women business owners in the pet industry?

Weiss: Here’s my generic advice to young entrepreneurs, success rarely, rarely, rarely, ever happens overnight. Think of your business as running a marathon versus a 100 yard dash. Each of those races requires very different strategy.

Be prepared for failure. Be prepared to lose money initially. Be prepared for ‘no’.

For women, you need to be prepared financially, emotionally and you need to be smarter than everyone including your competitors and every man on the street, because even though we say we believe in equal opportunity, in reality we aren’t there yet.

At the same time, be nice, be honest, look professional, know your business, make friends.

If you’re socializing – keep it very professional, because a guy can make a fool of himself but a woman can’t. If you have a little success don’t let it go to your head.



Images and Story courtesy of Pet Age Magazine.



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Friday, August 2, 2013

The Fayetteville Observer posted their review on the Gray Muzzle brand! www.fayobserver.com

Is 15 the new 10 in dog years? All-natural Gray Muzzle brand helping senior dogs with aging

New Vet-Recommended Soft Chews Line Created By All-Natural Pet Care Pioneer Ark Naturals

If 60 is the new 40 in human years, then why shouldn't 15 be the new 10 in dog years.

Recognizing that dogs - like their human companions - are indeed living longer and more fulfilling lives than ever before, a new brand of delicious vet-recommended soft chews called Gray Muzzle has just been introduced specifically to enable senior dogs to retain or recapture levels of heart, joint and cognitive health which they enjoyed in their youth.

The most comprehensive senior-specific remedy products of their kind on the market, Gray Muzzle is the result of years of research into the specific formulations best able to help turn the canine clock back on the physical and mental effects of aging among all breeds and sizes.

Unlike other products labeled “for senior dogs” that in reality feature re-purposed and re-branded non-senior formulations, Gray Muzzle very specifically addresses such vital age-related concerns as joint discomfort, heart function, cellular metabolism, blood flow, and canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). 

A standalone brand created by all-natural pet product leader Ark Naturals, Gray Muzzle is sold exclusively at independent pet and natural product stores, as well as via select etailers, at a MSRP of $13.50. Manufactured entirely in the U.S. in USDA-APHIS approved facilities, all Gray Muzzle products are free of wheat, corn, yeast, and soy, as well as artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

The Gray Muzzle family of health and longevity products include:

  • Old Dogs! Happy Joints! for improved mobility and flexibility. Ingredients includeGlucosamine HCL (a shellfish source) to help build synovial fluid that creates space between the joints and keep cartilage from rubbing bone on bone; Fish Oil (Omega-3) components to help reduce joint discomfort; and Turmeric, an Ayurvedic herb from India used for thousands of years to help reduce the pain caused by sore joints. Contains 90 bite-size soft chews.

  • Heart Healthy! Wags Plenty! for improved heart health. Ingredients include Taurine, an amino acid that has beneficial effects on the heart and cardiovascular system; L-Carnitine, another amino acid that benefits the heart and has been shown to have a remarkable effect in the cellular metabolism of dogs; and Egg Albumin, which contains excellent sources of vitamin B6, B12 and riboflavin and helps regulate blood volume. Contains 60 bite-size soft chews.

  • Brain’s Best Friend! for improved cognitive function in older dogs evidencing signs of CCD such asconfusion, pacing, anxiety, staring into space, or inability to recognize family members. Ingredients include Fish Oil (Omega-3), which helps brain function; Vitamin E to protect cells and prevent free radical damage; Resveratrol, containing antioxidant properties that promote healthy brain activity and function; and Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), which plays a significant role in making proteins and neurotransmitters that carry signals between the cells more effective. Contains 90 bite-size soft chews.

Far more than a brand of products, Gray Muzzle is committed to educating consumers and retailers on how best to care for an aging dog. Among Gray Muzzle’s primary objectives, for example, is encouraging pet store managers to create special Senior Canine Sections where consumers can readily find and compare the best products for their older animal companions (much as all-natural or organic products are conveniently grouped in many mainstream supermarkets).

In addition, Gray Muzzle is actively touting the benefits to middle-aged or older consumers of adopting a senior dog who is already well-behaved and well past the exhausting puppy-training phase.

Commenting on the launch of the new Gray Muzzle brand, Susan Weiss, President of parent company Ark Naturals (and a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council), said, “As a result of advances in pet care, many dogs are living well past the average life expectancy for their breed. Gray Muzzle was created to benefit those dogs who may chronologically be considered senior, but who aren’t at the end stages of their lives. The response to the brand among retailers and pet owners has been extraordinary, and we’re very proud to be helping dogs and humans alike get the most out of life every single day they’re together.” 
_________________________________________________________

About Gray Muzzle – An Ark Naturals Company
Introduced in 2013, Gray Muzzle is dedicated to keeping older dogs healthy so they can enjoy many of the activities they enjoyed when they were younger. Gray Muzzle offers exhaustively researched formulations to help senior dogs regain their youthful physical, cognitive, and emotional health and well-being. A pioneer in creating the natural pet category in the 1990’s, parent company Ark Naturals today is the leading manufacturer of premium-quality health, remedy, and lifestyle solutions for pets from head to tail. For more information, please visit www.arknaturals.com or www.gray-muzzle.com.

http://blogs.fayobserver.com/910pets/August-2013/Is-15-the-new-10-in-dog-years--All-natural-Gray-Mu

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