Creature Comforts Founder & Vet Dr David Gething On Animalkind, a Revolutionary Pet Brand
Creature Comforts' founder Dr David Gething launches Animalkind, a new pet food brand that offers authenticity, transparency and, of course, deliciousness for your furry friends. Over the years, the veterinarian and pet owner noticed that many existing pet products were pumped with processed, synthetic or contained ingredients – some of which he couldn't even recognise on the ingredients list. Animalkind aims to be the gamechanger in the market, offering a unique formula that's good for cats and dogs.
We chat with Dr David Gething about the foundation of Animalkind, its missions, and even a little insight into his personal favourite products.
Can you tell us about your new pet food brand, Animalkind and what products are in the collection?
Working as a veterinarian in clinical practice for nearly 25 years, one of the most common issues I saw pet parents struggle with was what food to feed. The range of pet foods and brands out there is overwhelming, and it’s really difficult for people to sort the good from the not so good. I didn’t like the fact that a lot of pet foods were highly processed, synthetic or contained ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce. It also became very apparent to me that good nutrition throughout all life stages is a fundamental determinant of good health. I didn’t need owners to tell me if they were feeding a good diet – it was clear in the pet’s examinations and blood work. The research on this is very clear, both in human and animal medicine.
I clearly remember the turning point for me. I was seeing a long-term dog patient who had inflammatory bowel syndrome (basically a really sensitive stomach). Everything we fed this poor dog caused discomfort and gastrointestinal problems. I suggested they use a special commercial hypoallergenic pet food that is highly processed and homogenised. The owner looked down this list of chemical names and unfamiliar ingredients, and turned to me and said “Doc, I reckon these modern diets are half of the problem. Isn’t there something natural we can do?”
That was the start of the journey, and I’ll be honest, it’s been a heck of a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.
I had three fundamental values for the food: it needed to be totally natural, it needed to be nutritionally complete and balanced, and every bag needed to have a purpose, a specific health benefit for pets.
I was able to reach out to colleagues and relationships built throughout my veterinary career to put together a team that I consider some of the best in the business. And I joked with them – if my grandmother wouldn’t have heard of the ingredient, it’s not in our foods. Working with leading animal nutritionists in the US and Australia, sourcing ingredients from New Zealand farms and producing using a unique small batch freeze-dried raw method that allows us to lock in vitamins and nutrients often lost in large-scale commercial production methods, I think we’ve produced something really special, and something that will have a meaningful impact on health for pets.
Our first products are Animalkind Wellness+, designed for healthy adult dogs and cats to promote healthy body weight, immune function and cardiovascular support, and Animalkind Digestive+, for dogs and cats with a sensitive stomach, inspired by that first patient who started it all. We also have Lamb & Manuka Honey treats, which are a real crowd pleaser, Hoki and Mussel treats for joints and bladder health, and Animalkind all-natural canned food toppers.
What are the benefits of Animalkind products?
With Animalkind, our core value is that “Everything we create has a purpose”, and I’m really serious about this. Every food formula is designed for specific health outcomes, such as a healthy body and immunity for our Wellness+ and healthy gastrointestinal function for our Digestive+. This philosophy extends to all of our products. Our treats and canned foods are designed to provide joint support, bladder support and antioxidant anti-inflammatory functions. And we do all of this with all-natural ingredients and supplements – no drugs and nothing artificial.
We also make hardgoods, such as our Animalkind Orthopaedic pet beds, which have many specially designed features for pets with arthritis, joint issues, mobility issues – or simply those who like a good night’s sleep; and pet travel crates designed to overcome some of the issues and problems I saw when people were shipping their pets. What’s more, we also design all products to have a purpose for the planet – to be ethically sourced, supporting sustainable agriculture and produced carefully and responsibly.
Which pets are Animalkind products suitable for?
Because our philosophy is that “Everything we create has a purpose”, our products are specifically designed for different functions. I must admit I don’t agree with pet foods that are marketed towards all animals in all life stages. You shouldn’t feed the same food to a puppy that you do to an older pet. Good pet diets are crafted for the life stage (juvenile, adult, mature) and health status of an animal.
For this reason, our diets are crafted for adult dogs and cats (Wellness+) and pets who are sensitive to regular diets (Digestive+). Our pet treats are a fantastic reward for puppies and adults, and in moderation for senior pets as well. Of course, products like our beds and crates are suited to all pets who like to sleep well or travel well.
What makes Animalkind unique compared to other pet brands?
Animalkind takes the 25 years of experience and learning that I’ve had in veterinary medical practice combined with my relationships with some of the best in the business when it comes to animal nutrition, food science, product development and production. On the food and treats side, we only use the freshest ingredients from one of the most pristine farming environments on earth, and a unique freeze-drying process to delicately lock in that natural nutrition.
What’s more, our purpose is not only for the pet and the pet parent, but also for the planet, by supporting sustainable agriculture, ethical farming and ecologically sensitive design.
I think that makes us truly unique, giving us the ability to produce products that, in my opinion, are simply better than what I see out there.
What are your top product recommendations in the new collection?
Honestly I think they’re all great – we wouldn’t have released them if we didn’t believe in them. If I had to pick out three of my stand-out favourites, they would be:
Lamb and Manuka Treats: a truly healthy dog treat, but so delicious even my cat can’t resist them
Animalkind Digestive+: a new, natural and I believe better solution for pets with gastrointestinal sensitivity
Animalkind Orthopaedic Pet Beds: perfect for animals with arthritis, joint and mobility problems, but also fantastic for any pet who likes a good night’s sleep. This is something we really don’t think about for our pets but is really important. We all know the difference a good night’s sleep makes
What's next for Vetopia/Creature Comforts that pet owners can look forward to this year?
I’m really excited about the continued expansion of the Animalkind food range. We’ve started with a core range of foods and treats, but I’m keen to really build out this to cover dogs and cats of all life stages, including puppy/kitten; and senior pets; and also expand our range to include medical issues such as kidney dysfunction, weight management, joint stiffness and joint problems. With our unique approach to natural ingredient and delicate production techniques, I truly believe that we’re giving pets and pet parents a whole new class of pet foods and treats. Given the importance of whole-life nutrition, I believe this can change health outcomes and improve pets’ lives. Oh, and it’s also delicious.
All imagery provided by Creature Comforts/Vetopia
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