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What to Expect: Product Breakdowns

All of our science communication services are extremely flexible and client-focused, and the product breakdown service is no different!

While working in the pet food side of the industry, the most commonly asked question was “what should I actually look for in a supplement if I want to achieve xyz?” - a very fair question, and the reason we offer the product breakdown service.

We know there are a lot of resources online where you can input your horse’s diet information to get a general idea of whether nutrient requirements are being met, and that as such, you may not be interested in our more comprehensive nutrition consulting services. However,

due to the lack of regulatory oversight and mandatory efficacy standards on supplements, it can be difficult to sort through marketing techniques (and the sheer number of products on the market) to select a product. Since supplements are used to complete or enhance the diet by topping up nutrient gaps between the animal’s current diet and the requirement (or therapeutic level), careful selection is key in supporting the desired health target.

This is where the product breakdown service comes in! By critically evaluating the supplement formulation, noting the amount of research available on the product and the ingredients, and providing key takeaways on proven therapeutic doses, this service can give you some peace of mind, while equipping you with tools to know how to identify a useful supplement!

The Process

  1. Identify Supplement & Intended Goal

  2. Scientific Basis Evaluation

  3. Critical Assessment & Comparison

  4. Fact Sheet and Selection Tips

Identify Supplement & Your Intended Goal

This is the information we need from you, and generally covers:

  • What type of supplement you're looking for (ie, Gut health supplement for a sport horse)

  • If applicable, the product you currently feed and/or the product you are interested in.

  • The intended goal associated with the addition of that supplement to the diet (ie, maintaining gut health during travel and stabling at show venues).

Scientific Basis Evaluation

Once we know the desired health target, we use our expertise and the current literature to identify what nutrition strategies and feed additives are effective in achieving that goal.

For instance, following the gut health supplement example, we'll consider:

  • What dietary components and supplements are associated with gut support, while showing safety and efficacy for equine use?

  • Are there any common active ingredients in this type of supplement that will show up on a drug test?

Critical Assessment & Comparison

Once the scientific basis for the health target is identified, and other relevant data is considered, we note the amount of research available on specific ingredients, and the product (if available).

We compile information such as:

  • What ingredients should be included (noting form and concentration), to provide the target benefit?

  • Have these ingredients been evaluated (alone and together) in horses with no negative impacts?

  • How can these ingredients interact with other feedstuffs which may be present in the diet?

From there, we critically evaluate the supplement formulation based on these criteria (if a specific product was mentioned).

Fact Sheet & Selection Tips

Following the assessment process, we provide a written report on key takeaways on the product, including information such as what ingredients and intake rates to look for, as well as considerations on how these supplements best complement horse's diet.

From there, you can develop a science-backed feeding plan to support your horse’s health and performance. Here at Honos Nutrition Co., we’re passionate about providing supportive learning opportunities, and know that just informing horse owners with science-based practices can help improve lives - so whether you choose to follow up with one of our nutrition consulting services is entirely up to you! As no supplement can make up for an unsuitable diet, if you want to achieve a certain health benefit through nutrition, that should be driven from the bulk of their diet - something we can help with, if desired!

If you’re interested in our product breakdown services, or any of our science communications & nutrition consulting services, contact us today!


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