Thinking Globally as Exotic Animal Ownership Grows

Expanding into new international markets is exciting for Carlos Gutiérrez, an International Feed Manager for Mazuri® responsible for account management, sales, and product registration across the globe. In recent years, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa have seen a tremendous amount of growth in exotic animal ownership.   

“It is exciting to be living in a global economy, where a global exchange of products and information helps drive our industry forward. With advances in communications and technology, the flow of information moves very quickly, which has allowed us to share technical advice and research more quickly to animal care professionals and animal owners alike. At Mazuri®, we are proud to be on the leading edge in providing unique exotic animal nutrition products and information to the world,” says Gutiérrez.

For zoos and animal owners, nutrition is key

Much like the U.S., international exotic animal markets focus primarily on two venues – zoos and individual animal owners.

“Personal ownership of exotic animals is growing, and Mazuri® is proud to provide diets as unique as the animals our customers care for,” says Gutiérrez.

Gutiérrez says pet trends in the U.S. are similar to those in other countries. Dogs and cats continue to lead the way as household pets, but many people are turning their interest towards caring for exotic animals due to their unique beauty and personalities. All exotic species are growing in popularity since 2010, with the fastest growth taking place among bird owners. Small mammals, like ferrets and chinchillas, as well as reptiles are also growing in popularity. Exotic animal ownership can be seen across all age groups, with millennials leading the way. In fact, per the 2015 American Pet Products Association report, millennials own 34 percent of all exotic pets in the United States.

On the other side of the exotic animal industry, zoos are also growing in many countries, and are often staffed by professionals who received their education in the U.S. These professionals are returning to their native countries and applying American practices and feeding products that they were introduced to while in the U.S., with Mazuri® being a leading choice to feed animals in these zoos. “Because zoo professionals are very serious about animal care and since Mazuri® is a leading international feed provider for zoos and aquariums, they request Mazuri® products to meet their animals’ nutritional needs,” says Gutiérrez.

Quality animal care – The Chilean way

The global exchange of information and growing popularity of exotic species as pets has resulted in the formation of many international dealers and distributors such as Animal Care and Wellness Solutions, a group of veterinarians and the largest supplier of exotic animal feed in Chile.

Through a shared vision to continue learning about these amazing animals, Animal Care and Wellness Solutions and Mazuri® are putting research-proven exotic animal nutrition products on pet store shelves. “Mazuri® is the number one brand in food for exotic pets and zoos,” says Raul Echenique, CEO of Animal Care and Wellness Solutions. “People are choosing Mazuri® because they see results.”

Animal Care and Wellness Solutions not only leads the Chilean pet food market, but they also provide Mazuri® diets for 90 percent of the zoos in Chile. “Mazuri® makes life easier and gives animals what they need in managed care,” adds Echenique. “There are many people who would like to provide better feed for their animals, but until now they haven’t had a product to help them do so. We’ve been able to give them a solution with Mazuri®.”

Flexibility to feed exotic animals around the world

Providing feed to an international audience, such as Chile, does have its challenges. Mazuri® products must pass through rigorous product registration and ingredient standards before they can be sold in any given location. “Each situation is different, and we take great care to make sure we meet these standards,” says Gutiérrez, “even when it takes a long time to register our products.”

“We strive to offer unique, quality products around the world so that animals owners can help their animals thrive,” adds Gutiérrez.

“What I take great pride in is that Mazuri® plays a very important role around the world to help exotic animals feel and perform their best, and to assist their owners to continue learning about how to care for these great creatures,” says Gutiérrez. “We’re glad to be associated with Animal Care and Wellness Solutions and the animal nutrition effort in Chile. Animal care professionals and pet owners everywhere are concerned about exotic animal nutrition, and so are we.”

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