Kerry start-up aims for slice of lucrative pet supplements market

Founder says company’s upfront commitment to sustainability has put it on the radar of big brand retailers conscious of their carbon footprint

Pampering pets is big business. Over 90 per cent of owners consider them part of the family and more than 60 per cent buy them holiday gifts.

What we feed our pets has also changed significantly in the last decade, with increased emphasis on natural diets and keeping animals fit and healthy. This has led to a pet supplements wellness industry worth over $800 million (€753m) and Tralee-based pet nutrition start-up Blue Pet Co has its sights firmly set on capturing a slice of this lucrative global market.

Blue Pet’s products fall into the functional foods category and are a range of seaweed-derived treats for dogs made from high purity marine ingredients. The company grows and hand harvests its own seaweed along the west coast and its proprietary extraction technology isolates marine bioactives that support joint mobility, healthy gums, coat and skin condition, gut health, wound healing and immune system performance.

These active ingredient formulations, which include PhyCoidan (for joint health) and PhytoMara (for skin and coat), have been developed in-house and are trademarked.


The company was set up in 2020, and launched its first products earlier this year. To date around €1 million in private funding has been invested. The next step will be an external funding round which will kick off before the end of the year.

CEO and co-founder Gary Daly has ambitious growth plans for the company which is aiming to scale at speed. Its primary route to market will be B2B through large pet retailers. Its supplements, which are pitched at the premium end of the market, are already on sale in Ireland, Britain, Korea, Cyprus, Dubai and Scandinavia.

Plans are well advanced to move into the Australian market once the necessary regulatory approval has been received, and the company is currently jumping through the necessary hoops with regulators in the US with a view to launching there in the near future. The company also sells B2C through its website.

Blue Pet Co is a new departure for Daly who spent most of his career in the advertising industry before deciding to do something completely different. The company has four full-time employees and access to a wider team of 14 with expertise in science, seaweed, sustainability and blue biotech. Manufacturing is outsourced to two Irish pet food producers.

Daly acknowledges that Blue Pet Co is facing stiff competition in the pet supplements business but says his company’s upfront commitment to sustainability has put it on the radar of big brand retailers conscious of their carbon footprint.

“Blue Pet Co is on a mission to re-establish the harmonious balance between pets, people and our planet. We use clean, chemical-free sustainable bioprocessing technologies to change dog lives for the better. Not only are our products great for pet health, but our holistic business model also achieves over 70 per cent of the UN’s sustainability goals,” Daly says.

There are four products in the current line-up, including GoShine and GoActive pastilles, GoSmile dental sticks and a grain-free energy bar for very active dogs.

“These are our launch products but we already have four more in the pipeline which will be market-ready in about six months,” Daly says. These include a chewable treat to reduce anxiety and stress, a microbiome support, a formulation for puppies and a marine-enriched shampoo to relieve itching and scratching. Also on the way is a Blue Pet Co Plus range for veterinary use.

Earlier this month Blue Pet Co was one of six companies selected from around 400 applicants to take part in the Leap Studio & Academy accelerator in the US which is focused on improving the lives of pets through science, technology and innovation. This is worth $200,000 in funding and will also give the company access to mentoring from industry experts and international networking opportunities.