Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

UK sees increased gourmet, seasonal sales

UK petfood manufacturers reported an increase in demand for their gourmet food ranges as well as seeing a seasonal surge in purchases of special snack treats for animals, according to Financial Times.
“The number of people buying products such as our gourmet cat food … increases by 13-16% during December and January,” said Andrew Harding, director of market development at
Nestlé Purina.
The demand for seasonal novelty items extends to pet owners with some pet stores reporting a 30-50% increase in sales during the holidays.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Petfood companies participate in Romer Labs survey

Romer Labs, a company that specializes in diagnostic solutions for food and feed safety, conducted its first Check-Sample Survey in November with its Brazilian subsidiary.
The aflatoxin test samples were dispatched to 49 laboratories in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Almost 60% of the survey participants were from the food, petfood and feed sector, showing the ever-increasing quality consciousness of laboratories in South America.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Purina launches new ad promoting nutrition

Nestlé Purina launched a new documentary-style ad for Friskies via YouTube that depicts a cat named Bobo as he runs and climbs walls in Barcelona, Spain.
The ad aims to show that Friskies delivers the nutrition that can provide agility and energy “for cats that live life to the full.”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Packaging company announces expansion before takeover

France-based Alcan Packaging has started production trials at a new €17 million (US$24.4 million) flexible packaging plant in the Czech Republic as part of its strategy to strengthen its position in the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe, according to
The announcement on the plant came shortly before the European Commission gave its approval to the proposed US$2.025 billion takeover by Australian company
Amcor unveiled its anticipated reorganization with the formation of seven major business units, including a Rigid Plastics division that would consist of what was previously Amcor PET Packaging, Bericap closures - North America and Alcan Packaging Pharma Plastics (Rigids).
The combined Amcor and Alcan Packaging businesses in Europe currently have sales of approximately US$4.8 billion across 75 plants.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

French scientist explains the effects of DON

Mycotoxin intestinal absorption – specifically the effects of DON on the gastrointestinal tract – is the subject of one of the latest videos on Biomin’s Mycotoxin Channel on YouTube.
In a
one-minute-plus clip, Dr. Isabelle Oswald of the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) explains what happens in the intestines of animals as a result of the mycotoxin DON.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zuke's announces support initiatives for retailers

Zuke’s, a manufacturer of all-natural pet treats, announced its 2010 retailer support initiatives, many of which are currently in effect.
“We want to support this trend by providing our retail partners with the tools and incentives they need to increase the sell-through of these products in natural and general grocery,” said Patrick Meiering, founder of Zuke’s.
Support initiatives include in-store sampling programs, store locators on the Zuke’s Web site to push retailer sales and tradeshow specials to support new and existing products.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hartz seeks input on shelter donations

The Hartz Mountain Corp., a US company offering pet supplies and treats, has agreed to donate US$3 million worth of its pet products to animal shelters in the US and Canada.
The company has already donated US$2 million but is asking customers to nominate additional shelters that will benefit from the other US$1 million worth of pet supplies by e-mailing the company at

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merrick donates petfood to shelters

After deciding upon a list of no-kill shelters throughout the US, Merrick Pet Care committed to providing six months worth of petfood to each. To date, Merrick delivers both dry and canned food to shelters in nine states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
This past month, the company provided approximately 14,500 pounds of dry food and 50,000 cans to the shelters.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

iPhone app benefits animal rescue organizations

A new iPhone application called the Rescue Cleaner is only one of more than 100,000 apps that benefits animal rescue organizations.
It features videos of rescued animals, including six dogs, two cats and a ferret, that are put to work inside the mobile device, cleaning the screen with their tongues.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FDA launches pet widget

The US Food and Drug Administration recently launched a pet health and safety widget for consumers as part of an ongoing effort to provide timely public health information.
The widget – a portable application embedded in a Web page that can be copied onto any other Web site or blog – will include topics such as how to report a problem with petfood, purchasing pet drugs online and caring for a pet in a disaster.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Companies offer free processing webinar

K-Tron Process Group announced its collaboration with Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems to present a complimentary technical webinar, “Innovations in Continuous Processing,” that offers pharmaceutical and food processors the latest detailed process information about continuous mixing and loss in weight feeding.
The webinar, set to take place on February 10, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. (EST), will cover developments in continuous feeding and refill operations, with an emphasis on continuous blending for the ultimate in flexibility and processing of multiple ingredients.
For free registration, visit

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ethoxyquin redux

Right now, consumer advocates are asking manufacturers about the preservation of fish meal in their products. Read the full column in Petfood Industry.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Live long, live strong

From puppy to senior to everything in between, lifestage petfoods target immunity and lifespan of dogs and cats. Read the full article in Petfood Industry.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Aller's recipe for success

Combine a commitment to petfood with an emphasis on quality and a focus on a premium and superpremium private label. Read the full article.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hilary Swank to help pets find homes

Iams' Home 4 the Holidays program recently announced actress Hilary Swank will serve as the drive's 2009 ambassador.
Swank will share her personal experience with adoption and rescue in an effort to help educate others about how they can make a positive impact on the lives of homeless pets. Along with founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center and nearly 3,500 participating animal organizations from around the world, the program has set a goal to help 1.5 million pets find homes from October 1, 2009, through January 4, 2010.
Swank has adopted many pets throughout her life, including her two dogs Karoo and Rumi. She rescued Karoo from the side of a road while filming in South Africa a few years ago and adopted Rumi last fall from a participating IH4TH shelter in Los Angeles.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Eukanuba, magazine and Web site launch Cat College

Eukanuba cat food, Cat Fancy magazine and recently launched Cat College – an online school where cat owners can learn more about their pets through educational courses.
The Eukanuba Cat College program kicked off in the
January 2010 issue of Cat Fancy, with a quiz to determine how knowledgeable readers are about their feline pets. Readers are then able to go online and enroll in Cat College.
The Cat College curriculum includes courses on feline nutrition, biology, zoology, genetics, psychology, language, sociology, art history and physical education.
The program's valedictorian will win a year's worth of
Eukanuba cat food.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Update on Premium Edge cat food recall

Diamond Pet Foods recalled certain bags of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball cat food in September due to a lack of thiamine, according to The Associated Press.
Since then, the company has confirmed 21 reports of thiamine deficiency in New York and Pennsylvania.
The recalled cat food was pulled from shelves on September 23 after being distributed in 18 states in the US. No incidents have been reported since October 19.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All American Pet Company to focus on drug, convenience stores

All American Pet Company Inc. is beginning a product launch strategy with a focus on the drug and convenience store marketplace.
"Our aging population is making more frequent visits to ... drug and ... convenience stores," said Lisa Bershan, president of AAPT.
The company is offering a food bar for dogs, designed for heart health, convenience and the price-conscious consumer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Halo sponsors iPhone app for petfood donations

Halo Purely for Pets, a producer of holistic pet care products, announced its official sponsorship of’s first iPhone application.
On Dec. 1, will launch “Kibble Katch,” a game that results in Halo donating 1,000 pieces of kibble per purchased application (about four meals), to to donate to shelters dogs.
“We are proud to be working with Freekibble to help feed animals that deserve a decent meal,” said David Yaskulka, vice president of marketing and communications at Halo. “People who love animals can make small but significant donations with huge pay-offs.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

H1N1 virus reported in Chinese dogs

China’s Agriculture Ministry announced on November 28 that two dogs tested positive for H1N1 virus, as reported by Beijing’s Jinghua Times. The two dogs were among 52 sick dogs tested for the virus.
The H1N1 flu found in the above cases is suspected to have been transferred from humans to their pets, and the disease can be transferred among dogs, according to the report.
This is the first time H1N1 virus has been found Chinese dogs, the report said, though four cases of H1N1 were found in a hog slaughterhouse in North China last month.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Senate Committee approves US food safety bill

A Senate Committee recently unanimously approved a revamped set of US food safety laws, which, under the FDA, also impact petfood.
The bill is expected to be on the Senate floor sometime next year, according to
The committee approved the legislation with just a few changes:
*Authorizing the federal government to fund increasing states' food safety capabilities
*Whistleblower protections
*Requiring the government to consider organic standards
The House earlier approved the same bill, which would increase FDA regulatory powers, such as allowing it to order a food recall.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DuPont now accepting entries for packaging awards

DuPont Packaging announced the call for entries in the 22nd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.
Entries will be evaluated for excellence in packaging innovation, sustainability and cost /waste reduction.
Entry forms and guidelines are available at
The deadline for entries is Feb. 12, 2010.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Firm fined £100,000 for employee death

UK petfood company Butcher's Pet Care Ltd. was fined £100,000 (US$168,300) for the death of an employee due to the company’s breach of health and safety regulations, according to the BBC.
John O'Connor, 38, from Rugby, Warwickshire, was crushed to death in 2003 when he climbed into a palletizing machine to clear a blockage.
The machine should have had a system to prevent anyone gaining access until the power was shut off, according to health and safety regulations.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Foods sees positive third quarter

Menu Foods Income Fund announced results for the third quarter that ended September 30, including EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of CA$7.4 million (US$7.07 million), a 93% increase over the same quarter last year.
"Our strong third quarter performance continues the trend begun in the first quarter of 2009 and marks the first time since 2006 that Menu has had three consecutive profitable quarters," stated Paul Henderson, president and CEO of Menu Foods GenPar Ltd.
The petfood company also generated almost CA$10 million (US$9.55 million) in cash from operations and was able to reduce its bank indebtedness by CA$8.5 million (US$8.12 million) and finance CA$1.5 million (US$1.43 million) of capital expenditures undertaken during the third quarter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Canidae helps launch petfood bank

Canidae Pet Foods has donated USD$125,000 worth of petfood to the Pongo Fund, allowing the fund to open what it says is the nation's largest petfood bank on November 8.
Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, located in Portland, Oregon, USA, provides a two-week supply of free petfood to those in need, along with nutritional information and tips for safely transitioning their dogs to an all-natural, premium diet.
"Our first day was exceptional, a perfectly joyful opportunity to help the community," said Larry Chusid, founder of the Pongo Fund. "Our goal is to be able to provide 8 tons of free premium petfood every month."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New pet shop proof of pet humanization

The popularity of Pussy & Pooch – a combination health spa, boutique and sushi bar for pets – is the latest proof that pet owners are willing to spend more money to pamper their pets despite the economy as they continue to humanize them.
The multifaceted store, which recently opened in Long Beach, California, USA, sells mostly organic petfood, both prepackaged and at the raw food bar, pet toys and supplies and has seen a steady stream of customers so far, according to the
"It's not frivolous, it's not fancy; it's all about the health of the animal," said Janene Zakrajsek, co-owner and operator of the store.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alba Proteins fined for explosion, worker injuries

Alba Proteins Penrith Ltd., a petfood manufacturing company, was fined £20,000 (US$33,700) after three workers were injured by an offal cooker explosion at a plant in Cumbria, England, according to Safety Media.
Workers were trying to clear a blockage in the industrial cooker in August 2007 when steam and offal exploded through the inspection hatches.
“Alba Proteins should have carried out a formal risk assessment so that it was able to offer employees guidance on how to deal with blockages safely. Instead, no training was provided and workers were put in danger as a result,” said Steven Smith, head of operations for the
Health and Safety Executive, which prosecuted the company.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pantries join forces to collect petfood

The Pikes Peak Pet Pantry announced teaming up with the Northland Pet Pantry in Missouri, USA, and Central Florida Animal Pantry to hold the first ever Pet Pantry Partners’ “Furr-ever Home” National Pet Food Drive, starting November 21 through January 1.
All of the organizations involved hope to gather at least 5,000 pounds each, or 15,000 or more combined pounds of dog and cat food, as well as food for other pets, to help local families keep their pets.

The pantries also hope to bring national awareness to the importance of petfood assistance.

Mars starts with the pet

A passion for pets and ‘petcentric’ mindset drive all new products and initiatives for Mars Petcare US. Read the full article in Petfood Industry magazine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New products, new strategies

Research & development conducted on the Internet for new petfood product launches is driving growth and ingenuity. Read the full article.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reducing costs in wet petfood production

Savings can often be achieved by optimizing usage of gels and thickeners. Read the full article.

Victam Asia 2010 coincides with other feed, petfood events

Victam Asia, to be held March 3-5, 2010, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand, will host at least 150 international feed manufacturing companies. The pet industry trade show will be accompanied by three additional events, including Petfood Industry’s Petfood Forum Asia.
FIAAP Asia and Grapas Asia, will also be part of Victam Asia 2010.
“Objectives for this event are to enhance the level of productivity and potential in trading pertaining to feed industry,” said Henk van de Bunt, general manager for Victam International, in a news

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A dietary treatment for osteoarthritis

Gelatin hydrolysate can alleviate symptoms of this canine joint disease. Read the full article.

Petco promotes organic petfood via e-mail

Petco’s marketing approach now includes monthly e-mail messages about its products and services, including information about organic petfood and coupons for the products.
Petco followed up the e-mail marketing campaign by hosting in-store nutrition seminars to educate customers on the benefits of an organic pet diet, according to an article from DMNews.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

International Safe Feed/Safe Food nears launch

The international version of the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is nearing implementation, according to the American Feed Industry Association, the creator and sponsor of the third-party-verified program that has run in the US since 2004 and has certified more than 350 livestock feed and ingredient facilities.
Representatives of the European Feed Additives and Premixtures Association, also known as
FEFANA, recently met with AFIA in Arlington, Virginia, USA, to discuss details of the international version of the program.
The establishment of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program was designed to help facilitate US trade with European feed and ingredient customers by providing a tool to illustrate compliance with the European Union’s feed hygiene regulation, Regulation (EC) 183/2005, which requires certification from the h
azard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) system.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FDA issues alert on two treats

The US Food and Drug Administration issued a health alert to advise consumers not to use Pig Ears and Beef Hooves pet treats manufactured by Pet Carousel Inc. due to possible Salmonella contamination.
The products were distributed nationwide to petfood and retail chain stores.
One of the stores,
PetSmart, reacted with its own voluntary recall of two Beef Hoof products manufactured by Pet Carousel.
The company recalled products include Dentley's Bulk Cattle Hoof and Dentley's 10 Pack Beef Hooves purchased between October 2 and November 3, 2010.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tyson plans to reopen pet treat plant

Tyson Foods announced plans to reopen its pet treat production plant in Independence, Iowa, USA, in 2010 after the Iowa Economic Development Board approved incentives to reopen the plant.
The company closed the plant in 2006, but spokesman Dave Hogberg told
The Associated Press that the pet treats market has seen consistent growth annually and is expected to continue to expand.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eukanuba showcases prebiotic line

Eukanuba, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, showed off its prebiotic line of petfoods at the 2009 Meet The Breeds Convention at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, USA.
"Prebiotics feed the good bugs in the intestine system," said Eukanuba's Jason Taylor.
Taylor said the petfood is good for both dogs and cats, and is not breed specific.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fresh from the farm

Locally grown, natural ingredients and ‘made in the USA’ labeling ease consumers’ residual recall worries. Read the full article.

Bravo! publishes raw food how-to booklet

Bravo! published "Bravo! Beginnings: Raw Diets for Cats," an 18-page informational booklet on feeding raw written specifically for cat owners.
The company published the feline-specific follow-up to its "Bravo! Beginnings" series to address the nutritional needs of cats and the process for transitioning cats to a raw diet.
“Since education is a key part of our process, we felt we needed a booklet that would address more specifically the nutritional needs of cats and the significance a raw diet can have on their health and well-being,” said David Bogner, Bravo! owner and co-founder.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pet nutritionist to discuss homemade petfood

Pet nutritionist Hilary Watson will speak at two events in November about pet nutrition and homemade dog food.
Watson says dog food should include protein, fat, 11 vitamins and 12 minerals, balanced properly. Her book, Complete & Balanced 101 Healthy Home-made Meals for Dogs, covers tested recipes for pet owners seeking an alternative to store brands. (
See another presentation from Kathryn E. Michel on unconventional diets.)
November events:
Watson will speak at the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association seminar, Wednesday, November 4, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. For more information, call Wendy Regular at +1.877.909.2242, ext. 119.
Watson will also speak to dog breeders and owners about petfood manufacturing, ingredients and quality assurance, Thursday, November 5, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Register online.

Pet industry trade show reports strong traffic

The 43rd Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show and Educational Conference, held in October in Rosemont, Illinois, USA, drew more than 8,800 registered buyers from almost 2,600 companies.
There were 728 exhibitors occupying 1,187 booths, including 144 first-time exhibitors.
“We noticed buying was up significantly from the last couple of shows,” said trade show director Colette Fairchild. “Exhibitors reported steady sales throughout the weekend. The pet industry seems to have weathered the recession better than many others.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holistic petfood brand adds more functional ingredients

Holistic Select from WellPet now offers recipes with Select Actives, functional ingredients found in nature.
The food follows the company's philosophy of preventing health problems in pets before they start. Select Actives are a combination of enzymes, probiotics, live micro-organisms, botanicals and phytonutrients. The recipes are for cats and dogs through all life stages.

Wysong widens recall due to mold

Wysong expanded the recall of its extruded dog foods manufactured in June, July and August of 2009 with lot numbers Maintenance 090817, Senior 090811 and Synorgon 090629.
Those lots join five others recalled earlier (Maintenance 090617, 090624, 090706, and 090720 and Senior 090623).
The company attributed the mold to unusually high heat and humidity during the summer in combination with a malfunctioning moisture checking device, according to its
Web site.
Wysong reported its foods were tested for mycotoxins and came back negative.

Monday, November 2, 2009

PFI elects Bob Kelly as chairman

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) announced the election of Bob Kelly as its new chairman of the board. Kelly, president of Bil-Jac Foods Inc., was elected by the board of directors at PFI’s 52nd Annual Industry Meeting on October 15. Prior to election as chairman, Kelly served as vice chairman of PFI.
“I am honored that my colleagues in the petfood industry elected me chairman of PFI,” said Kelly. “I look forward to a productive tenure as I serve as chairman of PFI, a great organization that represents an industry dedicated to ensuring that our pet cats and dogs live long healthy lives.”
Other officers elected at the PFI meeting include Dan Rajczak, senior vice president of P&G Pet Care, as vice chairman; Rick Shields, executive vice president for technical services of
Menu Foods, as treasurer; and Neil Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, as secretary.

Friday, October 30, 2009

FDA addresses PFI meeting

The animal-related division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks at what it can do to prevent a problem before it becomes a problem, FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein told those attending the Pet Food Institute (PFI) annual meeting in Washington, DC.
He said the agency strives to make sure all parties affected know what the standards are and what they have to do to comply.
He also noted that if there is an issue, FDA needs to know about it. On the topic of generally recognized as safe (or GRAS) clearances, Sharfstein said he finds that area "interesting" but said FDA wants it to work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tyson plans to expand petfood operation

Tyson Foods Inc. announced it will spend US$6.6 million in renovations and equipment for a plant in Independence, Iowa, USA, with plans to expand its petfood operation by early 2010.
Tyson said it will hire about 60 employees when the plant reopens.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Report reviews growing segments of pet market

Senior, weight management and special needs pet products may make significant developments in the current market, according to Bharat Book Bureau.
The US dog and cat population age six or older is increasing, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dogs six and older increased from 42% in 1996 to 44% in 2006, and cats of the same age rose from 37% to 44%.
Similarly, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said 44% of dogs and 57% of cats were overweight or obese as of 2008, up since 2007. And older animals had an even higher incidence of obesity.
To offer insight on this topic, the report discusses the following market segments:
*Petfood, including nutraceutical treats
*Prescription pet medications
*Devices and other non-food assistance products
*Pet supplements
The report can be
purchased online.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magazine gives Cranimals seal of approval

Animal Wellness magazine has endorsed Cranimals, a new line of certified organic petfood supplement, with the Animal Wellness Seal of Approval.
Animal Wellness Magazine touts Cranimals – formulated with Kosher, certified organic extracts from cranberries, blueberries and red raspberries, as well as a novel source of DHA omega-3 fatty acids extracted from microalgae – as a smart choice for health-conscious pet owners.
"This is the most innovative product I have seen in a long time," said Becky Starr, regional manager of Animal Wellness magazine. "It's a great choice for health-conscious pet owners who would also like to prevent chronic degenerative disease like pet arthritis and pet cancer in a natural, holistic manner."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wellness donates 52,000 treats to US military dogs

Wellness Natural Pet Food, in partnership with the company’s charitable arm, the WellPet Foundation, has donated 52,000 all-natural Wellness Pure Rewards Jerky Bits dog snacks to the Military Working Dog Team Support Association Inc.
The snacks will be sent to US military working dogs deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to leverage wellness and nutrition in the petfood aisle

From the rapid growth of the fresh and natural format, exemplified by Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Wild Oats, to the mainstreaming of organic and natural products in conventional supermarkets, it's clear that natural has hit the big time. So it goes in the petfood aisle, as well. Consumers are increasingly seeking a healthy way of living, and are projecting these aspirations onto their pets, since their furry companions are certainly a big part of their world.
According to BusinessWire, natural petfood is a response to a convergence of trends: the pet owner's desire for a healthy, balanced life coupled with a tendency to humanize their pets. This trait is typical of pet care—trends in human products often translate into similar demands in the pet aisle. That goes for gourmet flavors, functional foods and natural and organic foods.
It's no secret that natural and organic products represent a large growth opportunity at present, but traditional food outlets are, in general, missing out on their fair share, according to BusinessWire. Food, drug and mass outlets (excluding Wal-Mart) account for three times the market share of natural foods retailers (excluding Trader Joe's), but only pull in 40% of natural products sales, according to a recent ACNielson report. This, along with other key factors, leads to the conclusion that natural petfood, treats and care are segments traditional food retailers should be focusing on.
As the wellness trend converges with pet pampering mania, category experts are expecting natural/organic petfood to grow at more than 3 times the rate of total petfood, according to Packaged Facts. It is also anticipated that it will be the large national brands that will drive that advance. That makes perfect sense because of the brand support major brands are able to underwrite. With natural petfood going mainstream, consumers shouldn't have to leave their favorite store to find the products they desire for their pet's health and longevity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Petfood operation found to be illegal

The Zoning Board of Appeals has ordered Sweet Meadow Farm in Sherborn, Massachusetts, USA, to cease its petfood operation after it was found to be illegal, according to The MetroWest Daily News.
After an inspection by the town zoning enforcement officer, the board ruled unanimously that the farm's petfood operation was illegal because the farm brought in products from elsewhere which were packaged and processed on the farm and shipped out.
The farm's owners are planning to appeal the ruling.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Plant runs entirely on solar power

Cardinal Laboratories, manufacturer of dog and cat care products, including dog treats, will officially convert its plant into a 100% solar-powered facility in Azusa, California, USA, on October 29.
Undertaken with the Solar Partnership Program of the City of Azusa, the conversion has taken Cardinal Laboratories off the power grid; the company is harvesting enough power from its solar collection system to send electricity back to its local utility.

Head Over Tails for Pets launches new website

Head Over Tails for Pets’ new website,, says it will easily cut the time spent on shopping for pet supplies in half. combines an easy-to-navigate site with a focus on offering products for dogs and cats — including organic petfood, healthy treats, natural supplements for pets, professional grooming tools and durable, long-lasting toys to keep pets vibrant and healthy, according to the company.
“Although there are a lot of big box retailers selling tons of pet supplies, it’s hard for the consumer to find unique specialty items for their pets,” said Rachel Rice, internet marketing manager. “We saw a real opportunity to offer the best and the brightest in the nicest, most easy-to-use format, and we accomplished that with”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mars’ Waltham Centre explores human-pet interaction

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is partnering with Mars’ Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in England to look for studies on how interactions between children and animals affect typical development and health, and whether they have therapeutic and public-health benefits, according to The New York Times.
The Waltham Centre is conducting its own research on human-pet interaction, according to Catherine E. Woteki, global director of scientific affairs for Mars Inc.
“We are a petfood company and pet care company,” Dr. Woteki said in the article, “and we’re interested in seeing that that relationship stays a strong one.”

UK pet owners spend more on premium petfood

Based on a Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) survey, 90% of pet owners know that what they feed their pet affects its health and therefore they want to feed their pets the best-quality food. High-quality premium foods are therefore a growing market sector in the United Kingdom.
M&S Pet Insurance highlighted figures from online retailer and pharmacy BestPet, tracking a 30% rise in premium food sales over the past 12 months.

Friday, October 16, 2009

UK pet insurance company gives away year’s supply of petfood

M&S Money, based in the United Kingdom, is giving pet owners a chance to win a year's supply of petfood.
Anyone who takes out or renews an
M&S Pet Insurance policy before December 31, 2009, will be entered into the prize drawing. There will be six prizes of Royal Canin dry petfood for one cat or one dog for one calendar year.

Canidae to help raise cancer funding

Canidae Pet Foods Inc. will be at the American Kennel Club Meet the Breeds event October 17-18, 2009, at the Javits Center in New York City, where it will help to raise funds for cancer research in pets.
Continuing its mission of supporting responsible pet ownership and helping animals in need, the company will have a charity raffle with all proceeds benefiting cancer research in pets. One grand prize winner each day will receive a Felt X-City 5 bicycle.
Tickets for the raffle are US$2 for one, or US$5 for three. All proceeds, including the cost of the Felt bicycles supplied by Canidae, will be donated to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for cancer research in pets.
The Meet the Breeds showcase is a chance to get to know 160 breeds of dog and 41 breeds of cat. Each breed will be presented in its own designated space, decorated to reflect its heritage, characteristics and unique attributes as a pet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wysong dry dog food recalled over mold concern

Wysong Corporation is recalling some shipments of its dry dog food from its Maintenance and Senior product lines.
The company said certain batches are “above acceptable moisture levels and may contain mold.”
Bags with the following lot numbers are in question and should NOT be fed:
Wysong Maintenance - 090617, 090624, 090706 and 090720
Wysong Senior - 090623
Moldy petfood ranges in severity,
according to reports, but vomiting and diarrhea is common, said veterinarian Lee Herold.
The above lots can be returned to retailers or replaced by the company.

Diamond recalls two cat food brands

Diamond Pet Food recently recalled two of its cat food brands after cats were reported to have shown neurological symptoms. The reports came from the Rochester, New York, USA, area.
The petfood in question is low in thiamine, which can cause brain damage, according to a
news article.
It is recommended that pet owners whose cats have eaten the food specified below contact their veterinarian.

Diamond is also asking consumers to return the potentially tainted food:
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat with codes of RAF0501A22X (18-lb. bag), RAF0501A2X (6-lb. bag), RAH0501A22X (18-lb. bag) and RAH0501A2X (6-lb. bag).
More than a dozen cases have been confirmed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senior, weight management pet products expected to increase

The aging pet population and the epidemic of overweight/obese pets are two emergent trends in the health product segment of the US pet market, according to the report "Senior, Weight Management and Special Needs Pet Products in the U.S." from market research publisher Packaged Facts.
The US$4 billion market for senior, weight management and special needs pet products is expected to increase 55% over 2008 sales to almost $7 billion in 2013.
“In light of the humanization and premiumization trends, it's a market segment that will only broaden in the years to come,” said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Iams, Eukanuba offer prebiotic petfood

P&G Pet Care has introduced prebiotic petfood formulas of Iams and Eukanuba to help maintain pets’ gastrointestinal health. Featuring the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides), these new formulas stimulate the balance of gut microflora (species of good bacteria) which in turn promotes a stronger immune system to help fight disease, according to P&G.
"There has been an explosion of new prebiotic and probiotic products in human nutrition and … consumers are embracing these products to help promote their own digestive and overall health," said Dr. Sherry Sanderson, animal nutrition expert and associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wellness adds to hypoallergenic petfood line

In a national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Wellness Natural Petfood, owners of dogs with food allergies are confused about how to treat them.
Fewer than half of the pet owners surveyed recognized which ingredients can aggravate their pets’ allergies: 40% were aware of wheat causing potential allergic reactions and 26% were aware of soy.
Wellness has introduced additions to its
Simple Food Solutions hypoallergenic line of dry food to cater to pets with such allergies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Article: Treats better choice than table scraps

A recent article from South Carolina News advised pet owners to avoid feeding pets table scraps and instead feed them pet treats.
Among the reasons listed why treats are better than table scraps were higher nutritional value, better effects on pets’ digestive systems and fewer calories.

Bill would allow Chinese chicken imports

According to reports, US legislators are considering an appropriations measure that lifts an import ban of two years on Chinese poultry.
If passed, Chinese poultry that meets US safety standards could again be imported.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Registration open for petfood safety symposium

Registration is still open for Kemin’s Food Safety in Petfoods and Petfood Ingredients, to be held Oct. 6-7 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The different sessions at the symposium will cover regulatory issues, quality and testing and manufacturing techniques.
For more information, visit

Mars opens 'green' plant in Arkansas

Mars Petcare US has opened a new plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, US, that the company says is the state's first sustainable manufacturing facility and the first sustainable petfood manufacturing plant in the world.
The US$80 million, 305,000-square-foot facility has received Gold certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for its water recycling and energy reduction features, plus efforts to protect against erosion and light pollution. The plant is the first within Mars Petcare US's 20-facility network to receive such certification.
"Our future is being built on the passion we have for pets and our desire to make the world a better place for them," said Luc Mongeau, president of Mars Petcare US. "This facility demonstrates that commitment, as it allows us to make our remarkable products in a more environmentally responsible way."
As part of the plant opening, the company donated US$5,000 each to the Sebastian County, Arkansas, Humane Society and the Arkansas Earth Day Foundation.
The plant will produce the company's Cesar Canine Cuisine line of dog food.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NAVTA students to raise money for pet fund

Student chapters of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America will be raising money during National Veterinary Technician Week, Oct. 11-17, to help boost the American Animal Hospital Association's Helping Pets Fund.
The fund helps pet owners who are struggling financially and was started in 2005.

Nutro voluntarily recalls petfood

Nutro voluntarily recalled some of its petfoods because of the possibility of plastic pieces being in bags of kibble, according to reports. The three puppy foods affected are: Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice & Oatmeal Puppy in 5 lb. bags, Nutro Ultra Puppy in 4.5 lb. bags and Nutro Ultra Puppy in 30 lb. bags.
The potentially harmful food was sold exclusively in PetSmart and Petco stores with a best by date of September 10, 2010. Stores in the following states were reportedly affected: California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah.
A Nutro representative confirmed there is a possibility of plastic pieces being in the food (
read press release).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vick tackles yield petfood donations

Main Line Animal Rescue of Washington, DC, USA, placed an ad in the Washington Post, promising to donate 5 bags of dog food to a local animal shelter each time football player Michael Vick is tackled during the Philadelphia Eagles' match with the Washington Redskins, October 26.
"I think we just need to raise public awareness, and this is a good way to do that. It may be funny. It may be clever. It may not," Bill Smith, founder and CEO of the shelter, told the
Philadelphia Inquirer.
The ad also encourages shelter volunteerism.

Go Redskins!!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nutro UK to close

In a letter posted on its Web site, Nutro UK, petfood manufacturer, announced it ceased trading Sept. 25 and will close its doors by month’s end.
The reasons listed in the letter are higher prices for ingredients and an adverse exchange rate on its product produced in the EU.

Analytical methods for melamine, triazine analogs

The following methods for detection of melamine/cyanuric acid were developed bythe Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Office of Regulatory Affairs.

GC-MS Screen for the Presence of Melamine, Ammeline, Ammelide and Cyanuric Acid (Version 2.1), May 16, 2007

GC-MS Method for Screening and Confirmation of Melamine and Related Analogs (Version 2), May 7, 2007

The FDA Field laboratories are using LC-MS/MS methods that are capable of determining melamine and cyanuric acid at levels of 0.25 ppm in powdered infant formula and other dairy-containing food products or ingredients. These and a GC/MS method for melamine and its analogues are:

*Melamine Methodology
*Determination of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid Residues in Infant Formula using LC-MS/MS
*Interim Method for Determination of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid Residues in Foods using LC-MS/MS
*GC/MS method for melamine and analogues

For more information, contact:
Jonathan Litzau, Forensic Chemistry Center (FCC), US FDA, +1.513.679.2700, ext. 268
Greg Mercer, Pacific Regional Laboratory – Northwest (PRL-NW), US FDA, +1.425.483.4755
Kevin Mulligan, +1.513.679.2700, ext. 238

Thursday, October 1, 2009

PFI GRAS recommendations, speaker lineup

The following is a summary of the Pet Food Institute's (PFI) recommendations on self-affirmed generally recognized as safe ingredients (SA-GRAS). Geoffery Wong of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will present on this topic October 15 at the PFI Annual Industry Meeting.

1. FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) does not have the resources to review ingredients under both SA-GRAS and the Association of American Feed Control Official's (AAFCO) Ingredient Definition Committee (IDC). The firm seeking the approval should determine which way they want to submit.

2. A firm can make a determination that a particular use of a substance is GRAS and go to market. Or, notify FDA of its notification.

3. The scientific standard for a determination of GRAS requires the same quality and quantity of information in a food additive petition.

4. Proceeding with the AAFCO process has a lower data hurdle, in part because these ingredients are ones for which FDA does not have safety concerns.

5. If they notify FDA the result will be: Letter of no questionsLetter stating insufficient basisCVM does not support listing an ingredient that goes through the FDA-SA-GRAS process in the OP.If a state takes action against an ingredient that is the subject of a no questions letter and is listed on the Web site, FDA will not support the state challenge.

6. An ingredient the firm wants listed in the OP must go through the AAFCO-IDC process.

At the PFI Annual Industry Meeting, The Update Session, October 15, at 2 p.m., will feature:

*Ricky Schroeder, manager, Feed & Fertilizer Reg., Texas A&M University (AAFCO Perspectives)
*Bill Burkholder, petfood specialist, FDA, CVM (Current state of petfood regulations)
Geoffery Wong, supervisor, Ingredient Safety Team, FDA, CVM (More information on Self-Affirmed GRAS)

*Kim Young, deputy director, Division of Compliance, FDA, CVM (Reportable Food Registry)

*Kristin Schmitz, senior staff veterinarian, USDA, APHIS, VA, NCIE (Canadian Export Issues)

Castor & Pollux make Inc.'s fast-growing company list

Castor & Pollux Pet Works, based in Clackamas, Oregon, US, was named to Inc. magazine's list of fastest-growing companies again, earning the 615th spot on the 2009 Top 500/5,000 listing.
This year's rankings are based on cumulative growth over five years ending December 2008, with Castor & Pollux revenues growing 465% for the period. This is the third consecutive year the company has been named to the list, moving up from the 665th spot in 2008, and 771st ranking in 2007.
Castor & Pollux Pet Works was among the first petfood companies to comply with US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program regulations that apply to ingredients and packaging of organic human food.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Honest Kitchen switches to free-range chicken

The Honest Kitchen is transitioning all its chicken-based, dehydrated raw petfoods to sustainably farmed, free-range chicken this fall.
The chicken will be sourced exclusively from
Petaluma Poultry, a division of Coleman Natural Foods, and is US Department of Agriculture-certified free range, humanely raised, vegetarian fed without the use of animal fat or by-products and free from antibiotics, according to the company.
“Humane farming and respect for the origins of our food are very important to me on a personal level, and it’s been a long-term ambition of our entire staff to be able to offer this level of quality to our consumers,” said Lucy Postins, founder and president of The Honest Kitchen.
Petaluma Poultry’s free-range birds are raised in roomy, naturally lit barns and have open access to outdoor pens, according to the company. The company’s farms have an ISO 14001 certification from the Environmental Resources Management Group of Companies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wegmans selects new petfood supplier

Wegmans Food Markets chose Meadville, Penn., manufacturer Dad’s Pet Care to produce its line of dry petfoods, according to reports.
Wegmans’ brands, Bruiser dry dog food and Buju and Ziggie dry cat food, will be produced at the new location.
The retailer chose Dad’s Pet Care after an onsite inspection for high food safety standards. The Pennsylvania location complies with Safe Quality Foods 2000 level two standards. Wegmans says it holds its petfood to the same safety standards as its human foods.
The change in manufacturers comes after last year’s product recalls from a strain of Salmonella found at the previous supplier’s facility.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lantmannen Doggy to triple output

Due to strong demand by Swedish, German and Russian consumers for its dog and cat food, Swedish petfood manufacturer Lantmannen Doggy will expand production to triple its output, particularly of products packaged in Tetra Recart packaging.
The company is investing approximately €6.2 million (US$9.1 million) into the project, which has a spring 2010 completion date.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fishy pet treat lauded

A treat product from Fish4Dogs was voted the best new product for 2009 by the Pet Product Retail Association (PPRA).
Founder Jill Angell saw a market niche to include healthy fish products into the petfood market with Star Treats. Versions of the treats feature taurine, Omega 3 and salmon oil.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hartz gives to animal sanctuary

The Hartz Mountain Corp. recently donated $112,000 of food and supplies to help some 1,700 abandoned and abused pets.
The recipient is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, the US's largest companion animal sanctuary, where there is a daily need for food, toys, bedding and other supplies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Promotion encourages owners to get pets to vet

Beginning in October, National Pet Wellness Month, participating US veterinary clinics will launch a new educational campaign: A Happy, Healthy Pet Starts With a Plan. The campaign, promoting regular veterinary care, is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Fort Dodge Animal Health and VPI Pet Insurance.
The three-step plan encourages twice-a-year wellness exams, disease prevention and pet health insurance products.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dogs get Texas-sized donation

WellPet Foundation, the charitable arm of the Wellness Natural Pet Food, donated nearly 17 tons of dog food and snacks to the 800 dogs currently residing at the DAWGS N Texas animal shelter. The shelter is an animal wellness group and sanctuary based in Dalhart, Texas, USA, whose primary goal is to find loving and safe homes for the animals in its care.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Poison Hotline not just for people

When an animal companion gets into something it shouldn’t; such as plants, cleaners and medicine, help may be a phone call away with Pet Poison Helpline. The service is professionally staffed around the clock and available to pet owners and veterinary staff who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet for a flat fee.
The service, staffed with specialists, charges $35, which includes follow-up consultations for poison cases of all pet species.
The phone number for Pet Poison Helpline is +1.800.213.6680 and additional information, including pet care tips, can be accessed on the Web,
Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 18, 2009

No dietary supplements in petfood to change?

FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) contends dietary supplements should not be added to animal feed. However, for companion animals, this could change, according to a recent article.
A formerly established court decision holding that inclusion of supplements can be tied to taste and aroma might be an in, considering a test of this could be a demonstrated preference of foods.
The article pointed to the rationale of the CVM protecting human food supply via the ingredients in animal feed as still being sound, but questioned what this might mean for companion animals, or those not used for food.

Mulligan Stew launches dry dog food line

Mulligan Stew Pet Food will launch its first dry dog food line, Mulligan Stew's Premium Baked Kibble, at the US fall industry trade shows SuperZoo and HH Backer, according to a news report.
The product includes patent-pending formulation for optimal cellular health, the company says.
Diane Peterson, Mulligan Stew's chief sales and marketing officer, says: "We chose an experienced baked kibble manufacturer located in the heart of the USA, who produces our kibble line utilizing wind powered energy. During these energy-conscious times, sustainable best business practices are important."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Report says FDA role in petfood recalls not enough

Iowa Senator and, until recently, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Tom Harkin has made a series of recommendations to strengthen Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recall authority and improve its effectiveness in monitoring food recalls, according to a news report.
This follows the report of the
Office of Inspector General’s audit regarding FDA’s role in the 2007 petfood recalls, which stated the agency had not done enough to prevent the scandal involving 60-million containers of petfood in the US, most manufactured by Menu Foods and sold under 95 brand names.
FDA’s Principle Deputy Commissioner Joshua M. Sharfstein has admitted its “limited resources” were no match for a recall of unprecedented size and scope.
He also said the experience would lead to betterment of the organization’s efforts. One such development could be the FDA’s new Reportable Food Registry. Designed to alert FDA on food safety issues, the electronic portal went live September 8. Manufacturers are now required to report any food- or feed-product safety incident, via the portal, within 24 hours after determining that their products might sicken or kill animals or people.
USDA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced September 9 that they have launched a new site designed to provide the latest on food safety and recall information, which will include petfood products.

IMG, ‘Dog Whisperer’ to launch magazine

Cesar Millan, “Dog Whisperer,” and IMG worldwide have launched a magazine — Cesar’s Way — dedicated to dog owners and their pets, according to a news report.
It is slated to hit the newsstands next week. The partners declined to discuss the project's finances.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nutro partners with social networking site

Nutro has partnered with, a social networking site, to promote Natural Choice dog food. The petfood company is sponsoring 60 Meetup Groups in North America.
At the first event, September 16 at Animal Haven in Manhattan, New York, USA, Marty Becker, DVM, author and veterinarian on Good Morning America, will share pet nutrition and health tips. Dog owners can get more information and sign up

Veterinarians warn of raw food hazards

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and Public Health Agency of Canada have issued a statement warning pet owners of the potential health risks raw food could pose to their pets, according to a news report.
“Careful handling while cleaning and storing the food is most important. People in households with seniors or very young children need to be particularly careful,” said veterinarian Wanda Vockeroth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ODA, farmer duo locked in legal battle over petfood ingredients

Ohio's Fourth District Court of Appeals was urged to uphold an earlier ruling against the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) allowing two farmers to use raw milk in their petfood products, according to a news report.
That ruling, issued by Washington County Judge Ed Lane November 2008, found ODA officials engaged in violating the constitutional rights of Linda Fagan and Donna Betts, Washington County farmers, to stop them from legally using raw goat and cow milk as a listed ingredient in their petfood products.
Judge Lane had ordered the ODA to pay up to $20,000 in attorney fees and court costs and left Fagan and Betts free to resume production of their petfood products.
ODA had appealed the ruling. After mediation efforts failed between ODA and Fagan and Betts, the case was referred to Ohio's Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Natural petfood market in the US grows

According to consumer research firm Packaged Facts, the US petfood market grew 20.9% between 2004 and 2008, reported.
The 2007 recalls increased natural petfoods’ sales as consumers related higher priced foods with safety, the company said. The trend continued into 2008. For the first 11 months of 2008, the top two claims of petfood manufacturers were for “natural” and “upscale” products.
The firm forecasts petfood sales to grow through at least 2011 despite the economic conditions, with natural product sales remaining an important driver.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Australian petfood market overview available has added the "Snapshots Australia Pet Food 2009" report to its Web site, Reuters reported.
The report includes year-end market size data for 2008, estimates for 2009, historical data for the past five years and a forecast for the next five. The data is available in graphical as well as tabular format. The report also covers wet cat, wet dog, dry dog, dry cat, chilled petfood, dog treats and bird food.
The topics covered include category definitions, market size by value and volume, market shares, forecasts, socio-economic data and sources for further research.

US cat food industry report available has added the "State of the Industry: Cat Food in the US — 4th Edition" report to its Web site, Reuters reported.
The report consists of data, forecasts, objective analysis, past, present and future sales data, consumer data, drivers of market growth, summary of leading companies and distribution channels.
The key topics covered in the report include analysis, organic and natural cat food sales, statistics, market shares for Top 10 petfood companies and graphs.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FDA issues guidance document for food registry portal

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a guidance document for submitting reports of reportable food safety incidents through the electronic portal, Reportable Food Registry.
The document answers questions such as how, when and where to submit reports to FDA, who is required to submit reports, what is required to be submitted and what may be required when providing notifications to other persons in the supply chain.
Though the Reportable Food Registry went into effect September 8, FDA announced it intends to exercise enforcement discretion for 90 days, until December 8, 2009, in circumstances where the agency determines that a responsible party has made a reasonable effort to comply with the requirements of section and has otherwise acted to protect public health.

Hill's announces Culinary Creations contest

Hill's Pet Food has announced its Culinary Creations Creative Presentation and Sweepstakes contest, according to a news report.
The grand prize is $10,000. Other prizes include a Drink Well cat fountain, a Culinary Creations T-shirt and a two-week supply of Science Diet canned cat food.
Entry to the contest is open to US residents aged 18 and above, who can enter daily through November 29, 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kemin hosts petfood safety symposium

Kemin will host Food Safety in Petfoods and Petfood Ingredients at the Renaissance Suites Hotel on Oct. 6-7 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The different sessions at the symposium will cover regulatory issues, quality and testing and manufacturing techniques.
For more information, visit

Texas A&M offers short course on petfood extrusion

The one-week Practical Short Course on Feeds & Pet Food Extrusion will be presented Jan. 31- Feb. 5, 2010 at Texas A&M University by staff, industry representatives and consultants.
The program will cover information on designing new feed mills and selecting conveying, drying, grinding, conditioning and feed mixing equipment.
For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

US pet and owner statistics reported quoted American Veterinary Medical Association statistics to state that about 60% of all households in the US have a pet. Other data reported include:

• According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), about 65% of US pet owners acquire their pets free or at a low cost.
• Most US pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. About 15 to 20% of dogs are purchased from breeders, 10 to 20%of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues, and 2 to 10% are purchased from pet shops. (Source: Ralston Purina and NCPPSP)
• At least 20% of cats are acquired as strays. (Source: NCPPSP) Many strays are lost pets that were not kept indoors or provided with identification.
• More than 20% of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter. (Source: NCPPSP)
• Spaying or neutering pets costs less than raising puppies or kittens for one year. Neutering costs less than spaying at most vets.
• The average annual cost of basic food, supplies, medical care and training for a dog or cat is US$400-700.
• About 75% of owned pets are neutered.

Golden Acres, Verm-X to provide internal parasite control

Golden Acres Pet Food Partners (based in Preston, England, UK) and Verm-X (Somerset, England, UK) have joined hands to provide petfood companies the opportunity to add natural internal parasite control to their range of petfoods or treats, according to a news report.
Verm-X reportedly is a mix of 100% herbal and natural ingredients that improves the animal’s gut and digestive system. It can be added to the feed of dogs, cats, ferrets and small animals. The formulation, classified as a complementary feeding material, can be bought without a prescription.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Royal Canin studies strategies for feline weight loss

Royal Canin has conducted a study to find diets and strategies to help obese cats lose weight, according to a news report.
Three dietary strategies were evaluated.

Strategy A used a novel dry, high fiber ration;
strategy B used ready-prepared portions of dry and moist food;
strategy C used an existing commercial dry, high fiber ration fed with a measuring cup.
Cats were assessed at 4, 12 and 20 weeks, and adjustments to the energy allocation made if required.
Mean weight loss at 20 weeks (A: 11+/-1.3%, B: 10.9+/-1.2%, C: 11.9+/-1.7%) was similar among strategies. Owners' subjective hunger score was significantly higher with strategy C while their satisfaction was lowest with the same strategy.

This research was published August 12, 2009 in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

Friday, September 4, 2009

FDA urged to implement online process in phases

The National Grain and Feed Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and Pet Food Institute have urged FDA to phase in the implementation of its portal, Reportable Food Registry, through which facilities will be required to report food- or feed-product safety incidents, according to a news report.
FDA had announced that firms would have to report through the portal from September 8, the same day as its launch. In their written statement, the organizations have asked FDA to either extend by 45-60 days the effective date for reporting food- or feed-safety incidents through the electronic portal, or to exercise enforcement discretion for a comparable period to provide a phase-in duration.
A phase-in period would provide the agency and industry time to conduct necessary training on the use of the electronic portal, the groups said, and would give FDA additional time to improve the functionality and usability of the portal itself.