Friday, July 31, 2009

ASA challenges MPM leading brand claim

MPM Products has been cited by the Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom) for an advertisement pitting its Applaws cat food brand against Town & Country's HiLife, according to a news report.
Town & Country challenged MPM’s charges and asked MPM to prove its claims of Applaws being the leading brand in most UK pet stores.
In its defense, MPM provided data showing sales of Applaws from May 2008 to April 2009 and sales growth in 2008 were greater than the combined sales of three other cat food brands including HiLife, in the second and third leading specialist pet stores in the country.
ASA has rejected the ad, saying the data could not substantiate MPM's "leading brand" claims.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Purina launches food for older dogs

Purina ONE is launching a petfood intended to enhance the brain function in older dogs, according to a news report.
Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior dry dog food formula contains a blend of botanical oils designed to improve brain function in older dogs and provide nutritional benefits.
The product is based on research on neuron-targeted nutrition, which provides an alternate energy for brain cells by utilizing blood glucose better, according to the company. Purina scientists claim that in a study on 24 dogs over the age of 7, feeding Vibrant Maturity to 12 dogs enhanced their cognitive abilities such as memory, learning and reasoning compared with that of the other dogs in the study.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pet gets a second chance to live

Alice, an 8-year-old domestic cat, was given up because her owners could not combat the effects of the dangerous 24 pounds she had become, according to a news report. She received the much-needed care at the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).
The RISPCA veterinary health care team members, along with Amy Karls, DVM, practice development veterinarian at Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., helped Alice get on a successful weight management regimen. Her caloric intake was restricted, and she was fed Hill's Prescription Diet m/d Feline petfood. Now she is down to 14 pounds and has been adopted.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Petco and TerraCycle to recycle petfood bags

Petco and TerraCycle are testing a petfood bag recycling program in Petco locations in New York and New Jersey, according to a news report.
The companies aim to launch the bags by the year’s end. The program includes bins to turn in empty petfood bags, which would then be recycled into tote bags.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Philippines gets Animal Planet endorsed petfood

According to a news report, Nature’s Plan, a natural US petfood approved by television channel Animal Planet, will now be available in the Philippines. The company has partnered with local petfood maker Pet One Inc. to distribute its products.
Made from natural ingredients, Nature’s Plan does not contain corn, wheat or by-products, according to the company. The line is tailored to the size, breed and age of dogs.
Nature’s Plan will be available in veterinary clinics only.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bravo! and Nature’s Variety add new seminars

After the success of “Bottom Line Raw” educational summit for retailers on raw diet product lines, Bravo! and Nature’s Variety have added two sessions to their 2009 calendar. The first will be a part of the Super Zoo University curriculum in Las Vegas on Sept. 15-17 and the second will be held during the H.H. Backer 43rd Annual Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show and Educational Conference, Oct. 2-4 in Chicago.
The program features segments led by representatives from Bravo! and Nature’s Variety and information on profitably selling raw diet products.
Companies can register for the seminars at, but seating is limited.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Supreme Pet Foods launches debate over industry standard

Supreme Pet Foods is seeking an industry standard to guarantee quality and consistency in the production, packaging and marketing of small animal petfood, according to a new report. The standard would define claims about nutritional content and commonly used marketing terms such as "complete," "complementary" and "beneficial fiber" and also standardize the implementation of quality process controls in the production of petfoods, according to Supreme.
The company has invited interested parties to contribute to the debate called “The Case for Quality.”
The manufacturer said problems like misleading package declarations and transparency in labeling of vegetarian foods for herbivores were discovered via tests. It has called for an industrywide agreement on the communication of dietary information such as sugar and fiber content.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AFIA launches Web site for safe feed program

The American Feed Industry Association launched a new Web site that provides details about the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program.
An explanation of the program and testimonials from feed-industry experts are among the materials available on the new site, which can be found at
The Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is a voluntary, third-party-certified program for mills and other facilities that produce livestock feed, petfood and related ingredients. About 330 US and Canadian facilities are certified by the program. An international version of the program will launch later this year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Purina introduces new treat for cats

Purina has recently launched its Fancy Feast Appetizers for cats, according to a news report. Purina claims it took a team of 40 about three-and-a-half years to develop a cat food and introduce it to the US$17 billion US petfood industry. The company is launching a national ad campaign beginning next month to market the product as a premium brand.
In early 2007, Purina hosted a focus group in St. Louis, to identify what consumers wanted for their cats. That was when the idea of an appetizer came up. The company then worked on packaging prototypes and eight varieties of appetizers, including "tender Tongol tuna," "white meat chicken" and "steamed Tilapia."
Despite the recession, petfood sales registered 5.5% growth last year compared with 2007, according to Packaged Facts. The US pet cat population grew to an estimated 83 million last year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

PFI to hold China export training program

The Petfood Institute is holding a special training session for its members and others from the U.S. pet food industry on China’s facility certification and product registration requirements on July 30 in Washington. The training program coincides with the Association of American Feed Control Officials annual meeting.
For U.S. companies to export pet food to China, the
United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services must certify to China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine that the manufacturing facility meets specific requirements and the products must be registered with China's Ministry of Agriculture. At the training program, a representative from AQSIQ will provide an overview of the agency's requirements.

Friday, July 17, 2009

People less likely to switch pet brands

A recent poll by ICOM found 59% of people surveyed switched from national brands to private labels for food and household products in the last six months.
However, only 23% of people surveyed switched from national brands to private labels for pet care products, suggesting there is still a lack of trust in private label goods for specific product categories, according to an article from
The Retail Bulletin.
Pet owners cannot test the pet products themselves and therefore are uncertain of its quality and less likely to switch from a brand they trust, according to Aldi UK boss Paul Foley.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

AIB rates petfood plant as ‘excellent’

Texas Farm Products Co., maker of Precise Pet Products, was recently given an “excellent” rating from the American Institute of Baking for its petfood manufacturing plant
“Texas Farm Products Co. is one of a select number of petfood manufacturers to voluntarily have its facilities scrutinized by the AIB for human-grade food production,” said Mike Compton, vice president of operations and quality assurance at Texas Farm Products Co. “Undergoing AIB inspections proves our commitment to ensure the quality of the petfood we manufacture.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pet supplements found to be less than promised

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) found that 24 of the 87 brands it tested recently did not contain what was claimed, said council president, William Bookout, in an article from The Associated Press.
The NASC did not specify which brands, but instead used the results to help improve quality control.
"Sometimes a company doesn't even realize they have a problem, or a company can make an honest mistake," Bookout said.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Registration available for Virtual Petfood Forum

The all-new Virtual Petfood Forum: Target on Nutrition is a live educational event held entirely on the Internet. Scheduled for October 28, it features the industry's leading experts presenting information on companion animal nutrition, then participating in live question-and-answer sessions with attendees.

Speakers and topics include:
*When more petfood doesn’t equal success—Sean Delaney, DVM, MS, DACVN, Natura Pet Products Inc.
*The science behind grain-free and raw diets for cats—Brittany Vester Boler, PhD, University of Illinois
*Exotic ingredients in petfoods—Greg Aldrich, PhD
*Dietary components in the treatment of canine osteoarthritis—Anton Beynen, PhD, head of R&D for Vobra Special Petfoods in the Netherlands and pprofessor of animal nutrition, Rajamangala University of Technology, Thailand

Virtual Petfood Forum also allows you to interact live with your industry peers and with world-class solution providers and suppliers to the global petfood manufacturing industry. Registration is free; find out more and register today. (If you can't participate live on October 28, you can still view the archive for 90 days afterward as long as you're registered.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hill's announces nutrition challenge winner

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. named intern Jessica Markovich, D.V.M., of Arizona's VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center, as winner of the 2008-2009 Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition Case Challenge.
Her submission, An Evidence-Based Review of Taurine Responsive Cardiomyopathy in a Newfoundland, outlined the case of an adult female Newfoundland with congestive heart failure secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy. Despite the dog being on a normal dietary regimen, Markovich found the Newfoundland had a taurine deficiency requiring supplementation.
Markovich conducted an evidence-based review of the current research regarding taurine-responsive cardiomyopathy, with the conclusion that nutritional modification of canine cardiac disease may be underutilized.
Markovic’s received registration, travel and lodging to the
2009 ACVIM Forum in Montreal, Canada, as her prize for winning the competition.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fish oil good for pets

Fish oil supplementation may be helpful for pets with inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease and heart disease and has been shown to slow the growth of cancer, according to a recent article from
However, the article claimed eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, are too fragile to survive the shelf life of commercial petfood.
The only reliable source of EPA and DHA is salmon oil in capsules, according to the article.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vet: commercial food best for pets

In a recent pet advice column by veterinarian Suzy Hochgesang, a pet owner asked whether she should feed her cats and dogs homemade petfood.
Hochgesang was clear in her response, saying, “Most veterinary nutritionists agree that it is best to feed our pets a commercial food.”
She listed lower costs, more convenience and a better nutritional balance as the top reasons to choose commercial petfood over homemade petfood.
Hochgesang also recommended pet owners buy brands that are
AAFCO approved, such as Hill's, Eukanuba and Purina.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clinical Nutrition Case Challenge taking submissions

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. is now taking submissions for consideration for the 2009-2010 Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition Case Challenge until January 31, 2010.
The challenge is part of the Hill's/VCA Intern Partnership Program, which seeks to raise awareness of nutrition in clinical case management.
This year’s challenge includes an additional category for VCA residents who want to compete in the evidence-based clinical case challenge.
For more information, visit

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CIPS to be bigger than 2008’s show

The 13th China International Pet Show is predicted to attract an even bigger international audience than in previous years, as a record 500 exhibitors have already signed up for the November event.
Helping the increased interest in the show is CIPS’ relaunched Web site, which features a search engine for products and allows visitors to hire interpreters.
For more information, visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Canidae expands with five new formulas

Canidae All Natural Pet Foods announced that its line of all-natural petfood expanded to include new wet flavors: two grain-free formulas and a beef/fish formula for dogs, and two grain-free formulas for cats.
"Our nutritional experts have spent over a year developing these new wet formulas," said Jason Castillo, Canidae controller. "All five of these new formulas are designed … to be extremely palatable."
The extended line will arrive at retailers throughout North America in July.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Research: Summer best for pet industry

The Yellow Pages Association's research shows summer as the best time for the pet industry as its "Pet Supplies & Foods" heading sees peak usage in August, according to a press release from the association.
The heading sees about 23 million references annually. The consumers searching for petfood (22%) were usually looking for specialty dog food, such as biscuits or bones with no meat by-products.
"A good rule of thumb is any trend in human foods will be reflected fairly quickly in petfoods, such as natural options and vitamin supplements," said Bob Vetere, president of
American Pet Products Association.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PFI responds to study of fluoride in dog foods

The Pet Food Institute issued a statement June 30 in response to the Environmental Working Group's study of the amount of fluoride in 10 national brands of dog food, saying the report "makes a scientifically invalid extrapolation on the safe consumption level of fluoride for dogs based upon the established level for the water that people drink" and that it includes no new research beyond its own test results.
According to EWG, the study showed that eight of the brands contained fluoride amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the US
Environmental Protection Agency's maximum legal dose in drinking water. The EWG questioned whether the levels of fluoride found in the foods were safe for pets.
"The biology of humans is very different from the biology of dogs," the PFI said in the statement, calling the report "high on sensationalism, low on fact."
The EWG also claimed that bone meal and animal by-products were the "likely source of the fluoride contamination" and suggested that dog owners purchase petfoods that do not contain bone meal and other animal by-products to "protect pets from excessive fluoride exposures."
"Many petfood products contain bone meal and other animal by-products because they are critical sources of quality nutrition for dogs," the PFI's statement read. "Bone meal and other animal by-products are allowed for use in dog food by the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture, the same agencies that regulate human foods."
To view the PFI's full statement, click

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vet recommends reduced-calorie diets for fat pets

Between 30 and 40% of New Zealand’s pets are now overweight, according to veterinarian Alex Melrose’s recent column.
Since obesity can lead to disease and take years off of a pet’s life, Melrose recommended putting pets on reduced-calorie diets and encouraging them to gradually increase their exercise.

Reasons pets should not eat people food

A recent article from outlined seven reasons why pets should not be fed food intended for humans.
Among the reasons included:
*Petfood is specially formulated for pets, so people food may cause them to miss out on nutrition;
*Table scraps are additional empty calories, leading to pet obesity and other health problems; and
*Some foods that are consumable by humans are toxic for cats and dogs, such as dairy products.
The best way to ensure animals get adequate nutrition is to find a quality petfood pets enjoy and stay consistent, the article recommended.