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.

Mocon offers in-house package testing laboratories

Mocon Inc. has opened in-house package testing laboratories in the US, Germany and China to provide clients with a pre-purchase testing environment.
The labs have instrumentation to analyze package types, substrates and components, including flexible structures, rigid bottles, foil seals, pouches, aseptic boxes, trays and lidstock, according to the company.
Mocon is a provider of instrumentation and consulting and laboratory services to medical, pharmaceutical, food and other industries worldwide.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Royal Canin launches special diet for Pugs

Royal Canin has launched Pug 25, which is formulated exclusively for Pugs over 10 months of age, according to a news report.
The product is easy for Pugs to grasp and chew, Royal Canin says, and has balanced protein and fat content to help maintain a healthy body weight. It also has nutrients that limit irritation in the Pugs’ loose, folded skin, according to the company.
Pug 25, along with Royal Canin's other breed-specific diets, is "Intelligent Nutrition for the Purebred Dog," the company says. It is available in 2.5 and 10 lb. bags at pet specialty retailers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PFI annual meeting schedule announced

Pet Food Institute’s (PFI) Annual Industry Meeting will be held October 13-15 in Washington DC, USA.
The first day’s petfood program will be held at the PFI office. For the next two days, the meeting’s venue will be the
Omni Shoreham hotel.
Registration can be done on the PFI

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mars tours nationwide, offers new line samples

Mars Petcare is sampling its new restaurant-style dog food meals with a national campaign at more than 125 dog parks and beaches through October.
The tour, called "Share the Love," promotes the
Cesar Canine Cuisine Bistro brand and is meant to tap into consumers' needs to vacation while staying close to home and affording small indulgences for their pets, according to Brandweek.
"With the 'Share the Love' program, we are happy to provide support with gourmet meals and a restaurant-inspired dining experience for small dogs," said marketing director Anne Herrington in a statement.