Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PFI releases new publication

Pet Food Institute (PFI) is releasing a new publication, PFI Monitor.
Through the release of PFI Monitor, PFI hopes to reach out to all segments of the industry, particularly suppliers, to strengthen ties and reinforce the association within the petfood industry.
The magazine includes feature articles on consumer confidence levels in the industry, the effort PFI is leading to establish international trade rules for petfood under the World Organization for Animal Health, an introduction to the veterinary staff of the
APHIS National Center for Import and Export and a preview of PFI’s Feed and Petfood Joint Industries Conference.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Healthy Pets Northwest boycotts Natura Pet Products

Healthy Pets Northwest will stop carrying Natura Pet Products beginning June 30, according to an article from
Natura produces the natural petfood brands California Natural, Evo, Healthwise, Karma and Innova. Healthy Pets is boycotting these brands because
Proctor & Gamble purchased Natura Pet Products in May. In a press release, Proctor & Gamble announced, "This move enables P&G to expand into the attractive holistic and naturals segment of the petfood category, complementing P&G's current Iams and Eukanuba brands."

Monday, June 28, 2010

RECALL: Pro-Pet adult daily vitamin supplements for dogs

The US Food and Drug Administration and United Pet Group are voluntarily recalling all unexpired lots of Pro-Pet Adult daily vitamin supplement tablets for dogs because of a possible salmonella contamination.
The product safety recall affected Pro-Pet adult daily vitamin supplement tablets for dogs, which come packaged in 100-count white plastic bottles with a light blue label. The UPC code 26851-01800 is affixed to the bottles.
Expiration dates of “06/13” and before that date are subject to the recall. The expiration date can be located on the right side of the product label.
According to the FDA, People who handle dry pet food or treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Consumers are advised to contact United Pet Group at 800.645.5154 ext. 3 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or report to the place of purchase to obtain further information regarding the hazardous product recall.

PETA protests PetSmart over animal mistreatment

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protested PetSmart amid mistreatment allegations, according to an online article from Bostonist.
PETA protested June 16 outside of PetSmart's annual meeting in Boston. The animal rights group accused a PetSmart supplier. Sun Pet Ltd., and a former supplier, U.S. Global Exotics, of animal mistreatment. These allegations are detailed on PETA's PetSmart
website, which accuses the company of starving animals to death and shipping them with improper supplies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Delamere Dairy launches new cat food brand

Delamere Dairy, based in Cheshire, England, UK, is launching a new brand of cat food, called TopLife, according to an online article from The Drum.
The company appointed
AIR Marketing to market the brand of petfood and Tetra Pak to design the food's packaging. The new line of cat food will be introduced on store shelves in Asia this summer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pedigree partners with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Pedigree and the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have partnered up, allowing Pedigree to supply the Battersea, London, UK, shelter with petfood for its animals, according to Animal Friends Insurance.
The partnership frees up the shelter's funds to invest in other needed resources.
"In today's economic climate, saving costs is as important as raising income," Jon Bodenham, director of fundraising at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said. "The partnership with Pedigree means donors' money will stretch further to care for the thousands of dogs and cats that come through the home's doors every year."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Positive growth in Italian petfood market, according to report

The annual rate of growth for the Italian cat and dog food market increased 5.9%, according to a new report.
The Italian cat and dog food market is worth €1.49 billion (US$1.8 billion), equivalent to 495,800 metric tons of products sold, according to a report by the National Association for Pet Feeding and Care (ASSALCO). Speciality retailers accounted for €581.2 million (US$716 million) of this figure, while the supermarkets and hypermarkets were responsible for €909.3 million (US$1.121 billion) in sales.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vet dispels hyperthyroidism, canned food myth

Hyperthyroidism in cats is not caused by cans, according to Dr. Michael Fox's Q-and-A column in the Pocono Record.
Some cat owners believe the condition is caused by the plastic lining in cans of wet cat food and that cats fed only dry food cannot be affected; however there are no reports in veterinary literature that prove this, according to Dr. Fox. The only known problem of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the inner lining of cans is bisphenol-A (BPA), but other sources of chemicals can cause even more harm. These sources include dioxins and PCBs found in animal fat and bromides used in fire-retardant chemicals. Bromides can be found in the dust on carpets and upholstery in most homes, as well as in seafood. Petfood manufacturers are phasing out the use of cans lined with the epoxy compound containing BPA.

Monday, June 21, 2010

RECALL: Natural Balance sweet potato & chicken dry dog food

Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. is recalling its 5 lb and 28 lb bags of Natural Balance sweet potato & chicken dry dog food.
According to Joey Herrick, president of Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc., the recalled product was "manufactured on December 17, 2009 with a “Best By” date of June 17, 2011". At this time, no other varieties of foods are involved.
The affected food was voluntarily recalled after a random sampling of the product tested positive for Salmonella by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Anyone who purchased the recalled product should return it the store where it was purchased for a full refund.

Nutro begins inititative to enhance dog parks

The Nutro Co. began the Room to Run dog park appreciation project to enhance dog parks across North America.
Associates from the company and community members are hosting the event at dog parks in 30 cities across the US and Canada from June 12 to June 19. Volunteer opportunities vary by location but include activities such as painting fences, providing benches, picking up trash and landscaping.

"As a company, and as a group of passionate pet owners ourselves, we are dedicated to enhancing dog parks because of the benefits they bring to not only pets but also the owners," said Carolyn Hanigan, vice president of marketing for Nutro. "Taking the time to help communities revitalize their off-leash areas is an endeavor that we are eager to undertake, as it is so important to foster the human-animal bond and bring a bit of nature to our pets."
For more information on volunteering and a list of locations, visit the company's

Friday, June 18, 2010

Natura donates petfood to SPCALA

Natura Pet Products donated over 4,000 cases of dog and cat food to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCALA), USA. The donation will go toward helping SPCALA feed homeless and needy pets in southern California.
“We are proud to have been able to share more than 4,000 cases of our healthful Innova dog and cat food cans with the SPCALA. This exceptional animal welfare organization has shown unsurpassed dedication to the care of thousands of animals and its mission provides an extension of Natura’s philosophy for animal health and wellbeing,” said Don Scott, president of Natura.

FDA in need of change, government report says

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in need of an overhaul and cannot properly protect Americans from foodborne illness, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Findings from the report show that FDA must switch its approach from being reactive to risk-based in order to identify and prevent foodborne illness. The report recommends giving FDA the authority to issue mandatory recalls of food products, improving the food safety inspection system and forming a single food safety agency.
The FDA currently oversees about 80% of the US food supply and sponsored the IOM report, which was requested by the US Congress.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prince Chunk Foundation helps struggling pet owners

The Prince Chunk Foundation was recently founded to prevent struggling pet owners from abandoning their pets in tough economic times, according to an article from
The foundation was started by the Damiani family and was named after Chunk, the cat they adopted after finding him wandering the streets of Voorhees, N.J., USA, weighing 44 pounds. The foundation is funded by donations and provides free veterinary care and petfood to pet owners in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California.
"We want to aid pet owners who are going through a financial crisis so they don't have to make the decision between caring for themselves and caring for their pets," said Vince Damiani.

Elmira Pet Products grows from family business to international company

Elmira Pet Products began as a family business, but now sells its animal nutrition products around the world, according to an article on Food&Drink Digital that highlights the company.
The company began as one of the first petfood companies to produce products specifically for the veterinary market. In 2009, the company, which previously sold only private label brands, was able to produce its own brand when it acquired the Maple Lodge Farms petfood division, Nutram. The company has recently made investments in machines for the packaging of its products.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Food puzzles for pets

Food puzzles are a good way to challenge companion animals, according to an article on Good Morning America's website.
Today's house pets are used to eating by going to a bowl already filled with food, which does not challenge them mentally or physically. Animals should be driven to use their minds and bodies to earn food instead of expecting it. Food puzzles are toys filled with small treats or food that encourage dogs and cats to work to get to their food. This can help to release the animal's energy and improve memory, according to the article.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Petco agrees to US$1.75 million settlement

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. agreed to pay US$1.75 million to settle a case involving the overcharging of customers and mistreatment of pets, according to Jan Goldsmith, San Diego city attorney.
Petco did not admit liability in the case, which was prosecuted by Goldsmith’s office and other district attorneys representing five California counties, including San Diego where the company is based.
The case originated from state and county inspections of Petco stores from 2005 to 2008, showing that Petco’s animal cages were not adequately cleaned and maintained. In some stores, sick animals were not identified and removed from habitats on the sales floor, according to a report from Goldsmith’s office. Petco failed to remove expired price tags from store shelves, resulting in customers potentially being overcharged. The report also says that the company failed to properly train its employees on the weighing and charging of bulk sales items such as dog food.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vegetarian diets as an alternative to traditional dog food

Dogs can be fed a vegetarian diet as a healthy alternative to traditional dog food, an article in DNA India claims.
This type of diet is becoming more common in India, where many owners feed their dogs a combination of rice, vegetables, tofu and other vegetarian items. For those who prefer a vegetarian diet for their dogs, Pedigree introduced an all-vegetarian line for adult dogs.
“At least 3% of our nearly 600 clients insist on vegetarian or Jain food for their dogs,” said Wasiff Khan, owner of Homecare Dog Food Pvt. Ltd., a home delivery service for dogs. “Even most non-vegetarians don’t serve meat to their dogs during Navratri.”

HSUS donates 12 tons of Mars, own petfood to Louisiana

The Humane Society of the United States HSUS donated 12 tons of dog and cat food to Louisiana to help families struggling to feed their pets due to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.The donation included 24,000 pounds of food given by Mars Petcare US and 700 pounds of HSUS's own Humane Choice brand. The donation came after a request from the Plaquemines Parish Animal Welfare Society, which reported that the number of pets given up to local shelters after the oil spill has been on the rise.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FDA begins GRAS program for animal feed

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is implementing a voluntary pilot program to accept and review GRAS (generally recognized as safe) notices for animal feed ingredients directly from manufacturers.
new program will allow feed producers (deemed “notifiers” in the program) to inform the FDA that they determined the use of their ingredients are GRAS, instead of the prior system when producers asked the FDA to confirm that the ingredients’ use was GRAS.
The GRAS notices manufacturers can submit should include a GRAS exemption claim that contains the following:
*A succinct description of the ingredient containing chemical, toxicological, and, if applicable, microbiological characteristics;
*The applicable conditions of use including what food it will be used in; levels of use in such foods, the purposes for which the ingredient is used, and the specific animal species intended to consume the ingredient;
*And the basis for the GRAS determination (scientific procedures or common use in food).
The FDA will then evaluate whether the submitted notice provides a sufficient basis for a GRAS determination.
The agency strongly encourages potential participants to contact the
CVM’s Division of Animal Feeds prior to submitting notices to discuss their submission plans.

Hill's reduces bag size of Science Plan Canine brand

In May, Hill’s reduced the bag size of its Science Plan Canine petfood from 15 kg to 12 kg.
The price reduction announced in April was applied proportionately to the smaller bag size, so customers will still see a reduction in price, according to the company.

In May of last year, the company reduced the bag size of its Science Plan Canine Adult Light from 15 Kg to 12 Kg, which resulted in volume growth of 11% for the brand and 38% more units sold. As a result of the smaller 12 kg packages, the company's 7.5 kg large breed canine products will be delisted.
Science Plan is the brand of petfood sold by Hill's outside of the US, where it is called Science Diet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Procter & Gamble recalls select Iams brand canned cat foods

Procter & Gamble voluntary recalled cans of its Iams ProActive Health cat and kitten foods due to concerns over low thiamine levels.
"Diagnostic testing indicated that the product may contain insufficient levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is essential for cats," Procter & Gamble said. "Cats fed these canned products as their only food are at greater risk for developing signs of thiamine deficiency."
The recalled products are the 3 ounce and 5.5 ounce cans, with dates between September 2011 and June 2012 printed on the bottom. The company advised cat owners who purchased the food to throw it out.

Cloud Star Corp. gives back to the community

Cloud Star Corp., maker of dog treats and products based in San Luis Obispo, California, USA, donates at least 10% of net profits each year to non-profit organizations that benefit animals, women, children and the environment. In 2009, the company donated 59,000 pounds of product and expects to surpass that number in 2010, with a donation of over 70,000 pounds.

Blogger: Grain-based foods may cause intolerance in pets

Grain-based foods may be blamed for illnesses in some pets and could be avoided with diet changes, according to an article on
The grains in many petfoods can cause gluten-intolerant pets to become sick, claims blogger Destiny Stone. Switching a pet to a gluten-free diet must not only encompass petfoods but also other products the pet come in contact with because pets often lick themselves, she adds. A number of pet products are available gluten-free, including food, treats, care products and medications.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Purina offers new nutrients for senior dogs

A new product from Nestle Purina uses new research identifying a range of nutrients that can improve mental capacity and memory in elderly dogs, according to a article.
A study at Toronto University, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that dogs fed an anti-aging diet that contained special dietary fats found in some natural vegetable oils, improved their memory and learning skills. These special dietary fats, called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), are easily converted into energy that is absorbed by the brain.
The MCT supplements are being included for the first time in a petfood with Purina Pro Plan Senior 7+ Original, according to Dr. Jill Cline, senior research nutritionist with Purina.

Pet owners debate dry or wet food

Many pet owners debate issues such as nutrition, dental health and cost when deciding whether to select a dry or wet petfood, according to an article on
Dry and wet foods possess much of the same nutrients. Dry food, however, was found to result in less calculus buildup and less gingivitis, according to Colin Harvey, professor of surgery and dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. In dogs, these results were seen in the first upper molar teeth; in cats, calculus buildup was slightly less likely on eight major teeth and gingivitis was less likely on two teeth.
Cost is another factor when choosing a dry or wet food. According to Consumer Reports, wet food, which contains about 75% water, is more expensive per serving than dry food because more of it is required for the pet to receive the same amount of nutrients and calories.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bravo moves lamb and beef production to New Zealand

Bravo made an agreement with Alpine Export Ltd. to manufacture the majority of its beef and lamb products, according to
The products, which were previously being produced in the United States, will now be produced in New Zealand, where Alpine is based. They will be tested and regulated by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, according to the companies. The Alpine-made lamb and beef products are expected to be available in retail stores in July.

GNC, PetSmart to launch pet nutrition product line

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) amd PetSmart are teaming up to offer a line of dietary supplements for cats and dogs, according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
The product line is called GNC Pets and will be available this fall in all PetsSmart stores and select GNC stores. A price range for the products has not yet been set.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oxbow Animal Health increases distribution

Oxbow Animal Health's volume of petfood distribution has increased greatly since the company was formed, according to a report by KHAS-TV.
The company was formed in Murdock, Nebraska, USA, to produce horse feed for a local store. As the company grew, Oxbow switched to production of rabbit and guinea pig products, and it now distributes them worldwide. The company's expanded product line includes: food, supplements, accessories and bedding. Last year, the company saw a growth of 16% and expects to see similar results again this year.

Organic petfood task force asking for your input

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) task force that developed the proposed organic petfood standard now under consideration by the National Organic Program (NOP) is soliciting input from both member and non-member companies. The task force is comprised of organic growers, certifiers, representatives of petfood companies, AAFCO members and FDA staff.
In November 2007 the NOSB unanimously accepted the proposal of the task force and forwarded it to NOP for rulemaking. The organic petfood segment, valued at about US$250 million in sales, was upended by a recent directive from NOP prohibiting the use of certain nutrients in pet ood to make them complete and balanced. While PFI encourages NOP to act on the proposed organic petfood standard, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) launched into action to resolve this impasse by establishing an Organic Task Force with Brian Connolly of Castor & Pollux as chair. PFI hired Dave Carter – a former chair of NOSB and a former maker of organic petfood – as a consultant and is supporting the process of petitioning NOP to accept nutrients necessary for petfood, such as taurine, that are not currently on the National List of substances allowed in organic production.
The task force is soliciting input from both member and non-member companies. This issue will be discussed at a PFI committee meeting on July 30 in Portland, Oregon, USA, just prior to the AAFCO meeting, and at the Feed and Pet Food Joint Industries Conference this fall. For more information, please write to or visit

{The task force is soliciting input from both member and non-member companies. This issue will be discussed at a PFI committee meeting on July 30 in Portland, Oregon, USA, just before the AAFCO meeting, and at the Feed and Pet Food Joint Industries Conference this fall.}

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pestering fish in Japan made into petfood

Foreign species of fish that have been damaging the Lake Biwa ecosystem in Japan will now be turned into petfood, according to The Mainichi Daily News.
In the past, the 400 to 500 tons of fish retrieved from the lake were only used in livestock feed, but due to the presence of vitamin E and taurine in the fish, it was suggested by food analysis company Hiyoshi to also use the species in petfood.
A company on Lake Biwa's Okishima Island started developing a fish-based product with Hiyoshi in February.
The petfood consists of black bass and bluegill fish and can be used as dog or cat food.

New safety reporting portal a good thing, but ...

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) just joined forces to launch a new online portal for anyone--manufacturers, consumers, researchers, health professionals, public health officials, etc.--to report a potential safety issue with a food for humans, pets or feed animals.
This new portal now encompasses the
Reportable Food Registry, which manufacturers and regulators of human and petfood products have been required to use since September 2009 to report any food safety issue within 24 hours. (Read more about the requirements for petfood manufacturers here.)
According to an FDA/NIH
statement, the new portal will make the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) more user friendly. Specifically, FDA says:
New, user-friendly software offers conveniences to reporters to the RFR. Reports can be pre-populated with contact information and saved as drafts or partially completed reports. Users can now view any previous submissions they have made to the Safety Reporting Portal.
For consumers and people other than manufacturers, probably the most helpful page on the new site is a
directory that breaks down all the types of products and situations for which a safety problem can be filed.
If FDA's promises of a more user-friendly way for manufacturers to file required reports comes true, that's definitely positive. And, since I'm almost always in favor of transparency, to me the consumer access is a good thing, too.
My only concern is, does FDA have the manpower and other resources to process and properly investigate all the reports that will be filed? Will they simply go into an electronic black hole? Or, if a report comes in and the agency is too short-handed to launch a full investigation, will it put the responsibility and expense of disproving the complaint on the company named in the report?
What do you think?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

FDA, NIH launch Safety Reporting Portal

The US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health launched a new portal that, when fully developed, will allow people to more easily report problems with pet products.
“The portal will be a key detection tool in improving the country’s nationwide surveillance system and will strengthen our ability to protect the nation’s health,” said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg. “We will now be able to analyze human and animal safety-related events more quickly and identify those measures needed to protect the public.”
The Safety Reporting Portal includes a
special feature for pet owners and veterinarians so they are able to use the portal to report product problems with petfoods and pet treats.

Petfood Forum to be part of Victam 2011 in Germany

Victam International, which includes Petfood Forum Europe, will open for the very first time in Cologne, Germany, in May 2011.
Victam, one of the largest events for animal feed processing technology, has always been held in The Netherlands but the organizers have decided that Cologne would be a more suitable venue for the international event.
The show will also include
FIAAP International and GRAPAS International.
Bookmark this
link for event updates and look for an upcoming call for papers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trade show director: HH Backer sees increased buying

HH Backer’s 22nd Annual Pet Industry Spring Trade Show, held April 23-25 in Baltimore, Massachusetts, USA, drew approximately 4,900 registered buyers from 1,536 firms, according to the show’s program publisher, Pet Age.
Trade show director Colette Fairchild reported that 224 exhibitors displayed pet products in more than 406 booths in addition to new 56 exhibitors.
“Even though the attendance numbers were down compared to previous years, buying seemed to have increased compared to last year’s show,” said Fairchild. “We’re confident this trend will continue.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vegetarian Week rehashes debate of veggie-only petfood

In light of the UK’s National Vegetarian Week, the controversy over feeding pets vegetarian diets has come into focus once again.
Consumers question the treatment of animals used in meaty petfoods as well as the environmental impact of producing petfoods with meat, according to a
recent article, but the real question is: Are vegetarian pet diets healthy and nutritious?
2006 study by Nestlé found that the 34 vegetarian cats it examined were healthy. However, a main concern that stems from vegetarian feline diets is the risk of taurine deficiency, which most meaty cat food has added back during the production process.
Dogs may also struggle to get the nutrients they need from vegetarian petfood. Top lacking nutrients for canines include taurine and L-Carnitine.
Whatever route owners decide to go, the authors of the article recommended they talk to their veterinarian first to ensure their pets’ proper nutrition.

Pet owners in Singapore spoil ‘furkids’

No expense is spared when it comes to owners and their pets in Singapore, according to a report from the The Star.
The recent opening of pet holistic wellness center Petopia, which offers styling, spa sessions and daycare services, reflects the global humanization trend in the expanding Singapore pet industry.
Managing director of Petopia, Marcus Khoo, emphasized the trend by saying people refer to their animals as “furkids”.
In 2009, the Singapore petfood and pet care market was worth SG$186 million (US$131 million), up from SG$181 million (US$128 million) in 2008, according to the
Pets Enterprises and Traders Association Singapore.