Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alltech provides petfood industry insight at International Animal Health Symposium

Alltech will provide insight and offer solutions to challenges in the petfood industry at its 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium.
The Symposium, entitled "The Game Changers: Creative Concepts for Agribusiness to Respond to Relentless Commoditization and to Innovate for a Greener Future," will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, from May 22-25.
Symposium attendees will hear from and interact with pet industry experts during the following informational seminars: "What do we know about traceability? Protecting a brand," by J. Farrell of Tuffy's Pet Foods Inc.; "Keeping Salmonella out of petfoods," by J. Kersey of The Nutro Co.; "Prebiotics in petfoods - Teaching old dogs new tricks for gut health," by A. Carciofi of Universidade Estadual Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil; "Game Changers for pet food regulations — Prospects for an international standard," by N. Cook of Pet Food Institute; and "Fungi and mycotoxins in pet foods: Detection and protection," by M. Copetti of Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Additional seminars include: "Using the gene chip to produce revolutionary new products and address the antioxidant dilemma," by F. Edens of North Carolina State University,USA; "Communicating with customers: Impact of social media," by Alltech's B. Frey; "Targeting chronic diseases in feline and canine populations," by veterinary consultant, E. Moser; "Getting more out of ingredients - Novel enzyme applications," by Alltech's P. Rigolin; "The challenge of obesity in companion animals," by R. Rompala of Kent Nutrition Group; "Selenium form - Impact on bioavailability and fertility in dogs," by F. Rutz of Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; and "Ingredients and animal health: Oligosaccharides and novel protein sources," by P. Spring of the Swiss College of Agriculture.
To register for the 2011 Alltech International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium, visit Alltech’s Symposium website.

Nature's Logic celebrates five years of natural petfood

Nature’s Logic celebrated five years of making making its all-natural petfoods, the company announced.
Since 2006, the company says it has made its canned, dry, and raw formulas, all free of chemically-synthesized vitamins or minerals. The company’s founder, Scott Freeman, says he was influenced by a veterinarian who used only whole food supplements in her practice, avoiding the potential toxicities associated with synthetic vitamins and minerals.
“This planted the seed in my mind to create a complete line of petfoods without chemically synthesized nutrients,” said Freeman. “The concept was substantiated the very month our Nature's Logic dry kibble was launched, in March 2006. That same month, a major petfood manufacturer issued a recall because its diets were discovered to contain excessive synthetic Vitamin D3, which was causing hypercalcemia, renal failure, and death in some pets.”
Nature’s Logic began a social media campaign in August 2010 to increase consumer education in choosing a petfood. The company uses Facebook and Twitter as well as a blog with articles related to the topic and other common misunderstandings in the petfood industry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Petco Foundation to honor Ellen Degeneres for commitment to animals

The Petco Foundation will host its third annual fundraising gala in April, honoring Ellen DeGeneres for her lifelong commitment to animals as co-owner of Halo, Purely for Pets.
Each year, the Petco Foundation gala recognizes one or more people who share the foundation's mission to improve the quality of life for animals and the people who love them. This year, DeGeneres will receive the Foundation's inaugural HOPE Award, which celebrates the spirit of hope through a life dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Halo Pet Foundation. 
"We are fortunate to have a great many active supporters, and it's always an honor for us to celebrate the great work being done by our friends and partners to help animals in need," said Paul Jolly, executive director of the Petco Foundation. "We've been big fans of Ellen and her dedication to animal welfare, both in her personal life and through her work with Halo, for many years. We're thrilled to recognize her at this year's gala, and to provide financial support to the Halo Pet Foundation."
Gala attendees will learn how DeGeneres has been an advocate for animals throughout her life, how the Halo Pet Foundation helps pets in need and promotes responsible pet ownership, and how the Petco Foundation works to support more than 7,000 other local animal welfare groups across the country. The gala will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the San Diego, California, USA, Marriott Marquis & Marina. It will feature a black tie-optional cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, entertainment, opportunity drawing and silent auction.
"I wish we lived in a world where caring for animals wasn't so rare that it deserved an award," DeGeneres said. "All I do is treat animals with the respect and dignity they deserve. I hope someday soon, everyone does the same. Petco and the Petco Foundation have made great efforts to protect animals and I commend them for going above and beyond the call of duty."

Petfood Forum, AMI form promotional partnership for 2011 events

American Meat Institute formed a promotional partnership between the 2011 Petfood Forum and the 2011 AMI Expo.
Petfood Forum will take place April 11-13, at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA. For more information about Petfood Forum, visit
“With the close proximity of both events, and some overlap with suppliers and attendees, this partnership is a great opportunity to encourage our mutual members and participants to stretch their travel dollar by visiting both events during one trip to Illinois,” said Anne Halal, AMI vice president of convention and exposition services.
The 2011 AMI Expo will be held April 13-16, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, USA. For more information and to register, visit

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Australian pet owners choose quality petfood, pet care over low prices

Australians own more than 33 million pets, costing their owners US$1.8 billion in petfood and US$319 million in pet care, according to Australia's Herald Sun.
The average pet owner spends US$58 a month on petfood along with US$500 a year on accessories, health products and veterinary bills, a recent Coles' pet survey of more than 1,000 participants found. Dr. Karen Budd said that as many pet owners choose to purchase from specialty shops, the quality of the petfood ingredients has become more important than the retail outlet from which the food is purchased.
"We love our animals, but just like humans we need to make sure we're finding what's best to meet pets' individual requirements," Dr Budd said. "Rather than focusing on one particular brand, quality ingredients to give your pet the nutrients it needs should be the key factor when deciding on your pet food."

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Zealand vet offers petfood line based on diets of wild cats, dogs

An Auckland, New Zealand, veternarian launched a range of uncooked petfoods designed to replicate the natural diets of cats and dogs in the wild.
Dr. Lyn Thomson recently opened the second shop for her petfood company, Raw Essentials, which she created because so many of her veterinary clients questioned the nutritional value of traditional, processed petfoods. Her Raw Essentials petfood line is made primarily from ingredients like rabbit, hare, possum, chicken, sheep and fish, she said.
Dr. Thomson said that in the wild, cats and dogs normally prey on vegetarian animals and eat all of their prey, including the bones, skin and meat. They receive the necessary plant nutrients through the partially digested plant matter in their prey's gut. Since dogs and cats' digestive systems have developed to process these types of ingredients, many pets may have a hard time digesting processed petfoods that often contain grain, vegetable-based products, and additives like flavor enhancers and preservatives, according to Dr. Thomson. 
"Dogs and cats, our pet carnivores, need to rip and tear at their food," Dr. Thomson said. "Raw, real food provides all the nutrients our pets need, is easy for them to digest, keeps teeth healthy and improves mental wellbeing."
Dr. Thomson said that after she came up with the idea to package the food line for clients, she found it difficult to source the ingredients. She approached the staff at Auckland Zoo, who referred her to the same South Island abattoir the zoo gets the food for its carnivores from. Although Raw Essentials is a small company compared to the dominant multinational companies, Dr. Thomson said she believes her company will continue to expand in the large petfood market and growing niche in which she operates.

Novus gives social sustainability presentation at SAI Platform global conference

Novus International Inc.'s chief sustainability officer gave a presentation on social sustainability at the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform's global conference in Canberra, Australia.
Joyce Cacho, PhD, spoke about "Social Sustainability – Augmenting Business Strategies" and shared examples from Novus' experience. Novus joined SAI Platform in 2009, a food industry-based organization that supports and innovates agricultural practices to promote the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability. Dr. Cacho said Novus currently operates several social sustainability programs around the world, like the Novus Scholars Program in China, India and Korea as well as a Heifer International project in Vietnam.
“Social sustainability is now an established business practice for a growing number of large food producers because it is viewed as an investment in responding to customer challenges,” Dr. Cacho said. “And just like environmental and economic sustainability programs, social sustainability investments must be made measurable and held accountable before they can deliver the risk management returns and make an impact in communities that define the marketplace.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Purina, One Care Co. launch ProCare products at Global Pet Expo

Purina and the One Care Co. teamed up to launch a new line of Purina ProCare products at 2011 Global Pet Expo, March 16-18 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The line includes almost 30 pet training and cleaning products, such as the Ultra Dry Advanced Training Pads and Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator for carpet and upholstery. The new product line will be available at pet specialty retailers, according to the One Care Co.

Sergeant's announces 'Share the Love' contest winners

Sergeant Pet Care Products Inc. announced the winners of its “Share the Love” love letter contest, which celebrated the love between people and their pets.
The contest took place February 1 through February 28, in conjunction with the launch of the company's new PurLuv line of treats.
“What an honor to read so many stories about the love between pets and their owners,” said Caryn Stichler, vice president of marketing at Sergeant’s. “We’re very grateful to all of those who sent in their creative, heartwarming letters and poems. They were not only entertaining, but reminded us at Sergeant’s how fortunate we are to work each day to help improve the lives of pets and strengthen that animal-human bond.”
The grand prize winner was Theresa Kosa, of West Haven, Connecticut, USA, who submitted a letter expressing appreciation for her dog Ralphie's support when her husband was deployed overseas in the US military. She will receive a three-day, two-night trip for two to New York City, USA, and a pet care product assortment gift pack. The first runner-up, Isabella Miller-Eberlin, and her dog, Josephine, will receive a year of pampering with bi-monthly grooming, up to six visits, at a grooming salon and a pet care product assortment gift pack. Other winners, who will receive a pet care product assortment gift pack, included: Valerie Anania and her dog Pearl; Rachel Munyon and her dog Bella; India Lipton and her dog Charlton Dane; Becca Friedman and her dog Cooper; Vicki Howell and her dog Jackpot; and Juliann McHann and her dog Spud.

Cesar Canine Cuisine hosts contest to create new dog food flavors

Cesar Canine Cuisine is hosting a contest for consumers to create and choose the next flavors of its Sunrise breakfast and Original Pate dog foods.
Consumers can go to Cesar's website and enter the virtual kitchen, where they can mix ingredients for their petfood recipe. Pet care experts will sample the trial recipes to determine the top four submissions. Among these finalists, consumers will vote on two winning final dishes to be manufactured and distributed for sale on store shelves.  
"As the makers of Cesar Canine Cuisine, we know dog lovers want to provide the very best for their canine companions," said Tierney Monaco, brand director for Cesar Canine Cuisine. "So, it seems only natural to ask pet owners what flavor combinations they think their dogs would absolutely love."

APPA releases 2010 Pet Industry Spending Figures, 2011 Pet Owners Survey

The American Pet Products Association  released its 2010 Pet Industry Spending Figures, which showed growth of 6.2% from 2009 to US$48.35 billion in 2010.
Petfood spending increased 6.8% to US$18.76 billion in 2010 while pet supplies and over-the-counter medications grew by 5.1% to US$10.94 billion in 2010, APPA found. Health care-related pet spending showed the greatest growth within the pet industry, according to APPA figures, with a spending increase of 8.1% to $13.01 billion in 2010.
APPA forecast growth of 5.1% through 2011, with spending expected to exceed US$50 billion.  The overall spending data includes petfood, supplies, veterinary care, live animal purchases as well as services such as grooming, boarding and pet sitting.
AAPA also released the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, examining the demographics, buying habits and other traits of US owners of dogs, cats, fish, birds, horses, reptiles and other small animals. The survey found that the number of US households that own a pet increased by 2.1% to an all-time high of 72.9 million. About four out of 10 pet-owning households are multiple pet owners.
APPA 's pet owner survey found the following breakdown of pets owned in the US: 78 million dogs, 86.4 million cats, 151.1 million freshwater fish, 8.61 million saltwater fish, 16.2 million birds, 16 million small animals, 13 million reptiles and 7.9 million horses. For the first time, the survey asked respondents if the economy influenced their pet ownership. The majority of pet owners reported that the economy had not affected their decision to own a pet, but 18% of non-pet owners said their decision not to purchase a pet was because of the economy.
The 2010 Pet Industry Spending Figures and 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey were released at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, on March 17.

Animalzone launches parrot food in UK made with roasting process

Animalzone launched a non-extruded parrot food in the UK that is manufactured with a unique roasting process, according to the company's marketing director, Richard Davies.
First, fresh grains are put through a roasting process that exposes them to a temperature of 184 C (363.2 F) for fifteen minutes. The company says this process creates a well-cooked, more digestible product than most extruded ones. While still hot, the grains are shaped through a process less-aggresive than extrusion.
During the second part of the manufacturing process, the roasted grains are mixed in different ratios, some with either dried vegetables or dried fruits, and shaped again into pellets. This is done at a low temperature, according to Davies, which allows the company to add in a variety of products like natural plant extracts.  
"This is a unique manufacturing process with phase one being a hot process and phase two being a cold process, therefore this gives us the opportunity to manufacture a food where the nutritional value is in some instances higher than with extrusion, a much more natural product where the natural texture of the raw materials are kept, resulting in a variety of natural looking grains, which is more appealing to the bird owner and the bird itself," Davies said.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Honest Kitchen releases free educational booklet for pet parents

The Honest Kitchen released a free educational booklet for pet owners, entitled “Feed your Way to a Healthy Pet.”
This eighteen-page booklet contains information on petfood and nutrition, pet obesity, pet dental health, petfood allergies and homemade petfood. Its emphasis is on the link between pet health and food quality, focusing on how common health concerns that pets visit the vet about are related to diet.
“Many commercial pet foods are produced under extreme heat and pressure, contain artificial chemical preservatives and hard-to-digest by-products, which can gradually deplete an animal’s immune system over time,” said Lucy Postins, author of  the booklet, and founder and president of The Honest Kitchen. “With ailments like pet obesity and pet diabetes on the rise, our goal is to give pet owners the tools to evaluate their pets’ current diet, an understanding of the direct links between diet and health, and the confidence to add real, species-appropriate whole foods to their pets’ meals.”
The copyrighted content was provided in volume to authorized Honest Kitchen retailers so these stores can pass the booklet out to consumers and utilize it as a petfood training manual for employees. An e-book version of "Feed your Way to a Healthy Pet" is also available for download.

FDA schedules March 29 hearing on Food Safety Modernization Act implementation

The US Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting on March 29, allowing petfood companies to provide input on how the agency implements the Food Safety Modernization Act's import safety provisions.
FDA's notice said the agency seeks information on importer verification, the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, import certifications for food, and third-party accreditation.
The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, and will be available on that day as a live webcast. FDA also scheduled a public hearing on March 30 and 31 in College Park, Maryland, USA, to discuss its use of international comparability assessments to enhance the safety of imported foods and animal feed.

Natura EVO receives Cat Fancy 2010 Editor's Choice Award

Natura Pet Products received a 2010 Editor's Choice Award from Cat Fancy magazine for its EVO Weight Management adult cat food and EVO Wild Cravings Weight Management cat treats.
The annual awards program features the most unique and exciting new products for cats and cat lovers as selected by the editors of Cat Fancy magazine. The EVO cat products were showcased in the magazine's December 2010 issue.
"We are very excited to receive this award from such a prestigious publication within the pet industry. Cat Fancy's Editor's Choice seal has become a symbol of pet product quality and innovation that pet parents know and trust," said Don Scott, president of Natura. "We created the EVO weight management options to meet the varying needs of pet owners, and we're very proud to be recognized for developing the new food and treats."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PetFlow: online retailer delivers 200,000 pounds of petfood per day

PetFlow, an online petfood delivery service, celebrated a major milestone in its order quantities, receiving nearly 1,000 petfood orders per day, the company reported.
The amount of new orders equate to a grand total of just about 200,000 pounds of petfood per day, the company says. PetFlow says this amount of petfood is nearly 60 beluga whales, 40 hippopotamuses, or 1,333 Great Danes worth.

Canine Caviar spoke about pet cancer awareness at Global Pet Expo

Canine Caviar exhibited at Global Pet Expo, March 16 – 18, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.
At the Expo, Canine Caviar spoke to industry professionals about pet nutrition and cancer awareness. The company is the only one to carry an alkaline-based pet formula line designed to help prevent cancer, according to Canine Caviar.
“Studies have shown that eating foods that make the body’s pH more alkaline decreases the chance of cancer cells developing and growing and the same is true in dogs,” said Jeff Baker, owner and founder of Canine Caviar. “The pet industry has a responsibility to continue this dialogue with the public and to take preventative measures with proper nutrition.” 
For more information or to arrange an interview with Canine Caviar, contact Korenna Cline by e-mail at or by phone at +1.703.299.4304.

Nestle, Japanese welfare groups support animals in Japan

Animal welfare groups in Japan have begun rescue operations to find lost and injured animals affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, supported by petfood donations from Nestle Purina USA.
Nestle Purina USA announced that the company will deliver petfood and money to Japanese shelters and rescue groups.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support includes three animal welfare groups coordinating to aid animals affected in Japan: Animal Friends Niigata, Japan Cat Network and HEART-Tokushima. JEARS  says it has been difficult to find pets alive as well as to find accommodations for the ones that are found still living. JEARS said that growing concerns over spreading nuclear radiations have driven many pet owners out of the country, abandoning their pets. David Wybenga of Japan Cat Network said his group is working to find lost pets and reunite them with their families.
JEARS  said that they will continue to help rescue animals in Japan despite all the hardships that they will face.

Dog Gone Jerky announces USDA-approved treat line made in non-petfood facility

Dog Gone Jerky Inc. announced it launched one of the first lines of dog treats made in a non-petfood manufacturing facility in California,USA that is safe for human consumption.
The treats are manufactured in a US Department of Agriculture-regulated human manufacturing facility in Newport Beach, California, USA. According to the company, the treats are made with 100% human grade, USDA-certified chicken and beef and 1% sea salt, with the exception of the Gourmet Beef Rounds that contain a collagen casing. The Dog Gone Jerky line includes Hand Carved Chicken Breast Jerky, Premium Beef Jerky and Gourmet Beef Rounds.
To order the beef jerky for dogs, call the company at +1.800.691.6031.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Business Insider ranks top websites for dog lovers

Business Insider ranked the 10 best websites for dog owners to consult on important subjects from selecting a dog breed and petfood, to maintaining a healthy pet and traveling with dogs.
For those trying to select the right dog, Dog Breed Info provides information on many breeds with pictures and  provides contact information for dog breeders by zip code. Gotta Love a Lab was selected as a top resource for all things Labrador-related, including articles, pictures and tips. 
Once the right dog is chosen, Baby Dog Names lists dog names by categories: popular, unique, famous, wacky and gender. Cesar Milan, the "Dog Whisperer," was named as a good online resource for dog tips and training advice, as well as the forum.  Business Insider named Petco as the number one resource for selecting a petfood online because they offer coupons, free shipping on orders over US$60 and a wide variety of brands for consumers to choose from. When traveling with a dog, lets pet owners know which hotels, restaurants and parks are pet friendly.
Dog owners must also look out for their pet's health. To help do so, offers resources about dog illnesses and lists of local veterinarians to consult for professional pet examinations. Dog owners looking for pet health insurance may want to consult the Dog Health Insurance website, according to Business Insider.

Healthy petfood, DAP diffuser may control stress in dogs

Many commercial petfoods do not take into consideration the nutritional requirements of dogs, which may cause stress and unruly behavior, leaving dog owners in-need of other effective solutions for controlling their dog.
One petfood that may reduce stress is Burns dog food. The food, according to the company, contains hypoallergenic ingredients to prevent digestive disorder along with minerals to strengthen the dog's immunity.
Aside from healthy meals, dogs may require other solutions for managing behavior, such as a Dog Appeasing Pheromone diffuser with DAP refill. When plugged into an electrical outlet, the diffuser releases a calming chemical called pheromone to reduce stress in dogs, according to Burns. DAP diffuser may last for four weeks, but the vial containing the pheromone substance can be replaced with a DAP refill.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunshine Mills renews 'Lassie' petfood deal with Classic Media

Sunshine Mills Inc. renewed its partnership with Classic Media to expand the current line of Lassie-branded pet products.
Since 2007, Classic Media and Sunshine Mills have worked together on the Lassie Natural Way product line, which includes dry dog food formulated for puppies, adult dogs or senior dogs, as well as biscuits and treats. Lassie Natural Way products are made from all natural ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, wheat, corn, or soy products, according to the company. The product line is available at select retailers nationwide.

Pet Valu signs US Humane Society's Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge

Pet Valu, a mid-Atlantic US petfood and supply chain, signed The Humane Society of the United States' Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge.
This pledge means that the company commits to not sell puppies from puppy mills, but instead to support local pet adoption programs and provide literature that helps customers learn how to locate a puppy from a reputable source. Store owners who sign The HSUS’ pledge receive a placard proclaiming, “We love puppies; that’s why we don’t sell them,” to display in the store, as well as free materials for their customers about how to adopt a puppy or find a responsible breeder.
“Pet Valu is proud to be a part of the Puppy Friendly Pet Stores Program, which reinforces our commitment to providing our customers with quality pet supplies while looking out for the best interest of animals,” said Connie Lowney of Pet Valu. “We believe that this will be a successful business model in our 63 locations, and are hopeful that our commitment will inspire others to support responsible pet acquisition.”
A list of participating "Puppy Friendly" pet stores is available from

PetSmart to offer Innova brand petfood products

PetSmart will carry Innova brand petfood products on its store shelves beginning in May.
The Innova brand was launched in 1993 by Natura Pet Products, which allowed the petfood brand to be sold only by independent specialty pet stores. The company's policy change aims to increase brand awareness and availability, as well as meet increased consumer demand for natural petfoods, according to Jim Wall, vice president of sales for Natura. PetSmart will carry a range of Innova products for both dogs and cats, including dry foods, canned foods and treats.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Canadian government to invest US$175,000 in Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

The Government of Canada will invest US$175,000 in the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada to help develop global market opportunities for Canadian petfood products, according to an announcement by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
The federal investment will be provided through the US$88 million AgriMarketing program, under Growing Forward, which helps industry associations implement long-term international strategies. PIJAC Canada will use this investment to build relationships with new and existing customers, as well as increase the sales, exports and value of its products. The Canadian group will also attend US and other international trade shows, and participate in outgoing missions.
To find out more about this program, visit: 

Mars Petcare launches Marine Stewardship Council certified products in UK

Mars Petcare launched Marine Stewardship Council certified products in UK stores as part of the company's commitment to use only sustainably-sourced fish in all products by 2020.
Select packs of Mars Petcare’s Sheba and Whiskas petfood lines for cats are MSC-certified and available in UK stores.
Mars Petcare says it aims to achieve the following across its entire petcare portfolio as part of the MSC product certification: use only fish from 100% sustainable wild catch and sustainable aquaculture sources; replace all wild catch whole fish and fish fillet with sustainable fish by-products and sustainable aquaculture; and use only sustainable alternatives to marine fish ingredients. 
“For consumers, making the best environmental choice can be tricky – especially when you are trying to apply the same ethical values to all aspects of your weekly shop. Making sustainable seafood choices can be a particular challenge, whether you are looking for sustainable haddock for the family or cat food for the family pet," said Toby Middleton, MSC-UK manager. "By sourcing MSC certified fish and using the MSC ecolabel in these new ranges, Mars Petcare has made it simple for cat owners to shop with confidence and to reward sustainable fishing practice – even when buying for pets.”

International Grains Program to hold extrusion processing course in August

The International Grains Program at Kansas State University will hold an extrusion processing short course from Aug. 9-12, at the IGP Conference Center.
The course is geared toward technical and managerial personnel in the petfood, feed and ingredient industries. It covers principles of extrusion processing, from raw material selection and equipment to post-processing operations and control systems.
A number of course lectures will be reinforced by hands-on participation at the Kansas State Extrusion Lab and a trip to Wenger Manufacturing in Sabetha, Kansas, USA. An addition to the 2011 course is a session on the science and practice of sensory evaluation and consumer acceptance studies for new products, which allows participants to create and taste the food they make. Participants will also learn the business aspects of extrusion processing and setting up an extrusion-based business, including capital decision making and strategic planning with real-world case studies.
The early bird registration deadline for the extrusion processing course in June 17. To register, visit Kansas State University's IGP website.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

World Small Animal Veterinary Association develops global nutrition guidelines

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association developed global nutrition guidelines to raise awareness of nutrition as the fifth vital assessment (5VA) in a standard physical exam for pets.
If published, 5VA would require a nutritional assessment and specific dietary recommendation be made for every patient on all visits. The other four vitals required to be assessed at each visit are temperature, pulse, respiration and pain.
To reach the goal of worldwide implementation of 5VA, WSAVA Guidelines Development Committee met for a second time at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla. The group formulated a plan to build an alliance of global veterinary organizations to help healthcare teams and pet owners begin implementing the guidelines on an international basis. The Committee's next steps include working to publish the guidelines and encouraging other stakeholders to get involved. WSAVA says its hope is that global veterinary organizations will join with the group to encourage veterinary healthcare teams and institutions to make nutrition a routine part of their recommendation procedures.
“Our team met for two full days during NAVC, and we are all very enthusiastic about the plans ahead for the WSAVA guidelines. We took the existing AAHA guidelines to use as a model, and will be working toward the mutual goal of making pet nutrition recommendations relevant worldwide,” said Lisa M. Freeman, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVN, professor of clinical nutrition at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “These guidelines are an important resource that global veterinary practices, petfood companies and all others invested in optimal small animal health can benefit from.”

US petfood sales up to US$18.4 billion in 2010, according to report

According to the report "Pet Food in the US, 9th Edition," released by Packaged Facts, US retail sales of petfood reached US$18.4 billion in 2010, up 2.8% over 2009 sales, but the growth was the slowest the market has seen since 1999.
Mass-market outlets led in petfood sales: dog food, the largest petfood category, grew 1.5% in 2010 to reach $3.7 billion, according to the report. However, pound volume was down 1% at 3.7 billion pounds. Biscuits and treats grew nearly 8% over 2009, and the smallest segment, frozen/refrigerated dog food, jumped 10%. Mass-market sales of cat food declined 0.2% in 2010 to US$2.4 billion, but cat treats performed well, and the frozen/refrigerated segment rose from virtually nothing in 2009 to US$600,000 in 2010, according to the report.
Looking ahead to the next five years, the Packaged Facts report indicated that petfood sales returning to their pre-recession annual growth rate of 5% to 6% is unlikely, but a gradual improvement is possible. For 2011 to 2015, the report gave an annual growth rate of 3.5%, with US retail pet food sales reaching US$21.8 billion in 2015.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PetShopBowl only online pet shop to exhibit at 120th Crufts dog show

A 10-month-old startup called PetShopBowl will be the only online pet shop to exhibit at the United Kingdom's 120th Crufts dog show.
PetShopBowl was set up by two entrepreneurs, Adam Taylor and Alexandra Tamasan, with help from the Princes Trust Business program. Both were unemployed before coming up with the idea of an online pet shop designed to provide a service to help pet owners. Ten months later, the company is on track to achieve a turnover of £300,000 in its first year of operations. “The business idea originated from my personal experience of wanting to save money during these harder economic times,” said Taylor. “I also witnessed my mother struggling to carry heavy dry dog food sacks and cat litter for her pets.”
PetShopBowl’s website offers a repeat delivery service called “Bottomless Bowl” and a one-click reorder feature. “It occurred to me that most animals eat the same amount of food every day, every week and even every year,” said Taylor, “so why not save money and petrol by buying in bulk and have it delivered to your door?” The home delivery service is offered nationwide.

Victam Asia 2012 announces new location, earlier dates

Victam Asia 2012 has announced a new venue and earlier dates for the event to be held in Bangkok, Thailand: The venue will switch to the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre, BITEC, between the city center and the new international airport. The show will be held February 15 through 17.
Previously, the Asian event — held every two years — has taken place at Bangkok's Queen Sirikit exhibition complex on dates in March. Victam Asia organizers say the new venue will offer superior and more modern facilities, free of supporting pillars in exhibition halls for better traffic flow. Victam Asia 2012 will be joined by Petfood Forum Asia 2012, as well as the Asian versions of the FIAAP feed ingredients and GRAPAS grain events which run parallel to the Victam International show coming to Cologne, Germany, in May 2011.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PetSmart announces 2010 earnings, 2011 sales forecast

PetSmart reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010, and forecast the company's sales for 2011.
For the fourth quarter, earnings per share were up 26% to US$0.77. Comparable store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, increased 6.3% helped by comparable transactions growth of 4.4%, according to the company. Total sales for the quarter were up 8.1% to US$1.5 billion, partially impacted by US$4 million in favorable foreign currency fluctuations. Services sales, which are included in total sales, increased 7.2% to US$152 million.
For fiscal year 2010, PetSmart's earnings per share rose 26% to US$2.01 from US$1.59 the previous year. Comparable store sales grew 4.8%, benefiting from comparable transactions growth of 2.1%. The company reported total sales for fiscal 2010 were up 6.7% to US$5.7 billion, including a favorable impact from foreign currency fluctuations of US$25 million. For the year, services sales rose 7.5% to US$619 million.
“For all of 2011, we anticipate comparable store sales growth in the 3% to 4% range, and total sales growth in the mid-single digits range,” said Chip Molloy, senior vice president and chief financial officer. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

NRG pet products forms US-based NRG USA to expand North American customer base

NRG pet products, a Canada-based dog food company, has formed a US-based branch, NRG USA, to bring NRG-brand dehydrated dog food to markets in the US.
NRG has had a presence in Canada for 15 years, and recently decided to extend its reach to the US. The company manufactures its products on an NRG-owned farm in British Columbia and purchases ingredients direct from North American farmers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Petco's take on nutrition

One of the key advantages independent pet retailers have over the "big box" pet chain stores is independents' staff are typically better trained and more knowledgeable about pets' needs and the products that can meet them. That includes with petfood. (In fact, some manufacturers of premium and superpremium products include extensive education materials and efforts of these retail staffs in their sales and marketing programs.)
So kudos to Petco, one of the big box chains, for taking the initiative to train its retail staff on pet nutrition, a program it started a couple years ago. Now the chain has augmented its staff training with its Petco Certified Nutrition program, in which it is "certifying" the petfood products on its shelves for passing a checklist for one of three categories: Essential Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition and Natural Nutrition.
Take a look at these checklists. They seem rather simplistic to me, though to be fair, the idea is to help consumers make choices, which means keeping things fairly simple considering that most consumers probably don't have the time or pet nutrition knowledge to delve into longer lists or more detailed explanations or definitions.
I guess what I find quizzical is the areas that are not checked under some of the categories. In fact, the Essential Nutrition column has only two check marks; is that Petco's way of steering customers to higher-priced, higher margin products? And products that fall into the Natural Nutrition category are not scientifically formulated to "have consistent nutrition in every bite" or to "meet specific pet needs?"
 Wouldn't some products -- perhaps many -- fall into more than one of these three categories? Are Petco staff trained to understand and communicate that fact about such petfoods?
Again, I applaud Petco for starting somewhere, especially considering the dearth of knowledge among many pet owners about companion animal nutrition. What do you think: Is this a good start, or is Petco doing more harm than good? launches web-based storefront for pet owners interested in natural, organic, green products has officially opened its web-based storefront, according to co-founder Marion Elledge, who said that "the goals of are to introduce pet owners to natural, organic, eco-friendly products available on the market today, provide insight into how they can support a more sustainable environment by using these products and offer holistic, grain-free, gluten-free petfood and treats that are a much healthier choice than those carried in your local grocer." 
Initial items listed in the web store include pet products like Cycle Dog, Ecollargy, Wagging Green, and Earth Dog collars and leashes, which are made of organic materials such as soy, hemp, 100% cotton, 100% wool and bamboo. Other items for sale are constructed from things like recycled inner tubes, recycled billboards and recycled plastic bottles. "It is important to us to bring awareness as to how people can involve their pets in their eco-conscious efforts to prevent global warming and guarantee a sustainable environment," said co-founder and Vice President Roger Franklin

Thursday, March 10, 2011

RECALL: Jones Natural Chews recalls pig ear dog chews because of salmonella

Jones Natural Chews Co., of Rockford, IL is recalling 2,705 boxes of Pig Ears because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling dry pet food and/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.
Jones Natural Chews Pig Ears were distributed in CT, IA, IL, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NY, PA,VA, WA, and WI. They were shipped to distributors and retailers between September 15, 2010 and November 2, 2010 where they were available for purchase.
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 2pk bag with header card–item upc 741956001047 lot 2420
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 100ct box-box upc 741956001139 lot 2490, 2560, 2630, 2700, 2840, 2910, 2980
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 50 ct box-box upc 741956001504 lot 2490, 2840
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 25ct box-box upc 741956001467 lot 2700
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001146 lot 2700, 2840, 2420
*Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 10pk printed bag-item upc 741956001405 lot 2420, 2560, 2630, 2840
*Blain’s Farm & Fleet Pig Ears 10 pieces bag-item upc 741956001405 lot 2560
*Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001511 lot 2630
*Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001146 lot 2420
*Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 12pk bag-item upc 741956001245 lot 2910
No illnesses have been reported to date.
Consumers who have purchased any of these pig ears are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-877-481-2663.

Natura now offering Innova brand to pet chain stores

Natura Pet Products has announced that it will be offering all pet specialty retailers, including regional and national pet specialty chain stores, the option to purchase Innova branded products directly from the company's Fremont plant.
Natura has said that it will continue to distribute and support the Innova brand in the independent pet specialty retailer channel. Additionally, EVO, California Natural, HealthWise and Mother Nature brands will continue to be sold exclusively in independent pet stores.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nature's Valley offers limited-ingredient diets for multiple protein allergies

Nature’s Variety has developed three new grain-free, gluten-free, potato-free limited ingredient diets for 2011, under its Instinct family of products.   
“We always recommend that if a pet parent suspects a food allergy, that they consult their veterinarian for an official confirmation, but we have heard many great consumer testimonials about how our foods have helped relieve symptoms through a grain-free diet," said Jill Gainer, director of communications at Nature’s Variety. "And now we are able to offer single protein diets so that pet parents can more easily identify problematic ingredients and eliminate them from the diet.” The company is introducing two dog formulas, Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Meal Formula and Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb Meal Formula, as well as a feline option, Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Meal Formula. Each of the three new products offers one protein, one starch and one fiber source. 
The new Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets will be available in April, at independent pet food retailers where Nature’s Variety products are sold.

Eukanuba launches dog-centric '28-Day Challenge' to promote petfood

Eukanuba has launched its 28-Day Challenge, asking dog owners to feed their pets any Eukanuba formula for 28 days to "find out for themselves what a difference a premium Eukanuba diet can make," according to Manuel Miyar, the company's associate marketing director.
Interested consumers can sign up via Facebook, where participants can also enter a contest where one dog will be crowned the "Challenge Champion" and appear in Dog Fancy magazine and select Eukanuba advertising. “We all have such a passion for dogs and are committed to providing extraordinary nutrition so they look and perform at the top of their game,” said Miyar. The deadline for entering the challenge is June 12; the deadline for the champion contest is April 30.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Veterinarians use pre-portioned food kits to help pet patients lose weight

Veterinarians at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, USA, are helping their patients lose weight with a special fitness program that includes pre-portioned food kits.
The Furry Friends Fitness Program is designed to address the one-half of all pet dogs and cats in the US that are overweight. The program, in addition to biweekly weigh-ins and progress tracking, includes food kits that run from US$44.99 to US$54.99 for a five-week supply, depending on the animal's size. Prescription diet kits for severely obese pets run from US$54.99 to US$79.99.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Research finds cats prefer food similar to their natural prey

According to research carried out in collaboration with Professor Steve Simpson at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia, and Professor David Raubenheimer at the Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University, New Zealand, healthy pet cats regulate their protein, fat and carbohydrate intake to mimic the types of food they would eat in the wild.
The research, carried out over a two-year period at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, demonstrated that cats have an intake target that equates to approximately 52% of their daily calorie intake from protein, 36% from fat and 12% from carbohydrate. “This is a fascinating discovery and we are intrigued to know more about why cats have the ability to do this,” said lead study author Dr. Adrian Hewson-Hughes. “It is particularly remarkable that, even after thousands of years of domestication, cats still select a diet nutritionally similar to their natural prey.”
Waltham intends to pursue further research in this area and will now focus on the selection of these key nutrients in other cat lifestages including gestation, lactation and growth, as well as in dogs.

Bravo! expands treat line to include duck, lobster

Bravo! has announced the addition of two new proteins to its Bonus Bites Treats and Chews line: dry roasted duck feet and freeze dried North Atlantic lobster meat.
The new products will begin rolling out to independent retail outlets in April and will be featured in Bravo!’s new eco-friendly packaging.
Bravo! Bonus Bites are a line of freeze-dried and dry-roasted, all-meat and grain-free treats and chews. The new proteins, according to the company, were selected for their nutritional value and pet appeal. “A lot of thought went into selecting the two new protein sources for our Bonus Bites line," said David Bogner, Bravo! co-founder. "If the consumer feedback, retailer requests and our taste tests are any indication, there are going to be lots of happier and healthier dogs and cats out there.”  
The current line up of Bravo! Bonus Bites Treats and Chews on the market include: dry roasted chicken breast strips, turkey breast strips, buffalo livers, venison livers and duck feet. Freeze-dried treats include: chicken liver, premium chicken breast, turkey liver, turkey hearts, buffalo liver, venison liver, salmon, cod and North Atlantic lobster meat. Bravo! also recently introduced a specialty line of freeze dried Training Treats in a smaller size for training purposes in buffalo, turkey, hot dog and a trail mix protein types.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Del Monte reports increase in pet product sales for 2011

US petfood manufacturer Del Monte reported net sales of US$940.9 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011, a decrease of 5.3% compared with US$958.9 million during the same time in 2010.
Despite this drop, net sales of pet products were up 2.6% from 2010 levels to US$433.2 million, according to the company. The company attributed the increase primarily to strong unit volume growth in dry petfood and pet snacks as well as new product volume growth. Del Monte also reported that pet product operating income rose 9.3%, from US$84.8 million in the second quarter fiscal 2010 to US$92.7 million in the second quarter fiscal 2011.

Global Pet Expo 2011 to be largest in show's history

With 2,366 booths sold and 822 exhibiting companies, Global Pet Expo 2011 is slated to be the largest event in the show's history, according to Andrew Darmohraj, senior vice president of the American Pet Products Association.
According to show organizers, all Global Pet Expo special sections are completely sold out, including Natural Pet, Boutique, Everything Aquatic, International Pavilion and What’s New!. “We are thrilled to report that Global Pet Expo is experiencing unprecedented growth,” said Darmohraj. “This speaks volumes to the strength of the pet industry and the significance of this show to exhibitors and buyers alike.”
The show will take place March 16 through 18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Alabama Court awards Sunshine Mills US$61 million for malfunctioning software

In the second-largest jury verdict in Alabama since at least 2003, the Franklin County Circuit Court awarded US$61 million (including US$45 million of punitive damages) to petfood manufacturer Sunshine Mills against Ross Systems for malfunctioning software.
The three-week trial, which took place in late 2010, brought claims that software sold by Ross Systems created phantom orders, overstated inventories by billions of dollars and created havoc in Sunshine Mills' manufacturing, accounting and shipping departments. At one point, according to court testimony, trucks were backed up into the street as Sunshine Mills workers loaded and unloaded the same vehicles multiple times because of glitches in the software.
A second round of litigation is now in play. Ross has sued Sunshine Mills in US District Court in Atlanta, saying the company is still using its software, now without a license.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New food safety law impact on imports discussed at Global Food Safety Conference

US Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor focused on the new food safety law's impact on imports at the Global Food Safety Conference in London.
"All of you in this room acutely understand the major disruptions to our economies and to international trade that occur in the wake of major foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls," said Taylor at the Global Food Safety Initiative-produced event. "You understand how these crises can undermine consumer confidence for months and years to come ...we know we can do better, and we must do better."
According to Taylor, import safety was a driving force behind the new law, which increases inspection frequencies, authority to access records and third-party verification abroad. "Importers will, for the first time, have a clearly defined responsibility and accountability for the safety of the food they bring into our country," said Taylor. "The new importer accountability provisions require importers to implement a foreign supplier verification program."
The expectations under the new law will be difficult to meet, said Taylor, but they are necessary. "Consumers around the world, not just in the United States, expect and demand safe food, no matter its source," he said. "We need to live up to those expectations."

New products out to promote pet weight loss

According to newly released data, more than half of the 171 million cats and dogs in the US are overweight or obese, resulting in an expansion in the market of pet weight-loss technology and products, says an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Such products include software for veterinarians to track a pet's "Body Condition Score," a blood test that can determine animals' body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and dog treadmills. "Obesity in pets is almost the equivalent of smoking in human medicine," said Steven Budsberg, director of clinical research at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. "There's the high cost to people, and it's self-induced. I never met a German Shepherd who could open the refrigerator or food bag and pour himself another bowl."
The Body Condition Score software, being rolled out in 770 Banfield hospitals, will require veterinarians to give a score on a scale of one (too thin) to five (obese) during routine office visits. The idea is to open up communication between doctors and pet owners about their pet's condition. Many petfood makers are coming out with weight-reduction food systems to help with pet weight loss, while the pet industry has seen sales of specialty dog treadmills increase by 200% since 2007.
Pet camps and resorts have begun offering programs that get both pets and their owners on the weight-loss track. "It goes to the dynamic of people looking like their pets," says Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow. "If the owner is focused on health, then the pets will be, too."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

RECALL: Wellness voluntarily recalls canned cat food

WellPet is committed to delivering the very best in pet food nutrition, as nothing is more important than the well-being of our dogs and cats. So when we found through product quality testing that specific product runs of our Wellness canned cat food might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), we decided to voluntarily recall them.
Please know, the vast majority of products tested had the appropriate levels of thiamine; however, with the number of recipes we offer, we did not want to make this more confusing. Therefore to avoid confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to recall all canned cat products with the specific date codes noted below. Cats fed only product with inadequate levels of thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.
Though the chance of developing this deficiency is remote, withdrawing these products is the right thing to do and we are removing it from retailers' shelves.
The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:
Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;
Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with best by date of 10NOV13 and 17NOV13.
If you have cat food from these lots, you should stop feeding it to your cats. You may call WellPet at 1-877-227-9587 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement.
No other Wellness products that your pets currently enjoy are impacted, so you can continue to feed your pets Wellness with full confidence. This is an isolated situation, as we have had only one reported issue. We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again.

Owner of Hi-Standard Pet Food acquires Joy Pet Foods, Best Feeds

Wade Graskewicz, founder of Hi-Standard Pet Food, has acquired Joy Pet Foods and Best Feeds, adding 22 new products to the portfolio of the Ogden, Illinois, USA, American Nutrition plant where his products are produced.
"The acquisition of Joy Pet Foods will strengthen our business platform and allow us to accelerate our growth plans for both brands," said Graskewicz. The combined brands have distribution in 44 states and two Canadian provinces, Japan and Ghana. Graskewicz said he has plans to acquire a larger warehouse to accommodate his acquisition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fressnapf reports 7.6% sales increase in pet products for 2010

Fressnapf increased its 2010 pet product sales by 7.6% over the previous year, to €1.28 billion (US$1.75 billion) in 11 countries, according to the company.
In Germany, the company reported sales of €874.7 million (US$1,198 million) equivalent to an increase of 5.2% compared with the previous year. In the other 10 countries in which its products are sold, Fressnapf reported sales of €403.4 million (US$552.3 million) for fiscal 2010, a sales growth of 13.3% compared with the previous year.