Friday, July 29, 2011

Nielsen, Walmart sign US sales information agreement

The consumer purchasing analytics company Nielsen signed a cooperation agreement with Walmart to receive and analyze consumer sales information from Walmart’s US stores. The agreement, expected to be followed by similar ones with other research firms, comes after a decade of the retailing giant's ban on sharing scanning data.
Nielsen will work with Walmart and Sam’s Club to report sales information on consumer goods, including data on sales volumes, pricing, merchandising and promotions. As part of the agreement, Nielsen will be Walmart’s primary provider for information, tools and training. Nielsen says it will begin to incorporate Walmart and Sam’s Club retail sales information in its databases and industry reports over the next several months.
“This expanded relationship with Nielsen will provide Walmart and Sam’s Club with deeper insights into customer purchasing-and unmet needs-both nationally and in key local markets,” said Cindy Davis, executive vice president of Walmart global customer insights. “We plan to share our point-of-sale information to help us identify category growth opportunities sooner and collaborate with our manufacturer partners to develop more impactful customer-driven programs going forward.”

Greenopia gives 'green' pet food brand ratings

Greenopia, an online directory that educates consumers on sustainable purchasing, updated its independent "green" ratings of nearly 30 pet food brands sold in the United States.
Greenopia gave its highest rating, a Four-Green-Leaf Award, to just four of the pet food brands rated: Karma of Natura Pet Products, The Honest Kitchen, Wenaewe and Raw Advantage. The second-highest, three-leaf-rating went to eight pet food brands: Dr. Harvey's, Newman's Own Organics, Petguard, Champion, Castor & Pollox, Back to Basics, Wellness and Dogswell.
"It seems that pet food recalls are happening more and more frequently," said Gay Browne, Greenopia's founder. “In our analysis, we tried to combine the food’s environmental attributes with an assessment of its ingredients to find not only safest foods for your pet, but also ones that are better for the planet.”
Greenopia collected data from manufacturers and independent sources about each brand's ingredients, packaging, sustainability reporting, supply chain, animal testing policies and green building design, awarding additional points to companies that adopted environmental initiatives. The green pet food ratings are available for free, online.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation adds new members

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, Petco and Pfizer Animal Health added 12 companies and organizations to HABRI's steering committee, as well as three organizations as HABRI's association supporters.
HABRI steering committee companies and organizations include the American Humane Association; American Veterinary Medical Association; Central Garden and Pet; Hartz; Hill’s Pet Nutrition; Morris Animal Foundation; Natural Balance; PetSmart; Radio Systems Corporation; Segrest Farms, funded by Allen Levey; Sergeants; and WellPet.
Organizations at the association supporter level include the Pet Industry Distributors Association , Pet Care Trust and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
“We are pleased that these companies, organizations and industry leaders recognize the importance of HABRI’s efforts and have joined us to support research, education, advocacy and a national commitment to the positive impact of the human-animal bond,” Bob Vetere, HABRI president, said. “Together with their support we are poised to help others come to understand what we already know, that the human-animal bond has the power to improve health and enhance the quality of life for humans.”

Nature’s Variety expands pet food Nutrition Council

Nature’s Variety added two new members to the holistic pet food company's Nutrition Council.
Susan G. Wynn, DVM, of Georgia Veterinary Specialists, and Lea Stogdale, DVM, of Aesops Veterinary Care, will guide new product formulations under the newly formed Nutrition Council.
“We are committed to providing the best possible life for pets through nutrition, which is why the Nature’s Variety Nutrition Council was formed – to ensure all diets and products developed are true to what our company stands for,” said Reed Howlett, Nature’s Variety CEO. “Our newest members will help us fulfill our stated philosophy.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pet food follows organic food trends of pet owners

Recent trends in organic food have carried over from the plates of pet owners to the bowls of their pets. Big-box pet retailers and pet specialty stores are increasingly stocking shelves with premium, organic, locally-sourced, free-range, minimally-processed and raw pet foods to follow this trend, says a recent Los Angeles Times article.
"If there's a trend in human food and supplements, you'll see it on the pet food aisle," said Bob Vetere, president of American Pet Products Association. "Gluten-free, vitamin supplemented, breed-specific, senior formulas — all of these have taken over the pet marketplace, and we're seeing the competition increasing." 
Pet owners are spending more to feed their pets, as retail pet food sales were up 2.8% from 2009, to US$18.4 billion in 2010, according to the Packaged Facts. The market research company predicts that sales of natural foods will surpass overall petfood sales within the next five years, despite the fact that these foods can be more expensive than commercial pet food brands.
Many pet owners seek food they believe is more wholesome and natural compared with large commercial brands. Some pet owners switched to specialty foods after a 2007 recall of pet foods tainted with melamine, though there is no guarantee that specialty pet foods foods cannot also be contaminated, experts warn. In some cases, veterinarians say, legitimate pet concerns, such as meeting the nutritional needs of old age or treating allergies, are reasons pet owners switch to feeding a specialty food.
Dr. Nancy Scanlan, a veterinarian and executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, says experimentation may be the best method of finding the right pet food. Scanlan encourages pet owners to talk to their veterinarian, read pet food ingredient labels and look at studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Petfood Industry launches first interactive pet food nutrition course

Petfood Industry launched its first interactive pet food nutrition course, "Building Blocks of Companion Animal Nutrition."
This six-module online course, developed by Linda P. Case, MS, owner of AutumnGold Consulting, provides a thorough examination of the science of companion animal nutrition and practical feeding management for dogs and cats. Watt (parent company of Petfood Industry and Petfood Forum) has made the "Building Blocks of Companion Animal Nutrition" course available through the online educational portal, Watt eLearning.
The "Building Blocks of Companion Animal Nutrition" course includes six modules, an accompanying textbook and certificate of completion. Course content is designed to meet the needs of pet food professionals, animal scientists, nutritionists, veterinarians, breeders, exhibitors, judges, trainers, hobbyists and others seeking a scientific understanding of basic nutrients and their functions, companion animal nutrient needs and feeding behaviors.
Case is a recognized expert in the fields of canine and feline nutrition, behavior and training and companion animal health care. She operates AutumnGold Dog Training Center and is the author of four books, as well as numerous scientific papers and pet owner educational materials. Case also served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and lecturer and program coordinator at the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences.
Log on to to learn more, sign up and gain immediate access to the course. Check back often for new sessions and updated offerings.

Interzoo 2012 to add exhibit space for pet supply trade show

Organizers of the Interzoo 2012 pet supply trade show announced that the number of registrants has already surpassed that of the previous show.
The organizer, Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe, says it is planning to extend the exhibition area to include an extra hall, for a total area of more than 90,000 sq. meters across 11 halls.
Interzoo 2012 will take place May 17-20, 2012, in Nuremberg, Germany.

Monday, July 25, 2011

UK blog discusses environmental impact of pets

A UK Guardian blog looks into whether or not pets are environmentally-friendly.
The blog says that views of whether or not a pet’s impact on the environment should be considered usually depend on if the person is a pet owner or not.
Each animal species has its own traits that affect the environment. The blog gives examples, such as cats hunt little animals, large dogs eat a lot of food and fish tanks require light switches to be left on constantly. Some measurements, like “carbon pawprints” may be useful to some looking to measure the impact of these animal attributes on the environment.
Readers are invited to share their opinion on the topic by making a post to the blog’s Web page.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pet insurance blog offers pet food, nutrition tips for consumers

Pet insurance company Petplan's online blog offers consumer guidelines on selecting a pet food, as cases of pet food contamination and recalls have become more frequent.
A report from Packaged Facts predicted the sales of natural and organic pet foods to grow three times faster than regular petfoods through 2015, though the pet insurance company warns consumers that the two terms are not the same. Petplan says that when a pet food is labeled as "organic," it means the food's ingredients are produced in accordance with National Organics Standard Board guidelines, whereas "natural" pet food does not have this regulation.
“I’ve definitely seen an increase in the ‘What should I be feeding my pet?’ questions during regular veterinary appointments,” says Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services at Petplan. “With a topic as important as nutrition, it’s great to see pet parents becoming more educated. Recent studies have shown that pets fed a correctly balanced diet enjoyed an average of an additional three healthy years of life. With so many choices of pet food out there, it’s increasingly important to work closely with your veterinarian and their team to establish what (and how much) your pet should be eating to live life to the fullest.”
Petplan also urges consumers to sign up for pet food safety alerts on the US Food and Drug Administration's recall website. The company says that if consumers are preparing a home-cooked or raw diet for their pet, proper food handling guidelines are available from the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service to help avoid foodborne illnesses.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

AFIA awards Dr. Fahey for pet food, animal nutrition contributions

The Federation of Animal Science Societies and the American Feed Industry Association recognized George C. Fahey Jr., Ph.D., professor of animal sciences and nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with the FASS-AFIA New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition award.
A committee of FASS members selected Fahey to receive the award, which is given to stimulate and reward innovative research relevant to the nutrition of animals and pet food. The award was presented to Fahey by AFIA's Nutrition Committee chairman, Clay Zimmerman, Ph.D., during a July conference of animal-science societies in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Dr. Fahey has specialized in companion animal nutrition for UIUC since 1976. He has contributed to the areas of carbohydrate nutrition, with a special interest in the areas of dietary fiber, oligosaccharides, resistant starch and comparative nutrition in animal and human diets. Dr. Fahey’s research has helped the pet industry produce optimal animal food and feed. launches online pet food, supply store

E-commerce company Quidsi recently launched, an online pet supply and pet food store.
The website offers 10,000 pet-related products, ranging from petfood and treats to grooming supplies, clothing and pet health products. Consumers can also browse through animal-specific special boutiques like "Posh Puppy," "Canine Classic" and "Culinary Cat." Quidsi says customers who buy from the site by itself will get free two-day shipping on orders above US$49.
“It’s a pretty common thing among our competitors to advertise free shipping for orders over US$59, but then exclude things like bags of pet food or kitty litter—all the heavy items that you’re actually most likely to want to buy online,” said Matt Lindenberg, associate marketing director. “We offer free shipping on our whole inventory. And if customers shop some of the other sites, they can get up to the US$39 limit very easily.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

P&G expands Iams Naturals pet food line

Procter & Gamble's Iams pet food brand added two dry dog food recipes to its Naturals petfood line: Sensitive Naturals, and Simple & Natural.
The Sensitive Naturals recipe contains ocean fish as the first ingredient, Iams says, and is ideal for dogs with ingredient sensitivities. Iams says its Simple & Natural formula contains chicken as the first ingredient for 100% nutrition with no fillers. Both dry kibble recipes also contain rice and barley, along with higher levels of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, natural prebiotic fructooligosaccharides, beet pulp, apple pomace and increased levels of vitamin E, according to Iams.
All of the Iams Naturals pet food recipes are available at pet specialty stores, mass retailers and grocers.

UK pet food company to open anaerobic digestion plant in September

A UK pet food processing company will open an anaerobic digestion plant in September, which will be able to recycle 45,000 metric tons of food waste each year and produce 2.8 Mw of renewable electricity and heat.
Prosper De Mulder’s £12m (US$19.13 million) plant will create 35 to 40 new jobs and will allow the company to move away from using landfills to dispose of food waste.
“We have been looking at anaerobic digestion for five or six years but previously the incentives weren’t there to do it,” said commercial director Philip Simpson. “Now, the landfill price is coming up and there are green incentives and the feed-in tariff to make it more worthwhile.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New method allows for use of more probiotics in pet foods

Researchers from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, developed a gentle production method for probiotics, which they say will allow for use of a wider range of probiotic strains in pet food and feed.
Currently, probiotic bacteria are mostly freeze-dried, though not all probiotic strains can withstand this production method. The production process developed by TCM researchers, called low temperature vacuum drying, runs under milder conditions and is also more environmentally friendly.
Researchers tested LTVD production three probiotic bacterial strains. Researchers first determined the optimal LTVD conditions and then, compared results with conventional freeze-drying, showing a higher survival rate among probiotic strains than conventional drying methods. 
The LTVD production process holds the product in a liquid state because evaporation in a vacuum takes place at low temperatures. The LTVD production method requires 40% less energy in comparison to freeze-drying, researchers claim.

Monday, July 18, 2011

FDA wants US$1.4 billion in US budget for pet food-safety law implementation

The US Food and Drug Administration wants the US government's fiscal 2012 budget to include US$1.4 billion in funds for FDA's food-safety law that guides FDA regulation in cases of pet food contamination, according to
In June, the US House voted to cut FDA’s fiscal 2012 food-safety budget by 10% to US$752 million, which FDA says would slow progress of Food Safety Modernization Act implementation. 
"The funding needs ultimately will grow, not in fiscal 2012 or 2013, but in subsequent years to meet inspection mandates,” said Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group of members including petfood manufacturer Nestle. “If the agency doesn’t have more resources further down the road, the FDA won’t be able to retrain its inspectors and fulfill the promise of the food-safety reforms.”

Natural Balance Pet Foods honors working canines for September 11

Natual Balance Pet Foods sponsored a contest with Dog Fancy magazine to honor the United States' top working dogs, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy.
Natural Balance's Working Canine Hero of the Year contest named three winning dogs: Air Force dog Lucky; a search-and-rescue dog named Hunter; and Renzo, a K9 with the Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, police department.
Each of the winners will receive US$3,500 from Natural Balance on September 11, at a National Disaster Search Dog Foundation ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the first national search dog training center in Santa Paula, California, USA.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Online pet food, pet product retailers cater to women pet owners

Two online petfood retailers have recently launched and secured funding to expand, drawing some conclusions that these pet food stores are becoming popular among certain consumers., a premium pet food retailer, recently received US$10 million Series B funding to expand its operations, led by LightSpeed Venture Partners. Recently launched by the wholly owned subsidiary, Quidsi, sells petfoods, pet products and accessories.
The pet food websites seem to understand the demographic make-up and needs of customers. A May 2011 Harris Poll found that the majority of Americans (62%) own a pet. Adding to the websites' success is the fact that women are more likely (69%) to own a pet than men (55%), according to Justin Caldbeck, managing director at LightSpeed Venture Partners.
"Most petfood today is bought by women, who have to haul 40 pound bags of dog food from the store to their car, and then from their car to their home. It's heavy, it's expensive, and sometimes they run out unexpectedly with little time to run to the store and buy more," Caldbeck said.
For its customers, says it promises free shipping on orders over US$49, including the larger 30-pound bags of food.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Online petfood retailer receives US$10 million funding

Online pet food retailer announced a US$10 million Series B round of funding led by LightSpeed Venture Partners.
The company, founded in 2010, plans to use the new funds to grow infrastructure, hire more employees and expand marketing.
“Most pet food today is bought by women, who have to haul 40 pound bags of dog food from the store to their car, and then from their car to their home. It's heavy, it's expensive, and sometimes they run out unexpectedly with little time to run to the store and buy more. That's a bad user experience, and it makes no sense given the evolution of e-commerce,” said Juistin Caldbeck, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners. “When we met Alex and Joe, two world-class entrepreneurs who have built US$100M+ web businesses in the past, they showed us the momentum that they've generated at Petflow, and we knew that they had found a better way."

Zuke's natural pet treats develops online retailer data portal

Zuke's natural pet treat company developed an online data portal resource for its pet food retailers and partners to obtain Zuke's images, order forms, product and display information.
The secure, web-based application can be navigated at and passwords can be obtained by filling out Zuke’s general inquiry page.
Additionally, Zuke’s created a tab on its contact Web page, where customers can upload files and pictures.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pet Food Industry Association confirms South African dog deaths from aflatoxin contamination

The Pet Food Industry Association in South Africa confirmed that dog deaths continued into May, after three dog food brands were ordered to be removed from store shelves in April due to aflatoxin contamination, according to reports. The Department of Agriculture ordered the Hi Pro, Buddies and Legends petfood brands be removed from store shelves, following the initial deaths of 12 dogs in Gauteng, South Africa.
PFIA says it has been collecting samples for independent testing of the petfoods involved, and has recently identified another brand, Vito, that also showed potential aflatoxin contamination. The Department of Agriculture recommended that all products thought to be contaminated should be composted for plant fertilizer. The department also recommended Vito food should be withdrawn from store shelves until the brand owner can verify that all contaminated products have been removed from the market and the public informed of specific affected batches.
“The Department of Agriculture has issued the notice of withdrawal of certain product and has seized a number of batches since this announcement,” said Barry Hundley, PFIA executive director. “We do however urge consumers who have some of these products from March and April manufacture and Vito, not to feed it to their pets as they are putting their lives at risk. Once the department was satisfied that all their requirements have been met by the manufacturer, new stock of the product has been made available on the market.”

Euromonitor to host free pet care webinar July 27

Euromonitor International will host a free global pet care webinar on Wednesday, July 27.
The webinar, "Global Pet Care - What is Driving Growth in 2011 and Beyond?" will begin at 10 a.m. EST and offer a look into the development of the pet care industry as well as current market trends.
Euromonitor's Emily Woon, head of pet care research, and Lee Linthicum, head of packaged food research, will also cross-reference pet care data against the following systems to identify potential pet care market opportunities: health and wellness food and beverages system; dog and cat food packaging data on packaging system; and retailing system.
Registration for the free webinar can be done online

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Philippines company charged with smuggling imported pet food

Smuggling charges were filed by the Bureau of Customs against a Philippines-based company accused of importing pet foods, as well as against its customs broker who is accused of gross undervaluation of the imported goods.
Leoby C. Leonidas, owner of Honey Drops Marketing, and the company's customs broker, Isabelita C. Galera, were charged by the Department of Jusice for undervaluing Honey Drop's previous 15-month, P474.5 million (US$11 million), petfood importations by more than 80%.
According to customs commissioner, Angelito A. Alvarez, Galera and Leonidas claimed petfood shipments valued at only P10.12 per kilo (US$.023 per kilo), which is lower than the P48.84(US$1.11) to P53.24 (US$1.21) per kilo range reported by other importers of the same products.
"For committing various fraudulent practices against customs revenue, Honey Drops should not only be asked to pay the corresponding duties and taxes on the subject importations totaling P83.1 million (US$1.9 million). Their entire shipments with a combined dutiable value of P474.5 million should have been forfeited in favor of the government," Alzarez said.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wysong, Green Dog partner to promote natural pet food, retailers

Wysong natural petfood corp. has partnered with Green Dog Promotions LLC to promote Wysong's pet product lines as well as the company's pet food retailers.
Beginning in early July, Green Dog will begin its promotional efforts in New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, USA.
“Too often, pet food manufacturers see their responsibilities ending with product placement in a retail outlet when, in fact, that is just the beginning. The truth of the matter is that the success of a product depends on three separate entities - the manufacturer, the retailer, and the consumer - and all in equal measure," said Mark Rogers, senior partner at Green Dog.
"The Wysong/Green Dog partnership addresses each by providing the retailers not only with the revolutionary Wysong product lines which give them differentiation from 'big box' but, also, the local marketing and promotion necessary to address their specific needs and provide them with that much needed new customer," Rogers said.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Animal feed expert contributions wanted for FIAAP Asia 2012

The animal feed industry is invited to submit presentations on advances in animal feed ingredients for the FIAAP Asia Conference 2012, which will take place in February alongside Victam Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand.
The FIAAP Asia Conference, which will be held February 16, 2012, focuses on animal feed ingredients and additives. FIAAP Asia invites expert presentation contributions, by September 1, 2012, in the following areas: feed formulation; nutrient requirements; traditional and novel protein sources; application of ingredients and feed additives for animal health and growth; and manipulation of finished animal product quality, optimizing available raw materials, food chain safety, environmental impact and physical pellet quality.
Along with this event, Petfood Forum Asia 2012 will take place February 16-17, for professionals in the petfood industry. This conference is also accepting expert abstract contributions until September 1, 2011.

Pet food companies to exhibit at Pet Fair Asia in September

Nearly 500 pet food and pet product exhibitors are expected to attend Pet Fair Asia 2011 in Shanghai, China, from September 24-27.
The 14th Pet Fair Asia will take place at the Shanghai Everbright Exhibition Center, where show organizers expect about 50,000 attendees looking for the latest pet products and pet trends.
Those interested in attending can pre-register online until August, but can also do so at the door.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pet food study finds adult cats prefer low-carb diets

A study on the macronutrient regulation of pet food was conducted to determine how adult domesticated cats select what to eat, when given a choice of pet foods with different ingredient amounts.
The study, "Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in adult domestic cats, Felis catus," looked at whether adult domesticated cats, given a choice of three foods with variable amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat, would deliberately select a food that is biologically appropriate for them.
The study found that when the cats were restricted to a high-carbohydrate food, they did not eat enough of it to get the targeted amount of protein. The cats who were more experienced in eating dry foods increased their protein intake and ate a smaller amount of carbohydrates than cats with little experience who were offered the same choices in the study.
According to study authors, when given a choice, cats learn to avoid eating an excessive amount of carbohydrates because they do not produce the enzymes required to digest high amounts of carbohydrates. Authors also said that results indicated that strong nutritional regulation of petfood is important for proper formulation of cats' diets to account for macronutritional differences between wet and dry commercial cat foods.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Halo Pet Foundation donates $70,000 to southern US animal welfare organizations

Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo holistic petfood Pet Foundation donated US$70,000 in disaster relief grants to eight animal welfare groups, in response to tornados and flooding in the southern US.
Grant recipients include Noah’s Wish, a nationwide group; Save our Pets Food Bank and SOS Club in Georgia; Arkansans for Animals in Arkansas; Blount County Animal Shelter and Second Chance Animal Sanctuary in Alabama; Paws, Claws ‘N More Rescue in Kentucky; and McKamey Animal Center in Tennessee. Funds for the disaster relief grants were raised at the 3rd Annual PETCO Foundation Gala.
“We’re thrilled to support these community leaders providing for the animals and people still in need after these disasters,” said Steve Marton, Halo chief executive and Halo Pet Foundation board member. “We’re very thankful for the support of our friends at the Petco Foundation, their many donors and our own Ellen DeGeneres, who is tireless in lending her voice and support to animals in need.”
In addition, Halo's nonprofit partner,, donated hundreds of thousands of meals of Halo Spot's Stew to shelters, rescues and food banks in the southern US.
"It is so amazing to be able to help the people and pets in the South that have been struggling after the storms," said Freekibble founder, Mimi Ausland. "It makes me very happy to know that the Halo Pet Foundation is now sending money to these awesome groups … they do incredible work and need all the help they can get!”

Holistic Select natural pet food seeks pet owners for ad campaign

Holisitc Select wants pet parents to enter its Casting Call ad campaign contest.
Holistic Select natural pet food is offering the chance for one pet owner and their dog or cat to star in an upcoming US advertising campaign.
In the Holistic Select Casting Call, the natural pet food company is searching for people who embrace a holistic lifestyle, not only in their lives, but also in their pets' lives. The company will select one grand prize winner and their pet for a professional photo shoot, the opportunity to be featured in an upcoming advertisement and a 10-year supply of Holistic Select pet food.
The deadline for contest entry is July 24. Visit Holistic Select's Facebook page for more information on the contest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Euromonitor pet care expert discusses global pet specialty channel

In a videocast, Emily Woon, head of pet care research at Euromonitor International, discusses the pet specialist channel in pet care, with an analysis of the three largest pet specialty retailers: PetSmart, Petco and Germany-based Fressnapf.
The pet specialty channel accounted for more than 50% of all pet care sales in 2010 and outpaced grocery stores in pet care sales, according to Woon. Woon said this is because pet owners are indulging more on purchasing premium products for their pets, which are only sold at specialty outlets, and also prefer the pet care advice they can receive at pet specialty stores that they would not otherwise get at a grocery store.
Woon also said that smaller pet shops are more popular in developing nations, such as Romania, Bulgaria and India, where these shops account for 60% of sales in the local market. She attributed this to the stores' convenient locations in local neighborhoods and small-scale retailers being able to adapt and customize products more easily, to meet pet owners' needs. Pet superstores, according to Woon, are more important in developed markets like the United States, where these pet specialty retailers account for 20% of overall pet care sales. Larger pet specialty retailers are more popular with US consumers because these stores carry a wide range of products, from branded petfoods to private labels, and offer services like dog training and grooming.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth of July dog safety tips

Keep your dog inside: Many anxious dogs on the 4th of July have been known to run away from home and jump yard walls or fences, and dogs or puppies that are tied up outside may run away in fear and have so much fear and anxiety that they choke and strangle themselves if left tied up. (Never have your dog tied up outside without human
Stay home with your dog: Just because your dog or puppy is inside does not mean they will be safe or relaxed. Many anxious and fearful or phobic dogs on the 4th of July will become destructive in the house. This may include, but not limited to, trying to jump through open or closed windows, pulling down window curtains or blinds, jumping at, clawing or scratching at doors or screens to try to escape, running and hiding under furniture, destructive chewing, marking or fearfully urinating or defecating in the house, pacing, hyperventilating, and even self-mutilating behavior. Some anxious dogs left in dog crates, kennels or runs may try to chew their way out and do damage to their teeth and gums, or try to claw or paw their way out, doing damage to their nails, pads, and feet. Don't come home to a bloody mess or a bloody dog.
Desensitize your dog: Several weeks before the 4th of July, start a program of behavior modification to desensitize your dog to the loud sounds of the 4th of July fireworks. Desensitization is exposing your dog to the fearful sounds in a slow, quiet and progressive way, pairing a positive reinforcer like a very high-value food treat, toy reward, pleasant massage, or petting, with the sounds of fireworks. You can download fireworks sounds from iTunes, and begin by playing the sounds of fireworks at a very low and non-threatening volume. Play with your dog and reward calm, relaxing behavior. Begin to teach your dog to relax on cue by pairing the timing of the reward at the exact moment of your dog's relaxed behavior, while at the same time saying the word "RELAX." If your timing is just right, most dogs can be trained to relax in about 20 to 30 very short desensitization sessions. Always start with the sound very low, and over time, as your dog learns to relax to the sounds, gently and gradually increase the volume and continue to reward and put on cue relaxed behavior.
Consider anti-anxiety medication: Talk to your Veterinarian about short-term anti-anxiety medication for your dog or puppy. In some cases medication may be warranted and a needed option. There are many safe FDA approved behavioral medications for your dog, their fears, phobias and anxiety.
Tips courtesy of:

Euromonitor analyzes global pet specialty retail market in latest report

Euromonitor International offers a report that analyzes the global market for pet specialty retailers.
Pets are becoming more and more "humanized," which has pet owners seeking premium pet foods as well as specialty pet care products and pet care advice, according to Euromonitor. The pet specialty outlet is becoming increasingly competitive as retailers fight for consumer traffic and new companies enter the market. In its report, Euromonitor examines strategies of pet specialty retailers and breaks down the global pet care market by region, as well as by type of retailer.