Friday, September 30, 2011

Survey finds American dog care spending unaffected by economy

In honor of National Dog Week from September 19-25, conducted an online survey that found nearly seven in 10 (68%) of US adult dog owners said that economic challenges do not affect their dog care spending.’s survey found that more than one in five (21%) dog owners spend an average of US$100 or more per month on their dogs, for a total of more than US$1,200 per year. When asked what they thought was the most expensive aspect of owning a dog, 57% of pet owners said veterinary appointments, 16% said dog food and treats, 25% said prescriptions and medications, and 6% said boarding. The survey also found that 50% of married couples own dogs compared with 34% of single, never married, adults.
“The pet care industry has remained resilient during the past few years, but it’s still important for consumers to budget for their dog’s needs,” said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at “Pets are often considered a family member, and just as you save money and budget for your family, you should do the same for your dog. Plan ahead to make sure you have money put away for emergencies. In addition, be proactive and save on your dog care expenses by using coupons, buying generic brands, and asking friends and family to walk or watch them.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

USDA publishes Kenya petfood market report

The US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service published a Global Agricultural Information Network report that highlights the growing Kenyan pet food market.
The report says that Kenya's pet food market grew 27% over the period from 2006-2010, attributed to an increase in pet ownership and demand for quality petfood. Kenya's pet food imports total about US$960,000, triple the amount in 2006, according to the report.
The report also cites data from Euromonitor International that says the pet population in Kenya, including cats, dogs, doves, pigeons and rabbits, grew by an average of 3% per year to more than 8 million in 2010. The report predicts Kenya's imports of pet food will continue to increase as pet ownership increases and consumers demand specific types of pet foods.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pets contribute significantly to economy, society, FEDIAF says

The European Pet Food Industry Federation, FEDIAF, reported updated statistics that show pet animals make a significant contribution to the economy and to society.
Throughout Europe, approximately 550,000 direct and indirect jobs, such as veterinarians, breeders or connected supply industries, are created as a result of pet ownership. The pet food industry and related supply and services represent a combined annual turnover of about €24 billion (US$32.8 billion). The petfood industry serves an estimated 70 million pet-owning households, with annual petfood production of over 8 million tons, according to FEDIAF.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Latin America pet care market grows

Pet care in emerging markets is booming as pet ownership rises among the middle class, an article in the Economist says. Specifically, Latin America’s spending on petfood and pet products increased 44% in the last five years to US$11 billion, according to Euromonitor.
The market research firm estimated that Chile has more pet dogs per person than in any other country. Rising incomes allow Latinos to treat dogs as members of the family because more of these young people are living alone, opting for pets as company and delaying marriage. These pet owners treat their animals as children, according to Euromonitor’s Emily Woon, who said that Latin America has become the “star market” in recent years. Despite their higher cost, Latinos choose dogs more often than cats, evident in the fact that dog food outsells cat food by almost six to one in this market.
However, there is room for further expansion in Latin America’s pet care market, as nearly three-quarters of Mexican dogs eat leftovers from burritos, the article says. Advertising campaigns like park billboards in Mexico City urge pet owners to switch to name-brand, packaged petfoods instead. The article also says that pet superstores make up more than one-fifth of pet product sales in America and Canada, but are seldom found in Latin America. The most popular stores in Latin America are still the small, independent pet shops, which retain customers by offering credit.

Monday, September 26, 2011

AP finds US government food counter-terrorism programs have failed

An Associated Press analysis found that the government has spent more than US$3.4 billion on food counter-terrorism over the past decade, but key programs have been slowed in the government. 
A Senate subcommittee recently held a hearing to examine a congressional watchdog's new report that reveals federal setbacks in protecting cattle and crops since September 11, 2001.
"We may be blindsided by an intentional food-based attack on this nation sometime soon," said John Hoffman, a former Department of Homeland Security senior adviser. "The unfortunate truth is that we, as a nation, lack effective surveillance ... At present, our primary detection capability is the emergency room."
AP interviewed a number of current and former state and federal officials to analyze spending and program records for major food defense initiatives. The findings showed a fragmented system that holds no single agency accountable for food safety, making it difficult for agencies to agree on which one is in charge. AP says bureaucratic delays and funding concerns have slowed other efforts, including moving an old animal disease lab from its location on an island near New York, New York, USA.
The interviews also found that Congress is questioning whether the US$31 million spent by the Department of Homeland Security to create a data integration center for monitoring biological threats to food has really accomplished anything because the different regulating agencies are not using it to save information. Five years after its creation, the Food Emergency Response Network has not set up a targeted surveillance program to test for chemical, biological and radiological agents because the US Department of Agriculture and FDA still cannot agree on who runs it, USDA's Office of Inspector General found.
Moreover, AP found that many changes to food safety put in place by the government are recommendations that the private sector is not necessarily mandated to carry out, making it difficult to track successes and failures.
"We have made solid progress, but everything that has been done to date on food defense in the private sector has all been voluntary," said LeeAnne Jackson, FDA's health science policy adviser. "We can't go out and ask them what they have done, because they're not obliged to tell us, so we don't have a good metric to measure what's been done."
The Senate hearing was convened after requesting a new Government Accountability Office report, which that found there was no coordinated effort to oversee the government's progress on food defense. The National Security staff agreed to review the government’s food defense work, according to Lisa Shames, GAO director of natural resources and environment.

Institute of Food Technologists leads pilot food traceability programs

The Institute of Food Technologists will lead two pilot programs for the US Food and Drug Administration designed to test and study various food product tracing systems. The purpose of the pilots is to identify methods to rapidly and effectively trace food products throughout the supply chain, so that products can be quickly identified and removed from the marketplace during a food-related outbreak to minimize the number of consumers affected.
Under an existing contract with FDA, IFT will conduct both the processed food and produce pilots required by the Food Safety Modernization Act, involving multiple stakeholders throughout the food system. IFT will focus on data use and how data collection processes impact the speed and accuracy of traceback during an outbreak.
In the first phase of the pilot programs, systems currently used for identifying, capturing, storing and sharing data will be tweaked to facilitate data analysis. The second stage will use supply chain data to determine if interfaces between existing systems are sufficient enough to trace a product forward and back along the supply chain, as well as will evaluate the costs and benefits to companies and society.
"Our work for FDA over the past 12 years lays a solid foundation for us to conduct these pilots," said IFT Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan. "Since 2008 IFT has been recognized as a resource for product tracing information, linking the food science community with technology providers, supply chain professionals, public health officials, and others with a shared commitment to product tracing and food safety." 
Companies interested in participating or learning more about the study may contact Caitlin Hickey at or +1.202.330.4985 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1.202.330.4985      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hill's Pet, PetMD offer online dog food nutrition tool

PetMD and Hill's Pet Nutrition launched "MyBowl for dogs,” an interactive nutrition tool to help pet owners understand the nutritional needs of their dog.
MyBowl for dogs helps consumers to understand what makes up a balanced meal for dogs and helps them understand the dog food label to ensure their pet's food has the proper balance of nutrition.  
The tool is available at

Texas A&M to host petfood extrusion short course

A Practical Short Course on Feeds and PetFood Extrusion will be presented January 29 through February 3, 2012, at Texas A&M University by staff, pet food industry representatives and consultants.
The program will cover designing new feed mills and selecting conveying, drying, grinding, conditioning and feed mixing equipment. Current practices for pet food production are reviewed, including the topics of preparing full-fat soy meal; recycling fisheries by-products, raw animal products and secondary resources; extrusion of floating, sinking, and high-fat feeds; spraying and coating fats, digests and preservatives; use of encapsulated ingredients and preparation of premixes; and least cost formulation. Practical demonstration of pet food, vacuum coating and others are demonstrated on four major types of extruders (dry, interrupted flights, single and twin screw), using various shaping dies. Reservations are accepted on a first-come basis. 
Reservations are accepted on a first-come basis. For more information, contact Dr. Mian N. Riaz at +1.979.845.2774 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1.979.845.2774      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NASC launches raw material supplier quality assurance program

National Animal Supplement Council initiated a third-party quality assurance program specifically for raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers.
As an extension of the organization’s current NASC Quality Seal Program for finished products in the animal health supplement industry, raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers can now apply for a NASC Quality Supply Chain Partner Seal.
“In our industry, companies have historically relied on a supplier’s certificate of analysis as the sole means of verifying the identity of a material and as a basis for formulating products,” said Bill Bookout, president of NASC. “However, due to recent issues involving potential contaminants in ingredients we felt it necessary to launch a program for supply chain partners to help further ensure NASC members deliver quality products to their customers.”
Similar to the NASC Quality Seal, the new seal for supply chain members will recognize that a supplier has successfully completed a verification process, and that the information provided on the ingredient’s certificate of analysis is accurate and credible. To qualify, a raw material supplier must submit the ingredient to three independent U.S. testing laboratories specified and approved by NASC. All raw materials will then be tested following established recommendations of the United States Pharmacopeia, Association of Official Analytical Chemists and other recognized testing authorities.

Chinese pet food manufacturers look to expand in growing market

As urbanization and changing lifestyles make more Chinese citizens into pet owners, China's petfood industry is expanding to meet the need for a wider-variety of pet food and pet product offerings.
Pet owners in China now have a variety of pet food brands from which to choose, making quality and branding even more important for pet food companies that want to make their products stand out in this growing marketplace.
The pet food industry in China differs from other Western markets because it still remains dominated by large, multinational companies like Mars and Nestle. In 2005, these two companies made up more than 90% of the petfood market in China, according to However, as China's market grows, some Chinese producers are starting to produced pet food with the same quality as foreign companies, but are selling it at a lower cost, according to pet industry analyst Zhou Jianfeng of Gerson Lehrman Group.
"Chinese citizens raised nearly 150 million pets last year, but only 10% of them used processed food, indicating the enormous growth potential for the industry," Jianfeng said.
Some Chinese companies are also looking for partnerships with companies and research institutions in Europe, including Care Pet Food, based in China's Sichuan province. Care Pet Food had a 30% share of the domestic market for petfood in 2010 and also started to export its products to Europe, Southeast Asia and other overseas markets. Li Zenggui, general manager, said that European companies have more experience in petfood production with decades of research, but that Chinese companies know more about the demands of Chinese pet owners.
"By combining these two strengths we can ensure that the petfood produced not only has a high nutritional value, but also conforms to the requirements of domestic pet owners," Zenggui said. "Despite their early entry, many foreign companies do not have research and development centers in China and therefore lack first-hand knowledge of the Chinese market."
Nory Pet, a petfood company established in 2002 in Shanghai, specializes in producing petfood with Chinese herbal medicine as one of its main ingredients. The director of the company's brand promotion department, Yang Qingfeng, said the company hopes to increase its 7% market share in 2010 to 10% over the next five years, as it looks to expand overseas. 
"The pet food industry started relatively late in China and most of the domestic manufacturers are unknown in the overseas markets. This is a major obstacle for market expansion," Yang said.  "We will enhance our marketing awareness and learn brand management experience from our foreign competitors."
Despite these obstacles, pet food market analyst Jianfeng said he expects China's annual petfood sales to reach 50 billion yuan (US$7.8 billion) in the next five years, continuing to be one of the fastest growing consumer goods industries in China.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ark Naturals donates natural pet products for the Emmy Awards

Natural pet product supplier Ark Naturals will participate in the WOW Creations Celebrity Gifting Lounge taking place in honor of the Emmy Awards on September 13, 2011, in Beverly Hills, California, USA. At the Emmy Gifting Lounge, Ark Naturals will give away a gift bag of products aimed at solving familiar pet issues and bringing celebrities closer to their pets. 
The company says its gift basket products include: BREATH-LESS brushless chewable toothpaste, Sea Mobility Joint Rescue treats, Gentle Digest for dogs and cats, Don't Shed on Me! anti-shed mist, and Royal Coat: Omega Mender! Itch Ender! additive for pets' diets. 
In celebration of their Emmy Celebrity Gifting Lounge participation, Ark Naturals will host a “Red Carpet Pet” contest on its Twitter and Facebook pages, where fans and followers can participate for a chance to with an Emmy Pet Gift Pack. 

Exopack invests US$13 million in new pet food packaging equipment

Pet food packaging manufacturer Exopack invested US$13 million in new manufacturing equipment and technologies for its Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA and Tomah, Wisconsin, USA, manufacturing facilities to expand current product offerings.
At the Spartanburg facility, a Starlinger woven poly propylene converting cell will be installed to expand production of Rave composite bags. The Tomah plant will receive new machines designed for pet food packages, which are expected to be operational by October.
“Our recent investments will allow for the development of new sustainable package formats and manufacturing processes, support customer marketing requirements, and provide a production platform capable of supporting future technological innovations," said Scott Ross, vice president and general manager of the company's pet food and specialty products business unit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AFIA comments on Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposal

The American Feed Industry Association submitted supplemental comments on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding conditional spot-month position limits for commodity derivatives.
In its comments, AFIA said that when input prices become distorted and do not accurately reflect supply and demand conditions, the results are felt throughout the entire supply chain, from producers to consumers. AFIA said its members are concerned with a proposal that would allow speculators in financial contracts, who do not hold positions in core agricultural commodities futures contracts, to hold up to five times a core contract's spot month limit, while also holding up to one-quarter of the core agricultural commodity futures contracts deliverable supplies.
AFIA said this proposal is in conflict with the Dodd-Frank Act in providing position limits and will not meet the following stated objectives: diminish, eliminate or prevent excessive speculation; deter and prevent market manipulation, squeezes and corners; ensure sufficient market liquidity for bona fide hedgers; and ensure that the price discovery function of the underlying market is not disputed.
The proposed expansion would increase volatility and potentially reduce liquidity, resulting in increased costs, according to AFIA.
“AFIA urges the Commission to begin with position limit parity between the physically-settled contract and the cash-settled 'look alike' contract," Joel G. Newman, AFIA's president and CEO, stated in the letter. "This would meet the purpose of the Commodity Exchange Act and the four objectives set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act for speculative position limits.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

FDA may get US$50 million for food safety from US Senate

The US Food and Drug Administration may receive additional funding when the 2012 fiscal year starts October 1, 2011, as the Senate Appropriations Committee considers a bill that sets the organization's spending limit, according to reports. 
The report says the Senate's version of the budget bill would allocate approximately US$350 million more than the appropriations bill passed in the House in June. This would be nearly US$50 million more than FDA's fiscal 2011 budget allowed, due to Senate efforts to increase funding for FDA's implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. In contrast, the House bill would cut FDA's fiscal 2012 budget by 11%, or US$285 million, compared with fiscal 2011, including an US$87 million cut to food safety.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AFIA, FEFANA members discuss feed regulations

Marking the two-year anniversary of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, representatives from the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures, FEFANA, met with members of the American Feed Industry Association in Arlington, Virginia, USA, to discuss new feed regulation developments.
FEFANA's Feed Additives and Premixtures Quality System, FAMI-QS, and AFIA's International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program are covered by the same rules and scope under FEFANA's Guide to Good Practice. The week-long meeting served as an opportunity for representatives to discuss changes to the programs as well as a training opportunity for US feed-facility auditors from Eurofins Scientific Inc. The training allows auditors to maintain compliance with the standards and inspect US facilities for compliance with the EU standards.  
“The basis for a program to be successful and recognized worldwide is to develop a program that helps facilities provide a safe product and then audit everyone to the same safety level," said Keith Epperson, AFIA’s vice president of manufacturing and training. "Training auditors worldwide is a key focus of FEFANA and ensures everyone certified in the program meets the same code.”

Greenies works to promote pet oral health

The Greenies Brand, makers of pet dental treats, is working to educate pet owners on the importance of providing daily preventative oral care to their pet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, periodontal disease affects three-fourths of dogs and cats over age three, and is often a result of the pet owner's failure to provide daily oral care. A study published in the AVMA Journal found disease and inflamed gums to be associated with inflammatory effects in other parts of the pet's body. When treated, the study found that the pet's systematic reactions lessened.
"Gum disease, which research tells us can affect more than just a pet’s mouth, is initiated by plaque accumulating on teeth and not being cleaned,” said Dr. Jan Bellows, veterinary dental specialist and incoming president of the American Veterinary Dental College. “The good news is every pet parent has the power to keep their pet’s teeth clean and gums healthy. It starts with daily at-home oral care with brushing or Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved dental products. And each pet should have a veterinary oral exam at least annually with professional cleanings as advised.” 
The Greenies Brand says it is trying to make it easier for pet owners to provide this at-home oral care by offering special holiday packaging for its pet oral health products as many pet owners select holiday gifts for their pets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Study finds maize gluten feed may be beneficial dog food ingredient

A Brazilian scientist conducted a study using two different techniques to measure digestibility and metabolizable energy of maize gluten feed as an ingredient in pet food for dogs.
MGF, a co-product of wet milling of maize, is composed of the structures left after most starch, gluten and germ has been extracted from the grain. Two different techniques were used to asses the digestibility and energy values of MGF, though both studies used extruded diets fed to Beagle dogs with six replicates per diet.
In the first study, a difference method was used to replace 300 g/kg of a reference diet with MGF. Based on the difference method, the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility of MGF was 0.53 for dry matter, 0.69 for crude protein, 0.74 for fat, 0.99 for starch and 0.55 for gross energy. As fed in the study, the calculated metabolizable energy of MGF was 7.99 MJ/kg.
A regression method was used for the second study, which used a regular basal diet and a basal diet with 70, 140 and 210 g MGF/kg of diet as a substitute for maize starch. The inclusion of MGF in this diet resulted in a linear reduction of the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility of 0.99 for dry matter, 0.95 for crude protein, 0.87 for fat, 0.81 for starch and 0.99 for gross energy. Faecal production increased linearly from 56 g to 107 g per dog per day, faecal dry matter showed a linear reduction and faecal lactic acid concentrations increased linearly. Both urine and faeces also showed a linear reduction in pH levels.
Results of the ingredient coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility obtained by each of the two different methods showed a 6% or less variance for crude protein, fat, starch and metabolizable energy content, but the two methods produced different results for the calculated coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility of dry matter and organic matter. The low digestibility of MGF may be explained by its high dietary fiber content, according to the study. The study concluded that MGF may be a useful ingredient in dog food formulations designed to have low energy or reduce urine pH levels of dogs.

AIB International plans pet food manufacturers safety course in November

AIB International will hold a Food Safety and Sanitation for Pet food Manufacturers course, November 8-10, at the company's Manhattan, Kansas, USA, facilities.
The petfood safety course allows participants to gain an understanding of legal requirements as a result of the Food Safety Modernization Act and Reportable Food Registry; recognize prerequisites necessary to comply with Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines; develop and implement HACCP food safety programs; identify and evaluate control methods for pests; recognize types of foreign material contamination, and equipment and methods for control of such contaminants; and identify microbiological issues relevant to a petfood facility.
The course is aimed at pet industry professionals, including plant, quality assurance, product safety and maintenance managers. Those interested in attending may obtain more information and register online.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pedigree will donate dog food for every QR code scanned on its packages at Walmart

The Pedigree petfood brand is teaming up with Walmart in a technology-driven initiative to help feed homeless dogs as part of "Pets Love Walmart" month in September.
Throughout the month of September, dog lovers can use their smartphone to scan the QR code on any Pedigree package sold at Walmart. For every QR code scanned, Pedigree will donate a bowl of dog food to an animal shelter, up to 500,000 8-ounce bowls.
"This program is truly revolutionary because it marks a new frontier in generating awareness and support for the plight of shelter dogs," said Lisa Campbell, senior brand manager,  Pedigree. "At Pedigree, our love for dogs is our driving passion so we were thrilled to facilitate yet another way people can make a difference in the life of a shelter dog. Scan a code, help a dog. It's that easy."
In September, Walmart will also host weekly educational demonstrations on pet ownership and will display local shelter information on its shelves.

APPA Pet Owners Survey finds record number of US dog owners

According to the American Pet Products Association's 2011/2012 National Pet Owners Survey, the United States now has a record number of dog owners.
APPA's survey found that the total number of dog-owning households in the US increased 1.5% to 46.3 million households, up from 45.6 million in 2008. In addition, the percentage of households owning multiple dogs is the highest number reported in more than a decade at 40%.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pet industry job search website redesigned redesigned its website to provide more functionality to both employers and job seeking candidates in the pet industry.
Employers may create an account, search a resume database of pet industry individuals, choose from a variety of advertising options and add enhancements to make job postings more visible. This account stores all of the received job applications and provides statistics such as how many times the job posting has been viewed.  
Job seekers can also create an account, allowing them the ability to upload and save their resume, which employers can then search. also provides a resume upload tool that provides step-by-step instructions to assist those who do not have a resume. A job search functionality gives job seekers the ability to search for jobs by job category, keywords, city or state.

Market research publisher expands pet industry report offerings

Market research publisher IBISWorld expanded its pet industry report offerings to include specific market segment reports, including those on petfood production and dry pet food production.
The company provides reports on nine categories of the pet care industry: dog and pet breeders, dog walking services, dry petfood production, pet accessories stores, petfood production, pet funeral services, pet insurance and pet play rooms.

Freshfetch dog food expands petfood production in California, USA

Freshfetch pet food company recently built a 1,400-square-foot kitchen in Palm Springs, California, USA, to expand its line of fresh dog food meals, reported.
The company was founded in 2007 by entrepreneurs Jay and Mike Smith who were looking for alternative healthy petfood options for dogs. The company now employees four others at an industrial site that produces 15,000 to 20,000 petfood meals weekly, kept frozen to ship.
The company says its dog food consists of whole, unprocessed foods with unaltered proteins, natural enzymes, essential fatty acids, and US Department of Agriculture-approved fresh meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. The back of all Freshfetch packages contain US Food and Drug Administration nutrition information as well.  
The dog food was tested on animals with health conditions and after proven successful in managing these conditions, it was sold to local pet specialty stores before being picked up by Whole Foods Markets. 
“We had US$140,000 in sales in 2010 and hope to triple that in 2011,” said Jay Smith. “We are looking at a 3 to 4 percent market niche.”
Freshfetch meals are available online at, or by calling +1.877.433.8241 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1.877.433.8241      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fancy Feast finishes 10th on marketer viral video list

Visible Measures, an online video advertisement measurement provider, compiled the list, which focuses on brand-driven viral video ads that appear on online video-sharing destinations. Fancy Feast's cat food commercial created by AFG ranks as number 10 on the list.

New pet food products to be displayed at Mexico Pet Expo in June 2012

Exhibition company NurnbergMesse North America will hold the Mexico Pet Expo and Conference from June 27-29, 2012, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
This international business-to-business trade show and conference is expected to attract more than 150 exhibitors and 5,000 pet product buyers. Products that will be presented at the Mexico Pet Expo include new pet food and treats for cats and dogs as well as food for birds and small animals. Technology companies will also display new petfood processing and packaging equipment.
For more information, visit

Friday, September 9, 2011

Steven Spitz to present pet food purchasing seminar at Pet Advisory Conference

Steven Spitz, CEO of Big Apple Pet Supply, will present a pet food purchasing seminar and conduct a 90-minute workshop at The Pet Advisory’s 1st Annual Pet Food and Supplements Conference, October 24-25, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, aimed at pet retailers.
The seminar, “Who Influences What Pet Food is Purchased and How Do You Reach Them?” will be co-presented by Susan Blake Davis, certified clinical nutritionist and host of "Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist." Topics include the five most powerful criteria that customers use to make a petfood purchase; how critical terms such as "healthy" and "natural" are defined by consumers; which ingredients determine whether a petfood is ranked among the best or worst; trends in pet food diets and supplements; and the "new consumer." Spitz and Blake Davis will also host a question and answer session called “Ask the Retailers & VetExperts: What do Consumers Really Want?”

Hill's launches Prescription Diet cat food to help manage hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, a common disease of middle-aged and senior cats, is a condition that creates an excess of thyroid hormones causing health issues such as weight loss, heart problems and vomiting. Hill's Prescription Diet y/d Feline Thyroid Health is a new product intended as an alternative solution to managing this condition.
Hill's says its Prescription Diet y/d is a daily, low-iodine nutrition solution designed to manage hyperthyroidism in cats. This may be an easier and more cost-effective way for pet owners to treat their cat's thyroid condition, according to Hill's, rather than other treatments like paying for thyroid removal surgery or having to give the cat a daily pill.
Hill’s recently released results from three studies conducted to determine the impact of varying iodine concentrations in cat food. The studies showed the iodine concentrations necessary to normalize a hyperthyroid cat and those needed to ensure normal cats do not become iodine deficient. According to the company, the studies found that when iodine content can be kept below 0.32 ppm, hyperthyroidism in cats can be controlled through nutrition therapy like the prescription cat food. However, the effectiveness of nutritional therapy also depends on the pet owner's compliance in feeding only Hill's Prescription Diet food to their cat, while also not allowing the cat to eat any other products rich in iodine, the company says.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Former FDA member challenges FSMA pet food regulations

According to Benjamin England, founder and CEO of, food importers and foreign manufacturers are in for a surprise starting October 1, when a provision of the Food Safety Modernization Act becomes effective requiring the US Food and Drug Administration collect a fee for costs associated with re-inspection of imported food shipments. England is currently launching a coalition of interested manufacturers and food importers to challenge FDA’s broad interpretation of this FSMA provision.
England says the re-inspection fees will cripple the food industry, leaving no other choice but to pass the costs on to consumers. In its Federal Register notice issued August 1, FDA invited comments about the re-inspection fees, which will be accepted until October 31. England points out that the fees, however, will go into effect 30 days before the comment period has closed. Through his coalition, England is working with pet food manufacturers to officially comment on and rally against these new fees.
England, a former 17-year FDA member, will speak about the Food Safety Modernization Act and the FDA re-inspection fees at the upcoming Virtual Petfood Forum 2011 on October 6. Those interested in attending Virtual Petfood Forum can register online to learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act and other issues affecting the petfood industry.

Blackwood launches new petfood packaging, recipes

Blackwood Pet Foods LLC launched a new packaging system for its complete line of dog food as well as four new pet food recipes.
"Our new packaging was designed to provide the consumer with a great shopping experience, easy access to key product information and a representation of the true quality of our recipe," said Doug Sapp, vice president of marketing.
In addition to the new packaging, Blackwood introduced a series of new pet food recipes. The grain-free recipes include salmon meal and potato, and chicken meal and potato. The sensitive skin and stomach recipes include lamb meal and rice, and chicken meal and rice.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 wins second place in pet product competition, a dog bakery product supplier, recently introduced it Cake Shoppe, which was awarded second place in the Pet Product News Editor's Choice Awards 2011 competition.
Rated on features such as innovative concept, design and pet acceptance, Cake Shoppe will be featured in Pet Product News International’s November 2011 issue for the second-place win.’s Cake Shoppe kit is an all-inclusive kit that comes with a dog bone shaped cake pan, Fido’s Frosting (yogurt) and a cake mix. 

Veterinarian clarifies natural, organic pet food label terms

Pet food ingredient labels can be confusing to pet owners because certain terms have no legal definition. Ernest Ward, veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, says pet owners need to do their research when selecting what to feed their dog or cat.
Ward says there is no official definition for the term "natural," which could mean anything that is not synthetic but does not guarantee the product's quality or nutritional value. Another term often found on petfood labels is "organic." This refers to how plants were grown or animals were raised. The US Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program provides standards for human organic foods, which require at least 95% of ingredients be in compliance to have the USDA seal on the package; this applies to pet foods, too. Pet food consumers may also look for this seal on the labels of organic petfoods. The label "grain-free" on pet food packages means that they do not contain grain, wheat, corn or animal by-products.
Consumers must also understand how pet food is regulated, Ward says. The Association of American Feed Control Officials establishes nutritional standards for pet food, while the US Food and Drug Administration regulates petfood and its labeling.
Ward says pet owners should look for pet foods that contain the highest amount of protein that is minimally processed. When pet food ingredients are heated, Ward explains, much of the food's nutritional value is lost, and pet foods with a high amount of carbohydrates do not offer much nutritional value, either.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Greenopia's consumer tips on natural pet food selection

A popular trend in the pet food industry is consumers' recent demands for natural and organic pet foods. In an article from, Doug Mazeffa, research director at, offers tips to consumers on selecting a "green" pet food.
While many consumers believe that organic, "green" pet foods often cost more per ounce, Mazeffa says these petfoods also tend to have higher concentrations of nutrients, meaning pets may not need to be fed as large of a quantity of the food. Mazeffa recommends that consumers check ingredient labels of pet foods in supermarkets so as to avoid harmful food preservatives. He also advises pet owners to stay away from pet foods that have the ingredient "meat and bone meal" listed on the label, because he believes this is the lowest quality protein.
To ensure the petfood is organic, Mazeffa suggests looking for food that is marked as certified organic and meets US Department of Agriculture standards for being free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and artificial preservatives. rates petfood brands based on sustainable and humane production, packaging, food grade and ingredients, recycled materials, building logistics and overall supply chain. Greenopia also considers how well the company reports the petfood ingredients and the petfood manufacturer's environmental goals and practices. Greenopia gave the highest ratings to Best Organic and Natural Dog Foods, Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food, Karma Organic Dog Food, Best Organic and Natural Cat Foods, Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Cat Food, and Natural Planet Organics Cat Food.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Canadian ingredient company uses egg 'waste' in pet food

A US$405,000 grant through Ontario, Canada's Rural Economic Development program will allow a petfood ingredient supplier to turn egg "waste" into high-protein pet food products, The Beacon Herald reported. 
Perth County Ingredients, a subsidiary of Vanderpol's Eggs, began producing pet food ingredients at the plant, previously used for egg processing, in May 2011. The plant currently employs nine people and the company uses only about half of the factory space, so it has plenty of room for expansion, according to plant manager, Murray Walz.
Walz explained that the company processes whole-egg waste from egg-grading plants and turns it into a powdered pet food ingredient, which contains up to 50% protein. He said the plant also extracts egg whites from discarded shells, which the company uses to produce a liquid egg white that acts as a binding agent in pet food.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three prescription diet pet food myths addressed

A recent eNewsChannels article aims to clarify three myths for pet owners about prescription diet pet foods.
The first myth is that commercially prepared prescription diets are the only option for pets that require a special diet. Pets that are fed prescription diet petfoods usually must manage a specific health condition. The article says, however, that so long as the health guidelines or restrictions of the pet's veterinarian are followed, homemade food can be prepared or used in combination with a prescription commercial pet food.
Another myth addressed in the article is that some pet owners believe it is OK to feed all pets a prescription diet food that is required only to be fed to one other pet. This is not true, the article says, because the other pets that do not have the same health condition may not receive the proper nutrients from the restricted-ingredient, prescription food.
The last myth is whether a commercially prepared prescription diet food will address all of the nutritional needs of a pet with multiple health problems. Again, it is not necessarily true that a prescription diet food will solve all health problems, the article says. In this case, it is recommended that the pet owner feed a custom-tailored diet that is designed by a veterinarian or nutritionist to address the multiple health concerns.