Monday, January 31, 2011

Fish4Dogs takes over Marinpet UK

British Petfood company Fish4Dogs has purchased logistics provider Marinpet UK for an undisclosed sum.
Previously, all Fish4Dogs logistics and operating functions for both the United Kingdom and the export business were handled by Marinpet. The company also plans on expanding its warehousing and logistics centers in Worcestershire.

Survey: 1 in 10 Americans consider pet's age when selecting petfood

According to a recent survey commissioned by Iams, 11% of pet owners consider age to be the most important factor when determining what food to buy their pets.
There are three basic lifestages dogs and cats fall into, though precise ages vary between species and among breeds: kitten and puppy, 1 to 12 months; adult, 1 to 7 years; and senior, 7 years and older. "When choosing a food for your cat or dog, it is important to select a diet that has the right ingredients for that stage of your pet's life," said Katy Nelson, DVM, member of the Iams Pet Wellness Council. "Diet requirements – including protein levels, calories and vitamins and minerals – vary over the life of a pet and, in turn, an animal's needs change as he grows from a puppy or kitten, to an adult into a senior."
According to the survey, other factors pet owners consider most important when choosing food are ingredients (30%), expert advice (36%) and price (25%).

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Pet Food Network launches in Halifax

My Pet Food Network will launch in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on February 1, with the ability to order petfood through the company's site and have it delivered at no charge.
The website is available for product browsing now, and starting in February a points system will begin with all orders: With every purchase made, customers get 5% of the total cost back to spend on future purchases. “Additionally, for every friend you invite [to register], 2.5% of their entire purchases also get added directly to you for future purchases, and there is no limit to the number of friends you can have on our site," said company co-founder Richard Skelhorn.
The new online service is an extension of the company's physical retail store.

More pet owners taking on challenge of homemade petfood

More pet owners are looking to the idea of making their pets' food alongside their human family meals, in spite of the challenges it presents.
According to many veterinarians and petfood producers, it can be difficult to formulate an animal's diet at home. “When you open a bag or can or box of petfood, you know that every kibble or food in the can is going to be formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the animals according to the feeding directions on the bag,” said Nancy K. Cook, vice president at the Pet Food Institute. Still, those who choose to make their pets' food themselves have cited lack of health problems and longevity as two reasons why they go homemade. Others simply want their pets' eating habits to reflect their own.
Experts say that pet owners must be very careful. If pets are not fed the correct balance of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, according to clinical nutritionist Joseph J. Wakshlag with the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, they can experience several health disorders, including anemia, broken bones and loss of teeth from lack of calcium.

Pedigree Foundation awards US$226,000 in innovation grants

The Pedigree Foundation has awarded a total of US$226,000 in Innovation Grants to 10 organizations, who will use the money to help fund programs that provide care for homeless dogs
The grants are awarded to organizations that help improve adoption rates and the welfare of animals through the use of new and innovative ideas. The recipients are:  
• Central Missouri Humane Society of Columbia, Missouri (US$25,000)
• Charleston Animal Society of North Charleston, South Carolina (US$15,000)
• Dubuque Regional Humane Society of Dubuque, Iowa (US$25,000)
• Houston Humane Society of Houston, Texas (US$25,000)
• Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, California (US$25,000)
• Leon County Humane Society of Tallahassee, Florida (US$25,000)
• Muttville Senior Dog Rescue of San Francisco, California (US$12,000)
• North Shore Animal League of Port Washington, New York (US$25,000)
• Washington Animal Rescue League of Washington, DC (US$25,000)
• West Suburban Humane Society of Downers Grove, Illinois (US$24,000)

Nulo petfood part of Golden Globes gift baskets

Austin, Texas-based Nulo added samples of its dog food to the gift baskets provided to attendees of the 2011 Golden Globes.
The petfood was included based on its all-natural hook. "There are the typical staples like Godiva and Ralph Lauren," said Nulo CEO Michael Landa. "But this year they wanted to include some up-and-coming brands that were aligned with what celebrities look for, like nutrition and fitness, and they ran right into Nulo and we're very happy to be there."

Petfood Forum 2011 preview

Dr. Tim Hunt, who has mushed in and served as a veterinarian for the Iditarod, will give the opening keynote for Petfood Forum 2011.
To stay ahead of the competition and grow your business, you need to arm yourself with knowledge and key contacts. There’s no better way to increase both than by attending Petfood Forum 2011 and Petfood Workshop: Safety First.
Petfood Forum, scheduled for April 11-13, is expanding this year with a new, larger venue—the Renaissance Schaumburg (about 10 miles west of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport)—and three content tracks: nutrition, marketing/packaging/regulatory and safety/processing. Experts from the petfood, veterinary, retail and marketing industries will share their insights and tips to help you improve your job and business performance.
Walmart's VP of food safety, Frank Yiannis, will be the closing keynote speaker—a new session this year. Timothy A. Hunt, DVM, kicks off the conference with the opening keynote about his experiences and lessons from mushing in and serving as a veterinarian for the Iditarod.
Find the full list of speakers and their topics here (click on the Speakers & Topics tab). Click on the Schedule tab to see when the conference sessions, as well as meals and receptions, are scheduled.
You’ll also enjoy as many networking opportunities as ever with new and familiar industry peers as well as leading suppliers in the new exhibit hall—now part of a full convention center. (For more information on exhibiting and registered exhibitors, click here, then on the Exhibitors tab.)
Petfood Workshop: Safety First follows on April 13-14, also at the Renaissance Schaumburg. This interactive, hands-on seminar will help you understand and prepare for the new US food safety regulations by bringing you face-to-face with experts on:
  • Best practices from the human food world on dealing with the new food safety law;
  • Navigating the quickly changing regulatory landscape;
  • How to prepare for—and survive—an FDA inspection;
  • Creating and improving a HACCP program;
  • Testing and controlling for toxins and pathogens; and
  • An “ask the experts” panel so you can get all your safety questions answered.
The full line-up of speakers and schedule for Petfood Workshop are available here.

Register online! 
Register by February 15 to save up to 15%. If you register for both Petfood Forum and Petfood Workshop, you'll save even more. (To register by email or mail, download a registration form here.)

Hotel and travel information 
Please make your hotel reservations directly with the Renaissance Schaumburg. Click here or call +1.800.468.3571. Be sure to mention you're with Petfood Forum or Petfood Workshop (or Watt) to receive a special room rate. Don't delay; rooms are going fast!
For transportation to and from Chicago's airports, Petfood Forum/Workshop 2011 has arranged discounts or special pricing with specific transportation companies. For further information, please visit here and click on the Hotel & Travel tab, email   or call +1.815.753.7922. We recommend that you make your transportation arrangements before you arrive in Chicago. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Morris Animal Foundation choose winners in national cat photo contest

One of the three finalists.
Sergeant's Pet Care Products, in conjunction with Morris Animal Foundation and celebrity animal advocate Betty White, has chosen the top three winners of the Happy, Healthy Cat Photo Contest.
Sergeant’s and Morris joined forces to launch and promote the contest to bring attention to feline health and research and promote happier, healthier lives for felines. There were more than 1,000 entries to the contest and tens of thousands of visitors viewed the photo gallery during the six-week contest period. Brittany Carper of Seguin, Texas, won the grand prize for her photo of her two kittens. Her winning photo will appear on the cover of AnimalNews, a Morris publication. Lauren Parry of Riverton, N.J., and Jane Kirkland of Downington, Penn. were the two runners up.

Felix Kitten Factor contest reveals most popular kitten names of 2010

Felix Kitten Factor held a photo contest for cute kittens, in which nearly 10,000 entrants were surveyed to find the most popular kitten names of 2010.
The survey found that the most popular male kitten names in 2010 were Charlie, Felix, Alfie, Oscar and Jasper. The most popular female kitten names in 2010 were: Poppy, Bella, Daisy, Millie and Lily.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hill's Pet Nutrition announces pet weight loss contest

Hill's Pet Nutrition announced its 2011 PetFit Challenge dog and cat weight loss contest.
The PetFit Challenge will award one cat finalist and one dog finalist with a trip to a special location to win up to US$1 million and meet Alison Sweeney, host of "The Biggest Loser." Consumers should share success stories of how their pet lost weight with Hill's weight management foods, including before and after photos. For more information or to submit an entry, click here.

Online service, Petflow, offers low petfood shipping costs to consumers

Petflow recently launched as an alternative way for consumers to purchase petfood online with scheduled delivery times and low shipping fees. 
This New York, USA-based service allows users to choose the petfood and delivery time they want, charging US$5 for delivery on all orders. PetFlow will donate US$40 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare on behalf of anyone who signs up for the delivery service through IFAW's link on the home page.
"A US$40 donation can go a long way toward assisting one of IFAW’s many efforts across the globe,” said Fred O’Regan, president and chief executive at IFAW. “It could vaccinate 20 street dogs in Bali to prevent rabies or it would provide enough formula to feed an orphan elephant in India for an entire week. This money could also provide a uniform, work boots and backpack for a ranger protecting elephants and other wildlife. Thanks to, each and every donation can help change an animal’s life.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Petco, Petsmart spend combined US$70 million on advertising in 2010

From January through October 2010, Petco spent US$12 million on measured media in the US, while its chief competitor, PetSmart, spent US$58 million advertising its products and services, according to Kantar Media.
Looking to increase advertising and promotional spending in 2011, Petco named Initiative as its media agency of record, said Greg Seremetis, Petco's vice president of marketing. According to Seremetis, this was the first time the business was reviewed in more than five years.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Groupe Glon expanding into petfoods, equine nutrition

French animal feeds manufacturer Groupe Glon is expanding its business into petfoods and equine nutrition.
This move follows the recent acquisition by Groupe Glon of the company Sopral, which already produces about 20,000 metric tons of horse feed per year and owns the Flatazor brand of foods for dogs and cats. A statement from the group estimates that Sopral and Glon together produced around 20,000 metric tons of petfood in 2010, representing a 10% increase from 2009 numbers.
The new branch formed around Sopral will concentrate on selling through specialty channels. Glon marketing director Yannick Guelho has been named general manager of Sopral, assisted by Philippe Jolivet as deputy managing director.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays 2010 finds homes for over 1 million pets

More than 1.1 million pets were placed in new homes between October 1, 2010 and January 4, 2011 during the Iams Home 4 the Holidays adoption campaign.
More than 3,500 animal organizations around the world participated in the campaign, resulting in the adoptions of 593,146 dogs, 509,470 cats and 23,051 other animals, including rabbits, reptiles, horses and birds. “With all the hard work that animal organization do every day, we’re thrilled to be able to support those efforts and shine an even brighter light on the issues and importance of pet adoption each year with this program,” said Mike Arms, founder of Iams Home 4 the Holidays and president of Rancho Santa Fe, California-based Helen Woodward Animal Center. “We’re all very proud of the success we’ve had over the years and will continue to work together in the hopes that one day every homeless pet will be in a loving home for all their holidays.”
The 2011 Home 4 the Holidays campaign is slated to begin in October.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Report: Cats' food tastes can change over time

Cats' tastes in food may change over time, even from dry cat food to human food, according to an expert.
However, it is best to make sure pets continue to get the proper nutrients, said Erin Troy, DVM. The safest food for a cat, she said, continues to be the kind made specifically for felines, as human food can present any number of problems, including bones that become choke hazards and high fat content that can cause intestinal problems., announce daily pet deals partnership and have partnered to share's daily deals with the community. 
“Today’s Deal” from will be integrated through a variety of social media platforms hosted by This partnership will spread the word by utilizing the community of fans and followers in order to bring discounted offers to pet parents. “When we noticed the popularity of economical, group-buying sites increasing, we wanted to offer the same type of service to the pet owner community,” said Steve Watters, CEO of Barking Deals. “By offering new deals daily directly to fans and followers, pet lovers can try products that they might not have tried otherwise. It’s a great value for the community and an easy way for manufacturers to try their hand at social media marketing. It’s a win-win for all!”

Friday, January 14, 2011

El Portal hotel caters to both pets and their owners

El Portal opened in Sedona, Arizona,USA, as a bed and breakfast hotel catering to both guests and their canine companions.
El Portal's owners, Steve and Connie Segner, built this twelve room hotel with Southwestern design, 18-inch thick handmade adobe walls, wood trim and natural native stone. Each guest room is different, but all have unique features such as arts and crafts furnishings, beamed ceilings or hand-painted detailing. The hotel also features wood and tile flooring throughout to accommodate its canine visitors, with a 1,000-square-foot fenced patio space for dogs and their owners.

Dogs are welcomed to El Portal with special treat baskets and their own pet bed in each guest room. Their owners are provided with lists of dog-friendly parks and outdoor restaurants, pet supply stores and groomers. The hotel also offers ways to enjoy the state's attractions, like a Grand Canyon tour complete with a tour guide and a picnic for all family members - even the dog.

North American virus kills crickets raised for pet reptiles

A cricket paralysis virus killed millions of crickets that were raised to feed pet reptiles and zoo animals across North America, putting some producers out of business and limiting cricket supplies, according to
The virus swept through European cricket farms in 2002; however, this virus was not discovered in the US and Canada until 2009, in the house cricket species, Acheta domesticus. The virus does not affect animals that eat crickets or other cricket species, according to Peter Tijssen, a virologist at he University of Quebec.
The cricket paralysis virus already killed 60 million of the insects at a Canadian operation, forced a Florida,USA, farmer to declare bankruptcy and prompted a Michigan grower to temporarily close. David Fluker, president of Fluker's Cricket Farm Inc., estimated that of the 10 major US cricket farms and other smaller operations, about four or five are currently fighting the virus.

Eurofins responds to changes in US food safety legislation

Eurofins commented on the recently passed, US Food Safety Modernization Act, with praise of the bill's increased regulation as well as an offering of the company's services to help food processors and petfood manufacturers comply with the changes.
The main highlights and implications of the bill in the petfood industry include mandatory risk prevention plans for all handlers and processors of food; required updates to the Foodborne Contaminant list every two years; mandatory measures for traceability, sanitation and testing performed by accredited laboratories; more animal feed products required to meet food safety standards; and foreign supplier verification programs required for US food importers.
Eurofins offered its services to companies affected by the legislation changes to ensure maximum compliance, some of which include microbiological testing capabilities including assays for process control, spoilage and pathogens; contaminant testing for chemical residues, antibiotics and mycotoxins; sanitation standard operating procedures development, auditing and reassessment; hazard analysis and critical control points plan development, auditing, training and recall management; and good manufacturing practices development.

Natura to sponsor Super Pet Expo shows in 2011

Super Pet Expo announced that Natura Pet Products will sponsor its 2011 US pet shows.
The 2011 sponsorship marks the eighth consecutive year that Natura has partnered with Super Pet Expo. The pet events are scheduled for February 11-13, at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, New Jersey; February 25-27, at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and March 18-20 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
“We are honored to have Natura Pet Products as our official pet food sponsor of Super Pet Expo," said Eric Udler, president of Super Pet Expo. "With their support, we are able to continue our efforts in educating the public about proper pet ownership.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Launch of Milburns brand petfood brings success for online UK retailer , an online retailer, recorded its busiest ever month following the launch of its Milburns  brand of pet products.
Although this is the first time the retailer has marketed its own brand, Milburns petfood already sold out four times and sold four metric tons in its first month.
"This is the first time we have developed our own brand range, and we intend on offering pet owners an ever expanding range with a promise that our prices will stay frozen," the company said.
The online retailer's sales are currently at £7 million (US$9.1 million) and are expected to rise to £8.4 million (US$10.9 million) in 2011, according to the company.

Michigan, USA, man charged with embezzlement from Wysong Corp.

Walter J. Reynolds of Bay City, Michigan, USA, is accused of embezzling more than US$100,000 from petfood producer, Wysong Corp., according to
Reynolds, 27, was charged Tuesday, Jan. 4, with three counts of embezzlement less than US$20,000, a five-year felony. The investigation into the embezzlement began in September 2010, according to Midland, Michigan, USA, Police Detective Lt. Gregory H. Kramer. Police released few details in the case and it is unknown if Reynolds was employed by Wysong or what work he performed for the company.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kaytee Products chooses recyclable packaging for natural petfood line

When Kaytee Products Inc. launched Nature’s Benefits, a natural petfood line for birds and small animals, the company used vibrant graphics and sustainable packaging to make the products stand out.
Kaytee’s design agency, Directions Inc., came up with the concept of using the emotional bond consumers and their pets have to market the petfood line on store shelves, through cartoon artwork with natural colors and muted tones.
“The design foundation is built on the visual cue of the natural-looking Kraft substrate, which underscores the key positioning of the product,” said Aria Grant, Directions art director. “Rich animal photography is juxtaposed against a backdrop of environmental foliage, all on a palette of visually textured fiberboard. In a snapshot, the package visually describes the benefit of natural nutrition.” 
Directions worked with Great Northern Corp.'s StrataGraph web-based manufacturing operation to print  the cartoon images on the Kraft paperboard packaging product without sacrificing print quality. The StrataGraph process used UV inks and UV dry-trapping of inks and coatings to create a high-quality printing look while keeping the paperboard's folding-carton structure in-tact. The result, according to Kaytee, was packaging made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood sources, which is fully recyclable or can be used by consumers for their pets “to tunnel and burrow in,” as the back of the cartons suggest.

Buhler releases results of 2010 customer satisfaction survey

Buhler Inc. has announced the results of its annual customer satisfaction survey, with the categories of understanding customers, consulting competence, providing valid solutions and project management receiving the highest rankings.
Overall, for 2010 Buhler received a customer service index rating of 8.11 on a 10-point scale, where "10" represents "extremely satisfied." The national average is 7.80, the company says. “Buhler remains committed to listening to customers and continually improving our products and services based on their feedback” said company President Rene Steiner. “We believe deeply in the value of the customer satisfaction survey process started back in 2007, which we now consider our primary measure of success. These surveys are absolutely critical to ensure that we understand our customer’s needs and that we can continue to improve our ability to deliver value on a daily basis.” 
Buhler has taken the survey results and applied them to its 2011 customer strategy. Among other improvements, four additional members have been added to the company's field service team, the warehouse is being expanded in order to accommodate more in-house spare parts and existing automation solutions are slated to be enhanced.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Human food perspective on new food safety law

Today the Institute of Food Technologists, based in Chicago, held a forum/live webcast with several experts on the human food industry weighing in on the new US Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010.
 I'll share more highlights once IFT makes the presentations available, but meanwhile, I thought this insight from one of the speakers, Tony Pavel of K&L Gates LLC, was interesting:
 He commented that most of the large, recent recalls in human food that garnered a lot of media attention were not cases of in-plant contamination; rather, contaminated substances (ingredients or other materials) were brought into the plant in each recall situation.
 Pavel is an expert on HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) plans, and one of the key provisions of the new law is that all food producers required to be registered with the Food and Drug Administration -- which will now include most petfood manufacturers -- will be required to have some sort of risk-based, preventive control plan in place.
 What struck me about his comment is that many petfood recalls come about because of the same scenario: Contaminated ingredients or other substances are brought into the facility. This was the case with the massive 2007 petfood recalls, in which wheat flour (mislabeled as wheat gluten) was contaminated with melamine. And it was also the case in the most recent large recall making the news, when corn grains contaminated with aflatoxin entered a plant making Kroger petfood products.
 Which makes traceability up and down the supply chain and verification of supplier safety all the more important, right? (And all that is also part of the new law -- more on that to come soon.)

Five Argentinean petfood plants approved for export to China

The Chinese health service AQSIQ certified 12 Argentinean plants, including five petfood manufacturers, to export production to China.
The measure was officially confirmed by AQSIQ in a note to Jorge Amaya, president of the Argentine National Health Service and Food Quality (SENASA), according to local authorities. In addition to four plants previously authorized, China permitted six plants for meat and bone meal, one plant for whey products and five petfood manufacturers to export to that country. Chinese officials made the decision after visiting and evaluating plants in Argentina that expressed interest in exporting to China.
The Chinese authorities' approval "highlights the quality of products and raw materials in Argentina and demonstrates confidence in SENASA as a regulator and watchdog," said SENSA.

Monday, January 10, 2011

High level of toxins in corn grains blamed for Kroger petfood recall

Tennessee Department of Agriculture and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators found elevated levels of the toxic substance aflatoxin in some corn grains to blame for the Kroger Co. petfood recall in late December 2010.
"We took finished samples and grain samples that were stored and used to make petfood," said Tom Womack, spokesman for the Tennessee, USA, Department of Agriculture. "We did find some elevated levels in some grains stored there."
Kroger's recall involved several brands of cat and dog foods, including Pet Pride, Old Yeller and Kroger Value, all made at the subsidiary plant of Delight Products Co., in Springfield, Tennessee, USA. The products were sold to consumers in 19 states before being recalled in December 2010 for the possible presence of aflatoxin, a substance created by fungus that can result in sluggishness, severe and bloody diarrhea and death in animals that consume it.
At least two consumers in Tennessee and Georgia, USA, claimed their pets died as a result of the petfood contamination; however, FDA's office that oversees the Southeast did not receive any consumer complaints regarding the recalled product, according to Natalie Guidry, an FDA spokeswoman. Results of FDA sample collections are still pending and findings of its investigations have not yet been made public, FDA said. For more information on the recall, customers can call Kroger at +1.800.632.6900 or click here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

AFIA commends FDA on Compliance Policy Guide for Salmonella in petfood

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) filed comments on December 31, 2010, supporting the US Food and Drug Administration’s updated Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) Sec. 690.800 on Salmonella in animal feed, including petfood.
FDA created CPGs to direct its field staff who regulate compliance policies for animal feed or feed ingredients contaminated with Salmonella as well as products that come into direct contact with humans, such as petfood.
“For many years, AFIA has urged FDA to separate how the agency polices Salmonella in food and feed, and we applaud this separation. Now, Salmonella found in feed will not always be deemed adulterated, which is a break with the past and a good break,” said Richard Sellers, AFIA vice president.
AFIA also recently initiated the Salmonella in Feed Research Coalition in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The purpose of the Coalition is to define research priorities for Salmonella in feed and to map out research protocols at ARS facilities. The first formal coalition meeting is tentatively scheduled for early 2011, which scientists from the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Research have been encouraged to participate in.

Stella & Chewy's, shortbread treats among top 10 dog products of 2010

Dog News Daily has released its "Top 10 Dog Products" for 2010, and the list includes Stella & Chewy's Chicken Freeze Dried Dinner and Shortbread Cookies, a dog treat from Exclusively Pet.
Other products to make the list for 2010 include:
  • The Supercollar, a collar/leash hybrid
  • Dog Fashion: The Bathrobe Collection by Romy & Jacob
  • Skin Care Product: Skin Rescue Lotion by DerMagic
  • Shampoo: Papaya Plus 2-in-1 Shampoo by Tropiclean
  • Dog Carrier: The Amelia Tote on Wheels by Sherpa Pet
  • Car Safety Product: The Auto Zip Line by Kurgo
  • Leash: The Kujo by Ezy Dog
  • Dog Bed: The Co-sleeper Pet Bunk Bed by Arms Reach

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hill's Pet Nutrition granted 10-year property tax break

Hill's Pet Nutrition has been granted a 10-year break on property taxes related to its new, 500,000-square-foot petfood facility opened in early 2010.
The Emporia, Kan., City Council granted the abatement after Hill's met specific requirements, including more than $100 million in real property improvements and the creation of 100 area jobs. The requirements, and the resulting tax breaks, were part of prior negotiations between Hill's and city and economic development officials.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Study: Healthy cats can act sick when their routine is disrupted

Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study.
Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors.The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.
When the cats experienced what were called “unusual external events,” such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.
Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats’ environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.
The study is published in the Jan. 1, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Halo, Ellen DeGeneres donate 1 million meals to shelter pets

Ellen DeGeneres and Halo, Purely for Pets teamed up to donate 1 million meals to shelter dogs.
The initiative was originally announced March 17, 2010, on DeGeneres' show. Halo announced that this goal was recently completed, ensuring shelter pets have healthy food to eat and raising awareness of pet adoption.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

FDA seeks comment on establishment of network for tracking petfood diseases

The US Food and Drug Administration is seeking comment on issues related to a proposed Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet) for detection of petfood-related illnesses.
FDA is seeking public comments on the paperwork and regulatory burdens associated with the proposed establishment of PETNet, which would be "a system for sharing information between FDA, other Federal agencies, and the States about food-borne illness outbreaks in companion animals," according to FDA.
PETNet would provide timely information about petfood-related incidents to FDA, as well as to federal government agencies and officials in all 50 US states that choose to participate. Members of the network would be able to both receive and create alerts about petfood incidents. The deadline for comment is Jan. 24, 2011. More information on PETNet and how to submit comments can be found here.