Friday, June 29, 2012

Kansas State names Greg Aldrich head of new pet food production program

    Kansas State University is expanding its Feed Science and Management program to include pet food production. Greg Aldrich, PhD, was appointed research associate professor and pet food program coordinator by Dick Maier, head of the university's Grain Science and Industry department. 
    Initially, Aldrich will be responsible for establishing an interdisciplinary petfood research program. He will provide guidance on course development and work with university and allied industry members to assimilate support for broader program development. 
    “Bringing Greg on board is the next step to expanding the reach of our Feed Science and Management program,” Maier said. “We hope to leverage his background and personal interest in Kansas State to help guide the program through its beginning years.”
    Aldrich is a graduate of Kansas State (BS Agriculture, 1984) and an industry consultant from Topeka, Kansas, USA. He writes the "Ingredient Issues" column in Petfood Industry.
    “Many of the parts for a great petfood research and teaching program are already here at Kansas State,” Aldrich said. “I look forward to establishing a vibrant research program and to helping establish Kansas State as the leader in this vital and growing area of our economy.” 
    Ernie Minton, associate director of research for Kansas State Research and Extension, said that “adding pet food research expands the opportunities for adding value to agricultural products from Kansas and extends the scope of research in the biosafety level two feed safety research center being built as part of the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center.” 
    For more information about the program and specific course offerings, call +1.785.532.4051 or go to

WellPet unveils US$20 million dog food processing plant expansion

    Pet food manufacturer WellPet recently unveiled the US$20 million expansion of its dry dog food processing plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA, according to a report.
    When the pet food plant expansion is complete, the company will add 45 jobs, as well as green technology and automated petfood packaging
    "Where we come from we were three or four people running a packaging line and we're now at a point where we can run a packaging line with one person," said Steve Griswold, director of plant operations.
    The total plant expansion project should be completed by September.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pet food study promotes benefits of dog ownership to families

    Nestle Purina Dog Chow brand dog food commissioned a study of pet owners that revealed the many positive perceptions of pet ownership and its effects on families. Along with the survey, Purina Dog Chow brand is partnering with husband-and-wife country music duo, Thompson Square, to share the joys of pet ownership and donate funds to help a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for veterans.

    According to the Family Impact Study, dog owners said their dogs teach them responsibility, are regarded as good listeners and provide unconditional love.
    "We partnered with Purina Dog Chow because we are a proud dog family," said Shawna Thompson. "We couldn't think of a better way to join the community of dog owners, knowing how much a dog would bring to our lives in every situation, from being on a cross-country music tour, to simply spending time at home with family." 

    Dog lovers can visit the company's Facebook page and access a new tab called "Dog Families Know," a Facebook community of dog lovers who can share their own stories, photos and videos. From now until July 31, a new topic will be proposed each week that dog families can relate to, and for each unique story, photo or video added to the virtual community board, Purina Dog Chow brand will donate US$1, up to US$25,000, to Patriot Rovers Inc. to help support its mission to "Save Dogs, Help Soldiers and Honor Heroes."  

Petfood maker Purina releases new application for veterinarians

    Petfood maker Purina released a new Purina Guide for Veterinarians application for iPhone and iPad. 
    The application provides technical information on both well-pet and therapeutic Purina products that allows veterinarians to determine the right nutritional pet food formulas for their patients. With this free application, veterinarians can browse canine and feline diet options by indication or formula, search by keyword, review analytical charts, access a clinical glossary of ingredients and more. 
    The Purina Guide for Veterinarians application can be found in the medical category of the iPhone and iPad App Store, by entering code 0411 when prompted.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PetSmart to increase quarterly dividend amount

    PetSmart Inc., a pet product retailer, announced the board of directors' approval to increase its quarterly dividend by 18 percent from US$0.14 to US$0.165 per share beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. A new US$525 million share purchase was also authorized that expires in January 2014, and begins on July 30.
    “The return of excess cash to our shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases reaffirms our commitment to the creation of shareholder value through effectively managing the capital in our business,” said Bob Moran, chairman and CEO. “We believe the stability and predictability of our cash flow demonstrates the continued strength of our business.”
    The dividend of US$0.165 will be paid on August 10 to stockholders of record at the close of business on July 27, equivalent to an annual rate of US$0.66 per share.

Cargill's Loyall dog food brand partners with sporting dog community

    Cargill's Loyall dog food brand has formed two new partnerships with the sporting dog community to develop new performance petfood formulas.
    The first partnership is with J. Paul of Lone Oak Retrievers, a full-time professional retriever training operation in Tennessee, USA, offering comprehensive gun dog training programs for hunting and hunt test competitions.
    The second partnership is with Chad Belding of “The Fowl Life,” a cable television show focused on the hunt of water fowl and the predators that are associated with them.
    “J. Paul and Chad Belding are both considered experts in training sporting dogs. Their knowledge and passion for the health and nutrition of these animals to perform well paired up with the research capabilities of Cargill makes for a beneficial relationship,” said Andy Rash, marketing manager for Cargill’s Loyall brand.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pets Add Life shares viral video series: 'Pet Interviews: Guinea Pig'

    Pets Add Life, a nonprofit campaign founded by the American Pet Products Association, is sharing its new viral video, "Pet Interviews: Guinea Pig."
    The video has reached thousands of views since its debut in May and is the first in a series of five debuting this summer to help spread the campaign's primary mission to promote the joys and benefits of multiple pet ownership.
    “Pet Interviews: Guinea Pig” is produced by the creator of the popular "Ultimate Dog Tease" YouTube hit, Andrew Grantham, whose videos were named number two on YouTube’s Top 10 videos of 2011. 

Report projects Brazil to pass Japan as world's second largest pet care market in 2016

    Research and Markets added a new pet industry report, "Latin American Pet Care: The Rise of Emerging Markets," to its offerings.
    The report from Euromonitor International says that the retail values in Latin America's pet care market are growing faster than any other region. In 2016, Brazil is projected to pass Japan as the world's second largest pet care market, behind the US.  
    The report covers pet food and pet products with market sizes (historic and forecasts), a country focus, future market opportunities and challenges, future prospects and more. The "Latin American Pet Care: The Rise of Emerging Markets" report can be purchased online.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nutro offers grants to enhance local dog parks

    The Nutro Company, a manufacturer of natural pet food products, is teaming up with country singer Sara Evans to encourage dog owners nationwide to apply for grant support to help enhance their local dog parks during the third annual ROOM TO RUN dog park appreciation project
    ROOM TO RUN, now in its third year, is a community program designed to support public, nonprofit dog parks and off-leash areas and encourage greater community engagement. Grant application forms are available on the ROOM TO RUN grant website with a September 31 deadline to apply. Grants of US$2,000 will be awarded on a rolling basis through October to 30 dog parks across the US to help fund enhancement efforts in public, nonprofit dog parks.
    Dog park enhancements may include:
    •General repairs and maintenance (e.g., painting benches, repairing fences)
    •Installation of new agility equipment
    •Updates to water system
    •Creation of a poop bag center

    The Nutro Company's ROOM TO RUN associate board will review the grant applications and select parks that exhibit the greatest need, as well as meet other criteria listed on the project's website. 
    "As a proud dog owner, I'm excited to help The Nutro Company kick off the third annual event and to help spread the word to dog lovers around the country," said Sara Evans. "Our dog Roman is like a member of our family, and I know many people feel the same way about their own dogs. I support the ROOM TO RUN™ effort to give dogs and their owners an enhanced place to play and bond." 

Friday, June 22, 2012

GREENIES brand hosts video contest for free pet treats

    Pet food manufacturer The Nutro Company's GREENIES brand is hosting its inaugural "The GREENIES Awards," an online video contest where participants compete for a chance to win a lifetime supply of GREENIES chews or treats for their pets.
    From June 13–29, pet owners can submit an original video less than one minute long of the creative things their pet will do for a GREENIES treat on the brand's Facebook page. Cats and dogs are both eligible to be chosen as the winner in the categories of: Best Vocal Performance for a GREENIES treat, Best Trick for a GREENIES treat or Best Smile for a GREENIES treat. A lifetime supply of treats will be given to the winner in each category.
    A panel of judges will select five finalists in each contest category, and these finalists will then be scored by a combination of judges' votes and Facebook fan votes to select the grand-prize winners in each category. 
    More information, including contest rules, is available on the GREEENIES Facebook page.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Celebrate National Dog Day August 26

    The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals, is encouraging pet owners to celebrate National Dog Day on August 26. 
    In honor of National Dog Day, the organization offers the following tips to help pet owners celebrate their dogs:
    • Take your dog to the park or try out a new trail for a walk. Don’t forget the leash!
    • Sit. Shake. Stay. Teach your dog a new trick and reward it with a favorite treat.
    • Hire a professional pet sitter to help customize a daily exercise schedule for your dog. 
    • Invite your dog to sleep alongside you. Whether it's in your bed or on the floor, he will appreciate your company.
    • Make a donation to a shelter or rescue organization in your pet’s name.
    “Dogs are the most faithful of friends,” said John D’Ariano, president of National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. “Celebrating National Dog Day is an opportunity to thank your furry friend for his continued loyalty and companionship.”
    In addition to National Dog Day, the month of August brings awareness to the many animals that need a home on August 18, National Homeless Pets Day. To support homeless animals across the country, the organization urges pet owners to make a donation to a rescue shelter or organization or volunteer at a local animal shelter.  

Research and Markets adds new pet health care products report

    Research and Markets added a "State of the Industry: Pet and Animal Health Care Products in the U.S. (6th Edition)" report to its offering of pet industry reports. 
    This "State of the Industry" report includes data, forecasts and analysis on the pet health industry, including the petfood market
    Key topics covered are: Industry Background and Structure; Drivers of Industry Growth; Obesity and Aging Pet Population to Boost Pet Health Care; Healthier Pet Foods Promoting Better Health Care; Pet Oral Care Product Sales; Supplements and Nutraceuticals in High Demand; Overall Industry Sales Trends; Pharmaceuticals; Vitamins and Minerals; Biologicals; Feed Additives; Research and Development Trends; Foreign Trade; Growing Pet Population to Support Future Growth; Demographic Trends for Expenditures on Pet Purchases, Supplies, and Medicine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pet food industry members discuss cat and dog food production, safety

    A recent roundtable discussion by Natural Pet Product Merchandiser brought together a petfood retailer, two petfood manufacturers and a pet food industry representative to discuss the petfood production and safety, including the impact of a petfood recall and controls to prevent one.
    Although the US Food and Drug Administration’s website shows more than 1,000 petfood and treat recalls since March 2007, Nancy K. Cook, vice president of Pet Food Institute, says this should not be a cause for concern to consumers. She says that the large number is due to the fact that the administration lists every pet food recall since it first began posting them, whereas human food recalls are not reported as frequently.
    Ron Jackson, assistant to the president of Hi-Tek Rations, says he feels that smaller companies, especially those with their own manufacturing facility, pay greater attention to detail in the manufacturing process, therefore reducing the potential for safety or quality issues. Cook says this is also true of large manufacturers that must ensure the products they sell globally are also safe.
    “I am convinced that big and small companies can have high food-safety standards if the company’s leadership is committed to a culture and expectation of clean and safe food,” said Jerel Kwek, co-founder and CEO of Addiction Pet Foods
    From a retailer perspective, Lorin Grow, president and owner of Furry Face, says her company thoroughly researches both the petfood and the manufacturer to ensure the food being sold is safe to eat, as well as continuously reviews ingredient panels to ensure nothing in the petfood formulas has changed. 
    “We research a food and the manufacturer at length. We want to know the company’s history, how long they’ve been making their foods, where they source their ingredients, who they use to manufacture and package their foods, whether they’ve had any recalls and why, and what steps they take to ensure every ingredient and every process utilized along the way is safe,” Grow says. “When we finally do decide to carry a brand, we never take for granted that things will remain status quo.”
    Cook says her organization, Pet Food Institute, assists manufacturers of all sizes in ensuring their products are safe and produced according to all applicable regulations, as well as advises companies on outbreaks of microtoxins to help the companies avoid purchasing ingredients or products from those areas.
    At Hi-Tek, Jackson says his company worked with a consultant to improve safety at its plant. 
    “When you enter our campus, which is about 68 acres, you are surrounded by traps every 10 feet to get any field mice, rodents or anything that might be attracted to the building. When you enter any door, you go through scrubbers to clean your feet, and you get into a uniform and put a hairnet on,” Jackson says. “The founder of our company, Leonard Powell, is fond of saying that the hairnet probably doesn’t save us from very many stray hairs, but it puts every employee in the mindset that we’re making food.”
    Hi-Tek also ensures safety in its products through its method of containerization, which allows incoming ingredients to be separated by truckload and batch. An in-house laboratory tests all incoming products prior to unloading from the truck.
    Kwek says Addiction’s approach also aims to prevent food safety issues by implementing strict controls in the manufacturing process. He says a quality-assurance team and an in-house laboratory actively identify potential issues prior to the food being shipped.
    In addition to these safety measures, many companies also hire a third-party auditor to supplement audits by the Food and Drug Administration and certifying bodies such as the American Institute of Baking. Cook says that under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the frequency of required audits will vary depending on whether a plant is deemed low risk or high risk. 
    "This industry has safety as its [number] one priority. When you compare human food to petfood, it’s obvious that our products fail much less often than human products do," says Cook. "We’re really lucky that our companion animals are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. An awful lot of that is based on the terrific nutrition that they’re receiving from petfoods that meet the requirements set by AAFCO, and now upcoming by FDA, and through the care of well-trained veterinarians."

Purina Cat Chow brand launches cat story contest for cash prizes

    Purina Cat Chow is hosting the "Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project Contest," a nationwide search to find, showcase and celebrate cat stories that highlight the special relationship between cat people and their cats with a cash prize reward for the grand-prize winners
    From now until July 31, pet owners can submit their cat relationship stories at, and five grand-prize winners will each receive a US$5,000 cash prize, a one year supply of Purina Cat Chow brand cat food for one cat, and have their cat relationship story told through a Purina Cat Chow brand online video, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. 
    To enter, cat owners should complete an online entry form and select a theme that best describes their story from the following categories: My First Cat, Why I'm a Cat Person, Forever a Cat Family, How We Found Each Other, Generations of Care, Always There for Me, and Memories. Along with the brief essay story, cat owners may also include an optional photo or video of up to two minutes.
    Entries will be evaluated based on originality in describing your special relationship with your cat, high-quality storytelling in an essay and/or photo or video, and effectively demonstrating the Purina Cat Chow brand's belief of "always there for you." A panel of judges will select 10 finalists and consumers will vote online for the winners. Winners will be announced on October 1. In addition to the grand-prize winners, Purina Cat Chow will also reward five runners-up with a US$1,000 cash prize and a one-year supply of Purina Cat Chow cat food for one cat, and 40 more stories will receive honorable mention and a US$100 gift card. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CDC confirms 22 people infected from dry dog food recalls

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now confirmed that a total of 22 people were infected with a strain of Salmonella infantis from the recent recalls of dry dog food made at Diamond Pet Foods' Gaston, South Carolina, USA, manufacturing plant.
    According to CDC: 
    • Of the 22 people reported ill, 20 are from 13 USA states and two are from Canada
    • Of the 20 people reported ill in the USA, the number from each state is: Alabama (2), California (1), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1) and Virginia (1)
    • Among the 17 patients with available information, 6 were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported

New Zealand eel exported to US for novel pet food protein

    Researchers in New Zealand are calling for pet food companies to stop exporting eel to the United States to be used as a novel protein source in pet foods. 
    One local petfood company, Addiction Foods, exports a range of gourmet pet foods to the US and other markets, marketing them as hypoallergenic or "earth-friendly." However, Massey University freshwater scientist Mike Joy is among a number of researchers calling for an end to harvesting long fin, New Zealand's only endemic eel. According to Manaaki Tuna group, the number of long-fin eels has been declining for decades, meaning the species may be approaching extinction.
    Addiction Foods says it relies on advice from the New Zealand government to ensure that the eels are harvested sustainably.
    ''The eels used in our products are managed under [New Zealand]’s internationally respected Ministry of Fisheries Quota Management System,'' Addiction Foods said. ''This reassures us as we know that the numbers of eel are carefully monitored and sustainably harvested."
    New Zealand's Ministry of Fisheries says long finned eels are a commercial species that is sustainably harvested under a quota system, and so, may be used in pet food.
    As a result, Manaaki Tuna says the group will now focus on reaching overseas buyers of petfood containing New Zealand eel to inform them that the petfood products contain what the Department of Conservation classifies as a "species in decline."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Key ingredients to include in vegan pet food diets

A recent article from Living Green Magazine looks into key ingredients that should be included in a vegan pet food diet, as well as suggests some retailers of alternative vegan dog foods. 

The article says that many vegan dog food recipes can be found online, but key ingredients must be included for optimal pet nutrition and health. It is recommended that pet owners select a recipe with taurine and l-carnitine in the list of ingredients because dogs are unable to synthesize these heart-healthy amino acids since they do not naturally occur in plant matter. Additionally, protein, calcium and vitamin D should be included. The petfood should be supplemented to a level that prevents cardiomyopathy (heart disorders).

The article also warns pet owners of feeding onions, raw garlic, avocado pit and skin, and chocolate to their dogs, as many of these foods are toxic to dogs.   

If you choose to purchase a vegan pet food rather than cook it at home, below is a listing of alternative vegan petfood products and company contact information:

F & O Alternative Pet Products
Vegan dog and cat kibble and canned food

Harbingers of a New Age
Vegecat, Vegekit, Vegedog, and digestive enzymes

Natural Life Pet Products
Canned and kibble dog food

Nature’s Recipe
Canned and kibble dog food

Newman’s Own
Organic vegan dog treats

Pet Guard
Canned dog food and biscuits

Wow-Bow Distributors
Canned and kibble dog food and biscuits

Wysong Corporation
Dog and cat kibble

Wellness natural pet food adds grain-free, limited ingredient diet formulas for dogs and cats

    Wellness natural pet food brand is adding 49 new product SKUs to its pet food line, with many new grain-free pet food or limited ingredient diets. 
    Among the new products are 9 new Wellness CORE grain-free recipes for dogs and 12 new Wellness CORE grain-free recipes for cats, 16 newly reformulated Wellness Simple: Limited Ingredient Diet for Dogs recipes, and 12 extensions to the line of grain-free Wellness Cubed, Sliced and Minced Canned Cat Cuts recipes.
    New canine recipes include: Dry CORE Puppy Formula; Dry CORE Small Breed Formula; Canned CORE Beef, Venison & Lamb Formula; Canned CORE Weight Management Formula; Canned CORE Turkey, Pork Liver & Duck Formula; and Canned CORE Puppy Formula. New feline recipes include: Dry CORE Kitten Formula; Dry CORE Turkey, Turkey Meal & Duck Formula; Dry CORE Indoor Formula; Canned CORE Kitten Formula; Canned CORE Beef, Venison & Lamb Formula; Canned CORE Turkey & Duck Formula; and Canned CORE Indoor Formula.
    New Wellness Simple: Limited Ingredient Diet dry and canned canine formulas include: Simple Duck & Oatmeal Formula; Simple Turkey & Potato Formula; Simple Salmon & Potato Formula; and Simple Lamb & Oatmeal Formula. 
    Additionally, the Wellness Cubed, Sliced and Minced Canned Cat Cuts line was expanded with a new 5.5-ounce can size in the flavors of chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna, in cubed, sliced and minced textures. The line also includes chicken-free and fish-free varieties in every form. 
    New Wellness recipes are available at pet specialty retailers in the US and Canada. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Call for papers now open for Petfood Forum 2013

    Petfood Forum 2013 is now accepting papers for this global petfood industry event, being held April 15-17 at the Renaissance Schaumburg in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA. 
    Petfood Forum offers multiple learning sessions from pet food industry experts, networking opportunities and a large exhibit hall with pet food industry suppliers.
    Potential speakers may submit abstracts for Petfood Forum through October 1 for topics including, but not limited to:
    • Nutrition and ingredients;
    • Packaging;
    • Safety and regulatory;
    • Processing and production;
    • Market data, trends and predictions;
    • Company profiles and case studies; and
    • New product development

    An advisory board of petfood experts will evaluate all submissions for relevance of topic; presence of new or innovative information, concepts or research; proposed speaker’s experience or background with the topic; lack of commercialization or promotion; and evidence of previous speaking experience. Each submission is evaluated on its own merits against these criteria, but also in relation to other papers received.
    Please submit your abstract prior to October 1 by email to, formatted for Microsoft Word. Abstracts must be written in English and be no longer than 300 words. For more information on submitting an abstract, go to

Petfood Forum China 2012 online registration now open

    Online registration is now open for China's first pet food conference, Petfood Forum China 2012, which will be held October 12 in Shanghai, co-located with Pet Fair Asia.
    Taking place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, Petfood Forum China offers petfood industry professionals the latest on pet nutrition, petfood ingredients, processing and packaging technologies and new product development processes from leading petfood consultants, manufacturers, suppliers and academicians.
    Those who register for Petfood Forum China by August 20 will receive a discount of more than 15 percent on registration. To register off line, please download a registration form in English or Mandarin. To pay via wire transfer, please register off line first using the downloaded form.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New website provides pet-friendly business, destination reviews recently launched across the US as a resource that stores reviews and listings on pet-friendly businesses and destinations around the country. was created as a way for people to share reviews and share both positive and negative experiences with other pet owners. In June,, which lists more than 7,000 pet businesses, launched in six pet-centric states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., USA. In an effort to grow quickly, will raffle off an iPad3 after reaching 1,000 user reviews, selecting the winner at random.

New Pet Collective YouTube channel launches

    A new YouTube channel, The Pet Collective, officially launched, with videos dedicated to furry, feathered and scaly pets of all types.
    The channel, started by FremantleMedia, offers pet-related content including Q-and-As with veterinarians, comedic scripted shows about pet owners and their animals, and more, all with the aim of benefiting animals. The channel's “The Unadoptables” videos highlight pets that are difficult for shelters to adopt out, including animals with special needs, bonded pairs, black cats and pets that are older or considered unattractive.
    “It’s truly for the unadoptable pets. We want to show that they have value and euthanization isn’t the answer,” says Michelle Davis, supervising producer.
    In addition to adoption videos, the channel also offers the following original series:
    •“The Litter,” an 8-week series narrated by Khloe Kardashian that follows a litter of kittens
    •“Pet Sense,” videos featuring animal communicator Michelle Childerly
    •“Master & Pet,” a scripted comedy series about a single woman and her cat
    •“Growing Up Wild,” in which Bindi and Robert Irwin educate viewers about their wild “pets” at an Australian zoo.

    “People call it ‘pet porn’,” Davis says. “It’s just beautifully shot footage of animals being themselves."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Instinct raw dog food sponsors roast of Betty White

      White and Uggie, her dog, attended the roast, sponsored by Instinct petfood brand.
    Nature's Variety pet food brand, Instinct, sponsored a recent roast of comedic actress Betty White on May 16, hosted by The Friars Club, in New York City, USA.  
    Uggie, White's dog, eats Instinct Raw diet everyday, according to Omar Von Muller, his trainer. “It’s great that Instinct provided us food while we were attending the Betty White Friars Club Roast in New York City because that’s what he eats when he’s at home,” said von Muller. 
    “Instinct is a proud sponsor of the Betty White Friars Club Roast,” said Robert Bennett, chief marketing officer at Nature's Variety. “Betty White is an icon across the world and is well-known for her animal advocacy. When we found out from Uggie’s trainer, Omar von Muller, that Uggie eats Instinct Raw and would be alongside Betty White at her roast, we knew it was a natural fit for us to be part of.” 

Milk-Bone compiles list of dog-friendly hiking trails to encourage pet owners to get active

    Actress Sara Rue, in partnership with the makers of Milk-Bone Trail Mix dog snacks, celebrated National Trails Day on June 2, by encouraging pet owners to be active with their pet.
    The American Hiking Society and Milk-Bone Trail Mix identified a list of dog-friendly hiking trails in an effort to encourage people to get out and get active with their pet, which can be found on the Milk-Bone website.
    "Living a healthy lifestyle is a huge passion of mine, along with of course, my two dogs," said Sara Rue. "Being active with your dog is not only good for the pet parent; it's beneficial for the pet's well-being. Incorporating your dog into your workout routine is a great way to provide natural encouragement while spending quality time with your pet." 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Purina Mills celebrates Small Animals month in June

    Purina Mills LLC is celebrating the first Small Animals Awareness Month throughout June, and invites small animal owners to share stories and photos on the company's Facebook page.
    From June 4-30, consumers will also receive a US$2 off coupon for any Purina Small Animals Garden Recipe food and can be redeemed at US PetSmart stores.
    “Purina loves animals of all sizes, but for the month of June we’re taking special notice of the littlest family members – gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and mice,” said Gabriela Bonadonna, senior marketing manager for Purina Mills. “Small pets can bring such joy to children, helping to teach them responsibility, providing comfort and becoming an amusing companion. We are excited to take this month to celebrate the contributions of our furry friends.”

Interzoo successful for Brazilian pet product companies

    A number of Brazilian companies participated in Interzoo, the international trade show of accessories and supplies for the pet market, held May 17-20 in Germany. 
    A Brazilian pavilion was organized by the Brazilian Association of Industry of Products for Pets, Abinpet, through Pet Brazil Project, a partnership of Abinpet with the Brazilian Agency for Promotion of Exports and Investments. During the event, Brazilian companies Guabi, Alcon, Nutrire, Brazilian Pet Foods, Syntec, Hercosul, Pet Society, Fami and Eccopetz presented their line of products and searched for new distributors and buyers from more than 41 countries, such as Colombia, India, Holland, Germany, Turkey and the United States. Abinpet expects that in the next 12 months, contracts signed will generate an income of around US$4 million.

Monday, June 11, 2012

AFIA to host Liquid Feed Symposium in September

    The American Feed Industry Association’s Liquid Feed Committee will host the 42nd annual Liquid Feed Symposium, September 12-14, at the Grand Hyatt Denver in Colorado, USA.
    The program educates and promotes the agricultural liquid supplement industry, with speaker presentations, research funding, achievement recognition and the Liquid Feed Symposium Trade Show.
    Jim Whitt of Purpose Unlimited will deliver the keynote speech. In addition to sessions covering legislative and regulatory topics impacting the industry, the symposium will also feature weather, cattle and ingredient forecasts, and technical presentations on viscosity, pumps, inventory management, nutrition, sustainability and quality control. Networking opportunities for attendees include watching the San Francisco Giants take on the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field and the induction of the 2012 Liquid Feed Hall of Fame recipient.

Mars Petcare, The Nutro Company build pet food innovation center

    Mars Petcare and its subsidiary The Nutro Company recently began building a US$87-million North American Regional Innovation Center for pet food in Thompson's Station, Tennessee, USA. The four-building campus will serve as the companies' home base for creating future petfood innovations for the North American market and is expected to be complete in 2014. 
    "Pets and their owners in the North American market seek high-quality, cutting edge nutrition, and our new Regional Innovation Center will ensure Mars Petcare and Nutro products deliver on that promise in new and exciting formats," said David Macnair, global vice president of research and development, Mars Petcare.
    The new center will support 144 jobs. Each building on the campus -- the Innovation Center, Product Development Center, Shared Services building and the Pet Health and Nutrition Center -- will serve a different purpose in the life-cycle of creating new and innovative petfood products.

    The companies see the center as essential for global acceleration in developing and growing their pet food portfolio.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Helping pet owners understand gastrointestinal problems

    Gastrointestinal problems are one of the top 10 reasons pet owners take their dogs to a veterinarian, according to a recent report.
    With so many petfood options in the retail setting, it's often difficult for owners to discern which petfood to purchase, especially when advice may be coming from those without a veterinary background, said Davinne Glenn, DVM, co-owner of Veterinary Center of Liberty in Missouri, USA. It's important for owners to know about the role of pet food in Gastrointestinal health and for veterinarians to educate owners.

    Some Gastrointestinal conditions include:

    • Pancreatitis -- can be acute or chronic and is often the result of a high-fat intake
    • Hyperlipidemia -- can be an issue in certain dog breeds and can also be secondary to diseases such as pancreatitis
    • Malabsorption syndromes -- influenced by food intake
    • Protein-losing enteropathy -- rare and can be triggered by other issues

Spectrum Pet Care president faces investment fraud allegations

    Frank Renick, president of Spectrum Pet Care, a Missouri, USA, petfood company, has been indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on allegations of investment fraud.
    Renick, of Montgomery City, Missouri, was arrested June 4 on three charges of mail fraud. According to prosecutors, Renick sold $7 million worth of investments in the company to more than 250 investors in Missouri and other locations.
    Renick claimed the money would be used for equipment and fund operations, and instead used a portion of the funds to repay existing investors and for personal expenses, according to prosecutors.
    In 2011, Renick was ordered out of business by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, when Carnahan issued a cease-and-desist order. 
    Spectrum went into business in 1996, selling natural and organic petfood and treats.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Man suing Diamond Pet Foods over dry dog food recall

    A father in New Jersey is reportedly suing Diamond Pet Foods and the place of purchase, Costco, claiming that his 8-week-old son was sickened by recently recalled Salmonella-tainted dry dog food he purchased. 
    Lawyers for Nevin Eisenberg of Marlboro, New Jersey, USA, filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court that alleges his infant son was hospitalized by a strain of Salmonella infantis that was found in petfood made at Diamond’s Gaston, South Carolina, USA, manufacturing plant. The lawsuit, reportedly the first linked to the recall outbreak, also involves Costco Wholesale Corp., where Eisenberg purchased the petfood, and whose Kirkland Signature brands of dog and cat food were among those recently recalled.  
    Eisenberg's suit claims the infant developed severe diarrhea, fever and loss of appetite, and “[m]oreover, he was in obvious pain and was extremely uncomfortable.” 
    According to Elliot Olsen, an attorney for Eisenberg, it is unclear how the infant may have contracted the illness because the family's two dogs did not get sick and laboratory tests of the family's pet food samples did not test positive for Salmonella.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WATT eLearning launches three companion animal nutrition online courses

    WATT eLearning has launched three new companion animal nutrition online courses. Now available for enrollment on, these courses are designed to help you and your pet industry colleagues gain valuable knowledge and enhance your professional development.
    Created by industry expert Linda Case, M.S., the three courses are a natural continuation of the “Building Blocks of Companion Animal Nutrition” course, but can also be taken independently for more specialized study:
    Feeding Management during Growth in Dogs and Cats 
    This four-module online course provides complete information about a growing pet’s nutrient and energy needs, selection of a proper diet, and feeding management guidelines that promote good feeding behaviors and support a healthy rate of development.
    Nutrition for Adult Animals – Maintenance and Reproduction 
    This five-module online course provides complete information about nutrition for adult, non-reproducing dogs and cats, and also covers nutrient needs and feeding management during breeding, gestation and lactation.
    Nutritional Needs and Care of Senior Pets 
    This three-module online course provides complete information about the nutrient needs of senior pets, as well as the basic physiological changes that occur with aging and how these changes can impact a pet’s nutritional needs.
    Log on to to learn more about the new courses and to sign up for an account today. Registered eLearners receive exclusive discounts and updates when new sessions are added.

Eva Longoria to be celebrity face of Dine cat food brand

    Eva Longoria has reportedly agreed to become the international celebrity face of the Dine cat food brand.
    Although Longoria, star of the TV show "Desperate Housewives," does not own a pet cat, she says she is a cat lover and owned them as a child.
    "I am a big cat lover. I grew up with a lot of cats on a ranch," she said. "I'm just an animal lover in general. I really like the Dine campaign because it's kind of quirky."Longoria said she is rather selective about the brands, like Dine, that she chooses to be associated with: "I'm actually very picky about the products I endorse. I am really particular about where I lend my name. This just felt like a perfect match."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Research and Markets offers 'Pet Food Manufacturing' report

    Research and Markets added a new "Pet Food Manufacturing" report to its offerings, which found that the US petfood manufacturing industry's nearly 200 companies bring in a combined annual revenue of about US$47 billion.
    Major companies noted in the report include divisions of Nestle (Nestle Purina PetCare Company); Procter & Gamble (Iams); Colgate-Palmolive (Science Diet and Prescription Diet); Mars (Pedigree and Whiskas); and Del Monte (9Lives, Gravy Train, Milk-Bone, and Meow Mix). The petfood industry is very competitive and highly concentrated, according to the report, with the eight largest companies accounting for about 85 percent of sales. Major petfood products are dry and canned dog and cat food: Dry dog food accounts for about 45 percent of industry revenue and canned cat food for about 25 percent. 
    Other key topics covered in the report include an industry overview, business trends and challenges, industry forecasts and opportunities, and financial information. The full report can be purchased online

Monday, June 4, 2012

CDC explains food pathogen database, PulseNet

    At the recent annual meeting of the Association of Public Health Laboratories in Seattle, Washington, USA, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained how its foodborne pathogen database, PulseNet, aids in outbreak detection as well as future challenges CDC anticipates. 
    PulseNet, launched in 1996, identifies the DNA information for foodborne pathogens, including those in petfood, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The pathogen DNA information is then stored in a central database, which can then link cases in different states to the same outbreak. Because PulseNet uses DNA information to link illnesses to pathogens from human food, petfood or environmental samples, the contamination source is more likely to be identified. 
    However, a future challenge for the PulseNet database is the variable amount of funding it is expected to receive over the years. Congress gave CDC US$4 million for PulseNet for fiscal year 2012, but has not yet received its funding allotment from Congress for 2013.  
    According to Dale Morse, senior advisor at CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, & Environmental Diseases, some state labs receive supplemental funding from CDC's FoodNet and FoodCORE programs, which boosts lab capacity, but also means that many states lacking funding are behind in processing samples as soon as they come in.
    "By focusing on certain activities they've seen dramatic improvements, but the amount of money has still been fairly small in those states," Morse said.
    Additionally, PulseNet is challenged by the development of new pathogen tests that do not depend on cultures and use different a different pathogen characterization from that recognized by PulseNet. The new pathogen tests are fast, but do not isolate or grow bacteria or viruses before analyzing them, making them less accurate than current pathogen tests, Morse said. 
    "One thing we can say for sure is that these tests provide different types of data than the ones we're used to," said Morse. "We know how to interpret culture; we don't necessarily know how to interpret some of the data that is going to be coming our way." 
    John Besser, deputy chief of CDC's Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch, said several committees are working to better understand the performance of the new pathogen tests and adapt case definitions to use these new tests, which could speed up the current testing process and provide a better understanding of how closely pathogens are related.
    "As we all know, culture takes time. The whole process is very lengthy and depending on how we do this we can chop days or weeks off of the whole process," Besser said. "The technology that will replace PFGE is not yet clear, but a change of technology to one that is not dependent on culture-derived isolates is essential for the continued existence of PulseNet."  

Friday, June 1, 2012

New dog illness complaints linked to Chinese chicken jerky treats

    A new record of complaints from pet owners and veterinarians submitted to federal health officials shows nearly 1,000 dogs have reportedly been sickened after eating chicken jerky treats made in China, according to a recent article.
    Since November 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration has received almost 900 reports of pet illnesses and deaths. In early 2012, the agency sent inspectors to the Chinese plants that manufacture the jerky treats associated with the complaints, according to the article, but spokeswoman Tamara Ward of the Food and Drug Administration said the results of those inspections are not yet available. The administration has been unable to detect any toxin responsible for the pet illnesses, despite repeated testing, officials said.
    The three brands of chicken jerky treats most frequently cited by pet owners and veterinarians in the complaints were Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brands, produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. Both manufacturers have said their chicken jerky treats are safe and the pet illnesses are unrelated to the product. 
    However, Milo's Kitchen representatives confirmed that the company paid at least one pet owner US$100 in exchange for a release of all liability related to the pet owner's sick dog. Milo’s representatives said they provided the $100 as a “goodwill gesture” and asked that the consumer sign a “standard release form,” which is done on a case-by-case basis. The dog also underwent evaluation by a veterinarian.
    “Following the evaluation, the veterinarian consultant concluded the symptoms experienced by the pet were not related to consuming Milo’s Kitchen chicken jerky treats,” said spokeswoman, Joanna DiNizio, in an email statement. 
    Food and Drug Administration officials have said the companies may recall the treats at any time but regulations do not allow for products to be removed based on consumer complaints alone.