Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Animal Cancer Center seeks overweight dogs for pet food study

    Colorado State University researchers are seeking overweight dogs to participate in a new weight-loss study, conducted by the Animal Cancer Center, to determine if a new petfood can be digested more easily and is effective in reducing hunger.
    During the study, dogs will be given three regular blood tests for signs that the food also helps prevent cancer and is suitable for dogs with allergies. The dogs will also receive the specially formulated diet for one month. Participating dogs will be required to visit the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA for the blood tests and physical exams. Pet owners will be required to measure their pet's food intake and collect fecal samples.
    To participate, dogs must be otherwise in good health, be between 2 and 7 years old, weigh more than 22 pounds, and have a body-condition score between six and nine. Participating owners will get a US$50 credit toward any services or product offered at the teaching hospital. For more information on the trial, call +1.970.297.4144  or email cadie.ollila@colostate.edu.

Natural Pet Marketplace opens new pet food warehouse

    Natural Pet Marketplace, an online store that delivers health-conscious pet food, recently opened its new 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Greeley, Colorado, USA.
    The online pet retailer, founded in 2011, says its new warehouse location was developed to keep up with the consistent and expected future growth in the pet food industry “Our extremely low cost of shipping and wide breadth of health-specific pet foods has driven exponential growth within the company,” said Petersen. “Our newest location ensures that our customers will receive the level of service they have come to expect from Natural Pet Marketplace by receiving the healthiest petfood fresh and on time.” 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Greenies dental treats conducts pet oral health study

    Pet specialty dental chew and treat maker, the Greenies Brand, recently conducted a new study on pet oral health to uncover common myths about pet owners' beliefs.
    Among pet owners' most commonly held beliefs, the study found that almost half of pet owners believe that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than a human’s and that any type of chewing is good for a dog’s teeth. The study also found that about 40 percent think it is normal for their pets to have stinky breath. About one-third of pet owners believe that a dog’s saliva can help cure human wounds. “There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding a pet’s oral health,” said Dr. Jan Bellows, incoming president of the American Veterinary Dental College. “Dogs’ mouths are certainly not cleaner than a human’s. Dogs often carry a variety of germs and bacteria in their mouths that stem from buildup of plaque and tartar that can potentially make humans sick through contact with saliva. Many pet owners also believe that any type of chewing is good for their dogs, but tooth fractures are a common occurrence in pets because teeth can only withstand a certain amount of pressure from hard objects before they break. Pets chewing on inflexible items like bones, ice cubes or nylon toys are often in danger of tooth breakage. And while smelly breath in pets is common, pet owners who believe this is normal may be missing the signs of poor oral health or potential dental disease.” 

Dogs can carry human norovirus strains, researchers find

    A new study conducted by researchers in Finland found that pet dogs are able to carry human strains of norovirus, a leading cause of stomach flu symptoms in people, and pass the strains on to other household members, according to a report.
    The University of Helinski's Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health researchers looked at 92 fecal samples from dogs living in households in which the dog or human family members had recently experienced vomiting or diarrhea, the most common norovirus infection symptoms. In these 92 fecal samples, researches found four of the samples to contain the human strain of norovirus, HuNov.  Because "generally species barriers seem to be rather strong for viruses," it was previously thought that animals did not carry human noroviruses, according to Carl-Henrick von Bonsdorff, co-author of the study and member of the faculty of veterinary medicine.  Von Bonsdorff says the most likely source of the disease is family members who have the disease, specifically small children, as norovirus is most commonly transmitted in feces, though can also be spread through saliva and vomit.  "Viruses are in general rather species specific. It seems very unlikely that the transmission would be as easy between man and dog," von Bonsdorff said. He says the next step in studying human norovirus in animals is to look at whether the virus can multiply within a dog's intestines, or whether it only passes through the animal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vet cautions pet owners about feeding petvfoods with novel ingredients

    A recent blog from a veterinarian on PetMD, a pet health website, cautions pet owners about following a new pet food trend of feeding pet foods that contain "novel" ingredients.
    Dr. Jennifer Coates says pet food manufacturers have started to include "whacky ingredients" in their over-the-counter petfoods, such as buffalo or kangaroo. These novel ingredients in petfood may be helpful to pet owners looking to switch their pet's diet to address a special condition such as allergies. Previously, she says, a lamb and rice formula was popular for managing these special conditions, but became a less-effective treatment option after becoming widely available. Pet food companies saw the opportunity in this to bring petfoods with new ingredients to the market, making these novel ingredients available over the counter for the first time, Coates says.   However, she cautions pet owners that feeding a limited or novel ingredient food for no reason may lead to problems in the future for pets that would develop a tolerance to these ingredients. She also says that pet owners should realize that if they try a novel ingredient food at home, but do not eliminate other potential causes for the pet's symptoms, the condition still may not improve and the will not know what ingredients to blame.  "Don’t feed a novel ingredient food to your pet without a very good reason to do so," Coates says. "You should think of these products almost like you would an antibiotic. If we misuse them now, they may not be effective in the future."  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pet food brand Eukanuba, American Kennel Club host World Challenge

    Pet food brand Eukanuba's fifth Eukanuba World Challenge took place in Orlando, Florida, USA, in mid-December 2011, hosted by the 11th American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championships.
    In the competition, 41 dogs represent countries around the world, competing in four geographically independent categories for the title of "Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2011" and a US$10,000 prize. “AKC Grand Champion & Italian Champion Propwash Reckon,” a three-and-a-half year old Australian Shepherd representing the USA, won the “Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2011” title. Second place went to the Toy Poodle “MultiCH. Smash JP Moon Walk” from Japan and the "Best in Show" winner in the FCI Section Asia. Third place and a prize of more than US$2,000 went to a Lhasa Apso named “CH. Zentarr Elizabeth,” representing the UK. 

Jill Rappaport of ‘Today’ show awarded for pet industry contributions

    The American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association named “Today" show correspondent and animal advocate, Jill Rappaport, as the 2012 recipient of Global Pet Expo’s annual “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award.”
    Rappaport will personally accept the award on Thursday, March 1, at Global Pet Expo, in Orlando, Florida, USA, during a reception sponsored by Nestle Purina. The award recognizes individuals in the media who have the power to influence millions of people and use this to positively promote the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership. Rappaport has been on “Today” for 20 years. She served as the entertainment correspondent for the first 17 years, but when her dog Jack got bone cancer, she began chronicling Jack's illness on the show, and she says she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling. In her "Bow To Wow" series, shelter dogs get a makeover and a second chance at life, and she also informs “Today” viewers informed about the latest health trends for pets. “We truly believe that this award was crafted especially for someone just like Ms. Rappaport and that her promotion of responsible pet ownership is directly inline with APPA’s mission,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA. “Her dedication to improving the lives of pets and helping resolve animal welfare issues is evident and we could not be more thrilled to honor her with this year’s award.” 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Petfood equipment manufacturer answers mixing, blending questions

    Pet food manufacturing machinery company Charles Ross & Son Co. have created a new online resource to answer mixing- and blending-related questions on its website.
    Charles Ross & Son Co. answers mixing- and blending-related questions in the new online "Mixing Technology Insights."
    The Ross "Mixing Technology Insights" provide tips and techniques for pet food manufacturers on dispersion, dry blending, emulsification, homogenization, particle size reduction, high viscosity mixing, sub-surface powder induction, sanitary mixing and other topics. Each two-page bulletin includes a sample application or mixer installation from various industries. 

Dog food, cat food-related stories rank among magazine's top-read in 2011

    Pet Product News International published a list of its top 10 most-read pet industry stories of 2011 by online readers, which includes a number of pet food-related stories.
    Readers were most interested in the magazine's articles about pet food recalls, with "Aflatoxin Prompts Third Dog Food Recall in a Week" cited as the most-read story.  Another story that ranked among the top-read was "Consumer Reports Urges Pet Owners to Forgo Premium Pet Food, Shop for Vet Services," in which Consumer Reports advised pet owners to save money by not purchasing premium pet foods.  Readers were also interested in "Pet Industry Spending Tops $48 Billion in 2010," an article on pet food manufacturer Natura Pet Products class-action lawsuit settlement, Petco's acquisition of Ohio, USA-based pet specialty retailer Complete Petmart, and an article on the top pet products from 2011 Global Pet Expo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Founder of pet food company the Honest Kitchen discusses success

    Lucy Postins, founder of the pet food company the Honest Kitchen, was recently profiled in an article on FastCompany.com, discussing how she began her pet food company and the drivers of the Honest Kitchen's success in the pet food market.
    Postins says she feels one of the reasons for her human-grade whole-food pet food company's success is "disruptive innovation." Postins says this means creating a product that changes the status quo and gives consumers a new option that they may not have realized they needed, based on an old product that may have seemed fine. The challenge in this, she says, is with communicating the need to consumers. "I think one of the main tasks for the innovator is often the communication. Since you’re creating a product that meets a new need, there’s work involved in explaining exactly what you’ve created and how it’s better than what people are in the habit of using. The great thing with this task, of course, is that you’re telling a story that’s true and meaningful, as opposed to coming up with gimmicky messaging to try and differentiate yourself. "With our products, once we put them to market, we found consumers were choosing to use them for a really wide array of reasons, so it’s been challenging to articulate our messaging in a way that’s concise but sufficiently explanatory, to every type of consumer who’s interested in the food," she says. When asked about competing against name-brand pet food manufacturers, Postins says: "It sounds strange to say, but when I look back I don’t feel we have really struggled hugely. From the outset, we didn’t have a major plan for aggressive growth; the Honest Kitchen has grown in an organic way and charted its own course on many levels so we’ve evolved without the pressure to be a certain size at a certain time. That means we have been able to stay true to our roots and allowed our values to thrive. In turn, that’s further fueled our growth because it’s deepened our connections with our customers who then feel inspired enough to tell others." The most notable challenges Postins says she has faced as an entrepreneur were regulatory challenges from the US Food and Drug Administration and from state departments of agriculture challenging the "human-grade" petfood claims. Postins says the company's human-grade status differentiates it from other petfood manufacturers in that the pet food is produced in a human food facility, on the same equipment used to produce various foods that people eat. "We’re extremely selective when it comes to our suppliers, too. We’ve worked with many of the same producers since we began in 2002 and insist that all suppliers sign an annual 'Vendor Pledge' to provide assurance of the quality and integrity of the ingredients we buy. We won’t use GMO or irradiated ingredients, and don’t accept any ingredients from China," says Postins. "I think 'pets before profits' is the most important value that sits at the core of our daily decision-making; it means thinking about what’s right for the animal who is going to eat the food, often at the expense of the bottom line," Postins says. "Switching to 100% free-range, antibiotic-free and humanely raised chicken in our food made no sense from a fiscal standpoint, but has ultimately been good for business because it’s healthier for the pets who eat it – as well as having a positive impact on the planet and on animal welfare as a whole.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pet food manufacturer Hill's to expand veterinary visits

    Starting in April, pet food manufacturer Hill’s Pet Nutrition will make regular visits to more than 22,000 veterinary hospitals and clinics to help build support for and implement nutritional recommendations as the "5th Vital Assessment" in pet healthcare.
    To achieve this goal, Hill’s will use an expanded network of national and regional selling agents who will more frequently reach out to veterinarian healthcare teams across the country, and will also increase the number of direct representatives in both the pet specialty and veterinary channels. The new Hill's representation includes more than 1,200 distributor representatives, territory managers, practice development veterinarians and customer service representatives. “This expansion will give us the ability to better partner with the profession,” said Kostas Kontopanos, president of Hill’s US. “We can get a better understanding of what individual veterinarians and their clients need, as well as provide nutritional education and support.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

Australian plums may extend cat food, dog food shelf life

    Australian scientists conducted tests that found new anti-microbial substances in two common native Australian plums that could help prolong the shelf life of pet food, according to a report.
    Testing done by scientists from Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and Queensland government revealed that when small amounts of the kakadu and Queensland Davidson plums are combined with organic acids, the plums develop promising new anti-microbial properties. These anti-microbial substances may extend the shelf life of processed kangaroo meat used as an ingredient in dog food and cat food, according to the scientists. This may allow the pet food industry to reduce its use of preservatives, such as sulphides, that can lead to thiamine deficiencies in dogs and cats.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Global pet food market growth from product innovation, report says

    The pet food industry has experienced much growth due to increased pet food market segmentation and pet product innovation, according to a new report on the global petfood industry from Global Industry Analysts Inc.
    The research report, "Pet Foods: A Global Outlook," includes a collection of statistics, market briefs and research findings to provide an analysis of global pet food market trends and petfood market issues.
    The report says factors like consumer receptiveness to premium foods, expanding health needs of aging pets, wide availability and exposure at retail, introduction of new products and increasing consumer preference for natural remedies over pharmaceuticals are all expected to drive pet food market sales in the future. Pet food market dynamics will change as pet food manufacturers focus on product innovations such as weight-loss foods, special diet and condition-specific functional petfoods, grain-free pet foods and innovative marketing schemes. In the past, market growth was driven by premium and super premium dry petfoods, the report says. The report also analyzes emerging markets, such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, where increased product availability across all price segments is expected to drive consumers to feed pets prepared foods. Growing disposable incomes in Brazil and China will make the shift to prepared pet food even greater in these countries, according to the report.

Hill's, 'Biggest Loser' host kick off Million Pound Pledge

    Hill's Pet Nutrition and NBC's "The Biggest Loser" host, Alison Sweeney, recently kicked-off the Million Pound Pledge, a program for pet owners to help their cats and dogs lose weight.
    Pet owners who participate in the Million Pound Pledge will have access to a support system that includes two live video chat sessions with Sweeney on the Science Diet Facebook page, cat and dog weight loss tips, interactive body condition scoring to show the proper body shape of a cat or dog, rebates for Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet weight management foods, and more. Pet owners can also go online through March 30 and enter for a chance to meet Sweeney at "The Biggest Loser" live finale in May.
    "Living a healthy lifestyle is important for my family and that includes my dog," said Alison Sweeney. "One out of every two pets is overweight, and my dog Winky was one of them. I started using Science Diet pet foods to help Winky lose weight and now I want to share my personal experience to inspire owners across America so they too can achieve the same success." 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More than 1,200 pet product manufacturers to exhibit at Interzoo 2012

    The pet supplies exhibition Interzoo announced that more than 1,200 manufacturers are already registered to exhibit the latest petfood products and pet supplies at the 2012 show, which will take place May 17-20, in Nuremberg, Germany.
    The exhibition's growth comes mainly from Europe, Asia and Australia, show organizers say. Applications for larger exhibition stands and new exhibitors have come from Europe, particularly from pet product manufacturers in the Netherlands, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. “It is already apparent that Interzoo 2012 will once again be the world’s biggest show for the pet industry and the meeting place for all players in the industry. Well over two-thirds of the companies registered until now come from abroad. We are also pleased about the appreciable growth in the space occupied and number of exhibitors from Germany,” said Norbert Holthenrich, president of the exhibition’s honorary sponsor, the German Pet Trade and Industry Association. 

Pet insurance provider Trupanion now covers theraputic pet food

    Pet insurance provider Trupanion is expanding coverage for a variety of previously excluded treatment options such as therapeutic pet food, pet supplements, mobility devices, alternative therapies, feline kidney transplants and special disorders associated with working pets. 
    Trupanion expanded its coverage for these treatment options, once considered unconventional, because of veterinary advancements making the treatments more common. “We always want to give the pet owner the freedom to pursue the best course of treatment for their pet.” said Darryl Rawlings, CEO at Trupanion. “So, we are happy to be able to expand our scope of coverage to include these new options that are becoming more commonplace.” Core Trupanion coverage now includes half the cost of therapeutic dog food and cat food  purchased through a veterinarian to assist in care of a pet for two months, as well as nutritional supplements purchased through a veterinarian for treatment of an illness or injury. Previously, these foods and supplements were an out-of-pocket expense for pet owners, but Trupanion says its policyholders will now be able to recover these costs in their core coverage. “Working pets often provide a great service to their owners and these owners want to protect them as best they can,” said Rawlings. “We are happy to now be able to offer these pet owners the peace of mind that if their pet becomes sick or injured, their treatment is covered.” 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FDA misses deadline for key Food Safety Modernization Act provisions

    January 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, which aims to prevent pet food recalls and ensure a safe pet food supply.
    One of the key implementation dates from the Act was January 4, after which date the following significant steps were to have been taken by the US Food and Drug Administration: guidance for very small business exemptions from HARPC requirements;guidance related to intentional adulteration of food and mitigation strategies; “National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy” issued to Congress and public; study concerning unique identification numbers for food facilities and brokers; designation of “high-risk foods” for which additional recordkeeping would be required; designation of five “Food Safety Centers of Excellence” to respond to outbreaks; grocery store recall posting requirements; and regulations for a Foreign Supplier Verification Program.
    Yet, according to FDAImports.com, the agency has missed the first set of missed benchmarks for 2012's anniversary deadline as none of these significant steps have been accomplished.
    “Although it can feel frustrating to wait on an overstuffed federal agency to provide more details about how it will soon dramatically enhance its regulatory authority – I do not find it to be too frustrating”, said Ben England, founder and CEO of FDAImports.com. “In one sense, however, these are very complicated guidances and regulations FDA is expected to issue. It is better that it take longer and perhaps get it right.” The next major deadline in FSMA’s implementation timeline is July 4, when more guidance documents are due from FDA concerning traceability and tracking, consumer information reporting, a third-party auditing program and more. The final implementation dates for FSMA are January 4, 2013, and July 4, 2013. 

Petfood Industry releases Android smartphone App

      A new Android app joins Petfood Industry's already offered iPhone and iPad apps, allowing users access to latest issues on the go.
      Android smartphone users can now receive one-touch mobile access to Petfood Industry with a full-featured App, which joins the iPhone and iPad Apps already offered.
      The Android App allows users to read current and past magazine issues, browse the latest news headlines, view petfood product information and more. Search for “Petfood Industry” in the Android Market.
      Need on-the-go access from another mobile platform? You can view digital editions of Petfood Industry on the portable device of your choice. Download the App from iTunes for your favorite Apple device or bookmark www.petfoodindustry-digital.com on your mobile web browser now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Petfood maker Purina, Jenny Craig help pets, owners lose weight

    Dog food and cat food manufacturer Nestle Purina is teaming up with Jenny Craig in a new online program that aims to help pet owners and their pets lose weight.
    The program, "Project: Pet Slim Down," lets pet owners that sign up obtain tips for exercising with their pet, record exercise performed, track weight loss and share photos with other users.
    The British Pet Health Council, an association of veterinary and medical professionals, in cooperation with Mars Petcare is offering a similar health and fitness program for pets and their owners under the name "Petsercise."
    "The obesity epidemic is not limited to people," said Lisa Talamini, vice president of research and program innovation at Jenny Craig, in a statement. "Two-thirds of adults in the US are overweight or obese, and more than half of all pets in the country are also battling the bulge."

Petfood Forum China 2012 seeks abstract submissions

    The Petfood Forum China 2012 content advisory board is seeking abstracts for its noncommercial oral presentations at the pet food industry event.
    Potential speakers may submit abstracts on topics including, but not limited to, the pet food market in China, Asia and around the world; nutrition and ingredients; packaging; safety and regulatory issues specific to China or export countries; processing and production; company profiles and case studies; and new product development. The deadline for submission is April 9. Abstracts, no longer than 300 words, should be submitted in English by email to dphillips@wattnet.net. Petfood Forum China 2012 will take place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, in conjunction with the 15th Pet Fair Asia, on October 12.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pet chew maker Nylabone launches grain-free dog biscuits

    Nylabone, pet chew maker, launched new dog grain-free biscuits that will be made available to consumers in select US states through Costco Warehouse.
    The grain-free biscuits are turkey-flavored and include ingredients such as peas, turkey meat, blueberries, cranberries and flaxseed, according to Nylabone. The company says the dog treats are also free of molasses, salt, wheat, corn, soy, rice and other grains, so they are ideal for pets with sensitive stomachs. The biscuits, which contain eight calories each, can be fed to both large and small dogs. The new products are available for a limited time at Costco Warehouse in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, USA, and Puerto Rico. They are available in 4-pound “pantry packs.”

Joint-venture petfood deal gives Unicharm stake in Hartz

    Sumitomo Corp., Sumitomo Corp. of America and Japanese pet food manufacturer Unicharm closed a joint-venture deal on December 30, 2011. The deal gives Unicharm a significant stake in the common share of small animal food and pet treats manufacturer Hartz Mountain Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp.
    "This new strategic partnership brings together the brand power, deep category expertise and existing market share of Hartz with Unicharm's proprietary technology and high-performing innovation," said Mr. Koichi Isohata, a representative at Sumitomo. "The alliance is intended to grow the Hartz business, maximizing the potential of the US pet care market and ideally build the business globally." 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New all-natural dog food company ships petfood nationwide in US

    A new pet food company, DooD, recently entered into the pet industry with its all-natural dog food shipped right to the pet owner's home. Dood pet food, a combination of the words "dog" and "food," was formed by Alireza Niroomand and brother-in-law, Andrea Carrano, after struggling with managing the stomach and health issues of their own dogs. According to DooD, the food contains high-quality ingredients, including 85% lean ground turkey, 85% lean ground beef, all-natural chicken, whole grain brown rice and vegetables. The petfood company creates a custom diet for the dog, calculating its daily caloric intake by taking into consideration weight, breed and age.
    DooD is available online, and can be hand delivered in both New York City, New York, USA, and Los Angeles, California, USA, but can also be shipped nationwide. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Horizon Pet Nutrition launches grain-free Pulsar pet food line

    Pet food manufacturer Horizon Pet Nutrition launched a new grain-free diet program, Pulsar, which will be sold at pet food stores beginning in January.
    The company says its Pulsar line, available at a lower cost to consumers, incorporates pet food ingredients like peas and lentils as the key carbohydrate and fiber source. "Our philosophy (at Horizon Pet Nutrition) is to seek new combinations of exceptional ingredients to optimize pet nutrition and push the boundaries of dietary evolution," said Jeff English, co-founder of Horizon Pet Nutrition. "This is an evolution we expect the pet food industry will follow, as it provides a high-quality, low GI grain-free diet, at an unparalleled price in the market." 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Raw petfood manufacturer grows through investment, exports

    Mark Stewart invested more than $10 million in ZiwiPeak, a small New Zealand raw pet food manufacturing company with revenues of about US$1 million at that time, but has since grown the petfood company's revenue to more than US$15 million per year and is looking to its export business to raise revenues even higher, according to a report.
    The company exports 97% of its petfood products to 25 countries, Stewart said, focusing on achieving profitiability for the pet food company with revenue growth of about 60% annually. "We've built a US$15 million export business which could be US$50 million in the next couple of years quite easily. We think from a New Zealand Inc. perspective that's a pretty good thing," Stewart said. According to Stewart, he spends about a quarter of his time on ZiwiPeak and the rest on his other investments. He got into petfood because he wanted to invest in a food-related business, without dealing with supermarket chains. After two years of research, Stewart got into petfood because many independent stores will sell it. Since being introduced to ZiwiPeak founders, Peter and Kimberly Mitchell, Stewart has built a 45% stake.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pet food pantry desperately needs dry dog, cat food donations

This message was posted by Jennifer Stiles on the Petfood-Connection.com Facebook page:

Do you have programs that would help us? www.petpantrymi.org. We are almost out of kibble.

Pet Pantry of Michigan is a non-profit organization for pet suppies assistance: a free pet supply warehouse that has supplies for dogs, cats, kittens, puppies, gerbils, rabbits, fish and birds owned by people who are in financial hardship. Donations of kibble and new or gently used supplies are accepted to give out to people in need.

Halo survey: pet owners to buy higher quality petfood in 2012

    Pet food manufacturer Halo, Purely for Pets polled 1,045 pet owners in its "Pet Parents' New Year's Resolution Survey," which found that 69.4% of pet owners plan to purchase a higher quality pet food in 2012.
    Pet owners (45.9%) surveyed also pledged to help their pets lose weight in 2012. Of pet owners pledging to help pets lose weight, 68.7% will do so by providing more exercise, 44.8% by feeding a higher-quality pet food, 35.1% by feeding less food, 34% by giving fewer treats to pets, 33% by giving more nutritious treats, and 10.9% by developing a pet weight-loss program with a veterinarian. Other findings in the pet owner survey include that nearly 95% of pet owners plan to help animals in need in 2012 and 86.8% of pet owners plan to groom their pet more regularly. The survey was conducted between December 21-23, 2011.

Japan pet suppliers show Interpets planned for August

    Interpets, the Japanese "pet event of the new era," will be held in Japan in August, open to pet food and pet supply industry suppliers as well as the public.  This pet suppliers trade show will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, from August 23-26. The fair will feature new products for a better life with pets, including dogs, cats and small animals.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pet food companies, pet owners to blame for pet obesity, vet says

    A Canadian veterinary pet nutrition specialist says pets are becoming more overweight not only because pet food is high in calories, but also because pet owners may also be overfeeding and under exercising their pets, according to lfpress.com.
    Monica Snedden, a veterinary nutrition specialist and registered veterinary technician at Princess Animal Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, says pet owners are contributing to their pet's obesity by “feeding them the wrong thing, overfeeding them, just leaving the food down and leaving the bowl full all the time.” In addition, she says pet owners that feed their pet from the table also add to their pet's obesity. “It's different for pets. One little one-ounce cube of cheese is like three chocolate bars. It seems small to us, but for them it is a huge sum of calories for the day,” Snedden says. Pet food companies are also to blame for the pet obesity problem, according to Snedden, because much of the petfood on the market is very high in calories and fat. It is often difficult for pet owners to find the calorie content on a pet food ingredient label and sometimes difficult to obtain the information even by contacting the pet food manufacturer. “There are so many companies out there that are making so many foods and they come and go that it's hard for people to know what they are feeding any more,” she says. “Consumers don't know what they are buying and we can't keep up with what's hitting the shelves.”  Snedden says pet owners can help prevent their pet from getting overweight in the first place by closely monitoring its weight and making a change in feeding or exercise, if necessary, to maintain a healthy weight. “Then we just try to keep them around there, judging how their body condition looks,” she says. “Once they are really obese you are fighting an uphill battle.” 

Pet owner unhappy with melamine-tainted petfood lawsuit settlement

    A woman whose cat died from eating tainted pet food is unhappy with the settlement pet owners received compared to the compensation lawyers received in a class-action lawsuit related to the 2007 melamine-tainted petfood imported from China, NBC reported.
    Kathy Forcier's cat, who died from eating "Special Kitty" food purchased at Walmart, was one of as many as 50,000 dogs and cats sickened or killed by the 2007 melamine-tainted petfood incident, in which as many as 150 pet foods produced by Menu Foods were recalled. Forcier was part of a class-action lawsuit with more than 24,000 people against Menu Foods that settled for US$24 million. Yet, she says she received a settlement check for US$58.76, about half of the cost of her cat's vet bills, while attorneys in the case received US$7.4 million. "It was an absolute insult," said Forcier.  The lead law firm in the case, Wexler Wallace of Chicago, would not disclose a breakdown of payouts or the number of checks that were mailed to claimants in California, USA, where Forcier lives. "Every claimant has the right to expect privacy with respect to their individual claims and I am going to respect that," said attorney Kenneth Wexler, who handled the case. "The range of recovery is not relevant."  "He didn't lose a pet," said Forcier. "He didn't lose a member of his family." 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chinese pet food found to be mislabeled by Taipei city officials

    The Taipei City Government yesterday ordered four pet food products to be taken off store shelves because of incorrect labeling, according to the Taipei Times.
    City officials inspected 140 pet food products, of which four were found to be falsely labeled. According to city officials, Belicom’s tuna and beef cat food, Dobi’s beef, chicken and potato dog food; Ever Red’s beef dog food; and Maxwell’s beef dog food were improperly labeled because none of the products any trace of beef, a violation of the Commodity Labeling Act that is punishable by fines up to NT$300,000 (US$9,000). Yeh Ching-yuan, director of the city government’s Law and Regulation Commission, said petfood manufacturers would be told to make changes to the labels, and retailers would be asked to take the falsely labeled products off store shelves. 

North Dakota seeks pet food manufacturer comments on feed law

    The Agriculture Department of North Dakota, USA, has scheduled public meetings around the state in January 2012 to gather comments and suggestions regarding the state's regulation of animal feed. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the department is reviewing its feed regulation program to determine if it meets the needs of today's industry, and welcomes comment from anyone from animal feed manufacturers to pet food manufacturers and retailers.
    The afternoon meetings begin January 9, 2012, in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA, and end on January 17, 2012, in Valley City, North Dakota, USA. A full schedule can be found at online. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Canadian pet food producer works to lower production facility smell

    Canadian pet food manufacturer Champion Petfoods is working to reduce the smell from its plant in Morinville, Alberta, after local residents complained about the odors from the plant, the St. Albert Gazette reported
    According to president, Frank Burdzy, the company’s October air quality tests suggested the plant was operating at 50 odor units per cubic meter, a 15% to 20% reduction from the level in April. David Spink, an air quality consultant who specializes in industrial odors, says odor units are standardized measures of smell, where one unit is not considered to be harmful because it is undetectable to half of the population and barely noticeable to the other half Burdzy says the smell problems began around 2007, when the company added more meat ingredients into its products. A US$500,000 plasma injection system was installed in 2010 to fix the problem, but failed to do so. A plan to install Venturi scrubbers to spin and soak the smell out of the air is being delayed until spring 2012 after a consultant found additional changes that needed to be made. The pet food manufacturer has since lowered the heat in its dryers, improved airflow in the plant and finalized plans for new stacks to be installed in spring, in an effort to reduce the smell to a maximum of five odor units. “There’s going to be some sense of odor from time to time, but the key thing is we want to remove the offensive nature of it,” Burdzy says.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Online petfood industry revenue of US$595.8 million by 2016, report projects

IBISworld released a new report on the online petfood and pet supply sales industry, which expects rising pet ownership to drive demand and boost pet food sales to 2016.
The report estimates that slowly improving economic conditions will boost consumer spending, which will drive online petfood industry revenue to a projected US$595.8 million by 2016. Over the past five years, IBISWorld estimates that revenue in the online pet food industry has grown to $484.7 million. The report also attributes higher demand for premium pet foods and online animal pharmaceutical sales to this growth over the past five years.
"Rising pet ownership in the United States and growth across the e-commerce sector has caused the industry to experience overall growth, despite the recession," says IBISWorld analyst Kevin Culbert. "Niche players like 1-800-PetMeds and discount retailers like Walmart have rapidly gained market share within the industry."
However, the report found industry revenue declined marginally in 2009 as consumer spending fell, but increasing per capita disposable income is expected to cause revenue growth of 2.5% in 2011. Rising revenue is also driving up industry profit margins, which have risen over the past five years due to improvements in automation driving down wages as a portion of revenue. A full copy of the report can be purchased online.