Friday, August 31, 2012

FDA failing to protect pets from jerky treats, nonprofit claims


    Food & Water Watch, a US nonprofit organization that works to ensure safe and sustainable food and water, issued a statement, in which the organization claims that the US Food and Drug Administration is failing to protect pets from potentially toxic chicken jerky treats made in China.
    According to Food & Water Watch executive director, Wenonah Hauter: "Since 2007, thousands of American dogs have fallen ill or died after eating jerky treats made in China. In the past of couple days, it has come to light that Chinese government officials overseeing the factories that make the questionable treats refused to allow US inspectors to collect samples for independent analysis.
    "While this lack of cooperation shows an unfortunate disregard for health and safety on behalf of the Chinese government, it's the Food and Drug Administration who has shirked its responsibility to keep U.S. citizens and their pets safe and it's the FDA who must step up and block these potentially deadly treats from harming more animals.
    "The FDA waited until it received 2,000 reports of illnesses and deaths in US dogs before launching its investigation. Although the China investigation took place in April, it took the FDA four months to admit that they were denied permission from collecting samples from the Chinese facilities. As the FDA dragged its feet, the suspect treats remained on store shelves and put thousands of dogs at risk.
    "What's more disgraceful than the FDA's dawdling is the fact that it has full authority under Section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act to refuse shipments of these treats from China now. Enough is enough. It's time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly," says Hauter.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

PetFlow ships US$2.5 million in pet food, supplies in July


    PetFlow.com, an online pet food retailer, set a record in July by shipping more than US$2.5 million in pet food and pet supplies, and the company projects it will generate more than US$30 million in sales by the end of the year.
    The online petfood retailer has seen much growth since its founding a little more than two years ago, now stocking more than 100 premium pet food brands, as well as a variety of other pet food brands and pet supplies.
    “Since our inception a little more than two years ago, PetFlow.com has experienced extremely aggressive growth, but the statistic we’re most proud of is the very high return rate of our pet-owning customers,” said Alex Zhardanovsky, co-founder of PetFlow.com. “The company’s growth demonstrates that our customers see their pet as a true family member and they profoundly prefer PetFlow.com’s subscription approach to purchasing pet food and supplies when compared to the traditional, big box retailer approach to shopping.” 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RECALL: Bil-Jac recalls dry dog food for possible mold contamination


    Dog food manufacturer Bil-Jac Foods is recalling one batch, 256 cases, of 6-pound Adult Select Formula Dog Food from retailers’ stores and warehouses due to a few reports of mold in bags from the batch.
    The recall includes a total of 1,024 bags of dry dog food marked with batch number 1792-02 and an expiration date of December 27, 2013. The yet-to-be-determined mold in some of the bags was caused by higher moisture content in the food, according to a statement on the company’s website.
    “We’ve only found mold in a few bags; most of the batch was fine,” said Dr. Allen Bingham, a staff veterinarian for Bil-Jac Foods. “An outside laboratory is currently testing the food in the affected bags, and we are trying to make sure we know what’s going on; we’re being overly cautious.”
    Consumers with questions about refunds or returns may call +1.800.321.1002  x239, and ask for Shannon, during business hours, Monday to Friday, EDT. 

All American Pet Company launches new protein dog treat line


      CHEWIES are a line of super-premium protein treats for dogs, available in a variety of flavors.
    All American Pet Company Inc. has launched a new super-premium protein treat for dogs called CHEWIES.
    The semi-moist 1/4-ounce chunks are of the same all-natural formula as the company's NutraBar. Packaged in a one-pound canister, the treats come in basic flavors along with the fun Ben & Jerry's-style flavors.
    The company says it will be able to produce two to three tons of the treats per hour, which equates to 4,000 to 6,000 canisters per hour. 

Hill's Pet Nutrition petfood truck for dogs on tour across US


    The Pet Cafe, a food truck sponsored by petfood maker Hill’s Pet Nutrition is touring the United States to promote the company’s Science Diet Ideal Balance line of dog and cat foods and treats.
    At each stop, free samples are given out to dogs and cats, while their owners receive coupons for petfood discounts.
    October stops will include:
    • Santa Monica 5000 in Santa Monica, California, USA, October 7
    • Los Angeles, California pet retailers and dog parks, October 9-10
    • San Diego, California, pet retailers and dog parks, October 11-12
    • San Diego, California, Pet Expo, October 13-14
    • Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, October 18-21 and October 25-28
    • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, pet retailers and dog parks, October 22 and 29

    The food truck’s schedule is updated online.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DNA Pet Food rewards program lets store employees and customers receive free and discounted dog and cat food


    DNA Pet Food Inc. has launched “Real Rewards,” an online points program that rewards independent pet specialty store employees and their customers with free pet food.
    Each employee can earn up to US$120 in free dog or cat food every month by giving away offers to try a free bag of DNA pet food to consumers.
    Each consumer then receives email offers that include their first bag of dog or cat food free and two more high-value discounts totaling more than US$20.00. After 90 days of email offers, each consumer is invited to “tell a friend” by sending them the same offer for free DNA dog or cat food and discounts on petfood.
    All coupons associated with the DNA Real Rewards program are printed with the consumer name and pet store name on them, and are tracked to give the employee that made the original recommendation credit in their points account.
    Independent pet specialty retailers and employees may register for the program online at www.dnapetfood.com/rewards.

Monday, August 27, 2012

PetSmart reports total sales of US$1.6 billion in second-quarter 2012


    Pet food and pet supplies retailer PetSmart Inc. reported earnings of US$0.71 per share, up 31 percent compared to US$0.54 per share in the second quarter of 2011. Net income totaled US$79 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared to US$61 million in the second quarter of 2011.
    Total sales for the second quarter of 2012 increased 9 percent to US$1.6 billion. The increase in net sales was partially impacted by US$4 million in unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations. Comparable store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, grew 7.0 percent, benefitting from comparable transactions growth of 2.9 percent. Services sales, which are included in total sales, grew 7 percent to US$191 million.
    During the second quarter, the company generated US$104 million in operating cash flow, spent US$35 million in capital expenditures, distributed US$15 million in dividends and repurchased US$47 million of PetSmart stock. The company ended the second quarter with $354 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, and zero borrowings on its credit facility.
    “As a reminder, 2012 contains a 53rd week. For all of 2012, we anticipate comparable store sales growth in the mid-single digit range, and total sales growth in the 10 percent to 11 percent range. We are raising our earnings per share guidance from a previous range of US$3.19 to US$3.31, to our current expectations of US$3.30 to US$3.40. The impact of the extra week is estimated to be US$120 million in sales and US$0.16 in EPS,” said Chip Molloy, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "For the third quarter of 2012, we are expecting comparable store sales growth in the mid-single digit range, and earnings per share between US$0.59 to US$0.63.”

FDA responds to letter from US animal feed, ingredient, grain groups


    Three major US grain, animal feed and feed ingredient processing organizations commended the Food and Drug Administration for clarifying its enforcement policy for implementing several key sections of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011.
    Among other things, the Food Safety Modernization Act specifies a July 3 effective date for requirements that grain, feed, feed ingredient, grain processing, milling and other sectors of the commercial food and animal feed industry conduct hazard analyses and implement preventive controls. The law also establishes a January 3, 2013, effective date for facilities to establish foreign supplier verification procedures.
    However, FDA has not yet proposed or obtained public comment on regulations spelling out the compliance requirements for these provisions that will apply to various industry sectors. The agency has said it is planning to issue two distinct sets of proposed rules concerning the hazard analysis and preventive control requirements, one for human food and another for animal feed and petfood.
    The American Feed Industry Association, National Grain and Feed Association and National Oilseed Processors Association wrote to FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor requesting that FDA exercise enforcement discretion in enforcing these provisions of FSMA until final regulations are issued and an appropriate implementation period is provided. The three organizations expressed concern about FDA’s pending plans to enforce these statutory provisions “given that proposed rules implementing these sections have not even been promulgated yet.” The associations requested clarification from the agency on its intentions and plans regarding such enforcement as soon as possible so that they could provide guidance to their member companies and affiliated state and regional associations.
    In a response letter, Deputy Commissioner Taylor wrote that FDA will “expect to enforce compliance” with the hazard analysis, preventive control and foreign supplier verification provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act within the “timeframes that will be described in the final rules.” Taylor also said the agency “is committed to full and timely implementation” of these provisions of the law. Taylor also reminded facilities that compliance with existing good manufacturing practice regulations and other food and feed safety-related provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act remain in effect and are subject to inspection and enforcement by FDA. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mexico Pet Expo draws more than 1,300 visitors from 10 countries


    N├╝rnbergMesse North America announced that its first Mexico Pet Expo & Conference was a success with 123 exhibitors from eight countries and a total of 1,352 visitors from 10 countries.
    Mexico Pet Expo also cooperates with the Mexican association of food manufacturers, La Asociaci├│n Mexicana de Productores de Alimentos A.C., which organized the “2nd Mexican Forum on Pet Food” that was held in conjunction with the show and aimed at petfood manufacturers. The event also had a special forum, "Area de Emprendedores," which offered a platform for business development and networking with smaller companies.
    A survey of Mexico Pet Expo visitors revealed that the visitors were satisfied with the exhibitors’ offerings on more than 1,500 square meters of space and with the opportunities for acquiring information and making contacts.
    The next Mexico Pet Expo & Conference will take place June 26-28, 2013, and will again be held at the Expo Guadalajara Convention Center in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Horizon Pet Nutrition, Pet Planet donate petfood to homeless dogs


    Pet Planet health stores and Horizon Pet Nutrition provided more than 1,000 pounds of pet food to Dogs With No Names. Established in 2011, Dogs With No Names is a scientific pilot program working to combat the number of homeless dogs on First Nations reserves in southern Alberta, Canada, through the use of contraceptive implants.
    The program says that while adoptions of reserve dogs are possible and encouraged through rescue groups, it is often limited to puppies and tamer dogs, and there is also a shortage of welcoming homes for these dogs.
    In addition to efforts in contraception, Dogs With No Names distributes donated dog food from Horizon Pet Nutrition and Pet Planet health stores to undernourished dogs throughout two First Nations reserves in southern Alberta. Another 1,000 pounds of dog food from Horizon Pet Nutrition is planned to be distributed over the next quarter. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FDA announces inspection fees for petfood companies under FSMA


    The US Food and Drug Administration announced a reduction in the hourly FDA inspector fees it will levy against petfood companies for the upcoming fiscal year under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
    FDA will charge US$221 per hour if no foreign travel is required and US$289 per hour if foreign travel is required. The new rates will take effect on October 1 and will be effective through September 30, 2013. FDA intends to reassess the rates for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2013. The rates for the upcoming fiscal year are lower than present rates charged, which are US$224 per hour is no foreign travel is required and US$325 per hour if foreign travel is required.
    The fee structure under the Food Safety Modernization Act represents hourly rates charged by each FDA inspector who participates in any type of billable activity related to a given case. Billable activity includes, but is not limited to, conducting reinspection at a facility, making preparations and arrangements for reinspection, traveling to and from a facility, analyzing records, analyzing samples, preparing reports or examining labels, and performing any other activity deemed necessary to determine compliance with the regulation or statute found to be violated in an initial inspection.
    FDA is currently developing a guidance document to outline the process through which small businesses may request a reduction of fees and says that “FDA does not intend to issue invoices for reinspection or recall order fees until this guidance document has been published.”

Walmart launches new ultra-premium dry dog food line


    Walmart is launching its own line of ultra-premium dry dog food to compete directly with specialty pet product retailers such as PetSmart and Petco.
    The new brand, Pure Balance, is an expansion of Walmart's Ol' Roy brand of dog food that is currently sold and is expected to appear on store shelves in the coming weeks. The Pure Balance line will include a chicken and brown rice variety and a lamb and brown rice variety, which will be sold in 30-, 15- and 5-pound bags. Walmart says the new brand contains no chicken by-products, as well as no soy, wheat or corn additives, artificial colors and preservatives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BOGO Bowl will donate one bag of dog food to an animal shelter for each bag purchased through the site


      BOGO Bowl intends to donate one bag of petfood to an animal shelter of the customer's choice for each bag of dog food purchased online.
    A new online dog food company recently launched its business with the goal of providing petfood to shelter animals across the US.
    BOGO Bowl, based in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, intends to donate one bag of dog food to a shelter of the customer's choice for every bag of dog food purchased through the website. BOGO Bowl produces seven varieties of dog food in the US.
    “I got the idea for the business while serving as the president and programs chair of The Pet Project Midwest," said BOGO Bowl CEO Sara Henderson. "I saw the constant need for food, which helps shelters keep costs down so fewer animals are euthanized."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Global pet food market to reach US$74.8 billion in 2017


    The global pet food market will grow by 4.2 percent annually over the next six years, increasing from US$58.6 billion in 2011 to US$74.8 billion by 2017, according to a report published by Transparency Market Research of Albany, New York, USA.
    The report projects the US market for pet food sales will increase 3.2 percent in 2012, growing at an annual rate of 3.5 percent over the next six years, from US$21.7 billion in 2011 to US$26.6 billion in 2017. The report says that dry pet food accounts for the largest type of pet food consumed globally, followed by snacks and treats, and then wet food.
    The report also projects the Asia Pacific market will grow at the fastest pace over the next six years, while the European market, second largest to the US, will grow at an annual rate of 4.4 percent from 2011 to 2017. The report attributes this global market growth to consumers' higher disposable incomes, changing lifestyles, and a trend of more "nuclear families" and other people having pets in their homes.

New natural pet ood store opens in Illinois


    Labrador Franchises Inc., operator of the Pet Depot Franchise, opened its 30th franchise location in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, USA: Graham’s Pet Depot.
    Owned and operated by Valerie Graham and her brother David Graham, the store provides customers with 5,500 square feet of natural petfood and supplies for all companion animals, along with a professional pet grooming salon. The store and its eight employees also offer pet adoptions, training and pet health care advice.
    Graham's Pet Depot is the first in the franchise to be launched as a new Pet Depot Natural Pet Food Headquarters concept store, stocked with more than 25 brands of natural pet food, which aims to give consumers a "lifestyle" shopping experience they would feel in shopping for their own food.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tractor Supply Co. to give away year's supply of Purina pet food August 15-19


    Tractor Supply Company will giving away prizes and gift cards to lucky winners as part of its second annual Pet Appreciation Week, August 15-19.
    At each store, customers will have the chance to win prizes including a one-year supply of Nestle-Purina petfood or a veterinary services rebate from Hills Science Diet pet food brand. On Saturday, August 18, customers can also stop in the store for pet nutrition demonstrations, pet adoptions and other deals on pet supplies.
    “Our first Pet Appreciation Week was extremely well received by our customers, and they let us know they wanted it to return this year,” said John Wendler, Tractor Supply senior vice president of marketing. “This is not only an opportunity for us to showcase our contributions to the pet community, but also gives our customers an opportunity to celebrate their pets and how much they mean to them. This is certainly an event for the entire family, including your leashed pet.”

New study aims to better understand pet ownership, end pet homelessness


    American Humane Association's Animal Welfare Research Institute released the results of the first phase of a three-part study to better understand pet ownership and retention and discover the most effective strategies to ensure homeless animals find their forever homes.
    Phase I of the "Keeping Pets (Dogs and Cats) in Homes Retention Study," funded through a grant from PetSmart Charities, examines why some American households don't have a pet through interviews with 1,500 previous pet owners and non-pet owners. Research indicates that of the 117.5 million households in the US., 46.3 million have a dog in their family and 38.9 million own a cat. The group says that understanding the reasons people choose to own or not own a pet is the first step toward developing strategies to increase pet ownership and reduce pet homelessness.
    The study found that despite massive public education campaigns encouraging people to adopt from shelters, fewer than one-quarter of previous dog owners (22 percent) and one-fifth of cat owners (18 percent) obtained their prior pet from a shelter or rescue organization. However, 64 percent of prospective owners who previously owned dogs and 56 percent of prospective owners who previously owned cats indicated that they would adopt a dog or cat from a shelter or rescue organization. And, in spite of the widely discussed physical and emotional benefits of pet ownership for older people, seniors citizens over age 65 were among the least likely to consider a pet with nearly 60 percent of seniors who previously owned a dog saying they would not consider another dog, and 66 percent of previous cat owners saying they would not consider another cat. Among seniors who never owned a pet, 90 percent said they would not consider ever getting a dog and 94 percent said they would not consider getting a cat.
    These findings suggest that lowering the barriers to pet ownership will require supporting younger future cat owners and continuing to assess negative attitudes toward cats; understanding ongoing grief is a barrier to new pet ownership and identifying methods to help people work through grief; understanding that more future owners may be adopting pets from shelters and rescue agencies and offering support at this point of acquisition; and working with broad segments of society to reduce existing barriers to ownership, such as housing restrictions and veterinary/general expenses.
    Phase II of the study will research how many dogs and cats acquired from a sampling of shelters and animal control agencies still remain in their new homes six months following adoption, and what happened to pets who are no longer in those homes. Phase III will test practical interventional strategies for improving retention rates following the acquisition of a new pet.
    "By understanding the reasons why so many Americans do not own a pet, and learning what we can do to increase lifelong retention of those that do," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, "we can take the necessary steps to change minds, change policies and change activities to help get more of these beautiful animals out of shelters and into the arms of loving families." 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

President Obama's dog depicted in new campaign against pet food from China


    Food & Water Watch, a group that lobbies for stricter food-import laws, has launched a campaign criticizing the safety of food and pet food imported from China, which the group hopes will attract attention with the help of a new poster figure.
    A recent article from Food & Water Watch features President Obama's dog, Bo Obama, in a photo in front of the White House, with the caption: “Is the First Dog being fed risky chicken treats from China? The president owes Bo and all of us finalized food safety rules to protect our health.”
    The group criticizes the administration because it says there are currently no regulations on the safety of petfood imported from China, despite US Food and Drug Administration warnings about chicken jerky treats. Meanwhile, the group says the amount of food coming from China that is fed to US pets has increased by 85-fold from 2003 to 2011.
    “China should not be allowed to export any food — for humans or pets — to the US until it gets its food safety act together,” Food & Water Watch says in the article.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Honest Kitchen named among 'Best Places to Work'


    The Honest Kitchen, a San Diego, California, USA, manufacturer of pet foods and treats, was named to Outside Magazine’s fifth annual “Best Places to Work” list. The Honest Kitchen was ranked number 19 out of 100 selected companies, up from its ranking of 37 on last year's list.
    The magazine's “Best Places to Work” project celebrates the innovative companies setting a new standard for a healthy work-life balance. The year-long selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in an office in the US. Participating companies were sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach programs. Experts at the Best Companies Group then analyzed the results and selected the companies that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.
    “We’re delighted to have made Outside Magazine’s list again in 2012,” says Lucy Postins, founder of The Honest Kitchen. “Taking good care of our employees and nurturing a working environment that places an emphasis on health, creativity, diversity – and pets - has been important to me for a long time. It’s not only about the responsibility we have to our team, but also creating a place that fits with our brand, and with animals as the true focus of our workday.” 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RECALL: Petco recalls pet food bowls for potential contamination


    Pet product retailer Petco is recalling certain stainless steel petfood bowls sold at its store due to the potential that the bowls may contain Cobalt-60, a radioactive material commonly used in industrial gauging equipment and other uses.
    Petco says it doesn't know how the radioactive material got into the pet food bowls, but believes that it may have come from scrap metal used by foreign suppliers that had Cobalt-60 accidentally mixed in, and which was found to emit low levels of radiation. The issue was detected by Customs and Border Protection agents during a routine import screening of one of two containers of the product that entered the US in late May and early June.
    Recalled stainless steel bowls with the following SKU and product description include:
    •SKU 1047493 - PETC-3.75C DEEP TWO TONE NOTIP 9.25-inch diameter; 3.75-cup capacity
    •SKU 1386956 - PETC-3.5C NO-TIP SS HAMMRD BWL 9-inch diameter; 3.5-cup capacity
    •SKU 1047477 - PETC-7C TWO TONE NONTIP BOWL 9-inch diameter; 7-cup capacity

    Consumers who purchased one of the recalled petfood bowls between May 31 and June 20 should return it to Petco for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Petco customer service at +1.877.738.6742.

My Perfect Pet launches online dog food store


    My Perfect Pet, a fresh, frozen and all-natural dog food company in California, USA, has launched a new online store at www.5thAvenueDog.com.
    My Perfect Pet’s online store will give consumers across the lower 48 states access to the company's dog food via overnight delivery. The online retail store offers six different food blends: Knight’s, Boomer’s, Buckaroo, Hunter’s, Roxy’s and Snuggles. My Perfect Pet dog treats, Bobo’s Bites and Party Bites, will soon be available to purchase online as well.
    “This makes My Perfect Pet available to anyone with an address, even in areas where we do not yet have distribution to retailers,” says president of My Perfect Pet, Karen Scoggins. “Now dog lovers across the continental US can give their dogs the best food, all with the convenience of having it delivered right to their doors.”
    To buy products off the My Perfect Pet webpage, customers can select “Buy Online” on the left banner or “Purchase” at the top menu, which will redirect them to the 5th Avenue Dog online retailer. The online store offers a secured input for credit and debit cards.

Red Dog Deli offers new Lamberoni treats for dogs


    Red Dog Deli, the maker of Red Dog Blue Kat raw pet food, has added Lamberoni Stix and Lamberoni Nibbles to its product line of treats for dogs.
    According to the company's owner and manager, Inna Shekhtman, the treats are made from naturally raised, non-medicated lamb from Canada, including lamb tripe and lamb meat, and organic oat fiber. Packaged in resealable bags, the treats are preserved through a natural smoking process with no liquid smoke, nitrates, chemicals or salt, she says.
    Red Dog Blue Kat products can be found at pet retailers throughout Canada. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nutrience pet food brand features abused pets in new marketing campaign


    Pet food manufacturer Rolf C. Hagen Inc.’s Nutrience brand has launched a new Canadian marketing campaign, “Stop bad things happening to good pets,” featuring abused dogs and cats that is getting mixed reviews.
    The new ad campaign launched in mid-June, seen in city transit shelters and on other vehicles citywide, features a scrawny, filthy kitten photographed in black and white, with the wording, “At last, a cat food with a life saving ingredient” and a call-to-action message to visit the brand’s website, nobadanything.com. The new ad campaign also features similar pictures of dogs as part of the “food with a life saving ingredient” pledge to spotlight abused pets and highlight the company’s pledge to donate pet food to local shelters.
    “We’ve had both positive and negative feedback but that’s to be expected,” said Warren House, Canadian marketing manager with Rolf C. Hagen Inc. “A few people have written in to thank and congratulate us, and we’ve had people saying that the campaign is over-the-top. But that’s fine; at least people are noticing and that’s really the key thing.”
    According to House: “It’s one of those things where the reality is harsh. We don’t want to overdramatize things, but if something [like pet abuse] is real, it’s worth showing and talking about. We’ve seen this through the Ontario SPCA and we work with them and get their approval on all these images.
    “The main reasons we used stuffed animals in the clip instead of real animals is that it would have been just too dramatic. But people are smart enough to get it. In the end of the spot where one of the stuffed toys turns into a real dog, people know we’re talking about real animals. It also takes a few views to really puzzle the spot out, which we hope will make it more viral,” says House.
    As part of the new marketing campaign, the brand’s website, nobadanything.com, encourages visitors to “make the pledge” and add their name to a list, join the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ online community and share news about the petfood with their friends via Facebook. If 5,000 people “make the pledge” by the campaign’s end in mid-September, Nutrience will donate US$500 worth of petfood to 10 Canadian animal shelters.
    The marketing campaign also includes a contest for customers who purchase specially marked Nutrience bags to enter a pin number on the bag and be eligible to win a US$1,000 petfood donation to the animal rescue of their choice and a one year’s supply of food for their own pet. Consumers may also download a US$5-off coupon from the website and can receive a free bag of treats with qualifying purchase.
    “You know, once consumers sign up for the pledge they’ll get the coupon, but there really is nothing in it for us more than just helping to spread the word about these amazing shelters… and the fact that this stuff goes on,” Eric Marquis, trade marketing operations manager for Rolf C. Hagen Inc., says. “We’re very hopeful people latch onto this and that they see the good in this.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

AVMA discourages pet owners from feeding raw pet food diets


    The American Veterinary Medical Association passed a new resolution discouraging the feeding of raw pet food diets to dogs and cats due to human health concerns.
    The association is discouraging pet owners from feeding raw meat diets because pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria can be easily transmitted to humans by handling the raw food or through contact with the animal's feces. 
    Dr. Ashley Hughes of Friendship Hospital for Animals says bacteria is very difficult to get rid of, even with proper washing of bowls and utensils. She says feeding raw food is especially dangerous in homes with children, elderly people or people with weak immune systems.
    "The Internet tells [pet owners] raw food is the best thing to feed, and if they love their dog, this is what they should be feeding them, and so I hope people research it more and, you know, make an informed decision if that's what they want to feed," Dr. Hughes says. "I think it's about discussing your feeding choices with your veterinarian and working out a system and a way of feeding that works for you and your pet."

Spring Naturals dog food brand wins Editors' Choice award


      Spring Naturals won the Editor's Choice award for its Canned Dinners for Dogs.
    Spring Naturals brand of dog dinners and treats won the Editors’ Choice award from Pet Product News International for its Canned Dinners for Dogs.
    More than 400 products were submitted for judging in the 2012 competition.
    “Speaking for the entire Spring Naturals team, we’re thrilled to receive this award,” said Rob Cadenhead, vice president of marketing and sales for Spring Naturals. “It’s a good feeling to know that the pet industry recognizes our commitment to deliver canine nutrition without compromise.” 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Archer Growth invests in Australian pet products, services provider


    Australia’s Archer Growth has made the first investment from its new AUD300 million (US$307 million) fund as part of a new partnership deal with pet products and services provider Best Friends Pet Supercentre.
    Best Friends Pet Supercentre's network currently includes 11 stores that offer grooming services, puppy preschools and pet hospitals in Australia, and Archer Growth says it hopes to quadruple that number. US-based Brynwood Partners owns pet boarding, training and related services provider Best Friends Pet Care Inc.

Merrick Pet Care launches 11 new dog food recipes


    Merrick Pet Care Inc. is introducing a new line of 11 dog food recipes designed to provide balanced nutrition, under its Classic and Grain Free dog food brands.
    The dog food recipes, which will coincide with new pet food packaging, will be available at Petco, independent pet specialty stores and select online retailers. The company says the food is cooked in Merrick's own kitchens with ingredients sourced from local growers.
    With the launch of the new dog food recipes, consumers can sign up for the Merrick Food Revolution on Facebook to receive updates on the recipes, and they can also post pictures of their dogs to help "bark" the news about the food to fellow dogs and human friends. 

Irish dog food company offers 20 percent discount on new website


    Irish dog food company Pet Master is offering a limited-time discount of 20 percent on orders for the launch of its new website.
    Customers in Ireland and the UK can order cat and dog food through the company's new website and have it delivered to their home, thanks to a new partnership with pet food distributer Doig Marketing.
    The site allows users to browse and purchase pet food, with instructions for people who may not have as much experience shopping online, and allows for payment via credit card and PayPal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Class-action lawsuit filed over 2010 Kroger petfood recall


    Macuga, Liddle & Dubin filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against the Kroger Company on behalf of all customers who purchased recalled pet food contaminated with aflatoxin.
    Beginning December 18, 2010, Kroger recalled a total of 10 pet food brands, more than 68,300 bags, which were possibly contaiminated with aflatoxin.
    The lawsuit's lead plaintiffs alleged that they fed Kroger's Old Yeller Chunk dog food to their dog, who, in January 2011, vomited and became lethargic. After two veterinary visits, the plaintiffs' dog died.
    The recalled petfood was distributed to 19 US states and sold at Kroger, Dillons and Gerbes stores. If your pet suffered any illnesses or damages related to the Kroger petfoods recall, or if you purchased any of the recalled Kroger petfoods, call Macuga, Liddle & Dubin at +1.800.536.0045.

New 'Cat Chat with Arloa' episode looks at cat food, cat health link


    981 Media and actress Arloa Reston released the latest episode in the series, “Cat Chat with Arloa,” which investigates the link between different types of cat food and cat health.
    "Cat Chat with Arloa" interviews pet nutritionist and wellness expert, Marc Ching, to investigate the link between cat food and cat health, with discussions focused on dry cat food and the effects it can have on a cat's health. The show looks into the dry petfood production process, as well as discusses other species-appropriate diets.
    The episode also features Lil Bit, a healthy, purebred Russian Blue cat who was abandoned and almost euthanized at a city shelter before being rescued by a no-kill cat rescue group. He has been living at the Cat Connection cattery and is hoping to find a forever home. According to Arloa, “Many purebred cats can be found at shelters and in rescue groups. Lil Bit is just one of many who are homeless due to cat overpopulation."
    New "Cat Chat with Arloa" episodes are available weekly on Wednesday mornings at http://CatChat.TV.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Research and Markets offers new report on pet food in Ukraine


    Research and Markets has added the "Pet Food and Goods Users in Ukraine" report by COMCON Ukraine to its offerings.
    The report, a comprehensive study of pet products used by Ukrainians, represents the different groups of pets owners; indicates the types of pet food and goods used for pets; describes the purchase behavior of consumers (awareness and usage of pet food brands, places of pet food and goods purchases and attitude toward pet food prices); and outlines factors influencing the decision about choosing a brand. The report, based on data collected directly from Ukrainian consumers under the COMCON Trends research conducted in July 2011 and August 2011, also provides profiling data of consumers who purchase pet food and pet goods, including demographics and lifestyle.
    The "Pet Food and Goods Users in Ukraine" report can be purchased online

Halo offers new vegan dog food option


    Halo, a pet food company co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres, recently released a new vegan formula dog food, Vegan Garden Medley for Dogs.
    This plant-based dog food contains no preservatives or meats found in other pet foods.
    "Halo recognizes there are limited options for owners wishing to feed vegan," says Donna Spector, veterinary advisor for Halo Pet Foods. "Halo’s motivation behind creating the Vegan Garden Medley Wet and Dry Formula for Dogs was to provide a healthful, complete and balanced option using the highest quality natural ingredients possible."
    Halo claims it has no plans to offer a vegan cat food because cats are carnivorous and could not fully thrive on a plant-based diet.

Monday, August 6, 2012

FDA seeks comment on antimicrobial drug use data collection


    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comment on how the agency can collect more detailed information on antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals and how best distribute the information, as part of an effort to better correlate antimicrobial drug use to antimicrobial resistance.
    The Government Accountability Office said information currently collected by FDA does not provide sufficient data to analyze trends in antimicrobial resistance, so the agency is requesting that manufacturers provide an estimate on how much of each drug is being used on each species.
    Under current law, manufacturers are required to report how much of each antimicrobial product they sell and distribute and for which species the product is indicated. However, some classes of antimicrobials are indicated for more than one species, making it difficult for FDA to determine how much of each product is being used in each species.
    FDA also publishes antimicrobial sales and distribution reports for public consumption, but under current law the agency is allowed only to report those antimicrobial drug classes with three or more distinct sponsors to protect confidential sales information. FDA is seeking comment on how best to compile and present summary information on antimicrobial use without disclosing the confidential sales data.
    Additionally, FDA is seeking input on other methods for assessing antimicrobial use in food-producing animals that would aid in comparing antimicrobial use to antimicrobial resistance.
    Comments should be submitted by September 25, and should include Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0447. Submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov, via fax to +1.301.827.6879, or sent via mail to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Pet Fair Asia exhibitor booths now sold out


    Organizers of China's pet trade show, Pet Fair Asia, have announced that booths are already sold out for the 2012 show, taking place in Shanghai, October 11-14.
    With 5,641 visitors from 21 countries currently pre-registered, 12,000 visitors are expected to attend Pet Fair Asia this year. Visitors may pre-register for the show online.
    For the first time, Pet Fair Asia will also be co-locating with Petfood Forum China 2012, which will be held on October 12. Register by August 20 for Petfood Forum China to receive a discount of more than 15 percent. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

GREENIES Brand to host Pet Oral Health Event August 4-5


    The GREENIES Brand, makers of pet dental chews and treats, will host its third annual GREENIES Pet Oral Health Event at Petco stores on Saturday, August 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, August 5, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Through this oral health how-to event, pet parents will learn how to help keep their pets' mouths healthy from GREENIES representatives and will receive coupons for GREENIES Brand dental chews and treats. The event will focus on at-home preventative dental care for pets, such as daily tooth brushing.
    "Pet parents must realize that pets are not that different from humans in that they require daily oral care," said veterinary dental expert, Dr. Jan Bellows, incoming president of the American Veterinary Dental College. "The GREENIES Pet Oral Health Event is a great opportunity for pet parents to become more informed on how to care for their pets' mouths at home, and when and why they should seek the advice of their veterinarian."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

FDA reports indicate sweet potato treats may make dogs ill


    Veterinary Information Network reported that new reports to the US Food and Drug Administration indicate that some brands of sweet potato dog treats may be causing pet illnesses.
    Recent anecdotal reports made by veterinarians to FDA have reported cases of dogs developing symptoms of kidney failure (Fanconi's syndrome) from three brands of sweet potato treats imported from China. Brands implicated in the veterinarian reports include: Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs, Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats and Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality. Veterinarians have not reported any cases of dogs dying from consuming the sweet potato treats.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

European Pet Food Industry Federation updates Nutritional Guidelines


    The European Pet Food Industry Federation published its annually updated Nutritional Guidelines for Cats and Dogs for 2012.
    Based on new scientific literature and discussions with the federation's Scientific Advisory Board, adaptations were made to nutrients such as vitamins, iodine, calcium and sodium. The federation's new nutrition guidelines have newly defined ratios because “calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals for healthy skeleton development and maintenance,” the federation said.