Friday, November 30, 2012

RECALL: Carolina Prime Pet Priority Total Pet Care Bullstrips recalled due to Salmonella

    Carolina Prime Pet Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of dog treats, is recalling Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips because the product has the potential for Salmonella contamination.
    The recalled dog treat products are sold in a 5-count package, marked with UPC code 0-21130-42080-3, and lot code 20082712 S 3195 and lot code 20090312 S3195. This lot of product tested positive for Salmonella when tested by the Colorado, USA, Department of Agriculture.
    Carolina Prime Pet says the Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips were distributed from about September 1 through November 21. The dog treats are sold at Safeway stores in the following states in the USA: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Wyoming; as well as at Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘N Save stores in California, USA; Randalls and Tom Thumb stores in Texas, USA; Genuardi’s stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, USA; and Dominick’s stores in Illinois, USA.
    The company says it is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to the recalled dog treat products. Customers who purchased the recalled dog treats should discontinue use immediately and return the products to the purchase location for replacement, refund or discard. For further information, please call Carolina Prime Pet Inc. at +1.888.370.2360, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. 

Nestlé invests US$15.9 million in pet food production in Argentina

    Pet food manufacturer Nestlé Purina has invested CHF15 million (US$15.9 million) in its factory in Santo Tomé, Argentina, increasing its pet food production capacity by 50 percent and creating 250 jobs overall.
    The pet food manufacturer's investment added a third production line for dry cat and dog food, as well as two new packaging lines.
    The investment is part of a larger expansion project the company began in 2010 to improve the Santo Tomé production facility. The program has so far funded the installation of new production technologies, increased storage capacity for raw materials and improved ingredient mixing facilities. 

Hill's Pet Nutrition video tours pet food production plant

    Pet food manufacturer Hill's Pet Nutrition has a new video that lets consumers see its pet food production plant in Emporia, Kansas, USA.
    The video provides a look at the company's facility and insight into its pet food manufacturing process at the plant. The video tour of the plant can be viewed online

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Del Monte donates 3,000 pounds of cat food to PAWS San Francisco

    Pet food manufacturer Del Monte Food's Morris the Cat Facebook campaign banner for the 2012 US election received more than 92,000 shares. This resulted in a donation of 3,000 pounds of the pet food company's 9Lives cat food to Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) San Francisco, California, USA.
    Del Monte delivered 3,000 pounds of cat food to Pets Are Wonderful Support San Francisco in November 15.

    During the campaign, users could visit Morris' Facebook page to download a free election poster, and then insert their own cat's face to share with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. For each share, the company donated one bowl of cat food, up to 3,000 pounds. 

Pet food safety advocates urge Walmart to remove jerky pet treats

    Pet food safety advocates sent a letter to the chairman and president of Walmart asking the company to voluntarily remove chicken jerky pet treats manufactured in China from the shelves of all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.
    Since 2007, the jerky treats from China have been linked to the deaths of more than 360 dogs and one cat and 2,200 illnesses, the advocates' letter says. Although the US Food and Drug administration has issued cautionary statements to consumers about feeding the treats to their pets, no recalls of the products have been made.
    On Black Friday, November 23, pet food safety advocates Susan Thixton of and Mollie Morrissette of urge pet owners to join them by going to the Walmart stores in their communities to personally ask store managers to remove these dangerous pet treats from their store shelves. For further information about the Black Friday for Pets campaign, visit the campaign's Facebook page

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Topics and speakers announced for Petfood Forum 2013

    More than 20 topics and speakers have been confirmed for Petfood Forum 2013, scheduled for April 15-17 at the Renaissance Schaumburg near Chicago, Illinois, USA.
    Starting with the opening keynote speaker, Kerri Morgan, a Paralympian who won two bronze medals at the London 2012 games, the current line-up of topics and speakers includes sessions on pet food and nanotechnology, emerging pet food markets such as Brazil and China, an update on new regulations from the Food Safety Modernization Act and nutritional management of cognitive dysfunction in dogs.
    Find the complete line-up on this page, which you can bookmark to check for regular updates. You can also save on registration to Petfood Forum 2013 through February 1, 2013.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Steven Charman of Pets Corner awarded at International Pet Conference

    At the International Pet Conference in Prague, Steven Charman, purchasing director of the UK pet retail chain Pets Corner, was presented the 2012 PET Personality of the Year award.
    Charman received the award for his significant contributions to the rise of Pets Corner as one of the leading pet retailers in the UK, creating a service-oriented concept with an emphasis on product quality and customer advice.
    The International Pet Conference was hosted November 13-14, drawing more than 150 attendees from 22 countries. 

AFIA comments on denial of Renewable Fuel Standard waiver petition

    American Feed Industry Association president and CEO, Joel G. Newman, issued a statement regarding the US Environmental Protection Agency's denial of the Renewable Fuel Standard waiver petition filed by the Arkansas and North Carolina, USA, governors, calling it "extremely disappointing."
    According to Newman: “EPA’s action is extremely short-sighted. EPA only looked at the potential price impact of the RFS, not the larger issue of access to corn by all end-users, including the feed, poultry and livestock and petfood industries. The US priority on food security must be at least as high as the priority placed on future energy security, especially during a time when so many Americans are already struggling to feed their families.
    AFIA will call on Congress and the Administration to not let this issue be ignored. Congress must pass and implement an RFS temporary trigger mechanism based on the USDA-calculated corn stocks-to-use ratio. This solution is recommended in H.R. 3097, the Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act, introduced by Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Jim Costa with bipartisan support from more than 30 members of the House,” Newman said.
    In previous comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Feed Industry Association strongly urged the agency to rely on market conditions to determine the allocation of the reduced corn crop, rather than allowing a government mandate to allocate a major portion of the crop. The American Feed Industry Association says it continues to support the eight governors’ petitions for a waiver of the ethanol RFS for the remainder of 2012 and all of calendar 2013.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cat food brand Friskies hosts cat video awards

    Cat food brand Friskies recently hosted "The Friskies" award show honoring the best cat videos and the importance of cats in society.
    Friskies received more than 1,400 submissions to the awards and four judges narrowed down the list to 12 finalists, three videos in each of four categories. The public then voted for the winners over a three-week period.
    Oskar’s First Toys,” a video of a blind cat playing with balls with bells inside, directed by Mick Szydlowski, won the “Catuette,” a gold-plated cat statue, for “Best Video” and the US$15,000 grand prize. Other winners included:

    • “Black Cat Stick ‘em Up,” a video of Cole, a black kitten getting tickled, won in the “Catness” category, which honored “the essence of cat behavior”
    • “Cardboard Dreams,” a video of cats Milo, Otis, Barrett and Bates playing in elaborately arranged cardboard boxes, won the “Catventure” category, a tribute to felines frolicking indoors
    • “Cat Alarm Clock,” a video of Boo, a cat who wakes up his owner by playing with the springy doorstop, won the category “Catcom” (funny cats)
    • “Kitty Plays Fetch,” a video of Nylah, a cat that plays fetch with a crumpled up piece of paper, won the “Catch All” category

    Hosted in Los Angeles, California, USA, guests wore cat ears to the venue, which was decorated to look like a cat's real home, complete with a living room with an oriental rug, lounge chairs and end tables with cat sculptures. Guests were also provided cat-topped cupcakes to eat, and entertainment by a cat-a-pella group, meowing an opera medley. 

PetSmart posts US$82 million in net income for third-quarter 2012

    Petfood and supplies retailer PetSmart posted better-than-expected results in its recently released earnings report for third-quarter 2012 and raised its earnings outlook for the rest of the year.
    Net income totaled US$82 million in the third quarter of 2012, up from US$56 million in third-quarter 2011. Total sales for the third-quarter 2012 increased 9 percent to US$1.6 billion.
    Over the past five years, shares of the company have grown more than 150 percent. Earnings per share for the third quarter of 2012 totaled US$0.75, up 50 percent compared to US$0.50 per share at the same time in 2011. The company raised its earnings-per-share guidance for all of 2012 from the previous range of US$3.30 - $3.40 to US$3.47 - $3.51.
    The company also announced that Chip Molloy, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will resign in early 2014 to spend more time with his family. Molloy will continue in his current role until June 2013 and will remain with the company as an advisor until March 2014. 

Petfood labeling, petfood safety webinars to be hosted in December

    In December, WATT/Petfood Industry will broadcast two webinars, on petfood labeling and petfood safety, sponsored by Trouw Nutrition USA and Extru-Tech Inc.
    On Tuesday, December 4, at 10 a.m. CT, Trouw Nutrition USA will present and sponsor a webinar on "Hot topics in petfood labeling." Moderated by Petfood Industry managing editor, Jessica Taylor, the webinar will feature speakers Dr. David Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Regulatory Discretion Inc., and Dr. Angele Thompson, president, Thompson PetTech.
    The speakers will cover:
    • Up-to-date information on petfood labeling requirements
    • What changes to state and federal labeling rules may be expected in the future
    • Resources to help you keep up with current petfood labeling requirements

    On Tuesday, December 11, at 9 a.m. CT, Extru-Tech will sponsor a petfood safety webinar, called, “FSMA is coming tomorrow – what you need to do today.” Speakers for this webinar will include Dr. David Acheson, partner and managing director, food import safety, Leavitt Partners LLC, and Jim Giranda, vice president of food safety & quality systems, American Nutrition. This webinar will be moderated by Petfood Industry editor-in-chief, Debbie Phillips-Donaldson.
    The speakers will cover:
    • How to develop your overall Food Safety Plan, including key preventive controls you must have in place to ensure the safety of your products and compliance with likely FSMA regulations
    • If you rely on any type of imported ingredient or finished product, you will learn about the major changes around importation of FDA regulated foods
    • Learn how to manage current and likely future requirements around product tracking and how to maximize your ROI.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weatherchem invests in sustainability for pet food packaging closures

    Weatherchem has announced it made recent investments to produce a lighter 110mm pet food Flapper closure, reflecting the company's commitment to sustainability.
    Changes to the ordering and production process include:
    • When an order is placed, what used to be printed on paper to create this order is now done entirely electronically via Weatherchem’s ERP system. Through paperless purchasing and order processing, Weatherchem's letter-size paper consumption decreased 10 percent through the first half of 2012.
    • When this order makes its way to the production floor, it will be produced on a new press that Weatherchem recently invested in, which consumes 30 percent less electricity.
    • Because of the new lightweight 110mm design, 20 percent less plastic will be used compared to the previous design. Using less plastic also requires smaller amounts of color to be added to the resin, while reduced cycle times for this process contribute additional energy savings.
    • Machinery to stack the finished caps and automate the packaging process was added, enabling 80 more pieces to fit in each box of 110mm Flapper caps – an increase of 40 percent over the previous packaging method.
    • The amount of packing material needed to securely fill the box is reduced with more caps per box, pallet and truckload. On average, transportation of Weatherchem’s annual volume of 110mm caps will now require 11 fewer truckloads.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

FOSS donates analyzers to Kansas State Department of Grain Science

    FOSS has donated two near infrared analyzers to Kansas State University's Department of Grain Science and Industry for use in classroom teaching and research.
    One of the machines, the Profoss in-line flour analyzer, is installed in the Hal Ross Flour Mill on the University's Grain Science Innovation Campus. The other machine is a NIRS DS2500 flour analyzer that will be used at the mill as well as in the Shellenberger Hall teaching and experimental milling laboratory.
    “It is always great to have new technology in the flour mill to enhance our teaching for our students and industry professionals who come to Kansas State for training,” says Mark Fowler, associate director and flour milling curricula manager for the International Grains Program.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Eukanuba donates to Canine Companions for Independence

    Pet food brand Eukanuba recently donated to Canine Companions for Independence at its national graduation ceremony, in which the group graduated its 4,000th assistance dog team.
    At the graduation ceremony, Eukanuba presented a check to Canine Companions for US$100,000 to sponsor a litter of puppies, called the "E-Litter," and build awareness for the need of volunteer puppy raisers. The puppies, once graduated as Canine Companions, go to people with disabilities to help them live independently.
    “We are very thankful for our partnership with Eukanuba and are always looking for creative ways to increase our volunteer base of puppy raisers to help with our mission,” said Jeanine Konopelski, marketing director for Canine Companions for Independence. “Eukanuba’s E-Litter has become very popular with our existing supporters and has helped us gain first time donations from new fans."
    As the "E-Litter" of puppies lives with their puppy raisers, the Eukanuba and Canine Companions' Facebook pages will feature video, pictures and updates so Facebook fans can follow the dogs. 

BIRD FOOD RECALL: Magnolia Bird Farm recalls bird seed mixes containing peanuts

    Magnolia Bird Farm Inc. is recalling Raw and Roasted In-shell Peanuts and Magnolia Bird Farm Bird seed mixes that contain peanuts, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The peanuts in the mixes are among those being recalled by Sunland Inc.
    Specific products included in the recall are 2-, 3-, 5-, 10-,25- and 50-pound bags of Sunland Peanuts in Shell, Hulled Peanuts, Magnolia Bird Farm Conure Mix, Magnolia Bird Farm Large Hookbill, Magnolia Bird Farm Hookbill Supreme and Magnolia Bird Farm Parrot Mix.
    The bird seed and peanut products were distributed in the US from October 12, 2011, through October 12, 2012. Peanuts in the original Sunland yellow mesh bag will have either "best by" dates from October 12, 2012, through October 12, 2013, on the packaging, or a “Crop Year” marking on the package of 2011 or 2012.
    No illnesses have been reported to date. Consumers who have purchased these recalled products are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a refund or dispose of them immediately. Consumers with questions may contact Magnolia Bird Farm at +1.714.527.3387 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +1.714.527.3387 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

Global Pet Food Stores to expand into western Canada

    Global Pet Food Stores Inc. is reportedly planning to expand its natural and organic pet food stores into the western Canadian market.
    The company, which currently operates two stores in the US and 155 stores in Canada, recently opened its latest store in Calgary, Canada. President Jim Walker said the region could also see another four to six stores open within the next 18 months. “Western Canada has been the fastest growing portion (of the chain’s expansion) over the course of the last probably 18 months,” said Walker.
    Jay de Nance and Michael Kehoe, of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc., are currently looking for space for the company’s expansion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New feeding trial created for JustFoodForDogs

    Cal Poly Pomona has created a new feeding trial for JustFoodForDogs, which the pet food company says prioritizes the quality of life of the dogs involved in the feeding trail as well as still provides real-world data from the volunteer pets and pet owners.
    Cal Poly Pomona's Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department helped design the method to satisfy Association of American Feed Control Officials' requirements. The study utilized volunteer dogs living normal canine lives in their own homes throughout the testing. Participants included 2 dogs of various sizes and breeds between 1 and 5 years old, who were studied throughout the 182-day feeding trial and tested three of the company's pet food recipes. AAFCO requires testing of four blood parameters, but this trial tested a complete blood cell count and chemistry panel looking at more than 25 blood parameters.
    "The field method we developed takes significantly more effort than the standard industry approach, but to JustFoodForDogs it was absolutely worth it. The dogs are happy and the data is scientifically valid," said Dr. Broc Sandelin, chair of the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department. launches new features for pet owners

    Pet360 Inc. has launched the next generation of, a website for pet owners that contains expert articles and resources, an community of other pet owners and a large online selection of pet supply brands.
    The site provides a personalized experience for each member based on their pet's type, breed, gender, age, size and medical conditions. New features include:

    • Pet360 Library, containing educational resources developed by veterinarians and other pet care experts, as well as a series of blogs;
    • Pet360 Community, a place for members to meet others with similar pets, share their experiences and photos, ask questions, give advice, promote and support animal shelters and rescue groups;
    • Pet360 Shop, which provides members suggestions for pet food, treats, toys and medications that are right for their pets; and
    • Pet360 Safety Center, which alerts members when a brand or product they use has been recalled, as well as enables members to set reminders for vet appointments, flea and tick applications, prescription refills and more.

Pet Fair Asia 2012 sets record with nearly 50,000 visitors

    Pet Fair Asia 2012 broke all previous records drawing nearly 50,000 visitors during the four-day event, which was held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai, China, October 11-14. The pet industry event attracted a total of 506 exhibitors from 25 countries showcased new and existing brands, as well as 12,351 industry professionals and 36,000 pet owners.
    The show's first International Pavilion drew 40 pet product exhibitors from Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, USA, Australia, Japan and Korea. Additionally, the International Pet Industry Summit drew 180 delegates to hear three sessions with debate from 13 pet industry experts on issues such as trends in consumer behavior and key manufacturing challenges.

    Pet Fair Asia 2012 was also co-located with the first Petfood Forum China, which took place October 12. Industry experts presented information and insights on topics including pet nutrition and ingredients, petfood safety and packaging, regulations in the US and China, the Chinese pet market and new product development.
    Pet Fair Asia 2013, will be held August 22-25, 2013, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai, China. Petfood Forum China will be held August 23, 2013. 

2013 Packaging Conference to focus on new packaging technologies

    The 2013 Packaging Conference, taking place February 4-6, 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, will focus on next-generation pet food packaging materials, business strategies, sustainability efforts, processing developments and more. In addition, the conference has confirmed speakers including representatives from Kraft Foods, Mondelēz International, Diageo, Amcor Rigid Plastics, Sidel, Braskem, Beverage Marketing Corporation, SACMI, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, ATMI, Association of Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers, ITW Zip-Pack, Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing, CL&D Digital and many other packaging sector experts.
    The event will also feature tabletop exhibits from several industry suppliers. Sidel, a provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, will host a luncheon and tour of its Norcross, Georgia, USA facility immediately following the conclusion of the conference. Transportation will be provided.
    Registration is US$1,900, but a discounted early registration rate of US$1,600 is available until January 15. The fees include conference sessions and proceedings, breaks, lunch and a networking reception.  

Rachael Ray donates to ASPCA to aid Hurricane Sandy pets

    Nutrish petfood brand's Rachael Ray is donating US$500,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help pets who were displaced, hurt or lost during Hurricane Sandy in the northeast US.
    In addition, Nutrish is sending 4 tons of wet and dry dog food to help feed the animals affected by Sandy, the company's largest donation to date. “When you make your living in food, you have to give back in the same way,” Ray said.
    The US$500,000 Ray is donating will be used by the ASPCA to lease a building that will be used as an animal shelter for pets affected by the storm, provide mobile veterinary services, hand out supplies and continue searching for lost pets.

Gemoscan develops new Pet Food Intolerance Test

    Gemoscan Canada Inc., a marketer of food sensitivity and dietary management solutions, announced that it has completed research, development and beta testing of a new Pet Food Intolerance Test.
    The company says that some research has shown that up to 10 percent of dogs and cats may suffer from petfood intolerances or allergies.
    Gemoscan's PFIT management program is based on the company's blood testing technology, portions of which are used to manage food intolerances in humans through its HEMOCODE and MenuWise retail programs. The PFIT test assess for 80 foods and additives. The test was developed in consultation with veterinary doctors, while the ingredients being analyzed were determined after a review of approximately 100 different commercially available dry and canned foods. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Natural pet food, pet products market to grow 23 percent in 2013

    The US market for natural pet products is projected to grow 32 percent in 2013 as retailers devote more shelf space to the expanded natural pet food and pet care product offerings by manufacturers, according to Packaged Facts.
    The report, "Natural, Organic and Eco-friendly Pet Products in the US," estimates combined sales of natural pet foods and natural pet care products will grow by 10 percent to 15 percent over the period from 2014-17. Sales are projected to reach US$9.4 billion by 2017, up from an estimated US$4.1 billion in 2012.
    Currently, independent pet retailers comprise 72 percent of the natural market and about 75 percent of natural pet food will be sold through the specialty channel. But, according to the report's author, David Lummis, this is expected to change as mass retailers offer more lower-priced natural foods, such as the 2011 launch of Nestlé Purina's Purina One Beyond and the 2012 launch of Pure Balance from Walmart. He said the market for natural pet products is expected to grow by several hundred million dollars alone because Hill's Pet Nutrition announced it will reformulate all its Science Diet pet foods into natural recipes.
    “As Science Diet converts to natural and the natural pet food competition heats up even more, it’s also increasingly likely that one of the leading natural brands in the pet specialty channel will make the leap into mass, further blurring the already somewhat tenuous distinction between the natural products sold in the two channels,” said Lummis.
    According to Lummis, The Nutro Co. and Blue Buffalo capture a combined 40 percent of sales in the natural petfood market. Market shares of 5 percent to 10 percent are held by four companies: WellPet, Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc., Merrick Pet Care Inc. and Natura Pet Products. The report found that smaller companies, such as Halo, Purely for Pets and Champion Pet foods account for the remaining shares of natural pet food sales. 

'Catkins' wet cat food diet recommended for obese cats

    A growing number of American Veterinary Medical Association members are recommending a "Catkins" diet for pet owners to help their overweight cats lose weight.
    According to one veterinarian's website, the Catkins diet involves providing a wet diet for cats, rather than feeding dry kibble. “(Cats) have a better chance at optimal health if they are fed a wet food diet instead of dry kibble,” says the veterinarian, Lisa Pierson.
    The Catkins diet may help obese cats not only lose weight, but also may aid with a variety of health problems that cats may develop from not having enough moisture in the diet. Pierson says that in the wild, a cat's typical prey contains 70 percent to 75 percent water, which is similar to the moisture content of many wet cat foods; however, she says dry cat foods typically contain only 10 percent moisture.
    Another veterinarian, Dr. Travis Einertson, also recommends the Catkins diet and wet foods for obese cats. He says that while these wet cat foods can cost more than a dry petfood, lower-cost brands with a label that says the food is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials are just as good. Einertson also says that some pet owners do not feed wet food because of the belief that dry food is better for the cat's teeth or because wet food is messier than a dry food. But, he says that research has shown the belief to be a myth, and that the tradeoff for the cat's health is worth it.

Petfinder's Seal of Approval recognizes partner products, services, brands that meet pet-friendly criteria

      Petfinder's Seal of Approval certifies pet-friendly partner products, services and brands.
    Petfinder, an online advocate for responsible pet ownership and a database of adoptable pets nationwide, has launched the Petfinder Seal of Approval – a special designation for partner products, services, brands and initiatives that meet certain pet-friendly criteria.
    To qualify for the Petfinder Seal of Approval, a company or product must have:
    •Not been involved in invasive or harmful testing on animals during the past 10 or more years, and have no current or planned involvement in invasive or harmful testing on animals;
    •Not been involved in the promotion of the sale or breeding of animals during the past 10 or more years, and have no current or planned involvement in the promotion of the sale or breeding of animals;
    •Not had a record of animal injury or death due to product or brand use for at least the past 10 years, and the brand must not currently support events or initiatives that cause or promote animal injury or death and must not have supported such events or initiatives for at least the past 10 years; and
    •Demonstrated a commitment to explicitly and positively impact the welfare of animals through donations, promotions and/or financial support.

    Petfinder's first three recipients of the Seal of Approval were: HomeAgain, PetFirst Healthcare and Thundershirt.
    “When I co-founded Petfinder 16 years ago, businesses dedicated to our cause were the exception and not the rule,” said Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of Petfinder. “Today, I am proud to see that group growing and extend my thanks to the companies that have made that important commitment by supporting Petfinder and its 14,000 members shelters and rescues, enabling us to unite countless pets with their fur-ever homes.”
    Partners that qualify for the Petfinder Seal of Approval are invited to use it across their branded communication channels, including product packaging, advertising, marketing and communications. For more information on the Petfinder Seal of Approval, please visit or email

Friday, November 16, 2012

Animal welfare groups aid pets displaced by Hurricane Sandy

    Hurricane Sandy left many pets homeless after the storm damaged houses and animal shelters in the northeast US. Although the exact number of displaced pets is still unknown, the American Human Association estimated that nearly 15 million dogs were in the storm's path.
    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States sent teams to New York and New Jersey, USA, to aid in search-and-rescue operations, provide petfood and medical care, and create temporary emergency shelters for pets rescued after the storm.
    “I’m in a shelter day by day with these people who have nothing left,” said Niki Dawson, director of disaster services for the Humane Society of the United States. “They don’t know if they can go home. They’re depending on clothes from the Red Cross. To see their faces light up when they are able to pet their cat or walk their dog. That, that, is what makes you understand.”
    In New Jersey, Dawson says 30 people are working to rescue pets in three counties. On the barrier islands there, the group is bringing in an average of 60 displaced animals each day. In New York, the situation is not quite as bad thanks to a 2007 task force that was assembled after Hurricane Katrina and Congress' passage of the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act. The New York task force aids in creating state and local disaster plans that include pet evacuation procedures. As part of the plan, all of New York City's shelters, city taxis and public transportation systems are required to accept pets.
    "It’s not just feel-good legislation,” Dawson says. “If people are not encouraged to bring their pets with them, if they don’t have the comfort and security in knowing that their pets will be cared for, people will not follow evacuation orders. People will put themselves in harm’s way, and put first responders in harm’s way if they have to be rescued,” Dawson said.
    Allison Cardona, of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team, says that her teams have been delivering petfood in regions that have been cut off from power and supplies. Cardona said the efforts will be aided by donations from Petsmart Charities, Iams, Del Monte Foods and P&G Pet Care, which has pledged to donate more than 88 tons of food to help the region’s affected animals.
    Social media has also played a role in helping to connect pet owners with lost pets and rebuild after the storm. Facebook groups such as Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets have been created to help find homes for displaced pets and reconnect owners with their dogs. Nearly 30 strangers showed up at Ruthann Vahlstrom-Holbert’s animal shelter, Tails of Love Rescue in East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, after seeing Facebook posts of the damage the storm caused to the shelter. 

Trouw Nutrition USA donates to animal service groups

      Lesley Gerard of Trouw Nutrition visits with Magnum (left) and Twister (right), both trained by C.H.A.M.P.
    Trouw Nutrition USA hosted its Companion Animal Summit, an educational seminar for current and potential customers, September 26-28, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. As part of the event, Trouw selected two animal service groups to receive a cash donation on behalf of its customers.
    C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs Inc. and Hospice of Southern Illinois (Magnum) were selected as the recipients of the donations by Trouw’s marketing project coordinator and graphic design specialist, Lesley Gerard, and director of marketing, Mike Hooper. Along with the cash donations, the groups received pet travel kits and dog bandanas with the "Who Rescued Who?" logo. The “Who Rescued Who?” logo was also developed by Gerard, who says it all ties back to the C.H.A.M.P. mission of pets helping people. “In most cases people think about people helping pets, but in many regards it’s reversed,” she said.
    C.H.A.M.P. (Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities) focuses its time and efforts in training dogs in the areas of therapy, prision programs, education and service dogs. Along with the donation to C.H.A.M.P., Trouw also chose to support one of C.H.A.M.P.'s own therapy dogs, Magnum, who now aids and acts as a therapy dog for the residents at Hospice of Southern Illinois Relais Bonne Eau. Magnum received a cash donation along with his own pet travel kit.
    Following the Summit, Trouw invited C.H.A.M.P. and Magnum to its corporate office in Highland, Illinois, USA, so that Trouw’s employees could better understand what the organizations were about. Twister, a service dog in training from C.H.A.M.P., and Magnum went around the office and showed off some of the specialized commands they are trained to perform, such as to kiss on command, retrieve a 911 phone, remove socks and even pick up laundry.
    “The really neat thing about C.H.A.M.P. is that C.H.A.M.P. places a small number of dogs per year by choice, they choose to do it that way so they can remain active in each and every home,” Gerard said. She said the organization follows up with the service dog’s owner to be sure their needs haven’t changed from the previous year. If needed, they assist in re-training the dog as the new obstacles arrive.
    Trouw Nutrition USA says it looks forward to future donation opportunities in the pet industry.

California voters reject Prop. 37 food labeling initiative

    On election day, voters in California, USA, rejected Proposition 37, an initiative aimed at providing consumers with information about genetically engineered food. If passed, the initiative would have mandated that processed foods no longer be labeled as "natural," and retailers would be responsible for ensuring all processed foods containing any covered any covered material are identified as “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”
    However, the No on 37 campaign successfully helped to urge voters to vote "no" to the measure. The No on 37 campaign included a coalition of family farmers, doctors, scientists, researchers, retailers, food companies, business groups and more.The campaign argued that the proposition was misleading, costly and unnecessary based on the science of genetically engineered foods.
    “California voters clearly saw through Prop. 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy,” said Henry I. Miller, M.D., the founding director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Office of Biotechnology (1989-93). “Food labeling policy should be based on logic and science, not fear. Leading scientific organizations have all agreed that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients are safe and are not materially different from their traditional counterparts. We’re glad the voters rejected this misleading, costly and unnecessary measure.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stella & Chewy's donates pet food to Hurricane Sandy victims

    Stella & Chewy’s, a manufacturer of freeze-dried and frozen dinners and treats for dogs and cats, has donated more than US$25,000 worth of product to the victims of hurricane Sandy in the northeastern US.
    Stella & Chewy’s, along with two local organizations, Bideawee and The Mayors Alliance of NYC, teamed up to provide 150 cases of dog and cat food to be distributed to those in need.
    "This storm has caused a lot of distress in our community and taken so much away from so many. We wanted to do our part to help by providing nutritious meals for pets in this difficult time. Our thoughts go out to those impacted by this devastating storm,” said Marie Moody, founder and president of Stella & Chewy's. 

AFIA to host Pet Food Conference at IPPE 2013 in January

    On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the American Feed Industry Association and the USPOULTRY Poultry Protein and Fat Council will sponsor the sixth annual Pet Food Conference on the first day of the International Production & Processing Expo. The forum will feature a number of sessions addressing topics ranging from regulatory issues to the technical aspects of pet food production, food safety, marketing and use of ingredients.
    The day-long conference, held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room B-401/402 of the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, will feature several experts discussing topics impacting today’s pet food and pet food ingredient manufacturers. Speakers include those from the Center of Disease Control, the US Food and Drug Administration, the Association of American Feed Control Officials and Eurofins.
    The Pet Food Conference fee is US$80 before January 11, 2013. View the full schedule of events at:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Instinct offers variety-pack of grain-free canned cat diets

    Instinct, a natural and grain-free petfood brand, has introduced a variety pack with its Instinct grain-free canned diets for cats.
    This package offers 12, 5.5-ounce cans in three different proteins: Chicken Formula, Duck Formula and Salmon Formula. The company says the formulas include 95 percent pure animal protein and 5 percent fruits and vegetables, formulated for all life stages and breeds of cats.
    “Instinct Cans variety packs provide a simple solution for cat owners who want variety without having to juggle lots of cans during their shopping experience,” said Melissa Werges, Instinct Cat brand manager. “We wanted to offer a pre-packaged option that’s easy to pick up and carry, that also provides variety and a true value to the pet parent.”
    The new variety pack of cat food will be available at pet specialty retailers in the US and Canada in December. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Food manufacturing equipment auction to be held November 14

    GoIndustry DoveBid, a global provider of surplus asset management, auction and valuation services, will be conducting a one-day online auction featuring an assortment of late-model food manufacturing, packaging and processing equipment from a major food distributor, including: product blending, vacuum frying and dehydration systems.
    Bidding on more than 150 items opens Wednesday, November 14 at 11 a.m. Potential buyers can register online for the auction event. Equipment, currently located at facilities in Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA, and Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, can be previewed in person, by appointment.
    Below is a partial list of items that will be available for sale:
    • Infeed processing systems
    • Heat & Control Vacuum Fryers
    • 300 Ton Chillers
    • 400 Gallon Lee Jacketed Kettles
    • 13,000 Gallon Oil Recovery Storage Tank
    • Heat & Control FastBack Conveyors
    • Hot Water Wash System
    • Assortment of Stainless Steel Equipment and Tanks
    • Electronic test and measurement equipment

    To review the complete catalog and sale details please visit:

Pet market worth US$49 billion in 2012, Mintel reports

    According to the latest report by Mintel, the pet market is worth more than US$49 billion in 2012, up 15 percent since 2007, despite a turbulent economy. Spending on pet food and pet supplies continues to grow as pet ownership becomes more widespread, with 64 percent of Americans currently owning a pet.
    Pet food accounted for the largest share of sales in 2011, 37.8 percent of the pet market, with a retail value of US$18.1 billion. Veterinary services represented the second-largest segment generating more than US$12 billion annually.
    “Pets have many needs that are similar to human family members, including food and medical care,” said Bill Patterson, senior market analyst with Mintel. “Therefore, pet supplies and services are often necessities rather than discretionary purchases, which has helped shield this industry from the rocky recessionary environment. The strong bond between owners and pets offers significant marketing opportunities for manufacturers and retail outlets focusing on pet care and supplies.”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Animal health professionals attend PET-VET Asia Expo 2012

    Veterinary practitioners in Asia-Pacific region recently attended PET-VET Asia Expo 2012, which coincided with conferences of Asia Pacific Veterinary Conference, Asian Federation of Laboratory Animal Science, and Asian Society of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. The three conferences and one exhibition under the name, "Asia Pacific Animal Health Summit & Expo," were held together, October 10-12.
    More than 1,500 attendees were able to hear a variety of speakers on research, including anethesia cardiopulmonary medicine, dermatology, gastroenterology, infectious disease and more. Attendance was comprised of a wide range of animal health professionals, veterinarians, animal science professionals and commercial businesses.
    The Asia Pacific Animal Health Summit & Expo will be held again in 2014 at BITEC in Bangkok, Thailand.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Norway ranks as top spender on dog food in Europe

    According to Euromonitor International, eight of the 10 countries that spend the most money on dog food are in located in Europe, with Norwegians ranking as number one.
    People in Norway spend the equivalent of US$639 per year, per dog on pet food, which is nearly 50 percent more than second-place Switzerland. Norwegians are trading up to premium products, purchasing higher-priced organic and "diet" dog foods, which sometimes also come in costlier meal-size packages instead of larger bags.
    In contrast, Euromonitor found that Vietnam spends the least on pet food, the equivalent of US$0.75 per dog, which is attributed to the fact that in poorer countries, such as this, dogs are often still fed table scraps instead of pet food. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paralympian medalist to keynote Petfood Forum 2013

      Kerri Morgan, 2012 Paralympian and bronze medalist, and her public access dog Twix. Morgan will give the opening keynote for Petfood Forum 2013.
    Kerri Morgan, who won two bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, will deliver the opening keynote for Petfood Forum 2013 on Tuesday, April 16. She will appear with her public access dog Twix, who accompanies her almost everywhere she goes.
    An instructor in the Department of Neurology and Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Morgan will talk about assistance dogs and their value to their owners. She will also discuss organizations that provide these dogs, such as C.H.A.M.P. (Canine Helps Allow More Possibilities), a program with which she works in her classes and that provided Twix to her.
    Her keynote address will kick off the conference portion of Petfood Forum 2013, which runs April 15-17 at the Renaissance Schaumburg near Chicago, Illinois, USA. Early bird registration is now available.
    Morgan is an avid wheelchair athlete who was the first woman selected to the US Quad Rugby National Team in 2009. She is currently on the US Track and Field team, which she represented in London this year.
    Morgan received a master’s of science degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in 1998, where she is also pursuing a doctorate in movement science. Previously, she served as a White House intern in the Presidential Personnel Office and at Devonshire Hospital in the Occupational Therapy Department in London, England.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SPF holds pet food palatability seminar in Shanghai

    SPF held a pet food palatability evening seminar in Shanghai, China, October 10 for about 70 pet food professionals attending Pet Fair Asia and Petfood Forum China 2012 that week.
    Attendees included representatives of pet food manufacturers from throughout Southeast Asia and coincided with the opening of SPF's new production facility near Shanghai. The attendees learned from SPF's experts about:
    • Integration of petfood safety programs in the palatant industry, by Remi Cristoforetti, SPF global operations director
    • Cat kibble structure, a driver of palatability, by Aurelie de Ratuld, head of SPF cat research platform, and Gilles Maller, VP of technologies for Clextral
    • Ensuring reliable palatability measurement, by Christelle Tobie, Panelis business development manager
    See photos of the evening seminar here.

Veterinarian addresses common pet food myths

    Because pet owners can receive misguided information on the Internet about what they should be feeding their pets, Dr. Trish Kirby, a veterinarian, is dispelling some common myths about pet food ingredients and selecting the best pet food.
    Dr. Kirby says a common myth is that pet owners believe they should avoid all pet food diets that include by-products. However, she says by-products are nutrient-rich organ meats that may contain a better quality protein than other muscle meats. She says some other food by-products are vitamin E, beef bouillon and vegetable oils.
    Another common belief among pet owners, Dr. Kirby says, is that corn is a filler used in cheap petfoods. She says corn actually provides protein and carbohydrates, as well as contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, as well as essential fatty acids that keep the skin and fur healthy.
    It is also not necessarily true that petfoods labeled as "natural" or "organic" are healthier. Dr. Kirby clarifies the term "natural" as meaning a petfood is free of chemically synthesized ingredients, thought she says many key micronutrients, such as some vitamins, are actually synthesized. Diets marketed as "natural" will often also say "with added vitamins, minerals and other trace elements," she says. Foods labeled as "organic," Dr. Kirby says refers to the way the food is raised and regulated by the US Department of Agriculture, whereas the term "holistic" is used solely as a marketing tool with no real regulated definition.
    Additionally, Dr. Kirby cautions that raw petfood is no necessarily healthier than store-bought petfoods. Raw petfood diets, the vet says, are often times not nutritionally balanced, and so do not meet all of a pet's nutritional needs. More importantly, she says, these raw petfood diets can be contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can sicken both humans and animals.
    Finally, Dr. Kirby says that pet owners should realize that no pets are the same, so it is best to consult your veterinarian about the specific nutritional needs of your pet to select the proper diet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PIJAC urges California to vote down pet food labeling proposal

    In the elections on November 6, residents in California, USA, will have the chance to vote on a proposal that could impact pet food labeling requirements in that state.
    Proposition 37 is a labeling initiative aimed at providing consumers with information about "genetically engineered food," including petfood. The proposal would no longer allow any processed foods to be labeled as "natural," and retailers would be responsible for ensuring all processed foods containing any covered any covered material are identified as “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.” For any product not so labeled, the proposal would require “a retailer generally must be able to document why that product is exempt from labeling.”
    According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council: "Not only does the proposal mandate far-reaching labeling requirements, it allows lawsuits by private parties to enforce the provisions, authorizing courts to award all costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action. Additionally, consumers could sue for violations under the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, meaning consumers need not even demonstrate any injury to recover damages."
    The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council also says that processed foods, such as foods that have been canned, smoked, pressed, cooked, frozen, dehydrated, fermented or milled could no longer be labeled as natural. The group says the California Attorney General’s official summary states that “these restrictions [could] be interpreted by the courts to apply to [such processed foods] regardless of whether they are genetically engineered.”
    If adopted, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council says Proposition 37 would impose significant costs on California consumers, including pet owners, and would not be able to be changed if it is adopted because it is a ballot initiative. The group urges California pet owners and consumers to vote down Proposition 37. Those with questions about the proposal may contact Michael Maddox, of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, by calling +1.202.452.1525, ext. 106, or emailing

Royal Canin offers new pet food to relieve stress in dogs, cats

    Royal Canin has introduced a new Veterinary Diet Calm pet food with three ingredients designed to help relieve stress in small dogs and cats under 33 pounds.
    The Calm pet food formula combines three ingredients: L-tryptophan, the amino acid found in turkey and other meats that creates a sense of well-being by creating more serotonin; alpha-casozepine, a peptide found in the protein in milk that calms nerve receptors; and nicotinimide, also known as niacin or vitamin B3, which has the same calming effects as alpha-casozepine. Calm also has a skin complex that helps skin retain moisture, helps heal any skin trauma and helps prevent infections, along with prebiotics and extra fiber as a gastrointestinal support for more normal bowel movements. 

Research and Markets offers 'Dog Food in the US' report

    Research and Markets has added a "Dog Food in the US" report to its offerings. The report found improved performance in the US market for dog food in 2012, thanks to sales of premium pet food products.
    The report estimates spending on pet food and treats, per dog, is projected to reach US$167 in 2012. An estimated 76 million household dogs live in the US, with a projected population increase of 2 percent in 2012, marking the largest annual increase in the dog population since 2007.
    In addition to providing a guide to the size and shape of the market nationally, the report, available for purchase online, provides retail sales data from 2007-2011 and forecasts to 2016.

RECALL: Charlee Bear Products' Protein Crunch Bar dog treats due to Salmonella

    Charlee Bear Products is recalling certain lots of its Protein Crunch Bar dog treat products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The following products are being recalled and were distributed throughout the US in September and October.
    •5.5-ounce packages of Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Carrots, UPC code 8710890000
    Lot number 19812; Best by date: 07-16-2015
    Lot number 19912; Best by date: 07-17-2015
    Lot number 20012; Best by date: 07-18-2015
    Lot number 20212; Best by date: 07-20-2015

    •5.5-ounce packages of Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Sweet Potatoes, UPC code 8710890001
    Lot number 20012; Best by date: 07-19-2015
    The products are being recalled after a sample of Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Carrots (Lot number 19812) tested positive for the presence of Salmonella. However, the company says there have been no reported animal or human illnesses related to these products.
    Consumers who have purchased these recalled lots of Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions should visit the company's website, email or call +1.800.396.8893.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mars sends animal rescue unit to Northeast US after Hurricane Sandy

    Petfood manufacturer Mars Petcare has sent a mobile animal rescue unit toward the Northeast US coast to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.
    The 82-foot-long truck named “Lucy” will help with efforts to rescue animals that are expected to be displaced due to the hurricane's damage. Equipped with a mobile operating theater, satellite communication, water rescue vehicles and other emergency rescue equipment, the truck can accommodate 12 volunteers to assist with the rescue efforts.
    Mars began sponsoring the truck in July along with the American Humane Association's US$200,000 sponsorship.

'Pet Care in China' report finds rise in pet food sales

    A new market research report from Euromonitor International, "Pet Care in China," found that the total pet population and share of prepared food for dogs and cats has risen over the review period, driving sales of pet food in terms of volume and value.
    The report found growth in the pet care market also driven by the rising need for companionship, humanization of pets and the trend of consumers trading up to premium pet foods. The report offers a guide to the size and shape of the pet care market in China, with retail sales data from 2007-2011 and forecasts to 2016. 

Cesar donates to therapy dogs in new social media campaign

    Cesar brand dog food has launched the "Share a Story and Share the Love" initiative, a social media campaign to help support and spotlight therapy dogs and therapy dog organizations.
    To support these exceptional therapy dogs, Cesar will donate US$100,000 to three therapy dog organizations whose services assist people in need around the US: American Humane Association's Animal Assisted Therapy programs, Intermountain Therapy Animals' Reading Education Assistance Dogs program and the Good Dog Foundation. Also as part of the campaign, dog lovers can share the inspirational online stories about therapy dogs through their personal social media communities, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
    "At Cesar, we know that a relationship with a dog can have a profound impact on every life, including people in need," said Denise Truelove, brand manager at Cesar Canine Cuisine. "From veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, to helping children learn how to read, dogs can truly transform lives. We're proud to support therapy dog organizations and help tell these dogs' stories through our new 'Share a Story and Share the Love' campaign. We encourage everyone to join us to help bring awareness to the inspiring work therapy dogs do every day."

Friday, November 2, 2012

RECALL: Wellness recalls select Small Breed Adult Health dog food bags

    Wellpet LLC in recalling one of its Wellness dog food recipes because a portion of the recalled product was found to have a high moisture content, which may cause the petfood to mold before its expiration date.
    The recall applies to 12-pound bags of Wellness Small Breed Adult Health dry dog food, marked with a "Best By" date of August 18, 2013. Wellpet says they believe the high moisture content poses no health risk.
    Consumers who have purchased the recalled dog food may contact the company for a replacement at +1.800.225.0904 beginning at 8 a.m. EST. Wellpet asks consumers to call back if their call does not go through the first time, as the company is located on the East coast of the US in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy. 

Pet food manufacturer Nestlé reports 20 percent pet care sales increase

    Pet food manufacturer Nestlé reported more than a 20 percent increase in sales its pet care segment for the first nine months of 2012.
    In the Americas, pet care maintained positive growth, with good performances in the cat category from Friskies and Fancy Feast, as well as the Beneful line for dogs. The pet care segment's growth helped the company achieve overall sales in the Americas of CHF20.9 billion (US$31.1 billion), with organic growth of 5.5 percent.
    As a whole, for the first nine months of 2012, Nestlé reported 6.1 percent organic growth and 2.9 percent real internal growth, with sales up 11 percent to CHF67.6 billion (US$72.5 billion). The company expects organic growth of 5 percent to 6 percent for the full year.

Cambrian Pet Foods to invest in new pet food production line

    Cambrian Pet Foods is investing £1.4 million (US$2.2 million) to expand its pet food production line and create 22 new jobs.
    With help from a £500,000 (US$801,104) through the Economic Growth Fund, the petfood company will install a new petfood production line to expand into the growing market for premium petfood in convenience packaging. The new range of premium dry petfoods will launch in 2013.
    “Funding support helped to bring it to fruition and was vital to enable us to go ahead with this investment," said Richard Davies, Cambrian Pet Food director. “We operate in an increasingly competitive international market and as a small company we have to remain nimble and react to customer demands and trends."

Vitakraft to produce dog, cat food for Asian market

    Vitakraft has entered into cooperation with Wanpy, a Chinese manufacturer of dog and cat treats, to expand its pet food offerings into the Asian market.
    As part of the cooperation, a new pet food factory in Yantai in Shandong province is expected to begin production at the end of 2012. The newly established distribution company, Vitakraft China, will market the new range of dog and cat food, as well as continue distributing pet products from the other segments of Vitakraft to the east and southeast Asia-Pacific region.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brazilian Association of Pet Products Industry attends Zoosphere 2012

    The Brazilian Association of Pet Products Industry, Abinpet, recently hosted a Brazilian pavilion at Zoosphere 2012, the Russian trade show of products and services for pets, which was held in October 11-13.
    Three Abinpet-associated companies took part in the Brazilian pavilion at Zoosphere: Brazilian Pet Foods, Eccopetz and Guabi Group, all of which exhibited new products for dogs and cats, including petfood and natural pet treats. Aimed at stimulating Brazilian exports, the Abinpet-associated companies networked with 250 other companies from countries such as Belarus, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, China, Thailand and Ukraine.
    “A pavilion made of Brazilian companies reinforces the potential of Brazil in the pet sector. The Brazilian space called the attention of the public and let importers confident for future businesses. Companies' credibility increases due to the support of Abinpet and Apex-Brazil,” said Robson Fonseca, international trade manager at Guabi.

Researchers examine health of cats fed high-protein diets

    Researchers at the University of Illinois looked into the common belief that cats, carnivorous by nature, are healthiest when fed high-protein diets.
    A team of researchers examined the effect of dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratio on the gut microbiomes of growing kittens. “There are a lot of diets now, all natural, that have high protein and fat and not much dietary fiber or carbohydrates,” said animal sciences researcher, Kelly Swanson.
    One month before mating, eight domestic shorthair female cats were randomly assigned to one of two dry diets: high-protein, low-carbohydrate (HPLC) or moderate-protein, moderate-carbohydrate (MPMC). When the kittens were born, they were housed with their mothers until they were 8 weeks old, weaned and then fed the same diets as their mothers.
    After weaning, the more than 30 kittens were twin- and triple-housed within the dietary-group cages. Twelve of the kittens became part of the study, from which researchers took fecal samples at weaning and four and eight weeks after weaning. They extracted bacterial DNA and used bioinformatics techniques to estimate total bacterial diversity.
    The researchers found important differences between the two groups in microbiome composition. As they had expected, levels of proteolytic bacteria that break down protein were higher for kittens on the HPLC diet and levels of saccharolytic bacteria that break down carbohydrates were higher for kittens on the MPMC diet.
    In addition, researchers looked at relationships between the diets and physiology. The kittens fed the MPMC diet had high levels of bifidobacteria, which was linked to higher blood ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite and thus, may be linked to weight gain, according to researchers. Meanwhile, the bifidobacteria may promote better gastrointestinal health, as low levels in humans have been linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
    Other bacteria found at higher levels in the MPMC kittens, including lactobacilli, are also linked to gut health. The researchers found a positive relationship between lactobacilli, blood cholesterol, and blood leptin levels. Leptin is the signal that tells the body to stop eating. Hence, lactobacilli may be linked to cholesterol metabolism, appetite and body weight regulation.
    Although kittens fed the HPLC diet had lower levels of some health-promoting bacteria, including Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Megasphaera, all the animals were healthy throughout the study.
    “The cat is fairly unique metabolically,” Swanson said. “But when it comes to gut microbes, there are a lot of similarities to other species. If you feed the bacteria in a cat, dog or human colon the same substrate, there are probably going to be similar outcomes.”
    The complete research has been published online in British Journal of Nutrition.