Friday, March 29, 2013

Dutch petfood manufacturer Witte Molen acquired by Laroy Duvo

    Dutch petfood manufacturer Witte Molen was recently acquired by Belgian pet supplies company Laroy Duvo.
    The small animal food manufacturer brings more than 250 years of experience to Laroy Duvo. The combined companies are expected to result in consolidated sales of nearly EUR50 million (US$64.3) and employ 160 people.

Aflatoxin increase in European autumn 2012 maize harvest, Romer Labs says

    The European Commission's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed has reported 10 notifications on aflatoxin B1 in maize of European origin since the last maize harvest in autumn 2012, according to Romer Labs. In the 10 years prior to the last harvest in autumn 2012, from 2001-11, a total of nine cases of aflatoxins were reported in maize.
    However, Romer Labs says global warming is increasingly affecting the mycotoxin map in Europe, producing "tropical toxins" within Europe's borders.
    “Conditions are very favorable for the growth of Aspergillus in southern areas of the European mainland due to climate change. This means that Europe will have more homemade aflatoxin cases in its crops in the future,” said Prof. Rudolf Krska, a mycotoxin expert from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. “The food and feed industry has to adapt its risk management to cope with this new threat and minimize aflatoxin exposure in Europe.”
    According to Romer Labs: "The origins of the contaminated maize reported in the RASFF were mainly southeastern Europe, including Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia and in Italy. The average level of aflatoxin B1 was 59.28 ppb (parts per billion or µg/kg) and the maximum 204 ppb in Serbian maize – 10 times above the maximum level for feed. The EU regulatory limit for aflatoxin B1 in feedstuff is 20ppb, whereas in food it is 5ppb.
    "Aflatoxin B1 is one of the most carcinogenic substances on the planet, 100 times more toxic than pesticides, for instance. The producing molds, which are different species of Aspergillus, have been mainly a problem in tropical regions and can either occur on the field, but also in inappropriate storing conditions. Major maize exporting nations such as Argentina, Brazil and the USA have developed risk-management systems over recent decades to handle the aflatoxin risk. Europe can take these examples to adapt their systems to this new reality where aflatoxins are now on the agenda.
    "Testing for aflatoxins requires sophisticated sampling methods which need to be done at the very beginning of the supply chain to deal with the heterogenic distribution of this contaminant. Testing methods have to be very sensitive as limits are between 5 and 20 parts per billion (ppb). At the reception point, this testing can be done with lateral flow devices or Fluorometric methods. The reference method of choice in laboratories is nowadays LC-MS/MS, which is a technology that can simultaneously detect all major mycotoxins, including aflatoxins," said Romer Labs.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

JRS acquires pet care products company Absorption Corp.

    Private-equity firm Kinderhook Industries LLC sold the parent and operating companies of Absorption Corp., an American manufacturer of cellulose-based absorbent products for pets, to manufacturing company J. Rettenmaier & Söhne Group.
    Absorption Corp., a company of Kinderhook since 2010, includes the pet care brands CareFRESH, Healthy Pet and CritterCare. JRS, a manufacturer of pet care products like litter and bedding, will use Absorption Corp. as a platform for consumer products growth in North America. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SuperZoo pet retailer show opens online registration for 2013

    SuperZoo, the national show for pet retailers, has opened online registration for the 2013 event, being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, July 23-25.
    Produced by World Pet Association, the pet retailer show offers attendees an education program, a show floor of new pet products and a new product showcse, special opportunities for groomers and more.
    The show, usually held in September, moved to better align with merchandising cycles for pet retailers and provide more time before the holiday season. SuperZoo's hours have also been extended.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dr. Tim's petfood brand announces 2013 Iditarod dog sled race winner

    Dr. Tim's petfood brand announced Mitch Seavey of Sterling, Alaska, USA, as the winner of the 2013 Iditarod dog sled race. Seavey was a member of Dr. Tim's Team Momentum, whose dogs were fed Dr. Tim's petfood.
    The 2013 Iditarod winner, Mitch Seavey, and his dogs raced as a member of Dr. Tim's Team Momentum.

    Seavey, at age 53, became the oldest person ever to win the dog sled race. He and his dog-sled team completed the race in nine days, seven hours and 39 minutes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

RECALL: P&G recalls Iams Shakeables Turkey, Lamb dog treats

    Procter & Gamble has issued a recall of select lot numbers of Iams Shakeables Turkey dog treats and Iams Shakeables Lamb dog treats due to possible mold growth in the dog treats.
    Affected Iams Shakeables Turkey and Lamb dog treat formulas include 6-ounce cans marked with the following lot numbers:

    Consumers who purchased the recalled Iams Shakeables Turkey dog treats and Lamb dog treats should contact Procter & Gamble at +1.877.894.4458.

Friday, March 22, 2013

US pet obesity on the rise, Association for Pet Obesity Prevention says

    US pet obesity rates continued to increase in 2012 with the number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high, according to the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey, conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
    The survey found that 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats are deemed overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals approximately 80 million US dogs and cats at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers.
    "Pet obesity remains the leading health threat to our nation's pets," says Association for Pet Obesity Prevention founder and lead veterinarian for the survey, Dr. Ernie Ward. "We continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in the number of type 2 diabetes cases."
    According to the survey, 45.8 percent of dog owners and 45.3 percent of cat owners incorrectly identified their overweight or obese pet's body condition as "normal weight" when asked to assess their pet's body condition by a veterinarian.
    Dr. Ward calls the phenomenon of incorrectly evaluating an overweight pet as normal "the fat gap": "The disconnect between reality and what a pet parent thinks is obese makes having a conversation with their veterinarian more challenging. Many pet owners are shocked when their veterinarian informs them their pet needs to lose weight. They just don't see it," Dr. Ward says.
    The survey also found that certain dog breeds are at a greater risk for being overweight, with 58.9 percent of Labrador Retrievers and 62.7 percent of Golden Retrievers surveyed identified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian.
    According to Dr. Ward: "This is a war veterinarians, pet owners and parents must win. Obesity is the number one preventable medical condition seen in veterinary hospitals today...Our goal is to help pets and people live longer, healthier and pain-free lives by maintaining a healthy weight, proper nutrition and physical activity. The most important decision a pet owner makes each day is what they choose to feed. Choose wisely. Your pet's life depends on it." 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

RECALL: Natura Pet Products recalls dry cat, dog food brands for Salmonella

    Natura Pet Products is recalling a number of lots of its dry petfood brands after testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of Salmonella in one of the petfood products. The recall applies to a number of lots of California Natural, Evo, Healthwise and Innova cat and dog food products.
    The recalled petfood products were manufactured in a single petfood production facility during a two-week window in December 2012. Affected products are sold in bags through veterinary clinics, specialty pet retailers and online in the US, Canada, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Costa Rica. Products were distributed by Natura Pet Products from December 18, 2012, through March 15. Recalled petfood products have expiration dates ranging from December 17 to January 2, 2014.
    Consumers who purchased the recalled products should discard them. Consumers who have questions should contact the company at +1.800.224.6123 or use the online contact form

Record-breaking attendance, booths sold at 2013 Global Pet Expo

    The American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association reported record-breaking numbers of exhibitors, buyers and media attendance, and total booths sold at 2013 Global Pet Expo.
    Global Pet Expo, held February 20-22 in Orlando, Florida, USA, featured 5,327 buyers, a 5 percent increase over 2012, more than 3,000 new pet product launches, 964 exhibitors and 2,686 booths sold–the highest post-show numbers reported in Global Pet Expo’s nine-year history. Total show attendance was more than 13,000 people.
    Global Pet Expo grew its international presence by 19 percent with 172 exhibitors, up from 145 in 2012. International buyers represented 71 countries and accounted for 27 percent of attendees.
    The 2013 show saw record-setting media attendance, ranging from pet industry-specific magazines and bloggers to national media outlets like Good Morning America, TODAY, Hallmark and USA Today. Social Media played a key role in the 2013 show, as well, with 4,300 tweets about Global Pet Expo from buyers, exhibitors and media sent out during the week of the show. The show's Twitter page grew 38 percent over the past year, while its Facebook page grew 36 percent.
    Another show highlight were the awards presentations. The New Products Showcase Awards, hosted by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, honored new pet product launches, while the “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award" honored 2013 recipient Sandy Robins, a pet lifestyle journalist, author and spokeswoman.
    The 2014 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday through Friday, March 12–14, 2014, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Specialty ingredients supplier adds custom blending services

    The Peterson Co., a supplier of proteins, yeasts, fibers, specialty ingredients and custom dry blends to the petfood industry, established BlendCo LLC in Ottumwa, Iowa, USA.
    BlendCo LLC provides custom blending services specifically taking into account the quality expectations of the petfood industry.
    “Our customers rely on The Peterson Co. to meet their ingredient, formulation, production and quality needs,” said Leigh Ann Sayen, president of The Peterson Co. and BlendCo. “With the addition of blending services, we were able leverage Peterson’s core competency with the added benefit of quality control and reduced time to market for new products. 

Hill's Pet Canada launches Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign

    Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada launched the 2013 Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign to increase awareness of the connection between oral and overall health.
    “Periodontal disease is the most common problem veterinary health care teams see in dogs and cats,” said Susan Jones, D.V.M., director of veterinary affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada. “Pet owners often aren’t aware they should be brushing their pets’ teeth. And when they do know, they quickly realize this is not an easy task. Unfortunately, oral health issues often lead to more systemic health issues and our pets then end up facing more serious problems that could have been prevented."
    Veterinary health care teams can visit and downloading the tools available in the “clinic resources” section to share with clients, including educational videos and promotional tools.
    Pet owners can also visit the website to learn more about their pet's oral health. The campaign's slogan, "daily brushing + regular dental checkups + the right nutrition = long, healthy life," encourages pet owners to follow a healthy lifestyle. To reinforce this, the campaign offers a kit for pet owners through local veterinarians, which contains a brochure on proper dental care, a pet toothbrush, a human toothbrush and a guide for brushing pets' teeth.
    Along with the Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign, Hill's is launching the Smile Sweepstakes. Pet owners can register online to win a year's supply of Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Oral Health petfood, as well as daily prizes, such as iPads, iPod Touches, Kindle Fires and US$25 gift cards.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Euromonitor offers new 'Other Pet Food in Thailand' report

    The trend of pet humanization in Thailand has continued, despite people cutting spending on their pets due to the flood crisis and pet loss, according to Euromonitor International's Other Pet Food in Thailand report.
    Spending on pets is expected to rebound to previous levels during the second quarter of 2012, the report says. The report also identifies leading petfood companies and brands and offers an analysis of the market for bird, fish and small mammal/reptile food. The report provides retail sales data from 2007-11 and forecasts to 2016. The report can be purchased online. 

International Canine Health Awards presented at Crufts dog show

    The International Canine Health Awards, European veterinary awards, were recently presented to three people during a ceremony at the 2013 Crufts dog show in Birmingham, UK.
    The awards recognize and reward innovative researchers, veterinary scientists and students who are impacting the health and well-being of dogs, helping to transform the understanding of human diseases, too.
    The winners, Dr. Elaine Ostrander, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre and student, Emily Milodowski, were nominated by their peers. They were awarded a combined £60,000 (US$89,344.39) for their work in dog health and developments in veterinary science, donated by Metro Bank founder and chairman and his wife, Vernon and Shirley Hill.
    Dr. Elaine Ostrander was chosen as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, for her work contributing not only to developments in canine health, but also transforming the understanding of several human diseases. Her work has stretched over two decades, during which she has led advances in the understanding of mammalian genomics as well as the genetic basis of cancer susceptibility.
    Dr. Gustavo Aguirre was awarded the International Prize in Canine Health for his work in the recognition and characterization of eye diseases in dogs, applying both clinical and genetic solutions. His work alongside Dr. Ostrander has allowed him to undertake groundbreaking research into canine eye diseases and to date has identified more than 14 different retinal disease genes that cause inherited blindness in more than 59 breeds of dogs.
    Bristol University student Emily Milodowski won the Student Inspiration Award. She was chosen for her research on the prevalence and distribution of a bacteria called Campylobacter in the canine intestine, which again may eventually help human health. Her next research project will look into wound healing in dogs.

Mintel releases UK petfood, pet supplies market report

    Market research company Mintel released a new study on the UK petfood and pet supplies market.
    Sales of dog food in 2012 reached a record £1 billion (US$1.49 billlion), thanks to growth in popularity of pet treats. Snacks and treats accounted for 24 percent of all dog food sales, up 6 percent from 2011 to 2012 to reach £239 million (US$356.48). Natural pet treats increased 8 percent over the same one-year period to reach £40 million (US$59.66 million).

Monday, March 18, 2013

RECALL: Bravo! Raw Food Diet Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats

    Raw petfood manufacturer Bravo! is recalling 2-pound tubes of Bravo! Raw Food Diet Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats because the raw petfood diet has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The recall involves 2-pound tubes of Bravo! Raw Food Diet Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats, manufactured on June 14, 2012, with product code 21-102, batch ID code 6 14 12, and "best used by" date of June 12, 2014.
    Routine testing of the petfood product by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, collected from a single retail location, indicated the presence of Salmonella. The company says it has not received reports of illness related to the recalled petfood.
    Pet owners should return unopened frozen tubes of petfood to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. Pet owners should dispose of opened petfood tubes and return the washed plastic batch ID tag to the place of purchase for a full refund.
    Consumers with questions should contact the company at +1.866.922.9222, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

BlogPaws announces petfood, treat 'Best of' Award winners

    BlogPaws, the social media network and conference for pet bloggers, announced the winners of the 2013 BlogPaws "Best of" Awards from 2013 Global Pet Expo, held February 20-22 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
    The BlogPaws Global Pet Expo 2013 Award winners include:
    • Best Bird Product: Senior Bird Nutrition by Labeber Cares
    • Best Functional Product: Gobble Stopper by Loving Pets
    • Best Natural Pet Product: Smoothie Dog Treats by Ubuntu Pet
    • Best Leader in the Pet Industry: Bob Vetere, president & CEO, American Pet Products Association
    • Best BlogPawty Treat: Meowtini Treats by Omega Paw
    • Best Treat Presentation: Puptato Chips by Puppy Cakes
    Best in Show Awards from the BlogPaws Global Pet Expo Team:
    • Chloe’s Best in Show: Freeze Dried DogFish by Whole Life Pets
    • Felissa’s Best in Show: Pet Food Bowl by Simply Fido 

Vitakraft Sunseed launches 'Complete Kit for Guinea Pigs'

      Vitakraft's "Complete Kit for Guinea Pigs" provides food, bedding, a cage and other essentials for new guinea pig owners.
    Vitakraft Sunseed introduced "The Complete Kit for Guinea Pigs" to provide new pet owners with the essentials they will need for their small animal.
    The kit comes with a cage, Vita-Plus guinea pig food, timothy hay, attachable chew toys, a food bowl, a water bottle and Fresh World bedding.
    “This is a great way to encourage new pet ownership and to introduce children and families to a wonderful hobby that can last a lifetime,” said Holly Hoffman, director of marketing for Vitakraft Sunseed. 

PetSmart reports fourth-quarter, fiscal 2012 financial results

    Petfood and suppliers retailer PetSmart reported financial results for the fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2012, and provided an outlook for 2013.
    For the fourth quarter, earnings per share rose 36 percent to US$1.24. Comparable store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, grew 4.6 percent, thanks to comparable transactions growth of 1.2 percent. Total sales for the quarter rose 15 percent to US$1.9 billion, partially impacted by US$3 million in favorable foreign currency fluctuations. Services sales, which are included in total sales, grew 15 percent to US$194 million.
    For fiscal 2012, the company delivered earnings per share of US$3.55, up 39 percent compared to US$2.55 in fiscal 2011. Comparable store sales grew 6.3 percent, benefitting from comparable transactions growth of 2.4 percent. Total sales for the year rose 11 percent to US$6.8 billion, including an unfavorable impact from foreign currency fluctuations of US$2 million, and services sales grew 10 percent to US$740 million.
    According to Chip Molloy, executive vice president and chief financial officer: “Guidance for 2013 will be on a GAAP basis; therefore all comparisons will be 52 weeks for fiscal-year 2013 versus 53 weeks for fiscal-year 2012. For 2013, we anticipate comparable store sales growth of 2 percent to 4 percent and total sales growth of 2 percent to 4 percent. We expect earnings per share between US$3.76 to US$3.92, and spending for capital expenditures projects to be between US$140 million to US$150 million.
    "For the first quarter of 2013, we are expecting comparable store sales growth of 2 percent to 4 percent, and earnings per share between US$0.92 to US$0.98.”
    The fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2012 results include an extra week in 2012 compared to 2011. The fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012 was a 14-week quarter versus the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2011, which was a 13-week quarter. Fiscal-year 2012 was a 53-week year versus fiscal-year 2011, which was a 52-week year. Both the fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2012 ended on February 3, 2013. The fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2011 ended on January 29, 2012.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

RECALL: Jones Natural Chews recalls Woofers beef patties dog treats due to Salmonella

    Jones Natural Chews is recalling 245 boxes of Woofers beef patties because the dog treats have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The dog treat recall was initiated after a routine sampling by the Colorado, USA, Department of Agriculture Feed Program found that the finished products contained bacteria.
    Jones Natural Chews Woofers beef patties were distributed in the USA states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, from November 1-12, 2012. The following Woofers beef patties products are included in the recall:

    • Bulk 50-count box (items may be sold individually); Item UPC 741956008169; Lot 2962GPS with "Best By" date of 10/22/15; and Lot 2892PAL with "Best By" date of 10/15/15
    • One-pack shrink-wrap, 50-count box; UPC 741956008657; Lot 3102 with "Best By" date of 11/05/15
    • One-pack shrink-wrap, 50-count box; UPC 741956008183; Lot 2892BF with "Best By" date of 10/15/15; Lot 2962PWV with "Best By" date of 10/22/15; Lot 2962ASC with "Best By" date of 10/22/15; and Lot 3032ASL with "Best By" date of 10/29/15
    • Two-pack shrink-wrap, 25-count box; UPC 741956008190; Lot 2962ASC with "Best By" date of 10/22/15; and Lot 3032ASL with "Best By" date of 10/29/15

    The company says no illnesses have been reported to date. Consumers who purchased the recalled Woofers dog treat products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at +1.877.481.2663, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST.

Lincoln Bark launches animated dog treat video on YouTube

    Lincoln Bark recently launched the first animated product video on its YouTube channel, featuring the company's three main dog treats: Sweet Little Butterpups, Treat Smarts and Doggie Sprinkles.
    This one-and-a-half-minute video is the first in a series of clips that will soon be released, designed and animated by Lincoln Bark's in-house graphic design and animation departments. Lincoln Bark's president and graphic designer, Bobbye Cochran says the videos serve as a fun, informative way to show consumers why Lincoln Bark's treats are unique. 

Sheba cat food brand launches 'Feed your passion' campaign

    Mars PetCare's Sheba cat food brand launched the "Sheba. Feed your passion." campaign featuring actress and cat lover, Eva Longoria.
    The campaign introduces the cat food brand to the US marketplace, featuring Longoria in TV, print and digital advertising; in-store and consumer promotions; public relations; and social media channels.
    Along with the launch of the "Feed your passion" campaign, the cat food brand is launching a contest, in which cat owners can enter to be one of three winners of up to US$5,000. Cat owners should enter online by sharing a picture of their cat and a caption that shares how they would celebrate their ultimate passion in a big way.
    “I am excited to partner with Sheba for the launch of the ‘feed your passion’ campaign and help celebrate the many passions of cat lovers,” said Eva Longoria. “My fans know that I am passionate about things like acting, charitable giving, cooking and dancing, but taking part in this campaign has helped me showcase my passion for pets – especially cats.”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Market for other petfood in Belgium to grow 2 percent in 2012

    The market for other petfood in Belgium is expected to increase by 2 percent during 2012 to EUR21 million (US$27.3 million), according to provisional estimates in Euromonitor International's Other Pet Food in Belgium report.
    The "small mammals" category of the other pets segment is currently experiencing the highest increase due to Belgian children's love for small animals.
    In addition to these findings, the report offers a guide to the size and shape of the other petfood market in Belgium, with retail sales data from 2007-11 and forecasts to 2016. The report covers bird food, fish food, and small mammal and reptile petfood products. 

Extru-Tech completes first petfood extrusion safety validation study in killing Salmonella

    Extru-Tech recently completed an industry-first scientific validation study proving the kill/lethality step of the extrusion process in its Level 2 Bio-Safety Extrusion lab in Manhattan, Kansas, USA. Extru-Tech’s scientific validation proved the petfood extrusion system as an effective control against Salmonella.
    Extru-Tech analyzed key operational parameters to consider when scientifically validating a typical extruded petfood process:
    • Equipment scale – Production rates
    • Equipment configuration – Barrel screw stack-up, preconditioner paddle configuration
    • Formulation
    • Product specification

    Extru-Tech then reviewed the possible paths for validation of a typical petfood process in order of preference and viability:
    • Pilot plant – Most accepted and least risk
    • In-plant surrogate
    • In-plant pathogenic
    • Laboratory validation
    • Scientific Literature – Least accepted and most risk

    “Extru-tech is using actual equipment that you would find in most petfood plants in a bio-hazard laboratory or a pilot plant,” said Jim Marsden, PhD, regents distinguished professor at Kansas State University. “Raw materials can be inoculated with Salmonella or other pathogens and the effect of the extrusion process can be exactly quantified. This process is a breakthrough for the petfood industry.”
    Based on the design criteria, a BSL-2 pilot plant was outfitted with an E525 production-scale extruder system and the equipment was configured for the production of an industry-generic, low-moisture, dry-expanded petfood. The E325s typically used produce 200 to 600 pounds of petfood per hour, whereas the E525 chosen can produce nearly 8,000 pounds per hour (in terms of typical petfood). The industry-generic petfood formula selected was charged with a 3 serotype cocktail of Salmonella, an inoculant that represents typical contamination events in the manufacturing process.
    All three replications of the challenge study resulted in a log reduction of Salmonella that exceeded the 5-log reduction requirement of a CCP allocation. Extru-Tech also discovered that many readily available and scientific methods of inoculation rendered a result that was not truly representative of a contamination event because of the method by which the raw material was inoculated.
    “Extru-tech is documenting the parameters that are required to deactivate Salmonella in the extrusion process,” said Dr. Marsden. “There are other production steps that follow where Salmonella could recontaminate the product. Extru-tech is looking at those additional steps to identify interventions that could be applied downstream to prevent recontamination.”

Dead dogs used as petfood fat, protein in Spain, reports say

    A criminal gang in Spain reportedly used the bodies of dogs and other animals from animal sanctuaries, vets, zoos and farms to process as protein and fats that could be used in petfood and animal feed, according to laboratory tests of commercial petfood in Spain.
    In 2012, Spanish police discovered a warehouse containing 15 metric tons of dead, stray dogs in the town of As Neves, Galicia, as well as similar warehouses in Northern Spain. Police believed the dead dogs were to be processed for use in animal feed.
    Following the discovery, Guardia Civil's environmental branch, Seprona, sent samples of commercial petfood to Anfaco-Cecopesca laboratories in Spain. The lab's tests of fat samples intended for animal feed at one processing plant in Aldeaseca de la Frontera, Salamanca, found DNA traces of dog and sheep, reports say. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trouw Nutrition donates Kevlar vests to working K-9s

      Deputy Justin Biggs' German Shepherd, Boss, received a Kevlar vest donated by Trouw.
    Each year, Trouw Nutrition, supplier of premix and specialty ingredients, gives back to companion animals for their hard work and dedication. Trouw's most recent donation was of 10 Kevlar vests to help protect working K-9s--dogs in the military, law enforcement and homeland security that are put in danger each day when doing their jobs.
    Trouw purchased the vests from Kevlar for K-9s, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help protect America’s working K-9s. One of these vests would reportedly cost nearly US$840 for a department to purchase for a K-9.“It was a good match,” said Lesley Gerard, marketing project coordinator for Trouw. “We are always looking to ways to give to pets.”
    Scott Saalborn's Dutch Shepherd, Brix, from the Quincy, Illinois, USA, police department also received a Kevlar vest.

    Trouw donated the Kevlar vests to 10 different locations throughout the US during the 2012 holiday season. Recipients included police and sheriff’s departments in California, Georgia, Illinois and Indiana.
    “These vests are a vital tool to help us protect our partner,” said Deputy Justin Biggs of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois, whose partner, Boss, received one of the donated vests.

APPA releases 2013-14 National Pet Owners Survey

      Pet ownership rose to an all-time high of 68 percent of the US population in 2012.
    The American Pet Products Association released the 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, which found pet ownership in the United States is at a record. The survey indicated that pet ownership among all US households is 68 percent, an increase to 82.5 million pet-owning households in 2012.
    Dog ownership rose to 56.7 million households, and cat ownership grew to 45.3 million. These gains in dog- and cat-owning households indicate that the total number of these pets also rose to 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats in the U.S.
    Although the number of households owning a pet has increased in all categories from the last survey, the proportion of pet ownership by species has remained stable. Dogs and cats are still the most popular pets, owned by 46.7 and 37.3 percent of US households, respectively. After declining in 2010, ownership of freshwater fish returned to 12 percent. Bird ownership rose slightly to 5.7 percent in 2012. Horse ownership also rebounded in 2012 to 2.3 percent after a slight drop in 2010. Small animal and reptile ownership levels increased to 5.7 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. Saltwater fish ownership increased to 1.5 percent of the total online US population. These rises in pet ownership mean that more households than ever before own small animals, reptiles or saltwater fish.
    With the rise in pet ownership, petfood was noted as one of the highest annual expenses for pet owners of all species, except freshwater fish, with US$239 spent on food for dogs and US$203 spent on food for cats. The survey found pet owners' use of pet nutritional supplements and medications is increasing, as well. Veterinarian visits, whether emergency, sick, surgical or routine, are also named as top expenses, particularly among dog, cat and bird owners. The survey also noted that dog owners spend more than cat owners on common expenses.
    A rise in the number of multiple pet-owning households to an all-time high of 53.4 million was among contributing factors to the overall growth in pet ownership in 2012. Nearly 40 percent of pet-owning households own multiple types of pets. Similar to past years, the most popular combination of pets owned is a dog and a cat, as noted by 29 percent of pet owners in 2012. Another contributing factor was pet owners' willingness to promote owning a pet to others. In fact, nearly half of pet owners surveyed reported that they heard about their pet's availability by word-of-mouth.
    “As an industry, we have been working very hard to promote the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership, and we are thrilled to see that more people are opening their homes and sharing their families with pets than ever before,” said American Pet Products Association president and CEO, Bob Vetere. 

Alltech launches five-point Mycotoxin Management Program

    Alltech has launched its five-point Mycotoxin Management Program. The Alltech five-point Mycotoxin Management Program is a multiple mycotoxin-control program for feedstuffs designed to reduce risk and improve safety, while ensuring mycotoxins do not pose a threat to the food chain.
    Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Program offers five key components for farms concerned with mycotoxin contamination:
    1. The 37+ program analyzes for multiple mycotoxin contamination in a given feed sample.
    2. The program also provides a risk assessment and calculates the toxic equivalent quantity (toxicity times the quantity of mycotoxins) for that particular feedstuff sample.
    3. Alltech has developed techniques to demonstrate how utilizing the Mycotoxin Management Program can help to reduce the threat posed by multiple mycotoxins.
    4. The Mycotoxin Hazard Analysis Program (MIKO) from Alltech is designed to help improve production systems on farm and at feed mills by performing an audit; determining the critical control points; and establishing critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, checking procedures and protocols for recording information.
    5. Finally, the mycotoxin management team provides a complete contamination report and recommendations for management and nutritional applications that can assist with mycotoxin prevention and control.

    “For three decades, we have believed that animal feed seldom contains a single mycotoxin. Although many mycotoxin interactions have been proven in academic settings, it has been difficult to understand such interactions due to the lack of extensive mycotoxin testing,” said Dr. Swamy Haladi, global technical director for Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “Over the last four years, our scientists have developed the 37+ Program, wherein more than 37 mycotoxins can be quantified in a single run. This program involves the application of UPLC-MS/MS methodologies, which not only help in assessing multiple mycotoxins in a more accurate manner but also allow the analysis of a wide range of feedstuffs, including forages, which may not be possible with conventional methods such as ELISA and HPLC.”

Produce Traceability Initiative to comment on FDA product tracing pilot report

    The Produce Traceability Initiative, designed to help the produce industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, is currently developing a response to the Institute of Food Technologists’ 10 recommendations released by the Food and Drug Administration in the document, entitled, Pilot Projects for Improving Product Tracing along the Food Supply System Final Report.
    The Produce Traceability Initiative and its four administering organizations (Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association) will work to collect industry feedback and commentary on each of the 10 recommendations outlined in the report.
    FDA is now seeking comments on the pilot-project final report as a next step in the process of submitting the findings to Congress and developing proposed traceability rules in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
    The pilot projects were designed to explore and demonstrate methods for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of food, including types of data that are useful for tracing and ways to connect the various points in the supply chain.
    “Many of us in the grower/packer/shipper community are pleased to see that the IFT recommends a uniform set of recordkeeping requirements, encourages current industry-led initiatives, and suggests the development of standardized electronic mechanisms for the reporting of traceability data,” said Sabrina Pokomandy, marketing and public relations manager at JemD Farms, which also co-chairs the Produce Traceability Initiative Communications Working Group. “These recommendations are in alignment with the goals and vision of PTI and help us move forward with industry-wide traceability implementations.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

RECALL: Diamond Pet Foods recalls select dry cat food brands due to low levels of thiamine

    Diamond Pet Foods is recalling select production codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat, Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management, Premium Edge Kitten, Diamond Naturals Kitten and 4health All Life Stages Cat dry cat food formulas. Tests conducted by the company indicated the products might have a low level of thiamine (Vitamin B1).
    Recalled products, including size, product name, production code, best-by date and USA states the products were distributed to, include:

    • 18 lb. bags; Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula; NGF0703; 10-Jul-2013; Massachusetts
    • 6 lb. bags; Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula; NGF0802; 15-Aug-2013, 16-Aug-2013; Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
    • 6 lb., 18 lb. bags; Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula; NGS0101; 03-Jan-2014, 04-Jan-2014; Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma
    • 6 lb., 18 lb. bags; Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula; NGS0702; 10-Jul-2013; Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
    • 6 oz. samples, 6 lb., 18 lb. bags; Premium Edge Kitten Formula; MKT0901; 10-Jul-2013;
    • 6 oz. samples, 6 lb. bags; Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula; MKT0901; 26-Sept-2013, 29-Sept-2013, 30-Sept-2013, 02-Oct-2013; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
    • 5 lb., 18 lb. bags; 4health All Life Stages Cat Formula; NGF0802; 14-Aug-2013, 18-Aug-2013; Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

    The company says no complaints regarding the recalled cat food products have been received to date.
    Consumers with questions should contact Diamond Pet Foods +1.888.965.6131, Sunday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. 

RECALL: Diggin' Your Dog recalls Strippin' Chicks pet treats due to Salmonella

    Diggin' Your Dog announced a voluntary recall of one lot of its Strippin' Chicks pet treats produced on August 30, 2012, because the pet treats have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The lot of the Strippin' Chicks pet treats being recalled comes packaged in a 5-ounce bag, with lot code 250322, and a "Use by" date of February 23, 2014.
    The recall was initiated after a sampling of the pet treats obtained in Colorado, USA.
    Consumers who purchased the recalled pet treats should contact Diggin' Your Dog at +1.775.742.7295, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST, or email A refund may also be obtained by mailing the UPC and lot codes to: P.O. Box 17306 Reno, NV 89511.

Monday, March 11, 2013

RECALL: Steve's Real Food Turducken Canine Diet – 8oz. Patties

    Steve’s Real Food is recalling bags of Turducken Canine Diet – 8oz. Patties dog food products due to potential Salmonella contamination.
    The recalled Turducken Canine Diet – 8oz Patties come in a 5-pound bag, with lot #209-10-27-13 and an expiration date of October 27, 2013.
    The recalled dog food products were distributed from October 2012 through January in retail stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, California, Minnesota and Tennessee, USA.
    The company issued the recall after a routine sampling by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, but says no illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the recalled products. Steve's Real Food has suspended petfood production while the company and the Food and Drug Administration investigate the source of the contamination.
    Consumers who purchased the recalled 5-pound bags of Steve’s Real Food Turducken Canine Recipe are urged to return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact the company at +1.801.540.8481 or, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST.

New tools help vets choose petfood, diet plan for pets

    A new set of tools, called the Healthy Weight Protocol, have been developed to help veterinarians and pet owners select a petfood and determine the correct amount to feed their pet.
    Hill's Pet Nutrition and the University of Tennessee collaborated to develop the tools, which help veterinarians to more accurately diagnose overweight pets and create a feeding and monitoring plan for pet owners to follow.
    The tools use a veterinarian’s measurements of six parts of a cat’s body or four parts of a dog’s body to calculate the pet’s body-fat index and ideal weight. If measurements can’t be taken, a body-fat index risk chart can be used. The program then produces a detailed feeding and weight-loss plan that can work with a combination of dry petfoods, canned petfoods and treats.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Exopack’s Purina One cat food package awarded for Printing Achievement

    Exopack received the 2013 Flexible Packaging Highest Achievement Award from the Flexible Packaging Association for the development of its Kraft YES pack. Additionally, Exopack’s Nestlé Purina One cat food packaging won a Silver Award in the Printing Achievement category.
    Designed for liquids, the Kraft YES Pack is a four-corner sealed pouch with a pourable fitment and two handles. The Purina One cat food package utilizes a single-web, surface printer MET PET layer and electron beam coatings.
    The YES packaging also received a 2013 Flexible Packaging Association Gold Achievement Award in the Packaging Excellence category and a Silver Award for Sustainability and Environmental Achievement.

Switzerland market for other pet food to grow by 1 percent in 2012

    Current value sales of other petfood in Switzerland are expected to grow by 1 percent in 2012, reaching CHF70 million (US$75.2 million), according to Euromonitor International’s new report.
    The report, Other Pet Food in Switzerland, expects the other pet food category will account for 13 percent of overall petfood sales in 2012 as the number of households that own fish, small mammals and reptiles grows. In contrast, the number of bird-owning households is falling, negatively impacting overall sales of other petfood.
    Additionally, the report offers data on the market for other petfood in Switzerland, including retail sales data from 2007-11 and market forecasts to 2016. The complete report can be purchased online

Thursday, March 7, 2013

RECALL: United Pet Group recalls select bird food, bird supplement products

    United Pet Group Inc. is recalling select bird food and bird nutritional supplement products that contain dried parsley flakes supplied by Specialty Commodities Inc., which initiated a recall of the parsley flakes due to potential Salmonella contamination.
    United Pet Group's recall affects a limited quantity of its Ultra Blend Gourmet Food for Parakeets products, ēCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Parakeets,ēCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Canaries and Finches, and ēCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels. The products were distributed throughout the USA and Canada between October 2012 and February.

    Specific lot numbers/production codes being recalled include:
    • Ultra Blend Gourmet, Food for Parakeets (80-oz. bag)
    UPC 26851 00904; Item #A904/056-0904-01; "USE BY" dates: 07/20/15 and 10/20/15
    • ēCotrition Grains & Greens, Nutritional Supplement for Parakeets (8-oz. bag)
    UPC 26851 00505; Item #A505/11-20700; "USE BY" dates: 10/23/15 and 11/14/1
    • ēCotrition Grains & Greens, Nutritional Supplement for Canaries and Finches (8-oz. bag)
    UPC 26851 00546; Item #C546/11-20712; "USE BY" date: 10/16/15
    • ēCotrition Grains & Greens, Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels (6.5-oz. bag)
    UPC 26851 00512; Item #B512/11-20711; "USE BY" date: 12/05/15

    The company says there are no known illnesses to date associated with the products. 

    Customers who have purchased any of the recalled bird food or supplement products should dispose of them or return them for a refund. Consumers who have questions may contact United Pet Group's Consumer Affairs team at +1.800.645.5145, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

British dog owners spend more on treats for dogs than partners, research says

      British people spend £43 million (US$65 million) more on treating their dogs than their partners, according to new research by More Th>n pet insurance.
      Research shows dog owners spend an average of £21.63 (US$32.73) on gifts and treats to celebrate a special occasion for their dog, with one in 10 willing to spend as much as £50 (US$75.7) on their pet.
      However, those surveyed said they would not be willing to spend more than £15.52 (US$23.49) to treat their partners for the same special occasions. Additionally, 38 percent of those surveyed said they prefer to spend time with their dogs than their partners.
      The nearly 8 million dog owners in the UK spend an average of £152.3 million (US$230.5 million) per year on gifts and treats for their dogs, compared to the £109.2 million (US$165.3 million) spent on their significant others.
      “For millions of people, dogs aren’t seen as just animals but as faithful companions at the heart of the home. It’s therefore not surprising to see that people are prepared to splash the cash when it comes to their four-legged friends,” said John Ellenger of More Th>n pet insurance.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New PetSafe pet treats launched at Global Pet Expo

    Radio Systems Corp.’s founder and CEO, Randy Boyd, announced that the pet supplies company recently launched 31 new products at Global Pet Expo under its PetSafe brand. Among new products launched were a variety of new cat and dog treats.
    The company launched five new Busy Buddy treats, including: Ultra Sub, a dog treat that features knobbed nylon “buns” sandwiching rubber spacers and two thick rawhide treats; Ultra Woofer, a rawhide treat ring for dogs; Ultra Stratos, a treat with two rawhide rings and knobbed rubber ends molded over nylon; Teeter Treater, a pet treat with a weighted base and three channels that hold treat strips in place; and Gnawbrush, a dog treat with mint-flavored Busy Sticks to encourage better smelling breath and help clean the surfaces of dogs’ teeth.
    New indigo line treats include Fresh dental treats, Triple Chews to help boost dogs’ immune and digestive systems, and Smokehouse Strips for dogs. New Lickety Stik products were also introduced, such as a new Gel in five flavors and LiquiMints liquid breath-freshening dog treat.

Value of nutrients from raw meat cat diets analyzed in new study

    In a new paper published in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers analyzed the value of nutrients from raw meat diets for cats and exotic felids.
    The researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Omaha, Nebraska, USA’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium analyzed the value of nutrients from bison, cattle, horses and elk meats to test how the different diets affected cats. Researchers collected blood serum and fecal samples from domestic cats and captive African wildcats, jaguars and Malayan tigers, in addition to using cecetomized roosters to analyze amino acid digestibility in the different diets.
    Findings indicated that although raw meat diets met many of the nutrient requirements for cats, none of the diets contained the recommended levels of linoleic acid, and horse meat did not provide recommended levels of arachidonic acid for kittens, as well as gestating and lactating females.
    "With the closing of horse abattoirs in 2007, the availability of quality grade horsemeat in the United States has decreased, increasing the need for research on the digestibility and composition of possible alternatives," according to researchers.
    Kelly Swanson, associate professor of animal science at the University of Illinois and co-author of the study, said the researchers are "a bit wary" of pet owners feeding homemade raw diets because of the risk of exposing cats to increased pathogens and nutrient imbalances. Additionally, a high-protein diet can chance the types of microbes in the cat’s gut. This, researchers say, can lead to more “odiferous” feces, depending on the digestibility of the protein source. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Recent dog food recall highlights 2012 corn crop mold problem

    The problem of mold in 2012's US corn crop was once again highlighted following a dog food recall by grocery chain Hy-Vee, as the industry continues to look for ways to enhance pet food safety, according to a report.
    Hy-Vee recently recalled five of its private-label dog food brands across eight US states due to elevated levels of aflatoxin from contaminated corn used to make the pet food.
    "The toxin becomes more prevalent in a drought year," said Ruth Comer, Hy-Vee spokeswoman. "We had worse drought this past year than we've had in years, so it's not totally surprising that we have a bigger aflatoxin problem this year than in the past."
    In fact, crop insurance data from the US Department of Agriculture show payouts for mycotoxins, aflatoxin being the most common, reached nearly US$75 million for 2012, triple levels of a year ago. Nearly 85 percent of the claims were filed in six USA states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and Missouri.
    Higher concentrations of aflatoxin were expected even before the new bushels were harvested in fall 2012. In September 2012, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska received Food and Drug Administration approval to increase the amount of aflatoxin-contaminated corn that could be blended for animal feed.
    "There is certainly more awareness this year," said Pat Tovey, director of technology and regulatory compliance with the Pet Food Institute. "This is such a big issue in pet food."

Mars' Sheba brand to offer sustainably sourced fish entrées for cats

    Mars Petcare's Sheba brand announced that it will offer responsibly sourced fish entrées for cats in the US as part of Mars Petcare's global commitment to use only sustainably sourced fish by 2020.
    Following the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program sourcing recommendations, Sheba Entrées will use only farmed or wild-caught fish from environmentally responsible sources. The brand currently offers five varieties of responsibly sourced whitefish, tuna and seafood options, but by the end of 2013, all of the recipes will meet Seafood Watch recommendations.
    In March 2010, the global petcare segment of Mars made a commitment to use only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. As global fish stocks continue to decline, the company aims to achieve the following milestones across its entire pet care portfolio by 2020:
    • Only using fish from 100 percent sustainable wild catch and sustainable aquaculture sources
    • Replacing all wild catch whole fish and fish fillet with sustainable fish byproducts and sustainable aquaculture
    • Only using sustainable alternatives to marine fish ingredients

Monday, March 4, 2013

Webinar for petfood, treat manufacturers to be hosted March 28

    Trouw Nutrition USA will sponsor a webinar on understanding and using operational petfood and treat manufacturing data on Thursday, March 28 at 10 a.m. CT.
    The webinar, entitled, Understanding Variation - The Key to Managing Chaos in Petfood Manufacturing, will help attendees understand variance and analytical matters of petfood and pet treat manufacturing. By attending the webinar, you will learn:
    • How to better analyze and interpret their petfood manufacturing and business data
    • No data have meaning apart from their context
    • All data contain "noise" - some data contain "signals"
    • To detect "signals," you must first filter out the "noise"
    This educational webinar will feature Dr. Donald Wheeler, one of few individuals to be elected as a Fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the American Society for Quality. Wheeler holds a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas, as well as a master's degree and Ph.D. in statistics from Southern Methodist University. Wheeler taught as an associate professor in the Statistics department at the University of Tennessee for 12 years. In 1982, he formed Statistical Process Controls Inc. and has worked as a consulting statistician ever since. In 2010, he was awarded the Deming Medal.
    The webinar will be moderated by Jessica Taylor, managing editor of Petfood Industry.
    For more information and to register, please visit

Hill’s launches new Ideal Balance natural petfood brand

    Hill’s Pet Nutrition unveiled its new Hill’s Ideal Balance line of dog and cat food. The new petfood brand, which features natural ingredients, is the first new petfood brand from Hill’s since the launch of Science Diet in 1968.
    The new Hill's Ideal Balance dog and cat food formulas feature:
    • Fresh chicken or natural salmon as the first ingredient
    • Brown rice to support healthy digestion
    • Fruits and vegetables to support a healthy immune system
    • No corn, wheat or soy
    • Grain-free options for dogs and cats
    • Dry foods made in Hill’s USA facilities
    • 100 percent balanced nutrition, guaranteed or your money back

    The new Ideal Balance line includes varieties developed for lifestage, size and grain-free. In addition to the dry foods, Hill’s Ideal Balance line includes 12 wet petfood varieties: six for dogs and six for cats. Protein sources such as venison, trout and salmon are offered. The new Ideal Balance petfood line is available at pet retailers and veterinarians. 

Petfood facility to produce pet treats from fresh fish

    Angell Associates, a supplier of fish products to the petfood industry, has completed a new factory next to its current petfood production facility.
    The new facility will produce pet treats from fresh fish, caught within European Commission quota stocks, the company said. Angell also said it is working on developing wet petfood in pouches and cans for dogs and cats.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Petfood donation program provides free petfood to low-income families

    A new pet food donation program is feeding the pets of low-income families and food stamp recipients in the US who would otherwise not be able to feed their pets, according to a report.
    The pet food donation-based program, Pet Food Stamps, had more than 45,000 pets sign up in two weeks, said founder and executive director, Marc Okon.
    Based in New York, USA, the program is open to anyone in the US. Once a family’s need and income is verified, they receive pet food monthly, for a six-month period, from online pet food retailer Pet Food Direct. Families can only apply for the program through an online application, but Okon said mail-in applications will be accepted once the program is moved to its new office.
    "We're not looking for government funding at this point," said Okon. "Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it."
    Okon said the program's nonprofit status is pending.

New DIY natural dog treat mixes offers wholesale pricing option

    Dog treat maker Pup-O-Licious announced that pet stores and pet retailers can now take advantage of the company’s new discounted wholesale pricing.
    The dog treat maker’s new wholesale discounted pricing option aims to help retailers across the US introduce new customers to the DIY dog treats made from natural ingredients.
    “By offering wholesale pricing on cases of our fun and easy-to-make homemade dog treats, we’re also giving our retail partners another way to add value and satisfy their customers,” said Teresa Koch, Pup-O-Licious’ chief financial officer. “These days, competition for customer loyalty is as fierce as ever, and customers want to connect with stores that offer them something out of the ordinary that their dog and their whole family, will appreciate!”
    Representatives of pet retailers can learn more about the program by contacting Terri Welch at +

Researcher studies foodborne pathogen Salmonella in space

    Researcher Cheryl Nickerson took the foodborne pathogen Salmonella up to the International Space Station to study what might happen.
    According to Arizona State University:
    "During an earlier series of NASA space shuttle and ground-based experiments, Nickerson and her team made a startling discovery. Spaceflight culture increased the disease-causing potential (virulence) of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella, yet many of the genes known to be important for its virulence were not turned on and off as expected when this organism is grown on Earth. Understanding how this switching is regulated may be useful for designing targeted strategies to prevent infection."
    After researchers brought the Salmonella into space and then back down again, it returned three to seven times stronger than Salmonella grown on the ground.
    According to NASA:
    “We think space travel tricks Salmonella into behaving as if it is in the human gut,” Nickerson says. “It’s a mechanical phenomenon having to do with ‘fluid shear.’”
    When Salmonella move around, the pathogens can sense how strong the force of the fluid moving past them is. If the Salmonella are able to find a small nook in the intestine wall, however, the fluid shear goes away, which they can sense. In space, an article says, the Salmonella think they are safe because the fluid shear is so low.
    Fluid shear has important functions to the cell, according to NASA:
    "As it turns out, many of the genes activated by the low fluid shear environment of spaceflight are involved in transporting these ions in and out of the cells, so there could be a connection. Research on this ion effect is still ongoing, Nickerson says, but she speculates that it could eventually lead to new ways to use these ions to ward off Salmonella infections."
    Later in 2013, Nickerson will go into space on the SpaceXDragon ship, bringing Salmonella with her to infect a nematode.
    “Recognizing that the spaceflight environment imparts a unique signal capable of modifying Salmonella virulence, we will use this same principle in an effort to enhance the protective immune response of the recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine strain,” Nickerson says.

Euromonitor offers report on other petfood market in Norway

    The market for other pet food, including bird food, fish food and small animal food, in Norway remained stable in 2011, with provisional estimates that growth will decrease in 2012 and fall through 2017, according to a new Euromonitor International report.
    The report, Other Pet Food in Norway, provides data on the size and shape of the other pet food market in Norway, including retail sales data from 2008-12 and market forecasts to 2017. The report also identifies leading brands and provides a strategic analysis of factors influencing the market, such as new products, distribution and pricing.
    The full report on the market for other petfood in Norway can be purchased online