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Gluttony and Dogs
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Gluttony and Dogs

We are going to start this article by defining the term gluttony, it comes from the Latin gluttire, which means to swallow food excessively or without measure. The biggest problem lies in the harmful consequences that obesity has on the health of our pets, the most frequent being joint, cardiovascular and endocrine diseases. An obese dog is a reflection of a sick dog, which translates into a poor quality of life and a decrease in life expectancy. Generally, weight gain is due to an imbalance between energy intake and use, always associated with sedentary behaviors. It is vitally important to take our dog's diet into account in the early stages of development, an obese puppy will be an obese adult dog. If, on the contrary, we maintain an adequate feeding routine, if we supply a balanced and good quality diet, adjusting the dose to the age and weight of our pet, the chances of our puppy being an obese dog will decrease significantly. Exercise will be an inevitable discipline in the life of our dogs and, like the diet, it must be adjusted to the stage and condition of the animal. Ideally, to control your pet's gluttony, we recommend  incorporate feeding schedules, teach him to remain calm at mealtime and if you see him agitated or anxious, wait until he is calm to feed him. If the problem is  they eat very anxiously and/or quickly, you can use a special type of dish for these cases, which prevents the pet from taking large amounts of food to its mouth at the same time. Ask your trusted veterinarian the tools that make it easier for you to control your pet's gluttony. by Vitalcan Source: All Pet Food  

Active ingredient shows promise in managing canine arthritis
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Active ingredient shows promise in managing canine arthritis

MYOS Corp. produces human and pet products that seek to improve muscle health and overall performance. The company's active ingredient Fortetropin has been clinically proven to help increase muscle size, support lean body mass and reduce muscle atrophy. The ingredient is made from fertilized chicken egg yolks and produced using a patented process. Fortetropin is included in MYOS's Yolked® product brand, Canine Muscle Formula® line and Feline Formula. The new, peer-reviewed study was published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal and included 46 dogs. It examines the impact Fortetropin has on overall mobility and quality of life in geriatric dogs with arthritis, as well as the role muscle atrophy plays in the progression of osteoarthritis in dogs. According to MYOS, 95% of dogs, five years old and older, experience osteoarthritis, which can cause pain and lead to decreased mobility. In studies on humans and dogs, Fortetropin has shown to help accelerate muscle tissue gain. 'From a nutritional standpoint, veterinarians address canine osteoarthritis primarily by prescribing the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to repair and regenerate cartilage that has been damaged,' said Joseph Mannello, chief executive officer of MYOS. 'We believe that strengthening the quadricep muscles in dogs with osteoarthritis can be a powerful approach to managing canine osteoarthritis. For this reason, Fortetropin supplementation can play a complementary role with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate supplementation in terms of managing canine osteoarthritis. 'Typically, dogs with osteoarthritis are also managed in part with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),' he added. 'Long-term NSAID use is associated with damage to the kidneys and liver. Fortetropin supplementation may enable veterinarians to reduce the dose of NSAIDs needed to manage osteoarthritic dogs.' In the KSU study, half (23) of the dogs received Fortetropin and the other half received a placebo. Dog owners completed a Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD) questionnaire that measures general mobility and exercise capabilities in dogs. The study concluded that the dogs fed Fortetropin experienced a 'significant' decrease in LOAD scores, from p=0.0261 at week six to p=0.0040 at week 12. According to the study, the drop in scores indicates the reduced severity of canine osteoarthritis. The placebo group experienced no significant decrease in scores during the same period. 'Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that is very common in geriatric dogs,' said Kenneth R. Harkin, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), professor and section head, KSU. 'Typically, dogs with osteoarthritis are managed with NSAIDs, but these do not address the muscle loss of geriatric dogs that compounds the loss of mobility with osteoarthritis. These encouraging results with Fortetropin suggest that geriatric dogs with limited mobility may have another option.' Following this latest study, Fortetropin is now back by seven peer-reviewed publications. This study is the fifth of MYOS's randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, three of which have been completed on humans and two on pets. 'Osteoarthritis in dogs is one of the most common orthopedic conditions seen in veterinary practice,' said Michael H. Jaffe, DVM, MS, CCRP, DACVS, associate professor at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 'Multimodal management, with few surgical options, is the mainstay of its treatment. To combat the ongoing problem of generalized muscle atrophy due to aging and reduced pet mobility, the KSU researchers focused on an aspect of treatment that has largely been minimally addressed. To minimize sarcopenia, and thus improve patient mobility, treatment by reduction of serum myostatin levels with Fortetropin showed promise compared to a nutritionally similar control. 'Based on studies such as this, it is my opinion that use of products that inhibit myostatin levels to reduce sarcopenia, such as Fortetropin, should be considered a valuable component of multimodal management for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis,' he added. Source: Pet Food Processing 

Most U.S. dog owners don't follow FDA pet food handling guidelines, study finds
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Most U.S. dog owners don't follow FDA pet food handling guidelines, study finds

A new analysis suggests that most U.S. dog owners are unaware of -- and do not follow -- guidelines on safe pet food and dish handling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but that better education and implementation of the guidelines could reduce contamination. Dr. Emily Luisana of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April 6, 2022. Pet food and dish handling involves potential health risks for both dogs and people, especially those with compromised immune systems. Multiple outbreaks of bacterial illness among dogs and humans have occurred as a result of contaminated dog food. The FDA has issued guidelines on protocols for safe pet food and dish handling, available online, but the information is limited, and the effects of the recommendations have been unclear. To help clarify, Dr. Luisana and colleagues surveyed 417 dog owners. They found that less than 5 percent were aware of the guidelines, and many owners did not follow many of the recommendations. For instance, only one third reported washing their hands after feeding, and only two thirds reported preparing dog food on separate surfaces from those used for human food. The latter fact is of potential public health importance, but is not addressed in the FDA recommendations. To better understand the effects of the FDA recommendations, the researchers tested 68 household dog food dishes for bacterial contamination. After initial testing, they divided the owners into three groups with different instructions for implementing food handling guidelines, then tested the dishes again after 1 week. They found significantly reduced contamination of dishes from owners who instituted the FDA's pet food handling guidelines, either alone or in combination with the FDA's human food handling protocol, versus dishes from owners who were not asked to implement either protocol. The researchers note that their study was small and that future research could clarify optimal hygiene strategies and ways to communicate them. Nonetheless, on the basis of their findings, the researchers outline suggestions to reduce contamination in pet food dishes for owners, veterinarians, pet food sellers and manufacturers. These include ensuring household members who feed pets adhere to FDA guidelines and including written information on guidelines with pet food sales. The authors add: "Most pet owners are unaware that pet food bowls can be a hidden source of bacteria in the household. Knowing how to mitigate this risk and practice proper pet food storage and hygiene may make for a happier, healthier household." by Journal PLOS ONE.  

How to Choose the Right Treats for Your Dog
Dogs
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4+ MIN

How to Choose the Right Treats for Your Dog

However, it's easy to be overwhelmed with all the packaged treats on the market -- cranberry apple muffins, tuna escapade, salmon delight...With so many options, how do you choose the right treats for your dog? After all, there are training treats, dental hygiene treats, long-lasting treats, and on and on. It turns out, it DOES matter what types of treats you choose for your pet. You also should pay attention to how many treats you dole out in a day. After all, treats are meant to be 'extras,' not meals unto themselves. Pet Treat Calorie Considerations One of the biggest considerations when it comes to treats is caloric content. A very general veterinary recommendation is that treats should not be more than 10% of your dog's diet. This means, if you're feeding high-calorie treats, it may only take one or two before your pup has reached a healthy limit. Of course, that doesn't mean your dog will want you to stop giving him treats! Treats for Dog Obedience Training And sometimes, repeated treat-feeding is actually necessary. Take, for example, training treats. Whether you have a new puppy or a new-to-you dog that you're training, these small treats can be super helpful for your dog's cooperation. They're small because they're meant to be fed rapid-fire so you maintain your dog's attention. They're usually soft, which makes them easier to gobble down, and this can also make them easier to break into smaller pieces. Even training treats can still be too large - especially for small dogs. It can also be useful to add in low-calorie treats, like baby carrots and frozen green beans, to help keep your pup's treat calories lower. Many trainers will tell you to use high-value treats during training sessions to get - and keep - your dog's attention. Bits of cheese and cooked chicken fall into the category of 'high-value.' Ideally, your dog will be receptive exclusively to low-calorie treats, but if this is not the case, you'll need to monitor treat intake very closely. No matter which types of treats you offer, for your pet's health, it's important not to go overboard. Keep Track If you're doing a lot of training with treats, then you'll likely want to cut back on your dog's dinner portion. After all, you don't want Max to put on too much weight, as that leads to health problems. How much to cut back will vary depending on your dog's age, size, activity level, and of course what type of treats you're giving.  Dental Treats Of course, treats aren't just for training. There are lots of other types of treats meant to reward your pet, too. This includes dental treats. There are a variety of dental chews you'll find designed to clean tartar. Many veterinarians recommend them as a supplement to regular tooth-brushing to help clean your dog's teeth between dental cleanings. It turns out that dogs who are active chewers often have cleaner teeth, and since dental chews are designed for, well, chewing, these treats can help.  What About Antlers or Hooves? Dogs might love antlers or hooves, but they get mixed reviews from veterinarians, with many doctors saying they're downright dangerous for dogs. It turns out the hardness of the material can lead to broken teeth, and sharp points can lead to mouth injuries. These issues can lead to expensive dental work or painful emergencies. We recommend that you discuss these types of treats, plus any alternatives, with your veterinarian. Special Occasion Treats Have you ever stood at the "barkery" counter mulling over the array of beautiful pupcakes? They do make gorgeous items. However, it's a good idea to limit these to very special occasions, like birthdays or other special holidays. As you can see, there are lots of different types of treats for your dog. The best ones for your pet will be dependent on factors such as age, feeding frequency, and activity levels. If it's just a tasty tidbit to show your love and affection, then most any of the treats on the market will probably be fine. Just don't load your dog up with them. Be open to low-calorie veggie treats, too, to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Most importantly, be sure to talk with your dog's veterinary team for specific nutritional recommendations. We can help you make treat time less tricky for your dog's health! by GeniusVets    
 

Salmonella in pet (& human) food
Dogs
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5+ MIN

Salmonella in pet (& human) food

By María Candelaria Carbajo

It is unnecessary to go very far back to understand that salmonella causes problems today. In the United States, for instance, in March 2021, the FDA confirmed that five of the major brands of dog and cat food companies had to withdraw more than 140 products from the market for possible salmonella contamination. In the field of human food, it is also unnecessary to go beyond 2022 to find similar news: the manufacturer of the Kinder brand had to withdraw, last March, hundreds of batches of the famous chocolate egg due to the notification of more and more cases associated with salmonella. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are about 1.35 million cases of salmonellosis each year, with 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths. In this country, salmonellosis is the second leading cause of foodborne illness.   But what exactly causes Salmonella bacteria? Salmonella bacteria cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness.   Salmonellosis in dogs and cats Salmonellosis is rare in dogs and cats; very often, they do not develop the disease but become its carriers. It means that, even if a pet does not show symptoms of illness, it can shed Salmonella bacteria in its feces and saliva and spread it throughout to people and other pets, such as cats with shared litter boxes or climbing on kitchen counters. In the case of dogs, the most common way of spread is through kissing and petting. The truth is that the most prone are puppies and adult pets with pre-existing diseases and their most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea (with or without blood), fever, loss of appetite, and decreased activity level. If we are saying then that those pets do not run a major risk of contracting salmonellosis throughout their lives, why is it so important to take care of the disease spread among their food? Ideally, every pet has an owner who cares for it, loves, feeds, and protects it. In the case where this happens, the connection is direct. How many of us caress and kiss our pets even knowing that they self-hygienize their entire body? The correlation is consistent: the pet eats food with the bacteria, the owner kisses the pet, and the owner gets salmonellosis. Thus, the bond between pets and humans is more than visible, not only in terms of affection but also in the importance of caring for the health of both individually and interdisciplinary collective health (family and social). In this sense, pet food is one of the ways in which people can get the bacteria (in addition to meat and poultry products, raw fruits, and vegetables). If, for example, contaminated pet food or utensil is handled and then the person touches their mouth, they may be accidentally ingesting the bacteria.   What foods are most likely to contain the bacteria? While all pet foods can contain bacteria, some formats are more likely than others, such as raw ingredient foods. Freezing and drying, for example, are two processes that reduce the chances of bacteria growth; even so, they do not kill the bacteria. It can survive several weeks in dry environments and even months in humid ones. Pet food typically goes through processes where cooking goes through temperatures that kill organisms like Salmonella bacteria. However, if a contaminated additive (such as flavoring) is added to the food after cooking, or even if the food comes into contact with contaminated materials, it will contain the bacteria.   For the FDA, tolerance is zero Long before the Food and Safety Modernization Act went into effect in the US, the FDA's tolerance level for Salmonella bacteria was ZERO in pet food. The decision was taken due to a series of cases caused in 2000 sickening people who came into contact with contaminated dry dog food which not only made them sick but also caused the death of some infected. There is no question that they should have been prevented with sound safety and sanitation practices. However, for many in the industry, the zero-tolerance level seems impossible. Why? There are more than 2,000 serotypes of Salmonella, so the pathogen is found almost everywhere in the environment. The challenge is that the levels that can be detected in pet food production plants are often microscopic. The question here is: when there is a positive for the bacteria, how many are there? In the latest tests, carried out several years ago, the positives indicated only cell fractions: 0.1 colony-forming units per food gram. Those who claim that "zero tolerance" is too demanding, do so by ensuring that such small amounts of bacteria are highly unlikely to cause adverse reactions in pets. For example, in the case of dry extruded food, the most consumed type, we are talking about a humidity of around 10% with a very low water activity, which does not favor the growth of pathogens. But here we go back to the previous question: it does not endanger most pets, but what about the humans who come into contact with that food? What happens if a child ingests, due to parental carelessness, an extruded feed with 0.1 colony-forming units of Salmonella bacteria per food gram?   The importance of pet health, the importance of people's health: two inseparable paths The effect of increasing awareness about the care and prevention of people's health and well-being has also been transferred to pets. Today, the greater access to information results in more demanding pet owners when it comes to choosing what they provide for their pets. Now, bearing in mind that, in the case of salmonella, those who can be most affected by the bacteria are humans (and to a much lesser extent, pets), what is the responsibility of the pet food industry when are even microscopic levels of the pathogen allowed in human food? If there is no doubt about something, that's that the relationship between food for pets and humans is becoming closer; therefore, taking care of the safety of our food should not only seek to protect pets but also all the people who have contact with them.   Source: All Pet Food

Good Digestion for Your Pet
Dogs
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4+ MIN

Good Digestion for Your Pet

These days you can hardly pick up a health magazine without reading about the positive benefits of good digestion. After teaching the value of gut health for 20 years, I'm so grateful many types of health practitioners are now understanding how critical a healthy gut is to a healthy body. However, most pet parents don't think about how essential good digestion is for their beloved dog or cat. My goal here is to explain how valuable and easy it can be to support your pet's best digestion so he can live his most vibrant life. Health Starts in the Gut Humans and their pets share very similar physiology, with the similarities outweighing the differences. Poor digestion sets the stage, in both humans and their pets, for obesity, joint issues, liver stress, anxiety, and many other chronic disorders. It's quite probable you've heard of the 'microbiome.' This term is used to describe the entire community of bacteria and other microbes residing in your gut. This intestinal community has billions of different critters dwelling together, some beneficial and others problematic. Your Pet's Microbiome Your dog or cat has a microbiome too. In the simplest terms, when digestion is impaired, most often the first result is an imbalanced microbiome, meaning the ratio of beneficial microbes to the problematic ones shifts. Over time, the gut environment becomes toxic due to the chemical result of the bad bacteria acting on undigested food. This in turn causes inflammation of the lining of the gut, allowing toxins into the rest of the body and decreasing efficient absorption of necessary nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Toxicity, along with nutritional deficiencies, sets the stage for chronic illness of all descriptions. We don't want to let that happen. Enzyme Deficency and Your Pet Another important aspect of digestion has to do with enzymes, which are essential for all chemical processes in the body, including digestion. Without the proper enzymes, foods can't be broken down into life-giving amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. In a functional gut, nutrients are then absorbed and used to maintain all aspects of health. Enzymes are largely created by the pancreas, stomach, and small intestine. However, your pets were designed to get some supplemental enzymes from the foods they eat. When wolves and coyotes hunt and kill animals in the wild, they eat some of the entrails, 'the guts,' which helps them meet their digestive enzyme needs. Of course, we typically don't feed our dogs and cats the innards they'd be getting in the wild. The sad result is that most pets in the US can easily be enzyme deficient. Processed Foods are Bad for Pets too By far, the most detrimental impact to your pet's digestion are the processed foods that most dogs and cats eat daily. Even many of the most expensive varieties are completely void of appropriate quantities of essential nutritional components like probiotics and enzymes. In my book, Natural Pet Care for Dogs, I delve into all of this information deeply. However, I hope from this brief introduction you can begin to understand why supporting your pet's gut is critical to his long-term health. I'd like to share two simple and effective ways to easily provide digestive support to your animals beginning today. Digestive Supplements for Pets Probiotic Support Tips Look for a probiotic supplement that provides a minimum of 20 billion live cultures per serving so your dog or cat receives a sufficient dose of friendly bacteria. Blend should include a minimum of 10 unique strains (different kinds) of bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Don't be fooled by products containing just one or two strains. Supplement should contain clinically studied animal strains like B. animalis. d. Prebiotics are required within the product. Beneficial bacteria feed on prebiotics, which helps ensure they multiply and survive until consumed. Enzyme Support Tips Best formulas are powdered and easy to sprinkle on your dog or cat's food. Look for an enzyme blend formulated to support the dietary needs of canines or felines. Formula should contain protease, amylase, and lipase to assist with protein, carbohydrate, and fat breakdown. Some formulas contain ingredients like organic pumpkin, fennel, and ginger. Pet-Friendly Superfoods flax alfalfa carrot pumpkin turmeric blueberry spinach You may even find a product that offers probiotic support and enzyme support along with superfoods, all in one. Bottom line, the easiest way to maintain your pet's healthy digestion and overall vitality is to make a commitment to bringing your dog or cat's dead food back to life. BY BRENDA WATSON, C.N.C.

Most U.S. dog owners don't follow FDA pet food handling guidelines, study finds
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Most U.S. dog owners don't follow FDA pet food handling guidelines, study finds

A new analysis suggests that most U.S. dog owners are unaware of -- and do not follow -- guidelines on safe pet food and dish handling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but that better education and implementation of the guidelines could reduce contamination. A new analysis suggests that most U.S. dog owners are unaware of -- and do not follow -- guidelines on safe pet food and dish handling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but that better education and implementation of the guidelines could reduce contamination. Dr. Emily Luisana of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April, 2022. Pet food and dish handling involves potential health risks for both dogs and people, especially those with compromised immune systems. Multiple outbreaks of bacterial illness among dogs and humans have occurred as a result of contaminated dog food. The FDA has issued guidelines on protocols for safe pet food and dish handling, available online, but the information is limited, and the effects of the recommendations have been unclear. To help clarify, Dr. Luisana and colleagues surveyed 417 dog owners. They found that less than 5 percent were aware of the guidelines, and many owners did not follow many of the recommendations. For instance, only one third reported washing their hands after feeding, and only two thirds reported preparing dog food on separate surfaces from those used for human food. The latter fact is of potential public health importance, but is not addressed in the FDA recommendations. To better understand the effects of the FDA recommendations, the researchers tested 68 household dog food dishes for bacterial contamination. After initial testing, they divided the owners into three groups with different instructions for implementing food handling guidelines, then tested the dishes again after 1 week. They found significantly reduced contamination of dishes from owners who instituted the FDA's pet food handling guidelines, either alone or in combination with the FDA's human food handling protocol, versus dishes from owners who were not asked to implement either protocol. The researchers note that their study was small and that future research could clarify optimal hygiene strategies and ways to communicate them. Nonetheless, on the basis of their findings, the researchers outline suggestions to reduce contamination in pet food dishes for owners, veterinarians, pet food sellers and manufacturers. These include ensuring household members who feed pets adhere to FDA guidelines and including written information on guidelines with pet food sales. The authors add: "Most pet owners are unaware that pet food bowls can be a hidden source of bacteria in the household. Knowing how to mitigate this risk and practice proper pet food storage and hygiene may make for a happier, healthier household." Source: PLOS ONE

New links found between dogs' smell and vision
Dogs
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2+ MIN

New links found between dogs' smell and vision

Cornell University researchers have provided the first documentation that dogs' sense of smell is integrated with their vision and other unique parts of the brain, shedding new light on how dogs experience and navigate the world. "We've never seen this connection between the nose and the occipital lobe, functionally the visual cortex in dogs, in any species," said Pip Johnson, assistant professor of clinical sciences and senior author of "Extensive Connections of the Canine Olfactory Pathway Revealed by Tractography and Dissection." "When we walk into a room, we primarily use our vision to work out where the door is, who's in the room, where the table is," she said. "Whereas in dogs, this study shows that olfaction is really integrated with vision in terms of how they learn about their environment and orient themselves in it." Johnson and her team found connections where the brain processes memory and emotion, which are similar to those in humans, as well as never-documented connections to the spinal cord and the occipital lobe that are not found in humans. The research corroborates her clinical experiences with blind dogs, who function remarkably well. "They can still play fetch and navigate their surroundings much better than humans with the same condition," Johnson said. "Knowing there's that information freeway going between those two areas could be hugely comforting to owners of dogs with incurable eye diseases." Identifying new connections in the brain also opens up new lines of questioning. "To see this variation in the brain allows us to see what's possible in the mammalian brain and to wonder -- maybe we have a vestigial connection between those two areas from when we were more ape-like and scent-oriented, or maybe other species have significant variations that we haven't explored," Johnson said. Source: Cornell University
 

New dog food? Study shows Fido's gut bacteria could turn over within a week
Dogs
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4+ MIN

New dog food? Study shows Fido's gut bacteria could turn over within a week

The dynamic dance between nutrients, microbes, and their chemical products is well documented in dogs and other mammals, but until now, scientists were only guessing at the timeframe for microbial turnover. A new study from University of Illinois animal scientists documents the change takes place in less than a week. "As long as I've been doing animal nutrition research, we've argued over how long we need to feed a new diet before collecting samples, when everything's stabilized," says Kelly Swanson, Kraft Heinz Company Endowed Professor in Human Nutrition in the Department of Animal Sciences and the Division of Nutritional Sciences at U of I and co-author of the new study. "No one has ever tested it definitively." It turns out microbes stabilize very quickly. They begin making entirely new chemical products within two days after dogs start a new diet. And it only takes six days for microbial communities to shift and stabilize. "Metabolites change really quickly, within a couple days. Bacteria responsively metabolize and deal with the substrates they're given in the new diet. Then it takes a few more days to sort out the microbial pecking order, if you will," Swanson says. "Our data show everything stabilizes by day six, so animal nutrition researchers could confidently sample and find a stable microbiome within 10 days." Swanson's team fed dogs a common dry kibble diet for two weeks before abruptly switching to new diets for an additional 14 days. Half the dogs ate a high-fat, high-protein canned diet and the other half ate a high-fiber kibble. Meanwhile, researchers collected poop two days after the diet change and every four days after that. Because science demands replication, the researchers did it all twice, switching dogs to the opposite experimental diet the second time around. The team extracted microbial metabolites from each fecal sample, those chemical products of microbial metabolism that can impact a dog's overall health. They also identified bacterial species in the fecal samples to show how the microbial community changed over time. Finally, they correlated metabolites with bacterial species, something that hasn't been done before for most bacteria. "Oftentimes, we feed a diet and collect the feces, but there's kind of a black box in terms of what's going on in the gut. We know what some bacterial species metabolize, but definitely a lot of it is unknown," Swanson says. "Our correlations are the starting point to connect some of the dots, but more targeted research still has to be done." The primary goal was to track microbial changes over time, but the research also corroborated previous findings indicating greater health benefits of a high-fiber diet over a high-fat, high-protein diet for dogs. Those findings weren't a surprise, but the fact that the two diet extremes reached an equilibrium on the same timeframe was unexpected. For both diets, the team detected metabolite changes on day two and bacterial community changes by day six. Swanson says broad strokes of the study may be applicable to other mammalian microbiome systems, especially those like pets and livestock that eat the same controlled diet every day. For example, the speed at which the gut microbiome responds and stabilizes after a nutritional change may be universal. And although particular bacterial species and strains may differ among dogs, people, and other mammals, metabolite/species correlations may be similar across hosts. Is there a takeaway for dog owners? Swanson says although his study tested a very abrupt diet change, his results support the common guidance to shift to a new dog food brand gradually. "People usually suggest moving pets over to a new diet over a seven-day period. Our study suggests the microbes can completely change over in that timeframe," he says. "When you switch diets, the body has to adjust, but the microbes have to change as well. If they're not in a happy situation, you end up with loose stools or flatulence. So it's probably good to do it a bit more gradually at home than we did in the lab." This study was done in partnership with NomNomNow, Inc. a direct-to-consumer producer of fresh pet food and health products. Nom Nom has an extensive pet health and microbiome database, which allows them to engage in a variety of microbiome-focused studies in the pet population. "We're really excited about the outcomes of this trial," says Ryan Honaker, Nom Nom's Director of Microbiology. "Understanding the microbiome is central to our efforts in improving pet health, and this study brings us another step closer uncovering how the canine gut actually responds to a new diet." Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Understanding veterinary pet food claims
Dogs
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8+ MIN

Understanding veterinary pet food claims

'The pet food landscape is indeed a very cluttered and confusing category,' said Danielle Bernal, BVSc, global veterinarian with Wellness Pet Company. 'For many pet parents, trying to determine what is the best food for their dog may come down to their own research, discussions with friends and family or even key influencers such as retail staff, veterinarians and clinic staff.' According to a pet owner survey conducted by market research firm Packaged Facts in January 2022, most pet owners — regardless of generation — claim their veterinarian as their most important source of pet care information. The internet and social media are ranked relatively low in importance but are becoming more common sources of pet care information at the expense of veterinary advice, Packaged Facts noted. Today's proliferated pet food shelves are teeming with functional marketing claims to compel pet owner purchases. One set of claims standing out in this category is 'veterinarian formulated,' 'veterinarian approved,' or 'veterinarian recommended.' According to Renee Streeter, DVM, DACVIM, founder of R.M. Streeter Animal Nutrition Consulting and practice principal at BSM Partners, the seemingly subtle nuances between these claims are worth noting. What's in a claim? A 'veterinarian formulated' claim is perhaps the most straightforward. It indicates that a veterinarian played a role in formulating the diet, 'meaning they took into account the nutrients provided by each ingredient in their various amounts within the diet to ensure nutrient requirements and nutritional goals were met,' Streeter said. Slightly less forthcoming, a 'veterinarian recommended' claim means a significant number of veterinarians have recommended the product. This claim must be backed by a survey of veterinarians, guidelines for which have been stated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). 'What is key to note here is that in some states, claims around veterinarian-backed or veterinarian-recommended will require robust proof of the claim to support that it meets regulations,' Bernal said. 'This can include what veterinarians are supporting this claim, whether or not it is a national distribution from the United States, whether a sufficient number of veterinarians were surveyed, and whether a certain percentage of those asked supported the claim.' According to AAFCO, the onus is on the brand to conduct a statistically sound survey of veterinarians to back up a veterinarian recommended claim. Surveying one or two veterinarians is not enough, the organization advised, and some companies have included up to 300 veterinary professionals in a survey to support this claim. State officials may ask for supporting data to substantiate this claim, so brands would be wise to do their research before taking it to market. 'It should be pointed out that while this requires a survey of a statistically sound number of veterinarians who recommend your product, it only takes one veterinarian to support the claim 'veterinarian formulated' or 'veterinarian developed,' assuming that fact can be sufficiently documented,' said Laura Robinson, DVM, consulting veterinarian at Canidae Pet Food. Bernal added that getting approval for a veterinarian-recommended claim can depend on local or state-by-state regulatory guidelines. 'A company thinking of pursuing this claim needs to ensure that they have sufficient legal and regulatory support prior to use,' she said. In the grey area is the 'veterinarian-reviewed' claim, which Streeter described as meaning the formula was not developed by a veterinarian, but veterinary professionals reviewed the formulation and submitted recommendations to the brand. 'This does not always mean the recommendations were followed, but it does mean they were given and that all AAFCO nutrient requirements have been met,' she said. The claim 'veterinarian approved' should not be used, Streeter advised, as it is deemed inappropriate by  AAFCO. If certain criteria are met, brands may use 'veterinarian recommended,' 'veterinarian formulated' or 'veterinarian developed,' but 'veterinarian approved' is off the table — full stop. The most important consideration with these claims is that they convey a clear meaning to the consumer and aren't intended to be misleading. Streeter noted Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists are in a unique position to add creditable value to a product's efficacy. 'I think it is important to distinguish between 'veterinarian formulated' and 'formulated by a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist' claims,' Streeter shared. 'Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists have extra training and research background, which enables them to formulate diets and to especially consider health concerns while doing it.' Robinson reiterated this sentiment and elaborated on the difference between a veterinarian and a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist when it comes to formulating pet food. 'Although they may claim veterinary approval, these labels don't ensure that this approval was made by a veterinary nutritionist specifically,' Robinson explained. 'Compared to a veterinarian, a vet nutritionist is required to take extra training in nutrition and complete a residency in nutrition. While all veterinarians receive training in nutrition, a vet nutritionist is a board-certified specialist that is uniquely trained in the nutritional management of both healthy animals and those with one or more diseases. 'Additionally, just because a product may have general approvals, it doesn't mean that the product is the best choice for your particular pet, especially if the animal has any underlying health issues,' she added. Better together Bernal emphasized the importance of several other factors in determining a product's efficacy alongside a veterinarian-formulated, -recommended or -reviewed claim. These factors include: Whether the product is formulated to meet AAFCO requirements for the appropriate life stage. Whether an animal nutritionist played a role in product formulation. Whether a product has undergone long-term feeding trials based on AAFCO guidelines. A company's food safety and quality assurance programs. A company's R&D efforts to understand and apply nutritional innovation to its products.
'While claims of veterinarian-formulated or veterinarian-backed pet food try to establish a superiority of nutrition and approval versus other diets, it is important to note that many other factors are more important to determine the quality of a brand of nutrition,' Bernal noted. 'Therefore, we should be encouraging pet parents to look deeper at a recipe to truly understand how well it will be supporting the health needs and the benefits they are seeking for their pet.' In other words, a veterinarian-formulated or veterinarian-recommended claim may offer shelf appeal and help brands build trust with consumers, but it may not convey other key insights into the product's formulation, proven benefits or compliance. 'A better solution would be to help pet parents understand the details of pet food so that they can determine the health claims, ingredient declarations, guaranteed analysis and AAFCO statements on packaging,' Bernal shared. 'These elements, whilst not instantly intuitive, can tell a pet parent so much more about the quality and nutritional value of a product that they are considering feeding their pet.' Aside from educating the consumer on key label information, vet-backed marketing claims work best when paired with other assurances, certifications or standards statements on the package. 'It is important for the consumer to understand how the products were made,' Streeter said. 'However, there are many very qualified (and sometimes more qualified) formulators who are not veterinary nutritionists or veterinarians. Unless the veterinarian is extensively trained in formulation (which can be indicated by their credentials as Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists), then it is best that food scientists and animal nutritionists work together with a veterinarian so that all the various aspects of creating a healthy pet food are taken into consideration. 'Veterinarians understand and see various health issues and the way they are affected by diet,' she continued. 'However, unless the veterinarian has been trained to formulate diets, they might not actually be best suited for this task. Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists have been trained to formulate diets and to take into account the various nutritional goals associated with health issues.' On the shelf With this understanding of different veterinary claims for pet food products, some brands are using them to create trust with consumers and set themselves apart on crowded shelves. 'Seeing these words on a food bag can give a pet owner reassurance in their purchase,' Robinson said. 'It means that professionals, with substantial knowledge of pet nutrition, have confirmed that this food is a good choice for most pets. The benefit is that these claims provide consumers with a level of confidence that they are choosing a better option for their pet.' As a consulting veterinarian at Canidae Pet Food, Robinson shared all the company's products are developed in partnership with a veterinary nutritionist and reviewed by veterinary professionals to meet and exceed AAFCO standards. Wellness Pet Company tasks its team of qualified animal nutritionists, R&D teams and veterinary consultants to evaluate its products against AAFCO standards, ensure AAFCO Feeding Trials are conducted to prove efficacy, safety and effectiveness, and support scientific studies to fuel future innovations. 'By having high quality standards implemented in our company-owned facilities, we assure consumers that our food is being formulated, tested and proven the right way to deliver only the highest quality nutrition for dogs and cats,' Bernal said. Two other global companies have built their reputation on vet-formulated pet food: Hill's Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin. Both brands offer prescription diets sold exclusively through veterinarians, as well as commercial products backed by extensive teams of in-house veterinary professionals. Hill's Pet Nutrition, owned by Colgate-Palmolive, has more than 220 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians and Ph.D. nutritionists on its staff, according to the company's website. The company conducts pet nutrition research through Mars' WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and its Small Paws innovation center in Topeka, Kan., which it uses to develop products based on science-backed ingredients, predictive biology and pet microbiome research. Hill's Prescription Diet is the company's line of vet-recommended therapeutic diets addressing urinary, kidney, skin, digestive and weight management care. These diets are both veterinarian-formulated and veterinary exclusive; pet owners must obtain a recommendation from their veterinarian to purchase Prescription Diet products. Royal Canin, owned by Mars Petcare, was actually founded by a veterinarian in 1968. The company currently employs more than 500 veterinarians on its staff and focuses on 'tailored nutrition,' or developing products that address specific health needs based on life stage, breed, medical condition, lifestyle, food sensitivity and other factors. Royal Canin has an extensive portfolio of therapeutic diets for dogs and cats available exclusively through a vet's recommendation, ranging from weight management and health support diets to those addressing specific conditions such as renal disease in cats and cardiac health in dogs. Whether a pet food brand is partnering with a veterinary consultant or Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, has one on staff, or employs a whole team of veterinary professionals to inform the development of its products, these types of marketing claims should not be used as a silver bullet. It's important for companies to understand their consumers and, in turn, help them understand what is nutritionally best for their pets. As transparency, efficacy and functionality climb the ranks of importance in the pet food space, marketing claims such as veterinarian-formulated, veterinarian-recommended and veterinarian-reviewed should only be used as long as the claim reflects the efficacy of the product.  Source: ©JACKF - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Small dog breeds at highest risk for dental disease, largest study confirms
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Small dog breeds at highest risk for dental disease, largest study confirms

The largest study of its kind analysed over 3 million dog medical records from  BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital across 60 popular dog breeds across the United States.   When reviewing the data by dog size, researchers found that extra-small breeds (<6.5 kg/14.3 lbs) were up to five times more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than giant breeds (>25 kg/55 lbs). Other risk factors for periodontal disease included a dog's age, being overweight and time since last scale and polish. 'Regardless of the reasons that smaller dogs have increased risk for periodontal disease, knowing the true magnitude of the risk across breeds is an important step in providing quality care for all dogs, both in the veterinarian's office and at home,' stated Dr Corrin Wallis, Microbiome Workstream Leader, Waltham Petcare Science Institute, and co-author of the study. An underdiagnosed health issue  When left untreated, periodontal disease (gum disease) in dogs can lead to pain, tooth loss, and other serious health complications. Despite it being one of the more commonly diagnosed issues by veterinarians, many dogs go undiagnosed. The retrospective study used advanced statistical methods to determine that the overall prevalence of periodontal disease in dogs was 18.2%. Although the true prevalence of periodontal disease (44-100% of cases) is only realised through in-depth clinical investigation, the figure reported in this study was consistent with other research based on predominantly conscious visual oral examinations. This isn't the first time research has shown an association between dog breed size and periodontal disease onset; two other Waltham studies, published in the BMC Veterinary Journal, found that periodontal disease progression is accelerated in smaller dog breeds like miniature schnauzers and Yorkshire terriers. However, this study - the largest of its kind - alongside our oral microbiome research can help veterinarians and owners reduce prevalence and enable more tailored and preventative care for pets.     A good oral health routine to keep your pet's teeth healthy Dental disease in pets develops gradually and may be reversed if caught and treated early on. Preventing it, however, is better than any treatment. Check out our pet dental health guide for our experts' tips.  by Witham pet care Sciences

Performance Trace Minerals Help Manage Canine Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs
Dogs
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5+ MIN

Performance Trace Minerals Help Manage Canine Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

Often an allergy is overlooked by the pet parent. One such condition is Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD). Canine Atopic Dermatitis is a hypersensitivity or allergy of the skin that causes inflammation or irritation. In fact, it's the second most common allergenic skin disease, second only to fleas. It's quite common in dogs, but atopy can also affect cats as feline atopic dermatitis. Allergic reactions can be brought on by normally harmless substances like grass, mold spores, house dust mites and other environmental allergens. But it can also be caused by an internal allergy, such as food. CAD starts with an itchiness of the skin prompting your dog to begin scratching. Just like humans, dogs have normal staph and strep bacteria on the skin surface, but with excessive scratching the skin may break. When this happens, staph or strep bacteria may enter the broken skin and cause a bacterial infection. CAD can make life uncomfortable for your pet and, in its worst case, can affect their attitude and overall well-being. Unfortunately, symptoms of CAD vary, making it hard to diagnose. Some dogs have intermittent itchiness, so it's not really a problem, but it may progress to severe skin irritation causing constant discomfort with chronic or almost constant itching, biting or scratching of the skin. If not controlled and treated, this may lead to significant skin damage, hair loss, loss of sleep, possible infection or other complications. What Causes Dermatitis in Dogs? Our family companions are sensitive to allergens just like we are as humans. Pets suffer from seasonal allergies and fleas — as well as have reactions to shampoos or detergent used to clean our pet's bedding. An outside dog may have allergies to sawdust, straw or hay used for bedding or even normal grasses and plants in the yard. Now take that one step further, they may also have sensitivity to specific food-borne allergens or a medication. Canine Atopic Dermatitis Treatment Options There are two effective medications for CAD — glucocorticoids and cyclosporine. While both products have shown efficacy in controlling the itchiness associated with CAD, they can negatively affect hair growth and in some cases, cause a dog to lose its hair. Research has proven that zinc — an essential trace mineral — is a constituent or activator of at least 300 known enzymes, including those important for skin and wound healing, as well as cell replication. Rapidly dividing cells, such as those of the epidermis or skin, are dependent on zinc to provide a strong skin or epithelial barrier against bacteria. This is important, as between six and 20% of the zinc stored in the body — human and animal — is in the outermost epithelial layers of the skin. Interestingly, the lining that protects the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts is also protected by an epithelial layer. To demonstrate the potential superpowers of Zinpro zinc, Zinpro Corporation partnered with McKeever Dermatology Clinics based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to prove that supplementation of this special form of zinc in a dog's diet can help reduce the severity of CAD. The research project started with 36 dogs diagnosed with CAD and on a controlled glucocorticoid or cyclosporine medication program and were under a veterinarian's care for more than one year. Each dog in the study was evaluated using the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Lesion Index (CADLI) scoring system. The veterinarians and pet parents were asked to score how itchy their pet was using a scale ranging from a normal dog with no itchiness (0) to a dog with almost constant itching (10). Each dog received a supplement that contained a combination of ZINPRO® zinc methionine, biotin and essential fatty acids, or a placebo with biotin and essential fatty acids but no zinc in a random order. The biotin and essential fatty acids are key to maintaining skin structural integrity and functionality and are important to some immune cell functionality too. This was a double-blind research study, so the veterinarians didn't know what the client was getting, and the pharmacist didn't know what they were dispensing. Each dog received one of the two treatments for 12 weeks, and then switched to the opposite treatment for another 12 weeks. Note: each dog received both treatments, ZINPRO and Placebo in a random order.  Each dog was evaluated using the CADLI scoring system every four weeks of the study. After dogs had received the ZINPRO zinc methionine treatment for eight weeks the following results were found: 44% reduction in CADLI score with no change in dogs receiving the Placebo treatment. 69% of dogs on cyclosporine and 55% on glucocorticoids were able to decrease their medicinal dosage by half without incurring an allergy flare. Visual observations revealed an improvement in skin and coat quality.     Zinc Helps Control Canine Atopic Dermatitis People have asked, 'Why can't I just apply a zinc methionine cream to the skin of my dog?' Well the interesting thing about ZINPRO zinc methionine is that it works from the inside out, strengthening the skin and immune system to respond to allergens in the external environment or internal food-borne or medicinal allergens. Zinc is critical to that protective epithelial barrier and/or lining and a key component and building block in both the skin and immune system. That's one of the real keys to this study: It helps demonstrate that not only are we helping enhance the immunity of these animals, but we're helping to improve the efficiency of their immune systems to make them more resilient against environmental or internal allergens. Zinpro has conducted dozens of studies that prove zinc from Zinpro Performance Minerals® (ZINPRO zinc methionine and Availa®Zn) can improve the integrity of the lining of the gut by 15% to 40% and improve the outer skin of the body by over 40%. To learn more about canine atopic dermatitis and how zinc from Zinpro Performance Minerals can help you manage this allergy of the skin, visit our website. To learn about feeding performance trace minerals in your dog's nutrition plan, contact a Zinpro representative today.  Written by: Dr. Dana Tomlinson - Zinpro: Dr. Tomlinson earned his doctoral degree in animal science – ruminant nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He directs aqua, equine and companion animal research and provides technical nutritional services for the Zinpro RNS specialty team worldwide.

Dermatitis, gastropathy among top pet insurance claims
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Dermatitis, gastropathy among top pet insurance claims

Using its database of more than 1.1 million pets, the insurance group has analyzed more than the 1.35 million claims it received last year for treatment related to medical conditions impacting dogs and cats. For the 10th year in row, skin allergies were the most common health issue affecting dogs, with more than 335,000 individual claims received. Meanwhile, for cats, feline cystitis, or lower urinary tract disease (LUTD), was the most common medical condition, receiving more than 16,000 individual claims. 'When we talk about protecting pets from the unexpected, there can be a temptation to jump straight to big ticket items, like cancer or orthopedic disease,' says Nationwide's chief veterinary officer, Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS. 'While these are definitely situations where it's beneficial to have pet health insurance, the idiom, 'common things occur commonly' runs true.' The top medical conditions prompting veterinary visits for dogs and cats last year (according to Nationwide) are as follows: For dogs: Atopic or other allergic dermatitis Otitis externa Enteropathy Gastropathy Benign skin neoplasia Pyoderma and/or hot spot Anal gland sacculitis/expression Degenerative arthritis Periodontis, tooth infection, cavity, or abscess Canine cystitis For cats: Feline cystitis or lower urinary tract disease Renal disease or failure Gastropathy Periodontis, tooth infection, cavity, or abscess Enteropathy Hyperthyroidism Diabetes mellitus Otitis externa Feline upper respiratory disease complex Atopic or other allergic dermatitis For a single dog, the highest cost from the top 10 conditions came in at just over $16,700 for degenerative arthritis, Nationwide reports. For cats, the highest cost was more than $19,000 for feline cystitis. The insurance group also covered more than 9,300 individual claims for 'fever of unknown origin/undefined' diagnoses in cats. by Veterinary Practice News

What will it take to end pet homelessness?
Dogs
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6+ MIN

What will it take to end pet homelessness?

Nothing brings joy to a home quite like a pet — and in an ideal world, all pets would live in loving homes. All dogs would have beds to snooze on and parks to play in. All cats would have laps to curl up in and toys to bat around the living room. After all, don't they deserve it for the endless cuddles, slobbery kisses, and getting us out of the house (and out of our heads)? One look at rescue accounts on social media, though, and it's clear this is far from the reality today. Worldwide, pet homelessness is a persistent, complex issue, with hundreds of millions of stray cats and dogs living on the streets or in shelters. Some of these animals may find homes through adoption. Jill Hilbrenner, Vox Creative's executive editor, welcomed her second rescue pup earlier this year, and says she can't imagine getting through the pandemic without Suzy Lee and Blanche. 'Having a dog — and now having dogs, plural — is grounding,' she says. 'When I feel my chest clenching from worry, I can look at my dogs, and it helps that melt away. I'm not saying skip the therapist, but I am saying dogs are great medicine.' That said, she adds, 'It breaks my heart thinking about what they had to go through before we met.' Where we stand today Even with so many prospective owners willing to rescue — and with dog and cat ownership on the rise in countries like China and India — we have a long way to go. But how far, and how can we get there? Mars Petcare took on a first-of-its-kind initiative to answer these questions by measuring the global scale of cat and dog homelessness and helping to identify the root causes. Created with a panel of animal welfare experts and organizations, the State of Pet Homelessness Index analyzes data from 200 global and local sources to quantify the issue and help identify its underlying causes at a country-specific level. The initial phase evaluates nine countries on their care for, acceptance of, policies to support, and cultural attitudes towards pets to help provide a crucial benchmark to measure progress. In the UK, for example, data show strong legislation protecting animals against cruelty brings the Index score up, but show it's pulled down by a lack of pet-friendly housing. While in India, data show most people report a positive experience owning a cat or dog, but a high prevalence of strays and a low sterilization rate represent significant obstacles to tackling pet homelessness. The past tells us that progress is possible, though. In the 1970s, the US was euthanizing 13.5 million homeless dogs and cats yearly; today, that's down to about a million annually, even as the country's pet dog and cat populations have more than doubled. 'There's been a huge improvement in the way [animal welfare organizations are] seeing this particular challenge,' says Andrew Rowan, president of WellBeing International and one of the Index experts. 'And so the question is: how much better can we do, and how do we get there?' Addressing a global issue According to Index data, 224 million homeless cats and dogs live in the US, UK, Germany, China, India, South Africa, Greece, Mexico, and Russia. Of those, 114 million are stray cats, 91 million are stray dogs, and 19 million are cats and dogs in shelters. At the start of the Index project, Mars Petcare's Advisory Board began with one fundamental question: What does the word 'homeless' mean for pets? Homelessness looks very different from one country to the next, so a one-size solution is unlikely. In some regions, says Rowan, it's common for dogs and cats to get food and shelter from the community, but that stops short of veterinary care. Sterilization is often credited with reducing the number of US dogs and cats euthanized, but a similar initiative in India would mean sterilizing 30 to 50 million female dogs — a massive undertaking that won't happen overnight. Once pet homelessness is defined, the data show a localized approach is needed. Why measure pet homelessness? Science tells us that both humans and pets benefit from the other's companionship. For humans, research shows pet ownership can have positive physical and mental health impacts by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and helping prevent heart disease, among other illnesses. Dogs can also experience spikes in oxytocin — a neurochemical closely associated with trust, love, and social bonding — during positive interactions with their owners. Dogs have evolved over generations to be largely reliant on humans for food, shelter, and care, and without sustained care they're more susceptible to disease, malnutrition, and accidents. 'Across our family of veterinary businesses, our Associates have seen the problem of pet homelessness around the world and have worked to provide care and support for these animals,' says Jen Welser, Mars Veterinary Health's chief medical officer. 'We've implemented a wide range of programs on responsible pet-ownership education, improving access to veterinary care, and shelter support.' Until now, Welser notes, there was no way to reliably evaluate such a multifaceted issue, and no clear way to measure programs' impacts. The housing dilemma Many pet owners (especially those in big cities) know the challenge of finding pet-friendly housing. Policies that ban or restrict animals can deter many people from adopting pets or even drive owners to relinquish pets they have. According to Index research, more than half of prospective owners said it's hard to find a rental that allows dogs, and 1 in 4 agreed it was difficult to find one permitting cats. 'There's a mantra, especially in the United States, that there are too many animals and not enough homes,' says Ellen Jefferson, president and CEO of Austin Pets Alive! and American Pets Alive! 'And the reality is there are enough homes, but if a lot of those homes are not inclusive of the pet part of the family, then that is driving shelter intake and driving animals to be euthanized in shelters.' With more data and awareness, she says, lawmakers and landlords can take steps to address this issue. Creating care for all Improving access to quality veterinary care is also essential. According to the Index data, one in three pet owners avoid the vet because of cost concerns. With more education and support, owners could be better prepared for costs when they arise. 'If we can really hone in on providing that support, think about the dramatic decrease in shelter intake that would happen,' says Jefferson. Plus, this support doesn't just help pets — it also helps the people that love them. Before adopting, Hilbrenner studied up on caring for rescues — 'how to appear non-confrontational, how to read dog body language' — and over time, she says, both dogs have gained confidence. Still, it's an ongoing process. 'I like to think we're teaching each other to be more trusting and to spend less time in fight-or-flight stress mode,' she says. People thrive with pets, and pets thrive with people — and with the help of the Index, a world where both have access to the support they need is in sight. 'For the first time, we have insights into which factors are influencing the issue most in each country. This means we can lean into the most impactful ways to make a difference to help deliver on our purpose: 'A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS,'' says Mars Petcare's Welser. 'Our aim is that we — along with animal-welfare organizations, policymakers, pet professionals, academics, and researchers — can use this tool as a reference point that will better equip us all as we work to help end pet homelessness together.' by Hilary George-Parkin - Mars Pet Care

How Pet Food Influences on Hyperactive Dogs
Dogs
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4+ MIN

How Pet Food Influences on Hyperactive Dogs

By Luciana Chippano

This time we´ll review the different characteristics that a food should have (or not) for hyperactive dogs. Certain breeds of dogs historically destined for hunting, herding and rescue such as the Doberman and German Shepherd have been used for these activities precisely because of their high amount of energy. So, logically, they need a diet that is adjusted to the energy levels they use and the amount of activity they do on a daily basis. When we exercise (both animals and humans) we produce a large amount of free radicals (molecules that are harmful to DNA). A great way for the body to neutralize the oxidative action of free radicals is through the consumption of antioxidants. Scientific evidence Antioxidants In 2018 the Journal of Animal Science published a study where American foxhounds were evaluated during their hunting season. To do this, all the dogs were divided into two groups: one was fed a balanced food labeled "for high performance"; the other group received a similar diet, but with supplements of antioxidants, vitamins C, E, lutein, zinc, and taurine. During the study, all the dogs were taken hunting for a period of between 2 and 5 hours with a frequency of 2 to 3 times a week. At the end, blood samples were taken to evaluate and compare the levels of oxidative stress and other blood metabolites with the samples taken before they started the diet and with others taken throughout the 7 months that the investigation lasted. It was confirmed dogs consuming a diet rich in antioxidants have lower levels of oxidative stress; however, that group of dogs did not perform better. However, although the increase in antioxidants did not change physical performance, it did improve general health: it was found that, in the course of the research, dogs fed the diet without supplements had a large decrease in their levels of taurine and vitamin E. On the other hand, in the dogs that were given supplements, maintained or improved levels of taurine and vitamin E were observed. Protein Dr. Joseph J. Wakshlag of Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine focuses his studies on the relationship between protein intake and the health and performance status of active dogs such as the English Greyhound or Siberian Husky. Wakshlag has stated that a study was conducted focused on analyzing dietary proteins and their ability to preserve musculoskeletal integrity, as well as to promote the maintenance of the levels of total proteins, albumin and red blood cells. Serum hematocrit and albumin levels tend to decline while a dog is training or engaging in vigorous physical activity, and adequate protein intake is beneficial - this study stated that between 24% and 30% of metabolizable energy in the dog's diet Active ingredients should be highly digestible animal protein, ej.: lamb, beef and chicken. Professionals Opinions Veterinarian Lee Danks conducted in-depth research on canine behavior and feeding, which is summarized: Protein is frequently an influencer on behavior. High protein diets are believed to lead to increased hyperactivity. Studies in the area often focus on specific amino acid neurotransmitters and hormone precursors as responsible dietary linkages. L-tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin) is unique to dogs: the concentration of this neutral amino acid relative to others in the same group is what appears to have a greater effect on behavior. Factors such as digestibility and carbohydrate intake affect the uptake and transport of L-tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. Carbohydrates the type of carbohydrates determines the postprandial state of the animal, the duration of satiety and the relative energy density of the diet. The digestion and absorption of simple monosaccharides affects fluctuations in blood glucose (and the availability of L-tryptophan). For her part, Dr. Karen Shaw Becker has given her opinion about food for hyperactive dogs: 'Athletic dogs must consume adequate amounts of antioxidants to avoid the damage that free radicals can produce. Fresh food is a good way to provide antioxidants to dogs with intense periods of activity. Also, according to new research, it is important that all hyperactive dogs consume the right amount of taurine to protect the heart. Very active dogs need a diet rich in nutrients, the protein source must be of excellent quality and of animal origin, and the diet must be relatively high in fat'. To consider There are certain nutrients that, as an industry, we must make sure that they are present in a food specially designed for hyperactive dogs or that will go through periods of great physical activity, such as hunting dogs or police dogs. Vitamin A and carotenoids: found in the liver, in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like broccoli and carrots. Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits, green peppers, and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin E: found in nuts and seeds. Selenium: it is in protein sources such as fish, chicken, beef and eggs. Lutein: in quantity in dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Dogs that by breed or by activities are in a constant energy drain need a diet that is richer in nutrients. Your body needs certain specifications that, as we have seen in the article, can be achieved by making some adjustments to traditional food formulas. It will be up to the industry, once again, to supply the demand for these canines. By: All Pet Food

The Top Three Distributors Join Forces to Accelerate Sustainability
Dogs
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3+ MIN

The Top Three Distributors Join Forces to Accelerate Sustainability

Collaboration is the new competition. As a break from the persistent race to the top between contenders, the leading three independent distributors including Pet Food Experts (PFX), Phillips Pet Food Supplies and Animal Supply Company unite as Icon Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC) members to pioneer the adoption of sustainable business practices. 2020 was not an easy year for distributors who were caught in a complex web of serving retailers; many who struggled to keep doors open or shift to online purchasing and delivery services, and at the same time distributing products from brands that are experiencing massive supply chain disruption. And then, to add pressure to an already stressed system, pet parents also stockpiled pet food causing unpredictable demand shifts. Nonetheless, the industry fared well as pandemic pet ownership soared, and out of the ashes of struggle comes new opportunity for building back better. As the first distributor member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition, Pet Food Experts had an active year when it comes to sustainability, spending much of 2020 and early 2021 hard at work to support Flex Forward, the first all-inclusive pet food packaging recycling program. Using reverse logistics, PFX rallied retailers and pet parents in the Pacific Northwest to generate approximately 7,000 lbs or 33,500 total used pet food and treat bags. This initial test was set out to inform a potential nationwide recycling program with more than 300 million pet food bags currently ending up in a landfill due to their hard-to-recycle nature. While this unique pilot is a small step in addressing the waste footprint of the 100-billion-dollar pet industry, if scaled, it would provide a solution to one of the industry's most pressing environmental issues. 'Bringing industry leaders together is a necessary escalation in supporting the large-scale efforts that must be mobilized to advance sustainable business practices worldwide,' said Michael Baker, Pet Food Experts' Chief Executive Officer. 'We are making sustainability a priority and this partnership is a step forward in our commitment to reduce the overall environmental impact in our day-to-day business operations,' continued Baker. This is only a single example where collaboration will be required to achieve PSC's vision for the pet industry to make a positive impact on the environment and communities where it does business. Since 2020 was the hottest year on record, there is an increasing sense of urgency to take action. The business community is one of the best levers for change as it can often move faster than the government, and with more impact than an individual, while at the same time reaping greater profitability and return on their investments. While Phillips and Animal Supply Company are new to the Pet Sustainability Coalition, they have arrived ready to take action and with robust enthusiasm. 'As part of our commitment to the pet industry and the environment, Phillips Pet Food & Supplies is proud to become a new member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. We see our partnership with Pet Food Experts and Animal Supply as the first step in our effort to lessen the environmental impact our industry has on the planet.' said Blaine Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies. 'As we begin a new chapter in the evolution of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies, we are proud to strengthen our environmental focus as well as helping to enhance our manufacturer and retail partners' focus on sustainable business practices.' 'At Animal Supply Company, our vision is to have a world where every pet and human is happy, healthy, and safe. This means taking an active responsibility in protecting our planet earth through meaningful sustainability practices that lead to a cleaner and more eco-friendly future for our families, retail partners, and vendor partners. We're proud of our industry forging this partnership with PSC and we look forward to making a difference in changing this world through aggressive social responsibility aimed at protecting the environment', says Tim Batterson, CEO, Animal Supply Company. With three major distributor partners now collaborating to drive impact, the Pet Sustainability Coalition is poised to accelerate and scale its programs to deliver optimal solutions that will catapult the industry forward toward a future that is better for pets, people and planet. Join the movement and become a PSC member by visiting www.petsustainability.org today. by Pet Food Experts 

Pet humanization one of top consumer trends noted by ADM
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Pet humanization one of top consumer trends noted by ADM

Drawing on research from its Outside Voice consumer insights platform, the company's top trends for 2022 point the way for ADM's innovation, renovation and development platforms, the company said. Many of the trends are being shaped by the coronavirus pandemic that has lingered for the past 18 months. 'Consumers today continue to navigate a tumultuous environment that has uprooted every aspect of their lives,' said Brad Schwan, vice president of category marketing at ADM. 'This has led forward-thinking brands to develop new solutions purpose-built to help consumers establish a sense of normality for themselves, their families and their pets. We're seeing everything from foods, feeds and beverages that promote gut health to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to biodegradable packaging.' Heading into the new year ADM said it expects consumers to be more proactive about supporting their mind and body through a balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. The coronavirus pandemic has placed renewed interest on mental well-being, and ADM said it expects more consumers to seek effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Thirty-seven percent of global consumers expect the snacks they eat to improve their mental well-being, according to ADM's Outside Voice research. Another continuing trend is the shift toward plant-based lifestyles. ADM's research shows a flexitarian approach to eating has become mainstream as consumers look to functional, wholesome, plant-based nutrition to support healthy, environmentally friendlier lifestyles. Alternative proteins are likely to account for 11% of the total protein market in 2035, ADM said, driven primarily by COVID-19, which has accelerated interest in plant-based as a health-forward alternative for consumers who are paying attention to their body's nutritional needs. Third, consumers are seeking foods, beverages and supplements that support gut health and overall well-being. As a result, ADM said awareness of the microbiome as central to wellness has grown over time. Data from ADM Outside Voice indicates that 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health. Clean label has been trending for several years and ADM said it expects clean and transparent sourcing to remain a key trend heading into 2022. Most recently, consumers have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to place an increased emphasis on learning where their food comes from and trying to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their families, their pets and their communities. ADM said 58% of global consumers say they will be more attentive to locality claims as a result of COVID-19. The humanization of pets has taken on greater significance and will continue to shape trends next year, ADM said. In fact, many consumers are transposing their purchasing values and preferences onto their pets. ADM Outside Voice found that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best food options in the last year. Precise and responsible animal feeding, and the interconnectedness of the animal product supply chain is another trend top of mind for today's consumers, according to ADM. ADM said companies are taking steps to provide digital documentation explaining how animals are raised, particularly related to its consumption of antibiotics and/or growth hormones. Nearly half (49%) of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products with high quality assurances and verifiable safety standards, ADM noted. A seventh emerging trend is sustainable goodness. With nearly half of global consumers now more attentive to sustainability claims there has been a surge in demand for ethical production and sustainable sourcing practices — such as regenerative agriculture and carbon negative production to protect the food supply of the future, ADM said. Brands are responding by taking positions on environmental matters, aiming to reflect their commitments to increasing the sustainability of their production and distribution systems. Finally, the importance of advanced renewables and biosolutions is coming to the forefront. ADM noted research showing 38% of global consumers are now willing to pay more for products made with sustainable materials. Additionally, conscientious consumers are paying close attention to seeking food, personal care and home care products that support the needs of their families, the environment and their local communities. by Eric Schroeder - Pet Food Processing

What can probably happen when a dog is left alone?
Dogs
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3+ MIN

What can probably happen when a dog is left alone?

The most important thing to understand is  the dog is a gregarious being, a social being that lives and is conditioned to live in a herd, together. He can't and doesn't want to live alone, so it is very difficult to find a hermit dog. In this context, you have to understand the dog and his behavior. How long can my dog ​​be left alone? Is he getting revenge when he breaks things in my absence? Why is he compulsively barking when I'm not around? These and many more questions are asked by a dog owner or guardian when that dog is left alone and problems appear. The maximum time a dog can stay alone is not a fixed and constant figure, but depends on many factors. One of them is age, it is not the same to leave a puppy alone for a long time than a mature adult dog or an old man. Puppy dogs, due to the need of their age, of very marked activity, cannot stay alone for long without making some express expression of their anguish at being without company. The same thing happens with old people, but due to the clear increase in emotionality in all its aspects as a result of age, to which is added the need to satisfy physiological urgencies more frequently that force them to transgress the learned rules. Another more than important factor is the state of physical health of an animal. Being alone for a long time, he cannot satisfy our expectations of harmonious coexistence. Race can play a role. In some very temperamental or very barking breeds, being alone can increase the chances of a convulsive and noisy stay, not compatible with our tranquility and that of the neighborhood. The dog's own character is very important when deciding how loneliness will influence its way of reacting to lonely time. The length of time the animal has been living in the house is very important when defining its reaction to loneliness. A dog accustomed to the house, to its environment, is not the same as an animal in the period of adaptation to a new environment. Complying with the minimum tolerable physiological interval in those animals that have been educated to relieve themselves in certain spaces (park, sidewalk, etc.) is essential to evaluate behaviors in the face of loneliness. As a general rule, a dog cannot be home alone for more than 8 hours without going out. Going out for the dog has the same effects that reading the newspaper has for us: it informs us, refreshes us and let us know what is happening in the world. The exit in a dog is not replaceable by a great bottom far from it. The dog needs to go out to "gossip" always with a collar, leash and bag to collect his fecal matter, but he always needs to go out. If it is not done in a timely manner, signs of serious pathologies may appear such as separation anxiety characterized by lack of appetite, compulsive barking or howling, elimination in inappropriate places, destructive mania and senseless behaviors such as wandering in circuits or something similar. Source: Infobae

World Atopic Dermatitis Day: The most prone dog breeds
Dogs
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3+ MIN

World Atopic Dermatitis Day: The most prone dog breeds

This disease is closely linked to allergy, but also an important genetic component, so there are some breeds more predisposed than others. Some of these breeds are the Shar-Pei, the Golden and the Labrador Retriever, the Dalmatian, the Boxer, the, the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu, and a number of terrier varieties. These are the Scottish terrier, the West Highland white terrier, the Boston terrier, and the wire-haired fox terrier. Regarding allergies, it must be remembered that 80% of animals with atopic dermatitis are allergic to dust mites (Dermatophagoides sp.) And / or warehouse mites (Tyrophagus sp., Acarus sp. And Lepidoglyphus sp.). But not all allergies are caused by mites, they can also be food-borne, and end up affecting the skin of companion animals. So even though they are not the most common cause, it is important to keep a close eye on food allergies. Hill's Pet Nutrition recalls that, to deal with food allergies, it is best to consult with the veterinarian to, among other things, design elimination diets with hydrolyzed protein or that contain egg as a single source of intact animal protein, a novel protein which prevents 96% of food allergies in dogs. In addition, it is committed to a new line, which combines the prevention of both food and environmental allergies, which allows to alleviate the itchiness of the dog regardless of the cause. For its part, Royal Canin, in addition to recommending elimination diets with hydrolyzed protein, advocates providing pets with a series of nutrients to strengthen the natural defenses and healing of the skin to face the effects of dermatitis atopic, always under the criteria and supervision of a veterinarian.   IMMUNOTHERAPY AGAINST CANINE ATOPIC DERMATITIS   To combat the origin of allergy and atopic dermatitis in dogs, there is the option of immunotherapy. In fact, this type of treatment is already recommended by the World Health Organization in people, since it is specifically aimed at the cause of the problem and can alleviate or totally cure the symptoms. In this sense, the bio-pharmaceutical company LETIPharma has incorporated a range of immunotherapies for dogs, and has addressed this problem in its Chester colloquia, in which it has brought together veterinary and human health experts to learn how allergy and allergies affect them. dermatitis. Furthermore, in recent years there have also been advances in treatment. One of the latter is the monoclonal antibody from Zoetis (Cytopoint), which has also been indicated as a treatment for pruritus associated with allergic cases, including canine atopic dermatitis. Zoetis already had oclacitinib (Apoquel), one of the recommended treatments against this problem. However, there are also other options, with which it can be combined, such as glucocorticoids. Precisely in this area, a recent study highlighted that hydrocortisone aceponate (Cortavance by Virbac) in spray format is effective in improving the reduction of itching, especially when the dose of oclacitinib is reduced.   SKIN HEALTH TO TREAT AND PREVENT CANINE ATOPIC DERMATITIS   It should not be forgotten that although the main cause of canine atopic dermatitis is allergy to mites, it is still a dermal disease, so proper skin care is also very important to deal with it. The idea is to promote balance in the bacteria that live on the skin to have an adequate skin barrier and treat possible pyodermas. In this area, you can find different therapeutic options in shampoo format, such as Douxo by Ceva, which allows the balance of the microbial flora to be reestablished. Likewise, there are other products to directly treat bacterial infections on the skin, such as Malaseb, from Dechra, which treats Malassezia dermatitis; a skin disease that sometimes occurs underlying allergic processes such as atopic dermatitis. Finally, this year another novelty in treatments arrived on the Spanish market. It is about Phovia, from Vetoquinol, which with its FLE light energy accelerates dermal regeneration in different dermatological disorders, such as pyoderma, which is usually closely related to the processes of atopic dermatitis.   Source: Animal´s Health

Mycotoxins in pet food: Risks for dogs
Dogs
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5+ MIN

Mycotoxins in pet food: Risks for dogs

The mycotoxin threat is not new to the pet industry. However, never before has it been such a prevalent and widespread concern. More recently, its real danger in pet food became apparent when more than 70 dogs died and another 80 became ill in the United States, due to aflatoxin contamination. This forced a massive recall of food products, after contamination was determined to be the source of the problem, confirmed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021. Although the manufacturers of these foods implement strict quality and safety measures when selecting their ingredients - and even with precise analysis to detect the presence of mycotoxins in raw materials and in the finished product - it can be difficult to know precisely what could be hidden in these seemingly safe components. When industry attempts to accurately detect mycotoxins, problems can arise in grain processing, screening tests, synergistic interactions, or storage conditions. An alarming event such as this recent aflatoxin contamination confirms that grain and feed producers need to know which mycotoxins they are most likely to encounter, what threats they pose, and how best to address them.   What aflatoxins stands for? Mycotoxins are substances produced by molds or fungi. While aflatoxins, in particular, are metabolites of green-yellow molds called Aspergillus flavus, which comprises four different strains: B1, B2, G1 and G2. The most toxic of these is aflatoxin B1, which is carcinogenic and can have adverse effects on liver function and immune response.   Where do aflatoxins grow? Aspergillus flavus can grow in a temperature range of 12.2 to 47.8 ° C, with 37 ° C being the optimum temperature for its growth. For its development a low humidity is required, being favorable from 13 to 13.2%. Aflatoxins are generally found in corn, cottonseed, groundnut (or groundnut), almonds, and by-products derived from these. Thus, corn is one of the ingredients in dog food that represents a greater risk for them. A recent report from the Alltech Summer Harvest Survey, conducted in the United States, indicates that changes in the weather patterns in that country have generated an unusual situation in which higher than normal levels of aflatoxins in corn samples (other than normal high-risk areas). That currently represents a number of new challenges for pet food manufacturers, which will need to take these into account when selecting their ingredients. Aspergillus flavus can infest the corn plant through pollination of silk (affecting the grain) and through its leaves and stems damaged by insects and by meteorological phenomena (such as strong winds or hailstorms). The infestation can occur extensively in the field, but most often affects those areas where the plants are subjected to greater stress. It is difficult to detect aflatoxins in corn kernels, as they could even be present in the kernels of a shipment. So when testing received ingredients for mycotoxins, it is necessary to take multiple samples combined to accurately identify potential hazards. Stored corn should be dried to a humidity level below 14%, and mold growth or insect damage should be closely monitored. A good practice is to check the grain that enters and / or leaves the warehouse to remove those that are damaged and broken (which can be a main source not only of aflatoxins but also of other mycotoxins). In addition to the threat of unprocessed whole grains, feed manufacturers must take into account the increased risk posed by the high levels of mycotoxins that can be found in cereals made from products such as bran, which are often included in pet food products.   Mycotoxins signs in dogs Although no person who has a pet would like or imagine the damage that mycotoxins could cause them, it is important that they know their signs to take quick action when necessary. One of the main indicators that a dog has ingested a food contaminated by mycotoxins is liver failure, which can be caused by either acute or chronic exposure. Other common signs include: Vomiting and loss of appetite Weightloss Lethargy Diarrhea Weak immune system Respiratory problems Shaking Heart palpitations Jaundice Aflatoxins are one of the groups of mycotoxins considered to be one of the most powerful known carcinogens. Long-term exposure can lead to death, causing irreparable pain to the pet's family. If your dog exhibits any of those clinical signs, then it is necessary to take him to your vet as soon as possible. Also, it is recommended to take a picture of your food and write down the batch number of the product for reference.   What are the global regulations for aflatoxins? The FDA regulates aflatoxin levels in feed and feed ingredients. The current regulatory limit for companion animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.) is 20 ppb. This represents a significant challenge, since in 2020 not only did the geographic areas in which aflatoxins grow in the United States, but their impact on total corn production was also greater. Thus, with a decreased yield, larger quantities of corn need to be transported around the country, which increases the potential risk of corn in dog food.   Mitigating mycotoxins threat To detect, manage and mitigate the threat of mycotoxins in the manufacture of balanced food, and to prevent their negative impact on pets; Manufacturers are advised to adopt a comprehensive mycotoxin management program (so that risks can be determined and controlled at each phase of the supply chain). State-of-the-art technologies for mycotoxin detection - such as the Alltech 37 + ® Assay Test or the Alltech® RAPIREAD ™ Real-Time Assay System - can help identify mycotoxin risk and enable the necessary measures to be taken control. Pet owners are encouraged, whenever possible, to ask the manufacturer for information on their mycotoxin testing program and mitigation plan. With a comprehensive approach to mycotoxin management, the pet food industry can prevent a repeat of its recent recall. In this way, families can rest assured that they won't have to face the loss of their beloved pet. For more information on this topic, contact the Alltech representative in your country or visit Author: Dr. Max Hawkins - Alltech Source: All Pet Food

The number of blood donor animals is less than necessary to meet the demand
Dogs
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3+ MIN

The number of blood donor animals is less than necessary to meet the demand

According to the Director of Hemovet Petcare, Simone Gonçalves Rodrigues Gomes, the initiative is very important to save the lives of dogs and cats, which is why it points out the main diseases in which blood transfusions are indicated: "Severe anemia caused by transmitted diseases by ticks, mainly ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, in the case of dogs". In cats, severe anemia can occur in cases of mycoplasmosis, transmitted by fleas and viral diseases such as feline viral leukemia; Accidents that cause bleeding, such as run over, fights with other dogs, and snake bites; Surgical procedures, especially increasingly frequent tumors and correction of extensive fractures; Anemia resulting from problems in organs such as the kidneys and liver, called renal and hepatic failure, respectively, and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia '. However, to make the donation, which can be made every three months, it is necessary that the animal meets certain requirements, maintaining its own health and benefiting the recipient. 'Dogs must have a minimum weight of 27 kg, age between 1 and 8 years old, docile temperament, updated vaccination and deworming, tick and flea control. Cats must have a minimum weight of 4 kg, age between 1 and 6 years, docile temperament, up-to-date vaccination and deworming, and flea and tick control ', explains the Director of Hemovet Petcare. It is noteworthy that, before the act, and previously, tests are mandatory to detect diseases that may be present without symptoms. Among them, hemogram, tests to detect ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, heartworm, Lyme, leishmaniasis, brucellosis, renal function, mycoplasmosis, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency should be performed. "Donating blood is a gesture of love and saves lives and transfusions are essential in the treatment of animals", reinforces the Professor and Manager of the São Judas Veterinary Hospital, Simone Rodrigues Ambrósio, recalling that, in some veterinary blood centers, such as Hemovet Petcare, there is the possibility of scheduling the service.   Veterinarian, attention! Although it is not a difficult act to perform, Simone Gonçalves also emphasizes that it is necessary to take several precautions, especially before starting the procedure, such as: 'perform typing and compatibility tests before transfusions of packed red blood cells and whole blood; previously evaluate the vital parameters of the animal and monitor them throughout the procedure (interrupt the infusion in the event of hyperthermia, tachycardia, tachypnea and / or respiratory distress, urticaria and angioedema) and transfuse the indicated blood component to avoid circulatory overload, preventing the appearance of transfusion reactions '.   Pandemic factor Still battling the Covid-19 pandemic, which requires social distancing, countless blood banks, already struggling, saw their stocks run out. 'If before the donation of blood from dogs and cats was already difficult to happen, in recent months the situation has become even more complicated. Some tutors opted for home collection and others preferred to cancel it ', explains Kátia García, Veterinary Doctor and Director of the Veterinary Hemotherapy Center (CHVET), adding that the current number of donors is still far below what is necessary to cover the demand. Therefore, for Katia, who emphasizes that a bag of donated blood is divided into blood components and can be used in up to four animals, discussing blood donation with guardians is essential. 'Many of them are unaware of the importance and others fear that the procedure poses some risk to the pet. The entire blood donation procedure is performed by the veterinarian, it is safe, painless and fast, it takes about 10 minutes. In addition to saving lives, the donor performs essential health examinations ', she invites the tutors.   All help is needed Finally, Simone Gonçalves reiterates that there is no 'synthetic' blood or a substitute for blood, so 'we need everyone's solidarity so that our mission can continue to save many lives. Each donor will make a difference in the life for a family of pets ', concludes the professional.   Source: Caes e Gatos Vet & Food

What is the Relationship between Cancer and Dog Food?
Dogs
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4+ MIN

What is the Relationship between Cancer and Dog Food?

In this article we'`ll focus on the different studies and advances in the area, in order to have a better understanding of the influence of food on the development of this disease. There is very little research data on evidence-based dietary guidelines to prevent or control canine cancer. Currently, 1 in 4 dogs has a high chance of developing cancer. As in humans, the incidence of cancer in canines has increased in recent decades. Factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, exercise and toxins are capable of altering the genetic component, either positively or negatively. For example, chronic inflammation induces epigenetic alteration, and has been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer in humans, so the same can be predicted for dogs. Let's see what evidence or studies have been carried out to date.   Research on the relationship between dog food and cancer • In the United States, the specialized animal health and nutrition company Alltech conducted research and tests on commercialized dog foods and, in addition to finding high levels of aflatoxins, 98% of the total of 965 foods tested were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins. Now, with aflatoxins it happens that, because what could cause cancerous tumors is the consumption of contaminated food for a long period of time, it is very difficult to corroborate when the disease develops due to the consumption of this fungus, since it is they would report very few cases. • In 2020, the Hong Kong Consumers Council made public that 3 mass-marketed US Pet Food manufacturers had formulations containing aflatoxin B1 in their offering. Grains such as corn, wheat, and rice, as well as nuts and legumes, can become contaminated due to poor storage conditions. This contamination is caused by a mold known as aflatoxins. The first documented aflatoxin outbreak dates back to 1974, when hundreds of stray dogs in India died after eating corn kernels contaminated with aflatoxins. In 1998, 55 dogs died from the same cause, and in December 2005, in the United States, more than 100 dogs died from pet food made from aflatoxin-contaminated food. As we've already discussed in this article, aflatoxins are a very powerful carcinogen. This study also found melamine and cyanuric acid in the food of 3 US brands, substances with which, in 2007, thousands of pets were poisoned. • Two studies have determined the composition of the diet of dogs with breast cancer. One study was conducted in Philadelphia, USA and the other in Madrid, Spain. Both studies included a quantitative questionnaire about the food frequency on the dietary intake of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In the study conducted in the US, it was found that dogs with mammary tumors consumed slightly less fat and more carbohydrates. However, the opposite was observed in the Spanish study. The two studies indicate that the composition of the diet, expressed as energy percentages of the macronutrients, is not exclusively related to the risk of breast cancer in dogs. Instead, the two studies identified an equal risk factor: youth overweight. In the study conducted in the USA, it was shown that dogs that were lean at one year of age had a lower percentage of breast cancer in adulthood. In the same way, the Spanish study showed that dogs with obesity at one year of age developed breast cancer in a higher percentage. These results allow us to affirm that the prevention of overweight not only contributes to longevity, but also to a delayed development of mammary tumors in bitches. • Another study examined the relationship between vegetable consumption and bladder cancer in the Scottish Terrier breed. The results showed that carrot consumption could have benefits in the prevention of cancer in dogs, although there is no causal relationship.   Other relevant data • Heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals that are formed when muscle meat is cooked at high temperatures. They are mutagenic, which means that they can change the structure of DNA, and in fact, research has emerged suggesting that these chemicals increase the risk of cancer in humans and some animals, such as rats. This shows that, when extruding the food, we must be very careful with the temperatures we use throughout the entire process. • Since 1930 it has been known that glucose is related to the growth of cancer cells. Back then, it was discovered that cancer cells exhibit a higher rate of glycolysis than normal cells, which means that they generate energy to grow from the breakdown of glucose. This leads us to rethink the amount of carbohydrates that food contains (in some cases it has been seen that they occupy more than 50% of the formula).   Summary More research is still required to determine the extent of the link between dog food and cancer development. However, it is important to remember, both for the industry and for the owners, that each bite that an animal ingests will have effects on its body and health, which can be negative or positive. It is very likely that the composition of a diet affects both the development of canine cancer and the course of the disease, but the truth is that there is only fragmentary information from published research. By: All Pet Food

Does Food affect the mood of Dogs?
Dogs
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4+ MIN

Does Food affect the mood of Dogs?

We know that what is fed to animals influences their physical health; but the concept that diet also affects mental health and behavior is often overlooked. However, nutrition is the fuel for the body and the brain, which is why, indeed, it has a leading role in animal mental health. In this article we analyze how diet and different nutrients impact the behavior and mood of pets.   The functioning of the brain Nutrition impacts every cell and metabolic process in the body. Just as a car cannot function without gasoline or gas, the brain and nervous system cannot function without the necessary components. All the activities and functions of the body are directed and connected by networks of neurons (nerve cells). If neurons cannot 'communicate' with each other in an optimal way, their networks will be affected and consequently their behavior will suffer as well. In this sense, we must recognize that all behavior is a direct manifestation of activity in the brain and central nervous system. The behavioral outcome is secondary to the underlying mood, emotion, and motivation. The truth is that most studies and research in animals are carried out in order to analyze the presence, prevention or absence of physical diseases, not mental or behavioral. Scientific studies on pet food and the functioning of the animal brain. It is often said that the intestine is the second brain of human beings, but what is true in this statement if we transfer it to pets? It remains to be seen. A thesis carried out in 2009 for the University of Wageningen focused on analyzing and evaluating the impact of feeding on two physiological systems involved in the regulation of canine behavior. Dietary fiber and canine behavior The potential impact of dietary fiber on satiety and behavior in dogs was evaluated. To do this, two in vitro fermentation studies were conducted to analyze microbial fermentation activity in the canine gastrointestinal tract from two diets with different fiber fermentability. Some results: It was found that the secretion of hormones related to satiety did not differ between the two treatment groups. Dogs fed a diet high in fermentable fiber showed less motivation or desire to eat 6 hours after their morning feed ration and, in turn, less activity, compared to dogs fed a diet low in fermentable fiber. Dogs in both treatment groups did not differ in their level of response to short-term activities performed between 5 and 7 hours after the morning meal. It was concluded that the type of dietary fiber used in the food can have an impact on canine behavior in terms of their levels of motivation. However, metabolites related to satiety have not been affected by the type of dietary fiber, indicating that other mechanisms were also involved in the feeling of satiety.   Tryptophan and the mood of animals The second analysis carried out was about the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which is involved in mood, stress, and behavior. Tryptophan supplementation has previously been shown to reduce anxiety in rats and increase resilience in stressed pigs. To translate the study into dogs, tests and analyzes were performed on a group of anxious dogs; participating pets consumed foods with different levels of tryptophan for 8 weeks. It was found that: Intake of food with a higher level of tryptophan increased plasma tryptophan by 37.4% and its proportion with neutral amino acids by 31.2%. However, the data provided by the owners of these dogs do not provide a significant change in the behavior of dogs that can be attributed to the particular dietary treatment. The diet high in tryptophan and low in protein presented improvements in behavior, especially a reduction towards aggressive behavior to mark territory and improved behavior related to fear, attachment, attention and sensitivity to pain. Other studies... It has been shown that behavior and mood in rats, pigs and humans can be affected by certain nutrients. The physical activity of pigs has been influenced by the type of dietary fiber, probably due to satiety after eating. Fermentable fibers were assumed to be able to stimulate several mechanisms involved in the maintenance of satiety, including stimulation of the secretion of satiety-related metabolites in the gastrointestinal tract. Enrichment of dog diets with antioxidants and mitochondrial cofactors has been found to reduce the rate of age-related cognitive decline and associated behavioral changes. The inclusion of soy-based ingredients in pet food for dogs resulted in the presence of active phytoestrogens that influence anxious behavior in Rats, and impair the social behavior of monkeys. Studies that focused on the effects of the experimental decrease in tryptophan availability showed that, as there was a deficit of this amino acid, there was an increase in aggressive behavior and a decrease in mood. Conclusion The old saying "we are what we eat" is certainly wise and this also applies to dogs and all pets. Unfortunately, to date, there is very limited research in the area of ​​how certain specific nutrients affect the brains and behavior of dogs. We trust that, as animal mental health becomes more recognized by both the industry and its owners, the studies and analyzes already carried out will be deepened in order to offer the best possible food and nutrition. By: All Pet Food

What is the role of Pet Food in canine obesity?
Dogs
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4+ MIN

What is the role of Pet Food in canine obesity?

Obesity in Dogs is a recurring theme in veterinary consultations, and various factors can lead to an overweight animal. In this article we discuss the role of pet food in obesity and what we can do to help solve this problem.   Obesity in dogs In a study conducted by APOP in the United States in 2015, it was found that approximately 54% of American dogs were overweight or obese. However, of this percentage, 95% of overweight dog owners believed they were at a healthy weight. This gives us an indicator from the beginning about why more than half of the canines in a population are overweight: the owners deny it or are misinformed. There is no doubt that the balanced food that is chosen for the pet will have an impact and responsibility in the development of overweight. Now, what, specifically, is the degree of responsibility that the pet food industry has to assume? How much influence the decisions or behaviors of the owners? How to recognize and draw the line between responsibility for food and genetic load? The pandemic has significantly affected everyone's daily life, including that of pets; Their routines, eating habits, and activity levels have all changed, so it is not surprising that canine obesity continues to increase, and even at a dizzying rate. Of a group of vets surveyed, more than 71% say the pandemic has affected the way pets are fed.   Demonization of pet food as the guilty of canine obesity The studies and research that we will discuss below show that the fact that a dog becomes overweight greatly exceeds the quality or nutritional value of the balanced food that is provided. However, there is still a certain 'demonization' towards food and it is taken as the main and only cause of the animal's obesity. For example, foods high in fresh meat tend to be very nutrient-dense, meaning that less is more nourishing. Generally, owners ignore this data due to confusion or misinformation, and this is how they overfeed it. Meat by-products present a similar situation: they are, many times, considered waste by pet owners. And yet, they are the most nutritious for dogs and cats.   What is the relationship between eating patterns and canine obesity? In November 2020, the Kelton Global company carried out an investigation on how eating patterns influence obesity in dogs. The study was conducted with 1,021 dog and cat owners and 257 from the United States. Canine obesity rates are increasing and there is no question about that. In order to determine what the trigger is, it is necessary to acquire a greater understanding about eating patterns to later be able to combat the problem. The study examined the relationship between dietary patterns and caloric intake and nutrients in selected foods. To do this, they collected surveys about lifestyle, feeding frequencies, and 3-day food records were requested from both the pet and the owner.   The results of the study show that: • Significant differences were found in total kcal intake per kilogram of body weight. • Lean dogs received significantly more dietary fiber compared to overweight dogs, regardless of the number of snacks they were given. • Statistically significant differences were observed in the cases of higher concentrations of polyunsaturated fat and lower concentrations of saturated fat. • Dietary fiber in dog food was positively associated with protein and negatively associated with accumulated fat, regardless of the dog's weight. So a high fiber diet is associated with dogs with a healthy weight.   Patterns in humans, obesity in dogs The study showed that the behavior of humans, even those that have nothing to do with their pets, impacts the health and weight of animals: • Dogs that receive 'leftover' pieces of food from the owner that reach 21% of their daily intake were shown to be more likely to be overweight. • Pet owners who participated in the sample and who had diets with high levels of micronutrients and with lower caloric density had dogs of healthy weights with no signs of developing obesity. • Statistically significant differences were observed in the cases in which the owners had diets with high concentrations of polyunsaturated fats and lower concentrations of saturated fats. • Those of dogs with a healthy weight had a diet richer in nutrients than the owners of overweight dogs. • 59% of overweight dog owners were overweight or obese. The study shows that, beyond the food that is provided to the dog, the behavior patterns of its owner can positively or negatively affect its health and body weight.   Other related studies • A 2009 study found high concentrations of triglycerides and cholesterol in obese dogs, suggesting metabolic disturbances in obesity. • Another more recent study examined the effects of weight-loss diets and found that high-fiber and high-protein diets provided significantly more satiety than high-volume protein-only or fiber-only diets. • Recent research has shown that the increasing rate of canine obesity has led to an increase in the rate of osteoarthritis, insulin resistance and certain neoplasms.   In conclusion Yes, Pet Food definitely plays a role in Pet obesity, but as we've discussed, not in the way that many owners and even veterinarians believe. Fighting canine obesity requires better education with scientifically sound information about the true nutritional needs of dogs and cats and the various ways to meet them. For our part, we believe that we must work to improve the understanding of the nutritional and caloric information labels and of the best practices regarding the intake or use of the food in question. Marking and explaining well the difference in how to provide a super-premium, standard, or extra protein food will be essential to provide and disseminate greater and better education about the health and weight of animals. Will this be the year that, as an industry, we innovate in addressing pet obesity more proactively? We read you! Source: All Pet Food

How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Dog Ear Infections?
Dogs
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7+ MIN

How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Dog Ear Infections?

Dog ears come in all shapes and sizes, but they are unique in their anatomy when compared to human ears. Dogs have a long ear canal with both vertical and horizontal components. This creates a J or L shape that traps debris more easily, which in turn, can lead to dog ear infections. Dog ear infections are common, so it's not surprising that in 2018, Embrace Pet Insurance listed dog ear infections as third on the list of the top five dog medical conditions. Here's a guide to help you recognize the signs of dog ear infections so you can take your dog for treatment as soon as possible. Types of Dog Ear Infections Signs of Dog Ear Infections Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs and Puppies Are Dog Ear Infections Contagious? Will Dog Ear Infections Go Away on Their Own? Can You Treat Dog Ear Infections at Home? How to Treat Dog Ear Infections Properly Treating Chronic Ear Infections in Dogs How to Prevent Ear Infections in Dogs and Puppies 3 Types of Dog Ear Infections After the ear canal sits the eardrum, then the middle and inner ear deep inside the head. Otitis is inflammation of the ear. Otitis is divided into three types based on the location of a dog's ear infection: Otitis externa: inflammation of the ear canal. Otitis media: inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis interna: inflammation of the inner ear. Otitis externa is the most common of these three infections because this is the part of the ear most exposed to external factors. Ear infections can be acute (with a quick onset) or chronic and recurrent. Dogs can also have an infection in one or both ears. Signs of Dog Ear Infections A healthy Dog ear is clean and dry. It is normal for small amounts of microscopic bacteria and yeast to live in the outer ear canal, but when a buildup of debris occurs, or the normal, healthy ear canal is compromised, those bacteria and yeast can overgrow and create an infection. Common signs of dog ear infections include: Redness Odor Itching/scratching Pain Shaking of the head Head tilt   Occasionally, dogs can experience hearing loss or balance issues. Rarely, an ear infection may affect a dog's appetite if the pet is having system-wide effects. This is seen more often with otitis media or interna. What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs and Puppies? Many things can cause ear infections in dogs and puppies. Often, an underlying problem leads to the inability of the normal protective barrier of a dog's ear to work properly. Once the ear environment becomes moist or inflamed, it is easy for bacteria or yeast to overgrow and cause infection. Here are some common causes for a dog's ear to become infected: Foreign bodies (grass awn, foxtails) that get into the ear. Ear mites. Excessive moisture from bathing or swimming. Food allergies. Environmental allergies. Endocrine issues such as hypothyroidism. Autoimmune diseases such as pemphigus, lupus, or vasculitis. Polyps (fleshy growths inside the ear canal). Certain types of cancer. Trauma to the ear. All of these problems can make the ear canal susceptible to bacterial infection and/or yeast infection. When a dog is in pain and scratching and shaking excessively, an aural hematoma can develop as well. This is seen in the pinna or earflap, where ruptured blood vessels leak blood that clots and causes swelling and pain. Are Dog Ear Infections Contagious? It depends on the cause, but the majority of dog ear infections are not contagious. If the cause is ear mites, though, these parasites are extremely contagious. With ear mites, all pets in the home must be treated simultaneously. Ear mites are relatively common in puppies and kittens and may not be noticed initially when adopting a new pet. But shortly after bringing your new pet home, multiple pets in the house will be scratching and shaking. Rarely, a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or possible other contagious infection can be cultured from an infected ear. It is recommended to practice good handwashing when interacting with a pet with an ear infection and to limit other pets licking the infected pet's ears. Good handwashing is also recommended after cleaning or medicating the ear to limit any topical absorption of medication. Will a Dog Ear Infection Go Away on Its Own? Most often, a dog ear infection will not go away on its own. All types of otitis require a veterinarian to evaluate the infection and the eardrum. If the eardrum is ruptured, certain cleaners and medications can be toxic to the middle ear. Can You Treat Dog Ear Infections at Home? The simple answer is no. Dog ear infections require vet treatment and medication in order to restore a healthy ear canal. After the veterinarian has evaluated your pet, they will determine if any further home treatment is appropriate. This can be done if a small amount of debris is present and the eardrum is intact. Dr. Wendy Brooks, DVM, DABVP, notes that if a large amount of debris present, a veterinarian must perform a thorough deep clean while the pet is under sedation. How to Treat Dog Ear Infections Properly Your veterinarian will likely need to test the ear debris or perform scans of your dog's ear to choose the appropriate treatment. These are some tests that your vet might conduct: Cytology uses special stains on the swab of debris to color the microscopic bacterial cells or fungus. Viewing these under the microscope can identify the specific cause. Culture/sensitivity testing uses special medium/broth to grow and identify the specific bacteria that are causing the infection. It also tests which antibiotics will be effective in eliminating the infection. Blood testing may be needed to check for endocrine disease as an underlying condition. Skull x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI may be needed to assess the extent of severe or inner ear disease. Once the details of your dog's ear infection are known, therapy will likely consist of multiple elements that may include topical, oral, or surgical therapies. Topical Often, a cleanser in combination with an ointment or eardrop can be used. This medication typically needs to get deep into the ear canal. Sometimes an oti-pack is used. This medication is in a lanolin base that is slowly released and does not require daily cleaning or application of drops. Oral Depending on the severity of the infection, an oral antibiotic, antifungal, or a steroid medication may be used to help heal the ear from the 'inside out.' Surgical Ears that have had severe chronic disease may no longer respond to medical treatments. The goal of surgery for these ears is to open the canal or sometimes to completely remove all diseased tissue. What If Your Dog Has Chronic Ear Infections? Chronic ear infections can be time-consuming and frustrating for the pet, the owner, and even the veterinarian. Certain breeds of dogs are known to more commonly experience recurring ear infection issues, according to the Veterinary Information Network.3 This can be partly due to genetics, ear shape, or ear confirmation. Over time, proliferative ear tissue can form, making treatment more difficult. Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels commonly get chronic infections due to long, floppy ears and a high numbers of ceruminous glands (ear sweat glands that produce earwax). Shar-Peis have small ear canals that can trap and hide debris. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are prone to allergies and underlying sensitivities leading to chronic or recurrent ear infection. Schnauzers and Poodles often have excess hair deep in the ear canal. Chronic dog ear infections require closely working with your veterinarian to treat. It is important that your vet does testing to choose the appropriate medication. Chronic infections can require medication consistently for 6 to 8 weeks. After treatment, testing is needed again to ensure that all the infection has cleared. If we stop medicating too soon or do not treat underlying problems, it is easy for the infection to return, sometimes even becoming resistant to many medications. How to Prevent Ear Infections in Dogs and Puppies Regular grooming, ear cleaning, and ear maintenance are important parts of pet care. Routine ear cleansing is especially important if your dog swims often. Cleaning is best accomplished with a professional dog ear cleaning product. These typically have been specifically formulated for effective pH ranges for dogs and contain drying agents. Key Points for Dog Ear Cleaning Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as they can kill healthy ear cells. Do not stick cotton swabs down into your dog's ear, as this can risk rupturing the eardrum. It is okay to use cotton balls or ear wipes to clean crevices and the earflap. Dog Ear Cleaning Technique Apply liquid cleanser to the ear as directed. Close the earflap and massage the base of the ears. Gently wipe clean with a cloth or cotton balls. Apply any medication prescribed. By: Pet MD

What is the Relationship between Pet Food and the hair of Cats and Dogs?
Dogs
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4+ MIN

What is the Relationship between Pet Food and the hair of Cats and Dogs?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

The hair of dogs and cats is such a characteristic factor of the different breeds and species that it is, even in many cases, what makes a person can choose for one breed or another. In this article we will tell you the importance of pet food when it comes to preserving the hair of animals and the different options that we can offer to pets in our Industry. Many Dogs and Cats suffer from hair problems that manifest as persistent shedding, obsessive grooming, paw chewing, bald patches, or skin rashes. However, the hair responds to a cyclical process. Hair shedding is a normal physiological process, common to many species of animals (and even humans). The truth is that, in Dogs and Cats, taking into account it's more visible (and in many cases, annoying for their owners). In these species, the shedding must occur once or twice a year: in the transition from winter to spring, and from summer to autumn on some occasions. This is known as a seasonal shedding, which is normal, necessary, and healthy. Now, the problem appears when a Dog or Cat constantly sheds its hair, we could even say that throughout all the seasons. Does the food given to the pet have to do with these events? Are there ingredients that positively or negatively affect the fur of animals? First and foremost, it should be noted that a continuous shedding of hair indicates that there is an excess of waste in the pet's system that is trying to eliminate. Among the possible causes of a continuous shedding of hair, poor quality food is the main one, followed by: • Overfeeding • Unidentified food allergy or intolerance to an ingredient in the formula • Excess fat and protein intake These factors can lead to the accumulation of toxic waste in the system and a variety of problems. What can we do from the pet food industry? There are certain components that we can take into account when making a new formula or improving an existing one: • Hypoallergenic food: After years of studies and tests, it could be said that, today, formulas with whole grains give excellent results; secondly, there are potatoes and buckwheat. In the case of dogs, a natural, healthy, easily digestible food, rich in complex carbohydrates and low in protein and fat is the closest thing to an ideal formula. • Overfeeding: Although in this sense there is not much that we can control from the industry, what can be done is to raise awareness and inform through the packaging of each of our products about the importance of respecting the amounts recommended by veterinary nutritionists. You have a recent article where we talked at length about this topic. Overfeeding a pet will cause the body to receive more of what it needs and consumes, even if the food is of excellent quality, so it will accumulate all these components in the form of toxins. Hair loss in dogs It goes without saying that a food with a complete and balanced formula helps to keep the cycle of coat change unaltered. Still, in many cases, what is good for one dog or breed may not be good for another. The ingredients that today help prevent excessive hair loss in dogs are: • Fruits and vegetables, due to their high omega-6 content. • Royal smoked salmon, due to its high omega-3 content. • Protein from brown rice. • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids provide a lot of nutrition and hydration to the skin and coat, especially in breeds with a tendency to have dry, sensitive or dull skin. The balance between these two acids is what achieves a shiny and healthy coat. • Salmon and trout flour. • Antioxidants, prebiotics and probiotics. Hair loss in cats In the case of cats, and especially those with long hair, the formula of the food can make a big difference, both in the aesthetics and in the health of the hair. The shiny coat of a cat can have up to 1,200 hairs per square centimeter. With what ingredients can we try to take care of it and keep it healthy, shiny and smooth? • Pure coconut oil: Helps to hydrate the skin, especially sensitive skin prone to allergies or redness. At the same time, it improves the appearance of the hair, because it provides shine and softness from within. Prevents excessive loss and promotes healthy growth. • Zinc and vitamins C, E, A and B: This set of vitamins promotes the synthesis of keratin, something essential for a healthy, elastic, thick and shiny skin and coat. • Biotin: Vitamin B complex that helps promote healthy tissue growth. • Vitamin E: This vitamin is a natural antioxidant that helps protect your pet's skin against free radicals that could damage skin cells. • Chicken flour and brown rice. Summary Hair, beyond being characteristic of each race or species, has its own functions, such as providing sensory data and protection. Beyond aesthetics, it is essential to emphasize raising awareness among the pet-owning public about which food is most suitable for each species or breed and how to recognize when the hair is in good or bad condition. Without a doubt, a balanced and complete formula in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates will do its job and will keep the animal healthy and cute. Even so, you must always take into account reinforcing the importance of respecting the quantities, as well as researching or consulting about the indicated food for each Pet. What ingredient do you think is the most suitable to add to pet food formulas? By: All Pet Food

What is dilated cardiomyopathy, how can it be avoided and how is it related to pet food?
Dogs
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4+ MIN

What is dilated cardiomyopathy, how can it be avoided and how is it related to pet food?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

Dilated cardiomyopathy is one of the most recurrent diseases in dogs and cats, and is currently a major concern that challenges the entire Pet Food production industry. In this article we investigate the research and reports that analyze the relationship between this disease and the food formula for those animals that suffer from it consume or should consume, so we have to take action and offer solutions to these concerns in our market. What is dilated cardiomyopathy? DCM is a heart disease characterized by decreased pumping function and an increase in the size of one or more chambers of the heart muscle. This condition is acquired, which means that the animal was born with a normal heart, but has developed the pathology at some point in its life. In short, what DCM produces is that the heart enlarges and its walls become narrower, and the heart muscle begins to be unable to pump blood as it should. If left untreated, it can lead to the development of congestive heart failure (fluid in the lungs, around them, and in the abdomen) or sudden death. What is the context? Historically, dilated cardiomyopathy was mainly associated with nutritional deficiencies. In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) launched an investigation into the potential link between some diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), as some correlation between development began to be noted of the disease and the diets that these animals had. DCM itself is not considered a rare or abnormal disease in dogs, what is striking in the cases studied is that many of these dogs are of breeds that are generally not genetically prone to this condition. Furthermore, most of the cases had diets with high concentrations of certain ingredients, and only a few were classified as "grain-free." While it is true that a small percentage of animals of these species may require a grain-free diet due to other types of pathologies or chronic conditions, the truth is that misinformation and ignorance about cereals has caused a large number of owners of pets opt for foods of this style without really knowing the consequences that could entail. What is known so far? Cooperative work between cardiologists and veterinary nutritionists and the USFDA has confirmed that the increase in this pathology in canines and felines is directly related to diets deficient in cereals. Affected dogs and cats have often been found to be fed non-grain diets that contain exotic meats (not chicken, beef, or fish), potatoes, sweet potatoes, and / or legumes such as lentils or chickpeas. Although the link between dilated cardiomyopathy and these types of foods has been confirmed, the exact cause is not yet known. Until now, it is believed that one of the reasons may be the deficiency of taurine detected in animals with this pathology, or that these diets hinder the absorption and metabolism of said amino acid. However, only some animals with DCM improved after regulating their taurine level. So far, three types of DCM have been detected: Associated with a diet with normal levels of taurine: this version of the pathology was found both in dogs breeds not predisposed to having it on BEG diets (under suspicion) and in certain dogs breeds more predisposed to suffer from DCM on BEG diets. Primary in predisposed breeds not related to diet: this is the "traditional" version of cardiomyopathy, which occurs genetically in breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Boxers. Associated with a taurine-deficient diet: this type of DCM seems to occur in both predisposed and non-predisposed breeds. In 2019, the FDA released an update on its research on diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), reaffirming that some breeds appear to be prone to the disease (such as the Golden Retriever). Surprisingly, some Doberman Pinscher, Boxer or Great Dane dogs, which commonly develop primary DCM, have improved their condition by changing their diet. How should the industry behave? From our side as active professionals and participants in the pet food industry, we must consider it is essential to stay informed and updated on the subject of the MCD, with the aim of seeking and producing both, nutritionally adequate formulas and solutions for any inconveniences or discoveries that may be emerging. Currently, foods listed in foreign countries as "prone" to develop the pathology contain the following ingredients as the main component: Grain free. With legumes or legume seeds. With potatoes. With derivatives of protein, starch and fiber from the ingredients mentioned above. Conclusion Currently the FDA, along with other organizations and professionals, continue to work to find the cause of diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy as quickly as possible, either to better understand the possible response to diet change and heart medications, as well as the way to prevent the condition. The FDA is investigating further into the role that diet may play in associated dilated cardiomyopathy; states that it plans to explore alternative pathways on ingredient concentration, bioavailability, sourcing and processing to determine if there are common and encouraging factors for the development of the disease. So far this is a difficult problem to solve, challenging the entire industry. Logically, pet owners are concerned that the cause and solution to the problem can be found. However, all the members of the world and the pet food production chain should put some focus on this problem, since, if it affects one sector, it will affect, directly or indirectly, the entire industry. Were you aware of this disease? Do you think a solution will be found in the short term? Let us know! We are interested in your opinion. Source: All Pet Food

Pet Parent perceptions of labored swallows in dogs
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Pet Parent perceptions of labored swallows in dogs

APPLIED BEHAVIOR RESEARCH, AFB INTERNATIONAL More and more, pet parents want to know their dog is enjoying a meal in addition to simply eating it. If a meal is perceived as enjoyable, then there is a greater likelihood of a repurchase. We presented videos with different levels of dog feeding enjoyment (i.e., % Nose in BowlSM) to pet parents. However, when pet parents judge 'enjoyment', they could have different expectations for how their pet should respond. An example of a difference in expectations is labored swallows, or chin thrusts, during eating. This study took a closer look at whether labored swallows are likely to be perceived as positive or negative by pet parents when describing their dog's enjoyment of a meal. SURVEY DESIGN Paired video surveys were conducted at AFB International in Missouri, USA. Fifty-five survey responses were collected from dog pet parents. Each survey participant watched two videos (A and B) of a dog eating a meal. Videos A and B differed in the level of % Nose in Bowl, which is an objective measure of feeding enjoyment (i.e., the proportion of time focused on the food). Three categories of paired videos A and B represented three levels of difference in % Nose in Bowl: low 3%, medium 6% and high 12%. Category 1: (3% Nose in Bowl difference)= Both videos A and B contained labored swallows. Video A had double the number of examples than B. Category 2: (6% Nose in Bowl difference)= Both videos contained labored swallows, but A had more than double the number of examples than B. Category 3: (12% Nose in Bowl difference)= Video A contained labored swallows while video B had zero examples.   Participants were randomly assigned to video categories and were not aware that labored swallows were the focus of the study. After each viewing, participants were asked in which video (A or B) the dog enjoyed the food more. Our hypothesis was that pet parents would perceive videos containing more labored swallows as the less enjoyed meal. RESULTS For Category 1 where labored swallows occurred in both videos and % Nose in Bowl difference was low, unexpectedly, the pet parent was slightly more likely to assign labored swallows as a positive behavior (Figure 2). In Category 2 labored swallows were present in both videos with Video A having more than double the number of video B and medium difference in % Nose in Bowl. As expected, participants rated video B with less labored swallows as more enjoyable. In Category 3 labored swallows were only present in Video A and videos had greatest difference in % Nose in Bowl. As expected, Video B with no labored swallows was associated with more enjoyment.   CONCLUSIONS Prior to this study there wasn't a clear understanding of how labored swallows could be perceived as part of dog feeding enjoyment. Despite a small portion of participants who associated labored swallows as a positive response, most of our participants perceived labored swallows in a negative context, particularly when % Nose in Bowl differences were 6% or greater (Categories 2 and 3). Enjoyment was more difficult for pet parents to distinguish when % Nose in Bowl was similar in videos A and B even when labored swallows occurred twice as often (Category 1). The knowledge gained from this closer look into labored swallows will guide behavioral interpretation of future feeding trials that this response is generally perceived by pet parents as a negative action. By: AFB International

Omega-3 reduces pain and stops osteoarthritis in dogs
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Omega-3 reduces pain and stops osteoarthritis in dogs

An expert in veterinary nutrition points out that some of the problems of osteoarthritis in dogs, such as inflammation or pain, can be managed with a diet rich in various nutrients such as omega-3 Disruption of the normal movement of the joints can cause injury to the various components of a joint. This injury often results in what is known as osteoarthritis (OA), which often leads to physical disability, pain, and a reduced quality of life for the affected pet. OA is the most common form of arthritis and is recognized in humans and all veterinary species. It is often a slowly progressive condition characterized by two main disease processes: degeneration of articular cartilage with loss of proteoglycan and collagen, and proliferation of new bone. In North America, the prevalence of osteoarthritis ranges from 20% in dogs older than 1 year to 80% in dogs older than 8 years. The goals of OA treatment are multifaceted: reduce pain and discomfort, decrease clinical signs, delay disease progression, promote repair of damaged tissue, and improve quality of life. Kara Burns, a veterinary technician specializing in physiology and psychology and president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians, explains how to improve the development of osteoarthritis through diet. And it is that it has been suggested that the best results in dogs with chronic pain due to OA are the result of a combination of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications, as well as pharmacological treatments to alleviate the disease, but also from other areas, such as nutrition, exercise and physical therapy. In fact, Burns explains that dietary factors can potentially modify some of the underlying processes involved in OA, including modulating the inflammatory response, supplying nutrients for cartilage repair, and protection against oxidative damage. THE IMPORTANCE OF DOG NUTRITION IN OSTEOARTHRITIS "When effective, diet management can help reduce or eliminate the need for conventional medications," says the veterinary technique, which highlights, among some of the elements that should be taken into account in the diet, amino acids or Omega-3 fatty acids. In the case of omega-3s, Burns notes that these fatty acids have been shown to aid in the management of canine OA, and there are studies showing that foods high in total omega-3 fatty acids and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA ) may improve the clinical signs of canine OA. In the pet food market, products rich in these nutrients are offered, such as those from Dechra's Specific range, which is committed to omega-3 in its diet, specifically of marine origin. Thanks to the use of alternative and sustainable protein sources, such as certified fish and krill, Dechra's diets are high in omega-3, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In addition, omega-3 has other beneficial effects beyond osteoarthritis, as it helps in the maintenance of a healthy coat and skin, favors the development of the brain and eyes and strengthens the immune system, and promotes good heart health . In conclusion, veterinary art believes that nutrition and specific nutrients provide an effective and safe way to control OA in dogs, and that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids have the dual benefit of controlling inflammation and pain while slowing the progression of the disease by decreasing the degradation of cartilage. Author: Animal's Health

Why You’re Thinking About Pet Food Quality Wrong
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Why You’re Thinking About Pet Food Quality Wrong

When it comes to pet food, it's hard to talk about quality without quantifiable points of measurement. At a minimum, companies are required to report certain information, including a limited guaranteed analysis, ingredients by weight and the nutritional adequacy statement. Unfortunately, this information is not an accurate measure of quality.  Quality is not measured by the guaranteed analysis or by a protein percentage. Quality is better examined by looking at how efficiently and effectively nutrients are delivered to the animal. There is an important concept in formulating and testing food that is often overlooked—digestibility. What Is Digestibility? Digestibility is the measure of how efficiently nutrients are absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream and ultimately utilized in the dog's system. To maximize digestibility, the right ingredients must be combined in the right way and minimally processed. Linda Case, the author of 'Dog Food Logic,' summarizes digestibility perfectly. 'As one of the most basic measures of food quality, digestibility provides essential information that can help dog owners to select the best food for their dog,' Case says.  What Affects Digestibility? Better ingredients result in better digestibility. One end of the quality spectrum includes ingredients like fresh meat and whole foods that are more bioavailable and more digestible. These ingredients are not overly processed and provide a multitude of nutritional benefits. On the other end of the quality spectrum are overly processed ingredients like chicken meal or fish meal. Although incredibly common in dog food, meat meals are highly processed meat substitutes with comparably low digestibility. They are included in recipes as an inexpensive way to raise protein levels in the guaranteed analysis. However, their digestibility rating is lower than the better, high-quality, fresh meat alternatives. Digestibility is not just a marketing term. It is measured objectively through noninvasive, third-party feeding trials. Over a period of time, dogs fed a specific diet have their fecal matter analyzed for all the markers that measure protein digestibility. Science tells us what is and is not digestible. With the proven long-term benefits of higher digestibility and the relative ease of objective test measures, you would think that digestibility reporting would be an industry norm. Unfortunately, for retailers and consumers alike, it's not. Without a regulatory requirement, most companies do not know or will not share their digestibility rating.  Who Reports Their Digestibility? BIXBI is not like most companies. Because we believe in what digestibility tells about food, we are committed to not only testing all of our recipes, but also making those results available. Third-party tests show our dog food is exceptional. Its minimally processed USDA human-grade fresh meat, cooked only once, delivers more bioavailable nutrients than highly processed ingredients like rendered meal powders. RAWBBLE dry recipes average 90 percent protein digestibility across the line, while our Freeze-Dried recipes average 95 percent. Our results on paper and in people's homes are proof positive that ingredients, formulations and processing all matter. Fresh meat matters. by BixBi

Research Update: Testing for Food Allergies
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Research Update: Testing for Food Allergies

While food allergies (also called adverse food reaction or 'AFR') are uncommon in pets, diagnosing them or ruling them out completely remains a frustrating endeavor for veterinarians and pet owners alike. As the 'gold standard' – an elimination diet and re-challenge – is difficult and time-consuming, many pet owners and vets reach for simpler methods such as blood and saliva testing. What many pet owners and some veterinarians may not realize is that common commercial blood and saliva tests have not been validated – i.e. the results, positive or negative, have not been shown to correspond to actual clinical changes in pets. Put another way, it has never been proven that a positive test equals an allergy or that a negative test means the ingredient is fine for the pet. While I have had many pet owners and veterinarians report that they see resolution of allergy signs after avoiding ingredients for which the pet has tested positive on blood or saliva tests, I've had just as many that report improvement despite being fed positive ingredients (often without the pet owner realizing that the ingredient is included in current food or treats). Previously, while there was little data to suggest that these tests were effective to identify allergens, there was also not a lot of published data to show that they *didn't* work. That has changed recently with the publication of two studies that evaluated some of the most common blood and saliva food allergy/sensitivity tests for dogs. In the first study, which was done in Europe, investigators compared a popular saliva test and a popular blood test in three groups of dogs – those with known food allergies to identified ingredients, healthy dogs with no allergic signs, and dogs with suspected food allergies that were undergoing diet elimination and re-challenge testing. Between 20-30% of the healthy dogs had a strong positive reaction to one or more foods, depending on the type of the test. Another 53% of healthy dogs had weak positive reactions on the saliva test. In fact, there were more positive saliva reactions in healthy dogs than in allergic dogs! Overall, the number of dogs with positive reactions on the tests was not different between healthy and food allergic dogs. Only 1 of the positive blood tests corresponded to a known allergy in one of the allergic dogs. In the second study, which was performed here at the Cummings School, 30 healthy dogs were tested with the same saliva test as the European study as well as two popular blood tests here in the US. Between 60-100% of dogs tested positive for one or more foods on each test. Two dogs tested positive for all antigens on one of the blood tests, while a different dog tested positive for all antigens on the saliva test. Keep in mind that these are healthy dogs with no evidence of allergies! Take Home: Saliva and blood tests for food allergies in dogs do not reliably distinguish between healthy and allergic dogs and should not be used for diagnosis of food allergy! The use of these blood and saliva tests could result in the false identification of a lot of common foods as allergens. Pet owners may then avoid these ingredients in favor of more expensive, more uncommon, and potentially nutritionally riskier exotic ingredients. While diet elimination is difficult to do correctly, it remains the best option that we have for diagnosis of food allergies in pets. by Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN All Extruded

Coronavirus: Hong Kong confirms a Second Dog is Infected
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Coronavirus: Hong Kong confirms a Second Dog is Infected

The German shepherd owned by a Covid-19 patient is in quarantine, along with another dog from the same home. It is 'very likely' the two positive canine cases are examples of human-to-animal transmission, says virologis South China Morning Post informed yesterday that a second dog with an infected owner has caught the coronavirus, Hong Kong's animal welfare authority confirmed on Thursday. The two-year-old German shepherd lived with a person diagnosed with Covid-19 in Pok Fu Lam and was sent to quarantine on Wednesday, along with a four-year-old mixed-breed dog from the same home. The dogs were kept in separate kennels at the government facility. Oral and nasal swabs taken on Wednesday and Thursday returned positive readings for the German shepherd, but were negative for the other dog. Neither animal had shown any signs of the Covid-19 disease, according to an Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) spokesman, who added that it would 'closely monitor both dogs and conduct repeated tests on the animals'. Animal health expert Professor Vanessa Barrs from City University had previously urged the public not to panic, as there was no evidence people could be infected by their pets. She also cited the Sars experience of 2003, which suggested cats and dogs would not become sick or transmit the virus to humans. Professor Malik Peiris, a leading public health virologist at the University of Hong Kong who helped the government analyse the specimens, told the Post that a blood test would be performed, but added the sample must be taken at least 10 days after the onset of infection to allow for the antibodies to develop. 'It is very likely that the two positive cases [in Hong Kong] are examples of human-to-dog transmission,' he added. 'We will also follow up on the mixed-breed dog, but it has tested negative.' A 17-year-old Pomeranian earlier became the first dog in the world to be found with the coronavirus when it tested 'weak positive' in repeated checks This Pomeranian which repeatedly tested 'weak positive' for the coronavirus died aged 17 on Monday. Photo: Facebook The dog died on Monday after returning home for three days. A medical source later told the Post it was unlikely the dog died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, pointing to its old age and the underlying illnesses it had. The animal welfare authority said it would continue to work with the Department of Health in the handling of relevant cases. To ensure public and animal health, the department has strongly advised that mammalian pet animals, including dogs and cats, from households with confirmed coronavirus cases, or their close contacts, should be quarantined. Apart from the two dogs, the department said there were currently another four cats under quarantine, adding visits to those pets in quarantine were not allowed and that the animals were isolated in separate rooms. Quarantined animals would be checked and cared for every day and assessed for any special needs they might have, the spokesman told the Post. The spokesman said there was currently no evidence that pets could transmit the virus to humans, or that it could cause Covid-19 in dogs. Pet owners should always maintain good hygiene practices and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets, the authority has said. The owner of the two dogs tested this week is a 30-year-old woman living in Emerald Garden, Pok Fu Lam Road. She travelled to Paris and London on February 27, arriving in Hong Kong on March 6. She tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Her husband has developed symptoms and is in hospital. Source: South China Morning Post 

Columbian pet food market: singles are attractive target
Dogs
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2+ MIN

Columbian pet food market: singles are attractive target

The Columbian pet food market has grown ten-fold since 2000, and one-person households are increasing. Why demographics matter in Latin America? The most recent population census in Colombia revealed that households comprising one member rose to 18% in 2018 – a large increase compared to the previous share of 11% in the 2005 census. This information suggests there were approximately 15 million families in the country and more than 2.6 million one-person households in 2018. Particularly, the latter group represents an appealing market to pet food producers as these consumers are possibly more inclined to acquire pets and to spend readily on them. On the other hand, trade sources state that pet ownership in Colombia is not as high as it is in other markets, with just over 43% of families owning a pet. Of that universe of pet owners, 70% have a dog, 15% have cats, while the rest own other animal species. In fact, a rather low pet possession rate is an indicator of future growth opportunities. Room for growth yet with region-specific challenges In Latin American markets, the biggest trial for the local industries is increasing the amount of pet food consumption as opposed to homemade preparations. In this regard, one limitation to further development of the pet food market in the region is the ample differences among rural and urban cities, in both income and consumption habit trends.   People in larger cities are likely the largest pet food consumers due to their busier lifestyles and the limited time they usually have. Therefore, as one-person households are largely comprised of young professionals who can afford pet food products, it is expected that such favorable demographic conditions will stimulate the present and future demand for pet food in the country, putting Colombia in the eye of the global industry. Autor: Iván Franco  Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).

Is a dog part of your health plan?
Dogs
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3+ MIN

Is a dog part of your health plan?

The history of dogs as pets stretches back at least 27,000 years, when dogs were first domesticated from grey wolves. Initially, the tamest wolves might have approached human settlements in search of food. Our pre-historic ancestors soon realized the usefulness of dogs for hunting and warding off predators.
Dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans. This early alliance between humans and dogs was certainly mutually beneficial, especially at a time when hunting and protection were vitally important. Today most people recognize that the benefits of sharing a close friendship with a dog run much deeper.  oday, dogs are trained to assist people with disabilities and to become therapy dogs that help deal with a person"s mental illness. As companion animals, studies have shown that dogs benefit human health by promoting physical activity, helping to cope with difficult life situations, diminishing heart disease risk factors, as well as alleviating depression, anxiety, and social isolation.   Does a dog help you to live longer? For example, a study that compared married couples that had a pet vs. couples that did not, concluded that resting heart rates and blood pressure were lower among pet owners than in the control group, and that pet owners recovered faster from stress. (source) Further, among pet owners aged 50–83 with mild hypertension, the presence of a dog was associated with lower blood pressure, increased happiness, and reduced feelings of anger, frustration, and irritation.(source)   A new study has recently made headlines, that dog owners live longer. The 12-week study concluded that owning a dog was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in single households and with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death in the general population. The risk of heart disease may also be linked to allergies and asthma, due to higher levels of inflammation, reduced physical activity, depression, or obesity. Several studies suggest that growing up in a home with a pet reduces the risk of suffering from allergies or asthma. Besides reducing allergy and eczema risk, one-year old babies who grew up with a pet in their home, had a stronger immune system. (source)   Superfood for man"s best friend Dogs provide us so much joy and have become more than just man"s best friend. Today, dogs are treated like family members and therefore deserve the best care. To support dogs to achieve a healthy life span, we should ensure that their diet includes healthy ingredients. Omega-3 fatty acids have become a common ingredient in a wide range of pet food products. A unique, natural, and sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acids is krill, a shrimp-like crustacean living in the Southern Ocean. Included in pet food as a meal it not only contains omega-3 fatty acids, but also highly digestible proteins and other important nutrients. The importance of omega-3 fatty acids for pet health has been proven in numerous studies, showing benefits for heart, kidney, liver, joint, brain, eye, skin, and coat health. While dietary supplementation of dogs with omega- 3s from krill is good for dog health, indirectly it also benefits dog owners" health, since owning a pet has been shown to improve human health.   By Lena Burri, Director R&D, Animal Nutrition and Health Source: www.qrillpet.com

Investigating the Grain Free Link to Heart Disease with Blinders On
Dogs
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5+ MIN

Investigating the Grain Free Link to Heart Disease with Blinders On

They claim grain is safe (it"s not) and have neglected to mention the connection of processed inferior ingredients to heart disease in dogs. Why is that? Dr. Lisa Freeman – a veterinary nutritionist professor from Tufts University – has been very outspoken about grain free dog food"s link to dilated cardiomyopathy. She"s told everyone from the New York Times to readers of the Tufts vet school blog that "boutique grain-free" dog foods were responsible for the dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases. Unless Dr. Freeman considers Royal Canin, Purina and Diamond to be boutique pet foods – she"s wrong on her assessment of the problem. The truth is many different brands, mostly from medium to large manufacturers are linked to low taurine levels and the DCM diagnosis in dogs. Why would a veterinary professor attempt to sway pet owners away from small pet food brands? Hold that thought. In another statement, Dr. Lisa Freeman told the New York Times: "Grains have not been linked to any health problems except in the very rare situation when a pet has an allergy to a specific grain." This one is simply unforgivable. Grains most certainly have been linked to serious health problems over many decades – the risk is mycotoxins. Mycotoxins – even at low levels – pose a serious risk to pets. Further, mycotoxins are an on-going problem. Earlier this year Biomin.net published the the 2018 Global Mycotoxin Threat stating grains in North American tested as "Extreme Risk". Where do you think those "extreme risk" grains end up? Hint: it"s not human food. Telling pet owners to switch to a grain based pet food is just switching out one problem for another. So again, why would this veterinarian try to direct pet owners away from small pet food brands towards grain based pet foods when grains are a certain mycotoxin risk? Again…hold that thought…there"s more… Poor Digestibility of Ingredients In 2003, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine published "Taurine status in normal dogs fed a commercial diet associated with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy". This study found that processing and "poor digestibility" of ingredients played a role in canine heart disease. Why hasn"t any veterinary nutritionist investigating the DCM cases today discussed the risk of processing and inferior ingredient link to canine heart disease? Perhaps it is because no veterinary nutritionist wants to talk about law being violated in pet food. Even though it is a direct violation of US Federal Law, pet food is allowed by FDA to contain ingredients sourced from "diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter". Isn"t it common sense that sick, decomposing dead animals would provide inferior nutrition in pet foods? Add numerous processing stages to these inferior ingredients – is it any wonder the necessary amino acids are destroyed? There is one more significant issue… Endotoxins and Heart Disease Briefly mentioned in the New York Times article was a clue to a completely different group of DCM diagnosed dogs; "But taurine levels in other affected dogs, including mixed breeds, are normal, which puzzles researchers." In other words, some sick dogs have low taurine levels linked to DCM – but other dogs diagnosed with nutrition related DCM have normal taurine levels. Why are these dogs with normal taurine sick with heart disease? It might be endotoxins. Endotoxins are "toxins" that are released on bacterial death. Gram-negative bacteria such as Salmonella and or E. coli killed through cooking or processing of pet food ingredients "get even" with their killers – they release a toxin that can be more dangerous to dogs and cats than the live bacteria. Waste pet food ingredients such as "diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter" are certainly sources of massive levels of Salmonella an other gram-negative bacteria. When cooked/processed into pet food ingredients – they become sources of massive levels of endotoxins. From "Endotoxin Effects on Cardiac and Renal Functions and Cardiorenal Syndromes" – "Endotoxin plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of multi-organ dysfunction in the setting of gram-negative sepsis. Indeed, heart and kidney impairments seem to be induced by the release of circulating pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mediators triggered by endotoxin interaction with immune cells." From "Low level bacterial endotoxin activates two distinct signaling pathways in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells" – "Bacterial endotoxin, long recognized as a potent pro-inflammatory mediator in acute infectious processes, has more recently been identified as a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases." In 2016, myself and an educated pet owner whose dog died from endotoxemia had a meeting with FDA. For more than an hour scientific evidence was submitted to FDA regarding the dangers to pets of endotoxin levels in pet food. FDA openly dismissed the risk. (To learn more about the risk of endotoxins in pet foods, Click Here.) Will FDA admit the link of heart disease to endotoxins in the pet foods? Doubtful. Why are veterinarian nutritionists telling pet owners false information? Why is no scientist, veterinarian, or FDA representative discussing the multiple links between inferior ingredients and high processing of ingredients to canine heart disease? The blinders need to come off – a biased investigation does not benefit pets. Will investigators intentionally ignore issues as not in the best interest of industry? And how many more dogs will die because of what they ignored? It"s a concern. Update to original post. Dr. Michael W. Fox sent the following statement adding several good points: "I would urge Dr. Lisa Freeman – a veterinary nutritionist professor from Tufts University, to reflect on the instances of dogs with seizures and inflammatory bowel, skin, ear and anal gland problems who return to good health when their diets no longer contain corn, cereal glutens and byproducts, and soy, many being GMO and contaminated with glyphosate among other agrichemicals and aflaxoxins. 
Glyphosate blocks manganese uptake, a nutrient essential for many organ functions." See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274005953_Glyphosate_pathways_to_modern_diseases_III_Manganese_neurological_diseases_and_associated_pathologies And "Aug 13, 2018 – Rachel Ray"s Dog Food, Nutrish, is marketed as being free of "[No] artificial flavors or artificial preservatives" and being a "Natural food for dogs" … 
The current epidemic of DCM in dogs may have a multi-factor, pluricausal origin, genetics not withstanding. Lectins in GMO potatoes and in conventional pulses/legumes, when not properly processed are of concern. They may also play a role in the genesis of kidney failure especially when put in manufactured cat foods since cats are obligate carnivores, and in the development of autoimmune diseases."(Editorials. Do dietary lectins cause disease? BMJ 1999;318:1023-1024 ( 17 April ).   Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,   Source: Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food