Research Notes


5 best practices for dog, cat, pet microbiome research

One group of scientists reviewed previously published research on pet microbiomes and developed a set of recommendations.

Scientists reviewed previously published research on animal microbiomes and developed a set of recommendations for studying the pet gut microbiome.

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Grain-free diet change related to longer life for DCM dogs

Dogs that received taurine supplementation during the course of their disease also had a significantly longer survival time than those that did not.
Among dogs diagnosed with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), veterinary medicine researchers at Tufts University identified a correlation between survival time and changing from a grain-free dog food diet.
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High-protein cat food may reduce bird, wildlife predation

Compared to a control group, cats killed fewer wild animals in the groups that ate high-protein diets and that played with their owners. Those two groups of cats also brought down less prey than before the experiment began.
For those cat owners who let their felines roam the neighborhood, high-protein cat food may be one means to reduce predatory pressure on birds and other small wildlife.
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Coastal wolves, ancient clambakes and paleo dog food

Human food trends arose from people’s intentions to eat as our Paleolithic, or Stone Age, ancestors did, and these trends transferred to pet food.
For dogs, the paleo diet can mean meat and other items encountered around human camps during domestication. Although “discarded loincloth” will never become a dog food variety, other ancient flavors may remain to be revived as dog foods.
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5 ways to avoid aflatoxin in pet food ingredients

Scientists at the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes) reviewed decades of research on aflatoxin contamination in dog food, including prevention methods.
As the recall of potentially aflatoxin-contaminated dog food goes international and a lawsuit over dozens of pet deaths goes to court, dog, cat and other pet food manufacturers can learn how to avoid their own tragic and costly recalls.
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Lamb kidney may be palatable sub for liver in cat food

While liver was the most palatable raw ingredient in the test, the scientists pointed out limitations to the ingredients' use.
Researchers at Massey University observed distinct differences among cats’ preference for various raw organ meats and co-products from cows and lambs. Likewise, raw ingredients from lamb and beef had different palatability.
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Insects accepted, but best unseen in U.S. pet food

U.S. residents stated they were more willing to try feeding their pets a product made with insect flour than dried whole insects.
Pet owners in the U.S. may be ready to accept those insect-based pet foods and treats. Presentation may be crucial, unsurprisingly.
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Key points of FDA meeting on DCM correlation to dog food

The event was a forum where scientists with research into DCM could share information, collaborate, and discuss many different – and even conflicting – theories on the condition.
Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine released several documents and statements about the agency’s investigation into correlations between specific dog foods and cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
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