Articles by David A. Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN

There oughta be an App for that!

Petfood-related applications for smart phones and tablet computers
I am not a Luddite. Admittedly, though, I do tend to keep using my electronic gadgetry for periods well beyond their optimal utility. Thus, it was a rare and auspicious occasion when I recently retired my 12-year-old cell phone in favor of both a new smart phone and a new tablet computer (I won’t divulge the brand name of these items, but it rhymes with “Snapple”). With that update in equipment I quickly became exposed to the wonderful world of Apps (short for applications) and became particularly interested in those related to petfoods.
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Why you should read 'Feed Your Pet Right'

This book takes a decidedly different turn from the usual consumer-oriented petfood fodder
I met Drs. Marion Nestle and Malden C. Nesheim, the authors of Feed Your Pet Right (Free Press, 2010), at Petfood Forum 2010. Admittedly, prior to their presentation, I was quite skeptical about what I was going to hear, as both authors were self-proclaimed outsiders to the petfood arena.
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The GRAS process for petfood ingredients

How to submit a notification to FDA to ensure you’re covering your GRAS
The implementation of a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) notification process for animal feed ingredients has been eagerly awaited for years. It is not surprising, then, that the announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) of its intent to start accepting notifications this past summer was met with great enthusiasm by the petfood industry.
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Chickens: new opportunity for the pet treat industry?

Treats for chickens (as opposed to chicken treats for dogs and cats) are becoming popular
Recently, a commentary in the op-ed section of a local newspaper proclaimed chickens to be “the new black.” Apparently, keeping poultry has become increasingly popular among the less agriculturally inclined in the US, not only in the suburbs but with the big city folk, too.
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More news from AAFCO

At its annual meeting, AAFCO addressed ingredient definitions, petfood safety matters and certified organic petfoods
Last month, I reported on the activities of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Pet Food Committee during its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA, in early August. This month I cover items that occurred outside of the Pet Food Committee session but still may affect petfoods.
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AAFCO committee passes calorie proposal

During the annual meeting, the Pet Food Committee approved recommendations to require calorie content statements on all dog and cat food labels
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA, July 31 through August 2, 2010. The Pet Food Committee (PFC) session generated many newsworthy items.
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Cat food’s role in urinary tract health now unclear

The most recent theory is that feline idiopathic cystitis is caused by stress
My attendance at the meeting also afforded me the opportunity to learn much from the other speakers. Particularly interesting were several presentations on feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) and how the understanding of the role of diet in its pathophysiology and treatment has changed.
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Good news for good bugs

CVM recently indicated it may no longer object to the terms "probiotics" and "prebiotics" on petfood labels
The Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long objected to use of the terms "probiotics" and "prebiotics" on animal feed and petfood labeling. However, at the 2010 Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Feed Administrator's Seminar (an annual training program for state regulators), CVM indicated the intent to remove its objection to that verbiage.
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Trouble brewing for organic petfoods?

A new finding by the US National Organic Program could rule out certifying a complete and balanced petfood as organic
The organic petfood market has grown considerably over the past decade. Admittedly, when I first was introduced to the concept, I wasn't convinced that many pet owners would be willing to pay the significantly higher costs associated with organic production compared to its less tangible benefits.
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FDA lays out options for new ingredients

How do GRAS notifications compare with the other primary means to allow for use of new ingredients?

As of the time of this writing, initiation of the US  Food and Drug Administration 's (FDA) pilot program to accept generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notifications for animal feed and petfood ingredients is still pending. However, in anticipation of the start of the program later in 2010, several presentations on the subject were given at the  Association of American Feed Control Officials  (AAFCO) meeting in January. Most interesting is how GRAS notifications compare and contrast with the other primary means to allow for use of new ingredients.


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