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

Veterinary groups offer pet nutritional assessment guidelines

Nutrition has been recognized by both groups as a critical component of overall pet care
Both the American Animal Hospital Association and World Small Animal Veterinary Association have recently published guidelines for the nutritional assessment of pets as part of routine physical examinations. The role of nutrition in animal health has long been a very important but often underutilized component of veterinary medicine.
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What’s in a name? New and proposed petfood ingredients

During its last meeting, AAFCO took action on a number of new and proposed ingredients
Despite the expectation that the Food and Drug Administration will phase out its participation in the Association of American Feed Control Officials feed ingredient definition process by 2012, there are still many ingredients in the definition pipeline. During its “mid-year” meeting in January, AAFCO took action on a number of new and proposed ingredients, at least a few of which have impact on petfoods.
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US petfood labeling update

AAFCO has proposed requiring calorie content to be included on labels, plus changes to labels of specialty petfoods
In the US, petfood labeling is stipulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food. The models are constantly evolving, with often at least an amendment or two every year.
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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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