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

Grain-free, gluten-free: ensuring your petfood claims stand up to scrutiny

There may not be any government regulations for these claims in petfood, but it’s wise to consider certain factors to make sure your products stay ahead of the game
No observer of the petfood market can miss the pervasiveness of claims such as "grain-free" and "gluten-free" on dog and cat food labels today. There are important factors to consider when making a claim in order for it to survive possible regulatory scrutiny.
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Update on chicken jerky treats

FDA releases latest information, but not the only determining factor in products’ fate
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided updated information on the continuing saga of suspected contamination of "jerky"-type dog treats, primarily made from chicken and typically manufactured in China. Coincidentally, at least two major pet retailers have recently announced their commitments to stop selling pet treats manufactured in China.
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FDA’s war on Salmonella: Beyond petfoods

Regulating other pet products and the animals themselves to ensure consumer safety
The noteworthy number of recalls of petfoods over the past few years speaks to the seriousness to which FDA views this matter. As further evidence of FDA’s commitment to the fight against this microorganism and its potential for exposure to people, it also regulates other potential sources of Salmonella in pet products as well as the pets themselves.
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Dog food logic

Insightful advice for consumers (and industry!)
Those who know me are aware that I am rarely inclined toward the use of superlatives. On this occasion, however, I will definitively opine that Dog Food Logic: Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog in an Age of Too Many Choices by Linda P. Case, MS (Dogwise Publishing, 2014) is the most compelling book I have ever read on the subject.
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AAFCO ponders maximum calcium levels in dog food

Currently no breed differentiations in numbers; incorrect feeding may be an issue
How much calcium is too much in dog foods? In 2007, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) convened a panel of experts from academia and industry to, in part, make recommendations for revision of the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. These profiles, which were last revised in 1995, serve as one means by which the nutritional adequacy of dog and cat foods can be substantiated in the US.
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AAFCO meets to vote on latest petfood, animal feed topics

Definitions, bill additions, language discussed at New Orleans meeting
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its "mid-year" meeting on January 8-10, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. While the city (along with much of the rest of the country) was experiencing unusually cold weather at that time, temperatures in the meeting room were kept elevated by heated discussion over several controversial items.
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Raw petfood makes the news

Continued controversy likely with release of new documents, but practice of raw feeding expected to remain
The feeding of raw petfood has been a controversy for decades. Both sides of the discussion have their extremist factions, with some believing it is the ultimately healthful means of feeding dogs and cats and others convinced it constitutes a wholly unwarranted risk to the health of both pets and the people feeding them.
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Food Safety Modernization Act update

Proposed regulations mean change for the petfood industry
In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new regulations to implement aspects of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for animal feeds (including petfoods), similar to those proposed for foods for human consumption earlier this year. The law, enacted in 2011, addresses sweeping changes to regulation of food for both man and other animals, including the establishment of preventive controls, improved inspection and response capabilities, improved oversight of imports, and enhanced partnerships with domestic and international regulatory bodies.
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AAFCO Official Publication goes online

Web version provides a working alternative to print version of a vital resource
Any petfood manufacturer distributing product in the US needs to be familiar with the contents of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication (OP) to formulate and label products to be in compliance with the regulations of most states. As mentioned in my October Petfood Industry column, an online version of the OP is now available.
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