Research Notes

Find the latest dog, cat and companion animal health scientific research and news from the editors of Petfood Industry magazine to help pet food manufacturers improve pet health through pet food ingredient, vitamin and mineral analysis as well as information focusing on pet diseases and palatability issues. Register for free to access premium content.

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Pet food processing, ingredient, claims research gaps seen

Despite differences among companies by size, new research on certain topics may interest the leaders of all dog, cat and other pet food brands.

Few researchers have stopped to ask if academic and market research provides the specific insights that pet food industry executives feel they need.


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Avocado toxic to dogs? Science explores pet food potential

Avocados trees are a common feature in backyards throughout Latin America. Many pet dogs don’t hesitate to eat a dropped fruit, but the dogs don’t drop dead.

Discover how researchers added to the evidence that avocado has potential as a dog food ingredient, contrary to veterinary and popular recommendations against the fruit.


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How is shark in pet food despite Mars, Purina standards?

A 2019 study found DNA from two shark species in pet foods sold in the United States. More recently, researchers identified shark genetic material in cat foods purchased in Singapore.

Neither Mars Petcare not Nestlé Purina PetCare use sharks in any of their recipes. Both have supply chain protocols that should screen out ingredients made with sharks, along with other endangered species.


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Retest of soy, corn and peanut byproducts for pet food

Researchers tested soy flakes, peanut flour, soybean meal and corn gluten meal for the digestibility of the amino acids contained in the byproducts.

Byproducts from seeds and grains have traditionally been used in pet foods as sustainable, inexpensive and protein-rich ingredients.


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Antibiotic-resistant germs grown from pet food in Europe

Antibiotic-resistant Enterococcus bacteria, including vancomycin-resistant strains, most frequently infect hospital patients and people with immune system issues.

Microbiologists grew antibiotic-resistant Enterococcus bacteria found in pet foods bought in Europe. Although pet food hasn’t been documented passing these germs to people, a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes could be created in the gut of dogs.


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Plant oils in pet food: olive, soy, coconut and sunflower

From a pet food perspective, the palatability of diets containing sunflower oil is well liked by dogs, but not as well received by cats.

Several types of plant oil have been covered in Ingredients Issues and evaluated for their use in dog, cat and other pet food formulations


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No confirmed human disease from raw pet food worldwide

The scientists’ findings cast doubt on a basic tenant of raw pet food use, that raw pet foods should be kept away from people’s food spaces and utensils.

Scientists classified eleven households as having experienced “probable” transmission, and 20 households experienced “possible” transmission.


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