Tyson Foods is set to acquire the blending and poultry rendering assets of AMPRO Products and American Proteins in a deal worth approximately $850 million. "Through this important business, no part of the animal goes to waste, and we can recycle valuable ingredients into feed for pets and aquaculture," said Tyson CEO Tom Hayes.
Up to 10% of canine influenza cases may be fatal, says veterinarian Natara Loose of Brooklyn, N.Y., where the virus seems to be spreading. Humans have not been shown to be susceptible to H3N8 or H3N2, the strains that affect dogs, but people can spread the virus with their hands and clothing, and dog walkers should be especially careful to follow strong biosecurity practices, Dr. Loose says.
The barbed seeds of foxtail plants can get embedded in pets' skin and travel through the body, causing infection that was ultimately lethal in the recent case of a young Norwegian elkhound poodle in Utah. "You need to keep checking your pet if you've been out where they are, and boy, they seem to be everywhere," said veterinarian Gary Peterson.
Teflon fumes, avocado and heavy metals such as lead and zinc are toxic to pet birds, and exposure to the substances should be prevented, says veterinarian Krista Keller, a specialist in zoological medicine. Birds exposed to these and other toxins may be lethargic, have difficulty breathing or lack an appetite, and immediate veterinary care is needed, Dr. Keller says.
As with human food, consumer demand is growing for pet foods with all-natural ingredients, probiotics, absence of glutens and other features tied to wellness. Some owners are turning to totally raw diets, such as rabbits for a canine breakfast.
With national legalization coming this year, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company has ramped up development of cannabis-based products to treat pain and skin disorders in pets. Pivot Pharmaceuticals hopes to exploit a $10.2 billion US pet medicine market as well as Canadian and European platforms.
A maker of human-quality pet foods will set up kitchens and pantries in hundreds of Petco stores to allow customers to witness preparations and to buy the products fresh. The partnership with JustFoodForDogs will give pet lovers "complete visibility into the process" and even allow them to taste the food, a Petco executive said.
Henrik Werdelin and the other founders of BARK started the subscription pet product service BarkBox out of a love for dogs, Werdelin said in the latest episode of "Retail Gets Real." Each BarkBox holds a curated selection of products designed to please pups and make for good Instagram images, a tactic that's helping the brand build a significant social media presence.
Colorful, whimsical bow ties for dogs and cats are the brainchild of an entrepreneur in Auburn, Maine. Laura Decato, owner of SunFlowerFreckles, started off making children's clothing and now finds pets account for 80% of the bow tie portion of her business.
Lawmakers in New York are considering joining Nevada and California in outlawing companion animal purchase contracts in which dogs or cats are used as collateral, or so-called pet leases. Final rent-to-own costs can run as high as $7,000, and if consumers do not comply with lease terms, pets can be repossessed and consumers' credit scores can be reduced, according to the Better Business Bureau, though one financial services company pushed back against the criticism and said it does not repossess animals.
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