America’s VetDogs working to change US military veterans’ lives

CEO Wells Jones explained how service dogs are trained, matched with veterans at Petfood Forum 2014

Service dogs like Benjamin from America’s VetDogs change the lives of US military veterans.

Proper nutrition and feeding a quality petfood are especially important for dogs that act as service and guide dogs, said Wells Jones, CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs, which train dogs to serve US military veterans and blind people. Speaking as the closing keynote for Petfood Forum 2014 on April 2, Jones discussed how his organization selects, breeds, trains and feeds its dogs that are matched with veterans like Joseph Worley, who served in Iraq as a Navy corpsman and also spoke.
America’s VetDogs, founded in 2003, trains dogs to assist veterans of all eras and active military personnel with tasks such as standing up, walking, opening and closing doors, retrieving objects, barking for alert and much more. Jones said America’s VetDogs also now partners with petfood company Bil-Jac to offer a line of dog treats whose sales support veterans. The organization is a part of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, which was originally established in 1946 to assist veterans who lost their vision in World War II.
The foundation has its own breeding program for the service puppies in both programs, with some of the dogs being descendants from dogs first bred in the 1960s. Jones explained that the foundation relies on volunteers and prisons to raise the puppies and teach them basic obedience at 7-8 weeks of age for about a year, at which time the dogs return to the foundation’s program for formal service dog training. In order to enter the service dog program, dogs must pass a multi-level skills test, including retrieving of metal, wood, plastic and cloth, and a public access test. Dogs are primarily Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, as well as Standard Poodles, German Shepherds, and a Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever mix, he said.  
After a dog has completed its service dog training, it is carefully matched with a student. Jones referred to these service dogs as a “designer dog,” meaning that the foundation works to understand exactly what a person needs in the dog, and then a service dog is selected to meet their precise needs, taking into account capability, lifestyle and pace. 
Once a student is matched with the right service dog, the student usually comes to the foundation’s campus in New York, USA, to complete a training program that takes 12 days. Jones explained that the foundation’s campus includes a student residence hall with 17 private rooms where students stay during their training, a training center equipped with kennels and training space, and a veterinary center.  
Service dogs change lives
Following Wells, US veteran Joseph Worley spoke with his service dog, Benjamin, about the dramatic impact on one’s life that these service dogs make. 
Worley joined the Navy in 2002, and he lost his left leg in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Worley explained that he was working as a medic and was running toward a vehicle that had been hit by an IED, when he was also hit by an IED. 
Two years after putting in an application for a service dog from America’s VetDogs, Worley received Benjamin in October 2008. Worley said that after he returned from Iraq, his family gathered around to support him. “Despite that support system, when Benjamin entered my life, he became an integral and vital part of that,” Worley said. 
Worley explained that Benjamin not only helps him physically by helping him brace to stand up, stabilize him when walking, retrieve objects and more, but he also added, “Benjamin gives me confidence.” 
“These animals can save people’s lives and change people’s lives,” said Worley. 

Special sections at Global Pet Expo 2014 sell out

The four special sections included at the 2014 Global Pet Expo (Natural Pet, The Boutique, Everything Aquatic and What’s New!) have officially sold out, according to Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association. The show, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will take place March 12-14, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.


“We’re thrilled to see the specialty areas sell out yet again, as they’ve become such an exciting and important part of the Show floor,” said Darmohraj. “Having sold out in all of our special sections truly proves how much the pet industry continues to grow, and what a vast amount of new products continue to hit the market year after year.”

The Natural Pet section highlights the latest in healthy, organic and environmentally friendly products. This section provides media and retailers with an opportunity to learn about green-conscious trends in the pet industry. It’s the largest of all the specialty areas with nearly 200 booths.

The Boutique section covers the trendiest pet products on the market. Fashion, jewelry and pet-spa products for the most fashion-forward pets and owners are displayed. The latest in pampered pet trends like couture clothing and luxury pet beds and carriers will be revealed at The Boutique during the show.

The Everything Aquatic section provides underwater species enthusiasts with all of the up-and-coming trends and aquatic suppliers in one place to showcase the newest water pet trends in 2014.

Reserved for first-time exhibitors only, the What’s New! section is a great place for buyers and media to visit with 150 new companies in one convenient area on the massive show floor.

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Petfood Forum 2014 to offer a2z-powered Attendee Acquisition Widget

Plug-and-play website component will allow exhibitors to showcase PFF from their own websites

The 2014 Petfood Forum (PFF) will leverage Maryland-based event management software company a2z Inc.’s ChirpE Attendee Acquisition Widget solution to enhance the event.


The widget is a plug-and-play website component that will enable exhibitors to showcase their event participation at PFF from their own websites. Visitors to the exhibitors’ websites can access with a single click the exhibitor’s booth profile, PFF’s event website and the registration page. 

In addition, the widget will offer exhibitors a straightforward solution to building a pre-show lead list. It comes bundled with a dashboard that helps exhibitors monitor and evaluate their ROI from the widget.

For more details and to register for Petfood Forum 2014 please visit

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Halo, partner for 2013 Holiday Kibble Drop ‘Inspire Tour’

For the third year in a row, and Ellen DeGeneres’ natural petfood company, Halo, Purely for Pets, are teaming up to help homeless dogs and cats across the US this holiday season. During the 2013 Holiday Kibble Drop “Inspire Tour,” Halo and will deliver more than 500,000 meals to pets in need.


The Kibble Drop trucks, including two 18-wheelers, will make a combined 12 stops throughout this holiday season. At each Kibble Drop location, five to eight shelters will receive a petfood donation of Spot’s Stew in honor of a special, inspirational pet in that city. 

“Supporting shelters is part of our company’s mission,” says Halo CEO, Steve Marton. “We are inspired by the stories of hope and love we hear every day-and want to honor those pets, pet owners and organizations who exemplify the incredible bond we have with our pets.”

As’s official petfood sponsor since 2010, Halo donates the kibble distributed to shelters and rescues throughout the US.

“This year is the third annual Holiday Kibble Drop, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” says Mimi Ausland, founder. “It makes me feel great to know that so many homeless dogs and cats will be getting healthy, nutritious meals over the holidays. I hope the Kibble Drop will also inspire people to help shelter pets and to think of other ways they can make an impact on animals’ lives.”

2013 Kibble Drop Cities include: Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, DC: Raleigh, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Greenwich, Connecticut; New York, New York; Wichita, Kansas; Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; Bend, Oregon.

Participating retailers include: Phydeaux, Doggie Style, Pet Pantry Warehouse, All Paws, Pet Club, At Your Service Pets, Red Barn Feed and Saddlery, and Pet Food Express.

Additionally, partners like and C.H. Robinson donate resources, time and effort to the trip. Both organizations donate a portion of the freight costs and offer volunteers at each stop.

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Wenger to present petfood processing safety seminar April 29-May 2, 2014

Seminar will include classroom instruction, practical demonstrations from industry experts

Wenger Manufacturing‘s Corporate Project Services division will host a Food Safety Seminar Focused on Pet Food Processing on April 29-May 2, 2014. The petfood processing safety seminar will take place at the Hyatt Place Hotel-Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. 

The seminar will consist of classroom instruction and practical demonstrations at Wenger’s Technical Center Extrusion Lab in Sabetha, Kansas, USA. A number of representatives from the industry will present from companies including Wenger, SafetyChain, Charm Sciences Inc., Del Monte, Petfood Industry and more. 

Learn more and register for the seminar online.

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Hound & Gatos named to ’2014 List of Trusted Pet Foods’

Petfood companies who promote their support of causes in their marketing campaigns are staying innovative in these uncertain times

Learn about more companies and how they are lending a helping paw and claw to their own cause campaigns

The company builds on its boutique business with three new lines for pet stores, including baked dog food and treats

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The new US food safety legislation will also affect regulation of petfood

What you need to keep your manufacturing line clean, safe and contaminant-free

Smaller lobbying groups employed most often to fight for clients’ interests

More content about pet food safety

Public meetings invited comments and provided updates

Committees discussed key proposals such as a possible shift in the oversight of animal feeds

The intent was to educate regulators and industry about the Model Pet Food Regulations

More content about pet food industry

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Homemade Dog Food

There are many arguments about whether homemade raw dog foods are better than commercial stuff you buy in th high street. The fact is, dogs ate raw before they ate processed – this is how a lot of owners are thinking and why they are looking to the homemade option.

Homemade Option

The other interesting point to note is that homemade can work out to be a considerably cheaper option. But note, it is worth checking out some of the supplements that are worth adding when making up your homemade dog meals.

We will be bringing you a whole lot of homemade options as we build this site – please bookmark and come back often.

Homemade Dog Meals

Pet jerky treats not necessarily cause for alarm, veterinary pathobiology professor says

University of Missouri professor points out health problems have an effect on little percentage of pets, deals with not required as part of day-to-day diet

On October 22, the United States Food and Drug Management (FDA) gave out an upgrade on its examination into animal health problems connected with animal jerky treats from China, along with a request to animal medical practitioners for their assistance in determining pet dogs that were potentially sickened as an outcome of consuming the tainted pet manages. Tim Evans, an associate professor of vet pathobiology at the College of Missouri College of Vet Medicine and a vet toxicologist, points out that while pet dog owners need to recognize this problem and watchful for indications of ailment in pets that have been consuming these addresses on a routine basis, it is not a cause for alarm system for most of pet dogs and cats.

Baseding on Evans: “While the loss of any type of pet is terrible, only a very little percent of animals has been had an effect on by this unusual health problem throughout the past six years.

“If pet owners have actually been feeding their pet dogs or pet cats jerky treats consisting of chick, duck, pleasant potatoes and/or dried fruits, I would recommend they stop feeding the animals the deals with promptly and monitor their pets’ health and wellness. While there could not be a source for immediate alarm system, owners of small-breed pets that have eaten these treats on a regular basis, particularly those with pre-existing wellness conditions, might wish to have their pet reviewed by their regular veterinarian and have some research laboratory testing performed. If an owner’s pet must start to show indicators of disease, such as reduced cravings, lethargy, puking, looseness of the bowels, and/or increased water usage and urination, owners must quickly bring their animals in for examination by a veterinarian, due to the fact that the earlier this disease is recognized, the better the possibilities that it could be dealt with successfully.”

Evans claims the key ailment coming from these tainted treats involves renal disease and failing if the illness proceeds without procedure. Evans thinks that while this concern has actually been happening since 2007, it does not imply FDA has actually been irresponsible.

“The FDA and scientists around the country have actually been dealing with this issue tirelessly for many years, yet it has actually been a really tough process because no noticeable components in the jerky addresses have actually been found to induce this health problem,” Evans pointed out. “With any luck with this most current telephone call for help from vets nationwide, the FDA will collect sufficient information quickly to figure out why this ailment is occurring.”

Because jerky manages are not a part of an essential diet for any sort of pet dog, Evans suggests that pet owners abstain from feeding them to their animals if they are concerned about this disease. He also recommends normal yearly checkups for animals, including baseline blood job as the faunas get older. He says this will certainly assist veterinarians capture any sort of potential health and wellness concerns before they intensify into a lot more severe issues.

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Petco Foundation, Halo petfood brand to award grants to animal-welfare organizations

Holiday Wishes Give Project urges teams to send finest pet success tales by November 22

The Petco Foundation and Ellen DeGeneres’ petfood firm Halo, Totally for Animals are introducing a brand-new give advocate the vacations to benefit not-for-profit animal-welfare companies in the US.

The Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Grant Project encourages all animal-welfare organizations to use by sending their ideal fauna success tales for the opportunity to win a grant of around US$ 100,000. All entries, featuring stories, images and videos, must be submitted by November 22.

The grand-prize champion will certainly be announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Program in December. Second- and third-place winners will certainly gain grants of US$ 50,000 and US$ 25,000, respectively, and gives from US$ 5,000 to US$ 10,000 will certainly go to 10 runner-up companies.

“Halo and the Petco Structure are collaborating with each other. We wish to aid all of the pet shelters that aid animals and do excellent every year. The Petco Foundation intends to award deserving fauna shelters,” said talk program host Ellen DeGeneres.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Ellen and Halo on this amazing campaign to recognize and assist the groups and individuals who work relentlessly all year long to care for and also find residences for pets in demand,” claimed Petco Structure executive supervisor, Susanne Kogut. “By sharing some of their tales via this campaign, we intend to increase recognition and improve the variety of animals spending this vacation period where they belong – crazy residences with the care and support they deserve.”

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