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Archive for March, 2012

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When it comes to choosing products for your pet, be it food, treats or toys, it can be hard to know who to trust.  Here are 3 things to look for in a pet care company.

1. Accessibility

Being able to speak with a company representative when you have a question or concern should be a top priority.  You’d be surprised how often the phone number on that bag of food leads to a distributor and not to the actual company itself.  When it comes to the health of your pet you should be able to ask as many questions as you want and expect a prompt reply.  Questions to consider:

Can you speak with someone directly?

Can you contact someone via Facebook/Twitter/email?

How long until the company responds?

Do they address your concerns or evade your questions?

2. Reputation

Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool, especially in an age of social media and instant communications.  Before selecting a product, look them up online and see if you can find reviews.  What are people saying about them?

3. Science

Regulations on pet products are not as stringent as on human products so it can be tricky to detangle the facts from the marketing.  Look for companies that put an emphasis on research and who have products that have been scientifically proven to deliver the promised results.  When purchasing a supplement for your pet be sure to look for the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) seal of approval.  This seal tells you that the company has undergone a stringent audit and complies with health and safety regulations.

With new pet supplements popping up all the time it’s important to take the time to get to know the company behind the product.  Never be afraid to ask questions and if your gut is telling you something it’s always best to listen.

Remember: it’s up to you to advocate for and protect the health of your pet.

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Ten years ago you’d have been hard pressed to find any pet parents giving their dog a health supplement. These days, however, canine and feline supplements are so popular you’d be hard pressed to find someone NOT giving their pet some type of supplement.

In fact, take a walk down the aisle of your favourite pet store and you’re bound to see a plethora of health supplements aimed at improving and extending the health and longevity of your four-legged friend.

With so many options available, it can be hard to know which supplements will be beneficial and which companies you can trust.

LACK OF QUALITY CONTROL MEANS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GIVING YOUR PET

We’ve all read the news stories about the lack of quality control in the human health supplement industry and I’m sad to say that the situation is no different when it comes to supplements for our pets.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers of pet supplements do not have the resources or infrastructure required to guarantee efficacy and absolute purity of raw material supply.  Consequently, it is not uncommon to find heavy metals, pesticide residue and toxic micro-contaminates in some of these products*.

So how do you know you’re really getting what you paid for? And how do you know the product is safe?

NASC – A QUALITY SEAL OF APPROVAL

Enter the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council), a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses.

Founded in 2001, NASC is an all-industry association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for animals, such as dogs, cats and horses.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE NASC SEAL ON A PRODUCT?

Before being granted permission to display the Seal on their products, websites, product literature and advertisements, NASC member companies are required to demonstrate compliance with the following criteria:

  1. The company must have a Quality Control Manual in place that provides written Standard Operating Procedures for production process control. This helps ensure the company is providing a consistent and quality product.
  2. The company must have an Adverse Event Reporting/Complaint System in place to continually monitor and evaluate products and ingredients.
  3. The company must follow proper Label Guidelines for all products and all forms of labeling.
  4. The company’s product labels must include any specific Warning and Caution Statements recommended by the Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the NASC Scientific Advisory Committee for particular ingredients.

The purpose of the NASC and its audit program is to help minimize and control risk, statistically track product information, keep consumers educated with correct labeling information, and make consumerS aware of any possible ingredient complexities with caution and warning statements.

Ultimately, the entire program is designed to help elevate the quality of the animal health supplement industry for the benefit of all stakeholders including consumers and, more importantly, the animals themselves.

AVIVAGEN PRODUCTS TO SOON FEATURE THE NASC SEAL OF APPROVAL

In February 2012, Avivagen Animal Health obtained NASC accreditation and will soon proudly display the NASC seal of approval on our pet health supplements.

*(Kendall-Reed, P., Reed, S., (2002) Healing Arthritis)

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To help you get your creative juices flowing I thought I’d share a photo of my sheltie, Stewie, all decked out in his St. Patty’s Day best

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