March 1, 2019

The start to 2019 has been a tumultuous one, highlighted by a Hill’s Pet Nutrition recall of select canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D that could lead to serious health issues, including renal dysfunction. The company points to a “supplier error” as the cause of the elevated levels in the affected canned foods, although the supplier has not been identified.

Last month, it was announced that the class-action lawsuit against Champion Petfoods was dismissed by a federal judge who determined that the plaintiffs’ allegations were unfounded. According to court documents, the suit by plaintiffs from Florida, Minnesota and California claimed that Champion’s ACANA and ORIJEN dog foods contain “heavy metals, pentobarbital, toxins and/or unnatural or other ingredients that do not conform to the labels, packaging, advertising and statements sold throughout the United States.” The judge ultimately granted Champion’s motion for summary judgement and dismissed the claims with prejudice.

Given all the news surrounding pet food, this issue’s special report on the future of that sector comes at a very appropriate time. One major—yet not surprising—trend we found is that pet owners are demanding manufacturers to have clear and informative labels on their products. Transparency is a definite buzzword.

Of course, we are excited to unveil the 2019 winners of Pet Age’s Women of Influence Awards, including this year’s recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award. Rather than spoil the surprise by dropping a name or two, I encourage you to check out the section and read each of the profiles for the honorees.

And finally, I was born in March—specifically on St. Patrick’s Day—and I have given thought to naming my next male pet Patrick. A quick check of the internet revealed that Patrick didn’t make the cut for top 10 dog names in 2018, according to Rover.com. In fact, it wasn’t even the top Irish male dog name; that honor belonged to Cody. Where did Patrick rank among Irish male dog names? Fifth, after Logan, Austin and Owen. Color me disappointed.

We don’t know if Rambo, the handsome pup on the cover of this issue, was among Rover’s top male dog names in 2018, but he’s a winner in our book. And be sure to read his owner’s Management column on partnering with influencer pets.

Glenn A. Polyn


[email protected]

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