Video & Blog: Grumpy Cat Gets Paid, Pet Food Sales in Stores vs Online 2017, Dog Flu Spreads in California, and What is a "Real Egg?"

Grumpy Cat Gets Paid

Grumpy Cat is all smiles after being awarded $710,001 in a lawsuit. This week, the “Queen of Cat Memes” was awarded the settlement by an eight-member jury.

After years of back and forth lawsuits, Grumpy Cat was suing and being countersued by a beverage company for copyright infringement and breach of contract. Grumpy Cat contends that the beverage company overstepped its bounds when it tried to market coffee grounds using its likeness. The two parties had agreed on marketing Grumpy Cat Grumpuccino, but apparently coffee grounds were outside of the definition of “beverage.”

The beverage company countersued, claiming they were misled into believing that a Grumpy Cat movie was in the works starring Will Ferrell and Jack Black. That movie has yet to be made. Thank goodness for small theater.

Pet Food Sales in Stores vs Online 2017

The most recent Packaged Facts report found that 88 percent of dog owners and 93 percent of cat owners bought pet food in a real store last year. In addition, the report found that 76 percent of dog owners and 81 percent of cat owners bought all of their pet food in a regular brick and mortar store during 2017.

While we make a big deal about millennials buying pet food online (and it is a big deal), it’s a bigger deal that most people buy pet food from real stores. To further emphasize that brick and mortar pet food sales aren't going away anytime soon, consider this: PetSmart opened its 1,600th store in December 2017 in El Paso, Texas, Petco has over 1,500 stores, Pet Supplies Plus has over 400 locations, and Wal-Mart has 3,500 supercenters.

While online pet food sales are blazingly hot, it's important to keep in mind that most people still buy their pet foods at a real-life store.

Dog Flu Spreads in California

While we're talking about IRL (in real life), dog flu is real and spreading in California, especially central and northern parts of the state.

Over the past 45 days, 72 confirmed cases of CIV have been documented in California.

Veterinary professionals need to keep in mind that nearly any dog exposed to the virus that isn't protected or vaccinated against canine influenza will contract the infection. 80 percent of infected dogs will display clinical signs and 20 percent will be silent carriers.

The virus is spread through respiratory droplets whenever a dog coughs, sneezes, or barks. The dog flu virus can remain viable and able to infect others for up to: 48 hours on solid surfaces, 24 hours on clothing, and 12 hours on hands. Veterinary professionals need to take extra precaution during these outbreaks to make sure all proper hygiene protocols are enforced.

The H3N8 virus has an incubation period of one to five days, with most dogs exhibiting clinical signs within two to three days. Dogs infected with the H3N2 virus may start showing respiratory signs within two to eight days after infection.

Keep in mind that dogs are most contagious during the incubation period before clinical signs develop. Visit www.dogflu.com for more information on canine influenza. 

Facebook Live Dog Flu Outbreak Q&A Jan 30, 6:30 pm PST / 9:30 pm EST

To help address concerns and questions about canine influenza, I'll be hosting a Facebook Live Event on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/DrErnieWard) on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

What is a "Real Egg?"

That egg sandwich you just ordered might not be made from a real egg after all, at least according to current FDA food ingredient definitions

Panera Bread, with over 2,000 locations in the U.S., was set to launch its new line of breakfast sandwiches containing 100 percent real eggs… at least until they discovered that there wasn't a standard definition or identity for eggs according to the current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) definitions.

Panera Bread points out that without an FDA definition, companies may make and advertise products that contain butter type flavors, gum, and additives under the term “egg.” An “egg” may not be an “egg.”

Panera Bread's director of wellness and food policy, Sarah Burnett, said, “Panera and our competitors use the FDA definitions to guide our product descriptions and names. But in the case of eggs, we have no guidance. Brands can say they offer an egg sandwich but sell an egg product that contains multiple additives.” And their competitors are.

When Panera Bread began to explore the “egg issue” further, they found that about half of the top-10 fast-casual restaurants in the U.S. sold an egg product that contained at least five ingredients.

Panera Bread wants the FDA to officially define an “egg” as “an egg” and is urging consumers to take to social media under the hash tag: #RespectTheEgg to raise awareness of the issue.