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What happens when cats get fat? Scientists weigh in

Cat owners want Kitty to be happy, but providing an abundance of food and snacks can have unintended consequences. Feline obesity is on the rise, impacting the health, longevity, and wellbeing of cats.

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ACES expert: How animals are affected by Canadian wildfire smoke

URBANA, Ill. — Livestock and pets may be at risk due to poor air quality from Canadian wildfire smoke, according to animal welfare expert Angela Green-Miller at the

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U of I study gives a thumbs up to carefully formulated vegan diets for dogs

URBANA, Ill. – In today’s pet food market, there are products to match nearly every lifestyle, value system, and price point pet owners demand, including vegan formulations. New University of Illinois research shows at least two human-grade, lightly cooked vegan diets provide adequate nutrition for dogs.

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New dog food? Study shows Fido's gut bacteria could turn over within a week

URBANA, Ill. – When a dog starts a new diet, the community of microbes in its gut changes. Wallflower bacteria multiply to dominate the scene, with the old guard slinking off in defeat. As microbial species jostle for control, their metabolic byproducts, many of which are critical for Fido’s overall health, change as well.

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Avocado meal, a novel fiber source for dogs

URBANA, Ill. – When avocados were first recognized as a nutrient-dense superfood for humans, consumption skyrocketed. Today, consumers buy and eat the fresh fruit (hello, avocado toast), purchase pre-packaged guacamole, cook with avocado oil, and more.

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Overweight dogs respond well to high-protein, high-fiber diet

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A study of overweight dogs fed a reduced calorie, high-protein, high-fiber diet for 24 weeks found that the dogs’ body composition and inflammatory markers changed over time in ways that parallel the positive changes seen in humans on similar diets. The dogs achieved a healthier weight without losing too much muscle mass, and their serum triglycerides, insulin and inflammatory markers all decreased with weight loss.

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Summer marks University of Illinois Feed Technology Center completion

URBANA, Ill. – After nearly two years of construction, the new Feed Technology Center at the University of Illinois is complete and open for business. Bringing this facility online cements the university’s role as a national leader in animal nutrition innovation and signals its active collaboration with the grain, livestock, companion animal, and feed industries.

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Milk prebiotics are the cat's meow, Illinois research shows

URBANA, Ill. – If you haven’t been the parent or caregiver of an infant in recent years, you’d be forgiven for missing the human milk oligosaccharide trend in infant formulas. These complex carbohydrate supplements mimic human breast milk and act like prebiotics, boosting beneficial microbes in babies’ guts.

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Feed Fido fresh human-grade dog food to scoop less poop

URBANA, Ill. – For decades, kibble has been our go-to diet for dogs. But the dog food marketplace has exploded in recent years, with grain-free, fresh, and now human-grade offerings crowding the shelves. All commercial dog foods must meet standards for complete and balanced nutrition, so how do consumers know what to choose?

A new University of Illinois comparison study shows diets made with human-grade ingredients are not only highly palatable, they’re extremely digestible. And that means less poop to scoop. Up to 66% less.

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New companion animal certificate draws pet professionals, enthusiasts

URBANA, Ill. – When Lizzy Geary began contemplating graduate programs for companion animal nutrition, she knew she needed an edge. As an undergraduate in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, she heard of a new certificate program that would set her apart from the rest.

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