How can I find out if the brand I am serving my dog has had a food recall?

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When there’s a pet food recall, you’ll often read about it or hear about it on television. There are alerts issued by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) or even the manufacturer itself, especially if they are concerned about any factual errors.

There might even be signs and/or newsletters from pet food stores, and you’ll most definitely see it on the Internet.

When a food is recalled, the most important component is probably something called the UPC Code. (That stands for Universal Product Code) because the UPC helps a manufacturer identify products quickly. A UPC code generally has two parts – numbers, which people can read, and a series of bars which can be scanned and tracked by computers. Then, those numbers generally indicate both the manufacturer and the specific product. For example, UPC Codes for a senior dried kibble and one for an adult canned dog food from the same manufacturer would all be different.

This way, the manufacturer can give the consumer as much information as possible; for instance, for any product that was bought before a certain date, or even one that has a “best used by” date.

Of course, sometimes you’ll have to play detective and employ other methods to be extra sure. As an example, during the great pet food scare of 2007, when some animals died, it was determined that the toxin was a specific item and the food was imported from oversees. Almost any pet food store was prepared to show items that were free of the substance, as well as those that were actually manufactured on this soil.

If you have any questions at all, you should call the manufacturer directly that phone number MUST, by law, be on the label or go to its website. Or, you can call your local ASPCA, pet food store or veterinarian.

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