Pet Food and Treat Recalls: What Do I Do?

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Did you read about all the pet food recalls from the Diamond manufacturing plant in Columbia, SC? Brand names like Natural Balance were recalled, as well as many others that are manufactured in the same plant. It makes you wonder about the quality of a pet food not made by company that sells it. Are all the brands the same and the packaging is different? Salmonella contaminated the pet foods and also hospitalized as many as 14 humans who touched the food. What does that say about the expensive pet food you buy that is made in the same place as less expensive brands? Ever wonder what you are getting for all that money? I do and I recommend you do too.

The jerky chicken treats that you buy are also contaminated due to poor manufacturing processes. The recall was specifically for the treats made in China. Don’t you just love those packages of  treats at the store telling you how good and wholesome and natural the chicken jerky treats are? And yet the treats also contain Salmonella and are hazardous for you to touch and for your dog to eat. Go to avma.org and fda.com and see what is said about jerky treats for dogs.

So what do you do?  I suggest to my clients that they purchase their pet foods from the big four American manufacturers: Purina, Royal Canin, Hills Science Diet, and Iams/Eukaneuba. These companies have their own manufacturing plants and have specific control over their products. From this group you can find any diet that  your dog will enjoy and at a reasonable price. Just because dog food is expensive does not mean it is always the best. These companies produce such an array of dog foods that you can find hypo-allergenic diets, large-breed diets, puppy food diets, and even grain- and gluten-free diets.  Buy from these companies and the likelihood of being a part of a recall is greatly diminished.

And for treats? Buy apples and slice them up for a healthy treat. Baby carrots are crunchy and are far less expensive than the jerky treats and they’re much healthier. Anything from the salad bar is safe to give to your pet as a treat except grapes. So, save money, provide a healthier treat, and don’t be taken by pet treat advertising.

Dr. Manda DVM, MS, MBA, CVPM, is a full-time emergency veterinarian, former veterinary hospital owner, pet food executive, and successful entrepreneur. He consults to the pet food, animal health, and veterinary marketplace both nationally and internationally.  At home, he has three cats who request all of his free time.

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