Recalled Pet Food – What You Should Do
Every now and again, though it seems to be happening more often these days, we hear about a food recall, maybe even a food or brand you feed to your family. Food safety is left in the hands of food producers, whether organic or conventional, vegetables or animal products, consumers trust that the safety policies in place will protect them. With the growing demand for food worldwide, it makes you wonder if food manufacturers are skipping steps or cutting corners just to answer the constant need of human food consumption.
Food recalls can be a voluntary move by a manufacturer or company if they suspect their food product has been contaminated and poses serious health risks–or can even cause death. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can also order recalls.
But have you ever thought about the possibly of your pet’s food being recalled?
Like people food, store-bought pet food and treats have the same potential to end up on a recall list, except in these cases, companies do not always go above and beyond to let consumers know. As loving animal guardians, you always do you best to protect your fur babies from dangers inside and outside your home — if it’s not on your mind already, start protecting them now from pet food dangers.
Hear About a Recall, Check What You Have
On one hand, you probably know the brand of pet food you buy. What you might not know is the type or variety of food, package size and lot number — information needed in order to identify if you possess a recalled product. Call the manufacturer to check if your pet’s current food is one that is on their recalled list to compare the recall info with the product you have.
Stop Feeding a Recalled Food Immediately, Get a New One
So you discovered you have a recalled pet food. Stop feeding your pet the food immediately and go get new food. It’s best to gradually introduce a new food over a few days, but in the case of a recall, you must take a different approach. It is recommended to find a similar pet food, one that is easily digestible: then, since you will not be mixing with the old (recalled) food, give your dog or cat smaller portions for a few days until their system starts properly regulating the new food. If you are not comfortable cutting the portion size down so suddenly, you can mix the new food with small amounts of thoroughly cooked rice and beans and fresh pet safe fruits and vegetables.
Observe and Examine for Signs of Illness
While the signs can vary based on the reason for a recall, once you know you have a recalled pet food, immediately check pets for unusual symptoms. Signs that your pet has been poisoned, be it by a food, a toxin or household item, can result in similar symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, discolored urine, difficulty moving or breathing, and organ failure. Make an appointment with the vet if needed or if you are unsure. Click here to learn more about how to spot if your pet has been poisoned.
Contact the Pet Food Manufacturer, Keep Records
Should your pet become sick or die from ingesting a recalled food, contact the manufacture about what has happened, then consider filing an online report with the FDA . Make sure to take good notes, pictures, keep a sample of the recalled food, and save all vet records.
Take Precautionary Steps
If you’re already a watcher of your own health, then you likely follow your favorite food brands or health blogs online and on social media. This is not only a great way to stay up to date on the latest news, but they are also good channels to receive recall notices and warnings about possible food caused illnesses. Do the same for your pets! Follow the brands and stores on social media, subscribe to blogs dedicated to pet food topics, and periodically check company websites. For recall postings and to search all sorts of product recalls for humans and pets, bookmark this site and check out the site’s option to sign up for automatic alerts.
Even if you make your pet’s food at home or you get it from an independent holistic or organic company, you still need to be aware of the individual ingredients used in a homemade food or treats in case an ingredient is recalled.