Dog food recalls are very scary because tainted dog food can put your dog’s health at risk. Though dog food recalls are rare, it is very important to track recalls and withdrawals and know what to do if your dog’s food is ever recalled. Here is a brief guide to dealing with a dog food recall and how to get your dog’s diet back on track.
What Is A Recall?
Recalls are when a product that has already been distributed into the market is recalled by the manufacturer. They are usually done when there is an issue with the quality of the product or the packaging. Recalls can be a result of a manufacturer’s findings, or as a request or order from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA or the manufacturer will then release a press statement notifying the public of the recall and in some cases, directly contact consumers. A recall means the product needs to either be sent directly back to the manufacturer or destroyed, depending on the severity of the recall. It is also the legal duty of the manufacturer to repair, replace, or refund any recalled products. In the case of dog food, it is usually a refund. The instructions for receiving a refund are typically found on either the company’s website or the FDA website.
How To Learn About Current Dog Food Recalls
Usually when there is a recall, the manufacturer will contact both the distributor of the dog food and the dog food consumer. The distributors may also notify the customers of a recall. However, since many dog foods have large scale distribution, the best thing a consumer can do is to stay current on dog food recalls at the FDA website at: http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals/. The FDA lists all active recalls, the reason for the recall, and what to do if you have purchased the recalled product.
Common Causes Of Recalls
Recalls can be scary, because a lot of the time a recall is because of a food contaminant or a food-borne illness. However, many times a product will be recalled because of an issue of mislabeling. Sometimes there may be ingredients the manufacturer did not list or the ingredient or guaranteed analysis panel may not follow FDA standards for labeling. There may have even been a recent dog food analysis that shows that the protein levels or percentage of vitamins certain ingredients contain may be incorrect. However, recalls are not done lightly, so it is important to understand the issue with the product before continuing use.
What To Do When Your Brand Is Recalled
The first thing you need to do is immediately discontinue use, especially in the case of contaminants and food borne illnesses because you can put your dog’s health at risk. Then you should go to the FDA website which will give you information about the food and what to do if you’ve purchased the product. Usually the FDA website will provide the lot #s, dates, and other important things to see if yours is an afflicted batch. There’s also usually a contact number to get instructions for your next steps.
When To See Your Veterinarian
If your dog food has been recalled for salmonella or toxic or dangerous ingredients, you need to see your veterinarian immediately. You do not want to jeopardize the health of your dog by waiting to see if they are impacted by these issues. On the FDA website, they have a table for the recall that include “reason/problem” where you can find the specific health concerns with the product. Make sure you tell your veterinarian about the food recall and the listed concerns so they can run the proper tests and make sure that your dog is safe from harm.
Transition To A New Food
Depending on the severity of the recall, you may need to transition your dog to a new food. Unfortunately, with food that has been tainted you can’t transition them normally. So you should look for a food with similar qualities to the food you have been feeding your dog so the quick transition isn’t too hard on their digestion. Also, sometimes a recall can impact more than one brand, so make sure that the brand you are switching to was not also impacted by the recall. Finally, make sure that whatever food you are transitioning to is going to be healthy for your dog in light of the recent health risks, so make sure you consult your veterinarian for recommendations.
Do Your Research
A recall can happen to any quality dog food manufacturer. There are several factors that go into making dog food that can be compromised. They may have sourced their ingredients from a source that changed their manufacturing practices leading to contamination, there could be new research about the dangers of an ingredient once thought healthy, and something even as simple a basic human error can all cause recalls. So the best thing you can do to avoid a recall is simply do your research. Most top quality dog food companies will have a website where you can get a complete dog food analysis including information about their manufacturing and sourcing policies. You can also search the FDA website for past recalls to see if the product has a history of recalls or withdrawals. The only thing you can really do to protect your dog against recalls is just learn as much as you can about the dog food you are feeding your dog.
Dog food recalls are very scary. You trust dog food manufacturers to ensure that they provide the best quality nutrition to your dog. However, sometimes recalls are out of their control.
So the best thing you can do is just make sure that you pick a trustworthy manufacturer, stay on top of recall announcements, and in the case of a recall work with your veterinarian and do your research to pick a new, safer food for your dog.