what to do when a pet food recall happens

How to identify and deal with pet food recalls

While we’d like to think that the food that we’re feeding our furry friends is safe, this is not always the case! In fact, you might be surprised at just how many pet foods have been recalled over the years.

The danger of pet food recalls varies depending on what the recall was issued for. In some cases, foods are voluntarily recalled due to insufficient nutrient levels, but in other cases recalls can be much more severe.

In some cases, pet food companies will recall foods which have been contaminated with dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. However, these things don’t always get caught before the food is distributed, and the manufacturer may not even fess up unless the FDA finds it in a random inspection!

For your dog or cat, this can be a dangerous situation. Especially because your furry friend can’t communicate with you that there’s something wrong with their food! It’s up to us to make sure that what they are eating is safe.

get updates about pet food recalls

In 2007, a huge pet food recall came about, but only because of numerous complaints from pet parents when their pets fell ill!

The recalled foods caused renal failure in thousands of cats and dogs, and the FDA received reports from veterinary organizations that the number of deaths exceeded 8,500 animals.

While only a single company was responsible for this incident, they actually owned 50 different brands of cat and dog food.

Some of the impacted brands included Purina, Hills Science Diet, Blue Buffalo and Kirkland’s.

More recent food recalls included pet foods which contained metal fragments, and Pentobarbital. The latter of which can actually cause coma and eventual death in pets who ingest it in sufficient quantities.

Here’s a list of some of the pet food brands that experienced recalls in 2018 and 2019.

Pet foods that were recalled in 2018/2019

  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Woody’s Pet Food Deli
  • Hill’s Science Diet
  • Abound
  • Columbia River Naturals
  • ANF
  • Nutrisca
  • TRUDOG
  • K9 Natural
  • Red Barn
  • Milo’s Kitchen
  • Vital Essentials
  • G & C Raw Pet Food
  • Hare Today
  • A+ Answers
  • Purina Lamb Chow
  • 9 Lives
  • Elm Pet Foods
  • Sportsman’s Pride
  • Natural Life
  • Merrick
  • Rad Cat
  • Blue Ridge Beef
  • OC Raw Dog Food
  • Castor & Pollux
  • Dave’s Pet Food

Not every pet food recall is dangerous, but you’ll never know if you don’t get notified about them. While many recalls are made due to something minor like vitamin deficiencies, it only takes one bad recall for your fur baby to die.

That’s why Beanietoes sends out warnings to all of our email subscribers when a recent dog or cat food recall occurs. As long as you check your inbox regularly, you’ll be able to take action if your brand suffers a dangerous recall!

However, we also offer some other great subscriber-only benefits like discounts on pet products, access to our contests, and our free pet food guide to help you learn more about choosing the best foods for your pets. Sign up below if you want to receive these free benefits.

Get alerted when any pet foods are recalled!

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What to do if you think your pet may have eaten a recalled pet food!

what to do if your dog or cat food brand is recalled

Stop using the food immediately

If a brand of pet food that your dog or cat eats has been recalled, the first thing you should do is discontinue using that food immediately, but do not throw it all away.

Keep a small baggie of the food somewhere in case it needs to be tested later.

If your dog or cat begins to exhibit signs that they have ingested contaminated pet food products, bring the food they’ve eaten with you to the vet!

You should also hang on to the packaging that your pet’s food came in and the receipt from when you purchased it.

All of this could prove to be very important to your case if you need to take legal action against the offending company in regards to your pet’s medical bills.

Keeping your food samples in the freezer is often a good course of action. While the freezer does keep bacteria from growing, it does not kill bacteria that’s already there.

Find a suitable replacement food

Keep in mind that many brands may be recalled! Pet food companies could own up to 50 different brands under their company! Make sure that the food you switch to is not also on the recall list.

Pet Parent Tip – Sometimes switching to a new food quickly can cause intestinal upset in dogs or cats. Try mixing a bit of canned pumpkin with the food to help ease their digestive woes while they adjust.

De-contaminate their dishes

If the pet food was recalled because of bacteria, then it would be a good idea to de-contaminate their dishes. Soak them in a bleach and water solution for ten minutes, and then run them through the dishwasher on the hottest setting to kill lingering bacteria.

signs that your pet has eaten contaminated food

Watch your pet very carefully

Over the next few days you should watch your pet very carefully.

If you notice any signs of lethargy, vomiting or any symptoms which have been described in the recall, take your animal to the vet immediately.

Depending on the reason for the recall, their situation could be very serious! Not acting quickly could lead to serious health complications or death, so don’t wait!

Don’t forget to bring the food they ate with you for testing by your veterinarian in case they need it.

It might also be a good idea to request a letter from your veterinarian confirming their diagnoses if your pet has in fact become ill from their food.

This is an important legal document that you’ll need for filing complaints with the FDA or pursuing legal action against the pet food company for wrong doing.

File a report with the FDA

If your dog or cat has become ill and your veterinarian believes it is from the food, then you can also file a complaint with the FDA. They monitor pet food companies to make sure their foods are up to proper food standards. You can do so online here.

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