For many, dogs are members of our families. Like any other family member, it’s critical to ensure they eat healthy and safe food. Unfortunately, manufacturing, transportation, or other issues can lead to severe problems that may result in a recall. So what do owners need to know about a dog food recall, and how to find out if their pet’s food may be part of one? Let’s dig into the topic.
What Does It Mean When Dog Food Is Recalled?
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, a recall is any action the manufacturer takes to remove a product from the market. This can happen voluntarily (at a company’s discretion or FDA request) or on a mandatory basis. We often group recalls into Classes I, II, and III. Class I recalls are in place for products that can cause severe health problems, Class II can result in more minor health issues, and Class III is the least dangerous.
Officials can order dog food recalls for various reasons. They often result from salmonella, listeria, or other bacterial contamination. They may also recall dog food for elevated levels of vitamins or the presence of herbicides or other substances that can harm pets. If companies recall your dog’s food, you should no longer use it to feed your pet under any circumstances.
How Do I Find Date Information On My Dog’s Food?
Finding the date information on your dog food can require a bit of searching. There’s no standardized place for this information, usually printed separately on the food packaging. It’s good practice to note this location when purchasing, as it will also usually contain the “lot code,” which plays a crucial role in identifying recalled food.
This short string of numbers and letters can identify the batch they produced the food in, in case they find any issues later. This code is typically near the Best By/Use By date on the food packaging. Knowing the lot number of your dog food is crucial, especially if you need to report any issues to regulators. Any FDA recalls will note the lot numbers that may be part of the recall, making it the simplest way to tell if your package is part of the recall.
Will My Dog Be OK If Its Food is Recalled?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Some recall issues are more severe than others, and every dog will react to potential problems differently. In addition, any possible health consequences may vary by the amount of recalled food the dog consumes. In many cases, your dog will likely be fine. Still, if your dog has been eating recalled food, contact your veterinarian for further guidance. They may have you bring your dog in for a check-up or monitor their health at home. Even in the most severe cases, being aware of recalls and looking for possible health issues early can go a long way toward avoiding the worst outcomes.
Pro Tip: Testing your dog for food sensitivity can help rule out allergies to dog food.
How Do I Find Out About Dog Food Recalls?
There are several ways to keep on top of dog food recalls. The first is through the FDA’s official website, which posts the latest information on voluntary and mandatory recalls. Non-profit pet organizations also track recalls, like the American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medicine Association, and DogFoodAdvisor. These groups and the FDA offer email alerts to keep you up to date on the latest news.
Which Brands of Dog Food Have Been Recalled?
The FDA has tracked 123 separate pet food recalls since January 2017. As of late 2022, they put five in place, part of the 20 total issued in 2021 and 2022. Three-quarters have been “terminated,” which means the FDA has determined all reasonable efforts have been made to recall the affected product.
In 2021 and 2022, dog food brands that the FDA and corporations have recalled include Beg & Barker, Billo’s Best Friend, Green Coast Pets, Primal Pet Foods Inc., Freshpet, Family Dollar, Pure Being, Woody’s Pet Food Deli, LivaOne, BioLifePet, Nutri Source, Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals, TopQualityDogFood.com, Simply Nourish, Triumph, Evolve, Nature Farms, Elm, Sportsman’s Pride, Sprout Sporting, INtimidator, FRM Gold Select, Bravo Packing, Sportmix, Nunn Better, and ProPac.
Notable brands that were not in those recalls include Hill’s Science Diet, Wellness Core, Blue Buffalo, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild, Cesar, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Ol’ Roy, Iams, and more. In addition, Purina has faced recalls for some animal food, though not dogs.
What Do You Do With Recalled Dog Food?
The most crucial thing to avoid with recalled dog food is feeding it to your pets. In some cases, you may be able to bring the food back to the store and get a refund. However, if this isn’t possible, you should dispose of the food properly. This prevents other animals from potentially accessing it.
Which Dog Food Brand Is the Safest?
We should be clear that you should consider most brands of dog food very safe for your beloved pets. Dog food recalls are relatively rare, and severe consequences are even rarer. Still, those who consider safety as their top priority when selecting a dog food brand have several options that have never faced a recall in their existence. These include brands like Acana, Nature’s Logic, Blackwood, Eagle Pack, Annamaet, and others.
How Common Are Recalls?
It’s not ideal, but unfortunately, recalls are a fact of life in the pet food industry. They’re also common in almost every other food and non-food sector. Accidents happen, people make mistakes, and unforeseen issues occur. The frequency of recalls can vary widely, from single digits per year to nearly two dozen. However, this is still relatively uncommon in the massive amount of pet food companies produce and sell yearly. Pet owners can rest assured that their dog’s food is safe to eat. With some awareness, they can learn about issues from a dog food recall before harm occurs to their four-legged friend.
Were any of your favorite dog foods recalled recently? Let us know in the comments below.
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