Okaw Veterinary Clinic

140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953

(217)253-3221

www.okawvetclinic.com

Pet Food Recalls - How to Keep Up

 

A few years ago, there was a major pet food recall due to contaminated wheat gluten in our pet foods that sadly led to the death of many pets. It was one of the first contamination cases of pet foods of that magnitude and harm to pets, hopefully the last. Pet food ingredients come from many of the same sources as our human foods. The quality control checking of the human foods in turn helps to keep up with the quality of the pet foods. As a result, there have been more frequent recalls of pet foods than in years past. 

There are various reasons for the more recent pet food recalls. Most commonly the recalls are over bacterial contamination in one batch that may possibly be carried over to other batches. To be safe, the companies recall the product until what the culprit for the contamination has been discovered. Food product may be coming into a factory with contamination, or the factory may have a problem. These problems are now quickly being identified and a safe food product is soon available for your pet.

How can a pet owner keep up with food safety for their pet? Our office receives automatic updates about pet food safety from the United States Dept of Agriculture whenever there is a concern. The staff immediately posts the information on our website, on our Facebook page, in our monthly email newsletter, and on our white bulletin board in the waiting room. You can check out any one of these sources of information to stay up to date. 

If your pet has been eating a food or treat that is currently recalled, call your veterinarian for the best recommendation of what to feed. If there is any concern over your pet becoming ill, also talk to your veterinarian or staff of a veterinarian. Some recall problems are not much to worry about, others may be. It depends on why the food has been recalled and what the health state and age of your pet is. Most problems from food will show up with decreased appetite, vomiting, diahhrea, or acting lethargic. Do not wait to have your pet checked if they show these signs. They may not be due to food problems and reflect other health problems for your pet.

Pet foods are typically made well. They are one of the few food items that you are getting what you pay for. The better quality better made foods are more expensive. These foods are digested better and result in not needing to feed as much and better health for your pet. Consult with your veterinary staff about what foods are best for your pet at their age and considering any conditions your pet may have such as arthritis or allergies.   Follow what is recommended. When owners keep changing foods or stop feeding a special diet to save money, problems often return.

For more information about pet foods and nutrition, look in the pet library, and see the question of the week at our Facebook page. The person with the right answer will have their pet?s picture featured on our page for that week.