What To Do When Your Dog’s Food Is Recalled

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Dog Food Recall – those three words are enough to send any pet parent into a panic. But stay calm, because we’ve got the steps you need to take if it happens to you.

Recalls happen for all kinds of products but it can be a little scary when it happens to your pet’s food. Pet food recalls happen for a number of reasons and they can be incredibly serious. There have been many cases where pets are poisoned due to contaminated food and those deaths could possibly have been avoided if the pet parent was informed earlier about a recall.

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Reasons for Pet Food Recalls

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) divides recalls into three different categories. The recall may be initiated by the company itself, at the request of the FDA, or it may be requested under statutory authority by the FDA. One of the most common reasons for pet food recalls is contamination, particularly by salmonella. Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can lead to some very serious health problems in pets. Not only can it cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, but it can also cause weight loss, severe dehydration, skin disease, septicemia, and spontaneous abortion in pregnant pets. Unfortunately, many dogs that are infected with salmonella show no obvious symptoms until the poison has progressed.

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Where to Find Out About Recalls

You cannot rely on your pet food company to alert you in the case of a recall. Rather, you should frequently check online recall lists or join an email mailing list to stay up to date on the latest recalls. One great source of reliable recall information is the Humane Society of the United States website. The humane society also has an online community and a weekly e-newsletter that provides recall information. Another option is to check directly with the FDA on its Recalls and Withdrawals website. As well, PetGuide.com stays on top of dog food recalls, so be sure to check in for the latest updates.

What to do After a Recall

You probably already know that making sudden changes to your dog’s diet is not a good idea. Sudden dietary changes can lead to digestive upset but, in the case of a dog food recall, you may not have any other choice. Your first step after finding out about the recall is to stop feeding the recalled product to your pet. Your next step should be to return the recalled product to the store where you purchased it – you will receive a refund and the company will dispose of the product in a safe way. Once you’ve done so, all that is left is to switch your dog to a new pet food.

To make the process as seamless as possible for your pet, try to find a new pet food that matches the old pet food as closely as possible. Check the ingredient lists of similar products to find a formula that closely matches the old food. For example, if your dog was eating a Salmon and Brown Rice formula that was recalled, find another brand that has a Salmon and Brown Rice formula and try that. Once you’ve found the new dog food, start by giving your dog a very small sample of the food and wait to see if it causes any problems. Offer small amounts of the food every 6 to 8 hours for a full two days. At this point, if your dog doesn’t have any major problems, you can fully make the switch.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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