Recent treat recalls from another pet product manufacturer has us scratching our heads. Why are we still paying for food and “treats” that could make our pets sick?
Loving Pets (Cranbury, NJ) has recalled a slew of their treats made for dogs, due to a risk of salmonella contamination. All of the treats in question contain chicken ingredients, which is a common source for this particular contaminant. If you’ve purchased or given these treats to your pet, check your lot number with the list of recalled batches. Sadly, this is only one of many recent treat recalls or withdrawals.
What a shame to give your pet a delicious treat for being a good boy, only to have him become ill just hours later. This is unfortunately the situation for many pets and their owners.
How Do Pet Foods and Treats Become Contaminated?
Most cases of foodborne contamination is a result of improper handling methods. Bacteria grows very quickly on food, especially between the temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the number of bacteria can double in as little as 20 minutes. When foods are not treated correctly, it often results in overgrowth of harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli.
However, there are also cases of recalls being issued because the foods were contaminated with harmful chemicals. Very recently, several brands of rawhide chews were recalled for this reason (just another reason you should never give these chews to your pet, if the risk of gastrointestinal blockage wasn’t enough). Some of you may remember the phenobarbital contamination recall issued earlier this year.
It’s unclear exactly how these cross-contaminations occur. Unfortunately, pet food production and safety is less strictly controlled than human food production. Without more watchful protocol, it’s easy for unfit products
to pass by unnoticed.
How Will I Know if My Pet is Affected?
If you’ve purchased a brand of pet food or treats that have been recalled, check the lot numbers on the packaging. Food companies are often able to target exactly which batches may have been affected once the contaminant is isolated. You can find the details of the Loving Pets recall here.
If your pet has been affected by salmonella, she might exhibit all or just a few of the following symptoms: diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy or fever. Some infected pets might only have a decreased appetite or abdominal pain (which is kind of tricky to diagnose in your pet).
What should I do if my pet gets sick?
If your pet has consumed any product that has been recalled, and is exhibiting the above mentioned symptoms, you should call your veterinarian right away. He/she will examine your pet to determine what treatment is necessary. Dehydration can happen quickly in animals with diarrhea, so don’t waste any time getting in touch with your vet if your pet falls ill, even if you aren’t certain they’ve been infected.
How can I keep my pet safe from treat recalls or dangerous food?
Homemade food and treats are your best bet for protecting your pet from the dangers of treat recalls or contaminated foods. The Original CrockPET Diet is the healthiest food you can feed your pet. As long as you follow safe food handling practices, the risk of any illness is nearly nonexistent.
If your pet is food-motivated, you know treats are a vital part of their daily routine. Instead of buying treats that could ruin everyone’s day, make your own or use healthy foods you probably have already. Green beans, carrots and apples are all crunchy, healthy options that most pups wag their tails for. If you have a pickier pet, you may try saving small pieces of whatever protein you use in their CrockPET recipe.
My favorite make-at-home pet treat is incredibly easy, and I haven’t found a pet who doesn’t love it yet. Mix some peanut butter and coconut oil (a 50/50 ratio), spread it in a thin layer on a pie dish or cookie sheet, and pop it in the freezer. Once the mixture freezes, you can break it into pieces as small or large as you like. The healthy fat in the coconut oil and delicious flavor of peanut butter will leave you both happy.
The Battle Never Ends
It’s tough that we must be so over cautious in the selection of our pets’ food and treats. But until their ingredients and production are as carefully monitored as human food, there is no way to know your pet is completely safe. Even with more careful monitoring, you’re still better off cooking at home. Just as processed and pre-packaged goods are questionable for us humans, you’ll want to avoid them for your loved furbabies. Save the headache and heartaches, and make your pet the safest, healthiest food possible with The Original CrockPET Diet. After all, Your Pet’s Best Health Begins in the Bowl!