How many dogs get sick or die before there is a dog food recall? More than you might think. Here's what you should know and how to protect your canine from becoming a statistic.
We live in a mass market world where profit is king, not quality and not ingredients. As I near the sixty-year-old mark I'm amazed at how many people buy into the idea that agencies like the FDA are going to protect our dogs.
I absolutely hate writing about this kind of stuff and I get a big knot in my stomach whenever the subject comes up. But still, you need to know what goes on behind closed doors so I'll jump in and get this over with as quickly as possible.
Here's an example. Not a dog food recall but a dog treat warning that should still be in effect - and isn't.
The FDA began issuing repeating warnings about jerky treats from China in 2007. Did you get the message? I didn't. And guess when the major manufacturers like Del Monte and Nestle finally pulled the suspected products from the shelves? 2013. Yes, that's right. Six years later. The FDA had been notified of 580 dog deaths linked to these jerky treats and 3600 reports of illness.
If your dog were to become ill or die, would you think to notify the FDA? Me either. So we can safely assume there are far, far more cases than those reported.
And what about symptoms of this dog food poisoning? Excess urination leading to dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), kidney failure, convulsions and collapsing. How would we or even our vet know?
And guess what? Purina (Nestle) put those same treats back on the shelves after a year meaning you need to be aware of the following.
Even if you are a label reader and the dog foods and dog treats you buy say they are made in the United States, let's look at what that really means. It means they are put together in the US so the truth is you have no way of knowing where the ingredients come from.
The vitamin premix used in over 90% of the manufactured dog foods is a good example. It comes largely from China and India where rules are different. Both dog and cat foods are highly processed leaving them void of nutrients so the premix was invented to add them back in.
Unfortunately they are synthetic and cause more harm than good. Most harm happens over time and is difficult to pinpoint, but there are still several dog food recalls every year.
The dog food recall that shocked me most was back in 2007. Melamine was found to be the cause of death and it was added to the vitamin premix on purpose because this plastic was considered a source of protein. That should have been more than a dog food recall for us, it should have been a giant wake up call to save our dogs health.
How do you provide safe dog food for your canine family members?
The only way to know for sure is to give them real food, the same as you should be providing for the rest of your family. I switched to raw dog food several years ago and now I can honestly say it's no harder than opening a bag or a can.
And best of all, it's had the same impact as raising my kids with minimal fast food and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. They don't get sick! What a concept.