Since the inception of Keep the Tail Wagging, I’ve learned far more about dogs than I thought a brain can hold and there’s still more information out there. The recent news of Diamond Pet Food recalls has been astounding and these dog food recalls includes Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, Solid Gold Health Products, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain (Costco), Taste of Wild, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, 4Health, and NutraGold.
I receive emails almost daily with news stories reporting the expansion of the cat and dog food recalls and the number of humans, dogs and cats impacted by Diamond Pet Foods.
In March 2007, Menu Foods announced a nationwide recall of over 40 well known brands of pet food. The food recalled, which included brands I’ve heard of (Iams, Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Purina) were reported to be causing kidney issues in dogs and cats, many times leading to death. Almost 200 brands of wet and dry pet food were added to the recall list. Sounds very similar to what’s happening to Diamond Pet Foods today.
We learned about melamine, a chemical used in plastics, laminates, cleaning products, foam, fertilizer, and soundproofing materials (this is in our pets’ food?). The FDA confirmed the presence of this chemical in wheat gluten samples taken from infected lots of Menu Foods products. I learned that although melamine isn’t highly toxic on it’s own, when it’s combined with cyanuric acid (also found in the recalled foods), it will lead to renal failure in dogs and cats.
If you’d like to receive notices of voluntary and involuntary cat and dog food recalls, you can sign up for the Animal and Veterinary Recalls and Withdrawals provided by the FDA. If you want to keep an eye on the food you feed your pets or the food you’re considering, you can do what I did and sign up for a Google Alert.
What can I do if my dog get sick and I suspect their food?
If your dog’s behavior has changed and s/he is showing any signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately. Our vet paid us the highest compliment by sharing that they were impressed at how well we know our dogs and cats. We’ve nipped potential problems in the bud by knowing our fur babies. I’m certain that you’re just as familiar with what is normal behavior and what isn’t.
What is the best food for us to serve our pets?
When I was a kid, we fed our dog food from the grocery store. Someone recently told me that it was probably fine, because pet food companies weren’t cutting corners back then; today, some of them do. I went to the ASPCA site and learned that they recommend “high quality, premium pet foods for most pets, since they are research-based formulas that include specific nutrients for your pet’s well-being.”
We feed our dogs and cats Life’s Abundance. There are many great pet foods out there and I encourage you to do your research to find the food that’s best for your fur kids. When I was introduced to Life’s Abundance, I went to the Dog Food Advisor to learn more. The Dog Food Advisor is an unbiased site that provides helpful reviews on dog food.
What about homemade diets or the raw food diet?
We cook chicken thighs for our dogs as a treat, but we don’t cook their food. I tried and found it to be expensive and time consuming. But this is one isolated experience from over a year ago. Today, I’ve learned that families who do cook for their dogs save money by buying in bulk, they cook weekly and freeze portions, and they worked with their vet to make sure their dogs were getting the proper amount of nutrients and supplements. This is a definite option and I forsee many more families going this route as news of pet food recalls continue.
If you’re interested in a homemade diet for your dogs, I highly encourage you to speak with your vet to learn more.