In January 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Sportmix pet food was recalled due to its potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin, a toxin produced by mold found on crops such as corn.
More recently, Bravo Packing, Inc. issued a recall of all pet food and bones due to potential salmonella contamination, which can spread to humans and dogs alike.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing whether your dog’s brand of pet food is going to be recalled until you hear the announcement. No one wants to learn that the food their pup just devoured could dangerous or even fatal. It’s normal to feel panicked, but it’s important to maintain your composure and follow the appropriate protocols for the best possible outcome.
What is a Product Recall?
A recall occurs when a product is found to be a risk of danger when used or consumed—essentially, it means that a previously available product is being pulled off of the shelves and should no longer be purchased or used.
Periodic recalls happen in both the human and canine world. Pet food recalls are most commonly due to the risk of danger upon consumption. The recall may be initiated by the company that makes the dog food, or by the FDA.
Pet food recalls do not always receive widespread attention. It’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date on any dog food recalls listed on the FDA’s website, or even sign up for recall alerts at DogFoodAdvisor.com.
How to Know if Your Dog’s Food is Affected by the Recall
Keep in mind that sometimes, recalls only refer to certain lots of products, meaning the item you have in your home may or may not have been affected. The recall may only affect certain batches of food, so the issue would only occur in the products made during a specific time frame.
When a recall is announced, the following information will be given:
- Lot numbers
- “Best by” dates
- Package sizes
- Universal Product Code (UPC)
Compare this information to the packaging on your dog’s food to determine whether you’re in the clear, or if Fido’s food bowl needs to be emptied ASAP.
What to Do if Your Dog’s Food is Recalled
If your dog’s current food has been recalled, stop feeding the food as soon as possible. Contact the company listed on the product label for further instructions about returning or disposing of the product. You may even be able to receive a refund if you return the food to the store. Even if you plan on disposing of the food, you should still contact the manufacturer for reporting purposes.
If you dispose of the food yourself, do so in a way that will prevent your dog, other animals, or children from accessing it. Be wary of any sniffing snouts that may start digging for the food they find in your trash can!
Clean and sanitize all food bowls, scoops, and containers that were used with the food. Be thorough, especially if the dog food was recalled due to contamination of something spreadable.
If your dog has already eaten the recalled dog food, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for safe measure—even if your furry friend seems perfectly fine. Depending on the reason for the dog food recall, your vet will be able to determine the level of concern and any additional action that should be taken. Of course, if your dog shows any signs of sickness such as a change in appearance or behavior, you should always contact your vet, recall or not.
Drastic Diet Changes
If the dog food recall means that you can no longer feed Fido his regular diet, make sure to find a comparable alternative or ask your vet for suggestions. A sudden change in diet can be upsetting for dogs… and not just because they might be picky eaters. Dietary changes can result in dietary issues such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Under regular circumstances, a diet change should happen gradually. With a food recall, though, you don’t want to give your pet any more of the food than he’s already eaten. If you’re not loving the idea of a full-on switch right away, you can try mixing the new food in with some plain, canned pumpkin, which has lots of digestive health benefits for dogs. Over the course of the next few days, you can gradually increase the amount of the new food until your pooch is well-adjusted.
For dogs with sensitive stomachs, Pet Honesty’s Digestive Probiotics Chews promote the growth of good bacteria to support healthy digestion and intestinal health.