What do You Believe?
Until recently, I had always “assumed” (yes, I know!) that “someone” was looking out for MY dogs and what they were eating. Isn’t that what the never-ending, heartwarming dog food commercials want you to believe?
ESPECIALLY in a nation that has the highest dog population (currently estimated between 70-80 million dogs in the USA according to the ASPCA).
For those of us who consider our canines “family members” (which is almost 67% of us according to the AVMA), the potential realization that no one is really “minding the store” is not only disturbing, but potentially catastrophic! Especially when you understand the full scope of annual pet food sales in just the United States alone (Source: www.statista.com/topics/1369/pet-food/):
- Dry Dog Food Sales: $9.2B;
- Wet Dog Food Sales: $2.4B; and
- Dry Cat Food Sales: $3.8B!
Did you know that “The FDA and USDA does not require mandatory inspections of dog food companies. Quality control is voluntarily enforced.” (ConsumerAffairs.com) Is “voluntary enforcement” really enough for the safety and overall health of your dog? Is “voluntary enforcement” even enough to address just the potential bacteria contamination and mold growth from inconsistent temperature conditions especially with excessive heat and humidity?
When No One is “Minding the Store:” A Real-Life Case Study
Last spring, SeekingAlpha.com reported on complaints from consumers about finding mold in some Freshpet products. The moldy products were reported to be “unexpired and unopened, with no discernible damage to the packaging.” That means that the contamination occurred at the manufacturing facility. (Click here to learn more about the Freshpet mold contamination including pictures, a map of the affected stores and personal stories from consumers.)
Despite our best efforts, we could not find ANY recall(s) issued from Freshpet for the reported moldy products. But we did find one customer complaint of all three dogs becoming ill after inadvertently eating the moldy food; one dog even died. Freshpet’s response? “FreshPet sent two $20.00 coupons for more food and paid the vet bills … The CEO said something to me about people making up stories to drive the stocks down.“
Still think “voluntary enforcement” is good enough for your dog and the food he eats?
What You May Not Know About “Made in the USA”
After the huge pet food/treat recalls in 2007 (killing more than an estimated thousand dogs (many cats also died) due to an imported contaminated ingredient, melamine, from China and this had been going on for SEVEN years before any recalls were issued), consumers no longer had confidence in pet food or treats from outside the USA. So it soon became a popular and common practice to label pet foods and treats with “Made in the USA” (along with even the American flag) in an attempt to provide consumers with a false sense of security that these products were safe and made in the United States.
While the actual food may be made (assembled) in the USA, some or many of the individual ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, supplements and fillers) may actually be sourced from outside the USA! Our research indicated outsourced ingredients coming from the following countries including: Canada, India, Italy, Morocco, Germany, France, Indonesia, Egypt, China, Philippines, New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, Israel, Argentina, Spain, Australia and Scotland.
If the FDA and USDA are not looking out for the well-being of our pets, do you really trust that other countries are more concerned about the health of your pets over their profits?
What Should You Do?
Do your research and make sure the “experts” you’re looking to for accurate and non-biased information are fully supported by pet food consumers (like you and me) and NOT the pet food companies (because that “ax” they have to grind is literally worth billions of dollars!).
Follow – or subscribe, if possible – to pet food recall alerts. We recommend subscribing or following several different sources to get the latest information as quickly as possible:
- Pet Food Recalls
- PetMD Alerts/Recalls
- Dog Food Advisor Recalls/Alerts
- Truth About Pet Food Recalls
- FDA Recalls/Withdrawals
To learn more about your dog’s food, please visit the following websites and subscribe to their newsletters to stay current on the latest information and recommendations:
- Truth About Pet Food, Susan Thixton
- Rodney Habib, Pet Nutrition Blogger
- Planet Paws Pet Essentials
- Petsumer Report
- Whole Dog Journal
- Association for Truth In Pet Food
- Consumer News & Reviews on Dog Foods
Disclosure: We want you to know that we have not been paid – or in any way compensated – by anyone or any manufacturer of pet/dog food or treats. The research in this posting was done and presented here out of a true love for dogs and their best health and safety. Our company, Cold Noses News, was founded on the belief that when people know better, they do better; and our mission is to bring our readers – fellow dog lovers – the very best information upon which to base their decisions for their furry, four-legged best friends.