It’s hard out there for a pet owner to find the most basic and unbiased information on feeding your dog. A look at the FDA pet foods and drugs recall page provides a snapshot of many different recalls, some of very popular brands as well as premium names in feed for cats, dogs, horses, sheep, and other animals. In 2015 alone, there were over 35 recalls across a broad spectrum of food and drugs, for problems such as salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, mold, propylene glycol and other contaminants. In fact, a 2015 consumer funded (as opposed to pet food industry funded) study of 12 of the most popular pet food products in North America. The Association for Truth in Pet Food found a horrifying list of issues with dog food that should make any dog owner blanch.
A Wakeup Call
The huge melamine adulteration recall of 2007 was a wakeup call to many pet-owned people that we might have been poisoning our best friends without ever knowing it. We may never know the extent of the of the deaths and sequelae, but some of us who lost animals in the 2006-2007 period that those products were on the market will be tormented with doubts. We bought dog food and cat food, trusting the companies and veterinarians knew what they were doing and that they were buying the best ingredients available.
Since then, the rise of a variety of grain-free, hypoallergenic, and raw food diets has given pet owners more choice and information when it comes to deciding how to feed their best friend. Unlike humans, dogs can’t say, “Hey. I ate that and now my stomach really hurts.” We have to watch them for clues, and make connections as we would with pre-verbal children. The problem is sorting out allergies from other illnesses, and trying our best with the help of a vet to eliminate or treat the problems. Feeding a top quality dog food can make your pet healthier, as long as they are not allergic to any of the ingredients, and many dog owners hold that transitioning their dog to a raw or grain free diet has done wonders for their pet.
We want the dog owners of Jacksonville to work out the best way to feed and care for their best friends, so that they will have happy and healthy lives together for many more years.