As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to keep our furry family members safe and healthy and your pet’s diet is a very important part of that responsibility, which is why it is very concerning when you see pet food recalls, especially if it is the brand you are feeding.
Early last month, the FDA announced a recall on 9 different dry dog food brands for containing excessive and potentially toxic amounts of Vitamin D. This has now been increased to 12 different types of food. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, however, in high amounts, it can cause serious health concerns. Toxic levels of vitamin D can cause an elevation in calcium and phosphorus levels and, in severe cases, can lead to kidney injury or failure and death. Dogs who have ingested too much vitamin D will show signs of vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, an increase in thirst and urination, and weight loss. To see the current list of brands, visit fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm627485.htm. At this time, this recall is only affecting dog food, but the FDA notes that this is a developing situation and could continue to expand and affect more pet food brands.
If you find that your pet’s food has been recently recalled and you are concerned, you should immediately stop feeding the recalled food and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet may want to run a blood test to check your pet’s calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D levels and kidney function. A urine test may also be necessary.
For this and any recall, it is important to either keep the original packaging or have a photo of the label and lot number to help confirm that it is part of the recall and;
- Call the manufacturer.
- Check the FDA’s webpage.
- File a complaint with your concerts on the FDA website.
If your pet does get sick it is vital that you work with your veterinarian to determine the cause and get a full report, as this may provide valuable information when filing a complaint to the FDA.
There were many pet food recalls for both dogs and cats over the last years, and for various reasons with sometimes deadly consequences. Recalls for traces of pentobarbital, the drug used to euthanize dogs, cats and horses; and also recalls due to Salmonella and Listeria, to name a few. Some were FDA recalls, while others were company recalls, but all very concerning for pet owners.
To help keep apprised of pet food recalls, you can sign up to receive alerts on recalls or health concerns from the FDA. For those recalls that are initiated by companies or to find out if the food you are currently or considering feeding has ever had a recall and why, visit Dog Food Advisor or Petful, which also lists cat food recalls.