Where is your dog food from? Not from the pet store or a supermarket aisle, but from what country is part or all of the dog food or treat made.
When looking at where your dog food is made or manufactured you need to look at the ingredient sourcing.
Pet food from China has had a bad reputation for a long time and the situation does not seem to be getting any better. A report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released this year reports that pet treats that were imported from China were linked to more than 1,000 dog deaths and almost 6,000 cases of dog illness. In addition to dogs, 24 cats and three people were taken ill related to the handling or use of these Chinese manufactured treats.
When looking to see where the dog food or treats are manufactured look for a label or statement on the package that states it was “manufactured by” and not “manufactured for” or “distributed by.”
While the company may be American based, they may still be receiving the food or treats that are made under less stringent standards over-seas. Look to buy from pet food manufacturers that are not afraid to answer questions and stand up against scrutiny.
For a pet food product to carry a “Made in the USA” label it must be made from all, or virtually all, products from the U.S. For pet food that includes the packaging, ingredients, as well as the production of the food or treat. If there is a “Made in the USA” label but the company out-sources products from another country there must be a disclaimer on the packaging that says for example, “Made in the USA with lamb from New Zealand.”
Food recalls can happen for any number of reasons which includes mislabeling of ingredients or potential allergens or place of manufacture. In addition, a food recall can occur if contaminates are found in the food or treat such as salmonella, e. coli or mold toxins. A food recall can be initiated by the manufacturer, a government agency, the distributer or through independent testing. A pet food recall can happen to a USA based company or to products manufactured in China or other foreign countries.
Stay alert to pet food recalls on the news or e-mail alerts from your pet food store. Check the labels and do a little research on just where and how the food or treat is made. The label may look like it was made in the U.S., but see what the fine print says and how it says it.
Keeping your pet happy and healthy starts with your choice of pet food and treat. Next time take a few minutes to really read the label before just picking up the same product you always buy and putting it into your cart.