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How Safe is Your Dog’s Food?

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My dog’s food was recalled – what should I do now?

1. Immediately stop feeding your dog the recalled food; save a small sample of the food and the barcode label in case government regulators need to test the food.

2. Disinfect everything, including your dog’s food bowl, food storage container and feeding space with bleach and hot, soapy water.

3. Immediately take your dog to your veterinarian for a wellness exam, even if your dog does not show symptoms of food poisoning. In some cases, internal organ damage can accumulate slowly over time; early intervention is essential to protecting your pet’s health.

Over the last several years, numerous dog food brands and treats have been recalled for chemical contamination or Salmonella. This last summer many dog food brands were recalled due to Salmonella; all were manufactured in a Diamond Pet Foods plant in Gaston, South Carolina, USA. This plant makes many brands besides their own Diamond brand; Solid Gold, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, and Kirkland (Costco’s brand) were just some of the types of food affected. Further investigation showed that problems extended back to October 2011.  By July 2012, at least 49 people had been sickened from the Salmonella in the dog food, and ten had been hospitalized. Salmonella can cause illness in dogs as well, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is not known how many pets were affected from this infection.  And like humans, some dogs and cats may not show any symptoms, but become carriers of Salmonella and can infect other animals and people.

An even larger problem is the chicken jerky treats made in China. It has been known for a few years that  many dogs have been sickened from them, and the number of cases is increasing. The FDA just reported that in the last 18 months, 360 dogs and one cat have died from ingesting them. Extensive analysis has not revealed the cause. They have been tested for several chemical compounds including melamine, heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins and infectious agents. The warning has now been extended to duck and sweet potato jerky treats.  

For pet owners and veterinarians, there’s nothing quite as scary as discovering the food that you feed your dog is actually making him or a human family member sick. While you can’t prevent your pet’s food from being recalled, you can take the following five steps to reduce the risk for food poisoning and contamination or at least document a problem.

1. Store food in an airtight container. Before adding a new bag of food to the container, thoroughly wash it out with soap and hot water.

2. Save the barcode. Cut the barcode off your dog’s current food bag. Oftentimes a brand will only recall certain bags of food, depending on where they were manufactured. This information is contained in the barcode.

3. Wash bowls and food space regularly, and then disinfect them in bleach.   If dry dog food falls on the floor, treat it the same as you would raw meat or chicken; clean the floor immediately with antibacterial spray.

4. Watch for symptoms. If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior and energy levels, contact your veterinarian. Common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. It is always possible that your dog’s food may be making him sick but it has not officially been recalled.

5. Practice good hygiene. When feeding your dog, it’s natural to reach down and pick up fallen pieces of food off the floor and put them back in your pet’s bowl. If the food is contaminated with E. coli or salmonella, however, then doing so will spread these dangerous bacteria to your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water after feeding your dog; never touch your eyes, ears or mouth with unwashed hands.

If you suspect that your dog’s food is making him sick, contact your veterinarian and government regulators. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally tracks complaints about suspect dog food and treats. You can contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

Source:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

KTLA 5 News

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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