By Elisa Black-Taylor
Potential dangers in pet food and pet treats are still out there. This is an update I did on two separate stories outlining some of the foods as well as symptoms we, as pet owners, should beware of:
- Purina pet Treats Made in China (if mobile phone users can’t see this page, Michael would be very pleased if you could leave a note in a comment – thanks).
- Potential Purina One Cat Food Problem
It would be a good idea to read those articles before continuing with this one as it explains the dangers in more detail. The major cat and dog products in these two articles were Purina One cat food, Purina Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch for Dogs. Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats produced by DelMonte have also come under fire, although not as much as the others. The Purina dog treats are supplied by a company called JOC Great Wall Corp. Ltd. of Nanjing, China. The Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats are believed responsible for the illness of at least 1000 dogs, with 100 deaths reported (1).
Consumer affairs has had over 400 complaints on Purina dog foods making their dogs sick. This involves several different brands. There is a link at the end of this paragraph but my pc browser wouldn’t take me there. My cell phone browser did. You may have to manually type in the food or treat you wish to search (Go to the link number 2).
ABC News has also covered the story, stating the Chinese made treats has sickened or killed over 900 dogs. A spokesperson for Nestle Purina defended their problem by claiming the dogs sickened or died from other causes (3).
Click on this link to see the URL of good site for recent pet food recalls. Ralston Purina has made a few voluntary recalls, but not on the products I talked about in my article listing Purina One as the major problem. A lot of readers are also experiencing problems with Fancy Feast dry formula.
Now to explain why this problem still exists. If a pet food company doesn’t make a voluntary recall on a product, the FDA cannot recall a product based on consumer complaints. The FDA has tested samples from many cat and dog foods, as well as cat and dog treats. As of an August 2012 report, it hasn’t been proven the products are responsible for the illness and deaths pet owners are claiming (4).
Waggin’ Train has a Facebook page with over 4000 likes. The president of the company has also released a video defending their products. The video doesn’t have a code to embed to show it on this page. It’s on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/waggintrain?fref=ts
So are these dog treats made in China safe? I read a status update a few weeks ago from one of my Facebook friends stating she wished she’d known about the problem with the dog treats. Her dog enjoyed a Waggin’ Train treat and a few days later her dog was dead. Facebook also has several pages set up trying to warn dog owners about these treats, since the FDA won’t officially do anything without more proof. Click on this link for a few of them if you want to check them out.
There are also a number of videos available on YouTube by people whose dogs were allegedly poisoned by the Chinese made treats. Search that site for Waggin Train Treats and several personal stories by dog owners are there.
While I haven’t found any Facebook pages concerning cat food poisonings, that’s not necessarily a good thing. People pay attention to personal stories by dog and cat owners who have lost their pets due to dangerous food and treats.
I like to bring any kind of recall to the attention of both cat and dog lovers because I have both. Dog treat recalls scare me because my cats like to play kitchen hockey with anything they can bat around. This includes any dog treats our little Cujo doesn’t finish. I checked a few stores earlier this week and found the Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are still being sold. I asked the cashier whether a lot of these products are purchased. She smiled and told me “YES.” She stopped smiling when I told her how many illnesses and deaths have been unofficially linked to the treats.
Like me, she’s powerless to stop people from purchasing these allegedly dangerous snacks. I asked her to tell customers to Google them before purchasing them. Most people in my area have cell phones that connect them to the internet.
As for me, I write on the topic. I do have a little advice, which I also offered in my previous two articles listed above. Before feeding your cat or dog a new food or treat, Google “potential problem with_____.” If there are many major issues, you’ll usually find them in your internet search engine. This also holds true for any food you routinely feed. It never hurts to do a periodic check for any problem. Several quality pet food brands have been recalled this year. It’s not just the lower cost items that are frown upon by pet nutritionists. Diamond as well as Taste of the Wild are premium brands and both made recalls in 2012.
Almost every recall is for salmonella contamination. The cat and dog foods as well as the treats. Symptoms range from digestive, such as vomiting and diarrhea to neurological where the cat or dog goes into seizures. Some suffer urological issues leading to renal failure and death.
I’ve tried to keep this topic as brief as possible. There are just so many problems out there with the commercial foods. A lot of people are now feeding home cooked diets as well as raw diets. There’s plenty of information on these alternatives for those of you now terrified of what’s on the market.
It’s important to mention any change in diet to your vet should your cat or dog become ill shortly after a change in diet. If it’s not mentioned, your vet may attribute illness to another cause. Take your pet to the vet immediately if vomiting or diarrhea or any other symptoms concern you. It doesn’t take long for salmonella poisoning to kill a small animal. Especially when you take dehydration from digestive symptoms into consideration.
It’s difficult to know who to believe these days. On the one hand, you have hundreds of pet owners whose have become ill from eating these products. On the other, you have not only the company representatives saying their products are safe, you have satisfied consumers who have fed the product to their pets with no harm done.
If I’ve made any of you a bit paranoid, I apologize. I’m extremely paranoid after all of the research I’ve done this year on pet food issues. I’m constantly Googling anything I purchase now. Usually while standing in the isle at the grocery.
Have any of the readers here had any problems with commercial pet foods or treats? How do you research what to feed your cat or dog? Can you recommend any good links for homemade pet food recipes?