I’ve noticed that product recalls for anything that might adversely affect human health are usually very well publicized, but recalls on products for pets? Not so much. So with that in mind, I’m offering up a list of 10 product recalls that dog owners should know about. I know that cans and packages can often sit on the pantry shelf for quite a while before they get used, so I’m going to go back a year, starting with the most recent.
1. Mars Petcare US (October 2016)
Mars PetCare US voluntarily recalled some of their Cesar Classics wet dog food due to plastic fragment that could be present in their filet mignon flavor. Products affected could have been bought as single units or in a variety pack.
The products affected have “best before” dates of August 4 and August 5, 2018. If you bought a variety pack carrying product codes 632D14JC, 633B24JC, 634A14JC, 634A24JC, 634B14JC, 634B24JC, 634E14JC, 635A24JC, 635B14JC, 636D24JC or 636E14JC do not use the food. It could contain hard plastic that might present a choking hazard. If you return it to the retailer, you will be given a refund.
Questions or concerns can be directed to Mars PetCare US at 800-421-6456.
2. Addiction New Zealand Venison & Apples Canned Dog Food Entrée (September 2016)
This recall affects the 13.8 ounce size bearing the UPC code8 885004 070462 with the lot number 8936:01Dec2018 and an expiration date of December 2018. The reason for the recall is an excess of Vitamin A combined with inconsistency in the ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
Too much Vitamin A over a long period can adversely affect the health of young animals. There were no problems reported, but Addiction Foods has chosen to err on the side of caution.
You can return any unopened cans to the retailer for a refund. Questions can be directed to Addiction Foods by calling 425-251-0330 or by emailing [email protected].
3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (June 2016)
Blue Buffalo recalled some of their Life Protection Formula dog food offerings because of excessive moisture which could result in mold. The product affected is the Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe for Dogs in the 30-pound size, carrying the product code 8596100032, lot code AH 2A 1208-1400 and a “best before” date of April 11, 2017.
Although Blue Buffalo has not received any reports of dogs getting sick because of this product, they do ask that their customers top feeding the product, and bring whatever remains back to the retailer for a full refund.
Questions can be directed to Blue Buffalo by phoning 1-800-919-2833.
4. SmallBatch Pets Frozen Duckbatch Sliders (March 2016)
SmallBatch Pets Inc. issued a voluntary recall of their Frozen Dog Duckbatch Sliders due to possible listeria monocytogenes and salmonella contamination. The company issued the recall after an FDA test of a 3-pound bag tested positive for contamination. If you live in California, Colorado, Oregon or Washington, and bought the product between February 23 and March 10, you could be affected. Check the packaging for product code 713757339001 and lot number CO27.
Listeria monocytogenes can lead to serious infections in anyone who has a weakened immune system, like young children or the elderly. It can also lead to miscarriage or stillbirth if contracted by pregnant women.
If you have this product, stop feeding it and return whatever remains to the retailer for a refund, or destroy it.
You can get more information by calling SmallBatch Pets Inc. or emailing [email protected].
5. Fromm Family Pet Foods Dog Food Pâtés (March 2016)
Fromm Family Pet Foods has recalled selected varieties of their dog food pâtés out of concern over high levels of Vitamin D. The affected items are 12 ounce cans of Gold chicken pâté bearing product code 72705 11892 and case code 11893, Gold chicken & duck pâté with the product code 72705 11894 and case code 11895, and Gold salmon & chicken pâté with the product code 72705 and case code 11891.
Fromm Family Pet Foods has had no reports of health issues due to the use of these products, and maintains that even if a dog ate those product exclusively for a very long time, the likelihood of any effects other than a reduced appetite, if that, would be essentially non-existent. However, they prefer to err on the side of caution.
If you have any of these products, you should return them for a refund. You do not have to take them back to the place of purchase – any authorized Fromm seller will give you your money back.
If you want more information, call Fromm Family Pet Foods at 800-325-6331.Family Foods. To find an Authorized Fromm Retailer near you, visit frommfamily.com/retailers or call (800) 325-6331.
6. Purina Wet Dog Food (March 2016)
Nestlé Purina issued a recall on three dog foods carrying a “best before” date of June 2017 through August 2017, and carrying product codes with the first four digits being 5363 through to 6054. The affected products are all 10-ounce sizes, and are Beneful Prepared Meals Wet Dog Food, Beneful Chopped Blends Wet Dog Food and Pro Plan Savory Meals Wet Dog Food.
The reason for the recall is not overly concerning – it’s simply because internal testing revealed that some of these products may be low in the recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals. You can safely continue to feed these products in the short term.
To obtain a refund or for more information, call Purina at 800-877-7919.
7. MARS PetcareNutro Chewy Treats Apple (December 2015)
MARS Petcare voluntarily recalled their Nutro apple treats because of the potential for mold.Affected products are the 4-ounce size and carry the product code 7910511344 and lot codes beginning with 4 50, 5 02, 5 03 and 5 05.
I was unable to locate any information regarding refunds, but you can contact customer service at 800-833-5330 for more information.
8. Stella &Chewy’s Dinner Morsels (December 2015)
Stella & Chewy’s recalled their Super Beef Dinner Morsels owing to possible listeria monocytogenes contamination. The company was ordered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to stop selling the product when testing revealed the contamination.
Affected products are the Frozen Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Morsels for Dogs, 8.5-ounce size with product code 186011 001554 and lot number 165-15, expiry date June 25, 2016, and the 4-pound size with product code 186011 001370, lot number 165-15 and expiry dates of June 25 or 26, 2016.
For information on the possible effects of listeria monocytogenes, see the listing for SmallBatch Pets Frozen Duckbatch Sliders.
You can get more information by emailing [email protected].
9. Bravo (December 2016)
Bravo recalled several products due to the possibility of salmonella contamination in some items. Out of extreme caution, they recalled everything that was made in their plant on the day of testing, whether or not it actually tested positive for contamination.
The products affected are the Bravo Blend Chicken Diet for Dogs & Cats, 5-pound size, carrying the product code 829546211059, item number 21-105 and “best before” date of November 13, 2016, Bravo Blend Turkey Diet for Dogs &Cats, 5-pound size with product code 829546315085, item number 31-508 and “best before” date of November 13, 2016, and Bravo Balance Turkey Diet for Dogs, 3-pound size, with product code 829546314019, item number 31-401 and “best before” date of November 13, 2016.
Products were sold online to consumers and to other Internet retailers as well as to retail stores and distributors. Third party testing revealed no contamination, and the company has not received any reports of animals or humans becoming ill. However, salmonella poisoning can have serious side effects for people whose immune systems are suppressed, including the elderly and the very young. In the short term, it can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, headaches and stiffness. In some cases, it can be fatal, so if you have come into contact with this product, you should see your doctor.
Do not feed this product to your pets. You can get a refund by filling out a claim form that you will find at http://www.bravorawdiet.com/images/BravoRecall_ConsumerClaimFormDec.pdf or returning the product to the point of purchase.
More information can be obtained by calling Bravo at 866-922-9222.
10. Blue Buffalo Company issued a voluntary recall on a single lot of their Cub Size Wild Chews Bones because of possible salmonella contamination.
Blue Buffalo Company, based out of Wilton, Conn., is voluntarily recalling one production lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones due to potential Salmonella contamination.
The affected product carries the product code 840243110087 and has a “best before” date of November 4, 2017. The individually shrink-wrapped packages were distributed beginning November 19 in PetSmart stores in the states of California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
The possible contamination was discovered during routine testing, but the company has received no reports of illness, and only the one Blue Buffalo product was affected. However, if a dog does contract a salmonella infection, he could experience diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite or vomiting. Even healthy pets can also carry salmonella to other animals or people.
If your dog has eaten this product, contact your veterinarian. You can also return the product to the store for a full refund.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Blue Buffalo at 888-641-9736 or by emailing [email protected].
The Final Word
Honestly, I worry about every single thing my dogs ingest, and I wish more people felt the way I do (see Your Dog is Not a Human, So Don’t Feed Him Like One to learn about some of the really awful things people give to their dogs). And it’s no secret that pet food companies are in it to make money and largely self-regulated (see How Good is Your Dog Food?).
That said, though, obviously it’s not in a dog food company’s best interests to offer up anything that’s going to harm your dog. Most companies do test regularly, and problems can be corrected before they get out of hand.
One thing that I find very comforting is the fact that none of these product recalls were the result of any harm actually done to dogs. In fact, in a lot of cases, the companies were bending over backwards to make sure that the chance of any harm occurring was slim to none. That makes me feel a lot better about Janice’s and Leroy’s health and safety when I’m out picking up a sack of dog food or a package of treats.
I’m still perturbed, though, by the tendency of the media to report over and over any product recalls, however innocuous, that might affect humans while giving short shrift to the dogs (and other animals as well) that enrich our lives.
So, if you love your dogs (and I assume that you do; otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this), you might want to do a bit of Googling from time to time to learn about product recalls. You can also check out the website for the manufacturer of your dog food, since it’s a pretty safe bet that if they even suspect something might have gone wrong they’ll post a recall notice speedily.
I’m still going to obsess over what I feed Janice and Leroy – that’s just in my nature, and I don’t imagine I’m likely to change any time soon. But what I’ve learned about pet food recalls has eased the tension a bit!
Have you ever had a bad experience with food or treats that you bought for your dog? Did you bring it to the attention of the company, and if so, what was their response? I’d really like to hear about your experiences, so leave a comment!