Purina’s pet food brand Beneful has been accused of poisoning and eventually killing over 4,000 pets. Most of these pet owners cited the same symptoms: hair loss, vomiting, liver failure—all leading to death. Hearing about once-trusted pet food brands being sued for thousands of pet deaths brings this important question to mind: How can I make sure my pets food is safe?
As pet parents, we care deeply about the health of our pets, but where do we start when it comes to choosing the right pet food? There are many things to consider: ingredients to seek out and those to avoid, proper food-handling techniques, as well as knowing what your individual pet needs. Something else you need to consider is how unsafe food could affect your human family as well. This article will give you some practical tips and helpful information on how to keep your family and your pets safe.
Avoiding Bad Pet Food
Pet food, treats and supplements can be contaminated by salmonella and other harmful bacteria, which can make both humans and animals sick. Below are some tips on how to keep your household healthy and free of bad dog food.
- When purchasing pet food, avoid packaging that has been damaged and also cans of pet food with dents in them. These may be signs that the food has been exposed to or has begun to grow harmful bacteria.
- Avoid giving your pets raw foods like meat, poultry, milk and eggs. When consumed raw, even humans can become sick, and your pet isn’t exempt.
- Make sure you wash your hands after handling pet food – especially if you are about to cook or serve food to humans. This will ensure that you aren’t carrying any harmful bacteria between pet food and human food.
- Try and feed your pet in other areas besides the kitchen.
- Try to prevent cross contamination with pet food dishes and human food dishes. If it’s possible to clean your pet food dishes in another sink, then do that. If that’s not possible, then disinfect your kitchen sink after washing.
- Try to keep pet food away from where human food is stored, keep it in a cool dry place, and make sure to refrigerate wet pet food as quickly as possible to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Make sure small children do not have access to pet food because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely to put the pet food in their mouths, or just their hands after touching it.
Ingredients to Avoid
Have you ever wondered what ingredients to avoid in pet food? Were you aware that pet food is considered feed-grade, which allows for more harmful, nutrient-less food to be served to your pet?
Here are some feed-grade ingredients you should avoid while shopping for your pet food:
Corn and wheat gluten
Meat and grain meals and by-products
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
PG (Propylene Glycol)
Here are some ingredients that you should look for in your pet food.
Natural preservatives (Vitamin C/E) or no preservatives
Made in the U.S.A.
Recommended Pet Food Brands
With so many options for pet food available, how do you know which one to choose? The sites below showcase great pet food brands, along with ratings and reviews from other pet owners who want the best for their pets, too! Compare the products listed on these sites with the ingredients listed above.
We all want what is best for our pets and it is frightening to hear about foods causing the deaths of so many beloved ones. But you can take action and prevent this type of harm from coming to your pet through learning about ingredients and proper food handling techniques. We hope this article was helpful and provides a place for you to reference while shopping for your pet’s food. Remember to check the ingredients for those you want and for those you want to avoid.
Have you ever had to switch your pet’s food? What signs did you see that there was need for change? Share your experience in the comment section below.