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PET SAFETY MONTH: 30 tips in 30 days that can save your pet's life - Tip #28

Now you have a great pet food or, hopefully, selection of pet foods with the help of AAFCO nutition analysis of anything you purchase. You know how much to feed pup or kitty with the help of WSAVA's Nutrition Tool Kit. But there are recalls. Even some excellent pet foods are recalled, often by the manufacturer themselves if they are honest when they catch something.

So how do you know and what do you do?

How you find out is pretty simple because the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) monitors all recalls. And you can follow their Twitter feed @AVMARecallWatch to stay informed. Or to get email alerts sign up with the Dog Food Advisor. Be sure, of course, to look at the lot number of the product being recalled and compare it to yours.

If you have food that was recalled the manufacturer will, actually must, make good. If you purchased it at a local pet store, bring it back for a refund or exchange for a different batch. If you purchased it online you will also be made whole. As a matter of fact, if you purchased through Chewy or PetSmart (which happens to own Chewy) they will proactively contact you and arrange for a refund or a replacement. Manufacturers stand behind their products in this industry.

Recalls come from three general sources, physical contamination, a bad ingredient or bacterial contamination. When it is the former, you will see a slew of different products from a manufacturer all with the same problem due to the common ingredient. Currently Nestle-Purina has a recall on their Muse cat food for pieces of rubber which could present a choking hazard. Generally, there will be only one product in such a recall as it is obviously a machine malfunction that can be caught quickly.

Hills has a few canned products being recalled with potentially toxic amounts of Vitamin D. Likewise a food called Old Glory, obviously being private labeled by Hills.

And then a number of small companies you may not know all have products currently on the recall list for potential Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Obviously, these small companies all rent time on machinery at the same facility where the equipment was not sanitized properly. Not good.

And a word to the wise, although there has never been a product recall, there have been reports of deaths of dogs in the US, Canada and Australia linked to jerky treats based on chicken sourced from China. Do pup a favor and check country of origin if you are buying jerky.

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