Dog Food Worries

By January 22, 2024 No Comments

There have been some viral TikTok and Facebook posts about Purina “killing dogs” with their diets. These are designed to create worry and panic. Several are also designed to take you to their diets or paid subscription services. I will try to allay your fears.

Regularly the larger pet food manufacturers are the subject of accusations like this. The FDA keeps close tabs on the manufacture of pet foods. They take reports of illnesses in pets related to food very seriously and investigate appropriately. If a problem is found, there are several actions that they can take. Starting with a voluntary recall. Maybe a mandatory recall, or even shutting down a plant if it is more severe. Once a plant is shut down, it is very difficult to get approved to start producing food again. And after it is running again, there are more inspections and controls in place.

Full disclosure – my son works for a large pet food manufacturer overseeing quality control (not Purina).

Each batch of food is tested extensively for various toxins, metals, and nutrient levels. The ingredients are tested when they come into the plant. Vendors for the ingredients are screened and need to meet certain standards of quality. The food is then tested again after it has been processed. Regularly an independent lab comes in to verify the food quality, cleanliness, and laboratory protocols. Logs are kept for each batch of food from what vendors supplied the ingredients, what the percentages in the ingredients, etc.

The manufacturers also have large Research and Development departments. They are constantly looking for ways to make their foods better. Purina has been funding an aging study following dogs throughout their lifetime. This has been going on for a few years.

In short, the large producers put out a good quality, consistent product. Are there some bad batches? Yes. But, steps are in place to minimize them, and to rectify them when they occur.

Are there good alternatives? Yes. Some of the smaller manufacturers do put out a quality product. Is it better? Maybe. Fresh Pet and Farmers Dog are several of the newer foods on the market. The pets seem to like them. Do they meet or exceed the quality of foods from Purina, etc? I don’t know. Their ads say they do. I have not seen enough independent studies to make an informed decision. Fromm has put out food for a while that seems to be of good quality and has not had major issues with recalls.

When social media says ”beware,” it is wise to look at what they are trying to sell.