Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dealing with Pet Food Recalls

It's one of our biggest fears at pet owners - finding out that our pet food has been recalled.

Even when you're purchasing high quality pet food, it can happen. We feed the cats Innova. It used to be a high quality cat food. When Proctor & Gamble bought it, they promised to continue the same formula. We noticed a difference within the first six months. We even had a few bags where we found a piece of plastic in it. But the cats loved it and the two times we tried to switch them last year, they flat out wouldn't touch the new food. They ate around it, always leaving it in the bowl. When nothing but the new kibble was left, they'd turn their noses up at the bowl.

If you're feeding any Natura Pet food (dog or cat), I urge you to click here and check the list for recalls.

The first recall hit and we checked our first bag - it was a match. Out that bag went, off to the store we went, and bag number two was purchased. After a few days, the recall expanded. It included the latest bag of food as well.

Then one of the cats ended up with tummy trouble. Could it be the food? It could, though no cases had been reported. We tossed that second bag as well.

There were now no bags to be had. All the pet stores had pulled from their shelves. We had used up our emergency earthquake kit bag just before the recall so when I pulled that bag out, it was a match and had to be tossed too.

We had been meaning to switch foods after the lawsuit. When the judge rules that the company can no longer claim that their products are human grade, you know that things have gone downhill. We were ready to say good-bye. This recall simply forced our hand.

But what do you do when switching your pet's food during a recall? We all know that they have sensitive tummies and we have to mix when we're transitioning over. During a recall, there isn't any food to transition with.

Find the closest thing to what you're feeding.

My original choice had been Orijen. High quality food, no recalls in company history. Reading the ingredient list, however, it became clear that this would be far too rich for them. Our local pet store (not a big chain, but a small place called Pet Haven) was more than willing to help me through this fiasco. We ended up settling on Halo - it matched the ingredient list closely and the owner recommended it. She gave me a few sample bags to see if the cats liked it first.

They love it.

So we're off on a new food adventure. Fingers crossed that the transition will be smooth. Or as smooth as it can be when switching foods cold turkey!

What about you - has your food ever been recalled?  Have you ever had to transition suddenly?


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  2. My dog has been extremely ill this month after I started feeding her Innova Grain Free Chicken & Turkey. This stuff is ridiculously expensive, but my dog can't have wheat or yeast and has to stick to a grain-free, high protein formula. Within a week of starting on the Innova she became increasingly sick and finally wouldn't eat the stuff anymore. I ended up taking her to the vet after she'd lost 7 lbs and had a fever and stopped eating and drinking. I never made the connection with the food, but I decided to return the food since she wasn't eating it. When I produced the bag at Petco a virtual SWAT team of staff came out to inform me about the recall and that they'd removed Innova from their shelves. I immediately called Natura and, sure enough, the lot # I had purchased was on the recall list. I hope the company does the right thing and reimburses me for the vet bills. This illness is awful and I thought my dog, Wrinkles, was a goner. She's still very sick and I'm having to spoon feed her, but the antibiotic seems to be slowly bringing her back.

    1. That's awful! We're so sorry that you and Wrinkles have been through this. I'm glad that the antibiotic seems to be working. It's so scary when you think a brand is trusted and you find out otherwise. Please keep us posted on Wrinkles status and let us know whether or not Natura reimburses your vet bills.

      We were able to make the transition smoothly to Halo grain free for the cats. Lily is already grain free (like your dog, she must have grain free and hers has to be beef) - we feed her Stella & Chewy's patties. So far, we've been safe with her food (knock on wood).

      Wishing you and Wrinkles the best!