Dangers of Pet Food: Health Alert You Need to Know

Contaminated foodsThe food you feed your dog or cat could make your pet sick. But worse, it could make you or your family sick as well. In fact, illness caused by contaminated pet food is on the rise around the world and surprisingly common. And yes it does even happen in New Zealand. Here is what you need to be aware of to keep you and your family (including your pets) safe.

Both raw and dried foods can become infected with harmful bacteria. The most common of these is salmonella. This can be passed on to humans by handling the food and can cause diarrhea and other unpleasant effects. Another less common but also harmful bacteria found in contaminated pet food is campylobacter.

Contaminations are very common and every year there are numerous food “recalls” where companies remove their products from sale due to the ingredients being tested positive for harmful bacteria and other problems.

Although feeding dried food appears to be safer than feeding raw (in fact the CDC, The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends against feeding raw food to dogs and cats because of the risk of illness to the pet as well as to people living in the household”*1) there are things you can do to ensure your risks are minimized.

When handling any pet food make sure you wash your hands thoroughly immediately afterwards. Also store the food away from human foods and don’t prepare the food in the same area as you prepare human foods.

However, the easiest precaution you can take is to feed a brand of food that has a high safety record and scrupulous health and safety practices.

And which company has the best record in all of these areas? Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic. These are the only brands of pet food that have never been recalled due to contamination in their history – and that is 25 years!

While all of the other well-known brands have had numerous recalls, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic have never had a single instance of contamination – and there are a number of reasons why:

Firstly, all batches of Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic that are exported (including to New Zealand) are produced to European Union requirements, which are much stricter than US standards. Most, if not all, other companies export their food to New Zealand using US standards.

European Union standards require a higher level of testing of the food and checking of suppliers of the ingredients. There is simply a lot more time (and cost) involved, which is why other companies avoid it if they can.

Secondly, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are made only from ingredients from named, US-based suppliers. They do not use ‘anonymous’ ingredients from Asia, which have been the source of big problems in pet food. Virtually every other well-known pet food company will use Asian ingredients – and they will certainly not guarantee that their products don’t contain them. The corn used in Pro Pac is also non-GMO – unique for any US pet food.

Thirdly, both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic undergo testing far in excess of the norm for pet food. Every batch is tested by an independent laboratory five times before it is sent from the factory! This is the most rigorous testing in the pet food industry.

Fourthly, both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic only use natural ingredients that have been proved to be nutritionally beneficial to pets. There are no by products, artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives or any of the low-cost fillers that are found in the majority of other brands.

Food contamination – harming both pets and humans – is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. By feeding Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic you can be assured of protecting your family to the highest level possible by using the safest foods on the market.

To order Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic in New Zealand direct from the importer visit www.petfooddirect.co.nz

*1 CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/SalmonellaDryPetFood/

Iams/Eukanuba Food Recall: Could Pro Pac be next?

Iams and Eukanuba are two of the latest brands of dog food to be recalled due to potential contamination. They are not alone – there have been more than 600 food recalls so far this year in North America alone!

Salmonella contamination is particularly concerning, as it causes health problems in humans as well as dogs. In fact, simply handling contaminated food can infect the person, causing such symptoms as diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. In some cases it can result in hospitalisation.

Food companies are usually quite prompt in recalling their products when they detect there is a problem. However the issue remains that recalls usually happen after a problem has started to appear and it is only detected after the food has been released into the market. This means that there are no guarantees that the food you are handling and feeding your dog won’t make the both of you sick.

So how can you minimise the risk of infection from contaminated dog food? One of the best ways is to look at the safety record of the company who produces it. How common are their food recalls? The fewer there are, the more likely that your batch will also be safe.

There is one company that stands head and shoulders above any other major dogfood company when it comes to safety. Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are the ONLY major brands of dog food that have NEVER had a food recall due to contamination. It’s a remarkable feat – and all the more impressive when you consider that Pro Pac has been in production for 25 years. A quarter of a century with no incidents of contamination is an incredible achievement.

The reason for this is that the company go to great lengths to ensure they never have a problem. The production facitlity, at Chickasha, Oklahoma, has some of the most stringent cleanliness procedures of any petfood company and has been described as a benchmark and the envy of the industry.

But the safeguards for Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic go much further than that. The company takes the unusual (and much more expensive step) of having every single batch of food tested for salmonella and enterobacteriaceae contamination. The products are ONLY released for shipment after acceptable results are received from an independent laboratory. In addition, there are frequent tests for other potential toxins such as aflatoxin, botulin toxin, clostridium and high plate counts.

What all this means for you as a dog owner is that you can be as assured as is possible that Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are the safest foods on the market. The chances of you or your dog becoming ill from these foods is virtually nil.

With food recalls escalating – and contamination causing illnesses in dogs and humans around the world – this is very comforting to know. Not only do these foods contain the highest quality natural ingredients, but the chances of contamination are less than any other food on the market.

For more information, and to purchase Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic for your dog direct from the New Zealand importer, visit www.petfooddirect.co.nz or call tollfree 0800 DOG FOOD (0800 364 366).