CaptureSafe For Your Pet – Whose Responsible? 

Pet food makers are regulated, on the federal level, by the FDA within their partnership with the Association of Amercian Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO. Ironically, the AAFCO is not under any government control, they do not perform any testing of pet food and they have no enforcement authority. After the massive recalls of 2007, the guidelines of the AAFCO reflect imput by an advisory panel that now includes advocates for consumers. What it did not do is develop a plan to consistently monitor the safety of pet food from state to state, or country to country. Problems can happen at any point in production and distribution and all agencies, whether federal or local, should be equally responsible for identifying and isolating tainted foods to ultimately ensure safety for our pets.

On A Positive Note…120px-Nos_dalmatyńczyka

Consumers now are more aware of the risks of imported pets foods. Unfortunately, regulations for product labels do not consistently tell us where all ingredients are from. Pet food products that are made locally can still have ingredients that have been imported. I have become a label reader when it comes to my pets, but the information listed does not always present a clear picture of where something was made. Listed may be the “distributed by” address, which is likely a US address. This information does not tell us where the product was made, though. I recently emailed a company of a popular snack food for dogs since it did not clearly say where the product came from. They told me that if the label did not state that it was made in China, that it was made in the US. I found this answer a bit troubling. It seems as if I am responsible for figuring out where a little beef treat for my dogs was made based on information I do not have. What this answer does tell me though, is that the task of providing food and treats that are safe for my pet is ultimately up to me.
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10 comments on “What We’ve Learned About Safe For Your Pet

  • This is very interesting. I never knew that. It is definitely ironic how one thing is regulated but then the other thing that suppose to regulate is not regulated. Some things I guess we will never understand. But I guess for now just buy pet food from a liable name brand source.

  • I agree with your post totally. The makers of pet food should be made to put the truth about what is in the can on the label. This should be done for all foods. Your post has put the case for full disclosure very well.
    It is attractive and easy to read and I do love the cat and dog picture in your header. Do you think the manufacturers will ever be forced into full disclosure on their labels? I think pressure from consumers will eventually make it happen.

    • Hi Margaret,

      You pose a great question regarding full disclosure from manufacturers…I agree that consumers demanding disclosure would help. However, even if we were told that labels on products that we purchase for our pets contained the absolute truth, the skeptic in me would always wonder. Look at the fast food industry – they tell us what is in their foods, they just leave out the part about what it can do to us. We must advocate for our pets and I hope to see lots of thoughts concerns shared here. Thanks for sharing yours:-)

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Hi Erin

    Thank you for the wonderful article. There should be as much care for our pets as there is for us humans!

    I predominately make my own pet food for both my toy dog, Caviar and my kitten, Einstein. At least I thoroughly know what they are consuming.

    The more often people like you step up and warn pet owners the better care, love and affection we can give our pets. Beautiful reading.

    Kind Regards

    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks so much for your comments! You are very smart to make your own pet food. I feel that it is too easy to get caught up in marketing slogans and gimmicks and we believe that what we purchase for our pets will be good for them. Too often though, we can very easily harm them. For this very reason, I have just started a new site, bestrawdietfordogs.com where I hope to help my readers learn new, safe ways to nourish their pets!

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Hi Erin, Well I learned something new today, all along i have thought that pet food had the same restrictions as the food does for us, I guess I’m a little naive there.
    Would you say that a popular brand of pet food is better controlled on what and where the ingredients come from, versus some of the other cheaper products are? What about the specialty pet food that cost a lot, is it any better?
    I will defiantly be doing a lot more reading now that I have come across your article here, I’m glad I came across this.
    Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      Since pet food recalls occur just as often on name brand foods as they do on lesser known products, I think it is safe to say that stricter controls do not exist for popular brands. I do believe however, that it makes sense to have more faith in a product that is made by an established company. We always want to choose foods for our pets that are made from high quality ingredients and it smart to contact a company to ask about the products they sell. I do not believe that just because a food costs more, that it will be a safer choice for your pet. We must always research and ask questions to ensure that we are providing safe nutrition to our pets. Thanks for asking these important questions.

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Hi! Thanks so much for your review.

    This is the scariest issue for me as a pet owner. You want to find the best quality pet food, but the labels are deceptive and there really are no regulations at all. I’ve started following Susan Thixton’s Truth About Pet Food. She is a real advocate and is trying to get the laws changed so that consumers are better informed and needless pet deaths are stopped. Have you heard of her?

    As far as treats go, I went out and bought a food dehydrator and just make my own beef, chicken etc treats. It may cost more, but at least I know what my pet is getting.

    Cheers.

    • Hello! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments with my readers! Yes I have heard of Susan Thiston, she brings current, relevant information to her readers and is a great source of what you need to know to keep your pets safe.

      The dehydrator is a good option in making treats for your dogs. You can provide nutritional treats that you feel safe in giving to them. Me, I have been a bit lazy lately so I give my dogs simple treats that they love, such as frozen blueberries, carrots and bananas. They get so excited to get them and I am rewarding them with confidence that they are not being exposed to anything harmful.

      Take Care,

      Erin

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