The search for quality (a tale of recalls and safety concerns)

Well, it’s happened again.  Another range of pet treats is the subject of a recall.  This time it’s Dogswell treats by Arthur Dogswell LLC.

Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky under the Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality and Vitakitty brands with a best before date of Jan 28, 2015 are affected

Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky under the Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality and Vitakitty brands with a best before date of Jan 28, 2015 are affected

These treats are being recalled because product testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found traces of an antibiotic that is not approved for use in the United States.

The company says that since January of this year, they have new testing procedures in-house to ensure that their chicken and duck ingredients don’t contain antibiotics – so clearly there was a risk identified which motivated them to make a business decision to invest in the new testing!

Because animal feed products are going to ‘just animals’ there’s a real tendency of the markets and businesses involved to buy sub-standard and cheap ingredients.  (Don’t forget the melamine scandal of 2007 and how many brands were involved.)

Supply chain management is so important.  That’s about businesses knowing the source of each and every ingredient in their product – with contractual obligations on those suppliers to meet quality standards.  My advice is if you are considering a food product for your dog, you should enquire with the manufacturer about the source of their ingredients before buying.  If the information isn’t on the label, you need to contact the manufacturer through their website.

If the manufacturer doesn’t have a website or another avenue for customer enquiries – AVOID, AVOID, AVOID their product.  Always get the information on the ingredients of their product in writing (usually via email).

One of the reasons I started Canine Catering was to have greater control over the ingredients in dog treats.  These products tend to remain on shelves for much longer than other foods and their countries of origin often have dubious reputations for supply chain management.  The amount of preservatives is often staggering.

I like to use human grade ingredients in the first instance, as a major step for quality control.   I still read labels even on human grade food.

Accidents happen.  But haven’t we had enough accidents in the pet food industry?  Consumer choice drives change.  Make sure you exercise your power as a consumer by buying quality products for your dog.

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