What You Need to Know About the Latest Dog Food Recall

The Food and Drug Administration has just issued a broad-sweeping recall for dog food that contains dangerous amounts of vitamin D. While the vitamin is a nutritional essential for dogs — as well as humans — if they have too much in their diet, they can develop potentially deadly kidney failure.

Incidentally, be aware that cats can develop vitamin D toxicity too — so if your cats have a habit of snacking on dog food, keep an eye on their health as well.

Here’s what you need to know:

Which brands are affected?

The FDA is constantly updating its list of affected brands and lot numbers, and you should go there to get the latest information. The agency is currently listing Nutrisca; Natural Life Pet Products; Sunshine Mills, Inc., which produces brands like Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride and Triumph; ANF, Inc.; Lidl, Orlando brand; Kroger; ELM Pet Foods, Inc.; and Ahold Delhaize brands of dry dog food. Authorities say these foods have been sold all over the country.

If you have dog food that’s been affected by the recall, contact the manufacturer for a refund. You will likely be asked to dispose of the food; be sure to do it in a container that animals — and children — can’t get into!

If you have concerns about your dog’s health, you can also contact your vet. Keep the food packaging for your veterinarian’s reference.

What are the signs of vitamin D poisoning in dogs?

Dogs who have consumed too much vitamin D may start drinking more water than usual — and urinating frequently — in addition to losing their appetite, becoming fatigued easily, vomiting, losing weight and drooling. Your dog may also start urinating inappropriately because they’re not feeling well, or because they have trouble making it outside or to a puppy pad.

If your dog starts to develop any of these symptoms — even if you don’t know whether they’ve eaten contaminated food — contact your veterinarian. The vet or a nurse will ask some questions and determine whether you should come into the office for treatment. Make sure to provide dietary history that’s as complete as possible. The vet may want to run some diagnostic tests to evaluate kidney function, and treatment can include intravenous fluids as well as medication.

You or your vet can also file a pet food complaint with the FDA with documentation about your dog’s case.

What does this mean for overall pet food safety?

If it seems like we’re having pet food recalls constantly, you’re not wrong — and that’s actually a testimony to an aggressive system that’s looking out for the safety of the food supply. Many manufacturers issue voluntary recalls as soon as a problem is identified and work with authorities to resolve the issue. The FDA is still investigating the cause in this case, but signs are pointing towards a common manufacturer.

Dog food companies often purchase ingredients or food formulations from manufacturers who serve multiple companies under different labels. Dog Food A and Dog Food B, in other words, are sometimes the same thing in a different package. That’s what apparently happened here, and it’s the kind of thing consumers aren’t necessarily aware of unless they’re intrepid investigators.

For pet guardians, this kind of conglomeration can be frustrating and misleading: Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where food is manufactured, who is ultimately responsible for the content and whether the label’s disclosures are truly accurate. Price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality; you should talk with your vet about the best feeding options and consider looking up independent review sites for information about pet food.

If you decide you want to start making your own dog or cat food, be aware that pets have very specific nutritional needs. As a result, you’ll need to balance their diets with care. Consider consulting a vet, especially if your animal has a chronic health condition that can be affected by diet.

The FDA routinely lists recall information, and the American Veterinary Medical Association also tracks food recalls. These sites can be useful to check if you’re concerned about what you’re feeding your pets.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

55 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y6 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y6 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Daniel N
Past Member 7 months ago

thank you

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Nita L
Nita L7 months ago

Thank you for the info. Shared.

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer7 months ago

vitamin D toxicity - wow!

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Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Donna T
Donna T7 months ago

thank you

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine Andersen7 months ago

thanks for sharing. it must be hard to be afraid to feed your dogs

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