Five Safety Tips for Buying and Preparing Dog Food
On September 12th, 2012 Breeder’s Choice Pet Food was forced to recall their AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula from select store shelves because of a Salmonella outbreak. Then two weeks later, on September 24th, Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks sold at Target were recalled after positive tests for salmonella were found. These latest recalls show that bacteria can find its way into our canine’s food, even with the best quality control efforts put in place.
Salmonella food poisoning causes dogs to experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargic behavior, fever and loss of appetite. Humans are also at risk of salmonella poisoning from touching dog’s contaminated food and experience similar symptoms to dogs. It is unfortunate that salmonella outbreaks do occur. However, there are useful safety tips you can follow when shopping for and preparing your dog’s food that can greatly reduce the chance of your canine and you becoming sick.
Tip #1: Check the “Sell By” Date on Bag
If sell by date is same day as purchase or already passed, I would hold off selecting that bag. You want your dog’s food to be fresh as long as possible. Old food can make your dog sick.
Tip #2: Check Packaging before Leaving Store
Check to make sure dog food bag is not ripped or torn before leaving store. A ripped or torn bag is a red flag for salmonella contamination. Bacteria can seep into unsealed bags and make your dog very sick. Never purchase a bag that is torn.
Tip # 3: Purchase Low Risk Foods
There are food choices that are lower at risk of bacteria infections which are safer and actually healthier to give to your dog. One example of this is elk antler treats. The dried composition of elk antlers make them less likely to be exposed to bacteria contamination. Bacteria like to grow in damp wet places. The antlers do not provide an environment that is suitable for bacteria to grow. Also try giving your animal fresh organic products like carrots directly from your vegetable garden.
Tip #4: Read Latest Dog Food Recall News
Before ripping open the dog food bag or giving your dog his favorite treat, make sure to read the news on latest recalls. The Federal Drug Administration website is a great resource for finding news. Their website lists press releases on all latest recalls. Or you could simply type in an internet search “Latest Dog Food Recalls”, to get instant up-to-date information. If your dog food is on a recall list, do not give to your dog. Immediately return product back to the store for a refund.
Tip #5: Prepare Food Correctly
Food preparation is the last step in preventing bacteria contamination in your dog’s food and in your home. Make sure to clean your dog’s water and food bowls often. If possible invest in separate water and dog bowls that do not touch. If water mixes with dry dog food, this can cause bacteria outbreak. Bacteria thrive on damp, moist places such soggy dog food. By separating the bowls it is harder for your dog’s water to get mixed with the dry food. Also always wash your hands before preparing dog food and after. Humans have gotten salmonella poisoning from their dog’s food because they forgot to wash hands directly after touching food.
The battle against bacteria is unfortunately a never ending one. However, by following these five safety tips you can make it more difficult for bacteria to enter your home and enter your dog’s stomach.