Pet food recalls are abhorred by both pet parents and pet food manufacturers. However, pet food recalls don’t happen quite as often as you might think. Of the more than 8 million metric tons of dog and cat food sold in the U.S. in 20141, there were fewer than 10 pet food recalls2reported by the FDA. This is because pet food manufacturers set high quality control standards to limit the chance unsafe food ever reaches your pet’s bowl. A bigger health concern may, in fact, be the food spoilage occurring in your own home due to improper food storage. Here are a few pet food storage tips to help keep you and your pet safe.
Store dry pet food and treats in a cool, dry place (under 80º F). If possible, store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed. Always wash and dry your pet food storage containers before refilling them. Storing food in the original packaging has the added benefit of retaining the pet food’s barcode, expiration date, and batch code – all of which are important information to have, especially in the event of a pet food recall. Refrigerate promptly or discard any unused, leftover wet pet food.
“We all know that we’re supposed to wash our hands before handling and preparing food,” says Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, “but what you may not know is that the same is true for before and after handling pet food and feeding your pets.” Washing your hands with warm soapy water for about 30 seconds helps keep pet foods from being contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms, such as Salmonella. It is also important to wash your hands after handling pet food. In the unlikely event the food is contaminated, this simple step can prevent you from becoming ill and possibly spreading the disease to others.
You wouldn’t eat off the same plate or drink out of the same glass, day after day, without washing them between meals, right? Well, the same goes for your pet’s food and water bowls. The FDA recommends washing your pet’s food bowl every day and the water bowl every day or two.
Dog food expiration dates (sometimes known as “best by” or “use by” dates) are established to ensure the safety of your dog. These are often found on the side or the bottom of the pet food package or can. Can’t find the date? Call the pet food manufacturer. They can easily instruct you as to where the expiration date can be found. Don’t take the risk of feeding your pet expired food.
Article by Pet MD
One of the most popular devices used to restrain dogs when taking them out for a walk is the retractable leash. Many owners, however, wonder if such a leash is appropriate or even safe to use. Well, the answer generally depends on a person’s reason for using the device. While there are several ways to utilize the retractable leash properly, it is important to remember that they also pose some danger to you and your dog if not used correctly.
People who have never owned or been around cats sometimes imagine that it takes a lot of time and effort to train a cat to use a litter box. We proud cat parents might like to attribute our cat’s use of a litter box to hours of dedicated training, or to our cat’s superior intelligence. However, the truth is that it is relatively simple to teach a cat or kitten to use a litter box because it appeals to their instincts.
For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including furry friends. While it may seem like a great idea to reward your pet with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and activities can be potentially hazardous to him. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips: