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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
When you buy a bag of dog food, you’re trusting the manufacturer with your dog’s health and safety. If you’ve done your research to choose a high-quality product, you shouldn’t have to worry. Unfortunately, manufacturers make mistakes and accidents do happen, sometimes leading to a recall.
If your dog’s food has been recalled, don’t panic – read the report to see whether the specific package you purchased may have been affected and to learn what to do next. You may also want to start thinking about switching to a new dog food brand that has never had a recall.
Dry Dog Foods with No Recalls
Fresh Dog Foods With No Recalls
These companies deliver freshly prepared dog food to your door (frozen and ready to thaw).
What’s a Dog Food Recall, Anyway?
A product recall is a request from the manufacturer to discontinue use of a product after the discovery of safety issues or defects that might put the consumer at risk. When it comes to dog food, there are two types of recall:
- An FDA-issued recall
- A voluntary recall
When the FDA issues a recall, it’s typically in response to customer complaints or based on the discovery of a problem when testing the product. Anything from potential contamination with a dangerous pathogen (like E. coli) to inconsistencies with product packaging can trigger an FDA recall.
A voluntary recall is one initiated by the manufacturer itself. The manufacturer might recall the product if it tests too low in a certain nutrient, if a problem is discovered with one of the ingredients, or if there’s a problem with the formulation, processing, or packing of the product.
Sometimes, a voluntary recall is issued in anticipation of an FDA recall with the hopes that taking early action might reduce the negative impact of the recall on the brand.
What Happens When a Product Is Recalled?
If your dog’s food has been recalled, the first thing to do is stop feeding them the food immediately.
Even if your dog hasn’t experienced any negative effects related to the recall, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. At the very least, you want to take the time to read the report and find out whether your dog is at risk before you take the next steps.
The recall report will tell you not only which brand and which recipe is affected, but it should also provide specific information about the lot number and UPC codes for the recalled products. Even if the package of food you’ve been feeding your dog isn’t included, you may want to stop feeding and check with your veterinarian just to be safe. If your dog has become ill, you’ll also want to file a report with the FDA.
As long as your dog hasn’t gotten sick and you’ve stopped feeding the recalled product, there’s nothing else you need to do. You have the option, however, to return the food to the store where you purchased it to obtain a refund or replacement.
From there, safely dispose of the food in a manner that prevents other animals from eating it. You may also want to sign up to receive FDA recall alerts.
Concerns About Boutique Dog Food
The FDA is looking into a possible link between DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs and the ingredients in certain boutique pet foods; the DCM is caused by a taurine deficiency and has been most notable in certain breeds like golden retrievers. While the FDA haven’t named any brands yet, most involved are smaller, boutique companies like those in this list. In a recent article of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Lisa Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, explained the issue is not just grain-free diets, but rather, “BEG” diets (boutique companies, exotic ingredients, or grain-free diets).
“The apparent link between BEG diets and DCM may be due to ingredients used to replace grains in grain-free diets, such as lentils or chickpeas, but also may be due to other common ingredients commonly found in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits,” Freeman wrote.
More research needs to be done, and for now, it’s best to check with your vet about any concerns. Dr. Freeman also recommends purchasing food from companies that employ veterinary nutritionists and other experts.
11 Dog Foods That Have Never Been Recalled
Just because a product hasn’t had a recall doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than a product that has. Accidents happen and a recall isn’t always an indication that the brand is untrustworthy. As a dog owner, however, it’s your responsibility to choose the best product for your dog and taking product recalls into account is part of the process.
To help you choose the best recipe for your dog, read on for a list of 11 dog foods that have never had a recall, based on information provided by the FDA and the independent dog food grading site, Dog Food Advisor.
Widely regarded as one of the top pet food companies on the market, Acana produces a variety of biologically appropriate pet foods featuring fresh, regional ingredients.
This wholesome dog food relies on regional ingredients and is available in nine options, including a paleo formula.
A family-owned and -operated company in the United States, Annamaet is dedicated to providing pets with holistic, GMO-free recipes held to the strictest standards of quality control.
This family-owned pet food company offers holistic, GMO-free dog food and supplements.
Made in the USA with all-natural ingredients and slow-cooked in small batches, Blackwood offers a variety of every day, grain-free, and sensitive diet recipes for dogs.
Blackwood Slow Cooked Pet Nutrition
This dog food brand is known for slow-cooking their recipes to help preserve the food’s all-natural nutrients.
Originally developed as an alkaline-based diet, the Canine Caviar brand has expanded to include single-protein diets designed to help with allergies, skin issues, and digestive upsets.
This holistic dog food features limited ingredients and a single protein source. It is also free of many common allergens, like wheat, dairy, soy, corn, egg, and potatoes.
Every recipe this brand produces is free from fillers and artificial preservatives made only with the healthy ingredients needed to ensure strong bones and joints, healthy muscles, and shiny coat.
With two protein sources and an optimal blend of fats and healthy carbs, this dog food brand helps support all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
By using natural ingredients and beneficial supplements like probiotics and digestive enzymes, this brand operates under the idea that total body health begins with a healthy digestive system.
Packed with prebiotics, probiotics, live yogurt cultures, and natural fiber, this holistic dog food supports your pet’s digestive system to promote health from within.
If you’re looking for a dog food delivery service, subscription-based kibble company Jinx offers various recipes of dry food, meal toppers, and treats that are formulated with a team of veterinarians and canine nutritionists.
Jinx delivers dry kibble made with clean ingredients to your door.
This brand is committed to providing the highest quality and safest nutrition for pets by offering the first full line of kibble, canned, and raw food made without chemically synthesized ingredients.
This brand is known for producing high-quality kibble with minimally processed ingredients.
One of Petcurean’s product lines, Now Fresh features wholesome, nutritious ingredients like 100% market-fresh meat or fish with no rendered meats, by-products, or artificial additives.
Now Fresh by Petcurean
This grain-free dog food offers a balance of animal protein and healthy fruits and veggies with no rendered meats, by-products, or artificial additives.
Offering a variety of single-protein, limited-ingredient recipes, Zignature formulates their recipes to mimic the nutritional quality of a raw diet in the convenient form of high-quality dry food.
This grain-free dog food brand is made with a single source of protein and limited ingredients to cut down on your pet’s exposure to potential allergens.
A family-owned company based in New Zealand, ZiwiPeak is known for its air-dried dog food made with human-grade ingredients, including premium proteins like free-range lamb, grass-fed venison, and wild-caught mackerel.
Manufactured in New Zealand, this dog food brand is made with human-grade and locally sourced ingredients.
What about fresh dog food?
Recently, many companies have begun offering freshly prepared, homecooked dog food by delivery. While more expensive than kibble, this high-end food contains wholesome ingredients and all the nutrients your dog needs (making it much easier than cooking dog food at home).
You can find out more in our review of fresh dog food delivery brands here.
Commercial dog food always comes with a risk of recalls. If you want to avoid the possibility entirely, one option is to start making your own dog food at home. Check out our complete guide to homemade dog food to learn more. If you go the homemade route, it’s very important to make sure you are providing the complete mix of vitamins and supplements your dog needs, so proceed carefully.