HOUSTON - 130 dogs have died, another 220 have become sick. That has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to send a warning letter to a pet food manufacturer after finding violations in its plants.
It's a fear for any pet owner. You could give your furry friends some food that will make them sick.
The FDA issued that warning letter to Midwestern Pet Foods, which makes brands like SportMix, Earthborn Holistic, and Pro Pac. The company had voluntarily recalled some of its dog foods in January and March due to mold and Salmonella concerns.
Just last week, Wet Noses Natural Dog Treat Company recalled Simply Nourish dog food for high levels of vitamin D.
And Sunshine Mills recalled some of its dog food for potential Salmonella.
That's all just in the last three weeks.
"Salmonella is nasty. Usually, it's going to be a lot of vomiting, a lot of diarrhea to the point where they're not going to want to eat," said Sienna Plantation Animal Hospital's Landis Perret, a licensed veterinary technician.
Perret says if you notice these signs in your pet, immediately take away the food, call the vet, or go to an emergency veterinary clinic.
"Save that product. Don't toss it just in case your veterinarian wants to see it or send it off for testing," Perret explained.
When choosing pet foods, she says to be aware that raw foods can be more susceptible to foodborne pathogens than dry kibble. She suggests asking your vet for recommendations.
"Dogs are different and cats are different. We have to do what's in their best interest, not in what I would want to eat, but what they should be eating," said Perret.
"They should have a list of the lot numbers of those diets and the names of those diets, so they can make sure their pet isn't affected," she said.
An app called Safe Pet Treats lets you scan a pet food's barcode to see the ingredients and whether it could trigger any allergy your pet might have.
In January, the company stated:
"We continue a thorough review of our facilities and practices in full cooperation with FDA in an effort to better serve our customers and pet parents who put their trust in us. A call center staffed with licensed veterinarians has been established for our customers and pet parents who have questions or concerns regarding their pet’s health. Customers can reach Midwestern by calling (800) 474-4163, ext 455 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org."