With recent pet food recalls, dozens and dozens of labels have been pulled from store shelves. The scare has many pet owners looking for other ways to feed their furry friends. Over the past few weeks, the pet and cat food recall has expanded. It's had pet owners cleaning out their food supplies and switching to new products. Some are even considering cooking for their pets.
Over the years, the pet industry has grown into a multi-million dollar business. In many households, dogs and cats are just another member of the family. The pet industry even includes cookbooks for cats and dogs, whether it's biscuit treats, or yes, even, a warm home cooked meal! During this pet food recall, the cookbooks have sparked an interest among some pet owners. “These are all born out of fear that the food that they've been feeding is a problem, we don't know all of the details yet, but it's something that people need to be very careful about in making that kind of change,” says Dr. David Visser, a veterinarian with Roseland Animal Hospital.
Visser say it's important to remember what's healthy for us humans might not be as nutritional for cats and dogs. The vet reminds pet owners that foods like onions, grapes, raisins, nuts, and chocolate can be dangerous to the health of family pets.
Meantime, while some pet food companies are pulling products off shelves, employees with Mishawaka's Eagle Pack Pet Foods are working overtime to keep up with demand. “The increase is coming from both our canned and our dried foods and the reason is we have a very good reputation out there among our retailers,” says John Marsman, Director of Marketing and Nutritional Services at Eagle Pack.
The company has no reports of tainted food. It’s ingredients do not contain wheat gluten and they use higher quality products, like chicken meal, instead of meat meal. “The growth that has come is because canned foods and cuts and gravy style and pouches have been pulled off the shelves, that opens up space for our products,” adds Marsman.
Dr. Visser says it's important to remember that just one percent of all pet foods have been recalled. So, there are many products still safe and acceptable. It's best to talk to your vet first and make sure you've got a reputable cookbook for your cat or dog. With any diet, Dr. Visser says balance is the most important thing.