News of the pet food recall continues to make me sad and distrustful of the world outside my little zone. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to lose either of our beloved animals to a manufacturing mistake, or whatever it is that's caused this. I've read that some people will go through months of medical problems with their pets and thousands upon thousands of dollars in vet bills before finally losing them. As someone who is deeply in love with their pets, that is a pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Lisa and I had a pretty heated argument about this a little over a week ago and I'd taken kind of an idiotic stance of "well.. people should be careful about what they feed their pets..." At the time, the recall was of the crappiest of the crappy brands... the kind of stuff people buy in 20 gallon jugs at WalMart for like $.48. The news was also saying that the problems were most likely the result of rat poison either accidentally or maliciously being added to these foods. It made sense to me at the time that this could only be a problem with cheap foods manufactured by giant corporations with no concern for quality standards.
I was wrong, mostly. There are a lot of brands affected that are thought to be of much higher quality and are manufactured by companies that do seem to have some concern for quality. While it's true that most really high quality stuff doesn't contain wheat gluten, and is therefore safe from this particular problem, that doesn't really mean that some other staple ingredient of even the best foods couldn't be affected by some other problem in a similar way in the future. The truth is, you just never know what you're getting. I like to think that because we feed our pets high quality food that's made by smaller companies and is more expensive, that that maybe translates in to higher quality standards, more predictable and safe suppliers, etc.. But who fucking knows? I guess nobody does.
Regarding the current pet food recall, if you have a pet, please make a habit out of checking the AVMA site for the next few months at least to see if any brands you buy show up. Try to avoid giving your pet anything that contains wheat gluten. Keep this in mind when you board your pet, or when you're on a walk with your pet and a stranger or friend wants to give him or her a treat, or even when you're standing in line at the pet store and there's that big bin of freebie treats. WHAT'S IN THOSE?
If anyone is looking to switch pet food brands after all this, I have a couple of recommendations:
Rudy eats a mixture of Solid Gold "Hund-n-Flocken" dry food and various flavors of Merrick canned foods. I can't say enough good stuff about the Merrick food. You open up the can and find big chunks of meat and vegetables swimming in gravy. It really doesn't look at all far off from anything I would eat myself. In fact, it smells delicious. Rudy loves the daylights out of it (most flavors... there are a couple he doesn't care much for...), especially "Smothered Comfort". For treats, I usually go with Old Mother Hubbard's "Bitz", because they're tiny, like Rudy. They're not the most awesome treats, but he likes them. I also give him various rawhide bones and "Bully Sticks" from the little pet store on Taraval.
Susie's in charge of nutrition for Kitty Lou (an unfortunate position to be in, by the way), but I believe she usually eats some variety of Innova food. Piles of it. Kitty's favorite activity is turning cat food in to poo. She used to get pouches of wet food every once in a while as a treat, but Susie's been rethinking that strategy after we discovered that some of the pouches we had in the house were recalled brands. Scary! For treats, Kitty's gotten Pounce in the past (and they're also on the recall list), but one day I discovered these little packets of "Fish Flakes" at the local store. They appear to be locally made and they're exactly what they sound like. Think of the stuff you feed a goldfish, but much bigger. It's like someone took a fish, completely dried it out, and then ran it through a pencil sharpener. Kitty goes fucking ape for this stuff. It's like crack. If you even pick up the package, she'll meow the entire Battle Hymn of the Republic for you. There are some other kitty treats in the house, but I honestly don't know what brand they are. After reading of the expanded recall today, I decided that as soon as I get home, I'm going to gather every pet food product in the house and anything with wheat gluten in it is getting trashed immediately.
I luv mah babeez!
Originally posted on pop.vox.com