With All These Recalls On Pet Food, What's Healthy... What's Not?

The canned food you've been feeding your cat, Frisky, or your dog, Sparky, has been recalled. You read the list of recalled foods and you're wondering - what's okay to feed my pet? In recent US news, many commercial wet foods that were produced in a Menu Foods facility have been recalled. Some of these products include: Iams, Eukanuba and many others. In other words, most of the cans and pouches you've purchased at a grocery store, Walmart, PetSmart, Pet Valu, Petco or even a Pet Boutique may have been recalled. Many cats and dogs have fallen sick or have closed doors because of this contamination. It's a devastating mess up. But - maybe this will show all pet owners something. If this huge list of over 40 brand name foods have been recalled all for same reason, what does this show you? They all have similar ingredients and are made the same way. There is no difference, really. It's all the same food. How weird. And they've all been recalled? So how healthy are these foods to begin with? Not very healthy at all.

Who really is Menu Foods?

In simplest terms, Menu Foods is a can food manufacturer. Many companies, like Eukanuba and Nutro, use this manufacturer for the production of cans.

Some other pet foods were recalled, why?

Some other pet foods, like Hills Prescription Diet MD for felines and a whole pack full of Nutro cans were recently recalled. Why? The Hills MD was voluntarily recalled because the FDA found melamine in the food. Nutro was also voluntarily recalled. It was recalled because of the wheat gluten in it. Bottom line: foods are being looked into carefully now, in case, of new contaminations.

What is wheat gluten anyway?

Wheat gluten is a part of wheat that's primarily used instead of actual meat. In pet terms, it's referred to as a "filler." It fills up portions of the pet food instead of using actual meat. Many vegetarians will eat wheat gluten instead of meat. But, dogs and cats are naturally carnivores and need meat protein.

What's melamine?

Melamine is an "ingredient" used with another component to produce plastic. Some products made with melamine are fabrics, glues and countertops. If consumed, melamine may produce kidney stones, reproductive damage or even cancer.

So what can you do now for pet? What are you supposed to buy?

  • Number one: Look at ingredients. Scan through all the ingredients listed and look for food words that you can read. Natural foods will have ingredients like "deboned chicken," "chicken meal," "whole eggs," etc.
  • Number two: Try and find a holistic pet food store near you for foods that are not commercial. If there aren't any holistic stores near you; look at the sites of the example foods listed below. Some healthy and natural pet foods are: Innova, Natural Balance, Wellness, and Merrick.