On March 16, 2007, Menu Foods announced a nationwide recall of more than 40 popular brands of pet food. The contaminated products—including well-known brands like Iams, Eukanuba, Purina and Science Diet—were causing severe, and often fatal, kidney problems in dogs and cats. Nearly 180 brands of wet and dry food were eventually added to the recall list, provoking a tense period of uncertainty for pets, pet parents and animal welfare professionals.
The FDA officially confirmed the presence of melamine—often used in plastics, cleaning products, laminates, foam, soundproofing and fertilizer—in wheat gluten samples taken from contaminated lots. Though not highly toxic on its own, melamine, when combined with cyanuric acid—another found contaminant—may cause renal failure in pets.
The FDA sends out periodic notices about isolated pet food recalls—both voluntary and involuntary. Please check the FDA’s website for the most current information about safety alerts and recalls.
I think my pet is sick from contaminated food. What should I do?
If your pet shows any signs of illness, including loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in water consumption or changes in urination, please consult your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.
What is the best food to give to my pet?
In general, the ASPCA recommends high quality, premium pet foods for most pets, since they are research-based formulas that include specific nutrients for your pet’s well-being. If your pet is used to eating a particular type of food, a sudden change in diet or diet type may upset her stomach. This may be especially problematic for pets with pre-existing illnesses.
Does the ASPCA recommend homemade diets for pets?
Homemade diets require a substantial amount of work to ensure that the final product includes a complete nutritional balance. It is very important to follow recipe directions exactly, not allowing for substitutions or omitting of ingredients. If you wish to use a homemade diet, please consult with your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist for an acceptable recipe.