Since this blog is new, we are getting caught up on some very important goings on that may be of interest to you. On June 22, 2010, the FDA reported that United Pet Group began voluntarily recalling its Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin due to possible Salmonella contamination. Both animals and people can become infected and may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. This recall was expanded on July 2nd to include additional pet nutritional supplement products for dogs and cats that can be found at Doctors Foster and Smith, Petco and other national and local retailers. The complete list of products included in this recall can be found here: United Pet Group List of Recalled Vitamins.
In addition to the line of Pro-Pet supplements, many of the products included in this recall were private labeled for other companies. Consumers may not realize this, but many larger retailers use manufacturers or co-packers to private label products for them. This is of course a risky proposition, as theses retailers found out, because the lack of control over quality and safety on the part of the manufacturer can affect the health of THEIR customers’ pets. In other words, the retailers that sell these products really have no idea what is in them. How could they? They weren’t there when they were made, they didn’t see the ingredients that went into them and as far as I am aware they do little to no testing to ensure what they are receiving and reselling is what is described on the label. However, they still put their name on the product, which can give consumers a false sense of security, especially if they believe that the product bearing the company’s name is a “seal of approval” of some sort, or that the quality is better somehow because they put their name on the product. As we discuss food and supplements with pet parents, I am sure that sometimes they might think we go a little overboard, though most appreciate our efforts. However, this recall and others like it are a clear indication that you get what you pay for, and that you can never truly be sure what is in a bag or bottle.
Here, at The Pet Health and Nutrition Center, we only carry highly trusted products, ones that we fully research and would use for our own animals, and the others we just don’t bring in. We keep a keen eye on the industry, watching for problems, and subscribe to organizations such as ConsumerLab.com to keep up-to-date on any issues of which we should be aware. You have to trust your retailer. Hopefully, consumers will remember this situation so the next time they shop with a respected and knowledgeable establishment and the conscientious proprietors recommend a high-quality nutritional supplement for $29.95, but they have seen a pet vitamin supplement at the national chain or feed and grain for $19.95, they will make the choice for the better quality supplement because you really do get what you pay for, and the health and safety of their animal is worth a little extra!