You may have already heard that a host of treats from the brand Loving Pets have been recalled. This sounds alarming, but is it really? How do recalls impact your life (and your pet’s life) and what steps should you take to keep your dog safe? We’re explaining the truth about recalls in the pet industry–and helping you understand the dog treat industry–so you can keep your furry best friend happy and healthy for years to come.
What Are Loving Pets Dog Treats?
Loving Pets is a Cranbury, New Jersey company that’s been around for over a decade. It’s created a diverse lineup of Loving Pets dog treats and dog accessories which it sells online and through a variety of retailers.
This company is noteworthy for not using additives, glycerin, artificial preservatives, or artificial fillers in its treats. In the mid-2000s, pet owners became increasingly concerned over the quality and safety of their animals’ treats. So, Loving Pets created its Tested in the USA Quality Assurance Program.
Not all Loving Pets products wear the brand “Made in the USA.” But, all testing done is in an independent US lab. Each batch tested gets a “Tested in the USA” seal. Thus giving dog owners and treat buyers an extra measure of confidence. Don’t be misled or confused by the seal, however, as this only indicates testing, not sourcing or manufacturing.
Loving Pets does, however, have products “Made in the USA,” including four of its treat families. This doesn’t mean their ingredients are sourced from the US, only the manufacture, and processing.
Loving Pets’ treat lineup includes jerky treats, soft chews, dental sticks, and supplements. As well as special treats such as grain-free, corn-free, and wheat-free chews. This brand uses a variety of protein sources. Including buffalo, duck, and others not frequently used in dog treats. This wide range of ingredients and protein sources helps your dog get the nutrients he needs. This also bypasses the health problems that come with consuming the same food constantly.
Loving Pets prides itself on being owner-operated and creating products that are extremely affordable.
Its products often come with very high reviews–most people report that their pups love Loving Pets treats. And, most dog parents are thrilled that the ingredient list is so minimal. Because fewer, quality ingredients mean better overall treat quality.
This company is especially well-known for its Bella Bowl. A stainless bowl that now comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. It is one of the best-selling dog bowls ever. Customers have taken to the Loving Pets treat family in much the same way that they took to the bowl.
On the website, Loving Pets states a focus on providing pet-owners with all-natural ingredients and claims to support pet shelters and rescues.
Salmonella and Why It Matters
You’ve probably heard about salmonella poisoning and how dangerous it can be, but what exactly is it? Salmonella is a bacterial organism that can cause harm to animals and people. It’s a member of the Enterobacteriaceae bacterial family and spreads directly or indirectly. Because it can cross from one species to another, it’s known as a zoonotic bacteria. Even reptiles like turtles and snakes can harbor the bacteria. Warm-blooded mammals, like dogs and cats, can harbor it without showing symptoms.
Where Does Salmonella Show Up?
Since you’re probably not hanging out in livestock barns on a regular basis, where are you likely to see salmonella? Most often, it will show up in raw meat or eggs. That is why it’s not uncommon for it to show up in dog treats.
There is a reason for meat thermometers. If you undercook meat, the risk of infection is high. Dogs are most often infected when they’re fed raw eggs, recalled pet food, or unrefrigerated wet food. Transmission can occur through the feces or saliva of an infected animal. So if you suspect your pet may have salmonella poisoning, it’s important to keep him separated from other pets.
We should note that contact with salmonella does not necessarily mean that your pet will get sick or exhibit symptoms. Sometimes, your dog’s robust immune system can handle it without slowing him down. There are a few situations that make your pet more susceptible. Having a compromised immune system; being older or younger; or taking antibiotics, can make a case of salmonella poisoning more likely.
How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Been Poisoned?
If you’ve fed your dog Loving Pets treats or just suspect he or she has come in contact with salmonella, here are the symptoms to watch out for:
- Decreased activity or lethargy
- Loss of appetite
A dog that has contracted the infection but does not exhibit symptoms is called an asymptomatic carrier. But usually, an animal will start to display signs of salmonellosis within 72 hours. Don’t wait if you suspect your dog was exposed. Your vet will want to diagnose your dog immediately to increase their odds of a good prognosis.
How does a vet diagnose Salmonellosis?
To make this diagnosis, your vet will run a series of tests and then take a history of your pet’s diet. He or she might also request urine or fecal samples as well as a blood culture.
While you should confirm the diagnosis with a veterinarian, salmonella poisoning has at home options for treatment after diagnosis. The primary concern is to make sure she doesn’t become dehydrated since. Salmonellosis will cause vomiting and loose bowels or diarrhea. Your vet might also prescribe antibiotics.
If your dog can’t get on top of the infection, he might require hospitalization for dehydration or sepsis. In this case, they’ll need an IV fluid therapy and possibly even a plasma or blood transfusion.
The Loving Pets Recall
This summer, Loving Pets issued a voluntary recall over concerns about salmonella contamination. A limited batch of seven products from the New Jersey company’s products are on the list. All of which contained chicken. Both the FDA and Loving Pets claims there have been no complaints of illness: but consumers should immediately return or destroy food that matches the recall description.
According to reports, it was Loving Pets that discovered the contamination. The company joins over fifteen other recent pet food recalls.
It’s worth noting that a great deal of chicken in dog food treats is sourced in China, notorious for its high salmonella counts in chicken. While Loving Pets manufactures and tests its products in the USA, not all of its meat is. Whenever possible, consumers should avoid chicken or look for chicken products farmed right here in the United States.
How Do Recalls Work?
Fortunately, pet food recalls are not uncommon, though they do play an essential role in keeping pets safe. There are three recall types: firm-initiated, FDA-requested, and FDA-ordered (the Loving Pets recall falls under firm-initiated). The FDA manages recalls, so complaints go through the organization’s website.
If you have a complaint, you should have the original packaging. You should try to provide information such as the lot number stamped onto the product packaging, the expiration date, and UPC. Include any lab testing results also (when food testing privately done, though that’s usually costly; the FDA might also perform its own tests).
Alternatives to the Recalled Products
Thanks to rigorous testing and enforcement by the FDA, consumers expect further purchases from Loving Pets will not be contaminated. However, there are many other options for all-natural dog treats that your pet will love and that you might feel more confident about purchasing.
One of the most satisfying (and sometimes safest) way to avoid salmonella issues is to make your own dog treats. There are a vast number of recipes available that are simple and easy and utilize healthy ingredients. You can also purchase commercially prepared dog treats that your pet will love.
Understanding the facts about salmonella and the recent Loving Pets recall will help you keep your pet safe. Avoid problems by checking if you have any of the recalled treats. Also by keeping a close watch on your dog for signs of salmonella poisoning if exposed to the bacteria. Understanding the signs and symptoms will keep your pet healthy and happy!