When Your Pet’s Food Has Been Recalled


We all hear about pet food recalls frequently, but what do you DO if your pet’s food has been recalled? Most of us just throw the food away and shop for new food. Here’s a list of what we SHOULD do when the food you’re feeding your pet has been recalled.

  1. Remove the recalled food: If you hear about a recall for a pet food you use and you check your label to find out that it has, indeed, been added to a recall list, seal the remaining food in a plastic bag and place it in a secure garbage can to ensure your pet (nor any outdoor animal) will eat the contaminated/recalled food and risk becoming ill from it. While some foods will offer refunds if you bring any unused portions to the store where you purchased the food, we’ve found it’s often more trouble than it’s worth.
  2. Clean, clean, clean: Thoroughly wash any and all containers, utensils, bowls, your hands, and anything else that has come into contact with the recalled food. If surfaces aren’t sanitized, some bacteria can live for several hours or days.
  3. Watch your pet: Watch your pet for anything abnormal. Consult a vet if your pet has ingested any of the contaminated food and you notice anything abnormal at all. Some folks recommend calling the vet even if your pet isn’t showing any signs or symptoms.
  4. Change food You might want to simply buy from a new batch of the same brand, but a recall often prompts us to try a whole new brand of pet food. If you opt for a whole new brand, remember that your pet might have a hard time adjusting. Picking a new pet food that’s a close ‘formula’ match to the food you’re replacing might help your pet get used to the new food. For example, if your pet was eating a lamb and rice product that was recalled, purchase another company’s lamb and rice formulation. Read the ingredient list. If you can match up the first few ingredients, the foods will be fairly similar. Just be sure to avoid big changes in the percentages of protein, fat, and fiber whenever possible.

To see the FDA’s latest pet food and treat recalls, visit the site here:
You can use the search feature to look for specific brands.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


  1. I’d never even heard about this scenario before but thank you for alerting us about the dangers. Would there be a UK equivalent for the FDA?

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