In light of the various pet food recalls and what the FDA has come out with about the jerky treats, I just wanted to take a minute to tell everyone something you probably already know but is worth repeating: How to know if there is a problem with your pet's food and what to do about it.
Besides obvious visible problems such as mold/foreign matter in the food, here are some of the signs/symptoms that may be associated with problems related to your pet's food.
1. Vomiting/diarrhea (make sure your pet(s) didn't get into something toxic before you assume it's the food)
2. Using the bathroom more often than usual or avoiding using the bathroom (urinating more frequently/less frequently can be a sign of kidney issues that could be because of the food or some other reason)
5. Refusal to eat
6. Increased thirst/decreased thirst
Please note: your pet(s) may not experience all of these symptoms and this is not a complete list of all possible symptoms (just the most common ones). Depending on the problem with the food, symptoms may be different.
Here are a few tips of things to do if you suspect something is wrong with your pet's food.
1. Stop feeding the suspect food IMMEDIATELY. I know that you are supposed to change a pet's food slowly (over a week or more) but in the case of potential problems, it is more important to get the pet(s) off the suspect food.
2. Go to your veterinarian if your pet(s) is very sick or does not improve after removing the suspect food.
3. Submit a report through the FDA website/on the phone and give as much information as possible (lot numbers, dates, size of package, brand, flavor, best-by date, UPC, etc)
4. Alert the pet food manufacturer to your problem(s) if possible (give the same information that you gave the FDA).
5. Keep the food sealed up in an inaccessible area for a few weeks to see if the FDA wants/needs to test it for problems.
Hope these tips are helpful in the event that you have a problem in the future (I hope you don't). Feel free to share this with friends, family, etc.