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When you buy a bag of dog food, you’re trusting the manufacturer with your dog’s health and safety. If you’ve done your research to choose a high-quality product, you shouldn’t have to worry. Unfortunately, manufacturers make mistakes and accidents do happen, sometimes leading to a recall.
If your dog’s food has been recalled, don’t panic – read the report to see whether the specific package you purchased may have been affected and to learn what to do next. You may also want to start thinking about switching to a new dog food brand that has never had a recall.
Read on to learn more about what a dog food recall is and what happens when a product is recalled. You’ll also receive our compilation of dog food brands that have never had a recall.
Dry Dog Foods with No Recalls
- Annamaet Petfoods
- Blackwood Slow Cooked Pet Nutrition
- Canine Caviar
- Eagle Pack
- Earthborn Holistic
- Holistic Select
- Nature’s Logic
- Now Fresh by Petcurean
- Precise Holistic Complete
Fresh Dog Foods with No Recalls
These companies deliver freshly prepared dog food to your door (frozen and ready to thaw).
What’s a Dog Food Recall, Anyway?
A product recall is a request from the manufacturer to discontinue use of a product after the discovery of safety issues or defects that might put the consumer at risk. When it comes to dog food, there are two types of recall:
- An FDA-issued recall
- A voluntary recall
When the FDA issues a recall, it’s typically in response to customer complaints or based on the discovery of a problem when testing the product. Anything from potential contamination with a dangerous pathogen (like E. coli) to inconsistencies with product packaging can trigger an FDA recall.
A voluntary recall is one initiated by the manufacturer itself. The manufacturer might recall the product if it tests too low in a certain nutrient, if a problem is discovered with one of the ingredients, or if there’s a problem with the formulation, processing, or packing of the product.
Sometimes, a voluntary recall is issued in anticipation of an FDA recall with the hopes that taking early action might reduce the negative impact of the recall on the brand.
What Happens When a Product is Recalled?
If your dog’s food has been recalled, the first thing to do is stop feeding them the food immediately.
Even if your dog hasn’t experienced any negative effects related to the recall, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. At the very least, you want to take the time to read the report and find out whether your dog is at risk before you take the next steps.
The recall report will tell you not only which brand and which recipe is affected, but it should also provide specific information about the lot number and UPC codes for the recalled products. Even if the package of food you’ve been feeding your dog isn’t included, you may want to stop feeding and check with your veterinarian just to be safe. If your dog has become ill, you’ll also want to file a report with the FDA.
As long as your dog hasn’t gotten sick and you’ve stopped feeding the recalled product, there’s nothing else you need to do. You have the option, however, to return the food to the store where you purchased it to obtain a refund or replacement.
From there, safely dispose of the food in a manner that prevents other animals from eating it. You may also want to sign up to receive FDA recall alerts.
Concerns About Boutique Dog Food
The FDA is looking into a possible link between DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs and the ingredients in certain boutique pet foods; the DCM is caused by a taurine deficiency and has been most notable in certain breeds like golden retrievers. While the FDA haven’t named any brands yet, most involved are smaller, boutique companies like those in this list. In a recent article of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Lisa Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, explained the issue is not just grain-free diets, but rather, “BEG” diets (boutique companies, exotic ingredients, or grain-free diets).
“The apparent link between BEG diets and DCM may be due to ingredients used to replace grains in grain-free diets, such as lentils or chickpeas, but also may be due to other common ingredients commonly found in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits,” Freeman wrote.
Lake Harriet Veterinary Clinic in Minneapolis has published a useful resource about taurine-deficient DCM, which you can read here.
More research needs to be done, and for now, it’s best to check with your vet about any concerns. Dr. Freeman also recommends purchasing food from companies that employ veterinary nutritionists and other experts.
12 Dog Foods That Have Never Been Recalled
Just because a product hasn’t had a recall doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than a product that has. Accidents happen and a recall isn’t always an indication that the brand is untrustworthy. As a dog owner, however, it’s your responsibility to choose the best product for your dog and taking product recalls into account is part of the process.
To help you choose the best recipe for your dog, we’ve assembled a list of 12 dog foods that have never had a recall. Here they are:
Widely regarded as one of the top pet food companies on the market, Acana produces a variety of biologically appropriate pet foods featuring fresh, regional ingredients.Buy Now on Amazon for $2.56/lbs
A family-owned and -operated company in the United States, Annamaet is dedicated to providing pets with holistic, GMO-free recipes held to the strictest standards of quality control.Buy Now on Chewy for $2.79/lbs
Made in the USA with all-natural ingredients and slow-cooked in small batches, Blackwood offers a variety of every day, grain-free, and sensitive diet recipes for dogs.Buy Now on Chewy for $1.71/lbs
Originally developed as an alkaline-based diet, the Canine Caviar brand has expanded to include single-protein diets designed to help with allergies, skin issues, and digestive upsets.Buy Now on Chewy for $3.13/lbs
Every recipe this brand produces is free from fillers and artificial preservatives made only with the healthy ingredients needed to ensure strong bones and joints, healthy muscles, and shiny coat.Buy Now on Amazon for $1.33/lbs
By using renewable resources and wholesome natural ingredients, the Earthborn Holistic brand is good for both your pup and the planet.Buy Now on Amazon for $1.86/lbs
By using natural ingredients and beneficial supplements like probiotics and digestive enzymes, this brand operates under the idea that total body health begins with a healthy digestive system.Buy Now on Amazon for $2.62/lbs
This brand is committed to providing the highest quality and safest nutrition for pets by offering the first full line of kibble, canned, and raw food made without chemically synthesized ingredients.Buy Now on Chewy for $2.49/lbs
One of Petcurean’s product lines, Now Fresh features wholesome, nutritious ingredients like 100% market-fresh meat or fish with no rendered meats, by-products, or artificial additives.Buy Now on Amazon for $3.40/lbs
Rich in nutrition but surprisingly affordable, Precise Holistic Complete is a pet food brand you can trust to keep your dog’s best interests at heart.Buy Now on Amazon for $3.40/lbs
Offering a variety of single-protein, limited-ingredient recipes, Zignature formulates their recipes to mimic the nutritional quality of a raw diet in the convenient form of high-quality dry food.Buy Now on Chewy for $2.15/lbs
A family-owned company based in New Zealand, ZiwiPeak is known for its air-dried dog food made with human-grade ingredients, including premium proteins like free-range lamb, grass-fed venison, and wild-caught mackerel.Buy Now on Chewy for $16.85/lbs
What about fresh dog food?
Recently, many companies have begun offering freshly prepared, homecooked dog food by delivery. While more expensive than kibble, this high-end food contains wholesome ingredients and all the nutrients your dog needs (making it much easier than cooking dog food at home).
You can find out more in our review of fresh dog food delivery brands here.
Commercial dog food always comes with a risk of recalls. If you want to avoid the possibility entirely, one option is to start making your own dog food at home. Check out our complete guide to homemade dog food to learn more. If you go the homemade route, it’s very important to make sure you are providing the complete mix of vitamins and supplements your dog needs, so proceed carefully.