Majority of Pet Owners Concerned About Safety of Furry Pals’ Food: Report
Despite stricter measures to prevent pet food contamination after the deaths of thousands of cats and dogs in 2007, pet owners are still worried about the products' safety
Fifty-seven percent of dog owners and 55 percent of cat owners agreed that “fear of pet food contamination/product safety is a key consideration in the dog foods/cat foods I buy,” according to a recent survey by Rockville, Md.-based market research firm Packaged Facts, while more than 60 percent of dog and cat owners admitted that they’re worried about the safety of the pet food, treats and chews they purchase. The findings appear in Packaged Facts’ "Pet Food in the U.S., 14th Edition."
“No pet food industry participant then in business will ever forget the Great Pet Food Recalls of 2007, which encompassed over 100 pet food brands and resulted in the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats,” noted David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.
Following these recalls, stringent new pet food safety initiatives were enacted. Packaged Facts found that since that time, pet owners have trended up to pet foods that they believed to be safer, like those marketed as natural, organic, containing limited ingredients, human-grade, made in the U.S.A., free from China-sourced ingredients, non-GMO and “clean.” The sales of those products subsequently soared, with most still outpacing regular pet food.
But in spite of the improvements and upgrades, more than a decade later, the pet food industry still faces safety concerns regarding such contaminants as listeria, pentobarbital and salmonella. The most recent wave of recalls, however, dealt with too much vitamin D, an otherwise essential nutrient for dogs that in large doses can be toxic or even deadly. The alert involves various pet food brands.
“There’s no doubt that stricter government oversight has shed a spotlight on issues that otherwise might have gone unnoticed,” adds Sprinkle. “But there's still clearly an opportunity to do better.”