Pet food recalls are a reality amongst pet owners and pet food manufacturers. However, pet food recalls don't happen as often as many of us think. Fewer than 10 pet food recalls were reported by the FDA in 2014. A bigger health concern than pet food recalls is actually pet food spoilage in your home due to improper storage. To prevent this from happening, here are a few tips you can follow to keep your dog's food safe to eat.
1. Keep unused pet food in a sealed container. Store any pet food and treats in a cool, dry place. If it is possible, store dry pet food in it's original bag inside a clean, plastic container with a lid. Always wash and dry the storage container before refilling with more pet food. It is also important to keep the pet food in it's original packaging. This offers the benefit of saving the barcode, expiration date, and batch code which can be helpful should there be a recall of the food you are using.
2. Wash your hands before and after handling the pet food. Washing your hands with warm soapy water for about 30 seconds keeps your pet's food from being contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms. It is also important to wash your hands after handling pet food. In the event the pet food is contaminated, this will prevent you from becoming ill and possibly spreading the disease to others.
3. Wash your pet's food bowls. You would not eat off the same plate or drink out of the same glass day after day without washing. The FDA recommends washing your pets food bowl every day and water bowl every day or two.
4. Don't keep your pet's food past the expiration date. Expiration dates are established to ensure the safety of your dog. Don't take the risk of feeding you pet expired food.
If you are looking to get out and support Chicago's animal rescues, June 14th is the second annual Spirit Walk to support Animal Education & Rescue. This year's theme is "Twelve Months Of Hope," and participants will walk 12 miles from Libertyville to Highland Park. Participants can walk the entire 12 miles or part of the route or just come for the picnic at the end. The walk begins at the sled hill at Old School Forest Preserve at 9:30 a.m. with a guided meditation and will end at Sunset Park in Highland Park at around 3 p.m. For more information, click here.