This week, a recall was issued on eight brands of dog food including one that was sold here in Canada. All of the products were found to have 70 times the amount of vitamin D they were supposed to. This posed a deadly threat to dogs who ate the food.
The only problem with this recall was that it was never officially issued in Canada. That's because the Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn't actually have authority to recall pet food here.
Rather than being regulated by the agency that oversees all food in Canada, pet food is completely unregulated, industry experts told Global News. That means if there is a problem, like dangerously high vitamin D levels, for example, it is completely up to the company to let Canadian consumers know.
This puts pets at risk for illness and even death because if there is an issue, pet food manufacturers aren't even required to report or recall anything. It's completely voluntary in Canada because it's unregulated. This also means that at any moment, Canadians could be feeding their pets contaminated or dangerous food without ever knowing it.
The other danger with unregulated pet foods is that it doesn't just affect our cats and dogs. Most animal owners keep their pet foods in the kitchen, where it is at risk of getting in the hands of children or cross-contaminating other food in the area.
Despite the risk to humans and animals, and the fact that pet food is an over $600 million industry in Canada, it still remains the responsibility of pet stores and food brands to report any issues or recalls and only if they chose to.
The latest pet food recall earlier this week exposed how dangerously unregulated this industry is in Canada. In the US, however, it's completely different. There the eight food brands with dangerous Vitamin D levels were nationally recalled because the FDA does actually regulate pet food there.