Why, I wouldn't let that dog food pass my precious doggy lips!

RECALL: Wellness dog food due to mold contamination

Why, I wouldn't let that dog food pass my precious doggy lips!

Wellpet slipped a notice into their Facebook page late yesterday evening that they were recalling one of their Wellness dry dog foods because it contains a higher than acceptable level of moisture. The danger with high moisture of course is that dry pet food is the perfect breeding ground for mold. And not just any mold, but Aflatoxin; A mold that is extremely toxic.

Wellpet’s post on Facebook states in part that they “…have discovered that a small amount of our 12lb Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food with the “Best By” date of August 18, 2013…was found to be higher in moisture than our recipe calls for. High moisture may cause food to mold before its expiration date…”

Wellpet is quick to deny any risk associated with higher than acceptable level of moisture in their dry dog food, though they admit that “high moisture may cause food to mold“. Wellpet tried to assure a concerned pet parent on Facebook that “high moisture product poses no health risks to pets.

While technically that may be true, however, it is the high moisture level that allows dangerous, carcinogenic molds to grow. Otherwise, why bother to recall it if it so innocuous? So, to say to a consumer it “poses no risk” is really quite disingenuous. In other words, they are a lyin’ sack of shit.

Wellpet’s Facebook post reads like a love note to pet parents, sandwiching the recall between layers of sticky sweetness oozing of PR spin:

“At Wellness, your complete satisfaction is always our top priority. Only the best tasting, most nutritious food will do for our furry family members. With that in mind we want to let you know that we have discovered that a small amount of our 12 lb Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food with the “Best By” date of August 18, 2013 did not meet our high standards. A small batch of the product with this specific date code was found to be higher in moisture than our recipe calls for. High moisture may cause food to mold before its expiration date, but poses no health risk…”

“…We want you and your pet to be completely satisfied, so we are asking those who may have this limited supply of food to contact us for a replacement. No other dates, bag sizes or recipes are affected. Thanks for your support of Wellness, and we apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-225-0904. We’ll be open at 8am eastern on Wednesday morning.”

Five months ago, Wellness was caught up in another recall. They were one of the many unfortunate companies snared in the collosal Diamond Pet Foods recall. Reeling in horror from that experience, Wellpet quickly distanced them selves from Diamond by issuing a statement that they “no longer purchases any products from Diamond Pet Foods” after FDA inspectors found a host of truly frightening things at the plant, including repairs made with duct tape and cardboard.

Update: A notice on Wellpet’s Facebook page this morning may explain the reason why they have not issued a press release:

“Unfortunately, due to the storm, our web site is currently unavailable. However, our dedicated Consumer Affairs team is here if you need to reach us for any reason. You can reach our Consumer Affairs team at 800.225.0904, from 8am – 5pm eastern time, or email us at info@wellpet.com.”

On Wellpet’s website they note that, “Given the situation, it may take a bit longer than expected for our team members to respond, but we will respond to all customers as quickly as we can”.

Indispensable Resources

If you, or your veterinarian, suspect a problem with a pet food, please report the information to the FDA using the links below.

Additional Resources

& finally…yours truly: Poisoned Pets

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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