Just like companies who make food for human consumption, dog food makers have to be held to the highest possible standards to ensure that their products don’t cause illness or, heaven forbid, death. Australian pet food manufacturer Advance Pet is dealing with some serious fallout after seemingly coming up short in that regard, and after a voluntary recall of one of its lines of food it’s now offering to pay for the vet costs associated with the illness and deaths associated with its tainted food.
The food, Advance Dermocare dry dog food, was linked to cases of a condition known as megaesophagus, with over 70 dogs contracting the disorder after eating it. The condition is particularly horrid, causing the esophagus of the affected animal to swell dramatically. It makes swallowing uncomfortable and can prevent the animal from eating, or even cause aspiration pneumonia as a side effect.
In its original recall bulletin, Advance Pet said that it had “run hundreds of tests on Advance Dermocare” and found “no link” between the food and the incurable disorder. Of the animals that came down with the illness after eating the company’s food, nine of them were official police canines, which helped draw rapid attention to the seriousness of the situation.
Despite still having no clear explanation for how the food may be causing the illness, the company is coming through with financial support for the affected pet owners. The company says it will pay related vet bills and euthanasia costs, and ABC reports that the company is even offering to cover the cost of new pets in cases where the owner’s dog had to be euthanized.
As ABC points out, Australia allows its pet food industry to be self-regulated and there is no government-mandated quality control or oversight when it comes to pet food. Incidents such as this could change that in a big way, and while it may be nice to see a company offering to help affected pet owners in any way they can, not making pets sick in the first place is obviously preferable for everyone involved, whether they have four legs or two.