It’s a matter of time until dogs and cats need warning labels. I’m not talking breed-ism. This is a new, perceived danger most people are not even aware of. It’s because of food – at least so they say.

Have you read the words in some of the recent recall notices? They explain it all.

  • Pig ears (July 2019): keep “treats away from small children, cleaning the areas where the treat came into contact, washing hands, and not allowing your pet lick you, your family members, or surfaces in your home.”  (emphasis added)
  • Papaya (July 2019): “People with pets should take special care to avoid cross-contamination when preparing their pet’s food. Be sure to pick up and thoroughly wash food dishes as soon as pets are done eating, and prevent children, the elderly, and any other people with weak immune systems from handling or being exposed to the food or pets that have eaten potentially contaminated food.” (emphasis added)
  • Raw pet food (December 2018): “Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.”

The progression in the wording over the last 8 months is fascinating. In 2018, we were warned our pets can be carriers; therefore, those with fragile immune systems should take necessary precautions in all life matters. Very logical. By mid-2019, the implication is our pets are now so dangerous that licking us will lead to disease! If this were really true, I’d be in deep trouble! My beagle (see picture above) licks everything, including massive floor inspection on a daily basis with his tongue. But let’s be real; and I’ll let Ollie continue to “clean” without panic.

What has sparked this perspective shift? The FDA has created a zero tolerance policy regarding bacteria in pet food. Some of these bacteria may be dangerous, benign, or even be helpful but they don’t care because the information has not been published. Authorities at the FDA are claiming the danger of pets licking us and creating illness is so great that regulators must be vigilant for any possible connection – thus dogs, tongues, bacteria and raw pet food. (What about the bird poop someone rolled in yesterday – there’s some risky bacteria in there?)

As a result, the FDA has very aggressively been targeting the pet food companies for “inspection.” Without complaint, without a single reported illness, the FDA spent six months with 27 visits in one manufacturer’s facility. Two manufacturers, in fact. One of these manufacturers has had enough and is fighting back.

On Friday, July 5, Lystn LLC, doing business as Answers Pet Food, filed a lawsuit against the FDA in federal court. This lawsuit speaks to every single one of us that feeds any kind of real food, be it raw or gently processed. Ultimately, it’s about our rights. Our right to share our homes with dogs and cats who have different digestive systems than humans; but are not a danger. Our right to get dog kisses (I even have a kitty who kisses).

To show support for Answers, who is carrying the torch for all real pet food companies, please check out this petition. And ask your friends to join us please – because we all still want to sleep with our pets without being accused of reckless endangerment or any other over-the-top misrepresentation of pets.

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