This is one of the key phrases I look for when I`m buying products. For something that I’m going to put on my body, I rarely see the relevance in having it tested on an animal that will likely react in a completely different manner than I would.
I have one exception to this rule. When I’m buying supplies, like food or treats, for my pet cat Sofia, I don`t mind knowing that it has been tested on animals. If not, how on earth will I know if it’s safe for her? Fortunately, that`s not the only indicator of a safe food.
Over the years, there have been a few scares of contaminated pet food. There was the tainted pet food of 2006, where 19 brands of dog food were recalled in the United States. The food was tainted with aflatoxins, a poison produced from mould which lead to the death of at least 100 dogs.
In 2007, there was the melamine episode where cat and dog foods were found to be contaminated with melamine. Incidentally, as a result of a comprehensive investigation, the heads of the companies involved were indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in the incident.
In Canada, regulations were introduced in July, 2007 around pet food. These regulations make it illegal for specified risk materials to be fed to any animal, including dogs and cats. Industry Canada regulates the labelling and advertising of pet food. The Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC) mandates that members following the labelling rules and abide by the guidelines set out by the American Association of Feed control Officials (AAFCO).
If you’re interested in using natural products for your pet, be careful. Pet nutrition is different from your own and therefore, you need to understand your pet’s needs in order to make good choices. There are many pet food manufacturers that advertise a natural or organic food that have not met the standards outlined above. Their product may not have been tested at all (on animals or humans!) and the food may not provide a balanced and complete diet for your pet. The wrong food can seriously affect your furry best friend and result in an unnecessary visit to the vet.