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As fur parents, we are always wary of what to feed our pets that must be safe, organic, and toxin-free. Pet foods get marketed as safe for animal consumption with various organic materials and ingredients for nutrition and development. However, there are likely chances that some of them slip from our caution; one of them is aflatoxin poisoning.
When this happens, there’s a significant possibility that dogs or cats may suffer from food poisoning.
Thus, to prevent this from happening, one must always double-check the ingredients within pet food products to avoid any potential poison risks.
This article will tackle one of the significant factors of food poisoning, aflatoxin, and why it’s harmful.
Aflatoxin Poisoning: Where It’s From And Why It’s Deadly To Our Pets
Aflatoxins are toxic substances and carcinogens from certain agricultural products, such as corn, tree nuts, rice, and maize. This compound is the most carcinogenic substance known to its kind.
The fungi responsible for the creation of this toxic substance are Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Both of them are abundant in warm, humid, and tropical regions.
In addition, these fungi are common “weed” molds that mainly grow in decaying substances.
If the environment is suitable for multiplying, it may cause an issue and potential plant contamination.
Although Aflatoxins are not necessarily poisonous, except when taken in large amounts, they can be extremely dangerous because of their capability to contaminate crops and multiply naturally in plants.
The substance’s poison content and how it deteriorates an organism is similar to how cigarettes work in our bodies.
With this fact, when someone ingests aflatoxin gradually, they may suffer from problems in their bodies, leading to eventual death.
What Happens If My Pet Is Affected From Aflatoxin Poisoning?
Humans and animals alike are susceptible to Aflatoxin exposure by eating contaminated agricultural products daily. However, in your pet’s case, this may lead to their death.
If unhealthy amounts of Aflatoxin come into their gastrointestinal system, there’s a big chance that they might acquire illnesses.
Listed down below are the life-threatening diseases that one may get from Aflatoxin poisoning:
- Aflatoxicosis – acute poisoning caused by ingesting unhealthy amounts of Aflatoxin
- Acute Liver Failure
- Intestinal Hemorrhage
- Liver Fibrosis – Excessive extracellular matrix protein accumulation, including collagen
- Liver Necrosis – Partial death of some parts of the liver
- Hepatocellular Carcinoma – relatively known as liver cancer
- Delayed Development
- Death in Pets
Most of the illnesses mentioned above are due to Aflatoxin poisoning and contamination in the liver.
Aflatoxin Poisoning: FDA’s Warning to Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.
The FDA, also known as the Food and Drugs Administration, warns the public about a pet food company called Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. because of the unfavorable traces of Aflatoxin in their products.
According to the said agency, there are 220 illnesses linked to the company due to Aflatoxin.
This occurrence resulted in 130 pet deaths, which earned them apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
An initial inspection of the Midwestern plant in Chickasha, Oklahoma, found large amounts of Aflatoxin in one of their products.
Sportsmix dry dog food samples contained the carcinogen as high as 558 parts per billion (ppb).
Bear in mind that at least 20 ppb of Aflatoxin can already cause your pets harm, injury, or death. Anything more than that is already a violation of FDA’s standards.
Other inspections proved to violate the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulation.
It happened during an assessment of the other three Midwestern plants after the Chickasha inspection.
Although not all of the company’s products contain Aflatoxin, FDA informed the public that they have already sent a warning to the company after its initial studies last August 9, 2021.
In addition, FDA also asked the said company to comply with regulations for pet food recall.
These recalls happened within December to January and March of the same year, both voluntary.
If you read the aforementioned corporate-wide warning letter, you may read it here. You may also want to take note of their recalled products with notable aflatoxin products here.
What Safe Pet Foods Do You Recommend Consumers May Buy?
If you are looking for pet food products that you may consider and deem safe, look no further.
Listed below are ten safe and effective pet foods for both cats and dogs that we recommend, and you may trust.
These products are the following that you may scan through and might want to purchase potentially:
1. Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food mainly revolves around the chicken and chicken meals, their primary ingredients.
Although this product can also be grain-inclusive, it only has a recommended level of Aflatoxin. Thus, it’s suitable for your dogs.
Product reviews speculated that their canines suffered little to no digestive issues after feeding them this kibble. It’s also one of the most recommended grain-inclusive dog foods on the market.
Its fat-to-protein ratio constitutes about 50%, with 27% protein, 13% fat, and 52% estimated carbohydrates.
Experts recommend this pet food for all types of dog breeds of all ages.
2. Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food mainly consists of beef and chicken meals as its main ingredients. With multiple flavors and options to choose from, this product is an excellent choice for any picky eater dog that you own.
Its composition is grain-free, which means that you could feed your pet without worrying about toxic substances, especially aflatoxin.
They’re guaranteed safe for any canine who may suffer from allergy issues, as well as indigestion, as the company’s on-staff professionals formulate each Instinct dog food carefully.
Instinct overall has an excellent rating regarding the quality of the products and the nutrition rate they behold.
3. Canidae PURE Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food
This limited ingredient dog food will make your canine feel the goodness and nutrition without the worry of any toxins.
Canidae PURE Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food is grain-free, and its whole recipe’s main ingredient is meat. They offer various flavors to choose from, like chicken, beef, and salmon, which are 100% fresh upon food processing.
The product also contains antioxidants that will help in ensuring that your dog has a functional and healthy digestive system.
This pet food also contains fiber for good digestion and absorption of nutrients. Besides, it also contains protein that gives your canines a leaner built and healthier body.
4. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
Another grain-free option, Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, is a product that you would like to get for your canine’s diet.
This pet food leading protein supplier is buffalo meat. Other than that, other significant ingredients of this product are chicken and lamb meals.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food comes in many flavors and options to choose from. Not only that, but they also have top-rated, nutrient-balanced formulas.
It’s a highly recommended item due to its versatility and affordability. In addition, it’s a premium type of dog food; thus, once taken, you can assure that your dog will be in its top-health condition.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food is also a brand that you might want to check. This Amazon Choice brand for peak dog food is made without any grain at all.
The jam-packed and enriched nutrients within the recipe list of this item are a must-recommend type of food.
It also has no by-product meal or fillers, so you can ensure that your canine gets its premium nutrients.
Furthermore, it has various flavors for your dog’s picky taste buds.
It’s also appropriate to feed for multiple types, breeds, and ages of your canines.
6. 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food
If you’re on a tight budget but still want that extra goodness and nutrition for your feline, then this might be your best shot.
Made in the United States, this product is an excellent choice since it provides complete and balanced nutrition.
It also comes in multiple flavors to choose from, such as chicken, salmon, beef for your picky eater.
They’re suitable for cats of all ages, so you don’t have to worry if it’s appropriate for your cat or not.
7. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food
Cats who mostly live indoors are overweight due to lack of activity, and you might want a suitable diet for them.
IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food is specifically formulated for indoor cats to regulate their weight and hairball control.
Unlike the regular IAMS Kibble formula, this product contains 10% less fat and a fiber blend for good digestion. They also have chicken and turkey as their primary sources of protein to be leaner.
Like the others, this product also has agricultural produce, where they use beetroots and corn.
However, we assure you that it is safe, and the Aflatoxin levels may be little to none.
8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Packed with a high-protein recipe, you might find Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food suitable for cats of any age.
Furthermore, this product contains omega fatty acids; thus, it’s suitable for any cat that might experience allergies and scratching issues.
In addition, this product is a healthy source of carbohydrates, like potatoes and peas, with a blend of antioxidants that is good for their digestive system.
It is a product you would like to feed your cat to maintain its overall health.
We highly recommend you to try this product.
9. Meow Mix Dry Cat Food
This dry cat food is specially made for adult cats to stay fit and strong throughout their life.
Meow Mix Dry Cat Food is essentially a great product to maintain your feline’s overall health.
The main ingredients of this product are essential fatty acids and protein to give them their lean build and healthy immune system.
Plus, they come in meat and seafood flavors, fit for any adult cat’s type and breed.
This food is perfect, especially for cats who are picky with what they eat.
10. SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS Wet Cat Food Paté
If you want grain-free wet food for your feline friend that’s locally sourced, there’s something that you both will love.
Sheba Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food Paté is an ideal product for your sensitive and picky kitties.
This multipack contains twelve roasted chicken trays, six gourmet salmon, and six tender turkeys that are easy to store.
Whether you feed this food as is or mix them into some of their dry food, you’d always expect to see sparkling clean bowls after.
It’s a terrific value worth your money and satisfaction for your cat.
Large doses of Aflatoxin are poison to everyone, not just to us but also to our furry friends.
Thus, in choosing the best pet food for their pets, one must always check its ingredients to avoid harmful ones.
Although the FDA has health guidelines that all companies and factories must follow, some may still dismiss the risk and overlook the possible complications affecting consumers’ health.
When this happens, pet food recall occurs. Although this can be worrisome for some consumers, recalled products help us determine which goods are safe for our pets or not.
But to prevent yourself from getting worried all the time, always keep in mind to check the product reviews from your co-pet owners to help you decide which pet food is the best for your furry friends.
You might also want to research the ingredients listed on the product you’re buying before checking it out from your cart.
It’s also best to choose one pet food brand you’d trust the most in content and nutrition.
But whichever brand comes to hand, always be mindful of the effects of each ingredient on your pet.
If anything strange happens, proceed immediately to the nearest vet in town and schedule an appointment.
READ NEXT: 7 Pet Food Toxins Causing Most Dog Food Recalls (Based on Science)
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