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Canadians have No Pet Food Protection

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  1. Marcus


    What about companies like champion that sell origin and acana in the United States are they held to FDA standards since they’re selling to US consumers?

    Should people boycott Canadian pet foods sold in the states?

    1. Cindy

      I would also like to know if Orijen is safe to feed.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        I can’t say if a pet food is safe or not. The only thing we know for certain is that in Canada there is no one overseeing the pet food industry.

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      There is no one in Canada to inspect these plants, inspect ingredient providers. There is no one to report an illness or death to. If a pet got sick in the U.S. – the incident could be reported to FDA. But the concern is that there is no one in Canada to investigate. I can’t say boycott – everyone has to make their own decision on trusting a pet food or not. However I do think Canadian pet food manufacturers need to encourage regulatory oversight of their industry. I understand why they don’t, but the lack of regulatory oversight in Canada does no one any good. This is a dangerous situation.

  2. Bruce

    I buy Orijen which is made in Canada but it is made to EU standards which I understand requires human quality ingredients and processing.

    1. Debbie

      I feed my dog and two cats Orijen. I am also concerned.

      1. Roberta

        I feed Orijen and Acana also. Champion is a small private company and I no qualms at all about the safety of their feed. I believe it is the best dry food money can buy.


    Thank you for this vital update. Always thought a dog/pet food product from Canada would
    be regulated and inspected. Guess what they say is correct, never assume! Well another
    source of dog/pet food that cannot be trusted!

  4. Seraphima Hummingbyrd

    ♣ Susan… This Is Utterly Terrifying! The Only Dry Cat Food That I Thought Was Truly Safe & Of The Highest~Quality Is Grain~Free Orijen Cat/Kitten Dry Cat Food & It is Made In Canada! ♣ I Feed This To My Beloved Loving Wise Precious Divine Cats Daily ~ Along With Fresh Organic Chicken Or Turkey! ♣ My Kitties Absolutely LOVE The Orijen & It Smells Like It Is Packed With A Large Variety Of Wonderful Things Which Are Healthy For Cats! ♣ Now I Am Very Worried! ♣ I Know That You Used To Recommend Orijen As The Highest~Quality Dry Cat Food! ♣ What Are Your Ideas About This Canada Travesty Regarding Orijen? ♣

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I don’t ever recommend a pet food – I cannot in my position.

  5. Sage

    Also wondering about Canadian-manufactured Orijen which my cats eat along with a homemade raw formula and human grade wet food. I have written to Orijen with questions which are promptly and satisfactorily answered, and spoken to them directly, and feel reassured by their answers and apparent transparency. Many companies self-regulate including those on Susan’s list of safe foods that have signed her pledge, and hopefully Orijen’s standards are as high as they claim. My many cats are very healthy including one who is now 19 with no major health issues.

  6. Janine

    I’m in Canada. When I went to a pet store here a few years ago, the clerk told me that I should buy an American made food rather than one of the Canadian made ones as Canada does not regulate pet food.

  7. Lisa

    Wow, this is scary…and I didn’t know. I feed Orijen.

    I was thinking of moving to the new “Open Farm” (which claims POULTRY, MEAT AND FISH PRODUCTS RAISED HUMANELY and I love that). It’s a Canadian company, but its website says, “Our manufacturing facility is audited on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and AIB International to ensure that strict food safety standards are constantly maintained. You can also take comfort knowing each batch of Open Farm is tested before it ever leaves the facility.” Any information of this company, Susan? BTW, thank you for your amazing work!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I tried to meet this company at a recent pet food trade event – but I missed them. I would ask them what ‘audited on an ongoing basis’ means. As with some pet food made in human food facilities, a USDA inspector is on site 24/7 and their presence assures the consumer 100% of ingredients are certified as human quality. I don’t know if this is the case for them – but it would be a good question to ask. For AIB inspection, all I can say is that I am aware of some pet foods that pass AIB inspection that I would never consider feeding to my own pet. Just keep asking them questions.

    2. Janine

      Also, ask Origin too. It would be interesting to see what they say about the matter.

  8. marcus

    Champion never signed Susan’s pet pledge, I don’t believe. I had hoped they would.

  9. Jan K

    Thank you for the draft letter Susan. I did send it off, with some additions of my own. (That since it says ‘food’ on the label, there should be no reason for consumers to treat it differently from other food in their cart.) The CFIA will just say that it’s not within their mandate, and not their problem that there isn’t an agency for petsumers to turn to. Money’s tight, blah, blah. But they’ve been doing a great job at the border for months, preventing my Josie’s favourite food Rad Cat Lamb from contaminating us with Avian Flu.

  10. Barbara

    This is so disheartening. I feed my dogs Petcurean- sometimes Now and sometimes Go!, both of which are made in Canada. I also have recommended this dog food to many friends. What’s the story on Petcurean?

  11. Ellen

    As a Canadian resident with a brigade of fur babies, I’ve always been concerned about the lack of regulations regarding Canadian made pet foods. At one time I wrote to CFIA about this matter and got a response quite similar to the one in your article. As a result, I do not feed my pets Canadian manufactured foods. They get Hound and Gatos, a very high quality, American made food, which I started purchasing after I saw it on your list of recommended pet foods last year. It was one of the few that was imported into Canada.

    My pets have now been eating H & G for one year, and they’re all doing extremely well. It can’t be bought at the big box stores, and I have to travel a bit to get to the specialty store that carries it, but that’s fine with me as my only concern is my pets’ welfare.

    Thank you very much for highlighting this extremely serious situation here in Canada.

  12. Debi Cohen

    I used to feed my dogs the Firstmate Australian lamb dry dog food from Canada, I assumed that because it could and was exported to all the countries that it was held at a higher standard, I did know about Canada, but I am going to throw my bag away as soon as I get off of this computer, I am feeding the Wild calling rabbit cat food, which has only a few ingredients that I have to go to because I have a pup with IBD, so with the Ziwi Peak and the raw diet that I have been feeding for years, maybe they all will be safe, I hope so, one never knows anymore.
    As always thanks to Susan, now maybe a lot of people will know and maybe something will get done for our Canadian friends.

  13. Susan Thixton Author

    I want everyone to know that the concern is not about any particular Canadian manufactured pet food. The concern is that Canada does not regulate the pet food industry any in the least. It could be some Canadian pet food manufacturers follow the absolute best quality control practices, but it could be that others don’t follow any quality control practices. Without an authority in Canada to investigate/regulate – it is difficult for consumers to know who is doing the right thing.

  14. Sage

    As posted by me above, earlier, I have been feeding Orijen for quite some time and am so far very comfortable with the perfect health of my pets, the information provided by Orijen on their packaging and website regarding their ingredients, and their responses to my questions – including a very fast reply this afternoon as follows:

    Hi Sage,

    Thank you very much for your email and trust in Champion Petfoods. I appreciate that!
    For your own peace of mind, I’d like you to have the following information.

    Champion Petfoods is one of very few North American pet food makers that are European Union Certified (Category 3), and our Kitchen follows HACCP guidelines for Kitchens producing food for human consumption.

    Our Quality Assurance department follows protocols for testing from the time ingredients enter our kitchen, through production, and packaging. Once the product is released to the warehouse it goes into a Quality Assurance Hold area.

    We require all products to undergo nutritional and microbiological testing (including Salmonella, Listeria, Clostridium, and Enterobacteriaceae which includes E. Coli and other Coliforms) from a Government certified laboratory before shipping- there is no exception to this policy.

    If you have any other questions at all please do let me know.

    Warm Regards, Bonnie

    From Orijen’s site FAQs
    All of our fresh poultry, fish, eggs, red meats and game are of table quality and passed fit for human consumption by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before arriving at our kitchens fresh each day.

    Our chicken, fish and turkey meals and fats are produced exclusively from animals passed as fit for human consumption in facilities that are fully dedicated to this ingredient quality and certified as such by the USDA, FDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agencies (CFIA).

    MY Final note – I think it’s important to remember that US (FDA) Pet Food Regulations have NOT stopped US based companies from including horrendous ingredients that are sickening and killing pets while OTHER US based companies are producing very SAFE products using Human Grade ingredients which go WAY beyond any FDA regulations. The fact that Canadian Pet Food is unregulated does not mean every Canadian company is using toxic ingredients any more than every US company is or is not conforming to the FDA regulations we have.

    1. Laurie Matson

      That was an excellent response from Orijen!! I would not be terribly worried about their Company. have been considering it for my Cat.

  15. Ann*

    I was feeding Orijen Regional Red to my two cattle dogs, one of which had previously been seriously ill from the Nestle Purina Chinese chicken jerky treats. I paid a premium to buy the Orijen RR since I wanted only the best for my two “kids” after the one’s near death miss. I thought that Canada had very high standards so was dismayed to learn that they do not have any agency at all regulating their pet food or even a complaint hotline. So, I adopted a wait and see approach until a few months later when I learned they would not sign Susan’s Truth in Pet Food pledge. I decided then to stop buying Orijen until they signed the pledge. To my knowledge that still has not happened.
    I am reluctant to just take their word for what they do. Nestle Purina swears by their “excellent” products, but that is just their dishonest marketing. I now purchase Susan’s list and buy the foods that she would feed to her own pets.
    I will reconsider Orijen when they sign Susan’s pledge. Until then, I question why they will not take advantage of the opportunity that Susan is offering them to assure the quality of their product at a time when the public’s trust in pet food manufacturers is very low.

  16. William

    I would recommend the company Hill’s veterinarian food. The price isn’t that much and they have the only pet food company I know of in canada that actually follows strick regulations. As the company was created by veterinarians who were upset by this ongoing problem of false labeling with no law against.

  17. […] Meals were born out of necessity. Something most pet owners don’t know is that, in Canada, the pet food industry is unregulated. So there is no governing body to make sure what goes in to your pet’s food is best for their […]

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