Independent Pet Store Owner Jo Bighouse – Midas Touch Health Food in Berryville, VA – recently took a strong stance. She cleared her store of any pet food or treat that has ingredients sourced from China. Many other independents have done the same.
Jo shared the decision to remove all pet food/treat products made in China has been evolving since 2007. “I had alerted my customers to the potential risks of the chicken jerky treats from China when it first came to light 5 years ago. Two years later I saw an article in the Washington Post that dogs were still getting sick from the treats and they were still on the market. I forwarded this article to my newsletter recipients and heard from more alarmed customers that they were feeding these China-made treats. When the treats made headlines again within the last month I sent out another newsletter telling people to check the country of origin on any treats they are feeding and to avoid those made in China. Some customers had assumed the front of the package with the comforting pictures and words (including American Kennel Club) meant they would not be from China. My most recent warning caused many of them to look closer at the packaging which revealed some were indeed made in China.”
“Then I read your Truth About Pet Food newsletter reporting the China imports that were refused entry into the US because they tested positive for melamine, including shortbread cookies for human consumption. This began a series of questions in my mind: Are we, pets and people, consuming melamine on a regular basis without realizing it? Could the bladder cancer, kidney stones, crystals, and renal failure many of our pets are experiencing be a result of on-going melamine exposure? As the daughter of a stage-four kidney failure patient I have first-hand exposure to the world of dialysis. I was shocked to see the number and age range of the dialysis patients. Is melamine involved? I don’t have any answers and I am not jumping to conclusions, I just have many questions.”
And Jo is not the only one that has taken action…
Kimberly of Happy reTales – Brentwood, TN – shares that “more and more customers are asking for US sourced. Most customers are willing to pay a little more to feel safe in what they are feeding.” Happy reTales does carry a few products with Chinese imports, but they are careful to let customers know in advance of purchase.
Nadia Cailou of Golden Bone Pet Products – Camp Verde, AZ – shares that not only are customers asking for more US sourced products, she has “noticed there are more products available to retailers that are 100% sourced from the US.” Her pet food store does not carry any product that contains Chinese imported ingredients.
Chris Wilson of Against the Grain Pet Nutrition – Montevallo, AL 35115 – tells me “Absolutely not!” – her store does not include any foods or treats made in or includes ingredients sourced from China. Chris shares she’s seen “a slight increase in awareness” from consumers of Chinese import risks (such as jerky treats), “but not as much as I would like to see”.
Ann Cipriani of Woody’s Dog Wash & Boutique – Pittsburgh, PA – tells me her store “sells no foods or treats that contain Chinese imports. This is not as easy as it sounds as some products market themselves as being US made, but the packaging says ‘packaged in China’. My vendors know not even to show me new items if there are any ingredients from China or if it has made it’s way to China and back.” She shares that the majority of her customers don’t want food or treats that include ingredients from China.
Shirleen Dubuque of Village Critter Outfitter – New Canaan, CT – handles things a bit differently. Village Critters does have a few products in their store with Chinese imported ingredients, but…“We put the product on the lowest part of the shelf with a sign that says ‘Ask us about American made products in lieu of these Chinese products’. It gets attention, creates awareness and gives us a chance to educate.” She shares “Absolutely!” more pet owners are asking about products that are Chinese import free.
RJ Wild of Pet Supply Warehouse – Mission Viejo, CA – carries a few made in China or ingredients sourced from China products, says “The customers are getting better about buying the US products. We have pushed them for years but because the Chinese stuff was cheaper they had ‘no’ interest in the US product. That’s all changing now and it’s a very good thing.”
Jodi Etienne of Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-tique – Kankakee, IL – no longer carries any pet food or treat made in China or contains Chinese imported ingredients. “I felt it was in the best interest of my customers’ pets to not offer any Chinese sourced products whatsoever. I cannot in good conscience supply products to pets that come from questionable sources. I am also concentrating on ordering my non food merchandise such as toys, collars, pet bowls etc. from US manufacturers.”
Judith of A Abracadabra Pet Center – Ormond Beach, FL – states they carry a few treats made in China “at customers request; however I keep telling them not to purchase them.” Judith shares “It’s very sad, but, a sales rep told me, if I pulled everything that was from China we would not have much to sell. Our store has been working for 5 years to transition customers. We lost a lot of business dumping China stuff but I sleep good at night.”
Thank you to these pet store owners and all the others out there that care to do the homework and make difficult decisions in the products they sell. Not everything imported from China is risk, however with pet food ingredients and treats – recent history brings up volumes of caution.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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