Pet Food Customer Service Test
One simple question sent to 50+ different Pet Food Companies. “What is the country of origin of ingredients in your pet foods? All ingredients.” Unfortunately, simple answers don’t happen very often from Pet Food Companies. Here’s the results of our Pet Food Customer Service test.
Customer Service can make or break a business. One of the many complaints Pet Owners have had over the years is corporate lack of concern of the pet food customer. From this one small view of pet food Customer Service, it appears that some have listened to the petsumer.
Our question “What is the country of origin of ingredients in your pet foods? All ingredients.” is sort of a trick question. Knowing Pet Food as well as I do, I know that many Pet Food Companies will answer this question without including vitamin and mineral ingredient information in their response. The typical answer is ‘yes all ingredients are sourced from the US excluding lamb and venison from New Zealand’. I’ve learned that through follow up with Pet Food, they often exclude vitamin and mineral country of origin information from their response. (Makes no sense to me…after all, vitamins and minerals ARE ingredients!) With follow up questioning, (which most Pet Owners don’t know to do) one can learn that many pet foods vitamins and minerals are NOT sourced as their first response implies. Many pet food vitamins and minerals are sourced from Europe and Asia (including China). We have to assume that ‘China’ is the word many Pet Food Companies want to avoid telling consumers. So…they do their best to avoid it.
This pet food Customer Service test gave pet food companies 48 hours, two business days to respond. Of 50+ different inquiries sent, 23 did not respond (within the two business day allowed time frame).
Those that did not respond were
Addiction Pet Food
Blue Buffalo Pet Food
Blue Seal Pet Food
By Nature Pet Food
Castor & Pollux Pet Food
Goodlife Recipe Pet Food
Halo Pet Food
Holistic Select Pet Food
K9 Premium Pet Food
Kumpi Pet Food
Loyall Pet Food
Natural Life Pet Food
Natural Planet Pet Food
Nutro Pet Food
Orijen Pet Food
Performatrin Pet Food
Petcurean Pet Food
Precise Pet Food
Taste of the Wild Pet Food
Tiki Pet Food
Timberwolf Pet Food
and Viand Pet Food.
Nature’s Logic was not contacted because their foods do not include vitamin/mineral supplements.
Enhance (from Arkat Pet Foods), and Artemis Pet Food had no visible ‘Contact Us’ link on their website homepage. Other pet foods such as Walmart’s Special Kitty and Ol’Roy have no website at all for consumers to contact.
Very few Pet Food Companies answered our question in full detail with one response. Full detail means their first response specifically mentioned vitamin and mineral country of origin. Those were…
Eagle Pack Pet Food
Fromm Pet Food,
The Honest Kitchen Pet Food
Purina Pet Food,
Wellness Pet Food
and Weruva Pet Food
A few more did provide a complete response the first time though a follow up email was needed to clarify (second email clarification showed their first response did include vitamin and mineral country of origin). Those Pet Food Companies were…
The following Pet Food Companies provided a typical response such as US country of origin excluding lamb venison from New Zealand, however with follow up questioning provided a different response, or no response to specific vitamin/mineral country of origin information. Partial quotes…
Natura Pet Food
“Natura’s goal remains to domestically source all ingredients. For many ingredients Natura does. Unfortunately, after an exhaustive search, some ingredients simply cannot be sourced from within the U.S. as they just are not available. For example, or venison is currently sourced from New Zealand. Natura does not source any ingredients from China. Currently, Natura does not plan to provide the specific countries of origin for all ingredients.”
No response to follow up question to country of origin of vitamins and minerals.
Drs. Foster & Smith
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you, however it is not possible to provide the country of origin for every ingredient in our dog food.”
“Because the pet food industry is very competitive, we don’t normally share our ingredient sourcing information.”
“…all is domestic and is sourced in the USA and in fact most of it is local. The only meat that comes from outside of the states is Tripe which comes from New Zealand… Nothing comes from China at all.” However response to vitamin mineral country of origin was confusing. “Some of our foods are complete dinners. They are the ones that have the Vitamins and Minerals. We pay a premium to not have anything come from China. Some of the V & M can only be grown in certain parts of the world such as India, Pakistan and China. There is no way around this.”
“Our ingredients are sourced in the U.S. except for Lamb which is sourced from New Zealand.” After vitamin/mineral follow up, Evolve sent an attachment which provided full disclosure of all country of origin of ingredients including China, Japan, France, and Germany.
“With the exception of our Australian Lamb diets all of our ingredients are sourced within North America, as regionally as possible.” No response to vitamin/mineral follow up.
In three attempts, Life’s Abundance Pet Food would not disclose country of origin of ingredients. “For proprietary reasons, we make it our policy not to disclose the names of our suppliers.” Although we never asked for names – only country of origin – this pet food company did not respond to our question.
“All of our ingredients are made in the United States, with the exception of our Venison and Rabbit coming from New Zealand.” Follow up request for vitamin and mineral information response “Our vitamins/supplements are domestic, with the exception of Kelp from Iceland and Taurine from Japan.”
“US, Canada, and New Zealand”. Follow up request for vitamin and mineral information response “We purchase our vitamin/mineral premix from a US company that is FDA approved.” Second follow up requesting country of origin of vit/min “A lot of the components for our vitamin and mineral premixes are US and Canada sourced. To get all the components from North America is impossible. If a pet food company ever tells you that their vitamin mineral premixes come exclusively from North America it would be a lie.”
“Royal Canin sources their ingredients based upon quality and not country of origin. Because of this, we do not have a list of where each ingredient for each batch came from available to us in customer service.”
“…primarily in the United States, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and several European countries.” No response to vitamin/mineral follow up question.
“All of our product ingredients are produced and processed here in the US, with the exception of some of the lamb meal which is imported from New Zealand, potato protein imported from Germany and our Blended Tuna for cats which is processed in Thailand. The only Chinese ingredient we use is the taurine in our dry foods.” After vitamin/mineral follow up question “The vitamins and minerals used in the vitamin & minerals premix are from pharmaceutical suppliers based in USA, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, China (taurine), South Africa, Chile, Finland, and Russia.”
Stella and Chewy’s
“Stella & Chewy’s products are made from all natural, US sourced products.” After vitamin/mineral follow up question “Our vitamins and minerals are custom blended by a US company.” After second follow up regarding country of origin “Some of them do come from China…”
“Our ingredients are all North American except for the New Zealand lamb.” No response to vitamin/mineral country of origin.
Why some Pet Food Companies are evasive to consumer questions is puzzling. Personally, I tend to judge any company (pet food and any other company) by their customer service. It always leaves me wondering what else is going on with this company if their Customer Service team is rude or not telling all of the story. Of course there is always the possibility of a bad employee; someone that just doesn’t care enough to provide the full response.
Of concern to Pet Owner wishing to know the country of origin of all ingredients (including vitamins and minerals) in their pet’s food is the statement from Red Moon Pet Food. “If a pet food company ever tells you that their vitamin mineral premixes come exclusively from North America it would be a lie.”
To be honest – I don’t know. I don’t know for certain if pet food vitamins and minerals can be sourced strictly U.S. or North American. A phone call to Trouw Nutrition (suppliers of vitamin/minerals to pet food) was not returned. Country of origin of pet food vitamins and minerals could have been one of the things I could have learned more about had I been allowed admission to the Pet Food Industry trade show and workshop in April; but they won’t allow me to attend. So for now, we must believe what they are telling us.
Thank you to the Pet Food Companies that understand Pet Owners deserve to know everything there is to learn about the food they trust to provide their dog or cat. To all the others, perhaps spend some time listening to your Customers and training your Customer Service staff.
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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