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AAFCO January 2017 update

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  1. moviezombie

    re yesterdays “incidents”: I am reminded of Teddy Roosevelt’s statement to “speak softly and carry a big stick”. me thinks a baseball bat at least in your hotel room would not be a bad idea………..but then I am very proactive re self-defense.

    thanks for the update, susan. glad you have a group to hang and travel with.

  2. Holly Rist

    I always tell people that they should keep the kibble in the bag, rather than dumping the food into a plastic container. Keeps the food fresher, avoids plastic contamination and, if they need a lot number, hopefully, they can get it from the bag of food. Also, are vets aware how necessary it is for them to report that a dog or cat (or, any animal for that matter) might possibly have gotten sick from eating a certain food? That’s a part of the chain that seems to be missing when it comes to recalls.

    1. shepsperson

      Keeping the food in the bag and the bag in an airtight container keeps it fresher and prevents the oils from building up in container. That means less cleaning. The oils get rancid. This is why you shouldn’t buy more food than your pets will eat within a couple of weeks.

      Prior to feeding a new bag I compare the ingredients with the previous bag so I can make note of any changes in case my dogs have a reaction. Unfortunately the label doesn’t include changes regarding where the ingredients are sourced.

      Also don’t buy cans that are dented/damaged. Depending on severity/length of time they have been that way oxidation can occur, bacteria can enter, etc.

      1. Reader

        I heard somewhere that Manufacturers have 6 months to update ingredient labels on packages. I’ve found that packages often differ from the Manufacturer website. I also found that if I want to look at an older label, or if I can’t (unbelievably) find the ingredients listed on the Manufacturer’s website (if I’m researching something) that I can almost always find the ingredients listed through This is helpful when a recall is going on, or a Manufacturer is hurrying to change something about their (disputed) ingredients!

        1. shepsperson

          I did not know that about the 6 months. Thank you for that info.
          The convenience and service of Chewy is awesome. 1 more reason for me to like them.

      2. Peter

        Its still true that pet foods, especially “dry” formulas, may stay on vendor shelves for far too long. I wish more people would heed your suggestion, “you shouldn’t buy more food than your pets will eat in a [certain period.” Consumers should also have some awareness and personal standard about production/”expiry” or “best by date,” and simply not purchase any bag that doesn’t have at least a year or more to go. Manufacturers will ordinarily provide the information on “shelf life” to consumers, and you can then use that to go backwards from the printed expiry date to estimate when the food was actually made.

  3. We all have different systems for storing kibble, and the bag is subject to ants, and other interested critters. I don’t use much kibble, so it would go stale before it’s finished. I store it in a clear glass container.

    With most of us having phones at hand or in our hands (!) it seems like an easy thing to do would be to take a picture of the front of the bag showing Brand and kind, in addition to the lot number. Save it to a file for easy access. Let’s start using these phones to document things that can make pet food mfgrs. accountable. If you suspect that an animal’s illness may be related to food, bring this information when you see the vet, and ask if they’ll report a possible connection if your pet dies, including a necropsy report.

    Besides food, other products can cause illness and death: flea products by Hartz has been responsible for many. Keep track of what you’re using with your pet. Photographs give you the information you may need. Also, keep track of any drugs your pet is given. My cat had severe reactions to Tresaderm. Stay on top of drug recalls, and ask your vet about any potential side effects because they usually don’t volunteer this information. Being informed about
    potential side effects can make a huge difference for you and your pet.

    When I take my cat to the vet, I hand them a typed history of food/supplement intake, elimination, flea products, behavior, symptoms, and the reason I brought them in. I also indicate in RED the names of drugs I don’t want them to have. I’ve been told that no one else does this. I’ve seen the notes that vets write from our discussions, and they’re barely legible. I’ve changed vets 4 times, and each time, I get a copy of the file notes. I wonder if many people do this.

    My friend had two cats die within 3 months, and spent a lot of money at the vet’s. I don’t think the vet ever asked what she was feeding. When she questioned the vet when there was no specific diagnosis after many tests, the vet didn’t have a clue. After the cats died, my friend continued to ask how this could happen. The vet, who had treated her cats for many years, simply said “It doesn’t matter now!” I found out later that the cats were eating Iams dry food, and their symptoms were bloated belly and loss of appetite.

    I keep track of my cat’s daily food intake and elimination because those provide important clues. I also note anything out of the ordinary. For example, I’ve been staying at a friend’s house, sleeping on her couch, until I find new housing. I noticed my cat scratching her ears and neck a lot, but no sign of fleas. I noticed my nose running a lot. So, I put on my detective hat, and realized that we’re both having an allergic reaction to the down comforter. Tiny bits of feathers are everywhere, even in my eyelashes.

    Since I bought a new non-down comforter, our symptoms have stopped. Glad I didn’t take her to the vet, and spend money on allergy testing. I just needed to be aware of what was different for both of us.

    1. Holly Rist

      I encourage people to leave the food in the bag, in an air tight container. Like you, I don’t feed much kibble. But I do have a small bag of Acana that I keep in the fridge. Keeps it fresh for months.

      1. JRM

        Not just in the fridge, put it in the freezer.

        1. Holly Rist

          Won’t fit in the freezer.

      2. Reader

        I’d be concerned about moisture affecting “dry” kibble.

        But to the point about keeping PF fresh, look into “Vittles Vaults” They offer all sizes and configurations. They can be found at chain supply stores now. But they are completely “varmit” and moisture proof, air tight, and are made out of a food grade safe plastic. I’ve had mine for at least 10 years, and if the rubber ring for the lid wears out, or gets lost, they can be reordered.

        I do not work for the company or sell any kind of pet supplies.

        1. Jamaica Winship

          Thank you for the recommendation! I work for the manufacturer, and we love seeing feedback like this!

          1. Reader

            I know, but then somebody posts a link like this:


            Jamaica, isn’t the point of your product that it’s (technically) a safer product that’s specifically made to protect pet food?

            Personally, I put the BAG of food inside mine (which eliminates oil buildup) and protects the container from getting pitted. But washing them out isn’t a problem either.

            I LIKE the idea they’re safe from kids and pets accidentally getting into the product or knocking them over (not too mention keeping out bugs). They’re absolutely air tight to help preserve the product. I also use a large metal clamp (like for a 1 in thick stack of papers) to keep the bag tightly closed, after pushing out the excess air. For most people, putting a 30# bag of PF in the refrigerator isn’t an option (wink!).

            And, I wonder how many of the folks worried about certain details, are using PLASTIC feeding dishes, scoops and filling up from the outside plastic garden hose?

            Thank you for following this website!!

        2. shepsperson

          I’ve had mine for about 15 yrs. I don’t pour the food in it. I keep the food in bags. Still wash them every couple months.

          A poster below said it keeps the pets and kids out. I can say with certainty that it does not keep my pets out. I have tightened that thing so tight I couldn’t open it. Yet in 2 seconds 1 of my GSDs and a Lab had undone. So I guess it depends on your dogs.

          It is locked away in another room now. Still keeping the food fresh.

          1. Reader

            Oh how funny! Well that speaks to the intelligence of GSDs and Labs. What they’re doing of course, is biting the cross-bar on the lid top, and turning. Whatever you keep inside there must be truly worth all that work! What would happen if you put a taut stretchy cover over the front? And you should report the problem to the company, to see if they have any fixes! They may have redesigned their lids!! They do monitor the site, they’ve responded to one of my comments!!

          2. shepsperson

            They don’t really use the “x”. The teeth marks are around the top edges.
            Yes these 2 dogs were/are too smart. (I’ve since lost that GSD. But he was the smartest dog I ever had. I have a niece of his as well. She is equally smart, but not as naughty.)
            I had to put baby locks in cupboards and an actual metal lock on fridge. He’d open the fridge only when there was pizza in it. But the Lab would clean the thing out.

            It never occurred to me to contact the co. I will do that. Thanks for the idea. I guess I just figured that’s who they are. The product is fine. The dogs are evil geniuses.

  4. Patricia Cloonan

    Susan, you are an inspiration! Stay safe!

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