Advance Dermocare: How Many More Dogs Must Die?
Ok, be warned. I’m not going to pussy foot around. I am fu***** angry!
How is it possible that more than 100 dogs fell desperately ill after eating Advanced Dermocare dry food?
Some were so sick they had to be euthanised.
Several Victoria Police K9's became ill and one did not survive the ordeal.
This is clearly unacceptable.
A Significant Statistical Link
Researchers today released a report which found there was a significant statistical link between Advance Dermocare pet food produced from mid-2017 and a decrease in the number of cases following the voluntary withdrawal of the product throughout Australia in March this year.
"This is an extremely strong association, there is about a one in a million probability that this occurred by chance, supporting the hypothesis that Advance Dermocare was associated with this outbreak of idiopathic megaesophagus in dogs," Associate Professor Caroline Mansfield the Director of U-Vet Hospital
Vote With Your Wallet
Here’s the truth. Every time we go out and buy dog food from companies that produce a shoddy product, that aren’t pushing for regulations and that refuse to be accountable for their production processes, then we put our dogs at risk. It’s time consumers stand up and say, ‘Enough!’.
Vote with your wallets. Tell the commercial dog food companies that continue to put our dogs at risk that you want change.
The Industry Must Change
Yeah, I know that may sound self-serving, but honestly, I don’t care if this post is going to tick off a bunch of politically correct boxes. What I care about is that the pet food industry in Australia doesn’t have the balls to stand up and say, ‘we need regulation. We need accountability. We need a mechanism for recalls.’
Without mandatory recalls more dogs will suffer with entirely preventable diseases...or worse.
Plastic and Metal Don’t Belong in Pet Food!
The Advanced Dermocare debacle is just one example. You don’t have to go far to find complaints of plastic and metal contaminating both kibble and canned foods.
The rendering and commercial pet food processing industries are well aware of the problem. A rendering industry newsletter outlines some of the ways in which they are thinking about keeping things like plastic identification ear tags, gloves and chunks of metal out of the pet food supply chain (the July, 2016 issue is a good one to download).
Rawmate: Human Grade Processing
What are we doing about it here at Rawmate? Our dog food contains only human grade ingredients (except for Green Tripe, that's a whole other story).
We produce Rawmate in a human grade facility.
Are we constantly looking at the research to see what the absolute best way is to feed our dogs? Yes.
Would we support regulations and externally vetted nutritional guidelines? Yes.
What about third party inspections? Yes. Absolutely.
And if those inspectors found something that could be improved? Man, we would relish the chance to make positive changes.
What if they found something wrong or dangerous that we had somehow overlooked? Well, we would be grateful that the system was working and that caution and vigilance meant dogs would be safe. We’d eat a fat slice of humble pie and fix the problem if it meant even a single dog didn’t have to suffer.
We Need a Recall Process
And, we would expect our competitors to feel the same way. Except, clearly, they don’t.
How else can you explain how long it took for Mars Petcare Australia to finally pull Advance Dermocare from store shelves? Three months!? That’s way too long! But there’s no official process for requiring a recall! How long might this have gone on, how many more dogs would have become ill or died if the ailment had been a little more common (megaesophagus is rare) or if high profile dogs like police dogs weren’t dropping after consuming something in their dog food?
To put this in perspective, in the USA where pet food is monitored and regulated and there are mechanisms in place to investigate customer complaints and initiate recalls, in February, 2018 alone there were 10 pet food recalls or withdrawals listed on the US Food and Drug Administration website. In Australia, the total number of recalls in two years? Two! Yep. That’s it. And one of those was the Advance Dermocare recall.
Vets, Senators, Consumers all Agree
I’m not the only who thinks things should change. Veterinarian Dr. Andrew Spanner has stated publicly that industry regulation is the only way to make companies involved in the pet food industry improve standards. Australian Senator Stirling Griff is worried as well and is proposing an inquiry on the pet food industry. In particular, Senator Griff wants to look at the recall systems in Australia.
Good, I say. Bring it on!
You’ve Got a Role to Play
But don’t sit back, beer in hand, and wait for the industry to change. Why the hell should they until you make them? Every time you make a decision as a consumer you send a message to the manufacturers who have yet to come forward and insist on a regulated, responsible, accountable industry.
What Rawmate’s Doing
Here at Rawmate we aren’t waiting. We are devastated about the death of the Victorian Police K9. Rawmate is reaching out to members of Police K9 Packs all over Australia because it's time for police dogs in this country to stop eating shit!
We urge all K9 Handlers to reach out to our Rawmate Pack Leader, MJ directly. If cost is your only concern, let's talk.
How Much is Your Dog’s Good Health Worth?
Is it time consuming to make sure unwanted contaminants don’t make it into the food? Yes, sure.
Is it more expensive to source ingredients that would pass inspection if destined for human dinner tables? Of course. So, yes, you may notice a difference when it comes to price. But some of the most expensive pet food isn’t super-palatable (follow the link and scroll down for a video taste test) and is certainly not exempt from including dangerous and unwanted additives (Advanced Dermocare is sold for more than a hundred bucks per 15 kilogram bag!)
Let’s Hope I Don’t Have to Rant Again
I wish I could say I felt better after unleashing all that on you. But it didn’t help much. I won’t feel better until the pet food industry in this country is properly regulated and there are third party checks and balances. Only then can we all sleep better at night knowing our dogs are safe. Please help fix this broken industry. Do your due diligence and choose to purchase from ethical companies that truly put your dog’s health at the top of the priority list. And you know what? If you find anyone trying harder and doing a better job than Rawmate, I wouldn’t complain at all if you bought your food from them.
Together, we can make change. Our dogs deserve the best we can possibly provide for them. You know what to do.
Meanwhile, check out our Vegan Dog Food Article.
Please note: Mars Pet Care is a huge company. We aren't taking a position against them, in fact, we would love to chat with them to see if there is scope for Rawmate and Mars Pet Care to work together to solve legitimate dog problems.
Here are Rawmate we think we have some answers to problems that have been plaguing the industry for too long and we believe that Mars is a Company in a position to help us, help Dogs.
If you, or someone you know can help us start conversations with the right people please contact Rawmate