Analysis: Menu Foods Deaths, Where Do We Go From Here?

RoadWe’re angry. And as pet parents, we’ve lost trust in something we have taken for granted. We blame the pet food makers and worst of all, many parents blame themselves for the death of their babies. And we’re left asking ourselves “what do we do now?” Many people have talked about abandoning all commercially made pet food, suing the manufacturers, etc.

There are short-term and long-term things that need to be done. For the public, for you, and for your pets.

Read more about it after the jump.

Learn to grieve[1]. If you’ve lost a beloved companion, talk, write, cry, find a person to talk to. No matter what happens now, saying goodbye will only help you. Your baby only wanted you to be happy. Holding on to the dead will kill you slowly. If you know someone who has lost a pet, lend them your shoulder. It’s the humane thing to do. If you plan to sue, make sure you collect as much hard evidence as possible, including medical records, blood samples, food packaging, food, a journal of events, etc.

If your pet was affected in any way, contact the FDA office in your state. Official stats will make the general public take note and we believe that it’s grossly under-counted at this point.

If you have pets, check their food whether you were affected or not. If you are any bit uncomfortable about what you are feeding them, don’t panic. Doing the first thing that comes to your mind may not be the best thing to do and changing your pet’s diet can be uncomfortable for them. As long as your pet is eating food that is not recalled[2], assume that it is okay for the short period of time it will take to research new options. Promise that you will educate yourself. Menu Foods is betting that you will forget and return to your old ways[3]. Also, examine your pet’s treats as well as the food.

If you decide on a new course of action, think about the long-term. Can you really cook food for your pet every day? Can you cover all your pet’s nutritional needs? Can you accommodate the change in costs? I know that we all want to provide the best for our families, but the needs of reality needs to be balanced against our hopes. It may be worth talking to your vet about your options — but remember, you make the decision.

Pitch in and make a change in the pet food industry. Read about the petition[5] and if you agree, sign the Pet Food Accountability Petition. If you disagree, that’s okay, but make sure you don’t reward bad behavior. All you have to do is make an informed decision for your pets. If you want to know who actually makes the food you buy, call the company (on the number of the back of the bag) and ask questions. If you’re not satisfied with their response, don’t buy it. You’re voting with your money, so you should pick the right candidate. There are plenty of pet food options available for every budget. Your actions will make a difference for everyone. For good.

Lastly, find a way to keep in the know. The pet food industry won’t change overnight. You’ll need a way to keep up-to-date on any other alerts or problems that may occur[4]. Whether it’s us or another site, it’s a good idea to know, share, and get involved in a community. It’s actually a lot of fun.

Resources referenced in the post:

[1] Dealing with your loss

[2] Recalled food list

[3] Analyst report on Menu Foods

[4] Itchmo’s Pet Alert Email List

[5] The Petition to Hold Pet Food Companies Accountable

2 Responses to “Analysis: Menu Foods Deaths, Where Do We Go From Here?”

  1. Kim says:

    I just want to thank you for all the great information you have here. I’ve devoted my time and my blog to this also this week, so I know how overwhelming it is to be out there searching for the data to post. And upsetting. And depressing. I’ve read so many comments posted by people who have had their pets die suddenly in the past couple of months. What scares me is that some of them ate only dry food, or ate only foods not on the lists. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. And you’re right - we have to stay in this long-term and change the industry. Thanks again, Kim.

  2. Lynette says:

    Even prior to this recall, a few of us have been campaigning to persuade people to write their US Senators, complaining that the FDA regulation of the pet food industry is woefully inadequte - in fact, virtually nonexistent.
    If you would be so kind as to join in our campaign, I have details here:

    Other state Senators’ addresses may be easily obtained at

    PLEASE take the time to insist the FDA do the job we count on them to do!

    Thank you again.
    A fellow animal lover,

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