As if we don’t have enough to be cautious of as pet parents, now someone is selling counterfeit pet food. 2015 has certainly proven itself to be the year of pet product recalls, and now this. Consumers are already concerned about their dog treats and dog toys, and we already had concerns about some pet food brands. Counterfeit dog food may sound silly to you, but internet retail is making it extremely easy for people to sell counterfeit products and get away with it.
On August 25th, Champion Pet Foods announced that someone was selling counterfeit versions of certain items from their Orijen brand pet food line. So far the products have only been found in China, but with internet commerce growing all the time it may not be long before it starts showing up in other parts of the world too.
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In the company’s statement they said that they received inquiries from a number of concerned consumers in China questioning the authenticity of the pet food that they purchased online. They say that although the investigation into the matter is ongoing, they can confirm that counterfeit pet food has been distributed in China. For safety purposes they have urged anyone who thinks they may have counterfeit food to stop feeding it to their pets.
If you order your pet food online, you need to be sure that you are buying it from a trusted retailer. On sites like Amazon or Ebay, many products are re-sold or made to look like name brand products, when in fact they are not. These products are usually sold at cheaper prices than any other online retailer. The statement from Champion Pet Foods warns pet owners to:
“Purchase from an AUTHORIZED RETAILER. If purchasing online, we recommend you request your retailer confirm the food is authentic. While the counterfeit food is only in China, we recommend pet lovers in all parts of the world always buy their food from an authorized retailer.”
If you do purchase your dog food online you should always check to make sure that the seller is authorized by the dog food company to sell their products. Many manufacturers have a link on their website that lists distributors, and sometimes they even have a search page that will help you find a retailer in your area.
Champion Pet Foods is specifically warning consumers to make sure that the pet food package they purchase has two authenticity labels (shown at right). If you’re still brave enough to order online, they urge you to request that the retailer confirm the presence of both stickers before agreeing to buy the product.
You know that I am always looking for a good deal, but when it comes to the food that I feed my dogs I never take a shortcut. Over the years I have learned that 99% of the time, you get what you pay for. There are those rare occasions when you get a really good deal on a quality product, but that doesn’t happen very often. For me, I would rather pay a little more for something from a retailer that I trust than save a couple of dollars buying from a company that I don’t know or that has a poor reputation.
Our dogs can’t shop for themselves. It is up to us to make wise decisions about the food that we purchase for them, and buying from an unknown seller online isn’t a very good choice. I do a fair amount of shopping online, but I would never buy my groceries online, and I feel the same way about the food that I feed my pets. I need to walk into a store that I trust and purchase the brand of dog food that I know is safe and healthy for my dog. I don’t want to take any chances when it comes to my dog’s health.