Pet News from VetLocator.com
VetLocator.com's Pet Food Survey Results Summary
May 7, 2007

March 16, 2007, Menu Foods recalled dog and cat foods produced at two of its facilities between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007, and sold under a number of different brand names. The recall occurred after Menu Foods investigated reports of deaths of both cats and dogs as a result of eating food manufactured by them. As time went on the initial list of recalled pet foods expanded to include 150 different products, several contracting pet food manufacturers and three different food sources -- wheat gluten, corn gluten and rice gluten -- all imported from China. The number of reported cases of animals being affected by the recall has skyrocketed into the tens of thousands and the FDA says it is investigating some 4,000 cases of pet illness or death to determine if those cases are connected to the recall.

VetLocator.com did a survey of its pet owners and pet professionals on April 14th, 2007, to see what effect the tainted pet food had on the pet owners, their pets and mostly, the veterinarians who treat them. There were a total of 100 responses from pet owners and 98 responses from professionals.

We've summarized the results from each group here and also have each survey with all individual answers listed on separate pages.

To see the Pet Owner Responses, click here.

To see the Pet Professional Survey Responses, click here.


Summary of results for Pet Owners:

Here are the survey questions we asked of pet owners. 100 owners responded to the survey.

We've listed all of the questions in the first section and then summarized the responses in the following section:

  1. Did you find out about the pet food recall in a timely manner? If so, how did you find out about it?

  2. Were your feeding you pets any of the foods on the recall list? If yes, what was the brand and then please tell us about your pet. (Type, age, size, etc.)

  3. `
  4. If yes, did they experience any health issues as a result? (if so, what were the problems your pet experienced)

  5. Did you take your pet to the veterinarian as a result of the recall? If so, why?

  6. As a result of this recall, are you making any changes to yours or your pet's lives?

  7. Any other comments you'd like to add?


Question 1: Did you find out about the pet food recall in a timely manner? If so, how did you find out about it?

Most pet owners felt that they did receive the news about the recall in a timely fashion (66 yes - 34 no).

The majority of pet owners got their news initially from the news on TV. This was followed by the group that heard about the recall on TV then went to the internet to do more research.

Surprisingly, very few people said they first heard the news on the radio.

To see their answers, click here.


Question 2: Were you feeding your pets any of the foods on the recall list? If yes, what was the brand and then please tell us about your pet. (Type, age, size, etc.)

The majority of pet owners were not feeding their pets recalled food, to a margin of approximatley 2 to 1 (No - 62 Yes - 38). There are some interesting answers to this question in the 'raw' pet owner answers.

To see their answers, click here.


Question 3: If yes, did they experience any health issues as a result? (if so, what were the problems your pet experienced)

Most of the pet owners surveyed did not feed their pets recalled food, so for the majority, the question did not apply. However, of the pet owners that were feeding recalled food, several experienced health issues and/or the death of their pets.

You can read the responses from those that did experience health problems (or worse) in the raw responses.

To see their answers, click here.


Question 4: Did you take your pet to the veterinarian as a result of the recall? If so, why?

20% of pet owners took their pet to a vet as a result of the recall. We did not ask about telephone calls to vets, but as you can see from the veterinarian responses to our survey, this was the largest increase in activity from pet owners, along with running tests, etc. for those pet owners who did take their pets in.

To see their answers, click here.


Question 5: As a result of this recall, are you making any changes to yours or your pet's lives?

80% of pet owners say they are making changes to how they feed their pets since the recall began. The biggest change by pet owners is switching from commercially prepared foods to home made.

To see their answers, click here.


Question 6: Any other comments you'd like to add?

A wide variety of responses to this question with many expressing concern and outrage at how the pet food recall has been handled, and how it continues to unfold.

Most pet owners say they are fearful and are not sure who to trust or who to turn to in this disaster.

To see their answers, click here.


Summary of results for Pet Professionals

Here are the survey questions we asked of pet professionals. 98 professionals responded to the survey.

We've listed all of the questions in the first section and then summarized the responses in the section following:

  1. Did you find out about the pet food recall in a timely manner? If so, how did you find out about it?

  2. What affect did the recall have on your business?

  3. Had you seen or were you treating any pets that you feel may have had health problems as a result of the recall? If so, approximately how many, types of issues, etc.

  4. Do you feel that you received adequate information from Menu Foods, the FDA and other information sources that allowed you to be prepared for the results of the recall? If yes, where did this information come from? If no, what would you like to see changed?

  5. As a result of this recall, are you planning to make any changes to your business?

  6. Any other comments you'd like to add?

  7. `

Question 1: Did you find out about the pet food recall in a timely manner? If so, how did you find out about it?

Most professionals did not feel they received the information in a timely manner, with several finding out about it when they arrived at work the day after the announcement when the phones began ringing with calls from concerned pet owners (No 62 Yes 36). Television was the largest source of news for professionals, followed by professionals organizations.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.


Question 2: What affect did the recall have on your business?

26 professionals reported that the recall had no significant effect to their business. However, most professionals reported that they had an increase of activity ranging from increased telephone calls to appointments by pet owners wanted to come in for lab tests and check ups and many more.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.


Question 3: Had you seen or were you treating any pets that you feel may have had health problems as a result of the recall? If so, approximately how many, types of issues, etc.

The majority of pet professionals reported that they were treating pets they felt had health problems as a result of the recall (49) or they suspected the problems were the result of the recall (8). Some clinics saw just a few pets while others treated several cases they suspected were the result of tainted pet food. Again, very interesting answers from our pet pros.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.


Question 4: Do you feel that you received adequate information from Menu Foods, the FDA and other information sources that allowed you to be prepared for the results of the recall? If yes, where did this information come from? If no, what would you like to see changed?

This question has some very interesting responses. The majority of professionals felt they did receive adequate information from Menu foods as well as the other manufacturers and FDA. An interesting note is that the method of receiving this information was mostly online and the professional had to visit a website to get the information.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.


Question 5: As a result of this recall, are you planning to make any changes to your business?

Most professionals do not plan to make any changes to their business as a result of the recall (80). Of those that do, the changes primarily have to do with what the professional will advise clients to feed their pets.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.


Question 6: Any other comments you'd like to add?

As you might expect, there are many answers to this question with a wide range of responses and are well worth the read.

To see all of the answers to this question, click here.



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