Dog ate tainted food – how long to be worried?


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Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Debra,

Since the recall started I have been so afraid. My dog will be 1-year-old this Saturday and I am overdue getting her spayed because she has ingested 2 or 3 cans of tainted food and I don't want her going under anesthetic. I had a previous cat die getting neutered at the vet a few years ago, so I'm already afraid, but now with this going on I don't know what to do! My dog is so important to me, and is truly my best friend and I don't know what I would do without her. She is a Lab/Sheppard/Husky mix and is so human-like. I will never find such a wonderful dog again and she has really brought our family together.

My question is, with all this going around I am so afraid to feed her any pet food, wet or dry. Do you know where I can find some good healthy dog food recipes for her that I can make on my own? Also, is it ok that she eats dinner with us as long as I take into account the foods she shouldn't be eating? (I have a list of foods dogs can't eat that I follow.) However it is quite expensive giving her a whole plate of our dinner, which is why I would like to know where I could find some easy healthy pet food recipes.

Thank you so much for all the info you have giving on the recall. I wish there was something I could do to help also, but I have been sending your link to everyone I know, even those who don't have dogs and cats. Luckily my cats have not eaten any tainted food. I also know going back to dry food won't work because she's getting too used to our food now and no longer has much interest in our.

Thanks so much for your help and research.

Michelle Bezaire


Hi – thanks for your email Michelle. Sounds like you have a wonderful dog! I totally understand how you feel and hear it from clients all the time. This food recall has really knocked everyone on their heels not knowing what to do.

I understand your concern about foods and potential desire to make food but it is uncommon that pet owners can consistently make a good quality nutritious food long term. I'd recommend feeding your dog a premium food AAFCO approved that is not on the recall list. That is the most nutritious route. Look for a premium food not on the recall list.

If you still want to make yhour dog food, I'll give you a link to some dog food recipe we put on the site a while back. You really need to be dedicated to the recipes to ensure the food is balanced and nutritious. Also, here is a list of dangerous human foods that you should not feed your dog. Check out these links – I think they might answer your questions.

As far as how long to worry after a dog has eaten the food, from what I understand affects from eating the contaminated food should be apparent within a few weeks. If it has been longer than that, she is doing well, you are probably okay. Another thing to consider is that you could have blood work done to assess kidney function just to be extra safe and if all is well, the anesthesia should be okay.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.