Yes. There is plastic in pet food. It is unavoidable. It happens from time-to-time with every brand and with every manufacturing facility. Fortunately, all the plastic that enters a pet food facility is US FDA Food Grade plastic. That means should a dog or a cat ingest the plastic, there is no risk to the wellbeing of the animal.
I have had dogs all my life. I also have a grandcat. Never have I ever found plastic in their food. Neither has my wife. Most of the reports of plastic in the food are for very small pieces of plastic. How does the consumer even spot it? Are examining each piece of kibble or freeze-dried nugget with a magnifying glass?
And as freeze-dried foods become more popular, instances of plastic increase as the plastic on the frozen raw meats become stuck to the meat. The same is true for foods made with fresh meats. Steps can be taken to mitigate the problem but not to eliminate it entirely.
And, we definitely cannot tell the consumer “Plastic Happens.” Plastic does happen but the consumer does not want to hear that. So, it is “sorry” and hear is a replacement bag (or can as there is plastic in wet foods too) and, sometimes, a letter from the brand owner apologizing for the problem.
And yet, how often have you watched as a dog, especially a puppy, destroys a plastic toy or food bowl? Where do you think that plastic goes? And, is that even food grade plastic? Consumers do not complain about that. Cats also seem to ingest a lot of paper based on how our grandcat likes to chew on scratching pads.
And perhaps there is a way to eliminate the plastic in pet food. After all, when was the last time you found plastic in your food or your children’s food? When was the last time you looked for it? If you are not looking for it, you probably won’t find it. Are we eating plastic on a regular basis and do not even know it? Perish the thought!
As industry professionals, we get it. Consumers want the best for their dogs and cats as we are totally responsible for their wellbeing. Dogs and cats cannot choose their foods; they depend on our judgement (and pocketbook). Still, this is my Pet Peeve column and my place to rant. So there. I have said it. Plastic happens.