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Indie Pet Stores Respond to FDA, CDC Advisory on Pig Ears and Salmonella

The announcement was met with pushback from some pet business owners.

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Just like with the FDA’s updates about pet foods named in reported cases of DCM, its statement Thursday with the CDC “advising consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time” due to salmonella contamination of certain brands met with pushback from independent pet business owners.

On Facebook, Felix & Oscar in Springfield, VA, said they “wholeheartedly disagree with the FDA on this subject.” They stood behind the pig ears they sell: “We only carry US made and sourced pig ears that have not been made part of any recall, and we instead like to focus on the education of all of our customers, instead of driving attention toward scary headlines and over the top claims.”

Lewis and Bark’s Outpost in Red Lodge, MT, also stood behind its products, providing context and sharing tips for handling any dog treat or food.

Treats On a Leash in Ames, IA, kept it short and sweet on Facebook after co-owner Barb Morris talked to their supplier.

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On Friday, she told PETS+:

“When we first heard of the recalls, we reached out to Artvark Pet and were reassured that all of their pig ears are tested for bacteria and were not part of the recall. Once we had that information in hand, we were able to reassure customers our product was fine.”

Morris focuses on customer education when the FDA releases a statement on a pet product.

“The advisories do result in customers coming in with questions. People often read a headline related to an advisory (which can be very misleading) and don’t take the time to read the articles themselves. We try to be proactive by posting about these on social media, however we still have people who come in with questions. We remind them that because we are a small business, we vet and know sourcing information on all of our products and are very careful about the products we carry in our store. Letting our customers know we are watching out for them and their pet is the only way to gain and retain our customers’ trust.”

Finally, Vital Essentials shared a link to its website and a blog post on the topic as it relates to the pig ears in its VE RAW BAR.

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The Grateful Dog Bakery Inc. in North Ridgeville, OH, shared a link to the Vital Essentials post.

Brown Dog Bakery in Ankeny, IA, also worked to ease panic among its customers.

Artemis at The Dog Store in Alexandria, VA, stands behind Vital Essentials pig ear chews.

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How are you handling the FDA advisory as it relates to customer communication? Comment here to have your post included in this story.

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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