Litigation Against Pet Food Manufacturers Becoming More Common

We love our pets. That means we care about their health and well-being. Making sure they get enough exercise and eat the right kind of food is just part of the job. But taking care of them is more difficult than ever before because it is so much harder to trust those manufacturers who make their food. That’s why Blue Buffalo is under suit for a massive $5 million. Shannon Walton argues that Blue Buffalo’s recipes led her beloved dog Tucker to become diabetic.

If Walton has her way, others who have had similar pet issues will step forward and the judge overseeing the lawsuit will grant it class-action status.

The lawsuit is simple: It comes down to false advertising. Blue Buffalo says its formula is best becomes it was “inspired” by ancient wolf diets. But Walton says that the formula is actually chock full of carbs that no animal would have chowed down on when hunting. But those same words could create a problem for the case in court. The words “inspired by” aren’t meant to be taken literally, and that’s what the company will almost certainly argue.

There is an ingredient label, after all. And pet owners should take responsibility for knowing what their pets need and what they do not. 

Another issue the suit might run into is the presence of undefined variables. Bad food is one thing, but bad eating habits are another. Dark chocolate, a bowl of cereal, and even a glass of wine can all have health benefits when consumed in small amounts, but they become much more detrimental to health the more you heap on the plate. So how much was Tucker eating? That matters a lot more than the ingredients. 

Blue Buffalo may or may not need to change their manufacturing processes to make food healthier for pets. But the pet owners have a responsibility to know what they’re putting into the food dish, too.

So what do dogs need to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Like most pet diets, it’s best to provide your pup with a combination of wet and dry food. This ensures that Sparky gets the right combination of nutrients instead of all empty calories. We usually think of dogs as carnivores, but that’s not true. Technically, they derive nutrition from plenty of other sources. They’re omnivores! Feeding them a combination of meat, fruits, veggies, and grains is the best way to keep them completely healthy.

For a better idea of how to feed your animals, try the Merck Veterinary Manual. It recommends serving sizes by dog weight and age, and will also provide plenty of examples of the best foods to put in their dish. No matter what you choose to feed your dog, make sure to read the ingredient label first!