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By B.L. Ochman

I wrote a post on Pawfun Blog today about a disturbing issue.

Despite the fact that Petco, Nature’s Variety and Diamond Pet Foods have recently recalled products, not one of their homepages mentions or has a link to information about the recalls.

UPDATE: less than an hour after I published this post, Petco added a link to the bowl recall notice to their homepage. Yay social media!

You’ll need to go to the official US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Animal and Veterinary Safety and Health Recall and Withdrawl page to find the information about these and other recent withdrawals.

More than 15 years into the Internet Age, that is simply unacceptable. It is clueless of any company to believe that bad news will not be found if it’s not on the company homepage.

Pet owners are among earth’s most networked people
Pet owners consider our pets to be members of our families. We read everything we can get our hands on about our pets’ welfare.

And you must know by now that we turn to each other for recommendations on feeding, training, health, and all aspects of the care of our animal companions.

Here’s how much we care about our pets:
Many of us would go without food to feed our pets. Many of us would risk death rather than be separated from from our pets. Ask Katrina survivors.

We need to know that we can trust the companies who sell us pet food and pet products.

We cannot trust companies who are not open and honest with information about recalls.

Sadly, Petco, Nature’s Variety,and Diamond Pet Foods are now on the list of companies pet owners cannot trust.

o Petco has issued a recall of stainless stell dog bowls because of possible radioactive contamination.

o Nature’s Variety has issued a recall of several of its kibbles due to an “off-odor smell that may develop over time.”

o Diamond Pet Food recalls keep expanding, and now include tainted cat foods. Brands Diamond manufactures include Canidae, Diamond Naturals, Kirkland (sold by Costco), Natural Balance, Solid Gold and Wellness.

Get a Clue(train)
Dear Petco, Nature’s Variety and Diamond Pet Food: you need to read The Cluetrain Manifesto. It was written in 1999 by Chris Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger and Rick Levine. It said, in part:

“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

11. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.

12. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

If I ran Petco, Nature’s Variety or Diamond Pet Food I’d be working really, really hard to improve communications and speak in a human tone. Starting today.

Bonus Links:
FDA Investigation of Diamond Pet Foods recall
- Food Safety News Q&A on Diamond Pet Foods Recall and Salmonella Outbreak
- Perdue University Center for the study of human-animal bond
- American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians