Create Your Own Pet Food Recall Notifications

It's scary to think that almost every day there's a recall out for one type of pet food or another. The Pet Food Recalls of 2007 were particularly troublesome and brought to light the many brands that offshore their production to facilities in China that have insufficient safety controls.

Since forewarned is forearmed, we wanted to share a quick and easy way that you can stay ahead of game and get notifications as quickly as they occur with Google Alerts. What you get are notifications in your email inbox with the latest pet food recall notifications from across the Internet. The hope is that you can configure alerts to let you know when pet food recalls are in affect and get notified immediately.

How can you set yourself up to receive timely notifications of pet food recalls?

  1. The first thing you'll need is a Google Mail account. If you have an account, sign-in. If you don't, get one. It's easy and free.
  2. Next, surf on over to Google Alerts
  3. Once there, you'll be able to put in keywords to create an alert. In the example, below you can see that I've used "pet food recall" (without the quotes) in the Search query field to accomplish this.
  4. Adjust the How often setting to the frequency of how often that you''d like to be notified. Once a day or Once a week, are good starting points, but if that proves too much you can dial that back. Should you choose to go with As-it-happens, you may find that the notifications that you get (all via email) can be overwhelming. We recommend that you start with Once a day. We find that this will trigger a new alert every couple of days. 
  5. That's it. The rest of the settings I leave as-is. I always leave the How many field as Only the best results, and that provides all the results I've ever needed.
Here's what our Google Alert for Pet Food Recalls looks like. Note that you get to look at what the email will look like on the right hand side of the display:

Simple Pet Food Recall Notifications by Google Alerts


Why create a pet food recall?

The purpose of keeping an eye on the products that are being recalled is not to create a panic, but to have the knowledge to make the best decision for your pet on a timely basis. Like any information, it depends upon individuals and companies reporting recalls, so it's not perfect, but it is a useful tool that you should consider.

These quick pet food recall notifications allow me to put a quick eye on my email alerts in the morning and have piece of mind the rest of the day that the food (and treats) I'm feeding my dog haven't been recalled.

We recommend that you review those recalls that are coming in before making any decisions about any changes you decide to make for you dog's diet.  As Google Alerts searches through the text of web pages, false positives can appear. For example, when a web page is referring to a past instance where a particular company's pet food had to be recalled, this may show up in your alert as well, although it may not apply to you or your senior dog. 

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