According to the Association's report, there were many potentially-harmful things found in the pet food samples they tested. For example:
|Select results from the Association for Truth in Pet Food Study.|
Although we're not aware of any major guinea pig pet food quality incidents as bad as the infamous one that affected dogs and cats in 2007, that doesn't mean there haven't been any quality issues affecting guinea pig food. In July 2012, the company PMI Nutrition International issued a recall for several of its products, including their "Guinea Pig Diet" pet food, for having elevated vitamin D levels; "The recall was initiated after receiving a small number of customer complaints, which involved animal illness and small bird mortality."
|Guinea pig food recalled in 2012 (on the left). Image from Guinea Pig Today ("Image courtesy of Purina Mills, LLC"),|
Unfortunately, until regulators, watchdog groups, and/or manufacturers start regular lab testing of guinea pig food for safety and sharing the results with the public, we'll just have to use our best judgment as to which types of guinea pig food to buy. Guinea Lynx recommends Oxbow and KMS Hayloft brand pellets based on the ingredients listed on the label; it seems safe to assume that if a company is choosing which ingredients to use carefully, they will probably also be more careful when it comes to ingredient quality.
We tend to prefer Oxbow since they put a lot of emphasis on their relationship with veterinarians. When it comes to other brands, make sure you do your research; if you see issues raised here or on other reputable guinea pig sites, think twice before buying that brand. For example, we've been critical of some Kaytee brand products, and we've found that their pet foods (although not guinea pig food specifically) has been recalled before.
Finally, you should be aware of the signs of illness in guinea pigs. If your guinea pigs start showing signs of illness and you suspect it may be connected to a food product, be aware that you can report the incident to the FDA:
(This only applies to the United States. If you're in another country, you'll have to determine which regulatory authority to report the incident to.)