Euthanasia drug found in dog food, what you need to know

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- Your furry friend could be sick from the dog food you are feeding them and you might not even know it. Some dog food brands are being pulled from store shelves after traces of a drug used to euthanize animals turned up in it.

"That's an unacceptable thing to have in any food supplies," says Animal Health Clinic, Dr. Kevin Dill.

Dog owners beware. Traces of pentobarbital, a drug typically used to euthanize animals is being found in common dog food brands, like Gravy Train. So what exactly does that mean?

"It's coming from animals that are euthanized, horses, cows, typically cattle. They're euthanized humanely using pentobarbital," says Dill.

Veterinarian, Dr. Kevin Dill says those animals are making their way back into the food chain, either by accident or if someone isn't paying well enough attention. But Dill tells us, the drug is being found in small traces. If you have already fed your dog this brand of food, he says, not to worry too much.

"Make sure those pets are having normal organ function that can filter and clean out the blood, because once the food is eliminated and that medicine is eliminated, there should be no long-lasting effects," says Dill.

But he says to start looking for other options. So that's what we did. We stopped by Natural Pet Center in Fargo. The owner tells us, finding the right ingredients is important. But she says, you really need to check out the reputation of the company making it.

"The care that they put into their products is really key into finding a quality food," says Natural Pet Center Owner, Michelle Smith.

And when reading the back of the packages or cans, Smith says to make sure the first couple ingredients include meat. But when it comes to finding the right dog food, Smith says, you get out what you're putting in.

"It really pays to put that extra thought and maybe a couple extra dollars into your pet's food so you have a healthier pet in the long run and you're getting that quality ingredient that you expect," says Smith.

Through our research, we found the affected brands, such as Gravy Train, have not been officially recalled. That's why Dr. Dill says to stay away from the dog food until everything's figured out.

Dr. Dill also says, since this drug is typically used on cows, it wouldn't hurt to stay away from beef-based dog foods. He tells us, you can stay up-to-date on all the latest recalls by visiting the link below.

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/