Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Musing Maggots

Like so many people I know, I've owned dogs just about my entire life. I grew up in a time before heartworm medicine, before a monthly flea treatment really got rid of fleas, before tick medicine prevented ticks. It was a time when we bought flea powder at the grocery store...

Yet, we always treated our pets like they were family. My dad used to make an ice cream cone and then held it while his Scottish terrier licked it. I would ride my bicycle across town to pick up five cent cans of dog food for my cockapoo. And they never, ever had bugs in their food.

So in mid-October when I was at PetSmart in Wilmington, NC - 87 miles one-way from my home - I picked up a 34-pound bag of Pro Plan. It cost $43 on sale so it was far more expensive than the Sam's Club five minutes from my house charges for Member's Mark.

And it never occurred to me that it would be filled with maggots.

I have those specially designed dry dog food bins where I pour the food in and it closes with a seal-tight fit. I opened the bag, wrestled with it (since it was 34 pounds and bulky) and poured it in.

When I was finished and ready to put the lid on, I saw the maggots swarming in the food - and some with wings were trying to fly out.

I immediately enlisted my daughter-in-law's aid to hold the bag while I poured the dog food back into it from the food bin. You can see the maggots in the food and crawling over the lid in the video we made.

I called PetSmart who told me if I couldn't drive 87 miles back to their store (and spend $32 in gasoline to return the $43 bag of food) then I should contact the manufacturer.

I contacted Pro Plan and explained what happened. Their response:

Maggots are not harmful to dogs and it won't hurt them it they eat it.

Their factories were sanitized and the maggots didn't come from them.

However, they offered to send me a coupon for the next time I wanted to drive 87 miles to buy another bag of their dog food.

I went to the local pet store who does not carry Pro Plan. They gave me 10 pounds of Eukanuba for FREE so I could try it with my dogs and see if they liked it. I came back two days later and bought their largest bag. Now my dogs are eating Eukanuba.

I still have the 34 pound of Pro Plan in my garage, taped into the original bag and then into a plastic bag. The bin is outside drying after I spent thirty minutes cleaning and disinfecting it.

Lesson learned.