• The toy I gave my dog made her sick and she’s vomiting.
• I gave my dog a new drug, and he’s having seizures. He’s not able to walk well.
• I just gave my cat a new food and he’s drinking the entire bowl of water and cannot control his bladder.
First: Get your pet to the vet immediately.
Second: File a report.
Filing a report is the first step to holding a manufacturer accountable – and it starts with you – the pet owner. If you’ve had a problem with a product, likely others will too. If you have a problem with a product, you need to follow through and file the complaint.
While pet owners may think it is intuitive to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission – STOP. We have spoken with their general counsel and they have confirmed that they do not classify pet products as consumer products. They will likely be of no assistance to you.
Who do I file a complaint with?
For Food and Pharma : you need to file with the appropriate authority and with the manufacturer. Center for Pet Safety would like to receive a copy of the complaint filed with the authority to ensure that we can follow up in the consumer interest.
For any other product : Center for Pet Safety will catalog your complaint.
Additionally encourage your vet to file a complaint if your pet has had any adverse reaction to a food, treat, pharmaceutical or pesticide. At first, your vet may find reasons why the product or food is not at fault. Insist that any adverse reaction be documented and filed with the appropriate authority.
By filing a product complaint you are setting wheels in motion. Each complaint needs to be cataloged and followed up on. By filing a complaint you can save lives.
Once you file the complaint with the manufacturer – here’s what you need to know:
The manufacturer will never admit that their product is at fault.
The manufacturer may seem sympathetic and tell you that they will cover your vet bills or testing costs. But…before they can send you a check, you will need to sign a document.
- The terms of these documents are typically VERY broad. By agreeing to their terms, the manufacturer is buying your silence.
- You will need to agree that the product and the manufacturer is not at fault.
- They may offer you money. (Will the amount of money they offer cover the entirety of your vet bills? Likely not – especially if your pet has long-term complications.)
- In some cases the terms of these agreements are so broad that they prevent you from EVER finding fault with ANY product the manufacturer produces, even if it is a human pharmaceutical that you, yourself, take 10 years from now.
- Additionally, signing this document will likely prevent you from speaking with the regulating authority during their investigation of your complaint. It’s a tactical maneuver to keep their potentially dangerous product on the market.
Center for Pet Safety understands that you are in the midst of a very painful situation. Your pet has died or is seriously sick or injured. We recommend that you speak to your attorney before signing any documentation presented by any manufacturer to understand your rights, and the rights you are throwing away if you choose to sign.
Your story may be silenced forever and pet owners that need to hear it may give their pet the same medication, food or use the same product that has hurt your pet.
Your voice is important, your experience with the product matters and your story can save lives.
Resources for filing a pet product complaint:
Flea and Tick Products: (CPS recommends filing complaints with the FDA in addition to the following agencies.) Report an adverse event from a flea and tick product to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) or the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)
Veterinary Drug: FDA – Adverse Reaction Report
Consumer: FDA – How to file a complaint.
Center for Pet Safety: File a Pet Product Complaint
Send a copy of your compliant filing to Center for Pet Safety: Info@CenterforPetSafety.org Subject: [Product Name] Complaint Report. Please include your contact information in the body of the email so that we can reach you.