Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, but too much can lead to serious health problems including kidney failure and death

By Kelli Bender
February 04, 2019 02:02 PM
Credit: Hill's Science Diet

The number of pet foods affected by excessive levels of vitamin D continues to expand.

Now, Hill’s Nutrition, a pet food company that specializes in prescription and specialty foods for pets, has voluntarily recalled over 20 different kinds of canned dog food from their Hill’s Prescription Diet and Hill’s Science Diet lines for excessive levels of vitamin D.

The company announced the recall in a release on January 31 stating, “Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling select canned dog food products due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure.”

According to the FDA, symptoms of vitamin D toxicity in pets include “vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling and weight loss. Vitamin D at toxic levels can cause kidney failure and death.”

Pet owners who are feeding their animals any of the foods listed as potentially dangerous by the FDA or Hill’s Nutrition, should stop feeding that food to their pet immediately.

“Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian. In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding,” Hill’s Nutrition wrote in their recall announcement, adding that, at this time, only canned dog food is affected by this voluntary recall.

A full list of the Hill’s Nutrition canned dog foods affected by this recall is available here. Only cans with certain lot and dates codes are affected by the recall, so pet owners should make sure to check their cans before throwing them away. Hill’s Nutrition has provided information on how to find these codes on their website.

The canned dog foods listed in the voluntary recall were distributed through retail stores and veterinary offices. Unopened cans affected by the recall can be returned to the retailer where they were purchased for a full refund, Hills Nutrition stated.

In response to this recall, which was issued after a complaint from a customer about their ill dog led to the discovery of a “supplier error,” Hill’s Nutrition plans to make changes to their quality testing.

“We care deeply about all pets and are committed to providing pet parents with safe and high quality products. Hill’s has identified and isolated the error and, to prevent this from happening again, we have required our supplier to implement additional quality testing prior to their release of ingredients,” the company stated. “In addition to our existing safety processes, we are adding our own further testing of incoming ingredients.”