Would you really know what to do if your pet caught a food-borne sickness, like the dreaded E. coli?

In a new video released from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. April Hodges, Ph.D., L.N. CVM/CERT, a nutritional scientist at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, walks pet owners through the steps — from recognizing such an illness to reporting it to the FDA.


Salmonella and E. coli are the most common forms of contamination, but other bacteria and toxins can also affect raw meat and commercially prepared food. To prevent such illnesses, owners should properly wash bowls and utensils when handling pet food.

Signs of food-borne sickness in pets include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. You should notify your vet immediately if you spot any of these red flags.

And if you believe that your pet has consumed contaminated food, you should report it to the FDA by phone or online, noting the type of food or treat, where and when it was purchased, and its brand and manufacturer.

You can also keep up-to-date on recently recalled products by checking the FDA's website.