Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc. (‘Mountain Dog’), one of Canada’s oldest and largest brands in the raw pet food industry, has renewed its HACCP Canada (‘HACCP’) certification for the 8th consecutive quarter this past January. HACCP or ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points’ certification is a food safety and quality control protocol required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (‘CFIA’) in all federally registered establishments where food is manufactured for human consumption. Mountain Dog has maintained its certification since July 2016 when it became the first raw pet food manufacturer in Canada to achieve the status. Raw pet food is one of the fastest growing segments in the pet food industry.
“We feel strongly that we have a responsibility to people and their pets to make sure our raw pet food products are manufactured in a controlled environment and to the same safety standards as human raw food products,” says Dean Ricard, founder and CEO of Mountain Dog. “There should be no difference in the risk level associated with a frozen raw dog food meal compared to a frozen raw hamburger patty and we stand by that belief by adhering to the human grade manufacturing standards laid out by the CFIA.”
The pet food industry in Canada, including producers of processed dry kibble and raw diets, is largely unregulated. That means it’s up to the manufacturer to establish quality standards for everything from ingredients to production, food safety protocols, and quality testing, putting the onus on pet owners to do their research to find a brand they can trust.
Administration of Mountain Dog’s HACCP protocol includes a system of detailed record-keeping at every stage of the production process. All staff working on the production floor are required to undergo food safety training and a quality assurance person is onsite at all times during production hours. There is also an onsite laboratory where incoming ingredients, all of which are sourced from CFIA federally inspected facilities, and post-production raw pet food meals are tested for bacteria. The facility has a strict cleaning protocol including the complete dismantling and disinfecting of all machinery, down to the screw, every day. Mountain Dog’s HACCP certification is renewed every three months subject to an external audit of its food handling and safety records. Every two years, the facility also receives an unscheduled onsite visit from a HACCP quality assurance professional.
“We invite anyone with an interest in the raw pet food industry – pet owners, veterinarians, or otherwise – to visit our facility,” says Ricard. “We believe a balanced raw food diet offers the best nutrition for dogs and cats. Starting with the right ingredients and making sure our food is safe is an important step toward making raw pet food accessible to more pet owners and that’s what Mountain Dog is all about.”
Mountain Dog’s manufacturing facility and retail store is located at 14503 121A Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. Mountain Dog raw food is also sold at over 300 pet specialty retail stores across Canada including popular chains like Global Pet Foods and Tail Blazers. Mountain Dog is wholly owned by Dane Creek Capital Corp., the Mississauga-based pet industry merchant bank. For more information about Mountain Dog, including how to switch to a raw pet food diet, understanding raw pet food nutrition, and product information visit www.mountaindogfood.com.