Claim: Purina's Beneful brand dog food is causing dogs to become ill and die.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2007]
Discontinue use of Beneful until this is resolved!
We have received multiple reports of dogs becoming sick or dying after eating Beneful dog food. The first reports were placed in our new forum and was overlooked by DoggyBling.com staff until we received direct emails last week and then another today. After speaking on the phone with the lady who emailed us today, we feel that there is sufficient cause for alarm. Dog lovers make a lot of effort to take good care of their dogs and will want to know if they are feeding them something that could be harmful. Most of the alerts by email, forum and phone cited Beneful dog food that was purchased at
We spoke with Terri Culp at Beneful this morning and were assured that they are aware of the situation and are researching the problem. We assured them that this won't go away and we would be alerting our email base of the problem and posting a news item on our site. We also told her that DoggyBling.com visitors and dog lovers everywhere would be evaluating the way the Purina Corporation (Parent to Beneful) handles the potential crisis.
The symptoms reported have been very similar. The reported symptoms include some or all of the following: General weakness or sluggishness, glazed eyes, not interested in food or water, white gums, lack of control of bodily functions. Some of the callers reported dogs that have died and others say they had gotten sick but had recovered. I am inserting the first forum post about a dog that became sick, but didn't die.
A week be fore Christmas we bought a bag of Beneful dog food at
Notify us if your dog has had symptoms after using Beneful
We are going to stay on top of this situation and would like to know if your dog has had any of the symptoms listed above after eating Beneful. If so, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call at 904-430-0260. Either way, please pass this email and information to dog lovers who may be feeding this food to their dog.
DoggyBling.com - http://www.doggybling.com/
Updates and Beneful's response and precautionary action will be listed in our news section. We know Purina will take this seriously and will not want to tarnish their company's positive reputation.
News Item about Beneful
Origins: In January 2007, Huntsville, Texas, resident Robert Barley switched the diet for Pearl, his 5-year-old German Shepherd/Labrador mix, and started feeding her Beneful brand dog food. Soon afterwards the seemingly healthy dog died. Around the same time another resident of Huntsville, Janet Rambeck, also began feeding Sooner,
Does this pattern indicate a manufacturing problem (on the part of Purina) or a handling/storage issue (on the part of
On 6 February 2007 Beneful's manufacturer, Nestle/Purina, sent us a response indicating they had investigated the Hunstville deaths and analyzed samples of the product involved, and that "the results confirmed the safety and quality of the products made at our factories" and "the samples showed no presence of aflatoxin":
In recent days, Purina learned about the unfortunate deaths of two dogs in the Huntsville, Texas, area. Concerns were raised about the possible link between consumption of Purina's Beneful dry dog food and the deaths of the two dogs. Purina takes these matters seriously, and initiated a thorough investigation. Purina's quality testing, including testing at independent laboratories, confirm the safety and efficacy of our products and confirm that the two dogs' unfortunate deaths were unrelated to our product.
Importantly, one of the Huntsville, Texas, consumers also requested product testing through her veterinarian. The veterinarian submitted a sample of product to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for aflatoxin analysis. We received confirmation from the consumer's veterinarian late Monday,
Additionally, we have conducted physical inspections and analytical testing, all of which confirm that our Beneful dry dog food products are safe, and meet all quality assurance specifications. Purina initiated the testing, which was conducted by an independent third party analytical laboratory, as part of its investigation related to the two Huntsville consumer contacts. As soon as we could contact the consumers to verify product code and packaging information, we secured finished product from our factories with the same production run and date code as the products in question and submitted the samples for testing. We received test results for the samples late Monday,
Because the quality and safety of our products and the trust of our consumers are top priorities, Purina took additional steps, including visiting the store in Huntsville, Texas, to confirm the quality of product at retail. We obtained additional samples for any available product matching date codes and production runs related to these consumer contacts. We then submitted samples of the product for analytical testing, which also showed no presence of aflatoxin.
We at Purina are saddened to hear of the loss of these consumers' pets and appreciate the opportunity to investigate and demonstrate how seriously we take matters of this kind. We stand firmly behind the high quality of our products and reassure consumers that they can continue to feed Purina products with total confidence.
They administered IV fluids, the x-rays showed an enlarged liver and gall bladder, and the pancreas was fine. The blood results showed the liver enzymes at more than three times the normal level. On Dec. 26, his temperature returned to normal, he was transferred to The Animal Hospital, they continued fluids and ran a barium test. On Dec. 27, the vet was concerned that he may have a mass blocking the intestines. He opted for exploratory surgery. No mass was found, the liver and gall bladder were enlarged, but the color looked good. They sent away for a biopsy of the liver. They were feeding him with a syringe, but nothing was staying down. My husband and I would go everyday to try and hand feed him chicken and rice, but to no avail.
The morning of Dec. 30, we received a call that Cruise had passed away. The biopsy results showed necrosis of the liver. Premature death of cells and living tissue. Necrosis is caused by external factors, such as infection, toxins or trauma.
We want to make other pet owners aware. It doesn't matter the breed, the age, or the length of consumption time, these pets are becoming seriously ill or dying.
If Purina has chosen to turn a blind eye to this and the FDA does not issue a recall, then we have a responsibility to get the word out before another innocent animal has to endure what our best friend had to endure.
We are contacting family members and friends, warning them that Beneful is not on the FDA recall list. We have contacted the store where I purchased the food. We have contacted a lab for testing of the food, but they informed us that they could "only test for salmonella." We have contacted the FDA and are awaiting a return call
For more than 80 years, Purina has stood for trust with pets and the people who love them. We’re pet owners, too, and the quality and safety of our products are our top priorities. Consumers can continue to feed Beneful to their pets with total confidence. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers, and we encourage anyone with a question or comment about Beneful to call us at 1-888-236-3385.
We feel the lawsuit is groundless. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves through the legal process.
Recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against Beneful in Northern California. We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand. Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts. Class action suits are common in business these days. They are not indicative of a product issue.
Beneful is backed by Purina's strict quality controls and comprehensive food safety program.
Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. On-line postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers.
Bottom line: Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence.
At Purina we're passionate about pets. We encourage anyone with a comment or question about Purina to contact us directly at the toll-free number on every package. For answers to FAQs about Beneful, go to https://www.beneful.com/frequently-asked-questions
Smith, Stewart. "Two Owners Hope Tests Reveal Cause of Dogs' Deaths." The Huntsville Item. 31 January 2007.