Beneful, Nutro and Blue Buffalo Complaints to FDA

63 Comments

Many reports of sick pets have been published of late – reporting three different pet foods are linked to hundreds of sick pets.  Questions were sent to FDA, here is their response…

FDA states “We have two complaints thus far in 2013 for Blue Buffalo, which is comparable to previous years (23 last year and 18 in 2011).
 
For Nutro, we have seen an increase just recently: 10 complaints so far, compared with 37 last year and 8 in 2011.
 
For Beneful, we received 45 complaints in January, 50 in February and have 8 so far in March. It’s important to note that whenever an issue gets publicity, we see an increase in complaints.”

This is not to say that there are not hundreds of sick pets out there right now linked to these pet foods.  This is saying the FDA is not receiving those reports.  No investigation can take place without reports of illness or death to authorities.  No investigation means more illnesses or deaths.  Please everyone – if your pet becomes ill you believe is linked to a pet food or treat, report it to proper authorities.  Those authorities are…

1.  Your Veterinarian (seek treatment first!)
2.  FDA  (Click Here to report online; Click Here for a state by state list of Complaint Coordinator phone numbers)
3.  State Department of Agriculture (ask for pet food investigator) with the exception of the following states…
California – State authority for pet food is Department of Public Health; report pet food/treat adverse event to CA Department of Public Health.Hawaii – State authority for pet food is Department of Public Health; report pet food/treat adverse event to Department of Health.Nevada – no state authority over pet food; FDA is the only place to report.
4.  Pet Food Manufacturer
5.  Place of purchase
Save the pet food and packaging.  Investigators need pet food for testing and lot numbers (not the UPC code) for identification.

Please see the Report It! Campaign – share the poster!

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible

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63 Comments

  1. David

    Could you emphasize on the complaints about Nutro? I have been using their indoor cat food for many many years.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    • Susan Thixton

      I don’t know any more. And the FDA won’t provide details of the the complaints – just the numbers received. Sorry. With any pet food – always listen to your pet. If they have always been an eager eater, and this suddenly changes – listen to this. Your pet might not speak the same language as you, but they certainly speak to us. Know what is normal behavior and pay close attention to anything that is not normal.

  2. Gloria

    Blue Buffalo answered me and said that their vitamins can be sourced from China and that was enough for me to not go there!

    • Bonnie

      I shall not buy anymore of that I think that is very bad for them to hide that from us since that’s way I buy it because it’s US made!! I’m calling Pets smart! To me that’s very dishonest and we are trusting them to give us a safe product and it could hurt our babies!!

    • Margaret Sharp

      I read a long time ago that Vitamin C for humans is no longer manufactured in the U.S. and that it comes from China. So it is not surprising that vitamins in dog food might come from China. I’m not sure what that says about the quality of either, but it is something to think about if you or your family take vitamin supplements.

    • Shirley

      I worked for Blue, the food is low quality and they train their sales people to avoid specific questions about their food.They only care about increasing sales.

      • The Bosses Mom

        Shirley, you must have had an uneducated awful manager. If what you say is true they should be fired. It’s terrible that a manager treated you so bad but there are many good managers as with any business.
        Blue will answer any question I’ve ever had. The ingredients are top notch and yes some vitamins might be sourced from other countries when they are unavailable in the USA. That is a fact for human vitamins also.
        Blue is more interested in healthy pets than profits. Of course they would like to see good sales because that means pets are eating healthy food.

    • Lin

      I find it very hard to believe that Blue Buffalo told you that. Sorry, but I do.

    • CG

      Hello! I am SO GLAD I found this, yet, SO SHOCKED! We began feeding Blue Buffalo to our little girl who has severe orthopedic needs awhile ago and she just goes crazy for it. Naturally, with that enthusiasm it meand she loves it – she sniffs all the food bags (because we feed different foods based on needs) and she always picks out the Wilderness – she paws at the bag with her fron paws which are her good legs (her mid-low back and hind legs are her very severe areas) and once she gets that bag open she makes her way into the bag – she never actually gets in – we just like to see her do this, plus exercise for her. The one thing I have noticed about her is she pants an awful lot. I am not sure it has anything to do with BB wilderness, however, I suppose the only way to find out if this is related is to remove the food. The vet has always reminded us that she could be in pain from her condition – however, seeing all of this – I am really wondering if it is her food, because it has increased. She has not always been on BB – we just happened to get a coupon and a free bag from someone and come to think of it my parents dog would never touch it – he tried giving her that instead of Wellness and she picked out all the Wellness, ate that and left all of the BB in her bowl. I really feel horrible if this is what has been causing discomfort in her – I just recently had pancreatitis and that was excrutiating – I was placed in the hospital for over 12 days – now, I mention the heavy panting to the vet and she says it could just be from her prthopedic needs, but those have gotten better since we do monthly acupuncture, supplements, pain med and actually got her completely OFF rimadyl – she was doing much better due to all of the other regimens we were able to pull her off the rimadyl (thank goodness!). I would LOVE advice – shall I remove the BB from her – she loves this food, however, I really do not want it to be causing any sickness. I could not believe this – I have heard so many wonderful things about the food – I am SO HAPPY I saw these reviews. It is expensive food, they never send any coupons and then to hear it is making animals ill is so sickening – especially getting ingredients from China! We are getting ready to transition the others to Fromm and have another pug who is on Zignatures (he has really bad allergies) – which food would be best for her to transition to? We also add can food, or freeze dried raw to the kibble to help boost protein on some (just a tiny bit – divide a little patty between 4). Thank you all for the assistance – I certainly appreciate it – I am still being monitored for my condition – so I will have to call the hubby in the AM, but I am sure she will be served one more because he is up extremely early – she is almost through a bag, so can begin transitioning her to either Fromm or Zignatures. Thanks for the help! <3 CG

  3. Mollie Morrissette

    The author of Consumer Affairs whined that it was a complicated and that it took three hours to submit a report to the FDA. It took me 15 minutes.

    Along with writing a fairly long synopsis why I was making a report. I have never done it before, so I am by no means an expert.

    Therefore CA did a disservice to animals and pet parents by discouraging them from using the one and only resource consumers have to report an adverse pet food event.

    I cannot emphasize enough how vital it is to REPORT IT!

    And please, please do not to waste your time submitting a complaint to a website that can do absolutely nothing about it. Nothing.

    I would also disagree with the author of Consumer Affairs, who actually suggested passing the buck to vets who probably have even less time and patience to report a complaint a client had with some pet food. Also, many vets would be hard pressed to put pen to paper and commit that they believe, conclusively, that it was a pet food that caused a health problem in a pet patient. Ain’t gonna happen.

    So, take 15 minutes out of your day and Report It! to the FDA and not Consumer Affairs.

    If you can’t handle the electronic reporting portal or don’t have computer access – there is always the telephone. All you do is pick it up and dial a 1-800 number. How difficult is that?

  4. Larry

    The only reason “pet food” exists is for the convenience of their caregivers. If you care about your family members, USDA human approved only ! Usually it is cheaper too ! Just don’t forget some of their special needs. My dear little Ickis would still be alive and would probably live to be 25 or 30 instead of dead at 15 !

  5. Mary

    Gloria, vitamins used in their dog food?

    • lettucehavewhirledpeas7

      When you read the list of ingredients on the label and get down to the part where the list of food, oil, etc ends, there will next be minerals and vitamins listed. Most,[90% or more?], pet food companies source these minerals and vitamins from China. This doesn’t matter if the food is USDA Certified Organic or one of the cheapest such as Ol’Roy. There are a handful of pet foods companies that make their own minerals and vitamins in the USA, and should be mentioned on their website. If you are concerned, just email them or call to ask where they get their minerals and vitamins.

  6. Linda

    One of my dogs has a very sensitive stomach. We have changed her kibble 4 times and are using Blue Buffalo Basics without any problems. She used to get diarrhea and/or throw up frequently and has been fine for quite a while now. I do not want to change her food again. this news is distressing.

    • Jess

      your dog may be suffering from inflammatory bowl disease, diarrhea long term in a pet is not a symptom of a healthy pet and may not be due to the food, it is commonly associated with a pet that has diarrhea and/or vomiting long term. sometimes changing the food will help temporarily but I would have this checked out, especially if it is a fairly young dog. I would highly recommend seeing a veterinarian who can use an endoscope to check for this, as inflammatory bowel disease will lead to cancer if gone untreated.

      • Jess

        If anyone has concerns about possible IBD, or the food they are feeding, there is a radio show on TONIGHT!! it is free and comes on 8:00pm eastern time and runs for 2 hours. It is hosted by a hollistic vet and a pet nutrition expert. I highly reccommend calling in, they are very helpful and can made good suggestions to food and how to find a vet in your area that can help you with a specific problem. There will be a button to click on at that time on this website if you want to listen and the number to call in is posted: http://www.traciehotchner.com/cc/listen.php

      • Linda

        Thank you Jess. At the time she had diarrhea we did the extensive lab test and it showed nothing. Since she has been on Blue Buffalo for over a year, she has been fine, no inflammatory bowel disease.

        • Jess

          Good to hear shes been free of IBD. A very good, easy to digest food is the Honest Kitchen. Highly Highly recommend this food if you are afraid to keep your girl on blue buffalo.

    • mary knill

      CHANGE THE FOOD BLUE BUFFALO HAS BEEN AN ISSUE AS HAS BENEFUL. PURINA IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY AFTER FINDING MAGGOTS WORMS AND MOTHS IN THE BAG, WHICH BEGINS AS EGGS, AND MORE THEN LIKELY HATCH IN THE DOG, AND CAN CAUSE ALL OF THOSE SYMPTOMS…I ALSO AM IN A QUNDRY AS TO WHAT TO PURCHASE NOW.

      • The Bosses Mom

        Before you start slandering a food you need to do your investigating more thoroughly.
        grocery store brands such as Beneful & Purina are grain based (corn, wheat, glutens,soy & by-products). Bugs love this food. Even in the stores they have much more of a bug problem with those foods & bugs. Maggots come from fly eggs laid in raw meat. You may have meant Weevils,which come from wheat & corn.
        Blue has none of these. I have never seen a bug. I also use proper storage.

        • Lin

          I agree with you, The Bosses Mom. Both of my dogs are on Blue, and there are no by-products in it either. Anyone who gives their pets food with by-products in it is giving them road kill, flea collars, and God knows what else, since everything is ground up. Some kill shelters even sell the animals they kill to rendering plants. I think this is a smear campaign against Blue Buffalo foods. Our dogs have been on it for over a year now and gobble it up like crazy. Our friend who has the sister to one of our dogs feeds her Beneful, and half the time she won’t eat it. When she is here, she tries to get the other dogs’ Blue Buffalo food and eats like a pig.

          • Peter

            Nine of the first 10 ingredients in Beneful are high carbohydrate grains, starches and flours, low-bioavailable proteins, “by-products,” industrial chemicals, and sugars. Whenever we meet people with dogs in the worst shape, they are virtually invariably feeding them Beneful. Their marketing is honed to a fine science. I truly pity dogs that are subjected to Beneful. What a shame, that you cannot prevail on your friend to become educated on how to read a dog food label, and gain an understanding of the role marketing plays in agribusiness.

      • Leanne

        BEFORE you purchase any food, check the bag for the outdate! I run a feedstore and product is rotated properly, we follow an all natural pest control program and we’ve never had an issue with foreign products in the food we sell. You will find where product doesn’t move well or food purchased in huge quantities and not stored properly will have pest problems.

    • dawn

      try Hill’s Science Diet for sensitive stomach

      • Mandi

        Hill’s science diet is garbage. I would never feed any animal that.

    • The Bosses Mom

      That is a great food for your dog. I feed Blue and have had nothing but positive results since 2009. Blue cured all my dogs ills including pancreatitis.

    • The Bosses Mom

      Linda, there is no need to change as Blue Basics is formulated for dogs that have digestive issues. He is doing good so it is great that Blue helped and it is a great quality food.

      • Jan

        wow, that sounded just like verbiage from a Blue Buffalo rep.

        • The Bosses Mom

          No, Blue helped my dogs with numerous problems. Pancreatitis was the worst as she was 12. The vet said she was an old dog & her system was shutting down.
          I changed to Blue after days of research and she will be 16 in July. I have had 2 happy healthy dogs since 2009.

  7. Meghan

    Linda, if your dog has a sensitive system, I would try Natural Balance LID or Nature’s Variety LID.

    • Maya

      Linda,
      Do research on Natural Balance & Natures Variety – check out “their recalls and complaints”
      It’ is not all roses like some make it appear…..

      What’s best for your dog is what you should use.

      • mary knill

        I think i am going to make my own. i see no other solution to knowing what is in it. i think i can make busicuits with beef broth and chicken broth and have a good outcome, as there is no other way to know what is in it.

        • The Bosses Mom

          No corn, wheat or soy. If you make busicuits don’t use flour as it is wheat.
          Where will you get the vitamins,prebiotics,probiotics or chelated minerals? Do you know how much the pet will need in addition to the food ingested? How much & what kind of oil will you add? If you buy canned broth it is loaded with sodium (salt). Are you making broth too.
          There is a lot more to making food that is balanced nutrition than most people know.

          • Susan Thixton

            Actually, making you pets food is not nearly as difficult as you think. Vitamins and minerals can easily come from a variety of food. I even use a ‘food’ calcium…ground egg shell. Nutrition through food (as opposed to supplements), is easily absorbed and utilized. I’ve been cooking for my 3 cats and 2 dogs for 3 plus years now.

        • The Bosses Mom

          Go visit Dr karen Becker’s site. She is a holistic vet. Great info. on food, illness, keeping pet healthy etc.

    • PAUX

      Oh My…Natural Balance may be a product name but it also is semblant to their marketing strategy and not to the quality of their product. The LID products have an increase of carbs with very minimal amount of meat protein thus giving the poor creature many more problems than just a “sensitive system”. Their vits are from China. Make your own food for them, you will see a decrease in stomach problems.

  8. Freda Henry

    Is all the blue food bad, how are we going to know if our cat seems ok. This is so upsetting. Is there any food out there that we can buy that is safe.
    Freda Henry

    • Linda

      Thank you, I had them on Natural Balance before switching to Blue Buffalo. I did read up on Natural Balance, that’s one reason I changed. I had just been speaking to my husband before this news came out about how our dogs have had so few stomach issues on this food.

      We also add pure pumpkin to their meals, it makes a nice thick gravy and is good for their stomachs.

  9. Sharron DeWeed

    geez, I just can’t handle this. I feed BLUE because I thought it was a top quality dog food… china, REALLY!
    “Feed them like family”, is what blue says. How disappointing.

  10. Barbra

    This is unfounded rumors. Blue Buffalo addressed it to me over the weekend. It is based on some postings on a consumer affairs site where they blame the food on everything from Parvo deaths to a tumor that formed and killed a dog within a week. Here is the response I got from Blue Buffalo on Saturday:

    Dear Barbra,
    Thank you for contacting us. I apologize for the incorrect information you received as there is no truth to the rumors that are currently circulating. Please be assured that BLUE has not been sold; we remain an independent, family owned business. In addition, none of our products are involved in any recalls nor have we experienced issues with any of our batches. We also continue to source all of meats, grains, fruits and vegetables from within the United States.

    In regards to the Consumer Affairs site, we are aware of the postings. Unfortunately we can’t control what is posted in an online forum and unless the Pet Parent contacts us directly, we can’t investigate their claim fully. We always encourage pet parents to contact us if they feel there is an issue so that we can gather all of the product information for our QA Team and investigate. Product quality is our #1 priority. We have strict controls in place to make sure that our ingredients meet the highest quality standards.

    These controls include the following:

    Certificate of origin for all ingredients
    COA’s (certificates of analysis) on all our ingredients prior to accepting
    Testing of each ingredient for known toxins prior to accepting
    Testing during production to insure that our formulas meet our nutritional specifications.
    Testing after production to insure product stability and freshness.

    We use a government certified laboratory to test for normal analyticals, toxins, bacterial contamination, and spoilage.

    Thank you again for contacting BLUE.

    Have a great weekend,
    Larissa
    Blue Buffalo Co.

    • Peter

      The above statement sidesteps the issues of additives, stabilizers, preservatives, and most particularly, vitamins.

      • sarah

        I noticed that too. I’ve fed Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice for 14 years without any problems; although, I’m on the west coast and Diamond’s plant in California hasn’t had any recalls like their other two plants back east. Keep in mind they also manufacture the Kirkland brand sold in Costco, their dog food has helped a lot of dogs get off commercial corn-filled crap. They’re not perfect, but I’ll buy I trust them way more than anything sold at a Petco or Petsmart.

    • steph gas

      this is almost word for word the same response i received from blue buffalo when i contacted them. i have responded with more direct questions and plan to share any information i find. for now i am not feeding my cats blue buffalo.

  11. Molly

    Please, file a report with the FDA if you have problems with this food. Nutro especially has made it very clear they are not going to issue a voluntary recall, so the only way to get a recall is to report to the FDA. You can also do it online of you don’t want to talk on the phone. It only took me 10-15 minutes.
    http://www.fda.gov
    Click on Animal & Veterinary
    Click on How to report a pet food complaint
    Click on Safety reporting portal

  12. Carolyn

    PLEASE don’t forget to ask your veterinarian to test your dog for Leptospirosis if he/she is experiencing symptoms similar to ingesting anti-freeze. Many veterinarians do not know about Lepto and it is on the rise. Many “Beneful illnesses” are actually Lepto.

    Also, almost all daily vitamins are made in China. How many people do you know who take a daily vitamin? Are they dead? No?

    • PAUX

      Yes, but the vits in pet food are not vetted as those for human consumption. Also when it is sprayed onto the dog food it may not be done equally, thus some batches end up with too much of one or too little of another, both that can sicken or kill an animal.

    • mss

      Very interesting! One of my dogs contracted leptospirosis recently. I had briefly wondered if there was a problem with her food, but she had been eating the same type of food for quite a while and so had another, and we had not started a new bag recently. One of the vets did wonder if it was pancreatitis. I’m glad we tested for leptospirosis. I’ve been asked if I would write an article about our experience with lepto for our group’s newsletter. If you could give me a source to cite for this information, I would appreciate it. :o)

      • The Bosses Mom

        Leptospirosis Signs and Symptoms in Pets

        The clinical signs of leptospirosis vary and are nonspecific. Sometimes pets do not have any symptoms. Common clinical signs have been reported in dogs. These include:

        Fever
        Vomiting
        abdominal pain
        diarrhea
        refusal to eat
        severe weakness and depression
        stiffness
        severe muscle pain
        inability to have puppies

        Generally younger animals are more seriously affected than older animals.

        If you think your pet may have Leptospirosis, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can perform tests to determine whether or not your pet has the disease

  13. Jane

    Well, I trusted Blue Buffalo, but no more…
    They are off my list…Thank you for this column of information. Actually, I called the company and could not get a straight answer…apparently not all the ingredients are from the US.

  14. March 13, 2013 Pet News | PowerHourReport.com

    [...] Beneful, Nutro and Blue Buffalo Complaints to FDA Susan Thixton – Many reports of sick pets have been published of late – reporting three different pet foods are linked to hundreds of sick pets. Questions were sent to FDA, here is their response… [...]

  15. Peggy Drown

    I have fed Blue Buffalo to my yorkie since he was a puppy and now he is 3 years old and he has never been sick.

  16. EG

    Orijen is a great food! Research it–it’s cage free, from Canada, low glycemic index… no vitamins from china… and my Pasha’s coat is beautiful.

  17. Myrtle

    I just purchased a bag of the Cat Nutro Senior and the shape of the kibble is not the same…the usual holes are not there , there is a shadow of some on it but some are totally flat..so I did not feed it to my cats…I think I may take it back.I also purchased some canned by Nutro…but they seem to be ok….not different…I had stopped buying them when I had a purchased a lot of the Nutro that was in the recall in 2007 and I had recalled food and had fed it to my cats..but I use different brands so they do not get one exclusively just in case..

    • Jan

      if you accidentally got the Natural Choice from Nutro instead of the Max Cat then there are no holes. easy mistake to make since they are side by side in the stores. just a thought. my girl took a bit to get used to the food without the holes but I like the higher protein that NC has for her.

  18. erin

    I had been feeding my 6 cats Blue Buffalo Wilderness until 3 got sick. 2 had diarrhea (1 got sick a couple times) & 1 had to have surgery because her digestive tract filled with gas & she kept throwing up. i lost 1 cat in 2006, months before the 07 recalls began & noone believed me there was something wrong with their food. to see 3 of my cats showing the exact same symptoms was beyond terrifying. I’m submitting a complaint to the FDA.

  19. Denise in NJ

    Wow. I switched my Boston Terrier to Blue Wilderness grain free after reading that grain is what contributes to gas and bloating. Not only does he rarely pass gas now, but he hasn’t had an ear infection or any other problem since he started on Blue Wilderness. His coat and skin has also improved – so much so that when he last went to the vet, the vet asked me what I was doing differently. I also make soft food for him and mix that with the canned Blue Wilderness because I was afraid that he wouldn’t get enough essential nutrients in the food I make. Now I read this. Makes me wonder. My parents always fed their dogs table scraps. They rarely bought dog food or made them anything special and none of their dogs ever got sick.

  20. Abe Gold

    1 cup of Nutro’s NEW & IMPROVED formula killed my dog in 36 hours. Veternarians will lie to your face about the problem being the food as their educations and businesses are subsidised by pet food companies. They will prescribe expensive treatments to pad their pockets and torture your pet! NUTRO will also lie to you telling you that yours is the first complaint. My vet bill for a dead dog is $2357 and as the vet claiims the problem is antifreeze I can’t collect a cent from NUTRO. If your dog doesn’t want to eat the food take the hint and return it and file and FDA report.
    Any nausea or diarrhea is a huge red flag.
    Show me the antifreeze, it has not been found, anywhere.

    • The Bosses Mom

      The vets are not in cahoots with pet food companies. Some vets do sell prescription food for the convenience of clients. And yes, there is a profit for them just like any business.
      If you are so convinced it was the food why didn’t you take it to a laboratory & have it checked ?
      Do you have enemy’s that would poison your dog ? Anti-freeze is sweet so animals will willingly eat(meat soaked) or drink it.

  21. Barb Trumpower

    I,too,was a nervous wreck when I read all the warnings.I was told ALL government websites end in .gov.The Consumer Affairs .com is NOT a gov’t website.Don’t trust EVERYTHING you read on the internet.(1).You will drive yourself NUTS!(2) Do your own research and don’t always depend on what others say.If these higher quality dog foods are junk,they best get on Walmarts Ole Roy,food from FAmily Dollar,Dollar General too.That stuff is REALLY junk.I keep a close eye on my boys food,they are far too precious to lose!

  22. Wendy

    I too had a sick dog after her eating nutro her entire life. At the end of 2012, she started to get sick. Blood work normal., but losing her balance. Treated ears, dianostic on ears again later prescriptions. Thought it was an allergy switched to another nutro product. Still sick and getting worse. Can’t get up and down stairs, peeing in the house.

    Still blood work is fine, can’t find anything wrong she’s getting worse, vet bills sky high.

    Three weeks ago I started homemade food. I didn’t start it soon enough.

    I think there is metals or a contamination of one of the ingredients. Maybe a new suppliers.NUTRO claims the people who wrote in to the consumers web page are fictious well I am one of those people. I am real , my dog who was very healthy a few months ago is real.

    My dog died yesterday and no one seems to know why. My bills are in the neighbourhood of 2500. Great for a single mom who had to watch her children deal with their beloved dog die

  23. Meridian

    My 2yo “healthy as a horse” lab/pit mix got very runny poop, bad gas and was very lethargic about 2 months after starting BB. Their evasiveness about where their ingredients, specifically the vitamins come from, coupled with what was an aversive reaction to this last bag of food, has turned me off of BB for good. I switched him to Fromm (based in US, NO ingredients from overseas) and within days his poop was back to normal. Sadly, I am not sure any of these companies are that trustworthy. I may have to start cooking for him myself.

    • Peter

      Virtually all bulk vitamins used in the pet food manufacture industry are sourced from China. Pressed for the why, the companies will usually respond that they can’t get them in bulk from anywhere else.

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Jerky Treats from China have been killing and sickening pets for

When will FDA make this clock stop?





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