FDA Information Regarding Beneful Complaints

113 Comments

The Consumer Affairs website reports hundreds of pet owner complaints of sick dogs after eating Beneful dog food.  A recent post on Examiner.com shared the same startling information regarding Beneful.  However an inquiry sent to FDA does not match the number of complaints posted on the Consumer Affairs website.  Here’s what the FDA stated…

Consumer Affairs reported on January 8, 2013 their site had received a large increase in views of Beneful complaints and actual complaints over the last six months.  Examiner.com stated there are “220 incidents” of sick or dying pets.

However the FDA told me (January 17, 2013) “FDA has averaged about 2-4 complaints about Beneful over the past year.  We’ve received four additional complaints in the last 48 hours, but two of those were merely links to the Examiner article.”

So what is going on?  Why the huge amount of complaints on the Consumer Affairs website regarding Beneful with the FDA only receiving a handful?

There are several possibilities…

1.  It could be every single complaint on the Consumer Affairs website are legitimate reports of pet death or illness linked to Beneful, but only a few of these pet food adverse events were reported to FDA.

Should this be the case, this would be very, very unfortunate for pet food consumers in general.  There is no way to ‘fix’ a pet food problem without FDA involvement.  Like the FDA or hate the FDA, a pet food that is causing pet illness or death probably won’t be removed from store shelves without FDA involvement (there is no such thing as a voluntary recall).

2.  It could be some of the complaints posted on the Consumer Affairs website are fictitious.

The Consumer Affairs website offers businesses (in this case, pet food manufacturers) the opportunity to respond to complaints posted on the site by becoming a member of ConsumerAffairs for Brands.   At one point the ConsumerAffairs.com website provided full details of the fees involved to allow businesses the opportunity to respond to complaints posted on the site.  It was pricey.  That information has since been removed.  The only information I could find currently was a post on ReputationManagementFor.com; a comment stated the fee was $299 per month plus a $500 set up fee.  I completely understand that ConsumerAffairs.com has to make a living, but some interpret this fee-based service could result in fictitious complaints to pressure businesses to join.

To answer my own question – what is going on with Beneful? – we just don’t know.  Pet food is Big Business – with Big Business comes the potential for cut throat methods to steal customers from your competitor.  There are hired ‘consumers’ – on the payroll of one or another of Big Pet Food – paid to post negative comments all over the web.  If that is what happened here (with the posts of sick/dying pets on the ConsumerAffairs.com website), Big Pet Food has reached an all time low.

To concerned pet food consumers, reports of sick or dying pets linked to a pet food is a very serious thing.  If there are those out there faking these reports, your lies will eventually float to the surface…you will eventually be out-ed.  It’s one thing to have one of your hired guns to post a glaring review of a genetically modified grain based pet food – it’s a completely different thing if you hire someone to fake reports of sick pets.  Let’s hope you haven’t sunk that low.

Please, please, please – everyone – if you believe your pet has become sick or died due to a pet food or treat, report this to FDA and to your State Department of Agriculture.  Here is the link to report to FDA: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm  If your pet was treated by a veterinarian, please encourage your veterinarian to report the issue as well.  To report to your State Department of Agriculture, visit your state website to get phone numbers, ask to speak to the pet food investigator.

If all of these reports of sick/dying pets are legitimate on the ConsumerAffairs.com website, more pets could be getting sick right now simply because the FDA cannot investigate what is not reported to them.  That’s bad for all of us.

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
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TruthaboutPetFood.com
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113 Comments

  1. Mollie Morrissette

    The way in which Consumer Affairs operates is an open invitation for abuse: by Consumer Affairs who profits from businesses defending the “complaints”, “complaints” submitted by product competitors, “complaints” submitted by consumer affairs employees posing as consumers, the list goes on.

    For this reason I do not feel Consumer Affairs can ever remain objective as long as they profit from negative reports.

    A more insidious problem the “complaints” create is the hysteria that these unreliable complaints could generate.

    When I saw that the Examiner picked up CA’s Beneful story – I was very disappointed.

    What really bothered me was CA escalated the Beneful “complaints” to a full article covering the subject.

    As Susan said, without adverse event reporting to the FDA/CVM the system has no opportunity to be effective. It is the best system we have, so consumers should use it and not waste their time submitting to quasi-official consumer reporting websites like CA.

    Personally, because of the potential for abuse, and the profit they garner from these so-called adverse events, I would like them to be exposed for the extortionists they are. I would like CA to change their sleazy policy or be shut down. I wonder what the FTC has to say about these kind of schemes?

  2. Concerned

    Mollie, you are absolutely right. Susan, thank you for making this report objective. Anytime Consumer Affairs is at the heart of a new ‘scandal’, the facts about them need to be stated because you never know who is reading an article from your website for the first time. Too many people believe CA and jump on the false bandwagon. And thank you for directing people to the correct places if or when their pet is sick. The Internet will not make their pet better. However, I think it should be boldly stated that IF YOUR PET IS SICK, THE FIRST PLACE YOU SHOULD BE CALLING IS YOUR VET! He/she is the only person who can make a diagnosis and potentially make your pet better or even possibly save their life. Your pet deserves every chance at a long and healthy life.

    • Martha Clausen

      Concerned, you are so right….if you think you need the vet you do, so get in the car, with the sick dog or cat and go.

      Don’t ask your friends or try to treat yourself, because you don’t know what it is.

      Hugs…Martha C

  3. Lorraine

    omg I was feeding my dogs that, and my cocker spaniel lost so much weight (we were able to see each rib my shih tzu was throwing up at least 2 x’s a week….I switched their food and both are doing better tho Bailey (cocker spaniel) needs to really put on more weight…. I had no idea about their food. :-(

    • Frank Romo

      Hello, I just read your post, I’ve been feeding my dog Benefuls. He’s been eating it for over a year and I just heard about these dog fatalities. What food did you change for your dog? I ‘m taking my dog in for a blood work up and hope he’s fine, he hasn’t shown any symtoms of the above mention complaints. Although he did throw up his food three weeks ago for morning feeding. But as of now he’s doing well. Wow, this is too much.
      Thank you,
      Frank Romo

    • Mary

      My pug, Angel, was checked out the day before I changed her food to Beneful and she was a healthy dog with normal blood sugar level. I changed her to Beneful Healthy Weight in hopes that she would drop a few pounds. I took her in for a nail trim and weight check…she had lost 7 lbs in 4 mths. I thought it was a good thing and continued to feed her the dog food until she began throwing it up. I took her to the vet and she had los another 2 lbs. Total of 9 lbs within 6 mths. The vet said this was a lot of weight loss and wanted to re-check her blood to make sure nothing else was causing the weight loss. To my surprise her blood sugar was 470 (normal is 120)and she was diagnosed with diabetes. Now, remind you this was normal prior to the food change. On 3-13-13 she was diagnosed with diabetes and now gets insulin shots twice a day and by 3-19-13 she was totally blind with cataracts caused by the diabetes. I am at a total loss and just trying to deal with my precious dog being blind. I am hoping and praying that she is a candidate for cataract surgery but first we have to get her sugar level well controlled. Glad you were able to realize the best thing for your dog was to switch her/him off of Beneful because it caused a more serious problem. Best of luck!

      • Interested Pet Owner

        Thank you for posting this WARNING to every other Reader out there! I am so, so, sorry to hear about your poor Pug’s health issues and suffering. I know this is a gut-wrenching experience for you. I can not understand how this “food” has been allowed to stay on the market. I have been reading this site for YEARS, and only a few other PFs show up consistently as being absolutely dangerous and life threatening in the short run. Beneful has topped the list recently!
        .
        Here are the ingredients: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal****, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls*, whole wheat flour, rice flour, chicken, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), water, meat and bone meal, PROPYLEN GLYCOL, SUGAR, animal digest, dicalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, tricalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried carrots, dried green beans, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Vitamin E supplement, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, FOOD COLORING Yellow 5, ferrous sulfate, FOOD COLORING Red 40, manganese sulfate, FOOD COLORING Yellow 6, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, FOOD COLORING Blue 2, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite. [[[**** Read more about this ingredient at this link – http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/learn-the-truth-about-pet-food-ingredients
        .
        Susan Thixton’s PF reviews focus on the first 5 ingredients that are listed on a package, because the others usually don’t amount to much of a contribution to the food. In creating a “healthy weight” formula how could Purina’s Vets/Researchers possibly sanction a weight REDUCING (not just maintenance) diet to include – CORN, SOYBEAN HULLS, WHOLE WHEAT & RICE FLOUR or a ratio of 4 carbohydrate (sugar producing elements) to 1 full protein source. That source being questionable at best since there’s no determination of how pure it is in the first place. If a human followed a diet with a 4 to 1 ratio of this type of ingredients, meaning four servings of STARCH, to 1 serving of a bunch of chopped up skin, bones, cartilege, and sprinkled in pieces of chicken meat (maybe) what would cause a person to actually LOSE weight? Particularly if that person already had a predispositition for Diabetes?
        .
        I am not condemning the buyer of this food. I AM condemning so-called professionals (including Purina itself) who would allow this food formula on the market and be allowed to advertise it as a remedy for weight lost!!!! THAT has to be an action that is against the law. It’s not just deceipt in advertising, it’s CRIMINAL advertising when it pushes an animal into full blown chronic disease. And – we haven’t even discussed that the most likely TOXIC element in this food is the moldy corn, which can be life threatening. Please tell me how these Pet Food Companies continue to get away with something so deadly?

        • Mary

          They continue to get away with harming our pets because like myself, most people do not “google” dog food until it is too late. AND because again people like myself, cannot afford to file a lawsuit against the company. I would in a minute if I could afford it because I do not want to hear of another pet/pet owner going through what Angel and I have been put through. It makes me sick to my stomach to know that there is nothing I can do to stop them from selling this food, except try to get the word out about what we have experienced. It is costing me so much to stay on top of caring for Angel that I cannot go out and hire a lawyer but I wish I could.

      • Mary

        Sadly, I am updating that my pug was not a candidate for cataract surgery because she soon developed Glaucoma and two weeks ago today, she had to have both of her eyes removed. Please go to http://www.GiveForward.com and help me by reading her story and feel free to help further by sharing it with others to possibly safe another dog from going through what my pug has had to deal with. When you go to Give Forward, please type in “Angel The Pug” and it should locate her page! Thanks to all for caring.

  4. Lissa

    I used to feed two of my Labs Beneful on a regular basis until I had read that they used rendered meat that had come from kill shelters and that the meat was tainted with the drugs used to euthanize those animals. So I changed. Economic times have been tough for our family at times and I have had to use Beneful in a pinch on a couple of occasions. All the while feeling horribly guilty about doing it. About 3 weeks ago I had to use it again and it really wasn’t worth it and will never go back to it again. I caused my yellow Labs paws to turn red after using it for a day and a half, and one of my other black Labs to itch so intensely that she had to be medicated to give her relief. I myself don’t consume GMO products or soy for that fact and I am deeply saddened that dog food company’s will use it to save a buck. It just shows that they aren’t advocates for our pets. I didn’t report this issue to anyone accept to friends and family. My Labs are back on the raw organic species appropriate diet and feeling much better. I just find it so discouraging when you report a problem and it falls on deaf ears. The best solution for myself I have found is to not use any of there products, toys included, and hit them in their pocket book. If enough of us do that then maybe they will change.

    • Lita and Cookie's Mom

      Lissa, our dog, Peach, had terrible problems with itching, as well. I always attributed it to living in FL, but I will bet that it had something to do with the Beneful. We had her on the “weight control” variety of Beneful, too, and she did lose weight on it, but was having chronic vomiting/regurgitation, as well as intermittent diarrhea , and finally, her death from a perforated gastric ulcer. The specialty clinic to which we took her competely dicounted our wished for a gastroduodenal endoscopy. I remember asking the vet who was appointed to “deal” with us after Peach’s death (even though she had nothing to do with Peach’s case) about the food,and she completely dismissed my concerns, stating that Purina was a good company and she fed her own dogs Purina. Talk about clueless. (and that is her job, to be informed on ALL aspects of a pet’s care, including nutrition) Thank God you put two and two together and stopped feeding the Beneful. I used to use Forti Flora for our cats, but am now very concerned about continuing to do so.

  5. Birdie

    I used to feed Beneful Healthy Growth but mine were all vomiting so I switched to another brand after feeding them home made for 2 weeks with no further vomiting.I seriously doubt the claims are false. I don’t think the people who complained knew to send their complaints to the FDA. It’s not like they put it on the news or in the papers that that is where you should complain.

  6. Kit

    Based on the ingrediants alone, I would never, ever feed this ”food” to my dogs. Whether or not this particular scandle is true or false, my dogs’ health comes first and that includes a species appropriate diet. Corn does not belong in any dog’s gut.

  7. Gina

    Please realize that a lot of people in industry would point the finger of fake complaints back at you or similar advocates (which would upset you I’m sure). From my experience, I have never heard of these type of tactics amongst companies, as it is extremely harmful to the industry as a whole. Please keep an open mind and don’t go down the mudslinging route just yet.

    • Gabrielle

      Feeding this food and some others(I never would feed any food without thoroughly checking). Getting your pets sick, throwing up or dying from certain types of food is not exactly mudslinging. Many years ago I lost my beautiful 3 year old cat because of some horrible food. We did not at the time have Susan to watch out for us. Thank God for Susan for keeping an eye on the companies who don’t really give a damn!

  8. Dianna

    My mother’s yorkie vomited for the first time since she adopted her (2 years ago) and got diarrhea that would not stop. She had to get medicine from the vet for it.

    Mom had been giving her a spoonful of Beneful beef daily for a few weeks and then switched to a chicken flavor when the sickness started. Of course we can’t be sure what caused it, but I’m not surprised at the complaints. Mom is now afraid to give her anything besides her dry food, Taste of the Wild. She doesn’t want to deal with leftover in cans, thus the Beneful in the first place.

  9. Jamie

    I’ve been feeding my toy poodle Beneful soft and kibbles for his entire 7yrs. He’s never been sick a day in his life. These accusations are total BS!!

    • Pacific Sun

      Again, my concern is keeping things balanced. There’s never been an accusation anywhere that “every” dog will be harmed by a particular food. These issues a wide spread among many brands but are often limited to “batches” (production runs) or even isolated bags. I very much believe that any single or multiple bags sitting among a huge amount of others, on a pallet or parked in the corner of a warehouse can be contiminated and turn toxic. Nobody watches this stuff 24/7. You can’t tell me there is already a rodent problem in a FOOD manufacturing plant. Think of how many points of contact from initial batching, to packaging, to storage, to warehousing, to trips in semi-trailers, where this food can (and is) exposed to anything under the sun. The point of these (legitimate) comments is only to give a “heads up” to people. If one person out of a thousand has had an issue, then more might be likely. As bad as Beneful is, compared to food that isn’t bad (and that’s just a REALITY, if in doubt check out Susan’s PetSumer Report with 2500 different formulas listed), it doesn’t mean the food will outright kill any pet. This time, (perhaps) it just turns out to be Beneful’s problem. Next week, some other, etc. Instead of wasting time attacking the messenger(s) we need to be grateful there are even watchdogs out there!

    • teena

      So,i guess,300 people are lieing..Beneful is full of sugar and dyes,and other cancer causing agents.WHY would you even feed this garbage.

    • Reader

      These are the ingredients in Beneful original — http://www.beneful.com/Products/Dry-Dog-Food/Original/
      ,
      Ingredients at issue include “meat and bone meal”, “propylene glycol”, “chicken by-product meal”, “artificial food colorings” among others. The issue with corn is that it’s genetically modified and doesn’t belong as the #1 ingredient in a dog’s diet. Please refer to Susan’s book for complete explanations of pet food (PF) ingredients and overall nutritional comments.
      ,
      Beneful has some of the most effective advertising out there. Some of it (that is, if it was accurately used in their own products) is actually educational. The wet menus look particularly appealing and are certainly the right idea!
      ,
      Unfortunately the negative personal experiences regarding Beneful are a red flag. I don’t believe in “numbers.” To me, 3000 is just as bad as 300 or 30 or 1 pet that has died as a result. What could be worth the loss of a companion?
      ,
      Even if your pet has no symptoms, contaminated batches of this food (or any other brand in question, where others have already reported on it) can strike at random and that’s the critical point. Your Toy Poodle could be fine one week, and in serious trouble the next. Once again unfortunately, any track record (and we should expect a lot more from Purina, once a leader in “animal feed” and research) can be broken. If you’re committed to Beneful, I would urge you to at least alternate among some other acceptable brands (once your Toy Poodle has been properly transitioned), read the Petsumer Report for those other alternatives, and consider a few days a week of “whole food” meals.
      ,
      The ingredients you see in the wet products (http://www.beneful.com/Products/Wet-Dog-Food/Beef-Chicken-Medley/ represents the kind of whole food you can feed yourself, with the assurance that it’s fully nutritious, fresh and uncompromised. Par-cook the veggies (no onions, garlic, greasy/fatty meats, or spices). Whole corn is hard to digest, but if used, should be non-GMO’d and shouldn’t be predominent in the meal. A very minute amount of corn oil could be used instead.
      ,
      When you really think about it, what reason would 300 people or a few people writing 300+ negative reports have to focus on Beneful, when Purina’s share of the sales market is virtually untouchable? The warnings are meant for a pet owner’s benefit to help avoid very unexpected heartbreak in the future. If you’re a pet supply store owner or employee, I guarantee you there are at least 10% of 2500+ other PF possibilities for consumers to buy! People can only benefit when education! So forward the message to others!!

    • Rhonda

      Jamie, these complaints are absolutely TRUE!!!!! I am a vet tech and have seen the results first hand!! It is gruesome to say the least. We have filed complaints with FDA and Purina, but to no avail~~they could care less. Class action law suit is the only answer, but at the moment we have severe health issues with family so no time. Will get to it eventually. You are very *LUCKY* your dog never got sick, just like humans, something in is body chemistry has kept him from getting ill. Good for him.

  10. Reader

    Oh come on people out there talking about Beneful!! And about contrived complaints for the purpose of making a dent in the competition’s business! People with nothing better to do writing bogus complaints? Sure. People wanting blame one (or any) pet food just because it’s there? Of course. People mad because they’re out a “buck”? Absolutely. But if the chicken jerky treat mess, Diamond recall, and other countless number of defective product issues for the last five years, haven’t already put a “dent” in the competition’s business, not much else will. So why would a comment from an inexperienced, uninformed consumer, who is using “Consumer Affairs” to begin with, have much weight anyway? Why would somebody equally naive be consulting “Consumer Affairs” before they buy (of all pet foods) Beneful? Beneful probably doesn’t have to worry about one day’s worth of lost sales. It thrives on it’s happy-go-lucky-all-about-fun advertising and the Purina name. All the while using the worst of the worst ingredients not even counting the questionable protein. And w.Why would a consumer who was already tied to Beneful even care about “evaluating” pet food? Except to complain that they’ve “wasted” money on a “bad product” that happened to make their dog sick! The Beneful comments here seem a bit shallow. And again, why involve TAPF with them? Good opportunity?? Few pet foods will turn any pet’s fur “red” quite that quickly, or make a dog instantaneously itch! Why would anyone go from using Beneful (yes, it is full of corn) who is already against GMO’d foods (being that corn is the leader) even touch Beneful, when there are hundreds of economical alternatives, with less obnoxious ingredients? Except they are less advertised. I’m (well maybe not really) sorry. But a group of these comments here seem contrived, with same view points and language. If they’re trying to further slam Beneful, save your keystrokes. Because by the time people discover the purpose of TAPF, they’re w’aaay beyond needing anymore convincing. By all means, continue feeding “raw appropriate species diet.” Or any decent diet, thanks so much.

  11. Sonia Wells

    So, since you’re writing an “objective” article about the issues with the Beneful line of Purina products, I assume that you attempted to contact pet owners who reported issues with the food line to Purina. Funny, though, that you didn’t mention any information that you gleaned from those conversations.

    Well, you are hearing from one of those pet owners now. I lost my beloved rottweiler, Chloe, two weeks ago. She died in my arms after a week of vet visits and tests. Her symptoms included seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, bloat, lethargy, and raised liver enzymes (off the chart levels). She was miserable. Actually, miserable is not nearly strong enough of a word to describe the torture this wonderful, loving dog suffered.

    Before she got sick she was energetic, playful, and healthy. After we bought her the latest bag of Beneful she started vomiting, she became very lethargic, and stopped eating her food. She would eat any treats we gave her, but not her food. Because of that, we suspected the issue may be the food, so we bought her a bag of a different brand. Unfortunately, it was too late. Beneful had done its damage. She wouldn’t even attempt to eat the new food.

    We called the vet and the FIRST thing we mentioned to them was the possibility of the food being the issue. Since there was NO RECALL on the food, the vet dismissed this as a likely cause. They started a series of tests on her. They did a barium test and saw that her stomach was so inflamed that no food could pass through it; the exit point was all but closed off. Food couldn’t pass, and liquids barely trickled out. Her colon was also “spastic” and extremely irritated. The vet said she had never seen anything like it before.

    After a few days of tests and medications they still didn’t know the cause and were making guesses as to what might be causing her illness. We ended up having to make the heart wrenching decision to put her to sleep on January 3 because she was so miserable, and at that point would not even drink water anymore.

    Earlier this week we saw the article you mentioned that laid out the Beneful issue, and we relived the situation all over again when we saw that all of her symptoms were listed in that article. We are now working with the vet who treated her to assess the situation and Beneful’s part in our dog’s death.

    You may want to dismiss the claims that people are making, but unless you want to have the lives of all of these dogs who are getting sick and/or dying on your head, I wouldn’t continue to spread your ignorant assessments and character assassinations on the internet, which may give a false sense of security to pet owners who still feed their dogs Beneful. While their dogs may not have gotten sick YET, that does not mean that they won’t. After all, we had our Chloe on Beneful for a couple years. She didn’t get sick UNTIL she got sick and died. Get it? Just because it hasn’t happened YET doesn’t mean it WON’T!

    Also, just because people haven’t reported the issue to the FDA doesn’t mean it’s not real. I contacted Purina via Facebook, but have not gone farther than that yet because I want to be well informed when I do. Also, from what I understand, people are being encouraged to report the issue to Consumer Affairs, and not necessarily the FDA. I posted about it on my Facebook page and got TONS of feedback from friends about their dogs, or family/friends dogs who had gotten sick from eating the brand, and several of them died.

    Ask yourself why you choose to defend Purina, who just recently had to recall several lines of treats. If those lines were found to be bad, why do you still automatically assume that Beneful is fine? That makes no sense. Ask how long it took Purina to recall those lines. Ask how many dogs had to get sick and DIE before they finally pulled them. Ask how many dogs Purina will allow to suffer and die before they finally recall the Beneful line.

    Several pet stores are taking this brand off the shelves because they CARE about the dogs. Shame on anyone who doesn’t take this seriously.

    • Susan Thixton

      Sonia,
      I did not, would not, could not defend Purina/Beneful. That was not the point of this article – defending anyone. Many people had emailed me the story (Examiner.com story) and asked me if I knew what was going on. I contacted the FDA to see what they would tell me. If the FDA was honest with me – only having a small handful of reports to them on this food – then there is a huge problem (either way). Which is, few people reporting sick or dying pets to the only people that can get the food off store shelves. ConsumerAffairs.com can’t get the pet food off store shelves. Their site might help bring awareness, but awareness doesn’t stop more pets from eating a contaminated food.
      I always defend pet owners (perhaps you are new to this site), never in defense of a pet food company. I go to regulatory meetings and try to work with authorities to make this industry a safer place for pet food consumers – not industry. I’m sorry you misinterpreted my post – again, it was not in defense of this pet food company – not in the least.

      • Sonia Wells

        Thank you for your response. I am, in fact, new to the site. Your article was posted in a Facebook group for people who are concerned about the quality of Purina products, and what those products are doing to our fur babies. Rest assured, these are people grieving for their pets, they are NOT people who are affiliated with the pet food industry and looking to sink a competitor. That is a dangerous assertion.

        I may have misinterpreted what you meant to say in your article, but I went back and reread it and I have to say that the article seems to attack the validity of the reports and those making the reports more than it raises an alarm that pets are dying.

        My opening paragraph was aimed directly at you, yes. However, the latter comments were directed at the people who commented on your article who were dismissing the complaints as “bs” and accusing the grieving pet owners of being liars and of being part of a conspiracy to take down a competitor.

        The very first comment to the article focused solely on Consumer Affairs and showed absolutely NO concern for these beloved pets who are being allowed to die by a company who is only looking out for their bottom line. That is unacceptable to me.

        Let me tell you, if you saw your dog go through what my precious Chloe when through, you would go to the gates of hell to fight for justice. That food needs to be recalled now. Nothing I do can bring back my girl, but I will fight every day to stop it from killing someone else’s pet.

        • Susan Thixton

          Actually Sonia, a Purina product killed one of my dogs 20+ years ago and this got me started on this path to advocate for pet owners. I have been there and I understand the pain and know that this changes a person forever.

          I don’t believe anyone was dismissing the complaints. What people question is the tactics used by ConsumerAffairs.com charging companies to respond to complaints. Most of the people that follow this site/support this site are soley on the side of the pet parent. Many if not most of the people that follow this site have learned the hard lesson from pet food too. We do understand and we fight (and have been fighting for years) for this madness to stop.

          But again, if anyone wants this to stop – these deaths and illnesses have to be reported. Further, regulations have to change, enforcement of existing regulations has to occur.

          They (Big Pet Food) don’t pay much attention to the complaints on the ConsumerAffairs.com website – but you can be certain they care a great deal when FDA comes knocking on their door.

          I can’t say it enough…if your pet gets sick and you believe it is food or treat related – report it to FDA and to your State Department of Agriculture.

        • Susan Thixton

          Sonia – an idea perhaps you can help me with. You said you were in a Facebook group for people who are concerned about the quality of Purina products – would you post in that group for anyone that filed an FDA complaint regarding Beneful to provide you (or me) with their case numbers? If the FDA is not being forthcoming with the small amount of complaints they told me they received, I would like to give them these case numbers and ask what about these complaints. It doesn’t make sense for ConsumerAffairs to have so many and FDA have so few – if FDA did not provide me with full information, I’d like to share that with readers.

        • Concerned

          “The very first comment to the article focused soley on Consumer Affairs and showed absolutely NO concern for these beloved pets … .”
          Well first of all, you’re only seeing a small snapshot of “all” “these” beloved pets. Unfortunately Mollie and Susan have doing their work for years. Being new to TAPF and honestly admitting so, then …(with a smile!) … you need to be “introduced” to Mollie Morrissette who made the comment!! She needs no defense from anyone. However in combination with Susan Thixton, both are probably THE most concered pet owners out there. They have proven their love and concern by dedicating their lives to research, evidence gathering, warnings and enlightenment. Both do so, first out of the greatest possible sense of compassion. And secondly, without compensation, other than voluntary donations from readers! Both have been in dire straights as a result. Both carry on in spite of hardship. Mollie has read many a story about other owners such as yourself, as have so many of the TAPF readers. Although we are always heartbroken, we are not surprised (unfortunately and so saddly). Not everyone “replies” with an individual and personal sympathy note, but others do. The level of concern and empathy is no different. Mollie’s intention is always to educate and support. Sometimes it’s necessary to jump right into a subject (particularly one generating so much passion AND repeated frustration!) JUST to get people’s attention! I made the same mistake about CA, and benefitted from reading the truth. The CA website can be deceiving, if it’s not fully understood. Especially if a company is paying for the opportunity to refute comments, and somehow the website gives that “advantage” to the paying client. The fear is (or the point of the comment) is that to encourage more companies to participate (or order to protect their image) that “inaccurate” controversy is intentional. That assumption can only be controlled through the website sponsor and it’s their business. However, it never hurts for the general reader to take a second look, and just keep that fact in mind. Thank goodness for the honesty of TAPF. Why people so mistrust that honesty from time to time completely escapes me.

          • Susan Thixton

            Thanks Concerned!!!

          • Susan Thixton

            And couldn’t agree more with what you stated about Mollie! She is the best!

          • Mollie Morrissette

            Aaaww, I love you to! No, YOU are the best. Really. What on earth would consumers do without you?

          • Mollie Morrissette

            Bless your cotton pickin’ heart. I love you too!

    • Pacific Sun

      This is probably not an appropriately “mixed” comment, but I’ll continue with the best of intentions offered anyway.
      _____________________________________________________
      First, every single reader, not to mention the author, can more than empathize with a grieving pet owner. I’ve been following TAPF for 5+ years and the stories shared here are GUT wrenching. I think they make readers absolutely more determined than ever to fight the system, to defend our own pets, and MOST especially to continue educating especially the less experienced readers. This is always the purpose of my own replies, at least.
      ____________________________________________________
      It appears one purpose of the article written was to remind people that upon suspicion of a sick pet the places to START are: 1) with the Vet, 2) to know the recent history including the diet, 3) especially in conjunction with the Vet, to REPORT the problem to the FDA. Not only because of the FDA database, but because if the problem is going to turn into a recall (or advisory), then accumulating (and corroborating) data is critical. Also because it’s the FDA’s responsibility to KNOW and to ACT. 4) It is also important to have the food TESTED, meaning the bag should always be kept while the pet is eating the food.
      _____________________________________________________
      The second point of the article is to say that Consumer Affairs (while convenient and web friendly) simply doesn’t work the same way as reporting to the FDA. (My own opinion included here) because CA is easily Google’d, user friendly, is so visible to other readers, and seems to be all about “consumer’s … affairs”, the site does attract it’s share of participants, often before they are either aware of, or knowlegable about the FDA. So again, Susan’s article is here only to INFORM. And therefore the method often starts with a general controversy. CA seems less regulated, or rather just more impersonal, and so it seems that “sick” people who have nothing better to do, can unfortunately take advantage of the system. But that doesn’t mean that every report is bogus, any more than every single FDA report doesn’t need further investigation. But, that’s what the FDA is responsible for doing. It also interfaces with Vets and is a useful resource for them.
      __________________________________________________
      Thirdly, it’s been determined that Consumer Affairs is not entirely objective because it takes some income from brand names who want to have the opportunity to rebut reports. The CA site also displays much “featured” (as opposed to scrolling) pet food advertising! It’s my opinion that it’s necessary to separate the FUNCTION of a site, with the ACTIVITY of the readers. The primary role of TAPF is education and safety alerts, and most particularly (which won’t be found in very many other places)is in terms of being PROACTIVE with research and reporting. So, a great benefit, is that while readers are reporting their issues here, and sharing, and comparing, and offering warnings, this site can and does continue to look further into the matter. Often with a follow up story. Certainly, none of that happens with CA because it lacks that structure. Unfortunately with the FDA, we would wish that reports would be available to the general public. But I believe some who are credentialed do have it.
      ___________________________________________________
      Finally, I think it’s being implied that just because there’s a range of Beneful accusations, not all are taken seriously. That’s just not true. As far as I’m concerned if I see too many reports against any of the major brands, I think twice anyway. Who needs that worry when there are thousands of choices out there?! The bottom line is, that Pet owners devoted to this forum, are extremely supportive and compassionate. But they’re also savvy and don’t suffer fools either. When people with nothing better to do, start making ridiculous conversation, then that’s a waste of everybody’s time, and they’ll be called out. Unfortunately there’s no way to prevent it.
      ____________________________________________________
      At this point, the most important thing happening at all, is that there is even a discussion ABOUT Beneful!! Surely (if not absolutely) your experience seems to top the chart of heartbreak and frustration and anger, serving as that much more proof that a product, DESPITE all it’s cutesy advertising AND the Purina name — can do such incredible damage! Know that inspite of your pain, suffering and well warranted anger, you’ve done a service to others, just by showing them how bad a pet food really can be. The more stories coming out like this, only make more people convinced to distrust brands and corporations and all the glitsy adversting meant to mislead them. And most importantly it’s makes them want to be cautious about symptoms emerging related to diet. To owners, if in doubt, DON’T wait, investigate. Even if a food’s been in use for years — it only takes ONE bag (or batch) to become a life threatening event for your own pet. The Vet expenses can be overcome; the loss of the pet never replaced!
      ____________________________________________________
      Thank you for sharing; it’s appreciated and people will NOT forget your experience!!

      • Sonia Wells

        Thank you for your replies. I don’t mean to be combative. Obviously this has been an extremely painful experience for my family, and my emotions are riding high. I meant no disrespect.

        I did go to the fda’s site. At this time I don’t think it would be useful for me to f:le my report, as I want to be as thorough as possible with the information that I provide them. Once I have sorted out the details with my vet I will fill out a report, and ask them to do so also.

        To be clear, I do not doubt that the fda is being honeat about the reports they have receives. However, I would guess the reason they have less complaints are the amount of detail they ask for and that it’s easier to report to CA. Just a guess.

        I will see what info I can gather from the group for you. And, I will certainly preas my friends to gather the info on their pets and report it to the fda.
        Thanks, again,
        for your replies.

        • Sonia Wells

          Sorry for the typos. Posting from my phone this time.

        • Susan Thixton

          Thanks Sonia – that will be helpful.

      • Mollie Morrissette

        Great comments as always. Have you ever considered advocacy work, because you are a natural (hint, hint).

        People misunderstood my dislike of CA.

        Their business model is built around consumer complaints: Complaints that can respond to if they fork over the cash. It’s a racket.

        CA forwards complaints and the names of those consumers to companies who have signed up for “Consumer Affairs for Brands” plan.

        CA’s oily pitch makes my skin crawl:

        “Consumer Affairs for Brands is a platform that helps businesses manage their reputation, increase revenue, and drive customer engagement by capturing and amplifying user-generated content.”

        Gee, sounds great doesn’t it?

        Why, just imagine how much money the FDA could make if they charged companies to manage their brand image?

        How credible is a consumer advocacy site that profits from the consumer’s complaints? And they do profit from your pain – make no mistake about it.

        That is not to say that not every single complaint is from an actual consumer, but that they profit from their tragedy is unconscionable.

        Their business model, as I said before, is an invitation for abuse, corruption and fraud.

        If anyone thinks for a second that I am defending pet food manufacturers – think again – I am no friend of the pet food industry.

        After all, the name of my website, Poisoned Pets, should tell you all you need to know about my philosophy.

        • Mollie Morrissette

          Correction: Complaints can be responded to or fixed if companies fork over the cash (and lots of it). It’s known as extortion.

    • Beth

      My dog died shortly after Christmas of the same symptoms you are describing and we had him on the green bag of Purina Dog Chow. It was horrible, we wondered food but didn’t know for sure. We are now sure it was the food and know of two others that have lost dogs on the Purina Dog Chow.

      • Lisa

        I too changed my dogs food to Purina Dog Chow in the green bag. She started having diarrhea (bloody), vomiting and just depressed looking. Now after 300 dollars in doctor bills, I have to find her something else to eat that Punina doesn’t make.

      • Terra

        PLEASE PLEASE report this to the FDA!

  12. Jillian

    I own a pet business, and have been quite concerned about these comments. I looked into the matter, and spoke with some of the people who have lost their pets. The stories are very detailed, and these people are heartbroken. I know we always have to looks at both sides, but since I started this business I have found most dog lovers to be VERY truthful/honest. There are too many reports for this to be a scam, and the ingredients couldn’t be any worse!

    • Sonia Wells

      Thank you, Jillian, for taking this matter seriously! We need people out there looking out for the well being of our fur babies!

  13. Allison Nicolas

    This is a very sad issue. Either way you’ve interpreted this post by Susan you should realize that Big Pet Food companies should never be supported. As consumers we should never buy this food. If you believe it’s making pets sick why would you feed it? If you believe the Big Pet Food companies are just trying to bash eachother to get your business then why would you feed it? Why would anyone want to support a business like that?

    Consumers need better education about what their pets (and themselves!) are eating. I wish pet food companies would be required to label their bags with a big: READ THE INGREDIENTS BEFORE FEEDING ANY FOOD TO YOUR PET!! Then they couldn’t hide behind pictures and ads that falsely claim to keep your pets healthy and happy…

    I worked in pet stores for years. I was lucky enough to have access to read ingredient labels all day. Any ingredient I had never heard of or didn’t understand I would research. That’s actually how I ended up at this site in the first place :)

    The info is there. Please do your research before selecting a food for your pets. If cost is a concern homemade pet food usually ends up being even cheaper than premade foods. Put the time aside to provide the best nutrition you can. All pets are different and have different needs and many medical conditions can be cleared up with a proper diet.

    Big Companies (human and pet) don’t really care about consumers that much. They will always take the cheapest and most convenient route. Please don’t do the same for your pet.

    Thank you Susan and Mollie :) I know you are here for the right reason…to educate consumers!!

    • Susan Thixton

      Thanks Allison!!!

    • Eyes Wide Open

      Agree completely. Have to admit. I transitioned from disbelief to denial. From annoyance to anger. For years I kept reading the ingredients of the top 10-15 least offensive pet foods. Kept consulting the Petsumer Report. Tried 5 of them on a consistent basis. Still kept reading TAPF. Little issues would creep up, major ones, manufacturing mistakes, defects, mislabeling and DNA testing results. Read the story on ingredients I’d been living with for years!! Like Carraggeenan. And plastic lined cans. Imported vitamins and minerals and synthetics. There just was never any way to win. I have an older dog. He needs to stay healthy for as long as possible. I have a youngster dog and now it’s a chance to start from fresh using everything learned! In the end I could “live” with only one commercial brand (from the 2013 List) and tentatively one runner up. And feed as much whole food as the schedule permits. Crunched the numbers. The cost is actually the same, considering the ingredients are pure, unadulterated, balanced and in a primary nutritional state! People are so afraid of trying. Yet (as long you eliminate grease, fat, spicey and toxic) there’s almost no way to do any worse than the useless brands out there. Dogs have survived on scraps for decades.

  14. Thanks for this Susan, Mollie and all you contributors -I just ordered the list -because I've always read labels when purchasing food for myself or family I started off carefully with my puppy who is going on two years- he's been fine and I'm looking forw

    Thanks Susan,Mollie and all of you contributors -Since I’ve been reading labels for 50-some years I did the same for my puppy who is now going on two. I’ve ordered the List and am hoping there will be info on treats. Is there any info on “shelf-life”.Are any of you using a raw-food approach? Is there a blog I should use for this kind of comment?

  15. LATEST INFORMATION ON ALL THE RECENT PET RECALLS | Healthy Pet Network Blog

    [...] The Consumer Affairs website reports hundreds of pet owner complaints of sick dogs after eating Beneful dog food. A recent post on Examiner.com shared the same startling information regarding Beneful. However an inquiry sent to FDA does not match the number of complaints posted on the Consumer Affairs website. Here’s what the FDA stated… http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/fda-information-regarding-beneful-complaints [...]

  16. Janice Zilm

    I have been feeding Beneful to my Yorkie for years and thought it was healthy because it had vegetables in it. My Yorkie, Katie Rose, has developed seizures and now I wonder if Beneful could be the cause. Has anyone else experienced a dog with seizures because of feeding this brand?
    Now I intend to change brands – not sure what is a good brand.

    • Jess

      Beneful is not at all an appropriate food for any animal. It doesn’t even contain meat. Not does it contain one of those nicely pictured veges on the bag. Read the label. This is one of the worst foods on the market but due to their exorbant amount of $$ they spent on marketing they have many people fooled. There is no meat in the food, and the little rendering of meat that is in there is a mixture of road kill, shelter pets and god knows what. Go to a nice local pet store (not the supermarket) and find a nice holistic food to feed your yorkie. Subscribe to the whole dog journal (wholedogjournal.com) as well as the petsumer report and learn about how to pick a quality dog food. Small dogs like yorkies are so sensitive to their diets. I feed my yorkie mix natures logic and Orijen (we rotate). Also consider giving a good quality omega 3 fatty acid suppliment such as nordic naturals which you can find at whole foods or earthfare. Please stop feeding this food to your little one now and get her the nutrition she needs. Do not let the vet dupe you into buying science diet food either, it is no better and often causes more problems. I was a vet tech for years as saw dogs have even worse problems after being put on SD to correct a problem. Email me any time and I can help you figure out what to feed, and very good supplements to add that will help her live a longer healthier life. Also, go to traciehotchner.com and listen to the live call in show Tuesday nights– you can listen on the computer link and call in with any questions regarding your Dogs health, behavior, nutrition, etc.

      Sorry for rambling, hope this is helpful. I know pet food can be very confusing and the pet food industry purposely misleads us on this.

      • Martha Clausen

        Hi Jess, I too would not feed Beneful to my worst enemy, but on the sweet lady with the little Yorkie, please, please, since you are going to be changing foods quickly, please put a teaspoon of pumpkin in her dish for a while, otherwise you will be dealing with a lot of diarrhea while she is eliminating the toxins in the Beneful.

        Don’t beat yourself up, education is power. I have been reading dog food bags before it was common, and I used to feed Innova, but they were purchased by Proctor and Gamble and I cannot in good concious feed anything that is owned by a company that tests on animals, regardless of what their commercials show, that Dawn deoils ducks, and things.

        Please support Susan’s research and her cause to keep our pet’s healthy. Don’t buy Science Diet either, because the food they will recommend to you to stop seizures, contains ethoxyquin that causes seizures. I worked for over 5 years for 2 different holistic veterinarians, and before Innova was purchased by P&G, they were they only food that was not involved in the massive recall in 2007.

        I am now feeding my 10 year old Doberman Pinscher, Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato and supplementing with a local company’s (Zamzow’s) canned meet products. We also purchase their treats. I am not going to feed chicken to Ziggy, my main man, ever again, because of what has been going on lately. I love my man, I lost my other Doberman due to bone cancer at age 10 1/2 and I cannot properly mourn her loss as I am Ziggy’s rock and he is mine.

        How much does your Yorkie weigh?

        Love….Martha
        and leans and love from Ziggy
        and my Congo African Grey, Cyrus who is 5

        • Reader

          You’re one of the few who mentions Ethoxyquin. I’ve been down the path before with NB and Ethoxyquin. Be aware they’ve not always been forthright about. Tho they claim the food is “E” free now. The problem is PF companies aren’t required to state the origin of ingredients of 3rd party supplier prior to delivery. Fish and fish meal supplies use “E” as a preservative. NB once said to me, that they had no choice but in accepting the 3rd party product as supplied, then that there was no alternative to its use, and lastly that it was “required” to be used … all side stepping the greater issue involved. Eventually them came under so much pressure that their story about “E” has changed entirely. I worry how much leverage a receiving company has over it’s supplier, or if agreements are contractual and and reliable. Who knows how the outside vending resources are run, if shortages ever occur, and alternatives must be found. Unfortunately the PF companies don’t communicate their best practices to insure safety firewalls are in place. Orijen has stated on their package that the Fish Formula is Ethoxyquin free and have written the same in an email, so I’m more inclined to go with their brand. Regarding other formulas NB has had some specific (and extremely serious) issues, as reported by dissatisfied consumers. Yes, there is a controversy about where these reports appear, but when so many complaints are made about very similiar situations, it would make me feel much more cautious.

    • Reader

      Some research indicates seizures can be an inherited predisposition to the condition. Sometimes it can manifest uniquely. My dog’s sire was retired (rehomed) due to seizures. Some of my dog’s litter-mates also manifested. My dog perhaps did twice (though it was indefinite and never diagnosed). Knowing his genetic background I was obsessed with feeding him the best quality food, figuring out that excessive chemicals, additives, synthetics, leading to a deficient nutrient profile couldn’t balance his system and metabolism properly. In the beginning I used very high quality supplements. As I began worrying about the origin of those, I used Orijen Fish Formula for many years. Then to raw, and now minimally processed meat and whole food. Nature’s Logic is a backup and I recommend it. Hopefully Orijen (as promised) will submit their Pledge. Then I’d be happy to recommend it to others, although my friends do use it because it’s easier to find than Natures Logic! As the other reader encouraged, please go to a local (non-chain) pet supply store, work with them. Most likely they’ll be happy to order whatever you decide upon. Thank you for caring!!

  17. Jess

    Aside from the horrid ingredients in Beneful, the sheer lack of protein and ridiculous amounts of sugar and carbs caused a recent friend of mine’s 10 year old dog (who ate this food his whole life) to develop type 2 diabetes. When she came to me for advise, I gave her a “real” food to put him on that she can afford and the dog is now off of insulin. What I don’t understand is how foods like this can be considered to meet the nutritional requirements of a dog when the ingredients (from china or not, containing other toxins or not) actually DO NOT meet the dogs needs nutritionally and cause disease. I looked at the ingredient list on the bag and couldn’t find a meat source on there at all! Dogs aren’t chickens, they don’t run off of corn and the sweepings of the floor! Beneful and foods like it should never have been allowed to find its way on the shelves and to false advertise with the beautiful bag picture they clearly spent all of their money on.

    • Pacific Sun

      Thank you for illustrating this issue with a real anecdote. This is exactly what Susan is trying to get fixed by attending the AAFCO meetings. Meaning to push forward accurate labeling in plain english. Not a chemical identify for a “sugar” or a “corn” ingredient, but exactly what it is that a consumer can understand. Furthermore, to post percentages not at minimum levels, but also at maximum levels. Someone else wrote that pet food testing trials on dogs is no longer permitted. I don’t know if this is true. But if so, then how in the world could a pet food be evaluated for meeting (or failing to) the nutritional needs of the dog, if you can’t test a dog’s blood before and after? And that would only be the 1st level of deceit. Simply stating it meets AAFCO’s requirements is the 2nd, because what do AAFCO’s supposed requirements even mean?? If companies would clearly identify ingredients at a fundamental level (and eliminate fracturing) consumers could make choices. That’s where education is imperative. Ooops, guess that’s why the PFI fights “tooth and nail” any changes and improvements. I’d give anything to know how it was ever determined that “corn” is a suitable “feed” for dogs, when wolves have never had corn in their diet. If it isn’t any good for cattle (and it isn’t, much worse is GMO’d corn) then how could it POSSIBLY be suitable for a dog!?

  18. Adam

    Hi,

    I would agree that there is a vested interest in consumer affairs to provide incentive for business to join to clear their name, so to speak.

    However, the reason I believe this isn’t really the case is because no one is really pushing a competitive product. Normally a shill will shill for a group or competing product.

    308 Complaints out of 300 million Americans is less than nothing in the grand scheme of things, but these are 308 people who have lost their friend and companion due to what they think is faulty food. Too many ring with the same level of sincerity to be all fabrications.

    I believe that many people would not complain to the FDA as most government offices turn a blind eye to the public. Few in the public actually have any faith in the government or their ability to actually act on complaints. So I am not surprised at all that the complaints to the FDA are minimal.

    I for one will not buy Purina based on the complaints I have read. Since I’m Canadian, my complaint to the US FDA would not even be heard anyway.

    Thanks for your time with the article, every little bit helps.

    • Reader

      Wow, a very decent perspective especially from a reader outside the US. I have no idea how “shills” work. But if one posted a bogus story and then said how they were using another product instead, and that appeared in the 308 complaints or any portion of them, then that pattern would be detected. Besides, when your pet has suffered a life threatening or ending event, you’re working out of shock, and probably not think about identifying another “brand” of PF. As you say, 308 out of millions of sales seems miniscule in the marketplace. So the bigger question is, did Purina pay the website to erase more complaints that would’ve represented a larger percentage of something like 3000, or 30,000 incidents instead? But numbers alone don’t describe the whole picture. More likely is that a couple of bags per pallet, or cornered in a warehouse, or transported in a dirty semi-trailer, get saturated with some horribly toxic substance, which is oderless and unseen. It could be in the form of vapor or spray which would only take a minute bit to contaminate. I have also seem many mechanical rodent boxes (sitting under shrugs, and in the coves of buildings trying to be hidden as best as possible). Someone must attend this system, and who knows what’s involved in servicing the modules? Also possible is a contaminated live rodent entering the food processing system (or yes, getting scraped into the batching process) that may haven already eaten rodent poison, and thus contaminating only smaller batches of food. I think there are endless possibilities. Because the PFI doesn’t communicate industry practices to the public, then who knows what “quality and protection” firewalls are meant to prevent incidents from happening? You can’t sample every bag off the belt. One thing is concrete however, that after eating certain commercial food, there are some pets who get violently ill and some just don’t survive treatment. It isn’t a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of scrupulous oversight which every pet and consumer deserves. When did anyone last read that a jar of babyfood “killed” a child???

  19. cathy

    Just wanted to share a few things with everyone. First of all, thank you to Susan for all of your hard work. I only found out a week ago they mysterious skin problems that resulted in the death of my last shihtzu Gus, and the illness of my current shihtzu, Max, were caused by allergies to Beneful Dog Food. I have been investigating for a week and I have accumulated more info than I ever thought was out there. Now I am even more angry at Purina because they have known about this issue and have done NOTHING. Gus didn’t have to die. Had Max’s groomer not told me what was causing his skin problems, there is little doubt in my mind he would have got a whole lot worse or maybe even died. He has been off Beneful for a week and is healing. No more scratching and he is so active, there are times he absolutely wears me out. Oh what a difference!

    So anyway, I called Purina and reported the allergies and death or Gus. You already know I got the same diarrhea they give to everyone but it was wrapped in a very nice package named JoAnn. I don’t think she even believed what she was telling me. I hope they pay her a lot because I wouldn’t want to listen to people telling me the same stories over and over. I told her, “If you send me coupons, I am going to be REALLY mad.” I will let you know what, if anything, I hear back from them.

    I filed a report to Consumer Affairs and am waiting to see if they post it. Interesting to note they asked my opinion of CA and they posted that right away.

    Next was the FDA. After reading what Susan said in regards to all of the reports to CA but only 2 to the FDA, I realized just how important that report is. Please, if you have been affected by feeding your dog Beneful, PLEASE report it to the FDA! That is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do! In light of that, I would like to give you some tips for using that site.

    First of all, I suggest you create an account. That way, you will be able to come back and keep better track of your report. It is only a matter of answering some questions so it’s not that hard although I found it confusing. You can, however, file a report as a guest. That would be a lot easier but I wanted to be able to check back on it. Either way is fine, just please do it. There is no option to call the FDA…just filling out the report online or by email. If you have more than one pet affected you have to fill out a report for each animal. They want to know all about any vet visits you might have had and the vet info. Product info, if you have it. There is a place to add photos and other evidence but I think I will email all of that, if they want it. I have pictures and vet reports and the last bag (open) I bought. Basically, they want a lot of information so it will be a lot faster and easier if you assemble all that first. It isn’t hard to do and Susan gives you the link in her article above. Apparently, Purina isn’tgoing to do anything about their product on their own, WE have to FORCE them. Menwhile, how many pets are going to be sacrificed?

    Not incidentally,our cat has had skin problems off and on for years. She is such a picky eater it is hard to find something she likes. Her skin will clear up and her coat is gorgeous. Then she scratches herself raw and loses her fur. We finally got her all cleared up but I noticed two weeks ago, she had a scab on her back. Today
    she has multiple open lesions from scratching. Since she is my husband’s cat, he is the one who has been feeding her and I can’t say I ever asked what he feeds her. (she won’t even eat eggs or canned food. Today I saw he has been feeding her Frisky Grillers…by PURINA. I looked at the ingredients, and just like the dog food, corn is the first one. We are changing her food and will let you know what happens.

    I had the worst time trying to get Max to eat a different brand from Beneful. He has a sweet tooth…LOVES blueberries more than anything! I wonder, since corn is sweet, and that is the most abundant ingredient, if any other dogs have been hesitant to eat non grain brands? Finally got him to eat a different brand by not feeding him anything else. Even put gravy on it and the little brat licked the gravy off and left the kibbles.

    If you lost a dog (or cat) or have had one of your pets get sick, PLEASE help stop this. PLEASE report it to the FDA and tell everyone you know! Sorry so long. Will keep everyone updated. Tomorrow I call the PA dept of Agriculture. I really wish an agressive, motivated attorney would see all of this and help us file a class action suit. I can wish can’t I?

  20. Colleen

    I am so heartbroken over these reports, but puzzled indeed. We have been feeding our black Lab, Maxie, Beneful for at least a year and she is happy, healthy and has a shiny coat! Now I’m not so sure. What do you recommend? I don’t want this to happen to our baby of course! Thanks for any tips. We will get whatever is best for her! Oh, our cats have been eating Friskies Seafood for years and they are doing great! They are 16, 14 and 13 years old.

    • Reader

      I do not know about cats, but many followers do, and they can probably suggest better brands. For dogs I would use Orijen, Acana (if the dog can handle the food, it’s rich) also Nature’s Logic. I’m sure other readers have suggestions too. Please be careful of Beneful. When these issues happen, it does so quickly and very unexpectedly. Helping the dog survive can be very expensive and many don’t recover. There are just way too many other brands out there from which to choose, to be taking chances right now with a food that had so many complaints.

      • Jess

        Cats are obligate carnivores and should only be fed meat– absolutely no carbohydrates so that means NO dry food of any kind no matter what the brand. Carbohydrates in dry car food causes type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, kidney stones and other pancreatic problems. Please go to a nice local pet store and choose a good canned food. There are many out there but my favorite is weruva (also made for dogs) and they also have a version called BFF (stands or best feline friend) you can order those at petflow.com if you can’t find them in the store but I think petco carries BFF. Really any canned grain free food that isn’t from the supermarket would be best.

        • Jess

          I’ll also add that the honest kitchen makes an excellent cat food (dog food too) but its totally more affordable to be feeding it to a cat since they don’t eat nearly as much as a medium sized dog! And the honest kitchen is probably one of the best foods out there period in terms of where they source their food, quality, and overall meeting nutritional needs of dogs and cats. One thing many pet food companies fail at is not providing useable nutrition to animals. Sure you can throw a bunch of chemicals in a bag and technically it would meet AAFCO nutritional needs but to sustain an animal and to keep him healthy for the course of his life and not have the food cause health problems as they age and get that build up of chemicals in their bodies over time is another story. Everyone should read the book “Buyer Beware” and understand the true difference between a bag of purina and a bag of Orijen. Or for cats the consequences of feeding dry food to begin with. I’m sure a lot of people will Argue with me on this issue but vets are not trained in nutrition and the nutrition classes vets are given I’m vet school are taught by the science diet folks. Surprise surprise. If Nestlé were doing that in medical school people would go to jail and medical schools would lose accreditation. What is important is that you research the true biological needs of cats, check out askthecatdoctor.com, this is a feline only veterinarian that you can email with any questions and she has wonderful resources for learning about nutrition and such. Also go to catinfo.org and read the article about feeding cats. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your kitty!

      • Colleen Stadnick

        Thanks for the advice! I will look into the different dog foods. However, as I said we have been feeding our cats Friskies for many, many years and they are all doing great so won’t be changing that.

        • Reader

          Please just make sure the Friskies is at least WET.
          ,
          I’ve been reading follower’s comments regarding wet versus dry food for cats for a very long time now. Also the importance of protein over grain. If there’s any way to “extend” a pet’s life, even if you’re having no issues at the moment – it’s an easy enough thing to do!

      • jmc1

        I would like to second this reply. Go to championpetfoods.com and watch the video on how their pet food is made. I don’t believe any other pet food company can match their process. I have used both Origen and Acana for about 2 years. My 3 Jack Russells have thrived on both. Just take about l0 days to switch over so as not to create loose stools. It does cost more, but you will find it takes less food to keep your dog in perfect condition. I change around on the protein so as not to create any allergies. I order from Wag.com and it is shipped right to my door with no freight cost.

  21. cathy

    I fed my Shihtzu, Gus, Beneful for about 2 years. Even when he began to get sick, it came out as skin allergies and I refused to see it was his dog food. Our cat has been having skin problems and at this time Im not sure if they are caused by her food or not. Changing it will tell the story. You know what they say, Everything is good until it goes bad”. I would urge you to change foods because it seems to me, once they get to the point of vomiting and restlessness, it’s going to be too late. THIS is the reason I am so angry with this company. They are taking the position their product is not causing a problem. With so many complaints, why aren’t THEY trying to prove it is safe? Surely their entire revenue is not from just this brand. If they took it off the shelves until they took a look into it, how much could that really cost? But it sure would pay off in goodwill. Sometimes these big companies are so short sighted.

  22. Lauren

    I guess I must have been one of the 4 because I have filed a formal complaint with the FDA and I lost my dog in Dec 2012 to kidney failure after feeding her beneful. My other dog developed huge knots all over his body, which disappeared once he was taken off the food. Perhaps the FDA is covering it up, I highly doubt only 4 complaints have been filed, when I have personally talked with at least 20 people who had similiar claims and who also filed a claim with the FDA. Very suspicious.

    • Eyes Wide Open

      Thank you for commenting. Please explain in what capacity you talked with at least 20 people who had similar claims. How did you link up? This is a very significant observation. It could help solve the mystery of why the FDA reports are so disproportionate to the total. Appreciate your help!

  23. kevin

    i feed my dog good dog food.

  24. Beneful Dog Food Update « Home Buddies Bellevue

    [...] Second – if you or someone you know has a pet who has become sick or who has died because of Beneful – PLEASE report it to the FDA.  Don’t just report it to a consumer report site, or to your vet, or on Beneful’s Facebook page – take the next critical step of reporting to the FDA.  The FDA needs to get enough complaints filed before they will launch an investigation.  Read this for more information on why it’s so important to report it to the FDA:  http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/fda-information-regarding-beneful-complaints [...]

  25. Caroline Snyder

    Please join us.. most of us are blocked from the Beneful Facebook site and you will soon be once you go there! We are seeing an explosion in dog deaths.. people are coming to us and offering testimony.. we tell them what they need to do. We believe their food has become contaminated but Purina are ignoring everyone for fear of corporate loss of profits.. their food is junk! We do have people “on the inside” and are pushing hard to spread the word! https://www.facebook.com/groups/533765719991738/

  26. Elizabeth Ponder

    I believe Beneful to be the reason my healthy 4 year old Aussie became very ill. February 7, 2013 I bought a bag of Beneful original and began feeding him on the 8th. Two days later, Feb. 11, 2013, he had a sudden onset of vomiting, bloody diarrhea and refused to eat. I took him to the emergency vet and they started him on IV’s. The only thing that we could think of that would cause this was the addition of the Beneful dog food. Nothing else changed in his routine. He has ulcerations in his bowel from whatever is in that food. He spent 3 days in the hospital and he’s one of the lucky ones to be recovering. With so many complaints I don’t understand why Purina refuses to look into the possiblity it’s the food!

    • Pacific Sun

      Was this reported to the FDA, and was the food tested by the Department of Agriculture?

      • Colleen Stadnick

        I called my vet’s office to ask if they had heard any reports of Beneful being harmful. The nurse I spoke to said no, she hadn’t, and in fact has fed her 2 dogs Beneful for at least 7 years! I’m so sorry for all the problems y’all have had stated here, but our dog is doing great after feeding her Beneful for a year or more. We carefully keep an eye on her of course, as she is part of our family and we love her deeply. So far she is doing great!

  27. Pacific Sun

    There is value in everyone’s comments. The mixed blessing here, in terms of reading this particular comment, is that for the people already feeding Beneful, they might not be as worried about doing so. However, and unfortunately “Elizabeth’s” (and many others preceeding) are such incredibly sad reports, that it’s such a shame to be taking a chance with a problematic PF when there are literally hundreds of brands from which to choose. While a Vet Practice “can” be a possible source (or alert) for a problematic PF, it doesn’t reflect the larger sampling that would be collected through the FDA. I think that even when Vets were treating patients getting sick from CJTs, even that was not as well publicized as it should’ve or could’ve been. For example, by posting a flyer in the office or sharing an email with their clients. The other aspect, is that a Vet Practice can be very reluctant to accuse a PF as being a single culprit for an issue without scientific proof or in collaboration with an authority’s statement (like the FDA) for fear of being liablest (legal reprocussions from the corporate owner). Professional firms are very cautious both about reputation and legal exposure. I have no doubt that the Vet Techs mentioned here, were indeed being honest. But unless a true means of cause and effect has been established, then it becomes anybody’s personal assumptions. Thus the question (above) about whether the food had been reported AND tested by the DoA. That’s the only way to continue making progress.

    • Jess

      Here’s the thing, regardless of wether Beneful has killed your dog or not, maybe your dog hasn’t gotten sick at all, Beneful is NOT A NUTRITIOUS FOOD FOR DOGS PERIOD. There is nothing in this food that in the long term will ever be beneficial for your Dog’s aged cells that need nutrients. Lets not forget that cancer comes from mutations in DNA which can be caused by chemicals and inappropriate ingredients that facilitate inappropriate mutations in DNA and actually facilitate the growth of cancer cells. No you will never be able to link feedin supermarket foods to a dog getting cancer because we cant simply test for that. But I, as a biochemist, can tell you that highly processed carbs feed cancer and contribute to genetic mutation and the development of cancer. Or aside from cancer, lets talk about kidney failure and the stress that the highly processed ingredients puts on our dogs kidney and liver. And let’s not forget diabetes which feeding a diet of highly processed carbs which is what Beneful is, will cause— type 2 diabetes, your dog’s
      Cells will start to internalize the receptors they have for insulin and develop this terrible disease from overexposure to highly processed carbs. I’ve seen it first hand. Lets look at the big picture– what is the appropriate meal of a dog to not just survive but thrive? Look at the ingridents in your dogs food (wether it’s Beneful or something else) and if you can’t identify what it is (not just a bunch of chemicals ans gluten, but can you identify real whole
      Food ingridents?) and identify a real meat source — a NAMED MEAT like chicken or beef or lamb as the FIRST INGREDIENT then the food isn’t worth your time or money. And ideally it should be grain free, not necessarily for food alleries, but grains just arent what nourish a dog long term, they are filler and will just make your dog fat. Yes the good foods that protect your dog’s immune system, cells and organs will cost more, so just accept this as a cost of having a dog or cat and save money on other products like laundry soap or clip coupons for groceries. Dog food is NOT where we cut corners on cost. I’m sorry, you get what you pay for. Lets stop looking at the individual recalls and look at what the quality of these supermarket foods really are. They have none. Susan has AMAZING resources for learning how to properly feed your dog. So LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY FEED YOUR DOG. We have to realize that nutrition directly correlates to the diseases out pets get later in life. We can’t help the genetics of our pets but we can help what we put in their bodies. And that can greatly affect how their bodies deal with the genetics they were given. Do you take your kid to mc Donnalds for dinner or cook them a balanced meal full of veggies, and whole foods? I can sit here and list websites and resources to back me up on this, but I think Susan does an amazing job of describing what goes into a “Susan worthy” dog or cat food. Everyone should purchase her approved food list and subscribe to petsumer report. So read “buyer beware” and read “the dog dish diet” and other pet nutrition books out there and understand that we can’t be drones pouring unknown kibble into a bowl and we need to understand and care about what goes into that bowl. This is a wake up call for everyone to see the big picture. If you want to talk with me directly about pet nutrition, I will give you my email address and I can help you find something that you can afford and will keep your dog healthy. I have seen poor health conditions in dogs restored to good health due to giving proper diet. Feel free to respond to this post if you’d like to talk further on the forum or via email about pet nutrition and how to pick a quality pet food– dog or cat.

      • Pacific Sun

        I am glad this comment has been posted. It reflects the most positive side of PF nutritional education, including the fact that your personal training confirms the same information as well. It is also interesting that the idea of grain free dog food has become so popular, especially lately. But hasn’t been mentioned historically.
        .
        As a side note, it was mentioned to me, assuming it’s accurate, that one reason dogs may be becomming even more sensitive to grain, is because grain (seed) has become so overly modified and changed from it’s essential origin, that it is an even more difficult element for the metabolism to handle. Digestive systems have not necessarily evolved to match the man-made mutation of these plants.
        .
        There should be a little caution added as well, to the practice of feeding whole foods and raw, meaning that 100% pure protein (uncut without a proper mixture vitamins and minerals) is not necessarily a total improvement in diet, especially for a domestic pet. Wolves and dogs may be related. But they are not identical and do not live in similar environments. Dogs have survived the centuries as scavengers of prey. Consuming both a combination of meat, as well as the digested (fermented) guts of the prey itself. Dogs will also consume the most basic edibles in their environment in order to stay alive, no matter how they are presented. But, and exactly as the writer here states, they have not been bred to benefit from a mix of chemically “corrected and adjusted” artificial blend of secondary, synthetic and rendered ingredients, no matter how attractively packaged and presented to the consumer! No external flavoring, or euphemisms printed on an ingredient label, substitute for food that has been least of all compromised from it’s primary, natural, fresh and whole state.
        .
        The thought about responding to the reader, as was done in this case, is to meet people at their own level of awareness and acceptance. PF nutrition is an evolutionary journey (unless an unexpected castrophe has esclalated a change in reality for the reason of necessity). In some cases, people will remain wedded to a commercial PF (usually dry) and some canned diet for a very long time, no matter what the evidence. So the best that can be done, is to urge people to (at the very minimum) be vigilant about which products are being used (monitor symptoms, keep packaging, report problems). Doing all of this, while (hoping) becoming increasing informed about alternatives. Going to whole food or raw diet is the goal. But choosing an ideal commercial PF (as was suggested through the resources mentioned in your own comment) is the next best thing. The Petsumer Report is invaluable in terms of learning about all the pros and cons of literally HUNDREDS of PF choices!! (I think it’s up to 2500 now). That alone may take some time to wade through, and experimentation. Until the final step arrives.
        .
        In the meantime, while it (only) seems like the majority of people “might not” be having visible symptoms and reactions to problematic PF (like Beneful) it is indeed not enhancing the pet’s overall well being in any form or manner. And while I would always say that few PF’s will outright kill in the short-term a pet (except for a toxic contamination) – they are not, and have never been designed to enhance a pet’s nutritional well being. But exist merely to maintain a pet through it’s expected natural life span. Interestingly enough, Susan once printed an article that demonstrated a dog’s natural lifespan, under optimal conditions, to be projected at nearly double the years we’ve come to expect. Isn’t it curious that most of our dogs will be lucky to reach even 2/3′rds of that projection!! TAPF has been an invaluable source of enlightenment over the years. We can only help encourage new readers to make the same discoveries at their own pace, and through their own ability to accept the truths. Thanking Susan for her tireless efforts along the way!!

  28. Jeff

    My 3yo mastiff died this morning, after his first bowl of beneful! He did seizures after seizures until he died, we could do nothing to save him!

    They killed my rex!

    • Jess

      I am so sorry for your loss, I lost my English mastiff last year, they are the most gentle hearted, loving animals I have come to know. I know this must be so hard for you. Please make sure to report this to the FDA and save the bag and food for them to test.

    • Jess

      One other thing that I just thought of….. I remember as a kid being really curious about what dog food tasted like and would “try the dog food” one thing that is scary is if this food can harm a very large dog, what would happen of your small child got into the pantry and ate some beneful dog food? I shudder to think…..

  29. Calie

    My dog has been on Beneful her whole life until recently… About the end of December my eight year old lab mix started to get a growth near her eye. Within weeks her eye was blood shot and the growth was getting bigger. We were about to make a vet appointment to see what was going on with her but then i read the complaints that Beneful had against them and quickly switched her food. Surprisingly it wasn’t even a week later and her eye was back to normal color and the growth was shrinking in size!! It’s been two or more months now since she’s had anything to do with Purina foods and guess what?, no growth, no red eye and more energy then she’s ever had? who knew?.. I’m not saying that it was for sure Beneful but seems like a pretty big coincidence if it isn’t.

    • Reader

      That’s a really interesting observation. My dog was plagued with “skin tags” (little growths) especially one in the center of his skull above and between the eyes. It kept increasing in size until the Vet suggested it could be taken care of next time the dog was in for treatment. I had been using (and don’t anymore) Orijen and Evanger’s Fish! Once I switched over to whole foods, and raw, and another food on Susan’s List, the big Skin Tag on his head disappeared. And the others are either shrinking or of minimal consequence. I wonder if the substandard PFs are contributing to this condition, as well as many other detriments as well?

  30. Pet Food Ratings

    Completely regardless of whether Beneful has “killed” dogs or not is a mute point. The real issue is clearly apparent from read the ingredients – not just for Beneful, but most Purina products. The ingredients are sub-standard in comparison to other brands, but unfortunately for dog owners worldwide we’re easily fooled by their clever marketing and clout.

    The information has always been there. Take the following quotes from two respected dog food analysis websites:

    “It’s downright terrible. Corn is an awful ingredient for dog foods, and yet it occupies the first and third ingredients in the list. The main animal protein source is by-products, which are the lowest quality parts of the animal (heads, beaks, feathers, feet, etc).” – http://www.petfoodratings.org

    “Zero meat content, low quality ingredients throughout, fat of unidentifiable origin, artificial colorant” – http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com

    What else can be said?

    • Pacific Sun

      Actually natural corn has certain properties that are useful in dog food diets, such as corn oil. The PROBLEM is because these mega-corporate companies are so greedy for profit that they exclude required protein for a predominance of corn (used as cheap filler). The other PROBLEM is that genetically modified (GMO’d)corn has turned into such a mega-agribusiness profit product that it has unnecessary (detrimental) side effects that are now being researched and revealed. The third PROBLEM is when corn has not been stored or processed properly and a toxic mold condition exists. All these unfavorable elements are liabilities in commercial dog food, while if you were to feed (in addition to the proper proportion of protein) your dog some organic whole food corn (or healthy corn oil) it would not be bad. By the way I have heard (but haven’t confirmed) that white corn (as opposed to yellow) is not supposed to be as GMO’d. None of these comments are in any way to condone “Beneful” which is a horrible, horrible product in spite of it’s advertising!!

      • Pet Food Ratings

        Precisely. It’s all about profit unfortunately, and corn should never be the prime ingredient like it is in Beneful.

        Another thing to watch out for is corn gluten meal, which is basically corn after all the best parts are removed. I normally refer to this as filler of a filler. There’s no corn oil in that.

        • Martha Clausen

          Why don’t they use it as a road asphalt filler, all it is good for.

  31. Pat

    Maybe the FDA is not receiving reports because it takes a master degree to file a complaint. My computer crashed 3 times while filling out the forms, Now I am dealing with the company they hired to settle my claim for vet bills over 1,200. Some peeps do not have long distance and there are no toll free numbers. I do not need an further information. I stopped feeding the dog Beneful and she got better. Common sense. I cannot fight a big corporation without a lawyer. If anyone knows who will take my case please have them contact. They told me my dog probably licked a toad…. Sedghwick has a nasty reputation for handling claims

    • Mary

      Even though it has cost you financially, I am glad you stopped Beneful and she is now okay. I just took Angel back to Auburn which is a 3 1/2 drive each way. Of course, I would drive across country if it would give her sight again. I got bad news yesterday. She now also has Glaucoma in what we considered her “good eye” and now the pressure in both eyes is high and not responding well to treatment. The doc said that basically it is like a human having a sinus headache all the time. She is now recommending that we take the pain away which means the removal of both eyes because she will never be able to see again. I am devastated and like you said you have to have a master’s degree to file a complaint and therefore even though I know I have a good complaint and my voice should be heard for Angel, I have not made a complaint :-( I wish there was lawyers to help people file complaints on behalf of their pets on a contingency basis but I have not found one. Best wishes!

      • Pacific Sun

        If you live in Northern California, please note the following referral: http://veterinaryvision.com/ which is an extremely well known practice specializing in eye care. Even the thoughest, most long lost cases!
        .
        I believe every word you say, and that any “dog food” should leave to a dog losing it’s eyesight is CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. I realize that you have spent all your money on treatment, not attorneys. But there must be one out there who wouldn’t take money unless the case it won. Keep searching. This is such a heartbreaking situation.

        • Mary

          Thanks for your reply. I actually live in Florida but I really appreciate your advice. Angel is such a precious pug and it just breaks my heart….

  32. Colleen Stadnick

    After reading so many negative comments about Beneful here and elsewhere, we switched out Maxie to canned Pedigree. She love it and I feel better for giving it to her. I highly recommend it!

  33. Debbie

    We have been feeding our two Australian Terriers a mix of Iams and Beneful for a little over a year now, maybe two. We just came back from the vet to find out that our older one possibly has Cushing’s Disease (high liver enzymes). She has always been an extremely healthy dog! I am very upset and will take her off Beneful immediately. We added it only because they started to get “tired” of the taste of the Iams and that was what the breeder told us to feed them. Now I’m not sure what to do. They are the sweetest dogs and I just can’t imagine our household without them. I would love to have some suggestions on where to go from here!! Thanks…..

    • Jess

      The whole dog journal (whole-dog-journal.com) has an excellent article on cushings disease, which is the exact opposite of Addison’s disease, which is what we thought our dog had. I highly recommend reading it, also go to radiopetlady.com they have a podcast under “the expert vet show” on cushings and Addison’s. very helpful if you are wanting to learn more about it. Of course quality nutrition is key with dogs who have these diseases, depending on your budget I would check out the petsumer report or the approved foods on whole dog journal’s site and pick something quality to help them. I recommend Orijen as a good food or Halo, but there are tons of good brands out there. Hope this helps!

    • Martha Clausen

      Debbie, I understand what you mean about the taste. What I did with my Zig when he was here, he is being taken care of at my friend’s while I heal from major ankle surgery.

      I would not go to a grocery store to purchase my dog food. You since you have little furkids, they don’t each much, and I would of course treat the little one with Cushings the way the vet has you doing so, but what I would do is purchase a good, non-grocery store brand of canned dog food, or even pan fry a small amount of ground turkey and add that to their food to entice them to eat. Beneful has never been a good food. Susan is amazing, and I have had a dog of some sort in my life for over 25 years, and I only fed Beneful when there were no decent dog food stores. Now you can purchase things on line. If you are subscribed to Susan’s pet food list, you can find some amazing brands that I love myself. I have been reading dog food bags before it was popular….and before Procter and Gamble purchased the Innova line, I would have steered you that way. I hope your little one is feeling better and I would take the remainder of your bag and rubber band it so the birds don’t get to it as they could get sick too.

      Hugs….Martha
      who is really missing her 12 year old Doberman, yes the big one, Ziggy. I haven’t seen him since February 19, 2013

    • KAH

      I am very sorry to hear about your Aussie Terrier’s possible Cushings diagnosis. Nobody ever expects the pet food they’ve been feeding to be a problem. So this isn’t a matter for feeling guilty; it is instead a learning process.
      .
      Jess’ response is good. As you already know, Cushing’s is complicated. Sometimes the result of aging, or the development of tumors, or genetic. Your posting is an unfortunate but useful example of why PF is under discussion. Whenever people have a hard time relating to commercial PF, especially the brands that get called out repeatedly, when a pet has survived on it for years, then they think the TAPF is over reacting or using scare tactics to attract readers. But it’s exactly because of long term and reoccuring exposure to the very same product, that the issue exists in the first place. While there’s never any immediate proof that a “certain” food has “caused” a certain condition, ingredients that are synthetically produced and chemically altered and imported, are now becoming more and more questionable. Can it ever be known exactly which factors most affect the pet’s metabolic system? Obviously the PFI survives on the basis of “innocent until proven guilty.”
      .
      So the real message can only be about education and caution. Knowing that owners sharing their experiences are being helpful to many others! As you can see, Beneful has already generated a huge discussion. Nearly 100 comments alone.
      .
      More to the point is what can be done, which is your question. The response depends upon the dog’s age and the diagnosis (as the articles indicate). To support whatever the treatment will be, means nutrition is vital. One consulting service called “Just Food for Dogs” creates a customized diet for a dog with a chronic illness. It can be a combination of a commercial base (like The Honest Kitchen) with a focus on whole foods and the right balance of supplements. Sabine (the Nutritionist) will work from a Lab Report and/or with the Vet. The fee is extremely nomimal, and the owner can request whichever food types are preferable. Another suggestion, depending upon time, budget and the dog’s age, is to (in addition to staying with your regular Vet) consult with a very well referenced holistic Vet, since Cushings has a cascading array of symptoms. You might want to make sure that neither approach to treatment is in conflict.
      .
      Finally, I would be comfortable with a commercial pet food IF that company returned the Pledge to Quality and Origin! Orijen has promised to do so for over a year, yet it’s difficult to understand why there’s a delay.
      .
      I have 14 yr old who (among many other benefits) has assumed a completely and positively transformed temperment due to whole feeding. I can only guess that he had been missing vital fresh/primary nutrients or that artificially treated food (maybe flavorings and coloring for example) was creating a kind of anxious hyperactivity in him, or that he’s just physically more comfortable and content with this broad range of whole food ingredients. The other thing that really began to scare me, was how MUCH water (nearly 2 qts. a day) that he was beginning to drink after eating kibble (also creating sloppy stool). With whole food he’s back to occasional yet consistently hydrating water breaks throughout the day! Stools are perfect and there is less bulk, so I assume also less waste.
      .
      I hope that you find a satisfactory treatment for your beloved dog. Hopefully more readers will post experiences and suggestions. Stay tuned.

  34. Connie

    I have been feeding my dogs baneful for about a year. My chow chow developed liver failure and almost died! He ahd to stay in hospital and had 2 blood tranfusions. He still is on prednisone and doxycycline. He ha to stay on these meds for about 2 weeks then they will wean him off prednisone to one a day but still has to take doxycycline for 3-4 months! I do blame it on baneful as he was healthy before he started eating it. He’s only 3 years old!!! He seems to have bounced back and is almost at 100% better now but I sure was scared for awhile I would lose my baby! Ny advice, STAY AWAY FROM BENEFUL! Don’t know if I can sue the company or not since there is no way to link it to baneful but if I could I would!!!

    • Mary

      Sorry to read about your chow but so glad to hear that he is doing better after all that you both have been through. I wish there was a better way to get the word spreaded out about Beneful but it seems to be a complicated and costly process. Go to http://www.GiveForward.com and locate Angel The Pug to read our story….thanks in advance for reading.

  35. tj

    Does anyone out there know have true info on preen pets?

    • KAH

      Your question prompted me to GOOGLE Preen Pet Products. They seem to offer a similar array as does Red Bull. Claim to be made in the USA. Probably better than an import. But the question remains. What process does good food go through to be turned into these “treats?” Is it simple dehydration or does the product need to be treated with chemicals in order to preserve it and to make it tuff? I would want to know everything that goes into the treat but the ingredient list seemed generalized. I realize all pets need a treat and a good chew. But ever since the CJTs illnesses I stick to home made. You can always dehydrate Sweet Potatoes into chewy slices.

  36. Kay Garriott

    My greyhound Wilber passed away on Sept 8 2013 at around 11:00. I fully believe it was the Beneful Healthy Weight dog food that killed him. He had a lot of the same symptoms the other dog have had on the Consumer Affairs website. I have filed a formal complaint with the FDA. It took me all afternoon. First I had a hard time finding the right place on the FDA’s website to file the complaint. Then it was pages and pages of questions and blanks to fill in. It was a major job! No wonder on one files complaints with the FDA. I have also filed a complaint with Beneful and Consumer Affairs. Beneful is sending me an envelope to mail them a sample of the food. I still have most of the bag left.

    • Reader

      There are few comments that affect me as deeply as when an owner loses a dog, particularly to pet food (PF), especially Beneful, which has the most corrupt, misleading advertising out there. I am so very sorry for your loss. It’s an unimaginable saddness and regret. Thank you for doing your part to warn others and to file the reports. Be sure to keep your original bag and the original food. If you can afford testing it would be interesting to find the results. But whatever is “determined” it doesn’t diminish the fact that the food was not the culprit. There are too many other stories out there. What the company would say is that a “few” cases are circumstantial. A few, relative to exactly what number … is there a “magic” number?? One should be enough. But it only takes a pallet or a warehouse of stored bags or even the delivery trucks to have been accidentally treated with a toxic spray or exposed to the wrong chemicals, or a batch at the co-packers having become contaminated with anything toxic. Or most likely ingredients that were mouldy to begin with.
      .
      If these were legitimate, ethically driven companies (or employees) they wouldn’t stop until an answer was found. To prevent the next tragedy. But no, they are adept at sweeping issues underground, no doubt to protect their careers (if you can call them that) and jobs (I’d rather be unemployed). Thank you again for taking the TIME to share your story and know that it is appreciated.

  37. Launda EWell

    I had two healthy wolf hybrids. I fed them mostly Beneful. The larger male got sick quickly, went from healthy to sickly, to paralyzed to dead. Saw the vet 3 times during this 2 week illness, she was totally stumped. Tried everything, no test showed anything except the decline of kidneys. When he was dead, we finally made the connection between the Beneful and his death and compaired others who lost their pets symptoms. I have no idea why the female didn’t get sick, but watching what happened to the male was terrible. I DO believe it was the Beneful.

  38. jamie

    some dogs are just allergic to the red food peices which are in several different types of dog food…one of my 3 dogs was throwing up often so i switched to iam so good and havent had any problems.Some dogs are allergic to the dyes in the food…dont beleive this is benefuls fault

    • Pacific Sun

      Beneful Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), chicken, soy flour, rice flour, water, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, animal digest, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, Yellow 5, ferrous sulfate, Red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, Blue 2, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, Yellow 6, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.
      …..
      Let’s take this thought back a notch. First, many dogs have gotten seriously ill from the Beneful. Many. Corn is the leading ingredient. When Aflatoxin (a form of mold) affects corn it can be very dangerous. Read more about Aflatoxin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflatoxin. Secondly, the only protein among the first five ingredients is chicken by-products. Read more about the chicken by-products here: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/its-all-chicken-to-pet-food.
      ….
      Third, if there is a non-nutritional ingredient such as Food Dye in a PF to which some pets could be (and are) allergic or worse, then why include the ingredient. unless it is meant to ascetically please the consumer? In fact there are several color dyes (some more controversial than others) among the ingredient list. Unnecessary. Pets certainly do not need to be more exposed to chemicals, particularly at the rate they are dying prematurely from cancer.
      ….
      Even if you can get by all the above, it’s still a pretty “starchy” high carbohydrate food, when most dogs require a higher level of protein. We also know corn and soy are heavily GMO’d, which is not helpful in a diet that is already unnatural to a dog’s instincts. Susan recently posted about “added salt” in PF. Note that the level of salt (by weight) is greater than the token amount of dried carrots, tomatoes, avocados. Worst of all, is the perception (through images on the package and the happy dog advertising on TV) is the idea that this is an overly wholesome dog food. When in fact “whole” foods are NOT being incorporated. Beneful has not provided any transparency whatsoever and fails to answer basic consumer quality and safety questions. The diet would be equivalent to feeding your family (highly starchy, sugary, preservative ridden) fast-foods 365 days a year. Will your family survive? Of course. Is it possible that over time your family may have more than average health concerns? That is the difference between eating real food versus the perception of it..!

  39. Stella'sMom

    The ONLY correct diet for dogs and cats is raw meat with bones. Anything else is not going to give them great health and a longer life…even home made cooked food. Use your brain…no cheap kibble crap can ever be good for an animal; even the high priced krapple is low in nutrition and it doesn’t give the cats/dogs what they need to be healthy.

    Beneful, Purina, Pedigree, Alpo and all the rest of the horrible pet foods will only cause health problems, shortened lives and even death for the poor animals forced to eat that toxic junk. PLEASE research everything before you put it in, on and around your pets. They deserve this at least.

  40. tonette reid

    i have 3 chihuahuas and one cat they all eat beneful up until today my cat want eat the cat food all he will eat is dog food. i have been having problems for a couple of years never thought to ask the vet about the food they eat we have been told that my oldest dog mini mouse must have a sensitive stomach she throws up all the time she acts like she is dehydrated then she throws up the water, both her and my male trows up a lot they have diarrhia a lot as well and some times their is even blood in their stools too. mini mouse weighs 17.1 lbs. she is around 7 to 10 lbs over weight and my cat use to be very healthy even on beneful dog food i know that cats arn’t suppose to eat dog food but we couldn’t get him to eat anything else but over the last few months he has lost alot of weight so does anyone think that the beneful is what that caused some or all of this should i be worried

    • Reader

      Well at this point those pets need to be diagnosed by a really competent Vet to make sure they don’t have diabetes or a life threatening disease or condition. Don’t let that Vet sell you a prescription food, but anything is better than Beneful. If you can find a Vet that also practices holistic treatments, as well as western medicine, then he or she will know more about nutrition. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 17 lb Chihuahua though. My middle sized Poodles only weigh 16 lbs. But I hope the dog is young enough to bounce back into normal condition. Or it will be tough on joints and reduce the ability to exercise properly.

      The problem with Beneful is all about its false advertising! Purina wants you to believe that Beneful is exactly the opposite of what the truth is. In fact i think some pets have died the result of a 100% Beneful diet. And yet, I think I just saw a TV commercial the other night showing RAW whole foods (like real chicken legs, carrrots, and leafy veggies “floating” right down into the pet’s food dish and the dog running up to it!). There isn’t a commercial grade Kibble on the market today that is literally that pure, fresh and “wholesome.” Because it’s impossible to produce it that way!!!!

      No dog (or cat) should EVER be continually throwing up, showing digestive upsets or blood in the stool. Chronic Vomitting and diarrhia are red flags period! Because it leads to dehydration and strips the intestional processes. Unless that animal has been diagnosed with a very specific condition or allergy, the Vets who can’t identify those symptoms, will call it a “sensitive stomach.” That’s insane! Healthy dogs were built to be opportunistic food scavengers. Outdoor cats survive by eating small prey. That means healthy animals were born with the ability to digest and metabolize just about anything that isn’t chemically ridden and contaminated OR nutritionally killed through high temperature cooking!

      Beneful is bad enough. So what your animals needs now is to physically recover and regain what its body really must have (including the range of amino acids) for complete digestion and balanced health, which is going to require un-compromised whole foods. The cat needs wet (at least moist) nearly 100% protein, and the dogs need whole foods to augment a better (relatively speaking) kibble diet. Anything BUT grease, spices, fast foods, sugar, certain fruits and nuts of course. Get the cheapest cuts of whole protein possible (whatever it is), even canned fish or chicken, lightly steam vegetables even frozen ones are okay, cook sweet potato, peas, add pure (no sugar, flavored) Greek yogurt,, canned pumpkin, (don’t use any corn or soy products) but some other cooked carbohydrate (like Red Mills’ Oat Bran or Brown Rice Farina even Tapioca) can be used in small amounts as a binder. In the beginning – you will have to transition them very carefully. For the dogs you can try using Fromms Kibble for awhile, maybe lightly soak it, and slowly add in the healthier foods. I’m sure people here can tell you more about what to use for the cat.

      Oh and cats shouldn’t be eating Dog Food! But I know that it’s really tough keeping them from doing so in a multi pet household,, especially one that’s offering “free feeding” (which isn’t a good idea either for overweight, or digestively challenged pets) . You want to CONTROL those ingredients AND especially the portions!! Pets also thrive on a very scheduled feeding program (same time, twice a day if you think they’re chronically hungry). It takes a space of at least 12 to 24 hours for a dog to digest food properly!

    • Jess

      You must feed your cat cat
      Food or home cook a balanced cat diet. The lack of taurine in dog food (or at the levels a cat needs) is detrimental to your cats health. Go find a cat food he will eat immediately. Cats are obligate carnivores and thrive on a raw or canned food diet. There are many options out there. Natures variety and sojos have good raw products and Weruva and solistic are top notch canned foods. And yes benefit will cause a gamut of health problems in your pets regardless of toxic ingredients due to the lack of nutrients present in the food.

  41. Vince

    Received Purina’s advert email today and reviewed their Policy. However the BIG question is; due any of their products contain ingredients from outside the United States, such as China?
    I called their company and asked if they could guarantee that their products did not contain ingredients from outside the States and was told that they were unable to do that.
    We stopped using theirs and any other pet food and dog treat products over a year ago when it was reported dogs dying from food containing ingredients from outside the United States such as China.
    We now cook roast beef, chicken, vegetables and other ingredients sold and manufactured only in this country. Human Food that we can trust! For dog treats we cook Turkey Bacon till crisp and give pieces as treats. We will never buy dog food products again. The cost to cook your own dog food is about equal or even somewhat less than paying for already processed dog food. My dogs deserve quality food as members of our family, and I refuse to allow companies like Purina to place our little friend’s life at risk.

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