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Great Life pulls Buffalo Kibble

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  1. Nina

    Fast work Susan – thank you.

  2. Concerned

    Can anyone tell me who does the manufacturing for this brand?

    1. Nina

      They would never give out that info, but it was manufactured in a plant in Texas. The plant went bankrupt last year and Great Life bought it, finalizing the sale in March ’13. They will now be manufacturing it themselves and will have complete control over it.

      1. David

        Pied Piper our of Texas

        1. Nina

          I am wondering … The buffalo was being manufactured with inferior ingredients (unbeknownst to Great Life) and the natural preservatives were being added by hand because the automatic part was broken – what about the other GL products that were also manufactured by the same people, in a different part of the factory?

          Were things done properly and to GL’s expectations? I find it hard to believe that the buffalo was the only kibble that was effected – why wouldn’t the factory owners try to save ever more money, thus increasing their own profits?

          My pet store exchanged my bag of buffalo for the chicken last week, it smells OK, but I am wondering what is really in it … made in Oct. 2012 – just before the bankruptcy.

          The 7 lb. bags lasts me for over 2 months …I think I’m going to switch to Fromm Surf & Turf, rotating with Orijen and Acana ASAP.

          1. kevin

            I bought a bad of the buffalo on July 2013 and it had the rancid smell. My dogs would not go near it. I decided to try a small bag of their chicken formula and had the same problem. I don’t think the rancid issue is with the buffalo alone.

          2. Nina

            Kevin – I am still feeding the buffalo that I bought 3.5 weeks ago… no rancid smell, supposedly manufactured AFTER they took over the factory, cleaned it up and repair the machinery that was causing the rancid smell.

            My little guy is thriving in it ….. no tummy problems. He ate the buffalo for almost 3 years, loving every meal and never had any problems, even when he had a few meals if the rancid stuff.

            He does have a sensitive stomach through and if he eats from a brand different from his own from other dogs’ bowls which he likes to do when we visit people who leave the food out all day – he will have diarrhea or loose stools for a few days. So at this point I am satisfied with the ‘new’ buffalo.

            They have a good guarantee … take your unused food back to your pet shop and they will either give you your money back or replace it ..although you can’t just switch overnight to another brand 🙁 Don’t throw it away and waste your money as Great Life is certainly not cheap

  3. Rita

    What great timing. I just bought a bag of Great Life Chicken kibble for cats for the first time today. Thought it smelled “old” and my cats wouldn’t touch it. Even though it is not recalled, it is going back to the store. Thank you Susan for keeping us informed!

  4. Peter

    Isn’t that what we refer to as a “silent recall”?

  5. D'Arcy Dent

    I have to say, I have confidence in the Great Life crew. I’ve met and spoken to Dr. Harvey (the owner) several times. I’ve spoken to Greg (his “second in command”)several times as well.I know the reps for the company have confidence in them.
    They’ve described the takeover of the Pied Piper facility as a nightmare due to the incredible incompetance of that company. It takes time to get things right again. It’s unfortunate that so much is on the heads of the people of Great Life who are trying to make a truly good food.
    I have received a letter from Dr. Harvey letting us know that they have sent 3 different runs of the buffalo to the head chemist at Kemin (“the largest antioxidant, natural preservative supplier”) to find out why the antioxidants aren’t holding. The food has been tested and is “free of Salmonella, Toxins, etc.” The chemist from Kemin is supposed to be going to the Great Life manufacturing plant today (Friday May 3, 2013) to “go over every ingredient in the product”.
    I believe Dr. harvey and his crew have our dogs’ best interest in mind. In our conversations I came to understand that he has the background to create foods to help extend the lives of our dogs, and that’s what he wants to do. We have to remember to report problems, but not assume all manufacturer’s with problems are “bad” manufacturers. These ARE natural products, and they have variables we sometimes can’t see. At least they are being forthright and trying to solve it.

    1. Nina

      I certainly hope it all comes together for them. I have had wonderful results with the buffalo for 3 years. I wish I knew when they will be manufacturing it again – I would be willing to wait, feeding their grainless chicken in the meantime.

      Did you get any info on the expected availability?

  6. D'Arcy

    News from Great Life tells me they may have found the problem with the Grain-free buffalo. I’m the new machinery that Great Life put in when they purchased the Pied Piper manufacturing facility may have required an alternate quantity of natural preservative due to the difference in the new machine. The provider of the natural preservatives recommends the amount to be used, and may not have accounted for the difference in the machines, thus not providing enough.
    The theory is being tested on a newly produced batch sent to MidWest Labs. If all proves true, the adjustments should be made and the food may be available in another month.
    This is information provided in good faith by Great Life after alot of research. Hopefully it will solve the issue, and get the buffalo back to all our fur kids who enjoy it.

  7. Cheryl

    My 16 yr old Maltese has been on great life kibble for years. I buy the 1lb sample packs to give her a variety. She had a terrible case of diarrhea almost two weeks ago and is still recovering. I just stumbled on this posting and just looked and the bag she was eating at the time she got sick is buffalo. We have no other cause for her getting sick. The only thing printed on the bag that might be the lot number is: PN 3/3. J 14 291

    She doesn’t get into things so this is the only thing that makes sense.

    1. Nina

      Great Life pulled their Buffalo kibble several months ago because of a problem at the factory in Texas. The part that distributed the natural preservatives was broken and it was being done by hand and was not mixing in property .. thus the food had the rancid smell.

      We were using it at the time and immediately returned it to the store.

      Great Life purchased the Texas factory and repaired the equipment and are now manufacturing the buffalo kibble themselves. I don’t know about the other varieties.

      Since I had no food left to do a 10 day transition to another brand, I traded the buffalo for Great Life chicken kibble. My little fur ball did OK on it, no stomach problems. I swore that I wouldn’t use Great Life again, but while researching numerous new brands for him, I saw that the buffalo was back in my store. So, because he loves it and did so well on it for over 3 years ..I bought the ‘new’ buffalo, which was recently manufactured.

      He has been on it for two weeks now and is doing as well as before and of course there is no rancid smell. Did I do the right thing – I think I did. Somewhere down the line I might switch to Acana, but since he is doing so well on the buffalo ….who knows.

      Whether Great Life calls it a recall or not … I think of it as a recall, they had problems and pulled the buffalo from the shelves. Isn’t that the same as a recall?

  8. Cheryl

    Just found out that the kibble my dog was eating at the time she got sick was manufactured during the time of the problem. While I understand that no toxins or salmonella was found, I’m convinced that it is what made her sick. She is still not totally recovered and it has taken quite a toll since she is an older dog.

  9. Michael

    I was interested in changing my dogs food to Great Life foods, or Dr E’s.

    Does anyone know if they company has fixed their plant problems? Have their been complaints in the past about the company prior to these issues? I read other complaints about finding hair and bits of plastic in the food?

  10. Tiff

    I tried my dogs on this buffalo food. My AB’s skin allergies cleared up like nothing I have ever seen but they both started pooping out little what looked to be red plastic pieces. My Cane Corsi stool started turning powdery. It was the weirdest thing. It literally was so dry it would fall apart when it hit the ground. Once I stopped the food their stools went back to normal.

  11. Nina

    Susan, I am the one who initially advised you about the Great Life Buffalo Kibble situation in May, 2013. I have continued to feed my Shih Tzu Great Life Buffalo Kibble since they repaired/replaced their production equipment and have had no problems.

    Shouldn’t Tiff’s complaint/problem be an entirely new topic and not grouped in with the origin which is almost a year old? Using the same heading “Great Life Pulls Buffalo Kibble” is now, is misleading. I almost had a heart attack when I saw this in my mail this morning … especially I had just opened a new bag. My little guy is thriving and has had no problems with this product since they took care of the rancid smell.

    If there are current or new issues with Great Life, they should be investigated separately than last years problem.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You received the notice probably because you marked with any previous comment that you wanted to be notified of any new comments on this story. I don’t consider this site a forum – would would need a different topic for a new post like Tiff’s. Rather – it’s a pet food news site – and comments are just that – comments. Hope this makes sense.

  12. Alexandra

    My GSD has been battling diarrhea for a month or more now off and on. I returned a bag of GL Buffalo kibble to our pet store and am currently using a bag of the GL Salmon kibble. What I have noticed is whenever I go back to all home cooked rice diet, his stool returns to normal. I add the GL kibble back and he is really bad. His mood is great and his weight is fine so I have to look at the food now… very concerned.

  13. Nanette

    I just bought and opened up a new bag of Great Life Buffalo dog food for my dogs. Both are older dogs but have been on this brand for a while now and doing great. Two days ago both dogs developed digestive/bowel issues – one has terrible diarrhea and the other stopped having any bowel movements. Both had been very regular and consistent poopers. Now this, I am returning the food tomorrow and might feed holistic home cooked meals until their stomachs are back to normal. I hope I didn’t wait too long, both were fed this food for dinner tonight and now I read all these recall articles – yikes!! Please say a prayer for my babies!

  14. nancy barratt

    What is the latest on this dog food?

  15. Christina

    I just bought two bags from Amazon; one at the end of September and one on Monday. Both have the rancid smell to it. I will be returning both and calling the company

    1. Nancy

      What was the outcome of this discussion and what was the expiry date? I have had this pop up with other foods as well.

  16. Shelly

    I need to know what is going on with this company. I had my GSD who is allergic to almost everything on it for a while , the Dr. E’s Limited Ingredient Buffalo and Duck formulas. I had issues with a few bags smelling rancid and returned them. Since December of this year, he will NOT touch this brand of food. He will sniff it and walk away. He will refuse to eat until dinner , at which time he is fed raw and gobbles that right up, like he’s starving. I tried giving it to him for dinner without him eating it at breakfast and he gave me the most pitifully sad look and walked away, refusing to eat it. He’s NEVER done this before. I order mine from Chewy online and they’ve been great about returning the food for me. Although what I want to know, is what exactly is going on with this company. The food isn’t cheap and it initially cleared up his skin allergies, but now he won’t touch it. There is clearly something wrong. He will eat the grain free Zignature kibble , but I think he may be allergic to the pea protein. There is something going on with all kibble , and I am to the point where I don’t trust any of it anymore. Look at all of the people who have switched their pet to a human made food diet and it cleared their digestive issues up. That tells me about all I need to know right there. But I want to know if this Great Life food was poisoning my dog. I want the truth on this .

  17. Shelly

    Why can I no longer pull up the Drsfinest website that sells this food and has Dr. Harvey phone number? Does any one know what happened to their website? I googled it and I get a message that their private server has expired and their site is unsafe, and I cannot even pull it up?

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