Is Beneful dry food safe for pet owners to feed their dogs? There are tweets saying a lawsuit claims the food is killing dog.
We can verify those tweets are false. A judge didn’t find evidence to warrant a trial and the FDA investigated and found no evidence the dog food is tainted.
A little more than two years ago, in February of 2015 , a California man filed a lawsuit against Nestle Purina, the makers of Beneful, after one of his dogs died and two of them got sick.
Simply put, their argument was that the dog food had toxins in it. The company strongly denied the allegations and in November of last year, a judge dismissed the lawsuit after ruling that the plaintiffs, the dog owners, didnt provide enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
Now the class action lawsuit pointed to thousands of complaints filed with the FDA about Beneful dog food between 2012 and 2014.
According to a posting by the FDA in April of last year, a surge in complaints came after a media report on the lawsuit.
Ultimately, it found no sufficient evidence that Beneful dog food had anything screwy in it that would make your dog sick.
List of Beneful Dog Food Recalls
Cause: Inadequate vitamins and minerals. Announcement: Company news release dated March 9, 2016 (archived here). What was recalled: The following Beneful wet dog foods in 10 oz. tubs, with both a “best before” date range between June 2017 and August 2017 and a production code range starting with the first 4 digits of 5363 through 6054:
This recall also involved certain 10 oz. tubs of Purina Pro Plan Savory Meals wet dog food. These, too, had both a “best before” date range between June 2017 and August 2017 and a production code range starting with the first 4 digits of 5363 through 6054:
No other Purina products or sizes were affected.
If you have not done so already, we urge you to sign up now for Petful’s FREE recall alerts by email. Our free alerts are saving pets’ lives.
Our Rating of Beneful Dog Food
Purina Beneful includes both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods using a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its primary source of animal protein, thus receiving 3.5 stars.
What’s This I Hear About Beneful Making Dogs Sick?
Beginning around 2011, a large number of online complaints about Beneful dog food rolled in from consumers.
Nestlé Purina has insisted there is nothing wrong with Beneful, calling many of the complaints “false” and “misleading.”
A consumer class-action lawsuit filed in February 2015 claimed that Beneful contained harmful substances that sickened or killed 1,400 dogs. Nestlé Purina responded that the lawsuit was “baseless” and that Beneful remains a “high-quality, nutritious food.”
“Online postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers,” said the company.
In 2015, Nestlé Purina launched the “I Stand Behind Beneful” campaign ad to counteract the rumors.
And in November 2016, the class-action lawsuit was dismissed, with the judge ruling there was not enough evidence that the pet food was “unsafe based on the mere fact that 1,400 dogs ate Beneful and got sick or died thereafter.”
The judge added: “Indeed, there is no evidence such as an evaluation by a veterinarian that a dog actually did get sick or die because it ate Beneful.”
Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, told Petful in 2015, “Some of my clients believe they have done irreparable damage to their pet because they have fed this food. One of my clients is convinced that his elderly dog died last year because he fed Beneful. I believe the dog died of other causes.”
“Although many veterinarians will tell you that Beneful and similar low-end pet foods are not on their ‘recommended’ list, you shouldn’t panic if you’re feeding Beneful,” Dr. Lichtenberg said.
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists — who have no reason to protect Nestlé Purina or any other company — were not convinced that Beneful was deadly, she said.
The perpetual rumors and complaints are in the realm of “fearmongering and hysteria,” according to Dr. Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, DACVN, of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
The class-action suit alleged that propylene glycol, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive for humans and dogs, was the source of the sickness and deaths in dogs who ate Beneful. Many people confuse propylene glycol with ethylene glycol, a toxic agent found in antifreeze. They are not the same.
Although you may want to avoid propylene glycol for you and your dog (and you absolutely want to avoid it for cats), it’s unlikely that the amount of propylene glycol found in Beneful caused the deaths.
“There are hundreds of reasons a dog becomes ‘sick,’ lethargic, collapses, etc.,” said Dr. Lichtenberg. “The internet has allowed people to find one reason — Beneful — to explain away a vast array of canine illnesses and to create hysteria among good people.”
She added: “Millions of dogs have eaten Beneful and other crappy foods without getting sick. Death by low-exposure poisoning over a number of years is possible, but it’s more in the realm of TV doggy drama than real life.”
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