Ol Roys Dog Food

Has Ol’ Roy Ever Been Recalled?

Yes. Independent testing in February 2018 by a TV news investigative team reportedly turned up traces of sodium pentobarbital — often used as a euthanasia drug — in samples of Gravy Train. Pentobarbital can be deadly when consumed by dogs or cats.

As a result of that investigation, the J.M. Smucker Company announced a recall of various flavors of Ol’ Roy, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits and Skippy canned dog foods. It wasn’t the first time pentobarbital had turned up alongside mentions of Ol’ Roy. More on that in a bit…

A recall in October 2008 was expanded a few weeks later. The manufacturer, Mars Petcare US, had been alerted to potential salmonella contamination of dry pet food products, which included certain packages of Ol’ Roy dry dog food produced in a Mars Petcare facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The previous month, September 2008, had also seen a recall of Ol’ Roy dry dog food for the same reason: potential salmonella contamination. That recall involved many other brands of dog and cat foods, too — such as Pedigree, Special Kitty, PMI Nutrition, Red Flannel, Members Mark and Retriever — all of which had been produced at Mars Petcare’s manufacturing facility in Everson, Pennsylvania.

In June 2007, a single lot of 55 lb. bags of Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition was recalled for the same reason: possible salmonella contamination. However, this dog food had been manufactured at Doane Pet Care’s Manassas, Virginia, plant. No other Ol’ Roy products were affected. The recalled food had been distributed to Walmart locations in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

In March 2007, as part of the larger Menu Foods/melamine recall that shocked the country, various sizes and varieties of Ol’ Roy dog foods and treats were recalled because of potential melamine contamination.

In June 2006, certain Ol’ Roy canned dog foods were recalled because of lining separation in the cans. According to Simmons Pet Food, the manufacturer, there was “random flaking” from the inside coating of the cans. Simmons said the incidence of flaking was extremely low, involving less than 0.1% of cans, but the company still felt it was “in the best interest of our customers to voluntarily recover this product from the marketplace.”

Finally, there was a large recall of Ol’ Roy in November 1998, following reports of sickness in pets and the deaths of “around 25 dogs.” The food was thought to be contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxic byproduct of a mold that attacks corn under certain temperature and moisture conditions. Drought, insect damage to crops, and improper storage and handling can all increase the risk of contamination.

The recall involved at least 17 brand names of dry dog food manufactured by Doane Pet Care at its Temple, Texas, plant between July 1 and Aug. 31, 1998 — names included Country Acres, Dura Life, Exceed, Feedin Time, Golden Boy, Grand Paw, Hill Country, Maxximum Performance, Ol’ Roy, PMI Nutrition, Remarkable Menu, Retriever, Slick, Sportsman Choice, Wendland, Winchester and Winner. Corn was the primary ingredient in the foods.

In all, nearly 1.4 million bags of dog food were recalled that had been distributed to Texas and Louisiana. Doane Pet Care incurred $3 million in expenses because of the recall.

“We sincerely apologize if any of the products we make contributed in any way to family pets dying,” said Douglass J. Cahill, Doane’s CEO at the time. He noted that “since the first hint of the problem” the company had initiated its own “around-the-clock investigation.”

Full details about all Ol’ Roy dog food recalls appear below.

In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) released the results of its investigation into the presence of pentobarbital in popular dog foods. This euthanasia drug was finding its way into dog food by way of euthanized, rendered cattle and horses.

“Rendered” means some of the meat ingredients were created from the process of byproducts and other materials being cooked together and then centrifuged. Rendered ingredients can include animal digest, animal fat, beef and bone meal, beef tallow, and meat and bone meal.

A previous study (by the University of Minnesota in 1995) had already demonstrated that pentobarbital survives the rendering process virtually intact. In other words, high-temperature cooking does not destroy it.

CVM scientists analyzed nonrepresentative samples of dozens of dog foods purchased from retail stores in 1998 and 2000. Brands that ended up testing positive for the presence of pentobarbital included Ol’ Roy, Dad’s, Purina Pro Plan, Nutro, Kibbles ’n Bits and Gravy Train. Yes, all of these brands were shown to contain some level of pentobarbital, a deadly drug.

According to the CVM, its researchers concluded, however, that “the low levels of exposure to pentobarbital that dogs might receive through pet food [was] unlikely to cause them any adverse health effects.” Also, the center stressed that there was “a complete absence” of dog or cat DNA in the samples — meaning that, contrary to decades-old, horrifying rumors and myths, no euthanized dogs or cats had been rendered into the pet food.

The lab results released upon completion of the CVM’s investigation in 2002 showed that, along with several other dog food brands, samples of Ol’ Roy tested positive for the presence of pentobarbital — but not in amounts thought to be harmful to dogs. Here are the varieties that tested positive:

  • Ol’ Roy Krunchy Bites & Bones
  • Ol’ Roy Premium Formula With Chicken Protein and Rice
  • Ol’ Roy High Performance With Chicken Protein and Rice
  • Ol’ Roy Meaty Chunks and Gravy
  • Ol’ Roy Puppy Formula Beef Flavor
  • Ol’ Roy Puppy Formula Chicken and Rice
  • Ol’ Roy Lean Formula
  • Understand that these tests results from 2002 simply reflect “a snapshot in time,” as the CVM describes it. The investigation took place many years ago, and the pet food formulations have most certainly changed since then. Therefore, “the data cannot be used to draw inferences about dog food being produced and sold in the U.S. today,” the CVM says.

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    This is the worst dry dog food you can get. Would you want to eat food that has zero nutritional value and does more harm than good? If not, why feed your dog this stuff? It has animal byproducts and is comparable to feeding your dog junk food. We just rescued a dog that had been fed Ol Roy. Even the animal control officer said how bad it is. She loves the food that we give her and always leaves a clean bowl. There are plenty of dry dog foods out there that are way better. Just do your research. Your dog deserves better.

    We been buying the 24pk of canned food for 2 years now, our 3 small dogs love it..lately I been seeing black jelly like material in the cans of chicken and rice, I dont know what it is, has anyone else seen this?

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    I have two old small dogs, one is 17 years old and one is 19 years old, one has no teeth, and I love Ol Roy pouches. It is easy for them to eat and they gobble it up. They love it. I lost my job because of the pandemic of 11 years, so I am thankful that Ol Roy always has good quality and great prices. And before they had a hard time chewing until I bought Ol Roy pouch food. Now they eat 3 bags each at a time. They love it! Thanks.

    My 4 year old Australian shepherd/lab mix, Max, had been eating the food for around a week when he had a seizure. He ate his breakfast and around 15 minutes later he was foaming at the mouth and bleeding from his nose he was shaking and crying. Im more than positive the dog food caused it.

    Ol Roy took my best friend of 8 years from me! On 10/9/21 my husband & I went grocery shopping & as usual we bought Kash’s dog food but Walmart was out of his “normal” dog food. I’m assuming due to the shortage. So we bought Ol Roy dry dog food for the first time. It was a Saturday evening when we bought it & by Wednesday I noticed Kash had stopped eating. My dog had a big appetite so I knew something was off when he didn’t eat. He became fatigue & was laying around a lot more than normal. Then he started having bloody diarrhea & vomiting & walking like he was drunk, his eyes were very red. He became very weak & couldn’t stand. He then passed away a few days later.

    I remembered we had switched his dog food to Ol Roy so I looked online & found so many more stories of dogs getting severely sick or dying! I’m so heartbroken that this happened & is still happening. I don’t understand how this dog food is still being sold after so many dogs have become sick & died because of this poison! That’s exactly what it is is poison! It needs to be taken off the shelves! Someone has to stand up for our furry friends! This needs to stop! I’m sharing my story in hopes of helping and saving other dogs!

    I have never fed my 3 dogs Ol Roys food before but decided to give it a try one time when I didnt feel up to going to the store that sells the brand of food I normally use. I really wish I hadnt been so lazy. I mixed some of their old food with the new Ol Roys dry food, topping their meal off with some Ol Roys canned food for a little gravy mix. My dogs are little guys so I am always very good about not overfeeding them. Imagine my surprise when one of them started getting very bloated and constipated right away, another one became very sleepy and quit eating her food, and the third dog began vomiting after finishing his meal. This all happened after one small meal, which I thought at first could just be related to the change in the new food.

    However, with each meal throughout the week, the dogs would all get sick. I knew it was this brand of food because they had been fine before I made the change, and their sickness came on so suddenly after eating the first meal. We pulled them off the food, threw it away, and started them back on the food that worked well for them before. I never should have changed their food, and I never should have been lazy and gone with Ol Roy. Its a dangerous product that should not be on the market. PLEASE DONT BUY THIS FOOD OR ANYTHING RELATED TO THIS BRAND…IT WILL HARM YOUR PET. It messed my dogs systems up so bad they still arent back to normal.

    After reading these reviews on Ol Roy dog food, I am very concerned. My chiweenie started eating this food and after a case, has become very ill. We took him to the vet and he now has liver failure and heart failure. He was vomiting and brought him into the vet and we are convinced that this fog food is what hot him very ill. There is no hope for him and have to make the difficult decision to have to put him down, so he will stop suffering. Before eating this dog food, he was healthy and happy. Our Chiweenie has been with our family for 13 years, our whole family is devastated.

    I had just adopted a German Shepherd who is an aggressive chewer and loves treats. I got these dog treats as an afternoon treat before dinner. He literally threw up 3 times within minutes of finishing it. Knew it was the treat cause the only other thing hes eaten all day was a milk bone treat hes been eating all week. I was really hoping this would be a good treat for him as it wasnt too expensive but no. Will never get any Ol Roy dog food again. They must have done something different cause I never had this problem 8 years ago with my other dogs.

    We bought a bag of Ol Roy dry dog food for our dogs. Our Rottweiler ate some of it and was very sleepy. I did not realise that it could be the food. Our Pekingese was less lucky. We took her to the vet as she became very ill after consuming the Ol Roy food. She was vomiting and blood started coming out with her very runny stool. The Vet told us that it seemed as though she had been poisoned. They could not pull her through. We had to try and trace what could have poisoned her or made her ill. When I mentioned we changed their food to Ol Roy our Vet was very concerned. He said that we should stop giving it immediately. Our Rottweiler luckily survived but reading all the reviews here I am certain it was the Ol Roy food that made our dogs sick and was responsible for the death of our Pekingese.

    We noticed our pit bull was throwing up immediately after eating this brand of food. We purchased a new brand right away however as I was dumping the 50 pound bag of food, I found a dead mouse, explains why he was getting sick.

    Ol’ Roy Dog Food Formulas Reviewed

    There are different Ol’Roy Dog Food formulas. Take a look at our product review to find out which recipe is the best dog food from the brand.

    Summary: This soft dog food is a budget-friendly source of complete nutrition that uses beef meal as the primary ingredient for taste and nutrients. The soft and moist nature of the food is easily chewable for young dogs as well as senior dogs or dogs who have teeth issues. Hearty beef and cheddar flavor keep dogs interested while providing vital vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy and happy dogs. It is good value for money and is available in a 4-lbs box available on Amazon and 36 pouches per box at Walmart, which are convenient for easy serving and storage.

    Type: Soft & moist dog food

    Best for: Adult dogs

    Flavor Options: Beef

    Price: $4.00/lb


  • Beef and cheddar flavor entices dogs
  • With vitamins and minerals for healthy body function
  • Available in large 13.5-lbs boxes
  • Provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition
  • Readily available and at an affordable price
  • Cons

  • High fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient
  • Includes artificial colors
  • Ingredient Analysis: Beef by-product is the first ingredient. By-product is the usable product other than muscle meats obtained from animal processing meaning the ingredients are low quality. High fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient which is not ideal as it provides no nutritional value, only carbohydrates. The remaining ingredients are processed plants or synthetic additives for vitamins and minerals. Calcium, vitamin E, and niacin are all supplemented, and red 40, yellow 5, and yellow-6 are included for color. It provides all of the nutrition a dog needs but at the cost of using low-grade ingredients.

    Review: Most reviews on Walmart’s website are positive, with many customers complimenting the product for being a great meal additive to dry food. They say their dogs who are aging and losing teeth can eat this food and still enjoy it. The most common complaint among negative reviews is the food had made their dogs ill. They suspect the ingredients may have caused the illnesses, even in dogs who had been eating this food for some time.

    Summary: This dry food is formulated to be easily digestible and provide protein for healthy muscles. It is made with meat and bone meal and poultry by-product meal as the primary protein sources. They feature a small selection of flavors available in up to 50-lb bags that are made to keep dogs from becoming bored with mealtime. The ingredients in this product provide every necessary nutrient a dog needs to be healthy, making this a complete nutrition dog food.

    Type: Dry dog food

    Best for: Adult dogs

    Flavor Options: N/A

    Price: $0.84/lb


  • Source of complete nutrition
  • Extremely affordable price tag
  • Formulated to be easily digestible
  • Relatively high in protein
  • Comes in large 50-pound bags
  • Cons

  • Artificial colors are used in this product
  • Corn is the first ingredient
  • Ingredient Analysis: Ground whole grain corn is the first ingredient, which is a filler and only provides a nominal amount of carbohydrates. Meat and bone meal are the second ingredient and the primary source of protein. This is not ideal as it is not made clear what animal the meat and bone came from. This can cause issues for dogs who may have food allergies. Unspecified animal fat is included for crude fat content, and poultry by-product meal is used for additional protein and flavor. This food has a rich vitamin and mineral profile, mainly due to supplementation.

    Review: Many consumers claim their dogs enjoy this food. Some say they have dogs who turned down higher-end brands like Blue Buffalo and Iams in favor of Ol’ Roy. About 10% of consumers did not have a great experience, however. Numerous complaints about wrong delivery or damaged products were made in reviews, as well as comments about their dogs refusing to eat the food altogether.


    Is Ol Roy Good dog food for your dog?

    Ol’ Roy is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a modest amount of meat and bone meal or poultry by-product meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star. Not recommended.

    Is Walmart discontinuing Ol Roy dog food?

    Today, we learn of yet another national brand of dog food was found to contain the lethal euthanizing drug sodium pentobarbital: Walmart’s brand Ol’ Roy canned dog food. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is now in the process of quietly removing it from all 4,700 stores across America.

    Is Ol Roy dog food made by Purina?

    After the Mars acquisition of Doane, Ol’ Roy was manufactured for Walmart by Mars Petcare US, Del Monte Foods’ pet division, Simmons Pet Food Inc. and Sunshine Mills Inc., depending on the product.