Problems With Merrick Dog Food 2020

In this review… The Dog Food Advisor takes a candid look at Merrick Dog Food… and its most important sub-brands.

List of Merrick Pet Food Recalls

Cause: Potential for elevated beef thyroid hormone. Announcement: Company news release dated May 23, 2018 (archived here). What was recalled: The following beef dog treats, but only the ones with “best before” dates falling between May 1, 2017 and Sept. 1, 2019 :

  • Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Prime Patties Real Beef Recipe, 4 oz., UPC #780872510806
  • Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Sausage Cuts Real Beef Recipe, 5 oz., UPC #780872510745
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky, 4.5 oz., UPC #022808786160
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Sausage Cuts, 5 oz., UPC #022808786047
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Steak Patties, 4 oz., UPC #022808786078
  • Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA report dated Aug. 8, 2011 (archived here). What was recalled: Merrick Doggie Wishbone pet treats, UPC #2280829050, Lot #11031, best by Jan. 30, 2013.

    Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA report dated Jan. 28, 2011 (archived here). What was recalled: Merrick Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats, UPC #02280827077, all lot numbers up to and including 10364. No “best by” date given.

    Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA reports dated July 2, Aug. 3 and Aug. 16, 2010 (archived here). What was recalled: All lots of the following Merrick treats:

  • Merrick Beef Filet Squares, 10 oz.
  • Merrick Texas Hold’ems pet treats, 10 oz.
  • Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) news release dated Sept. 19, 2002, and FDA Enforcement Report dated Jan. 29, 2003 (archived here). What was recalled: Merrick Delicatessen Style Beef Steak Patties, distributed in Canada.

    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.

    Have You Had a Problem With Merrick Pet Food?

  • See our reporting page for contact info.
  • Leave a comment below to share your experience with others.
  • “Our Story.” Merrick.
  • “Merrick Pet Care Company Background.” Merrick. March 2014.
  • Brown, Chip. “Merrick Petfoods Putting Rover in Bow-Wow Bliss.” The Odessa (Texas) American. Nov. 19, 1990. 14A.
  • “Merrick Pet Care Announces Purchase Agreement by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.” Merrick. July 21, 2015.
  • Bernier, Lisa. “Purina Just Announced It’s Taking Over This Popular Natural Dog Food Company.” BarkPost. 2015.
  • “Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Announces Successful Completion of Acquisition of Merrick Pet Care Inc.” Purina News Center. Sept. 2, 2015.
  • Arnold, Brandy. “Customers Furious as Purina Buys Merrick Pet Care.” The Dogington Post. July 22, 2015.
  • Anderson, Brian. “Livermore Couple Sues Pet Food Firm.” Contra Costa Times. Jan. 14, 2004.
  • Rosynsky, Paul T. “Pet Food Express Suing Supplier.” East Bay Times. April 5, 2007.
  • Nestle, Marion. Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. University of California Press. 2008. 20.
  • “Questions & Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation Into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). June 27, 2019.
  • “Merrick Pet Care Voluntarily Recalls Limited Amount of Good Buddy and Backcountry Treats Containing Beef Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Thyroid Hormone.” Merrick. May 23, 2018. Archived at
  • “Merrick Pet Care Recalls Doggie Wishbone Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk.” FDA. Aug. 8, 2011. Archived at
  • “Merrick Pet Care Recalls Jr. Texas Taffy Pet Treat Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk.” FDA. Jan. 28, 2011. Archived at
  • “Merrick Pet Care Recalls Filet Squares & Texas Hold’ems 10 oz. Bag Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk.” FDA. Aug. 16, 2010. Archived at
  • “Safety Alert: Presence of Salmonella Bacteria in Merrick Brand Pet Treats Delicatessen Style Beef Steak Patties.” Canada NewsWire. Sept. 19, 2002.
  • “Enforcement Report.” FDA. Jan. 29, 2003. Archived at
  • Williamson, Kerry. “Dog Treat Warning Issued.” Calgary Herald. Oct. 10, 2002.
  • A Quick Look at Merrick Dog Food Pros

  • Good amount of protein
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Includes taurine and other important nutrients
  • Cons

  • Relatively high in carbs
  • Uses lots of plant protein
  • Merrick recalled their dog treats in January 2010, and later expanded that recall several times in the same year. There was concern that several beef-flavored treats might have been infected with Salmonella, although no pets were ever reported to have gotten sick from eating the treats.

    There were two more treat recalls in 2011, also for potential Salmonella infection. There were no reported illnesses associated with either recall.

    In 2018, a wide variety of their beef treats were recalled due to the potential for elevated levels of a naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone. One dog was reported to be ill from eating the treats, and that pet later made a full recovery.

    The thyroid hormone isn’t thought to be life-threatening, yet it can have negative health impacts all the same. Merrick recalled the treats out of an abundance of caution.

    To the best of our knowledge, there have been no recalls on any Merrick dry foods. Also, the company’s history of being proactive in regards to issuing recalls is reassuring.


    Has Merrick dog food been recalled?

    Has Merrick Ever Been Recalled? Yes. In May 2018, some Merrick beef-based dog treats were recalled because of potentially elevated beef thyroid hormone. The company said it was aware of a single customer complaint of a sickened dog.

    Is Merrick pet food going out of business?

    As previously announced, Merrick will continue to operate as an independent business, with no planned changes to its management or operations. Merrick has more than 350 employees located primarily in Texas and Illinois, and offers a wide variety of dry and wet foods, as well as treats, for both dogs and cats.

    Does Merrick dog food cause heart problems?

    The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a potential link between certain brands of dog food, including Blue Buffalo, Merrick and Rachel Ray Nutrish, and an increased risk of heart disease in pets.

    Is Merrick good for dogs?

    Dog Food Advisor generally considers Merrick to be a good quality brand with healthy ingredients that will suit the majority of dogs. They’ve rated the Classic range 4.5 stars out of 5, the Grain Free range 5 stars, the Backcountry range 5 stars and the Limited Ingredient Diet range 4 stars.