Food Guidelines

Is Purina’s Beneful Dog Food Killing Dogs?

benefulIn the human food industry, there are laws against calling something healthy when it’s not. There are regulations against deceitful packaging and outright lies to consumers.

There are no such laws and regulations in the dog food industry.

That’s right, a manufacturer can fill a bag with massive amounts of sugars, animal by-products, and fillers, label the food as healthy and nutritious, cover the bag with photos of vibrant, happy dogs surrounded by fresh meats and vegetables and sell millions of bags to unsuspecting consumers that believe they’re doing right by their dog.

Such is the case with Purina’s Beneful line of dog food. Here’s how Beneful describes their Original flavor kibble:

Beneful® brand Dog Food Original helps keep your dog happy and healthy with a perfect balance of healthful ingredients, quality nutrition and superb taste. It’s made with wholesome grains and real beef, and accented with vitamin-rich vegetables.

The only truthful part of this statement is the superb taste. And that’s only because the manufacturer sprays the food with rendered animal fats, making it irresistible to hungry dogs.

In truth, the number one ingredient in all of Beneful’s recipes is corn, a commonly-used filler that provides very little nutrition to dogs. In addition to providing little nutritional value, corn has a high glycemic index, raising your dog’s blood sugar, and is not easily digested by dogs.

The next ingredient in this so-called “healthy food” is chicken by-product meal. This is essentially the waste that’s left over after the good meat has been removed: feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and organs (the only nutritious part of by-product) that are “unfit for human consumption.”

Third ingredient in their food is corn gluten meal. Glutens are an inferior source of protein behind meat by-products. Using corn gluten meal in their food allows Beneful to show a higher protein content on their bag, making it appear to be a higher quality food.

It’s not until the seventh ingredient that we finally reach beef. But, since beef is 80% water, when it is cooked down, it only amounts to a small percentage of it’s pre-cooked weight, meaning it could belong much further down the list of ingredients.

As if these reasons alone aren’t enough to avoid this product altogether, dog owners are now claiming that Purina’s Beneful is killing their dogs.

You’ll remember that Purina is the manufacturer of the Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats imported from China that have been investigated since 2007, only now being recalled after illegal drug residue was found in the treats.

Are they using the same Chinese factories responsible for nearly 500 dog deaths and thousands of illnesses to manufacture their foods, too?

Since October of 2012 until now, 229 complaints have been made against Beneful dog food to Consumer Affairs.

Dog owners are reporting such illnesses as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, weight loss, and seizures after only a few meals of Beneful dog food. Other, less-frequent complaints, have reported bloat (a life-threatening condition in dogs), liver failure, kidney failure, and even death.

According to a report by The Examiner, veterinarians have reported bacterial infections, liver and kidney failure and high toxins in pets that have been brought in related to Beneful dog food illnesses.

Clearly, Purina is ignoring the complaints by consumers (just as they did for over 5 years with their chicken jerky treats) and, as of yet, there is no FDA recall or warning on these products.

It is up to us, the consumers and dog owners, to stop supporting brands that don’t put our pet’s health and well-being at the forefront of their company mission. If we collectively take a stand against brands known for poor nutrition, questionable ingredients, and deceitful packaging, they will eventually be forced to change.

How many more dogs have to suffer because of an industry that allows them to?



  1. Nancy

    Mar 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

    This is a sad state of affairs in the industry. It really takes a ton of research anymore before deciding on what food you can safely feed your dog. Luckily, I haven’t had the heartache that many of the other commenters had but I do know I won’t be feeding my dog Beneful.

  2. Stacie Preston

    Mar 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    We fed my little Shi Zu beneful for the last year. About a month ago she got where she couldn't walk on her back legs a week later started having seziures and after taking her to the vet 3 different times and keeping her for 3 days in the hospital we find out her liver was not working properly then her sugar was dropping. She went from knowing her name and playful full of energy to nothing. I am hoping this is not the cause of my sweet girls sickness. We had to make the decision Friday March 3 to put our sweet girl to sleep . The most difficult decision we have had to make in a very long time.

  3. Gwenn Melis

    Feb 15, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I've been feeding Beneful for 6 months, and have had no problems with my Schnauzers. We feed Beneful Playful Life.

  4. Rhonda Vari

    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I was giving my dog Beneful. Suddenly, she started having seizures. I heard on tv about the detrimental effects of Beneful dog food. I stopped giving it to my yorkipoo immediately. I changed the food but it was too late. She died just a couple weeks ago of a grand map seizure. I am inconsolable. Perhaps, the Beneful poisoned her and it was too late for my little dog.

  5. Pingback: “What Foods Should I Feed My Dog?”- Hint: DON'T ask the vet - Dog Boys

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest dog news, recall alerts, and giveaways!

You have Successfully Subscribed!