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. Carla Woodward

    Jul 25, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I have long suspected that Beneful was the sorce for the problems that my beloved Shi Tzu “Pinto” had. Granted he was getting older but the last year of his life he suffered from urethral blockages (by stones that caused him to not be able to pee and had to be cathatered for relief). One time when the vet pulled the catheter out he put the tip of it on my finger and told me to rub them together. It felt like grit from sandpaper!!!!! I want to cry right now thinking about it all. And he drank water ALL OF THE TIME. He ate Beneful for pretty much 10 years…but I think that all just started building up in his system. There was no other explanation for his stones and “bladder grit”. My heart breaks thinking about how he must have been suffering. Was it because of Beneful? Who knows. But I do know I’ll NEVER feed it to the new doggie love of my life.

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  3. Stacey E.

    Jun 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Bloat is caused by intestines knotting up. It is not because of a dog food. The very first paragraph of this article is a lie. You can claim things are healthy when they aren’t, and there are no laws that prevent it. There are a lot of people that will believe anything they’re told, and because someone decided to try to make a buck off if it, then it must be true. I’ve read several articles where people try to pin the most ridiculous things on a dog food. Dogs can have genetic abnormalities. They have cancer, liver failure, tumors, kennel cough, and bloat and all of these things are genetic. You can’t blame a dog food for it. Some dogs die early from disease just like humans do. I think if this dog food was poisonous, then so many dogs wouldn’t be just fine after having ingested it. Some for years. It wouldn’t just affect SOME dogs as poison, it would affect all of them. That isn’t the case. Poison is poison. Some dogs don’t also ingest poison and get to be healthy. They’d all show symptoms. They all don’t. Internet hype doesn’t mean it’s true. I’d like some statistics about how many of these “murdered” dogs were purebred. I’m of the opinion that the weakened breeder dog is to blame in this instance, and not a dog food. In the effort of arrogant humans to have purebred dogs, they get weakened and sick dogs as a result. Those people should be ashamed for inflicting disease and sickness on a helpless creature.

    • Stacey E.

      Jun 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      woops, kennel cough isn’t genetic, but the rest are.

  4. Jenn p

    May 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Unfortunately we fed our 2 dogs beneful healthy weight and in 2008 our very healthy dog Scooby died from bloat:-( and in 2014 our dog Xena his sister started having seizures and died from a brain tumor:-( I’m pretty sure it was the dog food:-( I now feed my girl blue Buffalo and homemade dog food.

    • Phyllis

      Jul 15, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Funny that I fed my shitzu beneful for 16 years until he died of old age. No problems whatsoever. I now have fed my six year old boxer the exact same food and again one of the healthiest dogs my vet has seen. You may want to look for other reasons for your dogs illness.

  5. Clare purvis

    May 23, 2016 at 12:12 am

    My Statfy has increased her to after intake since starting Beneful$ so I did some research & im disgusted & shocked that the his food could kill my dog im in my second bag So im tossing it in the rubbish ho disgraceful is this company! I’ll sue th Se badtards if my dog gets an illness due to this disgusting dog food these horrid people are putting on the shells in supermarkets & they don’t care! Bloody False advertising!

  6. James

    Apr 20, 2016 at 12:51 am

    My beautiful Stafford shire of 9 years was just taken into the emergency room at the vets for lethargy, bloating, high water I take , and not being able to keep her hid quarters up. They said her vitamin d was extremely high and also that she was diabetic. Originally diagnosed as pyometra but later changed by another attending vet to an I don’t know d I diagnosis. More tests and more money . 3500.00 later my best friend my closest the other a child I will ever have and she is suffering a d needed to be put down. I gave her beneful for a week prior and now am certain that Purina poisoned my kid. I will not stop investigating both Purina and VCA until I get an answer to why I no longer have my family member Mary MJ with me. People feed on and take advantage of loyal owners who would do anything to save their pets and it has to stop. I will meet it my life mission to stopping these conglomerates and corporations for Murdering any more innocent animals.

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