Food Guidelines

Purina’s Beneful Ignores Consumer Complaints

Dog owners nationwide are calling for a recall of Nestlé Purina’s Beneful line of dog foods, claiming the food has directly resulted in the illness and/or death of hundreds of beloved pets.

Aside from being nutritionally unsound, packed with corn-based fillers and by-products proven to be unhealthy and unnecessary in a dog’s diet, consumers are reporting a wide range of illnesses ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to bacterial infections, liver and kidney failure, and even death after eating the popular kibble.

Instead of addressing the concerns and questions from hundreds of confused, concerned, and often angry consumers through their Beneful Facebook page, the dog food giant has instead beefed up their social media moderation, deleting comments, banning consumers that post complaints or photos of their beloved pets, and posting canned responses claiming the quality and integrity of their products and urging pet parents to feed their pets Beneful with complete confidence.

Nestlé Purina spokesperson Keith Schopp told MSN News that the online postings “contain false and misleading allegations and cause undue concern and confusion among consumers.” He continued, “There are no known product issues with Beneful dog food. Consumers can continue to feed Beneful to their pets with total confidence.”

In response to Facebook comments and posts, moderators are replying with canned responses echoing those of Schopp above.

One devastated pet owner named Jodi wrote to Beneful, “My dog has ate beneful for his whole life of four years and recently diagnosed with chronic kidney failer and I have researched and discovered beneful uses substances found in anti freeze that slowly causes kidney and liver failer due to the toxins I would like to thank you for killing my lil puppy that I loved at the young age of four :(”

Beneful responded, “We’re sorry to learn of your loss, Jodi. We’d like to know more about your situation. Please give our team a call Monday at 800-877-7551. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you.”

Since Jodi’s post, hundreds more have made similar claims to Beneful, demanding answers, looking for the manufacturer to take some responsibility and investigate the claims made against them. For every one of hundreds of similar consumer comments, Beneful’s response has been the same. A simple copied & pasted canned response that only seems to fuel the fire.

Sound familiar?

For the past 5 years, Nestle Purina was under the same consumer scrutiny for their Canyon Creek Ranch and Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats imported from China. Until the recall of these products in January, Purina’s customer service team provided consumers with nearly identical responses to those they’re giving Beneful customers now.

Despite continued consumer complaints and Purina’s insisting that their chicken jerky products were safe, the treats were found to contain traces of illegal antibiotic drug residue and were eventually pulled from store shelves.

Will Purina’s Beneful line of products face the same fate?

The Dogington Post reached out the the Food & Drug Administration, with concerns about what appears to be a lack of action or interest in the complaints against Beneful. The FDA admitted that they have received “some” complaints about Beneful and are “looking into the situation.” The FDA is also urging consumers to report any problems associated with the popular dog food by visiting the FDA’s online Safety Reporting Portal. To submit a complaint, click here.

Additionally, If you believe that your dog has been affected by Purina’s Beneful brand dog food – in either a negative or positive way, please join the Facebook group, “Is Beneful Killing or Sickening Dogs” by clicking here. Since the group was created a few months ago, over 1,000 members are already sharing stories, collecting data and veterinary reports, and drawing media attention to their cause. As Beneful continues to ignore consumer questions and concerns, the group continues to grow.

A member of the group told us, “We are mostly refugees from the Purina Beneful Facebook site, banned because we started asking questions. Is it a problem with Aflatoxins from moldy corn? Is it a problem with Organosphosphates? Could this be linked to Monsanto’s GMO grain which is sprayed with Round-up, an Organophosphate? Is it a problem with Pentobarbitol poisoning? Pentobarbitol is found when euthanized animals are used in rendering… a huge problem in Spanish pet food right now. Is it due to the low nutritional quality? The use of synthetic and controversial Vitamin K as menadione? Or maybe there is more than one factor at work here?”

It’s clear that we can’t always rely on the integrity of manufacturers, or on the timeliness of an FDA investigation to keep our furry family out of harm’s way. Find a dog food manufacturer that puts the health and safety of your pets at the forefront of their company mission, provides complete transparency in regards to sourcing, handling, and processing of their foods, and uses species-appropriate ingredients, not cheap fillers, by-products, and chemicals.






  1. Nina

    Nov 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    and the “premium” foods are held to no higher standards than the rest. They just hire people who know how to use all the right words “locally sourced”(how does a northern country “locally source fruits and vegetables?), “locally raised meat”(yeah, locally raised, but processed in the next country), “passed USDA certification before it enters our kitchen”(but, how long before-could be before slaughter!) and are well-trained in avoiding giving answers to questions.
    Not saying Beneful is good or bad…but there is no perfect food, and the others are not as supreme as they say.

  2. CC

    Oct 18, 2013 at 4:19 am

    “Nina” writes:

    Do you really believe a company as large as Purina/Nestlé is either not going to have the resources and desire to test everything possible….”

    They are in the WASTE business — maximising profits on what would otherwise be over-flowing in the landfills not vast enough to hold it. Merely glancing at the ingredient panels will PROVE this.
    Everybody laughs all the way to the bank — expect for sucker pet owners who believe all the deceitful advertising and gimmicks.

    Oh yeah, they (and Hill’s) literally OWN the Veterinary “community” (as they are so fondly referred as) as well. Google “Pets Ring Dings” and the first hits will be for a Harvard Law Paper, explaining it all in detail. Not to mention, all the advertising $$$$$ pumped into the mainstream mediot rackets by Nestle (and the other junk conglomerates).

  3. cenajone

    Oct 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    my co-worker’s step-mother makes $80 every hour on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her payment was $14571 just working on the computer for a few hours. browse around this website…

  4. Janet

    Oct 5, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Our dogs started getting sick and after some Google searches where I discovered other dogs were also getting sick I threw that food away and switched them to Diamond Naturals. They love it and it’s got a 4-star rating at I can’t afford the 5-star foods but this seems a good alternative.

  5. Nina

    Oct 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I do not work for any company, organization, etc. I am unemployed. I do not currently own a dog, even though I have previously been blessed with many in my life.
    You must either be one of the fake profiles that posts on the FB page, or you are being fed a lot of bunk by those that do. Why do people think that just because they complain about something, it is going to disappear? Whether the food is crap or not, there is no proof it has caused harm. With no identified culprit, there would be no withdrawal or recall.There will always be better food and worse food, even within the same brand. Someone will find something wrong with any diet. Beneful has said they have tested. FDA says they have tested…no one believes them, yet independent testing is either not being done or, when it is done by consumers, and the results are negative, they are not made public.
    Beneful does not delete simply negative comments. If you have been to the page, there are plenty of even libelous comments. Neither are they “…banning consumers that post complaints or photos of their beloved pets”. They ban people who continually post against their guidelines. They have chosen non-Beneful dogs as their “featured” dogs. There are also plenty of people there right now….who pose questions…get an answer…then laugh and mock it. They badger the company for answers that are proprietary, then claim they are hiding something, because they won’t answer. They also badger ANYONE who shows ANY favor to the brand.
    The responses seem “canned”, because they are asked the same things over and over again, and they are Facebook monitors, for Heaven’s sake…I doubt they are qualified to answer every question! “For every one of hundreds of similar consumer comments, Beneful’s response has been the same.”…is simply not true. They answer what they can, and always include the poster’s name, for one thing.
    Why would the consumer not call the company? That has always been standard operating procedure. Why are the people NOT submitting reports to their State Depts. of Agriculture, USDA/APHIS, FTC, even the FDA? The majority of complaints are at the Consumer Affairs internet gripe site, that profits from negative reviews, and is a window shop for class-action attorneys.
    The jerky treats are continually brought up, also. The treats were pulled immediately, once an adulteration was found, which backs up my theory that nothing will happen with the food, without a culprit.

    I am not even going to get into your “group”, none of whom was banned for “asking questions”. “Over 1,000 members”…and no one can offer proof? 90% of the dogs claimed to be victims were obviously near the end of their lifespan.

    Do you really believe a company as large as Purina/Nestlé is either not going to have the resources and desire to test everything possible….OR that they would let the brand die, simply for lack of action? Do not get me wrong! Even ONE death, proven to be cause by something fed to a pet is TOO MANY, there just doesn’t seem to be proof here, nor with all of the other foods that have identical complaints, and identical “answers” on their FB pages. I would be one of the first in line, to insist in eliminating the product, if that documented evidence ever shows up.

    Articles like these are what is fueling the fire…but that is the business YOU are in, right? As well as the others like Consumer Affairs and Dog Food Advisor…the more controversial the better for business.

    • Doing it Right!

      Oct 16, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Nina, go back to the Beneful page where you belong. Stop harassing people who know the truth.

      • Nina

        Nov 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        Afraid to see the facts???

    • Frank

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Are you unemployed because of the positions you take? It would seem to me that if you know so much, your services should be in demand. Why don’t you eat a bag of Beneful?

      • Nina

        Apr 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

        Wow…what a thoughtful, mature response. Everything I posted then still rings true. If you want to dispute my comments, dispute the facts. Why resort to petty personal attacks? That is what trolls do, when they have nothing else to give.

  6. Doing it Right!

    Oct 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Interesting information. Please take your bag of dog food, look at the ingredients and compare. You will become very interest in what is going into your dog’s body::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    GROUND YELLOW CORN, 2 Star – Indicates feed-grade source of protein/filler, not “whole” GROUND. Can have higher levels of Aflatoxins than allowed for corn for human consumption. GMO
    CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL, 1 Star – ground up carcasses, internal organs, beaks, feet, intestines. Concentrated. Will have high levels of Arsenic
    CORN GLUTEN MEAL, 1 Star – Waste product, cheap, non-nutritive filler but used as protein source — can cause allergies and sugar imbalance, GMO
    WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, 3 Star – Whole ground wheat grain, more nutritious but flour is too processed. Wheat is often implicated in allergies in dogs
    ANIMAL FAT preserved with mixed tocopherols, 1 Star Non-descriptive fat from rendering can be anything rancid or 4-D (dead, dying, disabled, diseased). Can include Roadkill, Euthanised pets, Zoo animals, regardless of natural preservatives such as Vitamin E
    RICE FLOUR, 1 Star – Cheap filler, causes bowel distress and can lead to diabetes in dogs. US produced rice has extremely high levels of cancer-causing Arsenic unless it is Californian
    BEEF, 4% (yes you saw that right.. FOUR PERCENT REAL MEAT!), 4 Star – Whole muscle meat but is 70% water!
    SOY FLOUR 1 Star – Cheap source of grain protein, filler, can cause bloat/death in dogs. GMO
    WATER, 1 Star- Used as a non-nutritive filler in food
    MEAT AND BONE MEAL, 1 Star – Meat and Bonemeal is (species) non-descriptive. This can indicate 4-D Animals.. Dead, Dying, Disease, Dying and Disabled. It can legally include tumorous or diseased tissues plus bone meal can not be digested and assimilated for calcium! It is banned for use in animal feedstuffs in most European countries due to its link with Spongiform Encephalopathies (think BSE or “MadCow Disease”). It IS banned in the US as a ruminant feeed (your cows etc) Meat and bone meal is now utilized in Europe as a fossil-fuel replacement, and is commonly used as a fuel in cement kilns, landfilling and in incinerators. It was previously used as a fertiliser until the BSE outbreak when it was banned. In the US it is principally used as a low-cost protein source in dog food and cat food. There is NO testing on Meat and Bonemeal.. it is not required. The POISONOUS euthanising drug Pentobarbitol has been found in Meat and Bonemeal. It will also contain insecticides used as parasite control on animals as well as the drugs used to treat sickness that are present in a dead animal. From the EPA themselves: “Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal. Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants. Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including rancid cooking grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, zoos, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”,
    PROPYLENE GLYCOL, 1 Star – contains 1% by raw ingredient weight. Adds sweetness to food, used in antifreeze! Has one third of the toxicity as regular antifreeze, Ethylene Glycol. Some preservative action, possible carcinogen
    SUGAR, 1 Star – leads to hyperactivity, addiction to food (sugar rush), weight gain
    TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, 3 Star – Anti-caking agent, emulsifier and dietary supplement of Phosphorous needed for body’s alkaline/acid balance
    PHOSPHORIC ACID, 1 Star – A sequestering agent for rendered animal fats, implies poor quality fats are used. Used in fertilizers, detergents, food flavoring, and pharmaceuticals
    SALT, 1 Star – Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension
    ANIMAL DIGEST, 1 star – Rendered, by chemical and/or enzymatic process, non-descriptive animal tissues including 4-D (Dead, Dying, Diseased and Disabled) animals, zoo animals, euthanised pets, shelter animals, roadkill.. used for flavors
    POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, 3 Star – Standard source of Potassium, balances acid/alkaline levels
    SORBIC ACID (a preservative) 1 star – A mold and yeast inhibitor
    DRIED PEAS, 5 Star – Source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber. Present in insignificant quantities
    DRIED CARROTS 5 Star – Good source of nutrients and fiber. Present in insignificant quantities
    CALCIUM PROPIONATE, 1 Star – Chemical preservative. Antifungal. Potentially carcinogenic
    CHOLINE CHLORIDE, 3 Star – Standard source of choline, a B Vitamin, emulsifies fats
    L-LYSINE, 2 Star – Source of Lysine (essential amino acid found in meat), needed to use for food enrichment for grain-based foods
    VITAMIN E, 3 Star – Antioxidant used as food preservative,
    ZINC SULFATE, 2 Star – Standard source of zinc, protects against free radicals, essential to insulin formation and immune function. Poor absorption/bioavailabiliity
    RED 40, 1 Star – Artificial color, carcinogenic
    FERROUS SULFATE, 2 Star – Standard source of iron, promotes oxygen-rich blood, immune support. Cheap to buy but poorly absorbed
    MANGANESE SULFATE, 3 Star – Manganese is necessary to development of strong bones and enzyme activators, enhances immune system
    NIACIN, 3 Star – Standard source, promotes proper digestion, healthy skin and nerves
    YELLOW 6, 1 star – Sunset Yellow, Artificial color, potentially carcinogenic. In studies Yellow 6 has been linked to kidney and adrenal gland tumors,
    YELLOW 5, 1 Star – yellow 5 “Tartrazine” is derived from coal tar and is the number one allergy-causing dye. Allergies to yellow 5 can range from mild indigestion to asthma to severe depression. It is estimated that 360,000 Americans have bad reactions to ingesting yellow 5. yellow 5 is a common dye and is in candy, cereal, and many other processed foods. It has been banned in several European countries. A variety of immunologic responses have been attributed to tartrazine ingestion by humans, including anxiety, migraine, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance,
    VITAMIN A, 3 Star – Standard supplement needed for a strong immune system
    BLUE 2 , 1 Star – Carcinogenic, artificial color
    CALCIUM CARBONATE 3 Star – Standard source of calcium, promotes strong bones, teeth, cardiovascular health and skeletal strength, used as a buffer to acidic foods
    COPPER SULFATE, 2 Star – Standard source, aids in bone formation, iron absorption and protein metabolism. Poorly absorbed and utilised form of copper
    VITAMIN B-12, 3 Star – Standard source, involved in immune function, nerve and red blood cell production
    BREWERS DRIED YEAST, 1 Star – Waste product (used for flavoring, protein, B-vitamins) which can become very toxic to the liver causes allergies and arthritis,
    CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, 3 Star – Standard source of a B-complex vitamin B5, supports adrenal activity
    THIAMINE MONONITRATE, 3 Star – Standard source of B-1,affects nervous system and mental attitude
    GARLIC OIL, 5 Star – Antioxidant, antibiotic,
    PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (source of vitamin B6), 3 Star – Standard source, immune stimulant, major factor in protein metabolism and red blood cell production
    RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT, 3 Star – Vitamin B-2 needed for rich red blood cell production,
    VITAMIN D3, 3 Star – Standard source, aids calcium and phosphorous in building bones and teeth
    menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity),
    CALCIUM IODATE, 3 Star – Source of iodine, promotes strong bones, teeth, cardiovascular health and skeletal strength
    FOLIC ACID, 3 Star – Standard source, needed for blood building and DNA synthesis
    BIOTIN, 3 Star – Standard source to promote healthy skin and coat,
    SODIUM SELENITE, 3 Star – Standard source of selenium, powerful anti-oxidant protects the body from free radicals and heavy metals, supports immune response

    If you are SO poverty stricken that you can only afford to pay $1.30 for your dry dog food then consider two alternatives. First, if you have a Costco nearby, then buy their own brand Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food at $36 for 30 lbs. If you have a Tractor Supply nearby get them 4Health Grain Free Dog Food. 30lbs for $36.99. Both are free of the real nasties: CORN, BY-PRODUCTS, WHEAT, SOY, MEAT AND BONEMEAL, ANIMAL FAT, ANIMAL DIGEST, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, BHT/BHA, SUGAR, ARTIFICIAL COLORS The cat food although not 100% grain free, contains none of the bad stuff!

  7. Pawsville

    Oct 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

    OK I may regret this but have the people who are so angry about this taken their dog to the vet at least once a year? I as an adult have had dogs for 13 years and I have to say I knew Beneful was not a good choice for my dogs from when it came out. Again though I have given them it on occasion when they needed junk food. You can’t blame the food. Even the foods most people would consider top of the line have problems and recalls. Remember to be educated.

  8. Adey

    Oct 3, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Too sad watching all these dogs do downhill after eating Purina round up ready Monsanto GMO corn which is the number 1 ingredient in Beneful.
    I lost my own dog which showed all the same symptoms as people relate time and time again on forum after forum. Vomiting and mention by the vets of anti freeze…for some reason Purina will not accept responsibility but then again Monsanto never admitted liability for their other product, agent orange, which caused so many birth defects across the world.

    Purina supply food for laboratory animals…you would think they would have a fair idea by now what is causing dogs to die!

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