Avoid Beneful Dog Food

10 Reasons Why You May Want to Avoid Beneful Dog Food

I know most of you aren’t feeding your dogs a food like Purina’s Beneful, but this article is for those that simply don’t realize the dangers of budget brand dog foods.

The Beneful story has been going around for some time now, having been linked to deaths and illnesses in countless dogs.  In fact, one of our local news stations ran a story on the possibility of Beneful being linked to dying dogs.

The Story

The first time the story came to light was in February of 2007. At that time, an email circulated that was a “Health Alert” about the dangers of Beneful dog food.

It described multiple reports of “dogs becoming sick or dying after eating Beneful.” The email came from and zeroed in on several reports in the forums there.

At that time, the people at had spoken to someone at Beneful and said the company was aware of the problem and was looking into it.

Beneful responded in February of 2007 and said their foods were safe. They claimed Purina initiated testing by an independent third party analytical laboratory based on verifying customer product codes (from those who’d claimed their dogs were sick or dying from Beneful). Notably, Beneful said that the tests revealed no aflatoxin in their test samples.

Despite Beneful’s response, complaints have risen again.

This time, the complaints can be seen on the Consumer Affairs website. There are hundreds of them and in January of 2013 the site reported a “large increase in views of Beneful complaints and in the complaints themselves” over the last six months.

The Consumer Affairs Problem

But according to Susan Thixton at The Truth About Dog Food, the FDA confirmed to her only two to four complaints about Beneful over the past year. On January 14 of 2013, the FDA told Thixton of four additional complaints over the past 48 hours – and two of them were linked directly to the rise in Consumer Affairs complaints as reported online.

This isn’t meant to let Beneful, a brand that I personally despise, off the hook. But it should serve as a reminder as to the mischievous ways of the Internet.

Finding the truth online can be as hard as finding good quality dog food; it takes some digging and some research. The fact is that we can’t explain where these complaints are coming from.

Consumer Affairs is not exactly known as a reputable hotbed for reporting problems, so any information from the site should be taken with a grain of salt. Simply put, they profit from customer complaints. Companies that want to refute the complaints have to pay a hefty fee. And so-called “consumers” with complaints, whether legitimate or fraudulent, don’t have to provide any personal information.

10 Good Reasons Why I Think Dog Owners Should Avoid Beneful

With that in mind, here’s my 10 reasons why Beneful should be avoided:

  1. Believed to be linked to illness and death – these links aren’t just confined to the Consumer Affairs site and have been cropping up all over the Internet. A search reveals more heartbroken pet owners who believe their dogs were killed or made sick as a result of Beneful dog food.
  2. Customer complaints – even if some of the complaints on Consumer Affairs are illegitimate, it should raise a few red flags. Why does Beneful have so many complaints and such a bad reputation?
  3. Lack of nutritionally valuable ingredients – this is a no-brainer. Just check out the ingredients list for yourselves.

  4. Corn as protein source – once again, a no-brainer.
  5. The aflatoxin link – this, as with some of the other reasons, is theoretical at this point. The FDA is currently investigating this possibility and we’ll have news when or if something turns up.
  6. Chicken by-product – the second ingredient on the list, behind, ground yellow corn is this devious crapshoot of garbage chicken parts.

  7. Corn gluten meal – another by-product on the ingredients list and the THIRD ingredient on the list.
  8. Mystery animal fat – this is rendered fat. Period. It’s a rather dubious component at the best of times and could be the fat from multiple animals. Beneful labels it as “beef tallow.”
  9. Misleading advertising – the same could be said for just about any market brand especially lower grade formulas.
  10. One of the worst on the market – finally, based on the evidence, my opinion settles on the fact that this is one of the worst dog foods on the market.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons to be concerned about Beneful. In my view, it is a brand that dog owners should avoid. Read more low quality dog foods here.

One final note: if you have REAL complaints and concerns about Beneful, the best course of action is to not entrust your views with a questionable Internet site but take it to the source. Report any pet food complaints to the appropriate government bodies and take the guesswork out of it.

Our dogs deserve better.