A California dog owner has filed suit against Purina, alleging that its Beneful dog food poisoned and killed one of his dogs and made the other two sick, reports Yahoo News. The dog owner is seeking a class-action suit as there are thousands of complaints online about Purina Beneful, with many owners saying the food made their dogs sick.
Veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan said of Purina, “First of all, if you look at the ingredients – it’s all just vegetable-based protein, which is cheap food. If your first ingredient is corn vs. turkey we know the profit margin is probably high … Those are incomplete proteins, cornmeal corn – those are all incomplete proteins.
“Second, they’re using an additive, which is controversial – propylene glycol, which is known to be a controversial preservative. This is not high quality pet food in my opinion.”
Halligan addressed the theory that there may have been mold on the grains in the food. “I f there is mold, that would absolutely be a toxic to a dog, she said. “Definitely you could have liver damage or disease from having mycotoxins in your dog food.”
Halligansaid she has a few simple tips for dog owners who want to protect their pets and prevent a similar situation.
1. Check the label: Make sure the label has AAFCO on it, which means it meets a high standard of feed quality. “The first two or three ingredients should be an animal protein – chicken, turkey, beef, fish – not byproducts,” she said. “They shouldn’t be grains or vegetables … The food should have an expiration date and there should be a phone number and website where you can contact them. It should not have controversial preservatives like BHT, propylene glycol, ethoxyquine or BHA,and you should avoid unidentified meat or bone meal.”
2. Buy food at the pet store: “Anything you’re buying at a pet store is better than what you’re going to get at Target or Walmart or grocery stores,” she said. “Costco has Nature’s Made that isn’t too bad, but just look at the ingredients.” Halligan said pet owners should opt for high quality food over large bags of cheap food.
3. Store food in an airtight container: Halligan said this is a great way to avoid mold. “Once you’ve opened the bag, it can get moist and get mold from the way you store it,” she said. “Write the expiration date on the container so you know when it is.”
Why is it so important to buy more expensive, high-quality food if you want your dog to live a long life? “You’re not saving money on the diet [if you buy cheap food] because the pets can be malnourished from eating that cheap food. They have to eat a lot compared to a diet that’s well-made,” she said.
Halligan is convinced that the quality of the food has a direct impact on your pet’s health; the money spent on dog kibble may be an investment into Fido’s life.