Del Monte Foods Buys Natural Balance Pet Foods

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May 22, 2013 – Del Monte Foods has announced it has purchased Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods in a recent merger agreement.

Del Monte is one of the nation’s largest producers of pet food and pet treat products. The giant corporation generated net sales of about $3.7 billion last year.

Del Monte Foods’ portfolio of pet food and snack brands includes:
Del Monte Logo

  • 9Lives
  • Meow Mix
  • Milk-Bone
  • Pup-Peroni
  • Gravy Train
  • Milo’s Kitchen
  • Kibbles ‘n Bits
  • Nature’s Recipe
  • Canine Carry Outs
  • And many others

Natural Balance Pet Foods was founded in 1989 by Dick Van Patten and Joey Herrick. The company now offers more than 225 different dog and cat products.

Natural Balance products include:
Natural Balance Pet Foods Logo

  • Natural Balance Organic
  • Natural Balance Eatables
  • Delectable Delights Stews
  • Natural Balance Alpha Dog
  • Natural Balance L.I.D. Diets
  • Natural Balance Ultra Pet Foods
  • And many others

The purchase price and financial terms have not yet been disclosed. The merger includes all Natural Balance brands, products and other trademarks.

The companies expect the deal to close in mid-June.

  • macsmom

    To everyone who had made comments about this dog food THANK YOU !! I couldn’t believe it when I opened a new bag of food. Yes, it is totally different, smell, color and taste (evidently). I thought I was crazy until I put the bowel of food down and my dog just gave me a look, like, “What the heck ?” I’m really angry that Del Monte tried to pull a fast one by swallowing up and using the name of a formerly good food.
    I’m now going to “consider the source” with every food I buy for my animals and boycott ! If I may make a suggestion, I’m switching to Earthborn Holistic. It rates as high as Natural Balance, it’s slightly less expensive and my dog was immediately drawn to eating it and I’m told it’s a much smaller, family owned company ! I’m tired of these profit centered giants !!!

  • Maureen Frankie Unrau

    I too have given this product to both my poodles as one has a sensitive tummy. We’ve been struggling with some sensitivity over the last year and now I know why. I will boycott all del Monte products.

  • Acsr Washington

    Janet — for the ear infections, go to the It’s for the Animals website, and find the Blue Power Treatment formula and info. It’s nearly 100% effective when used as suggested. The cockers here never get ear infections when on a grain-free diet and use BPT.

  • losul

    Thanks Betsy, and y/w!

    lol. I know he eats significantly better than myself also.

    Yes, do read about the canavanine whenever you get a chance.

  • Betsy Greer

    You’re amazing!! : )

    Turbo could not be in better hands than yours. Turbo also eats far better than I do, except for the acorns and June bugs. I discovered recently that mine both love cherries also.

    I definitely did not know that about alfalfa. I haven’t yet, but will read your link. That’s definitely cause for concern. Alfalfa was already on my list of suspected problem ingredients for Sam, so this is another reason to steer clear of it anyway. Thank goodness for diet rotation. It’s already hard enough to find foods for him to eat with some of his intolerance issues still being a bit of a mystery.

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

  • losul

    Betsy, I give him some amazing grass superfood pretty regularly in his homemade.

    Aronia berries are a regular also, and occaisonally blackberries, cherries and gooseberries.

    The mushrooms I consider “big guns” and I would worry about overstimulating his immune system. There are things I wouldn’t hesitate using them for though, i.e. cancer.

    I was giving him fresh alfalfa, red clover, and broccoli sprouts most days for many months up until a couple of months ago, I stopped
    partly because I’ve had such an abundance of other fresh vegetables, partly because I felt he should have a break from it and partly because I needed a break from several times every daily rinsing of seeds and sprouts. I will resume again with that soon. The parrots miss them I think.

    Did you know that alfalfa seeds contain alot of canavanine and can bring on autoimmune disorders like lupus? Sprouting eliminates much or
    most of the canavanine, and I sprout the alfalfa extra long (about 1 week) until they are completely lush green, and most of the seed hulls have been washed away. Hopefully all those commercial dogfoods that use alfalfa are careful not to use alfalfa plants that have already gone to seed….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canavanine

    I’m near sure Turbo’s recent upsetting stomach difficulty was caused by me getting carried away and including way too many raw fresh leaf lettuce greens in his homemade. They were pulverized finely in the food processor, but still. I had an over abundance of lettuces and wanted to take more advantage of it while I still had them. That same day for the other meal I gave him some THK for the first time topped with a couple ounces of salmon which he doesn’t get often. I know it couldn’t have been solely the THK, several days later, I resumed
    feeding him THK for 1 meal/day with no difficulties.

    I should have known better, last year I had prepared 2 large bowls of lettuce greens, some green pepper, cranberries, and a little grated cheese on the bar/counter for our supper, it didn’t even have any dressing on it yet. Left the room for a few minutes and came back to find the bowls in the very same spots with no signs whatsoever that any salad was ever in them, completely cleaned. I thought I was losing my mind. He’s not a big dog and he couldn’t have ate them from the floor, especially without disturbing the bowls. Besides why
    would a dog want to eat plain salad greens? I finally figured out that he had to have eaten them from the top of the counter and had to have gotten there from the back of the couch. It was at least 24 hours later that he began to show obvious signs of serious distress and vomiting that didn’t completely clear up for a couple days. Crazy mutt will eat anything that’s food, and some things that might not be considered food. Last year was acorns, this year was June bugs, lol. Oh and the big bag of grain corn that that my not so bright nephew ( I take that back, he’s a dimwit) spread in my back lot last fall to attract the turkey’s that I wanted to be rid of, and while I was out of town, is another whole long story, geez.

  • Betsy Greer

    What about a green super food or a whole food mushroom complex?

  • losul

    Thanks, BcN and C4C!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Good news, Losul. Glad to hear it!

  • theBCnut

    I’m glad to see this update!! I’ve been meaning to dig up one of your posts so I could ask, but I’ve been swamped lately and haven’t been on much. I’m glad Turbo is doing so well!

  • losul

    Really, I think the only thing I’ve added beyond what I was already giving prior is Turmeric, some garlic, and a bit extra B vitamins. I was already half expecting the possible lung inflammation and congestion coinciding with worm dieoffs. Amongst other benefits, turmeric and fish oils are good for battling those inflammations and congestions which could be quite dangerous, if there were to lead to clotting and embolisms. Thats one of the disadvantages to the “slow kill”, not knowing exactly when these dieoffs could occur.

    I think I feed him a good, healthy, well balanced diet. He looks and acts very healthy, other than what I spoke about. I’d be afraid to stimulate his immune system too much though.

    Any thoughts on other beneficial supplementation?

    Thnx Betsy.

    losul and turbo.

  • Betsy Greer

    All things considered, it sounds like he’s doing really well. I’m glad to hear your update.

    Other than minimizing the toxicity of the treatment as much as possible and feeding a healthy diet, do you do anything specific for immune support?

  • losul

    Thank you Cyndi!
    I’m about as slow as molasses, it might be a couple weeks, but I intend to update soon!

  • Cyndi

    Glad to hear he’s doing ok, losul. I’ve been meaning to look for a post of yours to reply to it and ask about him.

  • losul

    I think he’s doing really good, Betsy, thnx. I think the advantage plus has given him some small eye bugaring, ever since starting it, that he didn’t have prior.

    A couple or 3 weeks ago, he went through a bout with an upset stomach, which was really, really unusual, even though I suddenly changed several food items at the same time, and then immediately after, he had a couple days of coughing that really concerned me, the vet thought it might have been unrelated events but thought the coughing could have been congestion from some worm dieoff. That was was really the only coughing he has ever had the entire time. The dead worms have to be absorbed by the lungs. He offered some pharma “remedies” (including steroids) which I refused, and gladly so because Turbo was back to himself in less than a week.

    I’ve been bathing him within a couple hours of the advantage application. The package insert says that bathing within an hour and a half does not affect the moxidectin absorption, and I’m always eager to remove the unnecessary flea insecticide component ASAP.

    I really do need to update my forum posts!

  • Betsy Greer

    How is Turbo doing, Losul?

  • losul

    Jeremy, I luv that pic at the bottom of the site you linked, hilarious!!!!

    Inked Marie gives raw bones and knows the benefits, but I think still brushes as an added measure.

    No doubt gnawing/chewing is the best natural teeth cleaner. I feed majority raw, but not any unground bones, I consider them too risky for us, I’ve punctured fingers on bones cutting up chickens, especially rib bones. As long as they don’t swallow whole or really large pieces (I’m pretty sure my dog would), I don’t see much harm in poultry neck bones, they’re just lots of small bones separated by cartilage, but then I’m not really sure how good poultry neck bones would be at cleaning teeth either.

    I give cow hooves with supervision (supervision meaning that I take away after about 15 minutes or he would eat the whole thing in a couple or 3 hours, and they’re not really very digestible), or once in a while bully sticks or himalayan chews, but also brush my dog’s teeth fairly regularly, alternating with coconut oil and montmorillionite clay for cleaning. His teeth look much, much better now than when I got him nearly 2 years ago.

  • Jeremy

    Another great food if you can find it nearby is the Nulo Freestyle series carried at holistic pet stores, it’s the trim variety. 30% Protein, between 7-9% fat with extra L-carnitine to help them metabolize the fat in their bodies since the food is so low in fat. I have several customers who’s dogs have done really well and slimmed right down while maintaining good muscle mass and body shape. Low stool output as well because it’s high in animal protein with very little fillers. :) Hope this helps and good luck

  • Jeremy

    Another great way to have clean teeth for your dog is letting them chew on raw bones or things like raw chicken necks if you don’t want to do bones. They have an enzyme (probably the same one in the toothpaste) while they chew on raw bones (or necks and tendons) that helps to keep their teeth clean. I alternate between the Rawsome brand and Primal brand usually, for small dogs Tuckers has some really small slices of femurs that work great and come in either elk or beef so you can work around allergies.

    This is a great article on it from an Austin based holistic vet

    http://vitalanimal.com/natural-dental-prevention/

    My dogs teeth are sparkling white and I haven’t been doing anything other than a raw bone or chicken neck for the past year. She also eats a raw diet too though, so that may have an effect as well :)

  • Jeremy

    According to our Natural Balance representative at the pet store I work at, part of the sale agreement was to not change the formulas. I’m not sure how long until they could change the formulas, but they could definitely be sourcing ingredients from different places.

  • Crazy4dogs

    If you have the old bag you could check the ingredient list against the new bag. You could also call Natural Balance consumer line and ask. It’s difficult to say, but you could have also gotten a bag that went bad. This does happen but it seems there are many people experiencing this problem. Del Monte may have changed the formula or the sources.

    Pure canned pumpkin might help the diarrhea situation. I rotate my dogs diet on a regular basis so I don’t have the problem of formula changes. If your poodle continues with diarrhea you might want to choose another dog food with a similar protein source/fat percentage/protein percentage as the Natural Balance formula you are using.

  • Christi

    I just purchased a bag for my dog- Natural Balance was always great for my sensitive poodle. My parent’s dog has been having explosive diarrhea recently. Now, I know why… How do I know if the bag I just purchased is the old or new formula? Is there any way to tell?

  • Deb

    Wow. I never post online about anything, but just two days ago, after my two dogs just finished a 15 lb bag of dry Original Ultra, they both took one sniff of a new bag and refused to eat it! I took that bag back and got a new bag from a different date and batch, and one dog sniffed it and refused to eat it and the other dog did take two kibbles and IMMEDIATELY after eating those, started to GAG! I am astounded. SOMETHING is different and wrong. The company says nothing has changed, but something must have. Needless to say, this bag is going back, and I am switching brands today! This really upsets me. I have been feeding my cats and dogs Natural Balance for years. I will be switching my cats now, too. I am afraid to let them keep eating Natural Balance. :-(

  • Cyndi

    Well, it would have been in the last year. It would have taken some time, after the merger, for them to deplete their existing stock, then I would imagine this would have changed after that. Probably within the last 6 months or so maybe…

  • Janet

    Gosh, I wonder if this is the reason my dog started
    explosive diahhrea. I had him on fish and sweet potatoes for ear infections and have spent tons of money on expensive medicine. I have a 10 1/2 yr old Bernese and can’t risk his failing health. I started to feed him Natures Recipe, and Del Monte makes that too, I see from the internet. Help! When exactly did DEl Monte start making the food? I need to pin this down.

  • carol

    Natural Balance was bought by Del Monte – none of their products say Made in the USA. We need to know the source of the ingredients put into their food items as it appears the sources are from foreign countries….

  • Cat Williams

    My dog has eaten Natural Balance Ultra Premium dry food since I adopted her in 2007. Suddenly she developed chronic diarrhea . just about every day she would have an…um…let’s just say explosive episode. Even though she had been eating NB for 6+ years, I switched food out of desparation, as my spouse noted the digestive issues only started when we opened a new bag of food. Lo and behold, about 1.5 days after switching foods she is perfectly normal again. I was leery when Del Monte bought NB out and reading these other comments confirm my suspicions.

  • Suzi Kemp

    Please please, do not change the formula of this wonderful life saving food. My dog was sick most her life off and on, vomiting, the runs, and they never could find out what was wrong with her, now since this food, the L.I.D. formula, lamb and rice, with no filler, has literally made her into a happy healthy dog again.

  • Helen Laman

    Of course, you are absolutely right!!!
    You have given me new direction. Thank you, Helen

  • dchassett

    Oh my goodness those are some huge dental bills. I’ve only ever had one dog need to have a professional dental cleaning and that was my very first dog. After that huge bill I started brushing his teeth and have done so will all my dogs since then on a daily basis. None has plaque (tarter), yellowish teeth, or bad breath from any dental problems. My oldest now is a 14 year old Maltese and she has all her teeth and they are all white as snow (when it first falls and is so darn beautiful) and toy dogs are notorious for losing teeth or having to have them pulled. I don’t give my toy dogs (my dogs have always been toys) bones of any sort because their teeth are so tiny and susceptible to cracking and fracturing so I brush. Every single day, most often twice a day. We need to brush our teeth to keep our teeth and gums healthy, why would it be any different for our dogs. Hope any of this helped in any way. I started brushing their teeth when I first got them and, yes, of course, they didn’t much like it but I don’t give my dogs a choice in any matter that has to do with their health. It’s my way, I’m the mom, their the children. It is what it is. I certainly wouldn’t have given my human son a choice, I don’t give my dogs a choice. Basicailly my answer to my son was and to my dogs is “Because I said so”! My house, my rules. Your health, my rules. It is what it is.

  • Helen Laman

    Hee Hee

  • Crazy4dogs

    If I had your dental bill I would be doing cartwheels (If I could actually do them LOL).

  • Helen Laman

    Louie loves the chicken flavored toothpaste but that is as far as it goes. I am worried about tooth fracture with bones. I gave Louie a veal chop bone, and couldn’t believe what his poop looked like the next day. It was a stool made of bone. Yes, actually hard bone, so no more of that. Talk about fiber!
    The buck stops with me and in truth, after a couple of times, I gave up trying to brush and not proud of that. You have given me new incentive.
    He has had two prophies in his 8 years. One at the University of Penn. Veterniary Hosp, and the other in our vet’s office. $650. and $600. respectively.
    My late husband was a dentist, and I assisted chairside, so I have no excuse for not buckling down and brushing Louie’s teeth. I bought an enzime for his water and have not used it yet, because my vet says it does nothing. The jury is out on this one. Tons of opinons out there and people swear by one thing or another.
    Just don’t want to fail my sweet boy.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Helen Laman, my vet is actually a dental specialist. One of only 6 in my state. Even before he was, he said that dry food being better for their teeth is a myth.
    I used to do bones, but my oldest girl cracked her canine & we did a root canal. (LOL, yes it was $$$$$$$). She also has a molar that’s cracked but still stable so she can’t have bones or anything super hard. We use a lot of rubber chews and we do brush. There are also some tooth products containing enzymes that you simply rub in their mouth or add to the water they drink. Also have you tried the chicken flavored toothpastes? My rescue that we adopted was about 5 and probably never had a brush in his mouth. But he likes the toothpaste, so slowly but surely he is letting us brush.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Helen this food is a bit gimmicky. It is really low calorie count (250 kcal/cup), super low in fat (fat satiates a dogs appetite) and 10.5% fiber. That’s more than double the fiber of most foods out there. The really low calorie count means that you are purchasing a TON of this food @ $$$. The incredible amount of fiber is what’s causing all of those huge stools.
    I actually wouldn’t use Royal Canin either. It’s a very expensive per pound very mediocre food. If you find a grain free with a medium protein (26-30) and lower fat (13-16%) that might be a better way to go. I use higher protein levels, but the foods you have been on are really low in real protein, so higher protein might be a bit too much of an adjustment to start with.
    My rehab vet said weight loss foods don’t work. Add green beans (frozen not canned). I did & still do. I also add a spoon of canned pumpkin with every dinner. Less stool, nice muscle. You also need to measure the food properly. I use a measuring cup that shows 1/8″ increments. Many people just get a cup & figure it’s right. Most dog foods tell you to feed more than they really need because dog’s don’t exercise like they used to. There’s a dog food calculator on this site. You need to put the dog’s ideal weight in, not the current weight. Hope this helps.

  • losul

    Helen, I struggled to get my dog used to brushing, and I also didn’t like the ingredients in any of the toothpaste or gel products I found, after all they don’t rinse and spit like us.

    Got mine used to brushing with coconut oil first, he enjoys the taste, and now I alternate that with montmorillionite clay. I tried mixing the two together for my own toothpaste concoction, they mixed fine, but then when combined with saliva (or water), it justs clumps up. So now I just alternate the two. It works well for us!