Beneful Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Beneful Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Beneful product line includes eight dry dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Beneful Original
  • Beneful Playful Life
  • Beneful IncrediBites
  • Beneful Healthy Smile
  • Beneful Healthy Fiesta
  • Beneful Healthy Weight
  • Beneful Healthy Radiance
  • Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies

Beneful IncrediBites was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Beneful IncrediBites

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 47%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, beef, rice flour, soy flour, meat and bone meal, propylene glycol, sugar, salt, phosphoric acid, mono and dicalcium phosphate, animal digest, potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), non-fat yogurt, dried carrots, dried peas, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, red 40, niacin, vitamin A supplement, yellow 5, yellow 6, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, blue 2, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis27%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%14%47%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%30%42%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 42%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The seventh ingredient is rice flour. Rice flour is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The eighth ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.

Although soy flour contains about 51% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With nine notable exceptions

First, this product contains the controversial food moisturizer, propylene glycol. Propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in making cat food.

However, it can still be found in some commercial dog foods.

Second, we note the inclusion of sugar. Sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of any animal soon after it is eaten.

Next, this food contains animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

In addition, this recipe contains dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

We also note that garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

In addition, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Beneful Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Beneful Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 47%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, soy flour and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Beneful Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Beniful


03/26/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you, c4d, well said!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Drake David,

    I’m not agreeing with the OP that Beneful caused the death of his dog. He would have to have a necropsy and specific determination by a vet proving or pointing to that as the cause. However, it might be a case of semantics, but Beneful is the reason for the law suit, so technically Purina is being sued as the manufacturer, but it is being sued for the ingredients in Beneful.


    I’m not sure where you got your information, but if you’d like to provide links to show how you came up with your list of reasons for seizures, that would make them more credible. I couldn’t find any information that crossbreeding causes seizures in dogs. Unless you specifically breed 2 types of dogs that are genetically prone to seizures, most crossbreds are just “mutts”. It appears just the opposite as some breeds are genetically predisposed to seizures, often as a result of intense inbreeding where there is a genetic link.

    I agree that chemicals in your yard aren’t healthy for any living thing. So how are chemicals in your dogs food any different? If you are claiming that the OP is feeding an imbalanced diet, he was feeding Beneful when the dog had a seizure and died and you were feeding your dog Beneful when he was having seizures? So, what would that conclude?

    I’d be interested to see a link about those Purina lawsuits and where you came up with those percentages. I don’t doubt that people do store food improperly and blame food manufacturers when there are other reasons, but I couldn’t find anything stating those numbers.

    These are the main reasons for seizures in dogs:

    It’s interesting that the canine epilepsy foundation is recommending feeding a better, more natural diet than grocery store brands, partiularly ones with Propylene Glycol, BHA and BHT, to contol seizures:

    So, your Lab is eating Beneful and having seizures? Hmmmm.

  • Drake David

    Ya you are right Jennifer I saw the story on it and the findings and they are going to get slammed by the customers AND by the government. More than likely you will see a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing from them inside the next 30 days.

  • theBCnut

    If after the switch, the skin issues persist, it could be the chicken. And yes, it’s OK to give chicken for treats, but you need to make sure you aren’t giving the puppy enough to throw off the calcium/phosphorus ratio.

  • Christine Montgomery

    My other dog is a rot/lab mix, she should be on the large breed mix as well, also, would it be ok to supplement their food with cooked organic chicken? We have been using it for treats, Rather than milk bones just a cubed inch at a time.
    My new pit/akitta appears to have sensitive skin, I’m assuming it’s the corn kibble crap the previous owner started him on, we haven’t started to switch his food yet, letting him get used to us before we try to change it. But I’m going to TS today to get new kibble. I will transition the pups slowly over the next few months and see How it goes.

  • Christine Montgomery

    Thanks, i’d rather use the same kibble if I can, so if they get in each other’s kibble they won’t get sick.

  • jj

    Orijen six fish

  • Pitlove

    I would try Taste of the Wild mainly because both of their puppy formulas are safe for large breed puppies which your akita/pitbull mix will most likely be. Also even though it says puppy its actually AAFCO approved for all life stages so your adult could eat it as well. They carry that at Tractor Supply. Sad to say that even though Taste of the Wild is a Diamond brand its probably the best food carried at Tractor Supply that both your dogs could eat.

  • Babslynne

    Walmart does have a good brand called “Pure Balance”, its rated very high on this forum. Tractor Supply also has a high rated brand called 4Health.

  • Christine Montgomery

    I’m adopting an akitta pitbul mix puppy that has been on a beneful diet, my other dog was on the grain free racheal ray kibble, and I just read that brand is not recomended either. I planned on transitioning the new pup to the Rachel ray brand over time, but now I feel like I should move both dogs to a new food.
    Any ideas of a quality puppy/dog food that could be found at tractor supply or pet supply? I’m in a rual town and those are my only options besides Wal-Mart(and I hate walmart, all they have is Purina and cheaper corn based kibble)

  • Jennifer Campbell

    Just an FYI, I got a notification that Blue Buffalo is currently being sued for misleading customers about their true ingredients. They actually put stuff in the food that they claimed not to in their commercials.

  • InkedMarie

    “Just about every dog food….” Not hardly. The list of foods with no problems is much longer than the list with.
    People have to be willing to NOT shop at a big box store or to shop online to get really good foods (not that the box stores don’t but they dont have a good selection of the good stuff)

  • Stephen Kepple

    Just about every dog food has “its share of problems.” I’ve never seen any area as complex and riddled with controversy as dog foods. In the end you just have to make the best choice you can. I finally chose Blue Buffalo as a good compromise. Along with a certain amount of cooked meat.

  • Stephen Kepple

    I fed my husky/lab dog Beneful for many years, along with lots of treats including Milk Bones. She was a pretty big dog, weighing over 60 pounds for much of her life. She had no health problems and lived to be 13, which was older than her weight-based life expectancy. She died of cancer; she was symptomatic for only a few months before I had her euthanized. I had not been aware of how lousy a dog food Beneful was. I would never feed a dog Beneful or Milk Bones again, but I will say that they did not seem to affect my dog adversely, although of course it’s possible she might have lived even longer without them. I feel guilty. I loved her so much.

  • Roger Wilko

    I fed my perfectly healthy black lab/greyhound dog Beneful and held him (along with my wife and son) as he died, convulsing on my living room floor on Thanksgiving Day, 2015. He was four. His liver went and it was most likely due to the propylene glycol content of this brand. Apparently it is already banned in cat food , but not in dog food. I’ll never forgive myself. I now feed my new dog Pure Vita. It’s worth every penny of the extra cost.

  • Roger Wilko

    Sorry to hear of your parent’s loss. We, too, lost our dog in his prime, age four, because we fed him this poison. We need to let people know about the presence of harmful substances in this dog food, most importantly propylene glycol. My God… I was feeding my best friend anti-freeze.

  • Roger Wilko

    We lost our beloved black lab/greyhound on Thanksgiving Day in ’15 in what was a horrific, seizure-oriented death… after spending serious vet bills to try and save him. A growth was discovered that affected his liver and kidneys and he wasted away. This mysterious “tumor” was discovered after several years of feeding him Beneful – which he loved. I am convinced (and there are many lawsuits to confirm this) that this his death at the age of four was a result of this dog food. I now feed my new black lab/greyhound Pure Vita, and Pure Vita only. After this horrible experience, the extra cost is worth it. RUN, don’t walk away from Beneful. Do it now.

  • TheHookahMaster

    Yes, I agree. We do have a pretty great small biz pet shop here in town. Thanjs for the info on BB…

  • TheHookahMaster

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  • theBCnut

    You may want to look into NutriSource. It’s a pretty good quality food that is economical and for most dogs, pretty easy to switch to. I would still take it slow just because going from a one star food to a four star food is a huge change. Earthborn is another good food to try, but I don’t think it’s as easy for dogs to switch to as NutriSource.

  • InkedMarie

    I suggest you start with a 3 star food. If you go to a really high quality food, your dog may have alot of tummy problems. I’d expect tummy problems anyway; using a probiotic or digestive enzyme may help. By the way, Blue has had its share of problems. Find a local, boutique type of place to buy your food.

  • TheHookahMaster

    I am feeding my pup Beneful, shes ok, but I want to switch her over to Blue Buffalo or something higher quality, I want her coat to shine, because a shiny coat is a sure sign of health and vitality. She’s a good girl and my best friend, she only deserves the best.

  • Scott Sutton

    I feel this food is dangerous, my parents fed it to their dog and shortly after she became very ill mimicking antifreeze poisoning, she passed away not knowing they gave me the remaining bag of food I started to give it to my dog (their dogs son) and he became Ill I stopped immediately the only common denominator was the food. Looking it up I found many many people who claim beneful was the cause of their pets death. While it does not affect all dogs I believe it affects some and because of the mother son connection I believe it may be genetic its not worth the gamble in my opinion and as the company will not do anything about it there is currently a class action lawsuit in the works (facebook group) so if you feed this food to your pets watch for the signs it may save their lives

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Deborah, Beneful is one of the worst foods. Please read the review above. Here is a list of good foods. If price is an issue here is a list of budget friendly kibble. 4health, Evolve, Rachael Ray Zero Grain, Whole Earth Farms, Kirkland (Costco)

  • Pitlove

    Hi- Unfortunetly, the food being manufactured in the U.S does not mean the ingredients are sourced from the U.S. I believe that is what the OP is refering to.

  • Deborah White

    We just purchased a bag of Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies and on the bag it states that it was made here in the USA…..where are you getting the information about the Chinese producers??

  • Lewie Bowman

    I’m no troll. My dog, Squeaks had kidney failure back in 2008. When I took him to our veterinarian he asked what we’d been feeding him, and when I told him it was Beneful, he new immediately what test to give Squeaks to confirm his suspicions about the poor things kidney problems. He’d had at least 6 other dogs who were brought in with the same problem. He’d read several articles in Veterinary industry magazines and spoken to fellow vets about this problem and apparently the Chinese producers of Beneful were using industrial grade glycerin instead of a food grade glycerin. This what was causing the kidney problems. They may have cleared up this problem by now, but I will NEVER TRUST Purine products again!

  • Leanne Rondeau

    We’ve used the Beneful Healthy Weight since we got our dog almost 4 yrs ago.We’ve had no problems.Our dog loves it.

  • Mary Meek

    Tried to gradually introduce Beneful and my dog spit out only those pieces – apparently she didn’t recognize Beneful as food since she never would eat any of it.

  • TrumpKennels

    That’s exactly what I tell people at my pet store job and with my rescue adoptions. If you can buy it at a grocery, it DOES NOT meet the nutritional needs of your pet.

  • Dori

    Well said Crazy4cats. I’m glad you stepped up and said what so many of us were thinking.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh goodness, in my opinion you have been lucky. Your dogs must come from good stock. I try extremely hard not to be judgmental, but this kibble is an exception. I actually don’t mind if a food has some high grade corn and by-products, but not as the main protein source. I do not think the beautiful packaging on this food accurately conveys what is actually inside of it. Between the propylene glycol, sugar, several different food colorings and the menadione sodium bisulfide, I don’t know how it could be a good choice. They are all potentially dangerous controversial ingredients.
    I’m certainly not a troll. Just a concerned pet parent. I hope you are at least adding some healthy real food to their meals. I wish you the best and hope you reconsider.

  • Michael J Concanon

    Our two Corgis are fed Beneful Healthy Weight every day. They are both extremely healthy and hold their weight. The are very active, and happy. Also, not surprisingly, this food has not been recalled, as so many others have in the last 6-7 years. Sounds to me like some trolls are paid by companies to talk down (lie) about more popular dog food to boost their own sales.

  • Jason Shwagner

    People please, trust the facts easily found online about this feed. It is toxic and poison for a slow unhealthy toxic diet. Purina has lots of shills and idiots who mask thier cheapness with posting of insults against those of us who have had bad results or worse with purina dog foods. Frankly until Purina changes thier mentality towards profit over safety and health of the very animals they are in business to feed, one should avoid all Purina foods period. If you love your dog, spend a few bucks more for a bag of 3 or 4 star food rated on here and rest assured you will have a healthier buddy who will be with you for many years to come. They give us so much and ask nothing in return but some love and food. Give em some decent stuff. Avoid any brand as well that contains any propylene glycol. It has caused countless kidney failures and other ailments in dogs as well as cats and is already banned in cat food. Hopefully soon it will be banned in dog food also.

  • Anthony Hepton

    Propylene Glycol (PG) is not necessarily toxic by it’s self and the symptoms of PG do not cause the full range of symptoms observed in dogs that become ill following eating Beneful; however, there is ample evidence to show that PG can facilitate the movement of endotoxins, which are always present in byproducts of rendering, from the gut into the blood system where they cause inflammation at moderate levels and deadly consequences when endotoxins are present at higher levels. The FDA should set a tolerance for the presence of endotoxins in pet foods as they have done for mycotoxins.

  • Marlo 313

    Which food would u recommend that’s equivalent to evo red meat

  • GSDgrl82

    Victor is very good! I use it in my rotation along with raw. Evo was bought out by proctor and gamble I think it was? It’s gone down hill and little and I don’t trust it anyways but I am SUPER picky about kibble.

  • Marlo 313

    If you don’t mind me asking how good is victor compared to evo I use to feed my cane corso evo but I relocated and none of the stores sell it but the feed store near me sells Victor I was told victor was good

  • mahoraner niall

    wow! meat is the 6th ingredient! im impressed!(not)

  • JellyCat

    Some people don’t care what to feed, or they feed themselves in a similar way.

  • JellyCat

    I agree, I would switch to grain free or high quality grain in any case.

  • GSDgrl82

    But bringing up corn, as part of my autoimmune diet corn is also not allowed. Probably a lot of dogs don’t have an issue with corn but a dog with a thyroid disease I would switch them to a grain free food.

  • GSDgrl82

    I’m talking about the wheat in the food not the corn, wheat is gluten. Now thyroid issues can also be genetic but I find it seems to be exacerbated by food. I had to cut out all processed foods including bread, etc otherwise I feel awful. Not saying a dog would be exactly the same way, it’s just there’s so many healthier options out there I don’t get why someone would feed this bottom of the barrel food.

  • Crazy4dogs

    There are a lot better foods than what you’re using. Look up the 3☆ or 4☆ foods on this site. There are many that are budget friendly, too! :)

  • JellyCat

    I do agree about importance of the diet, but corn gluten meal isn’t the same gluten we try to avoid in people with true gluten intolerance.

  • Carrie Krepps

    I have an autoimmune thyroid issue, you’d be surprised diet plays heavily into thyroid diseases… Biggest culprit is gluten which this food is full of. I don’t understand why anyone would want to feed this food. Did you know by product meat meal can contain dead cats and dogs along with rancid grocery store meat with plastic still intact? There are so many more budget friendly higher quality foods out there.

  • Carrie Krepps

    Afraid to tell you Gravy train is just as low quality. I’ve been working in the pet food industry for 15 years… You’d be shocked to know what’s in these cheap foods. My general rule for people is to stay away from anything in a grocery store and on commercials. There are many high quality budget friendly dog foods out there like Victor and Earthborn.

  • Alex Enlow

    We were feeding our two small dogs Beneful which caused them several problems. Our dogs hair got shorter and discolored. They began having seizures and caused one of them to loose a few teeth. We have since changed their dog food to Gravy Train and they are now healthy and energized.

  • markswillis

    Yes and of course we can trust the FDA
    Glad you are not my vet

  • markswillis

    Larger dogs aren’t as sensitive but expect him to die early from cancer

  • markswillis

    Use this site to make educated decisions
    Unfortunately there is no regulations or test for dog food
    So these companies can make any claims they want regarding quality of food they are selling

  • markswillis

    Why would you make such a ignorant & irresponsible statement
    Do you own stock in the company?

  • Dori


  • DogFoodie

    I can only hope you’re trolling.

  • manish maharjan

    beneful dog food is one of the best food.

  • Skye G

    BENEFUL KILLED MY DOG. Perforated stomach ulcers and the start of liver failure (the ulcers are what killed him). Please do not feed this food. I was a new and uneducated dog owner, and the Beneful commercials are so misleading; I didn’t know any better. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. I will never feed a food again w/o researching it very thoroughly.

  • Francine Abell

    I will check with my vet, but apparently this is common in older dogs and cats. I had a cat that lived to 20 yrs. of age
    And she likewise, was on thyroid medicine in a daily dose swiped on her ear flap from a dosing pen. She had been treated since she was 15 yrs. old. My grand dog, a yellow lab mix is 13 yrs. old and she too takes thyroid medication. It, of course, in all of these cases is either hypo or hyperthyroidism. From all appearances, the disease when treated with medication, has not shortened their lives.

  • Shawna

    What was the cause of the thyroid issue?

  • Francine Abell

    I have been feeding Chip, a 14 yr. old border collie mix and Pete-e, a lab mix who turns 15 years in 6 mos., Beneful Healthy Weight for the past 8 years. They have been fed this food every morning alone and again in the evening with a half can of different wet foods mixed in. They also get some human food sometimes. At their ages, Pete has a little arthritis that has not limited his mobility (he climbs 2nd story steps several times a day), and Chip has been taking a small dose thyroid pill for years. (No link to any dietary cause). I have many people over the past few years express astonishment over Chip’s age; I thought he was a puppy!

  • mia

    no dogs are really picky,but small dogs seem to let their ppl know by being picky possible issues with food.
    ppl behave like dogs can’t have some 6th sense, but smaller breeds have been known for detection of cancer, fire, seizures, other human health issues.

    Some dogs might not have the same intuitive responses just like some humans aren’t too intelligent, and then there are many dogs who not only spend much of their time licking butts, but eating pooh. Just saying..
    Rats are able to detect genetic anomalies and almost get raped during breeding, the females have been known to eat their entire litters to protect a blood line,

    Some dogs who seem to eat foods without complaint doesn’t mean they are okay physically.
    my large breed who I took off beneful was vomiting all the time, drinking water obsessively, I still believe she drank water obsessively protecting her kidneys instintively and trust me, she is not the brightest bulb in the box. She is 10 and still can’t be off least.
    Your dog not being picky at what it eats doesn’t mean he feels great.
    My dog was having brain and kidney issues. I figured the brain issues had to do with her being inbreeded, now I don’t think so at all. She is an entirely different dog, no more violent behavior, no more brain anomalies or needing medication.
    2 weeks after feeding her something different she began showing signs of being a dog who physically and mentally felt better.

    I can only imagine eating poison 2 times a day for almost 9 yrs of her life would make anyone feel sick. dispindent, angry, violent ,headaches,,which our pets cannot tell us when they get headaches.
    Ppl assume they dont get the same health issue ppl do, that is just plain ignorant on the part of humans,.But then humans are pretty ignorant creatures, you don’t see dogs killing each other off for profit…..

  • Pitlove

    There are many people who have joined the lawsuit and have posted on Purina’s facebook about symptoms that their dogs have had. The ones who I saw posting on the facebook page and on other Beneful reviews were claiming the symptoms described in that article.

    Majority of the people claimed they have been feeding Beneful exclusively for years, some claimed one bag made their dog sick.

    If you are trying to suggest that people often turn to the food as the excuse when people’s dogs get sick and refuse to think it’s anything else especially when many many other people are claiming the same thing, I agree. I do not think one bag of treats or one bag of Beneful got their dog fatally or violentlly ill. I am still concerned about long term side effects of the product however and any product containing that.

  • aimee

    Hi Pitlove,
    I thought the class action suit was alleging internal bleeding liver and kidney problems.

    Also weren’t the original plaintiff’s dogs only eating Beneful for a few weeks?

    Here is one summery:
    “The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure,” the Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit alleges.

    “He bought a bag of Beneful for the first time in late December 2014
    or early January 2015 and each dog began eating Beneful exclusively, the Beneful class action lawsuit explains.

    On Jan. 15, the German Shepherd began to lose a large amount of hair
    and began giving off a unusual odor, which concerned Lucido and his wife, who first started to notice the symptoms. Two days later the
    German Shepherd became “violently ill.”

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    The OP asked “Can you link to any data that shows it is safe for dogs and in what amounts?”

    The purpose of the cut/paste from the abstract was to alert the OP of the amount that was found to be safe, which is what the OP asked for and proved a source to read further information.

    If the OP asked at what level was it found to be toxic then I would have cut pasted the section on that.

    For the sake of brevity I didn’t so that.

  • Crazy4cats

    The study might prove that it is not dangerous, but I’m not convinced that it is a good thing!

  • Pitlove

    Taken from the link within this article you linked Aimee-

    “> Ingestion of an excessive amount of propylene glycol can
    cause severe sedation, walking “drunk,” seizures, tremors, panting,
    anemia and lethargy”

    That sounds exactly like the symptoms people who have joined the class action lawsuit against Purina have been describing and most if not all of them have been feeding Beneful the dogs entire life if not close to.

    I can understand that fed on occasion should be safe, but the concern is people who do not change their dogs diet and feed a food containing it.

  • Crazy4dogs


    To be fair, let’s cut and paste the fact that there were some changes listed in the abstract, even if they were “concluded” to be no adverse side effects and they were at higher levels. It did show weight gain, a change resulting in fewer oxygenating blood cells, and increase in abnormal blood cells and slightly elevated bilirubin levels.

    Cut and paste from the abstract:

    “None of the criteria measured were significantly altered at 2 g propylene glycol/kg. The higher dose levels of propylene glycol and dextrose were maintained by the inclusion of approximately 20 and 25%, respectively, in the diets of the dogs. As both compounds provide calories available for conversion to adipose tissue, both groups gained somewhat more weight than the controls during the first part of the study. Propylene glycol, in high concentrations, increases the rate of erythrocyte haemolysis. When it was given at the 5-g/kg level, haemoglobin and haematocrit values and the total erythrocyte count were slightly low, while the incidence of anisocytosis, poikilocytes and reticulocytes was increased, findings indicative of erythrocyte destruction with accelerated replacement from the bone marrow. Even at a propylene-glycol concentration of 20% of the diet, this effect was not sufficient to result in any changes that appeared to be irreversible and there was no evidence of damage to bone marrow or spleen. The majority of parameters relevant to effects on the liver were similar in all dosage groups. In dogs consuming 5 g propylene glycol/kg there was a slight increase in total bilirubin.”

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good question Pitlove! I did read the abstract. Read it if you get a chance. There were some changes in weight gain, blood cell abnormalities and a slight elevation in bilirubin(liver), and this was only after 2 years. What would be the result after 10 years or more? Also, many of these same dogs are eating the treats that have PG in them. What are the levels on these dogs?

  • aimee

    You’re welcome!

  • aimee

    Hi Pitlove,

    That is the one research paper I came across. If you want more information I’ recommend you use google scholar and Pubmed as places to start. Another lead might be to contact AAFCO or the EU equivalent.

    Also keep in mind that the doses in the paper were much higher than what is in the Purina product mentioned. You might want to buy the paper for more detail.

    Cats have 8 sulfhydral groups on their hemoglobin making that species exquisitely more sensitive to red blood cell damage from oxidative challenge.

  • Pitlove

    Only states that dogs eating it for 2 years are not effected. What about 5 or 10? I can not imagine that the benefit of it being a carb source would outweigh the harm it can do fed long term. Also for that fact that dogs have little to no carb requirement in their diet.

    Also if it is not safe for cats assuming because of their weight(??) how can it be safe for small and toy breed dogs? If i’m wrong about why it is not safe for cats let me know. I was making an educated guess.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I wonder if those dogs that are eating PG in their dog food are also eating the treats with PG as well. If so, wouldn’t that raise the percentage of PG ingested?
    Does anyone or any animal have a nutritional need or use for propylene glycol?

  • el doctor

    Thank you aimee!

    Dang it, that doesn’t support my opinion that propylene glycol is not a good thing for dogs to eat!!!

  • aimee

    Hi el doctor,

    Not DoctorLarry… But I had previously bookmarked this and thought it might in part be what you are looking for.

    “It is concluded that propylene glycol fed to dogs at a concentration of approximately 8% in the diet (2 g/kg/day) is utilized as a carbohydrate
    energy source without any adverse effects.”

    Disclosure: I want to make sure everyone knows I didn’t buy and read the entire paper. I only read the abstract.: )

    When I went to see if I could find out how much is in dog foods I found this:

    “According to Wendy Vlieks, director of corporate public
    relations for Nestlé Purina PetCare, USP propylene glycol concentrations
    in the Beneful diet are less than 2 percent.

    > The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has no limit to the amount of propylene glycol in dog food, Vlieks says. The EU limit is 5.3 percent.”

    > Vlieks says the “no observed adverse effect level” (NOAEL) for
    propylene glycol is 8 percent of diet, meaning dogs fed at 8 percent
    propylene glycol in their diet for two years had no adverse effects.1

  • el doctor

    “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as “generally recognized as safe,” which means that it is acceptable for use in flavorings, drugs, and cosmetics, and as a direct food additive. According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable dietary intake of propylene glycol is 25 mg of propylene glycol for every kilogram (kg) of body weight“.

    There is a so called safe amount of propylene glycol for people. Can you link to any data that shows it is safe for dogs and in what amounts?

    Could you also please link to the data that shows us what the amount in milligrams is of propylene glycol that is in the various dog foods that use it?

    Thank you

  • Pitlove

    Hi Doctor Larry- Can you provide any research studies showing the health benefits of Propylene Glycol and why it should be used in dog or human food? As far as I am aware Propylene Glycol is an unnessecary moistening agent used in some of the lower quality dog foods on the market. I have yet to see any proof that Propylene Glycol contains health benefits for either dogs or humans.

    Also dogs who are forced to eat Beneful for every meal for years and years of their life are introduced to Propylene Glycol so frequently that it becomes a lethal dose.

  • mia

    don’t be daft people,,,if Purina or FDA said except for cats,,why did they put that ingredient in car food then…geese…

  • mia

    oh okay,,i guess that makes it okay since the FDA says so..
    FDA,,same agency that approved all those drugs that ended up killing people..
    Same agency, FDA who NEVER approved a drug ,Danacrine that I was given in the 80s,,that was NOT safe..
    The same FDA that says ,,IF THR AMOUNT OF PROPYLENE GLYCOL is low,,20 parts per 10 lbs of body weight..for a human,,
    HUMAN consumption is NOT even close to that piece of bubble gum at HALLOWEEN. won’t make anything sick. dogs eating the amount my 110 lb dog was eating was making her sick..
    Hey,,you want to trust the FDA,,be my guest,,let others research for themselves and I’m guessing you work for the Purina / bebeful company..
    go ahead,,of its not poisonous,,thebFDA doesn’t say it’s not, they just say ingesting small amounts is not going to do potential damage to kidneys..
    I have had 4 cats, all die from kidney failure all close together all are the same thing..1 dog who died of kidney failure, him and tha I one I took off that garbage, who buy the way is doing 100% better,,different dog and she started eating beneful puppy,,she’s 8, she was vomiting after each meal..drinking water so obsessively and I am sure that’s all that saved her life and kidneys…she still has kidney damage..all animals eating same thing,,there is NO coencidences…

  • DoctorLarry

    You said “The additive propylene glycol is poison”
    Actually, the FDA says it is generally safe in food, except for cats.

  • DoctorLarry

    This so-called review makes this statement: “Propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in making cat food.” While it is banned for cats, the FDA classifies propylene glycol as generally safe for food – humans included.
    Dogs can tolerate the amounts used, cats cannot. If your dog is a cat, don’t use it. If your dog is sick, it is probably due to something besides packaged dog food.

  • Janis King

    My grandpuppy golden lab Marty is 7 years old. He has suffered seizures for the last 5 years of his life. My son always fed him Beneful . He joined Costco a year ago and now feeds him Kirkland dogfood. Mary has not had a seizure since he started the food and is no longer on medicine for it. Please think about this and make the right decision. Why take the chance.

  • Diane Zimerle

    I am scared of using Beneful because of the negative reports, and my dogs got very ill at one point in my using Beneful although I can’t say for sure it was the Beneful that caused their vomiting. Now they don’t trust most dog food flavors (chicken, beef, turkey). Before all this information came out it was the only food my dogs would eat. Now I am having trouble finding a food they will actually eat, they are used to all the sugar and crap. My concern is Purina makes several dog foods and no one seems to be too concerned about them, if Purina doesn’t care about the quality of this food why would they care about any of their foods, and it seems no one is talking about that at all. Last, anyone have any good ideas about a food a dog will actually like, I have tried Blue, Instinct, Alpo, Rachel Ray, Wilderness, Nutro, I have even been cooking for them, they are senior dogs (over 15) and are barely eating, I am at a loss.

  • Crazy4dogs

    There are many foods out there with better ingredients that cost the same or less. The explosive diarrhea is probably because you didn’t do a very slow transition. If your dog has been eating the same food every day for 10 years, you need to change over in very small increments. The fresh food you are giving him is a good addition that he could get daily, if you give him just a bit that has no seasoning or butter, etc.
    My 10+ year old lab just took a 2 mile walk with me this morning. She has only 2 peas sized lipomas on her body and they haven’t changed size in almost 2 years. She doesn’t and never has eaten Bemeful. My last lab mix lived to 14.5 yo. and we lost him due to myelopathy, a genetic dengenerative nerve disorder that has nothing to do with food. At 12 he was still walking at least a mile daily. Good food really does matter.

  • Jacob

    My dog has been eating this stuff since he was a pup, he’s 10 years old and doing fine. He’s 110 lb lab. Every time I’ve tried to switch him to a better brand it always has the same effect, explosive diarrhea. He seems to like this stuff. He’s not picky. I do give him vegetables and human quality meat occasionally to make sure he’s getting a balanced diet. He is like a little kid when it comes to celery and carrots. Aside from benefuls I’m picky about the human food he eats, no junk. He only had a life expectancy of 12 years because of his size. He’s got fatty tumors on his body, but that’s common in labs. He’s doing just fine for 10 years old, he’s starting to slow down. I won’t blame benefuls when he dies. Not saying it’s good food, just saying his body seems to like it.

  • Matt Begley

    My 10 year old best friend, a German Shepherd dog was murdered by Purina’s Beneful dog food. I had found him lost in the North Cascade mountains, running wild. nearly 2 years old and weighed only 60 lbs. He was my sixth GSD and we were never apart for 10 years, until he developed a very deadly form of cancer which caused him to bleed internally. After spending over $3500 to have his spleen removed my Vet told me that the same lesions were all over his intestines as well. He was like he was years younger after the surgery. He lived only 6 more days before he began to bleed internally again, I was with him at the vet when the biopsy report came back about the cancer. He died in my arms that morning. If I ever get my hands on those at Purina who make the decisions to put inferior and poisonous products into their dog foods I will make them suffer, right before they die. Why? Because there are reports of thousands of dogs dying from digestive tract destruction like mine did and they do nothing but deny.

  • Daniel Yoo

    Disappointing how these companies do anything for profit. I guarantee Purina takes spoiled Chinese supermarket meat to put it in dog food as there’s no mention of an animal. “PURINA” –> the irony is real. Poisonina is the right.

  • Miltapher

    It’s still not healthy. Do you eat healthy yourself? How do you choose what to eat? Read the ingredients in this “food” you are feeding. The ingredients are closer to a bag of doritios than something healthy. Just like Doritos, Beneful is mostly corn, has added sugar, has artificial flavors and colors. Added sugar, artificial ingredients are ingredients in the junk food people buy for themselves to eat. It’s junk food for dogs.

  • sighthndman

    Actually that’s true. In fact, many good foods look like they cost more but in fact don’t because you feed less (whether you ration or free feed). In addition, just because they’re better foods, the waste product is more compact and less wet, meaning you have fewer piles to scoop and they are smaller and less smelly and less runny and squishy. (Or is this only a concern with greyhounds and a few other breeds?) That even goes one more step and means it’s easier and less costly to find a sitter on those occasions when you’re going to be away for more than a few hours. Or even to find a dog walker if both “parents” are going to be away for the day.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The saddest thing about this whole Beneful thing is that if people actually did a little research instead of watching the commercials and listening to the marketing spin doctors they would find that there are many really decent foods with good ratings, good ingredients that are healthy for their dogs that cost the same as or less than Beneful. :(

  • JellyCat

    I can see that the company may actually settle to avoid higher legal costs. However, they may also not settle just based on ideology, even if that means higher costs. Additionally, owners involved may not settle also because of ideological reasons. We don’t know any details here.

    As far as different nutritional needs, obviously not every dog has same nutritional needs. Not every dog needs to eat high protein and high fat foods and none of the dogs need to consume poor quality ingredients. There are some better Purina formulations on the market, but Beneful is not one of them. It does not offer quality regardless of nutritional requirements.

  • sighthndman

    No. Companies settle without admitting fault all the time. To them it’s a business decision. If Purina settles, they also change their formulation so that they don’t have a stream of “me too” lawsuits. Or discontinue the brand. Not all companies have to do that. (The case where a plaintiff was awarded $10 million because his new Mercedes had been scratched and the paint was retouched comes to mind.) But if it comes to a point where it looks like it would cost $1 million to fight (an extreme but possible total cost, not including payment of claims to those claiming injury and their lawyers), and then the possibility of “legal roulette” where you don’t know what the judge and/or jury might decide (and what any appellate courts might do) where the award could be $10 million or more, they might decide that it’s in their interest to limit their losses. In addition, they might very well settle simply to avoid having a public record of bad food. If they go to court and lose, they have to change their formulation, because they are on record as having unsafe food. (This is regardless of whether the food is, in actual fact, unsafe or not.)

    If their marketing department can’t put a positive spin on changing the formulation, they should probably all be replaced anyway.

    I don’t know where Beneful is on the price scale. However, the general rule is that cheaper is not as good (and that is reflected in the language: “inexpensive” means low cost but “cheap” means both low cost and low quality) but there are exceptions. Also, there is always someone selling cheap stuff at premium prices in an effort to separate you from your money. So the general rule is not a hard and fast rule, it’s more of a general guide.

    At the “top end” things diverge: running dogs have different nutritional needs from sled dogs which have different nutritional needs from the large breeds and you have to know exactly what your animal needs and feed to the nutritional requirements of your animal. A lot can go into that that I don’t have time or space for here. But what it does mean is that there is a lot of variety that is essentially meaningless unless you have a performance animal (similarly, unless you are an athlete yourself, you don’t need to eat like one, and you don’t need to watch your diet like one, even though we all still need to watch our diet).

  • JellyCat

    The reason why Purina will never settle, is because settling means admitting that their food isn’t as healthy as they claim it is. That would be extremely damaging to the brand.

  • Dee Robinson Terry

    So It’s ok if they keep killing dogs and cats with this food? Please go to the FDA site and read all of the complaints, all the way through. And yes I have a complaint on there for my dad. His pet’s became deathly ill from this food with high vet bills. Thank god they are ok now. But read all about the ones that are now dead. You are slowly killing your pets. I can’t believe you are defending Purina to save a buck. It’s not about free money, it’s about saving animals. You really need to educate yourself on this matter. Praying for your pets!

  • mia

    I had been feeding my 8 yr old

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I agree, there is absolutely no reason it should be in dog food. It can be good for anti-freeze though, even though it is not totally non-toxic, because it would be less harmful if a dog were to accidentally ingest some of it.

  • pitlove

    propylene glycol is the second cousin to ethylene glycol and is still toxic at high doses (AKA a dog eating Beneful every day for 10 years). And propylene glycol is used in a supposedly “non-toxic” form of anti-freeze. Also it is used as a moistining agent and has zero nutrional value to your dog. So why should he have to eat it?

  • Miltapher

    I tried to post this about a week ago, here it is.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The rating given for this food and any of the variations are more than fair, in my opinion.
    Read any of the ingredients in any of the formulas:

    It’s sad that marketing and advertising can get people to believe that this is “healthy” as stated in 5 varieties and makes dogs “playful”.
    I wish they would spend some of their marketing & advertising budget on better ingredients.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Yup! Same!

  • Dori

    Quite simply stated, and, of course, it is only my opinion and does not represent the thoughts and opinions of anyone else on DFA, this food is not fit for any living creature to consume. People can make all the justifications for feeding this food that they want and others of the same ilk, but it does not change what the ingredients are in any of their formulas. To pretend that DFA or Dr. Mike has chosen the lesser of evils only takes a moment of research on Beneful’s site to see the truth of every formula for this line of food. Everyone can feed their animals whatever they choose, but it is what it is, pretending otherwise is a bit delusional.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Glad to see the the offensive word was removed!

  • Shawna

    If you look at Taste of the Wild, and other foods, you will see that each specific food has a different star rating even though there is only one article.

    The criteria that DFA author uses to rate a food, amount and quality of protein, quality of ingredients etc, are so similar in Beneful that the stars given are identical for each line.

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Receive lifesaving dog food recall alerts anytime there's a recall event within the United States or Canada.

You'll also get our best tips and ideas to help you feed your dog safer... and better.

No spam.  Unsubscribe anytime.

You have Successfully Subscribed!