By now, many of you may have heard about the lawsuit filed against Purina’s “Beneful” brand dog food. For those unaware, an individual in California has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, as he believes his dogs’ unfortunate deaths were a result of being fed Beneful.
We have been fielding many calls from concerned pet owners today about the news, and we are hoping we can clear some things up for those of you whose dogs are on Beneful.
1.) First, this is a class action lawsuit, and NOT a recall. It is important to remember that anyone can file a lawsuit at any time, and for any reason. The FDA has not substantiated any of these concerns regarding Beneful dog food, and there is no recall in place at this time.
2.) The dogs in question did die terrible deaths. But unfortunately, the autopsies performed were not able to determine a definitive cause for the dogs’ symptoms. Many different diseases and toxins in the environment can cause similar symptoms and deaths. A link between the dogs’ deaths and Beneful has not been proven.
3.) The ingredient mentioned most often in both the lawsuit and the news stories we have read is a sweetener called “propylene glycol.” While this ingredient sounds very similar to the ingredient in antifreeze (“ethylene glycol”), they are two VERY separate ingredients. Propylene glycol is an FDA-approved food additive found in thousands of pet products, and thousands of human products we use every day. Numerous studies have shown that the amount of propylene glycol in the products that we and our pets consume every day are within proven, safe levels, even when large amounts of those products are consumed.
4.) We at Squan Animal Hospital see a handful of dogs every day that are on Beneful dog food and have been for years, without incident. Neither our veterinarians, nor veterinarians at large, have noted a pattern of toxicity around Beneful dog food.
5.) If there is a recall, be assured that we will tell you as soon as we are aware. Pet safety is something we take very seriously.
6.) If you do plan to transition your pet off of Beneful, we still recommend you do a slow transition over 1-2 weeks to prevent any stomach upset from an abrupt diet change.
7.) As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us.”