Beneful: Not For My Pets

Purina has reformulated Beneful, based on consumer complaints. They eliminated propylene glycol, the ingredient that has been implicated as causing liver and kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death. The company states that the ingredient is considered safe and is approved by the FDA, but they removed it based on consumer desire. They also moved beef and chicken into the first spot on the ingredient list, thereby increasing the amount of meat in the diet. They state this was also at consumer request. How many times have you heard the old adage: "Make sure meat is the first ingredient in your pet food"?

Okay Purina. You win. You listened to consumers and made changes based on consumer preferences. But the product being produced, while meeting AAFCO levels of nutrient profiles, still leaves a lot to be desired. When looking at the ingredients, there is ONE meat source, there are TWO by-product meals, and there are SEVEN different grain sources. No real eggs or chicken, just flavoring. And those lovely veggies pictured on the bag? Well, yes, they are just ACCENTS. They come AFTER salt and digest in the ingredient list. Digest is just another fancy term for melted down pork, poultry or chicken parts not suitable for human consumption, and may contain intestines and intestinal contents (read feces), spoiled or diseased meats, and feathers. The mineral and vitamin list contains ingredients that have been questioned in the past, including sulfated minerals, which are inorganic. Proteinated minerals are organic and better absorbed. Menadione is a controversial, synthetic form of vitamin K. This supplement has been banned from human vitamins due to its toxicity. While pet food manufacturers claim it is safe, we have to wonder about possible cumulative affects for pets fed the same diet day in and day out for years and years. The lovely dyes that add the beautiful colors to the crunchy and chewy morsels only serve to entice the consumer, not the pet. What are the cumulative toxic effects of consuming dyes every day for years?

Read the ingredient list below and you decide. Is this what you want your best friend to eat? Would you eat this every day?

Beef, whole grain corn, barley, rice, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, oat meal, poultry by-product meal, glycerin, egg and chicken flavor, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, poultry and pork digest, dried spinach, dried peas, dried carrots, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), folic acid, biotin], choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 2, garlic oil.

Personally, I'm going to stick with the high quality raw food and home prepared diets I feed my pets. Overall, my answer to Purina is: this is not a win. Sadly, this food is served to 15 million dogs per year.