Lawsuit Says Beneful Sickens, Kills Dogs


Beneful dog food has been sickening and even killing dogs for the past three years, according to a pet owner. Frank Lucido filed a lawsuit against Nestle Purina Petcare Company, the company that makes Beneful. Lucido contends that the company knowingly sold food that was harmful to pets, ignoring thousands of complaints from dog owners.

He had purchased the Beneful brand for three of his dogs. His four-year old German shepherd, an 11-year old Labrador Retriever and an eight year old English Bulldog. Lucido states that he fed his dogs Beneful exclusively starting in December. The bulldog eventually died.  An autopsy on the bulldog showed that he had internal bleeding and lesions on his liver. The German shepherd became violently ill and was under the care of a veterinarian. The vet found the shepherd also had internal bleeding in addition to liver malfunctioning that was not unlike those seen in poisoning cases. The German shepherd and the Labrador retriever remain under the care of a veterinarian.

Lucido contends that the Beneful dog kibble contained propylene glycol, an ingredient found in anti-freeze, which is toxic to animals. The product also contains mycotoxins, an ingredient found when grain, a major ingredient in Beneful, develops mold. Mycotoxins can develop in coffee and peanuts in human foods, but is not fatal, although it can make a person feel sick. Propylene glycol is an approved food additive found in vanillin flavoring and salad dressings, among other foods.

Lucido is requesting that his lawsuit be treated as a class action suit because of the wide-spread egregious nature of the dog food company. More than 3,000 other online complaints from pet owners were lodged against Beneful , claiming that Beneful sickened and even killed their dogs. Among the list of complaints include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Lucido asserts that Nestle Purina Petcare continued to sell the product despite the large number of complaints against them.

BenefulThe company said that Lucido and the thousands of other pet owners have baseless complaints, stating that “there are no quality issues with Beneful.” Purina blames “social media-driven misinformation” on the problems. However, the Purina Company in conjunction with Waggin’ Train LLC previously arranged a settlement payment to the tune of $6.5 million for the thousands of pets injured and killed in the China dog treats case. In 2007, one thousand dogs died from eating jerky pet treats imported from China and sold by Purina. In addition, close to 5,000 animals were poisoned and three humans  sickened after coming in contact with the product.

This American company recently made headlines for their attempts to remove all artificial products in their chocolate products. Although they contend steadfastly that there is nothing wrong with their dog food products, and do not know why Beneful sickens and kills dogs, they may be pressured to take the same stringent steps with their dog food.

There are several dog food companies that strive to use only all-natural products that will not harm family pets. Some of these products contains no chemical preservatives or by-products.  To read Beneful’s labels and to see their television commercials, one would think they were on par with these healthier dog food companies. However True BLUE, one of the premier dog food companies, is a Nestle Purina company.

By Danielle Branch

NBC News
Consumer Affairs

Photo Courtesy of Nicolas de Camaret – License
Photo Courtesy of Nestle – License