Pedigree Dog Food Safety Complaints Persist

There has been a surge in online complaints in recent months by pet owners who believe their dogs fell ill or even died after eating Pedigree dry dog food. Pedigree says their food is safe and points out that no recall has been issued... yet complaints persist. What's the story here?

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Social Media Post
The current Pedigree safety debate began with a viral post by a dog owner whose pet fell ill after consuming the product. That post stated the following:

This photo of an ill dog is unrelated to current rash of accusations against Pedigree dog food.

This photo of an ill dog is unrelated to current rash of accusations against Pedigree dog food.

“FOOD WARNING! This is HUGE – a post I saw that exposes a deadly threat if you use Pedigree dry food… and I sincerely hope you don’t. Please read & heed!!!

IF THERE IS A CHEMIST WHO CAN HELP, I HAVE THIS BAG OF PEDIGREE DOG FOOD THAT KILLED MY DOGS, AND NEED TO KNOW WHAT POISON WAS IN THERE. OH YES, I AM ANGRY. PEDIGREE DRY DOG FOOD WOULD BE MY ANSWER.. 271 COMPLAINTS 2013 ONLINE.. SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO PARVO. VOMIT YELLOW BILE, LETHARGIC, THEN JUST BEFORE DEATH, BLOOD FROM ANAL. JUST LOST MY PRECIOUS DOGS… HAPPENED SO FAST, WITHIN 48 HOURS. TAINTED BAG OF PEDIGREE DRY SMALL BREED FORMULA IN MY CASE. EPIDEMIC. BUYER BEWARE. NO RECALL. IF THIS HAPPENED IN YOUR FAMILY, GET WORD OUT AS THERE IS NO RECALL. I AM HIRING AN ATTORNEY.”

Such all-caps social media posts are often baseless, fake warnings without any details or substantiation. In fact, this post has been accompanied by an unrelated photo of a poisoned dog, taken back in 2011. There are few specifics in the post, and the claims have not been proven.

Pedigree even responded to the message above.

Pedigree Response
On August 14, Pedigree issued the following statement in response to the message above:

August 14, 2013

Since August 7th, a post alleging the PEDIGREE® Brand is responsible for the death of two dogs in the Tampa, Florida area has been circulating on Facebook. Like you, we were concerned to hear about this and we’d like to share with you what we know.

Here are the facts:

The safety and well-being of pets is our top priority and we take every consumer inquiry seriously. We’ve been in contact with the consumer and we are continuing to fully investigate the situation.

Our production records for the consumer’s product met all of our stringent quality standards. This is in addition to the more than 600 quality checks we perform in our factories each day, and why we have no reason to believe our food played any role in this unfortunate situation.

The emotional and disturbing photo associated with this post is not a picture of the consumer’s dog. In fact, this photo was shared by an individual unrelated to the situation and was taken more than two years ago. The dog in the photo is unrelated to this situation and unrelated to our food. Like you, we are disheartened to see this photo cause confusion among our dog-loving community but we’re glad to report that the dog in the photo is doing fine. Click here to see where this photo originated.

Consumers can continue to feed Pedigree to their dogs. We are confident that our food is safe and we feed it to our own pets.

At Pedigree, we’re for all dogs. We encourage any consumer who has additional concerns to contact us directly at 1-800-525-5273 M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT, contact us through our Web site or direct message us on Facebook.

Case closed?
Pedigree has been in contact with the owner, the photo is fake, the claims were unsubstantiated, and Pedigree is still safe. End of story. Right?

Not exactly.

Consumer Affairs
While the all-caps post circulating on Facebook includes an unrelated photo and unsubstantiated claims, some have pointed to a sharp increase in complaints at Consumer Affairs regarding Pedigree dog food.

The number of complaints regarding Pedigree on Consumer Affairs did, in fact, seen a notable increase in mid-2013:

  • November: 19 complaints
  • October: 18
  • September: 23
  • August: 48
  • July: 14
  • June 9
  • May: 10
  • April: 8
  • March: 5
  • February:  5
  • January: 3

The number of complaints suddenly skyrocketed in August 2013. The the following three months, the complaints were less than August, but still at a much higher rate than before that date.

NaturalNews
An article on NaturalNews entitled “Pedigree dog food may be endangering your pet, yet no recall despite over 300 complaints from customers” claims that there have been “hundreds of complaints in recent days” at Consumer Affairs. This is incorrect. At that point there had been 97 complaints in 2013, and just over 300 in total, dating back to 2007. Despite this factual error, there is a lengthy and lively discussion among commenters regarding the experiences of dog owners who have recently fed Pedigree to their dogs.

Dog Food Advisor
This exhaustive website rates Pedigree dry dog food 1 out of 5 stars, describing it as a “below-average dry dog food” and “not recommended.” The site includes hundreds of comments related to Pedigree, mostly negative.

Pedigree Facebook Page
Some consumers commented on Pedigree’s Facebook page, claiming that the food sickened or even killed their pets. Pedigree has typically responded with a cut-and-paste answer, which has done little to appease upset pet owners. A typical response reads:

The safety and well-being of pets is our top priority, which is why our food is manufactured in our own factories where we perform more than 600 quality checks each day. We assure you our dog food is safe. We encourage any consumer who has additional concerns to contact us directly at 1-800-525-5273 M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT or direct message us.

Eukanuba Recall
Though there appears to be no connection, some dog owners have pointed out the timing of the rash of Pedigree complaints with a voluntary recall issued by Procter & Gable recently. Some lots of Eukanuba and Iams dry dog foods were recalled due to a salmonella risk. Pedigree is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated and has no connection to Procter & Gamble.

What to do
If you believe your pet has been adversely affected by pet food, take your dog to a veterinarian. Keep the packaging for any food in question and file a report at the The Safety Reporting Portal. You will want to take note of the food name and lot number.

Bottom Line
There appears to be an increase in complaints regarding Pedigree dry dog food since mid-2013, but the cause for such a surge isn’t clear. It is also unclear if the original viral message regarding Pedigree has been substantiated.

Have you had problems with Pedigree dry dog food in recent weeks?

Sources

 

Updated December 2, 2013

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  • Elizabeth Smith

    While the picture above may be a fake, I have just had 2 dogs die in 2 weeks and am currently sitting in the emergency vet with our 3rd dog. Something is wrong with this latest batch of Pedigree food. We live in Palm Springs Fl. Our dogs have never been sick and now this. We are determined to find out why. Pedigree (or Mars) is of course closed for Labor Day weekend.

  • clint koelling

    my cat died from eating my sisters pedigree dog food and her dog nearly died and was sick for a month. Someone please do something.

  • Lisa Watkins

    My 13 year old dog died Sept 16, 2013 after eating a new batch of pedigree small bites for adult dogs. There is no other explaination for this. He was not sickly prior to this new bag.

  • Suzanne

    Regarding the Pedigree 12 Pack Beef / country stew cans: Used 2 (1, threw most of 2nd away) of 12 and only beef flavored.
    I bought this package of wet dog food Monday night September 30, 2013. Tuesday morning, woke to find dog hair all over floor. We only use this wet food to coat her dry food so she was only getting a small amount at each feeding. Dog was initially scratching non-stop. By Noon, her face around eyes and mouth was swollen. Gave her benedryl and the swelling reduced for a few hours but regularly returned. Today is Thursday. Dog has been vomiting within an hour of eating since Wednesday. She’s finally refusing to eat but still vomiting regularly. She is still scratching and chewing hair out. Hopefully, now that we realized it was the dog food (thanks to reading numerous complaint stories about this product specifically and her improving once we stopped giving the food to her) she will continue to get better. It is now 10/4/2013. The dog finally vomited her last time around 3 am. She drank water around midnight. She was unable to lay down from the retching in her gut until just a few hours ago. She is finally sleeping. I reported to the Walmart where I bought it. The customer service lady thanked me because she bought same dog food Tuesday and her dog has been pulling out hair but not vomiting yet. Her manager however did not care and told me it was a problem with the manufacturer, which I told her I understood but I thought they might want to remove the product from their shelves but they seemed uninterested. How sad. Hopefully, the customer service employee will do something even if her manager won’t. We are saving the product rather than return so we can have it tested. This is very disturbing. We had only used the beef flavored. We only add a little bit to dry dog food for taste. So it didn’t take much per meal to make our dog very sick. If this was a fluke incident, I wouldn’t be so angry but after reading HUNDREDS of complaints about this product and their lack of response to any of them and then their politically correct banner about the Facebook complaint, I am deeply disturbed that they fail to care at all. I am writing this because I want everyone to make sure you know a product they are selling since August is in fact harmful to animals and maybe its coincidence or maybe they are being internally sabotaged by a disgruntled employee but either way, now you know! I purchased this dog food at the Walmart in Post Falls Idaho on Mullen Road. Within hours of eating this poison they call dog food my dog was pulling her hair out. Thankfully, we figured it out in time to hopefully save our dog’s life but who knows what damage she will now have to deal with for the rest of her life. It is now 2 pm on 10/4/2013. Our dog woke up after a 9 hour sleep, drank water and went to the bathroom and is now laying down again. She has lost weight, very weak but we are hopeful she will improve. We are reluctant to feed her anything until we know her stomach has healed. Something needs to be done about this!

  • TracyB

    My dog ate the dry and wet food and was sick within hours. He became lethargic, stopped eating and drinking and then started vomiting up blood, shedding and goop in his eyes constantly. Nothing could be done for him, he was in kidney failure in two days. He died 10/7/13. My dog suffered and it just makes me so upset that I fed him something I thought was a good product but actually poisoned him. This company has over 300 complaints since Aug 2013 and still no recall. Rumor? I think not, when your pet has died from this product! STAY AWAY FROM PEDIGREE.
    If I can save any pets from the horrible way my dog died, it is worth it. This company has to acknowledge there is a problem and recall their product. How many animals have to die before they put health before profit.

  • Jso

    My dog has been sick for the last two weeks on and off. We finally realized today that it is because of the pedigree dry dog food! After taking him to the vet on Tuesday, we have only been feeding him rice and chicken and he was ok. Today I tried the dog food again for dinner and just 2 hours later he is not feeling well. He can barely move! Pedigree needs to acknowledge that there is something wrong with their food!

  • Dachshund mom

    I have fed my dog pedigree adult complete dry food for years. Several days ago I purchased a new bag and she didn’t want to eat it. I prodded her a little and she finally ate. She is now ill, constantly needing to defecate (or at least tries), doesn’t want to walk or if she does she starts breathing very fast. I quit giving her the dry food yesterday and will give her homemade chicken and rice to see if that helps. I should have not pushed her to eat the dry. She knew it was no good! I have never seen her turn food down!

  • crystal

    is it only dry food or wet food too?

  • Phyllis Crosby

    I am the lady in Tampa Florida who posted the original post circulating on Facebook. It is true. Not only did I only lose two dogs as of that writing, I lost two more the weekend after. I was a basket case. The picture that was posted, however, is not my dog and may be another Pedigree death. My dogs were small. The symptoms are that like Parvo. Vomiting bile, not eating, at first – later wobbly and blood from anal. In fact if you you take your dog to the VET they may tell you it is Parvo, because the symptoms are of like kind.
    My dogs were never around other dogs or in public areas, so I KNOW it wasn’t Parvo. I had just bought a new bag of Pedigree “for small breeds”..I had not tried before. It was right after they ate that food when they started acting tired and not themselves. It was a daily nightmare from there. I know there have been dogs, thank God, who have survived through it and you can read their stories and what they did different than I. Remember at the time I had no warning, there was no recall, and I didn’t learn of the “Pedigree Complaint” site until after I lost my first two dogs. I will tell you it tears your heart out to see your furbabies suffer. I did talk to Pedigree and they were not overly concerned. I have switched to Purina since that tragedy. My remaining dogs are fine. Since the sympoms are like kind to Parvo, may be treatment can be the same. Not sure. There is a video on utube of owner who treated their dog with with Pedialite and charcoal from a pharmacy and saved the dog, because he could not afford the vet. Had I seen this video earlier, I may have saved my dogs.

    • waffles

      Thanks for your input, and our condolences for the loss of your dogs.

    • Sine Olness

      My husband just posted below telling to story of our loss. Basically, we had 5 pugs and now we have 4 after switching to Pedigree small dog formula. The necropsy indicated damage to his heart and intestines and bacterial cultures are pending – I’m thinking salmonella? We’ll see. I fed my first dog Pedigree his whole life and never had an issue, but it only takes one bad batch…and that’s EXACLTY what this was. Is all Pedigree dog food bad? No…I don’t think so. Did a bad batch kill my dog? Yes.

  • Matthew Cohen

    My condolences to everybody reading this thread who might have had a pet hurt or killed by Pedigree dog food. I am writing this post in a state of shock and horror- and I am posting this message on numerous websites- because my little six month old pug named Attila, just died late last night in the care of a veterinarian, after falling ill with Parvo-like symptoms that seem likely to have been caused by being fed Pedigree little bites dog food for the first time last week. I made a dreadful mistake last Tuesday when I chose to pick up a bag of the Pedigree food as a convenience at the grocery store, largely because I didn’t want to drive out of my way to buy our dogs usual food.

    After feeding our four adult pugs and our one pug puppy the new food that Tuesday and Wednesday at their accustomed feeding time, all of them became sick- throwing up the new food after eating it- with little Attila seeming to have the worst stomach upset. My wife and I immediately stopped feeding the dogs the new food and re-stocked their regular brand instead. Fortunately, by Thursday the four older dogs all seemed to return quickly to normal, but the puppy seemed to be having a harder time, even though he was acting fairly normally.

    On Thursday Attila was still trying to play and interact with my wife and I, as well as with the other dogs, but he showed little interest in food even though he did eat a small amount of his regular food, and his formerly extremely high energy level was dropping. At this point, we hoped he was getting over the problem with the food change, and resolved to take him to the vet if it seemed like he was getting any worse. By Friday evening, when we saw him again after returning from work, the change had become alarming, and even though the puppy was not running a fever, he seemed chilled to the bone, and he definitely showed no interest in eating or physically moving. We tried to feed him cottage cheese and white rice to soothe his stomach, and bundled him up in his favorite blanket and resolved to take him to the vet in the morning if he didn’t improve- a decision that I deeply rue, considering the eventual consequences.

    On Saturday morning we found that the puppy had left bloody mucus-like diaharrea and dry vomit in his crate so we immediately took him to the local vet where they gave Attila a blood transfusion, hooked up an IV, put him on anti-biotics and recommended that they keep him under observation until at least this Monday. The veterinarian treated Attila for Parvovirus, as that is what all of the symptoms indicated, and told us that it was lucky that we had caught this in its early stages, that Attila had responded very well to the treatment, and that we could expect a full recovery. As of yesterday, he was fully responsive, showed no fever, was re-hydrated, and we expected to bring our friend back home today or tomorrow.

    That was until this morning, when I called at the vet’s opening time to get an update about Attila’s status, and I was told that my little dog passed away last night at 11PM.

    Before this nightmare, and before reading some of the recent anecdotal accounts of similar Pedigree related tragedies- including the accounts on this thread- I had no idea that buying the products of such a reputable brand might be hazardous. It is possible that the new dog food had nothing to do with Attila’s sickness and death, as well as the temporary sickness of out other adult dogs, but after discovering so many recent and similar stories posted here and on other forms, I smell a rat. It strains credulity to imagine that all of these accounts of tragedy- all stemming from the same manufacturer, and seemingly from the same products, and killing dogs in the same ways- could have nothing to do with the sudden death of my little dog.

    I cannot stop thinking about what I could have done differently to have taken card of my wonderful puppy better than I did- I should never have changed his dog food because I wanted to save time going to a more convenient store, and if I had taken him to the vet the instant he appeared to be getting ill- and these are brutally hard thoughts to wrestle with. That said, the pain that my wife and I are dealing with today has also been felt by many loving families that have trusted in the Pedigree brand of dog food and seen their beloved companions hurt by it. It strains credulity to imagine that the sickness and death reported by many Pedigree using pet owners is coincidence, happenstance or fantasy.

    For my part, I will tell anybody I know- for the rest of my life- to not buy Pedigree or any other brands that originate from their parent company or partners. Furthermore, we have saved the suspect dog food and receipt of purchase, and we will have a necropsy performed on my poor, beloved and missed puppy Attila, and we will explore ever possible option to make sure as many people as possible learn about the dangers of this product.

    • crystal

      Can u tell me how to see if it was for sure pedigree dog food I don’t know what to do cause its really bothering me that I am sure my dog was poisened by the dog food I truely trusted thank u so much

  • http://wafflesatnoon.com Johnette Stanford

    I have a sick dog and have been home with her the last two days. I took her to the vet on Monday because of the weekend her neck area/glands swelled up and she wasn’t eating. She hasn’t been eating her food much and I chalked it to distress because I had started working two jobs. With meds from the vet the swelling is starting to go down but still very rock hard around her neck area and she is bleeding from her nose. Still wont’ eat the Pedigree dry food but will eat the chicken and rice. I even tried mixing it and she will walk over to the dish and will not eat if the pedigree food is in there. After reading the reviews I will be throwing away the food and buying a new brand. My dog has lost over 10 ibs and still is not acting herself

  • crystal

    Our 5month old rottweiler puppy died yesterday november 11th 330 pm they tested him for parvo while sitting at the vet he past and it was the worst thing I could see… on thursday november 6 th he threw up.. thinking he might just have a tummy ache he didn’t eat his pedigree dry dog food that night and since we bought this bag he would never eat it all like he usually did.. on friday he still would not eat but would drink and play with the cat but u could tell he was still not feeling well.. by that night he was throwing up green flem we called vet next day thinking it was parvo they said give him lots of fluid and buy him wet dog food well he would not eat we gave him antibiotics and pedisure and pedilite charcol pills and pepto and he would keep his fluids down but anytime we tried giving him calories he would throw up sunday he started throwing up blood one time and monday morning he had a lot of blood in kennel that he threw up we took him to vet that after noon and by than he stopped moving all together he let out a blood stood started seizing up and passed it was the hardest thing I seen.. how do u find out if its the dog food for sure?? We miss u caouse

  • FERNANDA

    Big healthy dog. My sister-in-law’s dog in serious conditions because of food poising from Pedigree Dog Food purchased from the Westford MA Market Basket a few weeks ago.

    The dog was rushed to the vet and he was on an IV for several days until a phone call today (11/13/13) where the vet said the had to be put down. There are hundreds complaints about the food, but no recal yet….ridiculous!!!

  • Lori Dean

    I just bought a new bag of Pedigree and the last 2 days my dog threw it all up. Now I’m scared to death that I might have inadvertently poisoned my sweet dog. I will talk to my vet tomorrow. I will be so sick if something happens to her. Hopefully stopped in time.

  • Sher Van Dyke

    Is everyone 100% sure it’s the Pedigree dry dog food? My vet feeds his personal dogs Pedigree and I have a German Shepherd that is 10 years old and has eaten Pedigree her whole life, I know that Pedigree had a problem in the past with Samonella with the fish oil. But there is a new rare dog virus were 2 dogs in Ohio and 1 dog in Davis California has died and it has the same symptoms as Parvo with vomiting and bleeding out and die within 48 hours and they say it’s transmitted through hogs it’s call “K9 Circo Virus”, and there is on vaccine for it yet. Very Scary!!!

  • Sher Van Dyke

    The Circo Virus has no vaccine for it yet.

  • tim hogan

    Im sorry for your loss…..i too have had 2 dogs die in 3 days…..we have numerous dogs, but only feed the 2 that died wet food for their finicky appetites……pedegrie canned chunk dog food…… my wife and i just started talking about possible recalls……my friends….we all, are the next recall……

  • Jen Anon

    On Christmas day, we gave our American Staffordshire a rare treat: The neighbor bought him a pack of Pedigree Jumbones. By evening he was VERY sick. He collapsed and could not get up. He was trembling, acting like he was in pain. He couldn’t get up and down the stairs to go outside. We made an emergency vet appointment yesterday, he had to be carried in. We had blood work done, everything came back fine. The vet couldn’t find anything apparently wrong, and his temperature was normal. We nearly lost our dog!!!!!!!!!! Thankfully, last night I realized that it must have been the treat. Our dog gets rice, sweet potatoes, green beans, tuna or chicken for his meals,with the occasional non-grain based dog food mixed in. I googled ‘Pedigree making dogs sick’ and found NUMEROUS complaints on consumer report sites. People have lost their beloved dogs because of PEDIGREE! I am in the process of filing a formal complaint with the company, and attempting to recoup an expensive vet bill. This was absolutely TERRIFYING for us!!!!

  • nicole graff

    I cant believe the irrisponsibility of pedigree dog food company. This is more than a few complaints its 406 compkaints. Hiw can you morally not address this issue and recsll all your dog food. Its is the right thing to do. You put numerous people through suffering and their dogs through pain an suffering too unnecessarily if you would of investegated these complaints earluer. There in deed has to be something contaminating your product whether chemically or perhaps a bacterial problem luke salmonella from your keat source. The problem will not go away by not responding to these pet owners but will in fact become worse with class acyion law suits by these pet owners

  • john wall

    That dam dog food dun kilt 4 0f my dogs and made 6 real sick.i gave the rest of that food to some wild pigs and now we got sick pigs.and the pigs still got purina left i wont some. Answers. Who is responsible fir this sh-t should have to eat this sh-t i got left here in this bag i got vet bills and sick hogs and sick hog dogs.there will be some justice on the behalf of my dogs you kilt you sorry b—–ds.

  • Peggy Tschuschke

    My dog has liver failure that I SUSPECT is from Pedigree Adult dry dog food. Our German shepherd has eaten this food all his life,but recently something in the food has caused him to turn away from the food,so we put cooked chicken on tip of the dry food. He looked illl, so we took him to our family vet who he sees regularly, and did blood tests to only reveal liver failure. The dog is 7 years old and has regular blood work which has been normal, until now. He had to have 30 lbs of fluid drained from his stomach because he was not processing the food and in wks following,he had no bowel movement. The vet put him on hills prescription food for liver failure and within a week he has been having bowel movements. I feel he is only still alive because we addressed the situation immddiatly and the dogs will to live and loyalty to us. He has fluid build up in his legs which makes it difficult to get around,but he is a trooper and determined to live and be with us. We actually did not expect him to make it this ling, but he is improving and will be on this food for the rest of his life….I only hope that they do not change the ingredients or have some incompetent people take over the company…I am deeply saddened ny the change in this pedigree dog food that has made all tthese dogs sick or even killed them! Own up to your mistake pedigree!!!!!!

  • Michelle Gabriele

    A couple weeks ago I bought a 55lb bag of Pedigree dry dog food from Costco… I usually buy the smaller bag from grocery store. After eating food she got sick w/ similar symptoms in above posts… Diarrhea that had blood or mucus, etc. I was thinking the snow we had may be the cause because my dog loves to eat snow and I heard this may cause diarrhea.
    Then I thought maybe a bag batch of food and began googling and found all these postings. I stopped feeding her the dry food and gave her rice w/ a tablespoon of pumpkin (read that helps w/ diarrhea. It instantly worked too. I started giving her canned food (not pedigree) and mixed in a little rice and pumpkin and she seemed to be doing better.
    Recently i started mixing in the dry food again w/ the wet food/rice/pumpkin. She again had diarreha a few times w/ mucus… No blood.
    She does appear to be losing weight, not severely but definitely a little. She is a 10 year old Lab…I figured she lost a little weight because of her recent stomach issues but as I read I get more and more worried. I called Pedigree and message said leave a phone #, they are in a team meeting. On message I explained my concerns, no call back.
    Not sure what to do now, it would be nice if Pedigree would respond… Im wondering about this dog food I have… Why is there so much talk about sick dogs?!?

    • Michelle Gabriele

      Called Pedigree again today… Big surprise… Machine said not there because of the weather. Last phone call machine said they were in a team meeting. I see a pattern.

  • susie

    So my leonberger just died. She’s about nine years old, and was a happy healhty dog. She did start getting lethargic for awhile, but after buying this new bag of Pedigree – she got more lethargic I think, and did NOT like the dog food for sure. That’s what I know. I should have taken the dog food back, but instead I added chicken and good things mixed in. Well after a couple/few weeks… I’m so sad to say that my dog died this evening. She went on a walk today; was slow. I trimmed her hair today; she let me – she was so calm and lethargic :( and family took her to vet tonight… She died on the way. So sad. So, so sad. I mean to never, never, never ever buy Pedigree again. I cannot tell you as a fact that it was Pedigree, I have the new bag of dog food sitting in my garage if you can give me an address to send some to be tested… But I think it is the culprit…