Hoaxes & Rumors

Pedigree Dog Food Safety: Jumbone Recall Hoax

Pedigree Dog Food Safety: Jumbone Recall Hoax

A heavily-shared social media post in late 2014 claims that Pedigree UK has recalled Jumbone treats. The rumor, however, is not true.

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2014 Jumbone Recall Hoax

In late 2014, a Facebook post received heavy social media sharing. That user claimed that there was a recall by Pedigree UK of Jumbone treats. It stated:

URGENT. Don’t give your dogs these. Pedigree Uk are re-calling them. You need to contact them if your dog has had one/been poorly. Please let all your doggy friends and family know.

The popular December 2014 Facebook post appears to be a shortened variation of an earlier post from November 2014 in which it was claimed that a dog became ill after eating a Jumbone treat.

Please don’t give these to your dogs!! Our Woody is really poorly, and has been violently sick about 12-15 times in the past 10 minutes with crippling stomach pains.

UPDATE: We have just had to rush him to the vet, where he’s has 2 massive injections, one for his brain, and they’ve completely knocked him out! £113 later we are glad he is alive!! The vet couldn’t urge strongly enough how many dogs have become ill because of these bones!


To all of you asking how it’s making dogs ill, I’ve heard from quite a few professionals and vets that it will have something to do with the various sugars they contain. It’s now hopefully under investigation with Pedigree themselves, so will keep you all posted. Thanks for your concern.

Despite thousands of shares online, the unsubstantiated assertion regarding a recall was finally debunked by Pedigree UK on December 22, 2014.

The Facebook user who originally posted the photo and the account of her dog’s illness did not provide any additional updates after November 24, but the post continued to receive heavy social media sharing throughout December 2014.

While the claim about a Pedigree recall was quickly debunked, it is unclear if the source of the dog’s illness was pinpointed.

The Jumbone recall hoax harkens back to a more convoluted story of Pedigree dog food safety, which circulated heavily on social media in 2013. Below is that original 2013 story.

2013 Pedigree Safety Social Media Post

The 2013 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 the 2013 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!!!


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

Pedigree eventually responded to the message above.

Pedigree Response

On August 14, 2013, 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 was in contact with the owner, the photo is fake, the claims were unsubstantiated, and Pedigree was said to be safe. One would assume that would be the end of the story, but this was not the case.

Consumer Affairs

While the all-caps post circulating on Facebook included an unrelated photo and unsubstantiated claims, some consumers 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, see a notable increase in mid-2013:

  • November 2013: 19 complaints
  • October 2013: 18
  • September 2013: 23
  • August 2013: 48
  • July 2013: 14
  • June 2013: 9
  • May 2013: 10
  • April 2013: 8
  • March 2013: 5
  • February 2013: 5
  • January 2013: 3

The number of complaints suddenly increased in August 2013, followed by a slow decrease in complaints in the ensuing months.


An article on NaturalNews entitled “Pedigree dog food may be endangering your pet, yet no recall despite over 300 complaints from customers” claimed that were “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 had 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

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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 around the same time. 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

In late 2014, a social media post stated that a dog had fallen ill after consuming a Jumbone treat. It was then falsely asserted that Pedigree UK had issued a recall of that product. Pedigree UK declared the rumor a hoax.

In mid-2013 there appeared to be an increase in complaints regarding Pedigree dry dog food, but the cause for such a surge was never discovered.

Have you had problems with Pedigree dry dog food or Jumbone treats? Let us hear from you in the comments below.


Updated December 23, 2014
Originally published August 2013

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  • Sher Van Dyke

    The Circo Virus has no vaccine for it yet.

  • 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!!!

  • 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.


    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!!!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • waffles

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

  • crystal

    is it only dry food or wet food too?

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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