Too many dog owners fall victim to clever marketing schemes and catchy packaging. Little do consumers know, the dog food that claims to be “nutritional” or “healthy” could be very far from it. Several of the following dog foods have been linked to serious illness, and in some extreme cases, death. There is a huge difference between high-end dog foods and those that are second-tier. You may want to think twice about the pet that you love before grabbing for that bargain brand dog food, as the ingredients in the bag could prove wildly harmful for your canine.
14. Alpo by Purina
Sickness and even death have been reported by owners who fed their dogs Alpo by Purina. There were so many complaints issued against the dog food company that the FDA had to launch their own investigation into how the food was made. Upon their investigation, they found that food was not properly heated to the correct temperature and conveyor belt errors allowed unprocessed food to reach the consumer.
13. Kal Kan Dog Food
Rated poorly by consumers, Kal Kan Dog Food has faced criticism due to their controversial ingredients. Ground yellow corn, soybean meal and corn gluten meal – known for being bad for a dog’s health – are included in the first eight ingredients. Consumers also often complain that their dogs simply didn’t like the food, stuck their noses up at it, and wouldn’t touch the stuff.
12. Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels Formula
Several dog food companies label their foods as “healthy,” but couldn’t be farther from offering nutritional value. Sugar, salt, potassium chloride, brewers rice, Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 2 – sounds pretty awful, right? Those are only a few of the ingredients that make up Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels Formula. It would be wise to avoid this brand, as these ingredients have not only proved to be harmful to dogs, but to humans as well.
11. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Formula
Like children, puppies need specific nutrients in order to develop properly. Grabbing for the brand that writes “proactive health” across their package may seem like the right idea. In the case of Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Formula, you would be wrong. The not-so-healthy ingredients in this food have been known to cause diarrhea, digestive issues, and symptoms relating to parasite infections.
10. Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Formula
Everyone has heard of Kibbles ‘n Bits, right? But did you know that Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Formula has been linked to dog illnesses and death? The number of preservatives in this food, including BHA and sorbic acid, have been known to make dogs extremely sick. In some cases, dogs have died after prolonged consumption of this product. If you love your pup, avoid this food at all costs.
9. Purina Veterinary Diets
What veterinarian recommended this stuff? Your dog may suffer from digestive issues or have allergies, so you want to get them something only a vet would suggest, right? Consumers who purchased Purina Veterinary Diets may have fallen victim to an elaborate marketing scheme. That, or the “vet” who recommended it has no idea that propylene glycol, caramel color, soy and corn gluten are awful for dogs.
8. Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Beef Flavor Dry Dog Food
Vomiting, diarrhea, and death have all been linked to dogs who have eaten this specific blend of Pedigree dry dog food. With ingredients ranging from gluten meal to bone meal, it’s no surprise why several consumers often complain about this product. One alarming fact about this food is that Pedigree has admitted that this dry food contains pig hair. You wouldn’t eat pig hair, so why should your dog?
7. Purina Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food
Purina may want to consider replacing the word “happy” with “sad” in the name for this dog food. Soybean meal, bone meal, and ground yellow corn aren’t very happy ingredients, and your dog shouldn’t have to eat them. Dogs need protein and ingredients that hold nutritional value and Purina Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food isn’t going to get the job done. Keep your dog happy and avoid this food.
6. Walmart’s Ol’ Roy Dog Food
Store brand foods are notorious for skipping out on quality and nutritional value, and that also applies to their dog foods. Walmart’s Ol’ Roy Dog Food lists corn syrup, ground wheat and soybean meal as a few of their top ingredients in this blend. Seeing “complete nutrition” written across the packaging partnered with a low price, consumers often make the mistake of purchasing this unhealthy dog food.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food
Veterinarians often recommend this food, but you may want to get a second opinion. There isn’t much of a difference between this pricier brand and the cheaper alternatives. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food contains most of the same low-quality ingredients that the bargain brands carry, but at a steeper price. In many cases, this food has been linked to dogs who have died from anal cell carcinoma.
4. Purina Dog Chow
When a class action lawsuit is filed against the company that created this food, it’s pretty safe to say you should pass on purchasing it. Thousands of dog deaths have been reported by consumers who fed their canines Purina Dog Chow. The company denies that anything is wrong with their food, but those involved in the lawsuit beg to differ. Avoid this food at all costs.
3. Wegmans Bruiser Kibble Variety Mix
How does xantham gum, BHT, BHA and corn gluten sound? Those are only a few of the unhealthy ingredients that make up Wegmans Bruiser Kibble Variety Mix. At a low price, it’s no surprise that consumers reach for this store brand dog food. If you value your dog’s nutrition, you may want to think twice before saving a few dollars on this low-quality product.
2. Blackwood 1000 Chicken Meal & Corn Formula
Genetically modified foods run rampant in Blackwood 1000 Chicken Meal & Corn Formula. GMOs are controversial in human food, and the same is true for our pets. There is very little nutritional value to this product and its ingredients wouldn’t benefit your dog’s health. Skip this brand, move onto something not quite so genetically modified.
1. Purina Beneful Original Formula
When it comes to Purina Beneful Original Formula, the health benefits simply aren’t there. As one of the worst rated dog foods of all time, this kibble is packed with harmful ingredients linked to allergies, gastrointestinal issues, liver failure, and even death. It’s another one of those dog foods with a healthy look to their packaging and clever “nutritional” wordplay to attract the consumer. Don’t be fooled, this is definitely not something you want to feed to the dog you love.
Dogs often become family members and we treat them as such. So why should they have to endure harmful foods on a regular basis? As pet owners, it is your responsibility to provide healthy and nutritional meals to help your dogs live long and live well. Our pets won’t be around forever, so it is that much more important to give them the proper diet they deserve. Treat your pets well, and don’t worry, you will surely be rewarded with a loving lick and the happiness a pet can provide. If we missed any unhealthy dog foods that you believe should make the list, please share your experiences with us.