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As we step into 2024, a viral news story has circulated suggesting that Purina dog food poses a threat to your pet’s health. Despite widespread concerns regarding Purina dog food making dogs sick, please note that there is currently no substantiated evidence supporting the claims propagated across various social media platforms.

If you’ve come across our blog post, it’s essential to clarify that the information you’ve encountered is unfounded and likely falls under the category of fake news.

We understand that a lot of anxiety and panic surrounds the issue of pet food and what is safe to feed our dogs, so we’re addressing this today with the most up-to-date information we can find.

I’ll dive into this more below, but here is what we do know:

  • There is NO Purina Recall in 2024, as of this writing (January 5th)
  • There are no “soft recalls”. Purina foods are well stocked at all major retailers
  • Despite the implication that hundreds or even thousands of dogs are sick from Purina Foods, no one has provided proof
  • Many of the “sick pets” have illnesses such as Parvo that can easily be attributed to a root cause that has nothing to do with the food they were fed
  • No toxicology reports or post-mortem autopsy reports (necropsy) have been produced, not one
  • Purina had the food tested at two independent labs. Both labs showed that the food was clean.
  • The Pet Vet Corner Group is actively in contact with Purina and has indicated that Purina foods are (and have been) safe to feed
  • In the U.S., the solid majority of practicing veterinarians who see 100’s of dogs each month are not concerned, and no, it’s not because of “kickbacks” (that is a myth)
  • The FDA is looking into the reports (note, this doesn’t mean there is a problem, only that they must investigate things if enough people complain)
  • Influencers such as Dr. Judy Morgan are capitalizing on the panic to gain likes and followers, which they leverage to sell educational materials, holistic food, and supplements

Updates

This section will be ongoing to include important and relevant information.

January 30th 2024

On January 30th, 2024, at approximately 1 pm MST, Dr. Judy Morgan shared a video on her Facebook account. In the video, she disclosed that despite investing $4000 in testing, none of the samples she submitted were found to be toxic or hazardous. Further details on this update are provided below.

February 2nd, 2024 – Snopes released a well-cited article with information about the claims against Purina. Of course, their journalism on this aligns with what I’ve written in this blog post below.

“Snopes posted in the Facebook group to solicit comments from members willing to provide a verified, confirmed report (i.e., necropsy from a veterinarian) that linked Purina dog food directly to their dog’s illness or death. As of this publication, we have not received a response.” – Snopes

Read the Snopes take on this HERE.

We encourage you to take note of the fact that Hello Danes is a research-backed informational source for dog owners. It is against our code of ethics to leverage fear and panic in exchange for clicks; so while many blog posts on this topic may attempt to induce anxiety and panic about Purina dog food, you won’t find that here.

Read on!

Purina dog food making dogs sick

Is Purina Dog Food Making Dogs Sick?

The current viral claims suggest that Purina is indifferent to the health of pets, refusing to recall the supposedly harmful dog food.

Purina is a big player in the pet food market with an average yearly sales volume of 20 billion U.S.D. (Compare this to a small brand like Diamond, averaging just 1.5 billion U.S.D.). That makes Purina pet food a prime target for fake news about recalls and toxins.

A group on Facebook (that I refuse to name, but if you’ve been there you know which group I’m talking about) has become the central hub for reports and activity related to Purina dog food making dogs sick. This group is engaging in cult-like activity, an observation that I will touch on below.

The claims being made indicate that Purina food has made dogs “sick”. Others blame their dogs’ seizures on the food. The symptoms vary considerably.

It’s important to understand that while the group has produced many claims of dogs being made ill after eating Purina, they’ve produced absolutely no proof of a link. In most cases, they don’t even have a veterinary diagnosis.

The truth is that pet owners are terrible at understanding their own pets’ health and the root cause of behaviors and medical conditions. Just because somebody thinks Purina dog food made their pet throw up or have a seizure, doesn’t mean the food had any role in it happening.

Is Purina Harming Dogs, or Are People Harming Their Pets?

It’s very interesting to look at this from a social perspective. If a well-meaning pet owner is feeding Purina and is presented with information that Purina is harming dogs, they may begin to feel that their pet has been harmed by the food, too.

What may have been a tummy ache from counter surfing is quickly blamed on Purina. The owner panics and shares this information with others, compounding a building problem of viral social anxiety. It doesn’t matter if their pet has been doing phenomenally on the food, having eaten it for years.

Every digestive issue, bump, or behavior may now be assigned to the food by the pet owner, who is reacting with anxiety and fear.

Worse, this owner is now particularly susceptible to being taken advantage of as others beg them to immediately stop feeding Purina, purchase expensive supplements, pay $10 for a list of “approved” pet diets, and “detox” their dog immediately with a cocktail of herbs and vitamins.

They may even be led to completely disregard their veterinarian regarding nutrition, surgery, health care, vaccines, and parasite prevention. This leads to a form of medical neglect and abuse that is not talked about enough!

Guilt, fear, panic, and anxiety rule in this situation, and that’s not healthy.

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Does Purina Contain Toxic Heavy Metals?

The event that set off the current Purina Panic was a post on Facebook from a “friend of a friend“. In the original post, she warned pet parents not to feed Purina because her friend’s dogs were very ill after eating Pro Plan.

In that post, an image of a toxicology report from Kansas State University indicated that heavy metals were present in the food, leading to allegations that Purina had become unsafe to feed. This report lacked important information about the test, including reference numbers and the exact formula that was tested; leading many to have questions about its validity.

Despite this, the holistic pet community hitched its wagon to that report and launched its latest smear campaign against Purina (and now, all kibble).

Within two weeks the post with the toxicology report disappeared. While concerned pet parents continue to reference that content as fact, the truth is that the food had been tested again and it was shown that there were no problems with it.

(I’ve created a second article on this topic, HERE, which discusses the Purina Heavy Metals testing in more detail).

Purina and the FDA had looked into the report and the claims being made and found nothing wrong with the food. Not only that, no other adverse events were reported in association with that particular batch/lot number.

Chances are, the ‘friend’ referenced in the original post had three sick dogs who had gotten into something. Anti-freeze or rat poison are common toxins that cause health problems emergency veterinarians treat all too often.

Update: January 30th, 2024 NO Toxins Found in Purina Pet Food

Dr. Judy Morgan invested close to $4000 to dispatch samples of Purina food to a laboratory for testing. Neither the specific lab utilized nor the formula and lot numbers were disclosed.

Around 1 PM MST on January 30th, 2024, Dr. Morgan published a video on her Facebook Page, stating that the results were in and none of the tested samples contained harmful levels of the substances examined.

In other words, repeated tests from multiple independent labs show that Purina does NOT contain toxins or dangerous substances.

Many of us had demanded transparency, and hoped she would provide this information even if it didn’t support the arguments of “Saving Pets”. She embedded the details about the test results within the video, compelling people to interact with her content to discover the truth.

I think the pet community deserves to see it in writing.

In the video, she says that the samples were tested for:

  • Vitamin D
  • Salmonella, Listeria, and Clostridium
  • Aflatoxins
  • Heavy metals including cadmium, selenium, and arsenic (possibly others)
  • Pentobarbital (Euthanasia Drug and Anti-Seizure Medication)
  • Melamine

None of the food that was tested was high in any of those values.

I believe the logical progression for Dr. Morgan would be to now share the lab reports with pet owners, as well as the FDA and Purina, for review.

Transparency in this process is a reasonable thing for people to ask for.

In the video, she tried to downplay the significance of the test results by criticizing the AAFCO for what she perceived as its lax approach to regulations.

In the video, Dr. Morgan mentioned her intention to send samples from “known affected lots” for testing. She also outlined her intention to explore other potential toxins and to persist with testing until she uncovers the root cause.

As a writer and pet owner, I’m intrigued. With numerous pets supposedly falling ill at the hands of (from what they believe to be) one culprit, why aren’t people exploring alternative possibilities? If they genuinely seek to address the issue, and multiple independent tests consistently indicate that the food isn’t the problem, why not investigate other potential sources?

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Purina Dog Food Health Claims

In 2023, Purina did remove the probiotics from their Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach line. This understandably did cause a few dogs some digestive issues as they adjusted to the new formula.

That doesn’t mean that Purina is full of toxins. It means that an already sensitive dog struggled with a diet change. It’s not fun for the pet owner or the dog, but it’s not inherently harmful, either (especially for those with a great relationship with their veterinarian).

Does Purina Cause Seizures

The implication that Purina causes seizures in dogs is blatantly false. That would require Purina foods to be laced with absolutely toxic levels of heavy metals. Why would Purina, who has no interest in losing profits or being part of a massive media frenzy, sell contaminated food?

Legacy pet food companies such as Purina, Hill’s, and Royal Canin stand out as the only brands that extensively employ and utilize substantial and expert teams consisting of veterinary nutritionists, food scientists, safety experts, researchers, and quality control specialists.

These companies not only own their manufacturing facilities but also rigorously test products at every stage, from raw ingredients to the final products available on store shelves.

The notion that a multitude of highly educated experts would be involved in producing toxic or dangerous pet food is entirely unfounded. From a logical standpoint, it simply doesn’t make sense. None of those people employed by these companies wants that on their resume.

On the flip side, caution is warranted with smaller pet food brands. Lacking the sales volume, highly qualified nutritionists, and research budgets of larger counterparts, many of these brands don’t even produce their own food.

A significant number of the pricey “holistic” pet foods and supplements are manufactured in large factories producing hundreds of other brands. The pretty bags are nothing more than good marketing.

Not to mention, it’s much easier for small pet food brands to get by by with selling contaminated pet food. Just take a look at the unprecedented 2023 Victor recall, proving that the brand had not been testing for or mitigating bacteria for at least a year.

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What Percentage of Pets Have Become Sick on Purina?

Purina feeds over 100 million dogs and cats every year.

If the reported statistics were accurate (as of this writing, supposedly 664 dogs, and 219 cats for a total of 894 pets), it would mean that:

0.000894% of pets fed certain foods have supposedly been harmed.

The figure is extremely low, especially when taking into account that it includes dogs fed a variety of diets, not limited to Purina alone.

If we add in the daily meals of the other brands implicated in this panic about kibble (which include Hill’s, Royal Canin, Instinct, and others), the percentage of “affected pets” related to “pets fed” is even lower than the number listed above.

If the food were genuinely toxic or hazardous, we would witness a much higher number of ill pets (and veterinary records to go with them).

Any pet harmed by food is one pet too many. However, there is no supporting evidence from veterinary records or toxicology reports for any of the 894 pets included in this statistic, as far as we have seen.

Pets are added to this tally without considering their existing health conditions, and often in the absence of a veterinary diagnosis or test results. The criteria for adding a pet to this list is unclear and lacks both transparency and attention to detail.

Understandably, individuals are in pain and seeking something to hold responsible. The loss or illness of a pet is always a heartbreaking experience. Pets, however, become sick and often die regardless of the diet being fed.

It’s correlation, not necessarily causation.

As the community of concerned pet parents has grown, so too has the list of foods categorized as “toxic” or “dangerous” by those compiling these statistics.

The Number of Pets Harmed by Purina is Made Up

Upon reviewing the Facebook group, numerous accounts detail pets allegedly harmed by Purina (and other brands of foods).

However, these accounts lack essential evidence such as toxicology reports, blood panels, or necropsies, relying solely on speculations attributing the harm to Purina.

Many of the pets in these anecdotal reports had suffered for days without seeing a veterinarian, before passing away. The owners blamed the food when any number of things could have been wrong.

One instance involved a member sharing a photo of their deceased puppy at 9 weeks, where they blamed Purina as the cause of death. The owner casually mentioned that the veterinarian had diagnosed the puppy with Parvo (a deadly and common disease), but they felt that was incorrect and the puppy’s Purina food was to blame.

Another account comes from a pet parent who shared her experience of feeding a 50/50 mix of Victor foods and raw meals, only to observe her dogs developing bloody stools. In an attempt to address the issue, she switched to a similar combination with Purina, but unfortunately, the problem persisted.

Not surprisingly, the blame was placed solely on Purina, overlooking the fact that salmonella, a known cause of bloody stools, was the reason behind the 2023 Victor Recall. It’s crucial to recognize that raw food can also carry a risk of bacterial contamination.

In another story, a dog suffered for 5 days with symptoms that should warranted an emergency veterinary visit. The owner didn’t take him to the veterinarian for a diagnosis, and instead, bought aspirin to give him. She blamed Purina for his death while admitting that he’d not eaten Purina at all for the past 6 months.

These stories and many more just like them are added to the growing list of pets ‘harmed or killed by Purina’. This list is the same one that “holistic” veterinarians and moderators of this Facebook group are passing around as absolute facts.

I have no doubts that there are sick pets. The doubt comes in when assessing the root cause, and determining if the food itself is actually the problem.

As the group has grown, additional brands have also come under scrutiny. This has triggered a surge of frantic activity as anxious pet owners hastily switch foods in response to the heightened concern.

Suffice it to say that a significant number of the “reports” are likely nothing more than owners who have misdiagnosed their pets at home. When you consider that these are often the same people who don’t trust legitimate practicing veterinarians, this tracks.

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How Has Purina Responded to the Accusations?

The wonderful science-backed veterinarians of the popular Facebook group Pet Vet Corner (with over 1.3 million members and counting) reached out to Purina.

Knowing the reach that the Pet Vet Corner group has in the pet owner community, Purina was eager to respond.

Purina clarified that:

  • 46 million dogs and 68 million cats eat Purina food each year
  • The quality assurance team at Purina Pet Foods leads more than 100,000 quality checks every single day, across the entire manufacturing process
  • Purina states that false statements about the brand are resulting in unnecessary stress for pet parents (we agree)
  • They take safety and quality very seriously

Confidently, Purina also emphasized the importance of pet parents critically evaluating the sources behind the claims. They acknowledged that while some posts are from well-intentioned individuals genuinely concerned and aiming to assist, many other posts intentionally generate chaos and distrust, often as a means to promote and sell alternative products.

If you are interested in reading the source of this information, visit this post in Pet Vet Corner.

Is Purina Horse Feed and Chicken Feed Killing Animals?

As if the claims about Purina pet foods weren’t enough, new content has surfaced implying that Purina Horse Feed and Chicken Feed are also causing health problems in animals.

It’s important to note that Purina Mills (horse & chicken feed) is owned by Land O’ Lakes and is a completely different company than Nestle Purina (maker of dog and cat food).

They do not share funding, facilities, or staff. Nestle Purina and Purina Mills are distinct entities, despite their shared name. Anyone disseminating misinformation on this subject is, once again, spreading false news.

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What Should I Do if Purina Made My Dog Sick?

If you believe that Purina made your dog sick, you need to first speak with your veterinarian. Take the following steps:

  • Seek emergency veterinary care, if necessary
  • Document the symptoms
  • Write down anything else unusual about the day the symptoms began. Did your pet get food off the counter, eat bunny droppings in the yard, get into the trash, jump off the deck too hard, or nose around in a place where they don’t belong?
  • Make a document with a list of all foods, supplements, treats, and medications that your pet may have ingested in the past 30 days
  • Keep the bag of food to submit for testing if necessary

Don’t panic. There are many reasons for a dog to have symptoms (including seizures) that are completely unrelated to the food you are feeding.

Until there is a legitimate FDA statement and published recall, there is no need to panic or be concerned about your pet’s Purina Dog Food or the advice given by your veterinarian when it comes to nutrition, vaccines, and flea/tick prevention.

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The Rumor Mill & Purina Pet Food with Dr. Em

Dr. Em is a veterinarian with a scientifically grounded YouTube channel. Her videos present factual information supported by evidence and the professional consensus of her peers.

She prioritizes a rational approach over fear-based tactics and sensationalism, and it’s a breath of fresh air!

If, after reading this post, you find yourself still on the fence regarding the safety of Purina pet foods and other kibble brands, please watch her video on this topic.

I also highly recommend checking out this podcast, which highlights Dr. Ruthann Lobos in an in-depth and approachable discussion about myths and misconceptions in pet food marketing. Many evidence-based veterinarians are speaking out on this topic, and have some incredibly valuable information to share!

How Fear and Panic Become Profitable

This section is for you if you want to dive with me into how a social phenomenon like this happens. Given how many pet parents have felt untold anxiety over this, it’s worth discussing.

Celebrity veterinarians and influencers such as Dr. Judy Morgan (and others) have capitalized on the “Purina Panic” to gain likes and followers, which they leverage publicly to sell holistic food and supplements.

The more people they can get to share content on the topic of “toxic Purina dog food”, the more people they can engage with their platform.

Topics like this are sensational and this particular one took off like a freight train.

The people who follow Dr. Morgan truly believe they’ve been provided with “the truth”, and “insider information” that the big companies and veterinarians won’t tell them.

Pet Parents are implored, by many of these influencers to disregard the information they hear from traditionally reputable sources (veterinarians, educated professionals, scientists, etc.).

Anybody who speaks up with an opposing viewpoint or legitimate data is canceled. Their posts and content are removed, and they aren’t allowed to comment.

Members of Dr. Judy Morgan’s and the “Saving Pets” group following will reply with hate, vitriol, and snark towards anybody who presents with information that challenges what they are being told by their “leader”.

Perhaps the most alarming thing of all is that provocative content is designed to incite panic and fear, and to what end?

Follow the money. If a pet owner is concerned about something they have fed or given their pet, Dr. Morgan (who set the stage for that anxiety to build in the first place) and similar influencers can swoop in with solutions.

Courses, memberships, recipes, and supplements can all be conveniently purchased, so pet parents can make sure their pet “lives forever”.

This doesn’t mean that these influencers aren’t well-meaning. Many things like this start with concern and a desire to help.

People need to ask more questions. However, these inquiries should not be directed solely at established pet food companies with extensive research histories and expert teams dedicated to nutrition science and food safety.

Instead, the focus should shift towards questioning the self-proclaimed leaders who undermine these seasoned experts, especially if they are using panic to drive affiliate clicks, social engagement, and sales of the products they recommend.

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Predatory Influencers & Social Media Groups

While Dr. Judy Morgan has spearheaded much of the current panic about Purina dog food, she is not alone. Many influencers are leveraging the Purina-Panic to boost their engagement on TikTok, Instagram, Blogs, and Facebook.

A large group on Facebook has become a hub for this viral activity. They claim to be fighting a good fight against “big pet food” and have begun passing out questionable nutrition, medical, and veterinary advice to members. The group in question is gaining hundreds of new members each day.

I’m not going to lie – that group is one of many just like it, and it’s terrifying.

Here are just a few of the culty tactics being used in this group to promote the unfounded idea that Purina Pro Plan, Purina One, and Purina Dog Chow (and now all kibble) are killing pets:

  • Removing comments that contain verifiable facts and opposing viewpoints
  • Banning members who challenge what is being said or recommended
  • Allowing and even encouraging members to practice veterinary medicine without a license (diagnosing and providing holistic “treatments”)
  • Actively discouraging members from trusting their real veterinarian
  • Discrediting established experts including veterinarians, food and nutrition scientists, and published research
  • “Love bombing” those who have joined the group, and reminding them that only they are doing the right thing for their pet
  • Recommending unproven and potentially dangerous treatments such as “detoxing” as part of their health and wellness protocols
  • Creating an “insiders” vs. “outsiders” community, where those in the group are “in the know” and those outside of it are harming their pets
  • Shaming anybody who doesn’t follow the belief system (applying guilt, fear, and anxiety to those who don’t “do better” for their pets)
  • Posting deliberately false, fake, and incorrect information as fact
  • Allowing the platform to be a hub of blatant misinformation, instead of moderating content that may cause unnecessary stress, anxiety, and hardship for people
  • Encouraging members to ignore experts, including scientists and veterinarians, under the belief that those people don’t care about pets and all of them are “shills with a bad agenda
  • Purposefully deflecting away from verifiable information that doesn’t support their claims

It’s appalling how much of this aligns with Dr. Hassan’s BITE model for cults and cult behavior!

What’s even more concerning is that some members and leaders of these groups have been actively discouraging people from seeking veterinary care and/or having their pet food tested for toxins and pathogens.

Testing the food is a crucial first step in identifying potential issues, but the group suggests that sending samples for testing is futile because “major laboratories are [allegedly] affiliated with prominent pet food brands”.

In essence, they propagate a conspiracy theory, insinuating a cover-up.

Author’s Note: We believe that they fear that if thousands of individuals test Purina Pro Plan and the results demonstrate that the food is clean, their misinformation campaign will unravel. If this group truly wanted to save pets, they would work with Purina to sort out the alleged problem.

The “Saving Pets” group is now telling members that if they go to the media to share their stories, they must first communicate with the group leaders.

They want to fully control the narrative. If that is not a red flag, I don’t know what is.

All Kibble is “Bad”

As of mid-January 2024, the “Saving Pets” group has raised and promoted concerns regarding all types of kibble. They are advising their members that no kibble, regardless of brand, can be considered safe for feeding pets.

Within hours of her posting that video revealing the test results, Saving Pets doubled down on their campaign advising members to switch as quickly as possible to a fresh or raw diet with no kibble.

This appears to be a deliberate effort to shift the discussion away from the test results that did not support their claim that “Purina is full of Toxins.

The “acceptable” brands recommended in the group include AllProvide, a fresh food brand in which Dr. Morgan has a huge stake.

For those unable to afford commercially prepared fresh or raw diets, Saving Pets advises preparing homemade cooked meals for their pets.

Group members and administrators caution against seeking assistance from Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists for recipes, asserting that those professionals are unqualified “shills for big kibble” and may only provide recipes rich in carbohydrates and synthetic vitamins, according to the group’s perspective.

Studies indicate that the majority of homemade diets are lacking in certain minerals or contain excessive amounts of others. The diets formulated by Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists are the only ones that are reliably and correctly balanced. Further information can be found HERE.

I am concerned that this panic will lead many into feeding unbalanced diets that ultimately, do harm their pets.

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Pet Food Misinformation & Armchair Veterinarians

I mentioned above that the group is banning members and deleting comments that question the leaders and the advice being given. They are not, however, shutting down blatant misinformation.

In just 10 minutes, I found the following statements (which, suspiciously, remain un-moderated). Some of the comments came directly from moderators:

  • “If the pet parent has received a Covid vaccine, they have shed Covid on their pet and that’s why their pet is dead”
  • “After a hurricane when the dead animals are floating around, they are picked up in trucks and taken to the Purina pet food factory”
  • “Pet food contains snake venom. It’s true.”
  • “Covid wasn’t a virus. We were all being poisoned with snake venom in our food and our pets food!”
  • “Veterinarians sell euthanized pets to the rendering plant and the pets are ground up and used in pet food. The collars aren’t even removed, they grind those up, too.”
  • “Veterinarians prescribe things to keep your pet sick so they can make more money off of you.”
  • “CBD is the only safe way to treat seizures, read this guide on it, and don’t take your veterinarian’s advice, they don’t know as much as you do.”
  • “Do not take your dog to a vet! They will only shame you for your choices. This herb is all you need.”
  • All Purina food is manufactured in China.”
  • “If you don’t feed a whole raw or homemade diet, you shouldn’t even have pets.”

What does the group gain from allowing extreme misinformation to be spread? More panic, more anxiety, and more alarm. All of which drive engagement, clicks, and sales.

Author’s Note: All of the above statements in the list are easily debunked with actual science and proven facts. At Hello Danes, we do not endorse, subscribe to, promote, or believe in the statements shared in the above list titled “pet food misinformation”. The list was created using actual statements from members of a public Facebook group.

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How to Spot Misinformation on Social Media

If you are struggling to understand how so many people screaming from the rooftops can be so wrong, this part of the blog post is for you! When you are digesting media about pet care, dog nutrition, and veterinary science, cross-check the information you receive against facts.

This checklist of how to spot social media misinformation can help guide you!

Verify Sources

Cross-check information from reputable sources, such as official statements from Purina, veterinary organizations, or trusted news outlets.

The only way to verify that a dog food product has been recalled is by visiting the FDA recalls page. If it’s not listed there as an active recall, then it doesn’t exist.

Reach out to the company being accused! A quick note to Purina itself can help clear up a lot of misinformation and misgivings you may have, for example.

While they do have an interest in maintaining a good public appearance, there is no reason to believe that they are trying to cover anything up. That’s a bad business practice that would be devastating to their financial success.

When consuming content from bloggers and social media influencers, it’s important to evaluate the sources of their information.

Are they drawing from reputable and credible sources, or are they employing excessive embellishments to provoke panic and fear, conveniently distorting the truth?

Guard Yourself Against Predatory Influencers

Be aware of influencers who attempt to deceive by presenting closed or outdated recalls as if they were present-day issues. Many of the so-called ‘recalls’ causing panic are resolved and belong to the past.

Stay vigilant and don’t be swayed by misinformation that inaccurately portrays outdated concerns as immediate threats.

Be wary of any controversial type of influencer who is primed to present you with a solution to the problem they claim is there, especially in the form of an affiliate link or product you can purchase. Don’t let them control your mind with panic and fear-based sales tactics.

An affiliate link presented in good faith, for a product that could be helpful to pet owners is one thing. A profitable link presented to pet parents as a solution to anxiety and fear is another. That’s the one you need to watch out for.

Fact-Check the Information You Hear

Use legitimate and unbiased fact-checking websites to verify the accuracy of claims. Misinformation often crumbles under scrutiny.

In reaction to misinformation being challenged, you might observe that members involved in cult-like behavior may dismiss the facts as part of an intricate plot, urging you to distrust experts, disregard your veterinarian, and be suspicious about individuals with legitimate credentials.

Instilling doubt in experts (in this case veterinarians, veterinary nutritionists, and legacy pet food brands such as Purina that are backed by decades of nutrition research) is a fundamental aspect of cult mind control.

Exercise extreme caution in navigating this situation and promptly disregard any commentary that intentionally undermines those with authority.

Evaluate the Expertise of the Person Giving the Information

Assess the credentials of those providing information. Celebrity status doesn’t necessarily equate to expertise, especially when promoting alternative products such as ‘detoxes’ and supplements.

This holds even when the individual is an expert with a veterinary degree!

If a particular expert, such as Dr. Judy Morgan for example, holds an opinion that diverges significantly from the consensus of their peers, it’s essential to treat them as an outlier and subject their views to thorough scrutiny.

Dr. Karen Becker is another veterinarian whose profit-driven platform and controversial perspectives warrant careful consideration and questioning.

While it’s acceptable and even encouraged for content creators, including bloggers like myself, to share information about various pet care choices, it’s important to verify that their opinions align with science, research, and evidence.

Pseudoscience, alarmist marketing, and woo-woo theories unfortunately sell very well on social media; learn how to spot it.

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Holistic Veterinarians and Controversial Medicine

Be alert to signs that raise doubts about the authenticity of stories, particularly those from public-facing veterinarians who label themselves “holistic.”

The term “holistic” implies consideration for the entire body.

In theory, a truly holistic approach means addressing the pets well being with every tool available (including science, research, and medicine).

Holistic should not mean:

  • Discrediting and avoiding conventional veterinarians altogether
  • Dismissing legitimate science
  • Exclusively opting for “natural” treatments, forgoing anything related to evidence-based veterinary medicine (a practice that may result in medical neglect and abuse)

Because many “holistic” practitioners unfortunately promote and adopt the beliefs listed above, the term “holistic” may serve as a warning signal.

I’ve extensively researched the “holistic veterinarians” and “experts” propagating the current media frenzy surrounding Purina. It’s noteworthy that each one of them has a potential financial stake if allegations against “big pet food” prove to be true.

They have the financial motivation to drive people away from evidence-based veterinarians and science-backed pet foods. I find this ironic, given how often they promote the idea that their traditional veterinary peers are “shills for Big Pharma” and only recommend foods because they “receive kickbacks“.

There is, of course, a time and a place for “holistic” care and natural remedies. My veterinarian falls into the category of “integrative” and we do use some natural treatments for the animals in our home. At its core, “holistic” is not the problem (nor should it be).

As a community of pet lovers, we must draw the line on profit-driven misinformation. Many “Holistic” influencers have taken on the role of contemporary snake oil salespeople, offering unproven and often overstated solutions to exaggerated problems. It’s easy to sell things when what you promote is controversial.

They are often primed and ready to sell a course, book, membership, or supplement to solve our problems as pet owners, all the while utilizing provocative marketing tactics to make it happen.

Because Holistic medicine falls on a spectrum, it’s important that we recognize the role thoughtfully implemented holistic care may have in our pet’s health.

However, more importantly, we need to recognize when “holistic” has gone too far.

Author’s Note: Everybody deserves to earn a living when they share their skills and talents. At Hello Danes, we do use affiliate links to help us pay for the costs associated with running this site. We also put a lot of effort into aligning ourselves with experts and presenting research-based facts. To be fully ethical and transparent, I have chosen to turn off ad serving on this particular article.

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Holistic Veterinarians & the Alt-Right

In one post on Facebook, a “holistic” veterinarian (Dr. Barb Fox) suggested that links in her Facebook posts weren’t working because “Big Pet Food wants to prevent her from sharing the truth“.

This resembles the conspiracy-style content often associated with members of the far-right group QAnon.

When someone with credentials, like a veterinary degree, demonstrates a lack of critical thinking like this, it’s wise to disengage. Guard your time and attention, as misinformation can hinder your decision-making about pet care.

It’s noteworthy that like all of the others, this “holistic” veterinarian who is spreading misinformation and predatory content operates a website selling online courses and books to solve your pet’s health problems the “natural” way.

The formula is simple: induce anxiety in pet parents, create a sense of community, and sell the solution.

On her Facebook page, Dr. Barb Fox shares content from an alt-right news source, signaling a concerning perspective. This is a discussion for another day, but it’s important to note that holistic wellness and elitism about pet food is a pipeline that feeds directly into anti-science conspiracies and alt-right belief systems.

Holistic integrative “wellness” is often a dog whistle and that’s unfortunate. Too many “holistic” influencers promote anti-science and anti-veterinarian content, and that’s both dangerous and worth talking about.

There is room for natural solutions and holistic care in science-backed veterinary medicine. But this is not it.

The current media panic about Purina conveniently serves her financial interests, as it does for most other “holistic” veterinarians with online platforms. They are riding this wave for every penny it’s worth.

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Please leave thoughtful questions and comments below!

Disclaimer: As the author, I want to clarify that I am not affiliated with Purina. They have not sponsored or funded this article, and our site does not receive compensation from them. In adherence to ethical considerations, ad serving for this particular article has been disabled. This post does not generate any profits for the blog or myself and has been published at my own expense.

Comment Moderation: This blog does not tolerate misinformation or hate speech that is directed toward the author, readers of this blog, or veterinary professionals. Constructive and well-articulated arguments from both perspectives of this discussion are welcomed and will be approved as time allows, provided they contain verifiable information and contribute to thoughtful discussions on the topic.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

79 Responses

  1. If this was bogus, wouldn’t they say, let us look into it and have their food tested… to prove it… they have not done that. Just denial.
    I sure would stop eating food, if I heard it was causing people to get sick. Why would you play Russian roulette with your precious pet ?

    1. We appreciate all comments on this blog, positive and negative. Thank you for taking time to comment.

      By “they” do you mean Purina? What basis do you have to assume that they have “denied” it or not run any tests at all?

      There is a big difference between actively denying that something is a problem, and flat out having no concerning test results…if no problem exists, how can they deny something.

      I can bet money that Purina looked at the volume of complaints and tasked their quality control department with verifying that there was nothing wrong with the food. It is VERY likely that they reviewed all of their records and even retested some samples.

      Plain and simple, they didn’t find anything. If they had, there would have been a recall (and it’s flat out conspiracy theorist to believe otherwise).

      Nobody is playing “Russian Roulette” with their pet, except for the people who are panicking, detoxing their dogs with untested and unproven “herbal remedies”, discrediting their own veterinarians, stopping vaccines and flea/tick medications, blaming treatable and unrelated health conditions on Purina, and switching to home cooked food and raw brands like Darwins.

      Studies show that nearly all home cooked diets are deficient in, or in excess of nutrients. What does this mean for pet parents? They could easily poison their pet with vitamin D, cause heart failure because certain amino acids are inconsistent or missing, or damage their pets bones or thyroid with too little or too much calcium. Dr. Judy Morgan’s famous “pup loaf” is deficient in TEN important nutrients (according to calculations done at Balance It)!

      Darwin’s has been in trouble many times for salmonella contamination, and they refuse to clean up their act. We have literal proof that they operate an unsanitary plant. Yet, this brand is heavily recommended by the “holistic” influencers.

      Purina Pet foods undergo 100,000 quality checks every single day across all stages of production. The fact that they rarely have recalls, despite the intensive testing done on the food, is a testament to their ingredients supply and process.

      Show me a single small pet food company that meets that standard. You won’t find one. Even Open Farm (a favorite among “holistic” influencers) is a big corporate brand, co-packed by Barrett Manufacturing who produces over 400 different pet food brands using the same ingredients. It’s nothing more than fancy marketing.

      We support people who wish to cook their pet’s food and choose other brands of kibble. However, we do NOT support shaming veterinarians, or shaming people for choosing kibble, especially from brands like Purina that have poured billions of dollars into veterinary health and research. For the small percentage of people who think Purina is “trash” and their veterinarians cannot be trusted, it’s their loss.

      1. I just have to say this . I’ve been feeding the Purina product line for a few decades . Everything from chow to pro plan . Not once did I ever have an issue other than finding a possum in an open bag of chow sitting in the barrel with no lid . I did not blame Purina . I blamed the husband. 🤣 but seriously that’s years with never an issue

      2. I just need to say thank you so much for the most incredible/factual article I’ve read. As a Veterinary Technician of 20 years , this is EVERYTHING I’ve wanted to share about this website! I so enjoyed every word of this! I can’t love this enough!

        1. Thank you so much Lucinda, I appreciate your support! I’ve received emails and messages from many veterinary technicians and practicing veterinarians, who are so grateful that I’m taking the heat to give them a voice on this topic.

          Thank YOU for all you do as a Vet Tech, we love and appreciate you! Posting this blog article is the least I can do to stand in support.

      3. SHOW and TELL!!
        Produce the documentation for these apparent daily quality control tests! Then maybe pet parents would feel more comfortable! And just out of curiosity if you have pets are you feeding Purina???

        1. I don’t work for, or at Purina so I have no more access to that information than you do. But I’m positive that if you email them and ask specific questions, they will share the test results information with you.

          They ran two tests at independent labs (which you could also contact, I’m sure), and have a years worth of lab analysis and data from 100,000 quality checks done each day on all stages of production. It’s a lot of data to sift through, I’m sure.

          As a matter of fact, you’ve given me a great idea for another blog post! I’ll reach out to Purina for more information and put together a blog post. It seems that no matter what they do, it will never be enough proof for some people. But information is so important, I agree.

          I would like to see other brands held to this same standard…including Allprovide (Dr. Morgan’s food company) and others selling the brands promoted in the Saving Pets group. Perhaps I will reach out to them as well for their quality control lab analysis and tests information.

          Yes, my pets eat Purina. They have for years now. As a matter of fact, Purina saved the life of one of my dogs, who had a proven (veterinary diagnosed) nutritional deficiency on a more “holistic” brand. She is healthier and has more energy and better stool on Purina than any other food we tried. I feed Purina without hesitation.

        2. You may easily contact Purina on your own. On that same vein, do you contact every manufacturer for every product you buy that you put in or on your own body? Purina publicly won their suit against the false advertising by Blue Buffalo and publicly donated the millions of dollars awarded to pet shelters/rescue groups. The ‘we love our dogs too much to serve them standard pet food’ advertising gimmick works well enough on enough people who feel a need to think they are better than those commoners who use Purina. Feel free to use whatever brand you desire, but know that you have no proof that these other brands are so well and beyond the largest most successful pet feed company. I do have a family member who worked for Purina his first years out of college. Purina, from his experience, spends everyday improving, developing and listening to their customers to put out the best products possible in the most state of the art clean facilities. They didn’t get to be number one by ignoring, carelessness and indifference.

          1. Thank you for this comment and insight, Sharon! Purina does have phenomenal outreach programs (for shelters, etc.), which are often overlooked because they aren’t core to Purina’s marketing. It’s just something they do, because they have the resources to help.

            I am tired of the elitist concept that people who feed Purina (or similar brands) “don’t care about their pets” as much as those who choose expensive “holistic” diets. It reeks of classism and causes a lot of people to feel needless guilt and shame about what they can afford to feed their pets and their families.

            That’s even more frustrating when (as you pointed out) people fail to realize that a lot of the most expensive, “nice” sounding foods have very little research or science behind them. Many of those foods and “holistic” supplements are made in large factories that co-pack 100’s of other brands using the same ingredients. It’s all marketing.

            We too have heard many, many stories from veterinarians and others with first hand experience at Purina that they have incredible facilities and a huge dedication to pet health and research. I love knowing that my pets food is coming out of an innovative state-of-the-art facility that has the resources for science, research, and qualified nutritionists. Thank you for sharing!

    2. Dedee – I keep hearing people say that, but here’s the deal- Purina HAS put out several statements that say just that. They have outlined their testing processes that are done daily that detected no anomalies. As soon as they were presented with information there might be a batch of food with excess metals they immediately coordinated third party respected labs to do extensive testing on the same food. That testing also show no anomalies. It’s kinda like Super Troopers “I can’t pull over anymore.” Test your food! “We can’t test our food anymore, we already test it everyday multiple times.”…..Test your food!

      1. Great comment, thank you! I completely agree. Purina does 100,000 quality checks every single day on their foods across every stage of production. They’ve gone through a years worth of labs and data, to make sure they didn’t miss anything, not to mention the 3rd party testing that was done. At what point will it be enough for people to see that the Purina food itself is not the problem?

        I suspect, unfortunately, for some it will never be enough.

          1. This is always a great question.

            The bigger question is, how many small companies (with fewer quality control protocols) are letting things slip through the cracks (and thus, not recalling at all)?

            The fact that Purina feeds over 100 million pets each year (that’s billions of pounds of food produced) and doesn’t have more recalls is a pretty incredible track record. It requires an insane amount of testing and quality control to keep that much food safe. Things happen. Many recalls are simply out of abundance of caution, and are not inherently harmful.

            I’m much more concerned about small companies that can sweep small things under the rug. Brands like AllProvide should be held to the same standard.

        1. I would love to see a detailed article on what testing is performed, how often, locations, and how many people are employed for quality checks compared to the enormous amount produced. Also, transparent disclosure on what is outsourced by Purina to cut back on costs, by whom, and in which countries. How does Purina control a global production and ensure it is safe to consume? What happens if there is a mistake? With that much food in production, we all know people aren’t perfect. I am a data analyst and was an RN for 27 years. In today’s society, I feel you must follow the money. Who stands to loose more, concerned animal parents or corporations? Transparency is needed which questions arise.

          1. I agree. We should be holding ALL pet food companies to a standard of testing and transparency. All pet food companies have made mistakes (big and small).

            This standard we set must also include the small companies with expensive “holistic” food and fancy marketing. Do the small companies perform 100,000 quality checks each day, across all stages of production? Do they keep samples of every batch for at least a year after distribution? Can they produce a years worth of lab analysis and data on their foods? Can they share the exact farm each ingredient comes from, and the data from those farms? Do they do comprehensive research on the nutritional safety and bioavailability of every formula? What inspections has their facility had? How do they respond to problems? Who formulates the food, and what are their credentials?

            I personally believe that Purina has done these things thoroughly and ethically, and can show us the data (a blog post I’m working on, since it comes up often). But I understand why people are skeptical and greatly appreciate those who approach this with critical thinking, an open mind, and a calm head.

            A comprehensive show and tell would hopefully put to rest a lot of conjecture about Purina foods that come with no proof (example, “Purina is made in China of euthanized pets“).

            I’m happy to spearhead that and post it to this blog/platform. Misinformation and speculation is harmful and I’m happy to dig up and share as much truth as possible. Big brands, small brands…all of it.

      2. But it’s biased testing …. It’s not independent !!’ of course they aren’t going to admit anything right now they are buying time and stalling to try and legally get themselves out of this mess …. They can’t test their own products it must be done independently ….. they can cover up and deny many issues if they are the ones testing their own products …. This is why independent tests and investigation is required and that is both costly and time consuming ….. but it’s coming !!!

        1. I understand wanting independent tests and proof. Kansas State and Iowa State are independent labs that both tested Purina foods in the last 8 weeks and found nothing wrong with them. So this has been done, FYI.

          Read more here.

          If the first Kansas State Lab test (the one that showed heavy metals but has since been proven false) was considered reliable enough information to spark a huge outcry of concern, then their retest of the product should also be sufficient to calm anxieties about the food. We cannot trust their results only when we like or agree with their results. We must either fully trust them, or not at all.

          We know the first test that went viral over heavy metals was a lab report in error; there was a problem with the test that gave a false result. This happens in labs.

          So now that the food has been tested again by Kansas State and Iowa State, when will it have been enough?

          I’d love to see the results of the tests Dr. Morgan and any members of the Saving Pets group have sent out for. It would definitely be helpful information, and I hope they would be transparent about the results either way. If they can produce verifiable proof from well-respected independent labs, I’m more than happy to use my blog platform to share that information, too.

          Those results should be back by now, I’m unsure what’s taking so long. Purina had theirs completed weeks ago at this point.

    3. They do if you call them.with a co cern the first thing they ask.is if you have food and bag still to send it to them.

      1. Yes, that makes sense! They always want to investigate potential issues. Asking pet parents to give them the information they need to look into something is reasonable and it is happening in this situation.

  2. I looked at the Facebook group you are referring to and they keep adding more foods to the list that are making dogs sick. One day one food is on the okay list the next day it’s on the don’t feed list. I am seeing that people are switching their dogs food several different times within days going on the information on there. My dog eats Purina Dog Chow Complete Beef as that’s what I can afford on a fixed income. I saw a post that said her cat got sick.she contacted Purina and they asked her to send lot#,expiration date, ect and she said she refuses to send them that information. I’m not sure why she wouldn’t want to send that information?

    1. Thank you for commenting, Anna! The way they are adding foods to their “bad” list is absolutely alarming, and it’s being done in a wild and unchecked manner. By crafting a narrative that suggests a significant and unfolding story, they easily attract more members and fuel a sense of panic within the group.

      It’s even more concerning that they go on to recommend expensive, unbalanced diets and openly shame any member who doesn’t step in line with that advice. The pets whose owners are panicking and switching their pets food, “detoxing” them with random herbs and supplements, and filling their bowls with unbalanced diets are going to suffer.

      Actively discouraging food testing and traditional veterinary consultation is a form of alarmism and cult-like mind control. They will avoid sending samples and medical records to the FDA and Purina, because they know it would debunk their claims.

      We fully support feeding Purina Dog Chow with confidence – a safe, proven, widely available, and nutritious diet.

    2. They aren’t sending Purina the information because testing is being done and there will be a huge class action case. Larger than Hills. Purina can figure it out on their own if they test their food as much as they say they do. You know who owns Purina, right?

      1. Amanda – what makes you believe there will be a “huge class action case”? Purina foods have been tested by two independent labs (the results were clean) and they have worked with the FDA and looked through a years worth of lab analysis and quality control data from samples they keep for a year post-production. I know pet parents are looking for something to blame, but at what point has enough testing been done?

        I’m well aware of who owns Purina, and I’m not sure why that matters. Many “small” pet food brands are owned by giant corporations and manufactured in massive factories that make 100’s of other products, too. They just put a fancy label on it so you don’t know.

        It will be very difficult to get a lawyer on board with putting together any kind of class action without proof. If it does make it into court, it would be tossed out if, once again, there is no proof. If Purina foods were truly harmful, we’d be swimming in bad toxicology reports by now…but we aren’t. How many weeks are going to go by before we see concrete evidence of harm? Purina would figure it out if there was something to figure out.

        The Hill’s class action ended in settlement. Hill’s did make a huge mistake in not properly testing a vitamin premix they used before incorporating it, and they’ve answered for it. Hill’s is not Purina.

    3. The list is added to, because the toxic ingredients are sourced from the same place, thus ending up in different brands.

      1. This is something I see often from people who side with Dr. Morgan. While it’s true that many brands use the same suppliers for certain ingredients, I personally feel that argument falls short.

        This argument suggests that among ALL the food companies relying on that specific supplier, not a single one conducted tests on the ingredients or the final product and identified any issues? None at all?

        Last I checked the Saving Pets group has put numerous brands on their “do not feed” list, and they add them at will following anecdotal reports of harm. Do we have information regarding which supplier those brands supposedly share? That information shouldn’t take 8+ weeks to find, if it is truly believed to be the issue.

        1. You listed the same questions I have asked and no one can answer. It is the same robotic or scripted response, they use the same supplier, and they ALL use the same supplier. When I hear that in my head I think wow that Supplier must be one heck of a supplier to supply pretty much every brand of dog food out there. Also, I guess all those Corporations figure well if this company uses it and seems fine I guess we will too, and why should we test it? What corporation or any business for that matter leaves the fate of their company in a competing company’s hands?
          I am praying that enough pet parents see through the falsities and find the good that is there. Should pet parents research what they feed their pets, and what they give them? Yes absolutely. Are there some great brands listed, some great advice absolutely. But there are also a ton of negatives and I fear that those negatives are unfortunately having the same detrimental impact on pets. (diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, allergies the list goes on)

          Side note I do hope since they posted your page telling” others to leave feedback and let your voices be heard” some pet parents will come to your page read what you say and take that into account. I hope that they will look at it as what someone already said there are 3 sides to every story. People can feel which way they want but there is always truth. At some point, the truth comes out, just at what cost to how many more pets?

          Thank you again for being willing to take the heat and ask the questions over and over that still no one seems to be able to answer without what seems clearly to be a mainstream or force-fed answer.

          1. Thank you Mandi! We too have so many questions. Many people who ask those same questions have been blocked by Saving Pets; people just want answers and they are entitled to them. Dr. Morgan supposedly sent food for testing, it’s not unreasonable for people to demand to see the results (even if the results don’t support the argument). I’d love to see some transparency on how and why pets are added to the “harmed” list, too, especially if they don’t have toxicology reports or veterinary diagnosis.

            The argument regarding this being a supplier issue assumes that not a single one of many implicated food brands conducted ingredient testing either before incorporating the components into their food or after production. The idea that NOBODY caught a problem across multiple factories with diverse quality control practices is a huge stretch.

            In response to your hope that some individuals who visited this blog post might have been motivated to view the discussion from a fresh perspective, I can confidently confirm that it has happened.

            Saving Pets told people to come here and leave comments, and the site was hit with an insane amount of traffic. Many of the comments left here were filled with hate, vitriol, and threats directed towards myself and veterinarians (those are not published for obvious reasons). That kind of behavior is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

            On the flip side, I also received emails and comments from concerned pet parents who, after reading this article, were thankful and finally at ease after all of the stress and anxiety. I’m happy to take the heat if it means that even just one person could see the bigger picture.

            Let calm-headed, thoughtful discussions prevail!

  3. You don’t mention that some dogs may not be able to handle a certain ingredient in the food they picked out. Not all dogs are the same and surely Purina must realize that this may be the problem in some cases, not that the dog food is bad. This can lead to misinformation.

    1. Definitely. There are some ingredients that some dogs don’t do well on. That’s a great reason to choose a different brand or formula. It’s not, however, a great reason to imply that Purina is a dangerous or toxic food (which is what a lot of people are doing, unfortunately).

  4. Well, your post is full of lies so keep on I guess. I personally know of people that have had their foods tested and sent in toxicology reports.

    1. Can you please elaborate on specific statements I made that are lies?

      I have no motivation to lie. I don’t make money from this particular blog post…as a matter of fact, I deliberately turned off ads serving on this exact page because I wanted this information spread without me generating a single dime off of it.

      So why would I tell lies? What incentive do I have?

      To address your point that you supposedly “know of people” that have had their food tested and sent in toxicology reports…do you know them personally? Did they get the results back? Is there proof of a problem in those reports? Have you seen the reports yourself? Can the reports and the food they sent be fully verified, and can the test be duplicated at a different lab? If you have that info, I’d love to have it too so we can share accurate information about this topic. Feel free to email us the PDF, I can be reached on the contact page.

    2. can you share those toxicology reports please? Im sure there are many of us concerned folk out here that would like to see them.

  5. Two years ago one of my four had bloody diarrhea. Off to the vet I went and she had to be hospitalized for two nights. There were dogs in three other rooms with the same symptoms. My first thought was blue green algae because I live on a lake. The vet told me she would have already been dead. I did not change Purina food for the other three and once she was better she went back on the same Purina food. She is still here two years later without any problems. I have been feeding Purina since 1977 when I got my first puppy.
    Three days ago I got on one of the Facebook pages that condemns just about every dog food out there other than raw and I have seen the snarky comments made to anyone who does not or cannot follow their advice. I did watch a video by one of the holistic vets referred to here in this article and it appeared to me she was pushing her book. At 65 years old, it did concern me and I was looking for a different kibble but there aren’t any that aren’t on their ban list which is when I became suspicious along with condemnation of our regular veterinarians. Do I believe there could have been a problem with a batch? Yes. Do I believe every kibble available is bad? No. I appreciate this article putting this whole situation in perspective.

    1. Hi Pamela, thank you so much for your level-headed comment and insight into the experience you’ve had with your pets and this situation! There are definitely times when a pet food can make a pet sick. Thankfully, Purina did take the reports seriously and checked all of their own quality control documents and lab analysisis, investigating a years worth of data. They further went on to have the food tested at two different independent labs, proving that the food was safe.

      As a pet parent though, I completely understand the anxiety! We want to always be the best pet parents we can. These beautiful animals mean so much to us. The anxiety is normal, but exhausting at times! I’m so glad you were able to see through some of the major red flags.

  6. I took my dogs off Purina. I’ll wait until the FDA finishes their investigation. Testing takes time and while that’s being done and studied, I have peace of mind avoiding Purina products. I’m doing what I feel is in my dogs’ best interest. And, yes, I emailed Purina for their opinion prior to making my decision.

    1. This is completely fair, and I appreciate your level headed comment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing what’s best for your family, and with switching foods until this blows over. We support you in that!

      This should blow over soon, honestly. Purina has already had their food tested at two independent labs (they were clean), and their results came in weeks ago at this point. So any tests that Dr. Morgan did should be available soon, if not already…I’m not sure why that’s taking so long? It shouldn’t take anymore time than what it took Kansas State and Iowa State Universities. I certainly hope she will post the results, even if they aren’t in favor of their position. We should be demanding transparency, just as people are demanding it of Purina.

      Logically, the FDA would have issued a recall by now if there was a need for one. As few as two consumer reports can trigger a swift investigation, and we’re going on 8 weeks at this point. If there was an imminent threat to pet or human health from Purina foods, they would have encouraged an immediate recall. The fact that they haven’t after all this time is pretty telling, IMO.

      Thanks again for commenting!

  7. Hello I can tell you my cat did get sick from eating Purina Pro Plan Adult Chicken and Rice dry food. She had been vomiting on and off and had diarrhea. She was also lethargic and sleeping a lot. I was trying to figure it out but never thought it was the dry food. It wasn’t until I heard other pets were experiencing the same symptoms that I immediately stopped feeding her Purina. She hasn’t vomited or had diarrhea since stopping the Purina!!! I don’t have proof it was the food but common sense will tell you clearly it was. Her symptoms went on for weeks while eating Purina. She has been off Purina since 1/7. Today is 1/25 and as I already said she hasn’t vomited or had diarrhea since. She’s so much more playful and energetic now. I only wish I had stopped feeding her Purina sooner.

    1. I’m glad your pet is doing well now! I’ve said this before, but I’m a big fan of feeding the dog in front of you. If you’ve found a food that works for your pet, that’s great.

      I had a dog become very ill once, after being fed a diet made by Nutro. She lost muscle tone and energy, and was screaming at night in her sleep. She would be unresponsive when I tried to wake her, and could hardly tolerate heat or cold.

      It turns out that she had a calcium deficiency, caused by that particular food. This was diagnosed by a veterinarian…it’s not something I speculated or determined on my own without diagnostics.

      Purina Pro Plan restored her health in a matter of days, and within weeks, she was healthier than ever before. Her blood work is perfect and has been for years since that happened. I only wish I had started feeding her Purina sooner.

      I’m sorry your pet had a GI upset, but there are literally a million reasons for that. If you chose to blame the food instead of go to the vet, you could have missed something very important (something that may have been both treatable and preventable). Especially since you were dealing with lethargy, too. I hope there isn’t something else going on, and your pet truly just does better on a different food.

  8. I have multiple cats that I have fed Purina to for a while now. After opening a recent bag, they all started vomiting everywhere, over my entire home like I have never seen before and I was up the entire night scared and cleaning this stuff up and had no idea what to do. I immediately thought it was the food because of the way it went down and then I went seeking answers and found many instances of similar situations and some way, way worse. I stopped the food right then. For anyone that wonders if this is true or not, do not wait until your animal is sick because it might be too late. There is not a recall yet and Purina turns a blind eye when you call. I have insisted that they send something to test my food. I just want answers and my pets to be happy and healthy. Just because your pet is okay for now, like others, beware of opening the new bags, that is when it happens. Things are fine and then you give them the new bag and things go downhill quickly. For anyone reading this, if you don’t want to stop the food before they get sick, please watch for the first signs and at least stop them from the food as soon as you see symptoms appear. I have no agenda other than to keep my pets safe, if I can. I feel it is my duty and I sincerely hope these “rumors” do not hit your household as well. The pets are the innocent ones here and are at the mercy of the one who feeds and cares for them. Also, it is not fair to pick and choose only the comments that go with your agenda. If you really love animals, you would want the truth, nothing more, nothing less. I am sending this again to be approved for posting!

    1. Hi Gina. Thank you for your comment. To address your point that I may only “pick and choose comments that fit my agenda”, do you have proof of that? I’m approving commentary from people on both sides of this discussion, as I have time. Unfortunately, many comments coming from people who were sent here by the admin of the “Saving Pets” group are full of unnecessary hatred, vitriol, personal attacks, and threats.

      Those will not be approved for obvious reasons, and I certainly hope that you don’t side with people who are leaving nasty commentary like that. I wrote my blog post with a calm head and professional language, and did not engage in such behavior towards others. I’m appalled that those opposing my argument do. That’s not fair, nor does it serve this discussion.

      With all that addressed, I sympathize with your situation regarding your cats. I genuinely believe and understand your story that your cats were unwell. However, you haven’t mentioned if your cats received veterinary care during that time. Have other potential causes, which might require treatment, been explored as well?

      I don’t intend to discredit your experience, but the way you narrate your story seems to involve an at-home diagnosis. I think a degree of skepticism is warranted. While the food may be a potential factor (especially if there was a recent switch in formulas or storage issue leading to mold), I’d want to look at everything. As a fellow pet parent, relying solely on the assumption that it’s related to “food” because of other online stories that sound similar could lead to overlooking something significant.

      I want the truth too, and I sought it out just as you have. Purina has verified that their food was tested by two independent labs since November when this all started. They scoured a years worth of lab analysis and quality control data, only to find nothing wrong. Their food is fed to well over 100 million pets each year; why aren’t there more cases? Why aren’t we swimming in damning toxicology reports by now?

      This doesn’t even account for the fact that the Saving Pets group is now implicating essentially all kibble brands…so we’re talking millions, if not billions of pets around the world eating these foods.

      At what point have they produced enough data to prove their food is safe, and that we need to be looking elsewhere for the cause of illness? If pet parents truly care about the health of their pets, I would hope they will look everywhere they can; not just as the food. Health is a complex thing.

      I care about your cats and your experience, and empathize with your frustration.

  9. This will be the last time I comment. The fact that you are not allowing comments that do not fit your agenda tells me what I need to know. The one thing I hope is that your animals do not get sick from this, if they do, you will feel so terrible. At least, I would in your shoes. Very sad indeed!

    1. Hello Gina.

      I am in the process of approving comments. There are many and I have a life outside of this blog.

      I do not endorse or approve unchecked tirades or comments containing provable misinformation, hate, or hostility towards myself or the thousands of veterinarians who see 100’s of pets each week in their offices. Unfortunately, most of the comments left on my blog fall into this category.

      People have even left death threats in their commentary. I certainly hope that the “Saving Pets” group does not stand for that kind of behavior!

      I am open to endorsing contrary perspectives that contribute factual information, helpful insights, and that foster open discussions in the conversation.

      1. You need to quit blaming Saving Pets. These people that are leaving you comments are upset pet parents that have lost their pets and you want to set there and side ALL with Poor Purina. Also people have taken their pets to the vets and spent thousands of dollars and the vets usually can not help them. Most say it is like they got poisoned! They have! From their food!!!!

        1. I understand people have had sick pets, and I empathize with them. I’m not blaming anything. Not the food, not Saving Pets.

          What I am doing, is pointing out some major problems with how people’s emotions are been taken advantage of. Pets get sick for any number of reasons, and the group has been there to swoop in and “solve” all of their problems. This is normally not a problem, ever, except:

          The Saving Pets group has been shaming and guilting pet owners for not stepping in line with their advice to feed the diets on their “approved” list. I have seen them tell people that they “shouldn’t have pets if they feed kibble”. They add food brands and sick pets to lists without any transparency about the scientific process behind it; at this point, all kibble has been vilified (and any veterinarian that is not “holistic” as well).

          This has made very loving pet owners panic, feel shame, and suddenly switch their healthy pets diets to one that causes them bloody stools and vomiting. They do this, and don’t see a vet.

          Then when the owner is upset that their healthy dog isn’t tolerating the new food well, the group tells them they need to purchase supplements/herbs/different food and engage in unproven and potentially dangerous “detoxing”. They are practicing veterinary medicine without a license; overstepping the boundary between giving helpful advice and assuming the position of doctor.

          They have been using the platform to then sell people these supplements, online education/courses, and foods…many of which, Dr. Morgan benefits financially from (that’s just a fact). Again, that’s not normally an issue, except that this same group is screaming from the rooftops that traditional veterinarians cannot be trusted, because they are all getting “kickbacks” to recommend food brands. The double standard is problematic.

          That is the point of this article. I’m not discounting sick pets at all. Those pets need to see a veterinarian. Many are being kept at home while they suffer, because of the anti-veterinarian “don’t trust science” mentality being promoted in the Saving Pets group.

          Sometimes, it’s hard for veterinarians to sort out the root cause of health conditions, especially in the an economy when so many people cannot afford expensive “holistic” pet food let alone advanced veterinary diagnostics. Many pets are left undiagnosed from things and it doesn’t mean it’s the food. If it is the food, there should be damning toxicology reports (which have yet to be produced by anybody other than Purina, and theirs came up clean from two independent labs).

          I’m not siding with “poor Purina” as the main point. They will be fine. The Saving Pets group (which has many lurkers) comprises far less than 1% of the over 100 million pets eating their foods every day. I’m siding with the hard working veterinarians who are being shamed, slammed, and discredited by this whole thing.

  10. As an independent researcher, I’m addressing a few points raised in the discussion. My focus here is on the presence of Pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug, in dog foods. This topic merits a dedicated post due to its depth. Further responses to other statements will follow in a subsequent post.

    1. **Claim about Euthanized Pets in Pet Food:**
    It’s crucial to base discussions on specific, verified instances rather than generalizations. While I am not suggesting that veterinarians sell euthanized pets for pet food production, it is noteworthy that Pentobarbital has been detected in certain dog food brands. This includes a 2017 incident where Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co. voluntarily recalled a batch of Hunk of Beef dog food due to Pentobarbital contamination. This incident represents an isolated case and is not indicative of widespread practices in pet food manufacturing.
    – [FDA Recall Notice](https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/evangers-voluntarily-recalls-hunk-beef-because-pentobarbital-exposure-one-batch-food)

    2. **FDA Dog Food Survey Results:**
    The FDA’s “Dog Food Survey Results – Survey #1, Qualitative Analyses for Pentobarbital Residue” provides an informative list of dog food brands where Pentobarbital was detected. This list is based on specific batches tested by the FDA and includes brands such as Nutro (Premium with Beef Meal), Ol’Roy (several varieties), Trailblazer, Dad’s, Weis Value, Super G, Pet Essentials, America’s Choice, Ken-L Ration, Heinz Kibbles ‘n Bits, ProPlan, Champ, and Reward.
    – [FDA Dog Food Survey Results](https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/cvm-foia-electronic-reading-room/dog-food-survey-results-survey-1-qualitative-analyses-pentobarbital-residue)

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful topic and great discussion point! This is actually a blog post topic I have not finished yet, but it’s coming.

      Phenobarbital has been a problem in pet foods in the past, yes. There is no denying that contamination of certain things is a factor in all pet foods, from all brands. It’s worth noting that small pet food brands (such as AllProvide) are subject to this as well, and should be held to the same standards when it comes to ingredient testing, nutritional research, and quality control.

      Contaminated beef tallow has commonly been a source of phenobarbital. In my mind, there is no excuse for it, but it’s happened.

      “For pentobarbital, or any barbiturate, to get into pet food it means that animal products are being included that do not come from carcasses that entered USDA-inspected slaughter houses (because they only take in live animals),” Cailin Heinze*, a veterinary nutritionist and assistant professor of nutrition at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, told Gizmodo via email.

      Given that the most recent information I’ve seen on phenobarbital in pet foods comes from 2018, I’d like to believe that pet food ingredient suppliers have cleaned up their act (or lost business and are gone now), and that pet food manufacturers have made it a point to add “Phenobarbital” as a pathogen they test for in each batch.

      You’ve given me a good idea to reach out to those companies and ask them if that’s part of their ingredient and batch testing protocols, following the problems from several years ago. Once I have that information I’ll add it to a future post.

  11. Hi One if not the Facebook group you are referring to funnily enough popped up when I was doing some research on different foods. So I joined to see what it was all about. At first, it did seem like very concerned pet parents and well-meaning people trying to help out others. Lists of foods, who manufactures them, and how many different brands are owned by the same big corporation. All good basic information. However now it seems that like your article says it’s turned into this WE will control the narrative, what is posted, and what is asked especially if it doesn’t fall in line with what we want (this includes any subject, I’ve seen comments deleted that have nothing to do with food). Do I think it is very possible for something to be wrong with the food yes, it happens all the time even with human food. However, I haven’t seen anyone post lot numbers or expiration dates, to help others check for at the very least to see if they have a bag from the same lot. Wouldn’t they want to post those so anyone with the same lot number could stop feeding it just in case? Also no toxicology or necropsy results until today. Today a member with a very sick puppy had a toxicology report done and it was found that the puppy has Aflatoxin. It’s going to take time to figure out what it was caused by, was the puppy fed one source of food yes, could it possibly be from the grain in that food?? Without more testing and more transparency and more time there is no way of knowing for sure what the cause is. I feel horrible for those who have lost their pets but I also feel that the group on Facebook is not giving all the unbiased facts, not giving what information they do have so people can look at what they might have and make a decision based on all the facts not just some. There is a lot of research that has to be done into changing up foods you feed and making sure what you switch to is correct for your pup, and how you switch is correct; they give no warnings on feeding their form of food RAW like check with your vet, whichever type of vet you see, or does your pet have any other conditions that would make certain proteins, carbs, herbs etc. harmful. Nothing just here is what we recommend and do your own research. How many people research and know exactly what they are feeding, or know what to look for in that research? I read a ton of comments from very confused and scared pet parents, people rushing to change out of fear. The comments are loaded with I feed raw, raw is the only way to go, All the moderators only feed this I’ll give you one guess yep it’s RAW. None give the warning about using only grass-fed and grass-finished, Aflatoxin comes from corn & rice. It also can come from an animal that ate corn that had too high amounts of Aflatoxin. One quick Google search or talk to a farmer and you can find out that Aflatoxin is in a lot of feed and there are levels the FDA has approved as OK. None of which they talk about and I would bet money if anyone tries to bring any of this up the comment will be deleted or the post will not be approved since EVERY Post has to be approved first. Comments you can make but they can also delete them before too many read them.

    All this to say at the end. THANK YOU for your article and for welcoming feedback no matter which side of the fence it comes from. For giving a different perspective for pet parents to read.

  12. I appreciate this article. It is helping me to stay grounded in this situation. This has been on my mind since I first saw the group. I initially felt the panic start to set in, and then I took a step back and calmed myself down. I know that I have taken the time to educate myself so that I can do the best for my family and my pets. Currently my pups are thriving on a commercial fresh food that is on their not recommended list. I asked questions and I don’t necessarily agree with the reasons they don’t like it so I am not making any drastic changes. Such changes can hurt pups (and it definitely would hurt mine because they have sensitive stomachs). A raw diet is not for every pup. Personally I have two who can not handle it. I’ve tried it more than once, with more than one brand, and they become sick after a while of eating it. I would like to believe that the admins of the page have good intentions and I feel incredible sadness for those who have lost their beloved pets. With that said, it does also feel a bit like certain foods/brands are being pushed. I do hope that Purina and the other brands named will look into a possible issue. As they have said, it may be an ingredient from a source all the brands buy from. I also think people need to pause before making drastic changes if their pet is not sick. If their pet is sick, most certainly see a vet before doing anything on their own. I pray a solution is found soon and this all comes to light.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      The good news is that Purina did look into this. They had their food tested at two independent labs, and they analysed the lab tests, customer information, and quality control data from a years worth of production. People seem to be either unaware of this, or uninterested in hearing it (I’m not sure which).

      Knowing that has put my own mind at ease, personally. I have a hard time believing that a company that does 100,000 quality checks every day on the food would be selling a toxic or dangerous product.

      I agree that it is alarming to see people panic and switch foods. A lot of pets have suffered as a result from digestive upset, loose stools, and even bloody stools and vomiting. For their pets health and safety, people really should see (and trust) a veterinarian; two things that the Saving Pets group often encourages members NOT to do.

  13. I really don’t know what to think. All I know, I rather be safe than sorry until Purina can prove other wise. It’s on their (Purina) shoulders to prove to the consumer their product is safe. Bashing someone or group throws a bad light on them (Purina), and the person that felt the need to do so.

    1. It’s understandable to feel anxious. Pet food is full of controversy. I’ve not met a single person who has an issue with people switching away from Purina for any reason, as long as what they are switching to is a proven, balanced, and nutritious diet. If it makes you feel more comfortable to switch brands, I support you in that!

      Purina has written statements indicating that their food was tested at 2 independent labs (and the results were clean). Additionally, they went over a years worth of lab analysis and quality control data to make sure they did not miss anything. They do 100,000 quality control checks each day, and a lot of research into bioavailability and nutrients. I’m not sure how much more proof people need. It seems that no matter what Purina does, some people won’t believe them.

      Further, I’m curious if AllProvide (Dr. Morgan’s food) or the other “approved” brands can show the same dedication to testing and safety? They need to be held to the same standard.

      Regarding your comment that a blog post like this could be considered bashing – I’m not sure where that comes from. There are many pet parents that have been caused undue anxiety over this entire discussion. My blog post states facts, based on published information. My observation that the Saving Pets group is acting in a cult-like manner is not bashing, it’s a comparison between known social mind-control studies and how the group is behaving. We also know that Dr. Morgan is not practicing in a clinical setting, and she makes her money with social influencing and the sale of supplements and pet foods. There is no bashing there, it’s just the truth.

    1. Hi Steph, thanks for your comment. Thankfully, a lot of testing has already been done (Purina had their food tested at two independent labs, and has evaluated a years worth of lab analysis and quality control data) and there is no reason to believe that Purina is the problem. It’s unfortunate that people have had sick pets; there are many reasons for pets illnesses and the most fair, humane, and ethical thing to do is to see a veterinarian for treatment.

      You said “I would like to mention that rendered (dead) animals are used in many pet foods.” This is correct. Dead animals are used in pet foods. That’s what meat is. Rendering just means that they are able to utilize the entire animal, not just part of it. Bone, organ, fat, and cartilage are incredibly nutritious, it’s wasteful to throw them out simply because some humans think it’s “gross”. Look at any properly formulated raw diet, or even Dr. Morgan’s pup loaf. Those foods are full of “leftovers” such as bones, gizzards, liver, organs and tripe.

      Here is a good article on by-products in pet food: https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2016/05/dont-be-bothered-by-by-products/

      Here is some good information about rendering: https://nara.org/what-is-rendering/

      Lastly, this training module addresses common misconceptions about rendering, including the cleanliness of the products being rendered, bugs, pathogens, and diseased meats: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/carcass/docs/training/7-rendering.pdf

      As always, we recommend getting information from reputable sources.

      1. I grew up on a farm and was able to see first hand what animals go in a rendering truck. Sometimes you had no idea what disease or ailment killed the animal. Sometimes the animal would lay in the sweltering heat for a while before it was picked up. The stench from rendering trucks is horrendous. I am fortunate to be able to use healthy, locally grown, and butchered animal products in my pet food and not rely on unknown products from the rendering trucks. My pets love all the meaty bones, lungs, etc😋. I know that’s not always an option for everyone, so you really have to trust the company you are using instead.
        At the end of the day we all love and want the best for our animals. It would be nice if there was more transparency. Purina has said they tested their batches. I would love to see the 3rd party results just as much as I would like to see Dr Judy’s when her’s are complete. I read yesterday the FDA is now requesting samples as well. So I’m curious to read their reports as well. Anybody can make claims, but let’s see the proof either way from all 3 parties🥳

        1. This is a great comment, thank you for taking the time to write to me!

          Story time…in college, I did an undercover story on a local meat packing plant. I remember trekking around in the mud and kneeling in ditches so they wouldn’t see me. The photos I returned to the journalism class were too graphic to be published. One of the photos was of animals piled up in a truck, festering in the sun. People might be led to believe that that image was indicative of a big, nasty problem when the truth is, it’s very likely those animals were rejected for processing and the truck was heading to an incinerator.

          Meat processing is not a pretty business, no matter how you spin it. Diseased animals must leave the farm, too…and there are rules and regulations on the proper handling of animals when they are entering the food supply. So while somebody may have seen sick, smelly animals piled up for rendering, it’s unlikely they were destined for any kind of food. Animals are rendered for numerous reasons, including glues, explosives, cleaners, and caulking compounds (read more HERE).

          We process billions of non-diseased chickens and cows for human consumption, and each one comes with valuable and nutritious meat, bone, organ, and cartilage. The “human grade” facilities will take those parts and freeze them into cubes for the pet food manufacturers.

          I guess my point is, for every ‘horror story’ we hear about some “diseased” animal ending up hooves up in pet food (stories that are largely speculations based on human emotion and misunderstandings), there are so many other stories showing that companies are sourcing and using clean, ethically produced animal products.

          It is so important to source information from reputable places, when it comes to assessing the companies ability to maintain strict quality control standards. We all deserve transparency. Too many blogs and influencers deliberately mislead people and prey on their emotions with sensational topics and provocative headlines; these practices skew reality and make it hard for pet owners to make clear, informed decisions.

          I would love to see Dr. Judy’s samples. In my mind, those should be available by now, since Purina produced their test results (Kansas State and Iowa State) weeks ago. My hope is that she will be transparent about the results, even if they don’t fit her argument.

          The FDA can walk into any pet store and buy samples. If there was something to be found, I believe it’s reasonable to assume they would have found it by now. When Victor popped up with salmonella (random test by the department of agriculture), a recall was issued immediately.

          There is no reason for all of this to take so long, and the more days that go by, the more convinced I am that there is (and never was) nothing to find.

          Thanks for your comment, I appreciate your level-headed approach to this!

  14. Hello and thank you for a very informative article. I will leave my experience here. I have three dogs, all of which ate some version of Purina Pro Plan or Purina One. I always have and I truly did love the food and after research I thought I was giving them, maybe not the best on the market, but one of the best. I loved that they have varieties that fit the different needs of all pets. I had a litter of puppies in 2019 and those puppies all were started on Purina Pro Plan.

    In Dec. of 2023 my oldest dog, a 9 year old lab, who has a stomach of steel and has thrown up maybe 3 times in his life, started vomiting occasionally after meals. I first attributed this to the new dental supplement I added. I removed the supplement. The vomiting continued. My other two labs, were having lower GI troubles but no vomiting. I live in the country so it wasn’t out of the realm that the dogs were getting into other animal poo outside. I had discussions with my vet and appointments. All of the dogs seemed healthy and no concerns were seen upon examination or blood work. We added a bit of pumpkin to their food which seemed to help. At the end of Dec. I got a new box of Purina Fortiflora. (something I always add) After the second dose, my oldest lab regurgitated his entire dinner within minutes.

    I had been hearing concerns about the food but brushed them off, until the Fortiflora incident. I made the decision (after talking to the vest) to change food and see what transpired. I did a cold turkey transition while adding pumpkin and all seems to be fine.

    All of this being said and done, I did find that group on FB group you mention. I find it full of extremes and don’t take all of their words and thoughts as the “pet food gospel”. There are some great people there who seem to have very good advice, but I agree with you that there is some fear mongering, panic drives and shame going on. I struggle with the statements made by Purina. They seem more along the lines of a response that would be given by a social media expert, instead of the owner of the company. I haven’t seen a response that goes into detail about the investigations they have done BECAUSE of the complaints, only fodder about their typical tests.

    Here are the conclusions I have come to:

    1. Social media can be the devil, but it can also be used for good.
    2. Not all major companies are going to be forthright about their practices.
    3. I have seen comments and concerns from what seem to be very level headed, educated pet parents with stories similar to mine.
    4. I know Purina has gone through formula changes over the years that they weren’t necessarily open about at first but made known after issues arose.
    5. I find it very odd that the “recommended food list” from that page is constantly changing and several of the foods just happen to be from those who would benefit from new customers.
    6. I immediately dismiss any comment on FB that shames anyone or anything just to prove a point. It is much more helpful to people to educate rather than humiliate.
    7. I made a decision based on what was happening at my house. The vomiting and lower GI issues shortly after opening new bags of food and opening a new box of Fortiflora.
    8. I find it strange that Purina is offering and has paid for veterinary bills after some of the complaints. (A personal story from a vet that I follow and news story I saw)
    9. I will not bash Purina at this point. I choose to give them and the FDA a chance to look at all the concerns. (I know Purina has thousands of concerns sent to them already and I am sure they will investigate)
    10. There are way too many variables in every story to blame everything on Purina at this point (although there are reports of the same instances from other manufacturers). BUT, sometimes you have to consider the common denominator. (My elementary math teacher would be proud….haha.

    Moral to my long winded comment. I did what was best for me and my pets and didn’t feel the need to bash or humiliate anyone…..that might be different if I had lost a pet as I know that to be something life changing. I hope this is all resolved soon and we can get back to normal FB wars.

    1. Hi Deanna, thank you for your insightful and well written comment! We appreciate, so much, people that are approaching this topic with a level head. I’m glad your pets are doing ok! Mine have had GI upset from bunny and deer droppings in the yard more than once. It nearly always resolves quickly with a little gut reset. There are so many causes!

      I agree, completely, that social media is an interesting and often dangerous place. Well meaning people are often drowned out by those with an agenda. Others use social media to take advantage of people looking for solutions and answers. The predatory nature of certain types of influencer marketing, in particular, has me on edge. I also believe that many influencers started with a good heart. The allure of money and fame, however, takes many down a dangerous path and people are remiss if they don’t see it happening all over the place.

      Naturally, as a multi-billion dollar company, Purina is inclined to take measures to peacefully resolve and mitigate any potential negative publicity. Every company has the right to defend itself, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for them to have shown how much testing they’ve done, only to have it disregarded.

      It’s a common sentiment that “big companies” may not be entirely forthright, but I think it’s so important to recognize that this defensive stance is prevalent across businesses of all sizes. Many smaller pet food and supplement companies also employ strategic and slick language, particularly when facing scrutiny. It’s all marketing, and I can’t name a company around whose marketing department won’t spin things as needed.

      In case you weren’t aware, Purina has released a statement that their food was tested at two independent labs (and the food was clean), and they scoured through a years worth of lab analysis and data to make sure they didn’t miss something. At some point, their efforts have to be enough for people to move on, but I know many just won’t believe them. In my opinion though, the FDA would have recalled by now if there was a problem. There is no way that it takes this long (8+ weeks at this point) to sort out a problem with aflatoxins, salmonella, mold, metals, etc.

      Right now, the common denominator is sick pets…of which, there are millions around the world every day (just step into any ER vets office and ask them how busy they are). Purina is one of the most widely fed foods, so it stands to reason that it took the blame on volume alone. Food for thought, anyways.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful comment!

  15. I posted on this group several times saying it could be other potential causes and that this group should educate people how to even go about changing dog food if that’s what they want to recommend- but instead they’re telling everyone to stop it immediately and change their diet completely and that indeed alone can cause stomach distress. I posted asking if they could share information on how to change food if they choose. They didn’t approve my post. Then I mentioned the possibility of Covid and other illness and I was shut down and was restricted from their page. I asked how do they know for certain it’s the food with a very vague response. I truly believe the FB group has an agenda especially since they didn’t post about concerns about switching food abruptly and how they should educate others on slow switching of diet to prevent stomach issues- But they’re not concerned about that. They just want all animals off kibble. I have the screenshots of my posts.

    1. Thank you for your comment Laura.

      I too have screenshots of many questionable comments and posts from the Saving Pets group. They are setting themselves up for some massive liabilities with they they way that many members are practicing veterinary medicine without a license and worse, actively telling people NOT to visit or trust their veterinarians.

      It’s baffling, as well, how Purina (or other vilified brands) are blamed as the absolute cause of all sorts of health conditions. On the contrary, when pets fed so-called ‘approved’ brands face problems, the group always dismisses it with alternative explanations. That’s very telling.

  16. I’m not big on any dog kibble that has corn gluten meal, corn meal, soy bean meal, soy four, chicken by products, or copper sulfate. Those are poor ingredients per my vet. I’ve been raising labs for over 32 years and the “filler” that are used in kibble is ridiculous. Rice, especially white rice, is high in arsenic and should not be fed. Brown rice is better but I never feed this due to the high carbs. Copper sulfate is a fungicide that I use on my lawn. It has also been linked to cancer. The first 3-4 ingredients should always be meat…not soy and corn meal. Purina, along with many other companies, use the cheapest ingredients they can get by with. And soy should not be fed to female dogs as it mimics estrogen. I have several autoimmune diseases and have a variety of specialists. I also see a nutritionist who has a lot of knowledge with dog foods…her husband raises coon hounds. She’s told me which ingredients are bad to feed dogs and Purina has many of these ingredients. Of course, curious as I am, I do a ton of research to verify what she tells me. I prefer to stick with a small kibble manufacturer who does strict third party testing on every batch of food and supplies it to their customers who can research the food by the batch number. It’s not always about money and greed. The food I feed has been around for decades and has never had a recall or failed inspection. As far as people saying their dogs are sick from a certain food, food allergies show up in dogs by diarrhea, gas, vomiting, etc. I think people should do a lot of research before they feed any kibble to their pets. If something makes your dog sick, write it down and try another food. Eventually you can figure out what is causing your dogs digestive upset. And pre and probiotics are a huge help for dogs with sensitive tummies!

    1. I appreciate your input. I strongly support the philosophy of “feed the dog in front of you.”

      If pet parents find that their dogs are thriving on a particular type or brand of food, then that’s a choice they can confidently make and take pride in. This includes brands like Purina, Royal Canin, and Hill’s. (Personally, I feed my dogs Purina after experimenting with various boutique foods for years, and I’ve noticed that my dogs are healthier than ever. It’s a choice that works for me, and I have faith in the company).

      There is a lot of misinformation out there about pet food ingredients.

      FYI, brown rice is higher in arsenic than white rice. You may have it backwards. Here is a good resource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10375490/

      Copper Sulfate, is one I agree with you on. It’s one to watch, not because it’s a fungicide, because of copper storage disease. (To be honest, many essential oils also function as fungicides and endocrine disruptors, with potential links to cancer, yet people willingly apply them to pets all the time. The “chemicals” argument is often weak, as a result.)

      Copper storage disease rides in tandem with a switch in 1997-99 to the more bioavailable form of copper (copper sulfate), and in tandem with the popularity of meat-forward diets that contain an excessive amount of liver for example (and thus, copper). It’s something that I’m personally keeping a close eye on! It’s also one reason I’m cautious about feeding too much extra liver to my dogs.

      What proof do you have that “Purina uses the cheapest ingredients”? I see that argument stated often but unless somebody has their hands on the actual formula ratios and supplier information, I’m not sure how we can assume that. Ingredients lists are used as a slick marketing tool and don’t properly tell the story of what’s in a food like people think they do.

      For example, many people think Fromm is a “higher quality” food with more meat, because of the ingredients list. But if you run the numbers, Fromm Large Breed Gold has more carbs (49-50%) in it than Purina Large Breed Chicken and Rice (44-45%). There is so much more to the ingredients story than people know.

      Corn doesn’t bother me one bit. It has a similar amino acid profile to beef and is more digestible, too. This article explains it beautifully: https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2023/09/stalk-about-nutritious-its-corn/

      Further, considering that by-products are in most properly formulated raw diets, (they are even included in Dr. Morgan’s “Pup Loaf”), I’m always surprised when people think it shouldn’t be in dry foods. By-products are biologically appropriate bone, cartilage, and organs that dogs love to eat. It sounds ‘gross’ to some people, but that doesn’t mean it is. In a balanced pet food, these should be part of the diet (and if formulated by a board certified veterinary nutritionist, is unlikely to have excessive copper from the organ meats).

      Lots to ponder, for sure!

  17. Thank you for being a voice of reason and sanity in this manufactured panic. I’m pretty tough, but the FB nutters even had me worried too. Then I did my homework and found there is no evidence and few facts supporting the “Great Kibble Panic of ‘24.” I must admit one positive aspect of the FB group that shall not be named — a post there shared your article and I might not have seen it otherwise. I’m a lab guy, but now I’m a big Hello Danes fan too.

  18. Seems your website is funded by Purina? Do you have any proof that this is not real?
    Are you telling me all pet parents that have lost their dogs and cats young healthy ones are lying? The stories they are sharing is a lie? Can you please explain why the FDA and agriculture department both are testing the food if this is false.
    I can’t even find your real name on this blog.
    I want to know what the real story is as I am very concerned. My shelter uses purina. How do you know this is a lie?

    1. I have no relationship with Purina. To be perfectly honest, they really don’t need to pay influencers to promote their brand. Think about this objectively for a moment.

      They generate over 20 billion dollars a year in revenue and feed over 100 million pets every year. I’m positive they are not terribly concerned about the tiny Saving Pets group eating into their profits. 91K members sounds like a lot, but compared to 100 million pets it’s a drop in the bucket. Many members of that group are lurkers (curious about what’s happening but not buying into it), or very skeptical because of all the sales pitches and guilt/food shaming being thrown at people who join the group.

      To put this into mathematical perspective, the 91K people in the Saving Pets group are just 0.091% of the 100 million pets fed by Purina Foods each year (and thus, each day). Not even a 1%. The even smaller subset of that group that tends to be the loudest (including Dr. Morgan) are the only ones of concern. The concern lies primarily with misinformation and hate being spread, not necessarily Purina’s profit line.

      The FDA looked into it because they did receive hundreds of complaints from pet owners who believed the food harmed their pet. That’s the job of the FDA, to investigate. The fact that they’ve looked into it, and no recall has happened yet, is a pretty big sign that they found nothing to be concerned about.

      The Saving Pets group will say that the FDA was paid off by Purina (or some other such similar idea) but again, they have no proof of that either. It’s speculation and the only argument they may have left. They might then say that “these things take time“…but they don’t. It’s 2024. The FDA can lab test a food and have results very quickly. They can move swiftly if there is a legitimate concern about health. Produce and infant foods have been recalled very quickly following a handful of consumer complaints, for example.

      The fact that all of these reports on Purina haven’t resulted in a recall yet (after 8+ weeks of this now), is a sign that no, there isn’t actually a problem. Purina had their food retested at 2 independent labs. Those results have been back for weeks now (they were clean). Dr. Morgan still hasn’t produced the results of the tests she supposedly paid for. Why not? It shouldn’t take any longer than it took Purina.

      I understand being concerned. Many shelters use Purina because they have a shelter program (which is fantastic, imo). . Millions of shelter pets eat Purina every day, and are doing great. Millions more eat Purina every day, and veterinarians around the Country are seeing no issues.

      My hope with my commentary and this article is to show people that the concern and panic are being driven by an extremely small, fringe group, and it’s not necessarily indicative of a legitimate or verifiable problem.

  19. Of course you didn’t publish my comment cause I asked what proof you have that this is a lie?
    Since you don’t even share your real name? Could very well be working/sponsored by Purina

    1. Sam, I’ve received a lot of commentary on this blog post. Most of the comments left by those who oppose my argument are filled with hate, vitriol, and worse, threats that I should die. All of the negative commentary is coming from people in the “Saving Pets” group and those who follow Dr. Morgan. Many of them are unstable and dangerous, so no, I will not publish my name. I certainly hope you don’t find that kind of behavior acceptable!

      Further, I’m sorting through comments one by one and publishing ones that provide thoughtful commentary on either side of the discussion. I’m swamped with comments right now and because I don’t make money on this blog, I have a life outside of this. Maybe I haven’t gotten to yours yet.

      I am not approving unhinged rants or comments that deliberately discredit or disparage veterinarians, because this blog will not be a platform for such hate and vitriol.

      Purina does not sponsor me. They have never communicated with me regarding this post or others. We recommend Purina and similar foods on this blog, via affiliate relationships that we have with Amazon and Chewy (where we could pick any food we wanted to recommend). This affiliate relationship allows us to pay for expenses related to this site. Further, we DO recommend some “natural” foods to. Just Food for Dogs and Instinct brands come to mind.

      I never said that people were lying. I did say, however, that there is (as of January 26th, 2024) still no proof that all 800+ pets that were supposedly “harmed by pet food” actually were. If there is an argument to be had there, where is the proof? Anecdotal stories, which vary greatly, are not proof of anything. Pet’s get sick and die of all sorts of things. It’s really sad, we never want to see a pet sick or dead!

      But the rampant food blaming without diagnostics, and assuming the food to blame is absolute fact, is not fair to the pet nor is it fair to this discussion.

  20. I’m sure some of these pet owners mean well, and owning any type of pet does come with a side order of anxiety and worriment. This Purina Panic does come from a place of love for their pet, no matter how marred that love is coming out in despair and acrimony.
    I’ve seen the public Facebook group myself and I’ve seen many posts from pet owners with symptoms that match up to multiple *possible* medical diagnoses like Giardia, Parvo, bilious vomiting syndrome, possible Megaesophagus, UTI, even parvo. I did see one person say their vet diagnosed her dog with parvo by doing a parvo test, but the owner still felt it was the food, then another person commented that parvo can be in the dog food from Purina. There is a lot of misinformation in this group that people are taking as fact, and the majority of it is coming from pet owners who do not have any vet med training.
    I can see how people are easily attracted to this group. They’re told something that scares them and makes them mad. Those are the key ingredients for anyone wanting to go viral on social media. Fear has been a marketing tactic for all types of products for years. Even Listerine turned bad breath into a serious medical condition that needed urgent treatment, and that treatment was THEIR brand of mouth wash. Just like, “Your pet food is bad, you need to feed OUR brands and get supplements from OUR approved holistic vets.”
    The supplements that are sold online are usually all created by the same manufacturers in the same place, the person selling the supplements on their website can ask the manufacturer to add in a certain ingredient to make it more ‘enticing’ or ‘special’ and they create their own graphic design for the bag with their name on it. It surprises me that a group so opposed to mass produced dry kibble is ok with mass produced supplements that all come from the same place and is just given different names by different personalities selling it.
    The moderators and administrators of this group have told these distressed pet owners multiple times to not trust veterinarians. Don’t send your pet food to be tested, don’t give it to Purina, don’t send test results or medical records to Purina, save your food and the group will have it tested with a lab of their choosing.
    The admins/mods have also created a list of good foods and bad foods, and the good foods list is slowly getting smaller and smaller to the point where there will no longer be any kibble “they” deem safe and that everyone must feed raw. I can see the tide possibly turning to; if you don’t feed raw, you are considered an animal abuser. Group members are already accusing people that don’t change foods to be killing their pets. I’ve seen many posts of people who switched from a ‘bad’ food to a ‘good food’, spent a lot of money on the ‘good’ food and now that’s off the list and they need to find something new to feed their pet. This group seems to turn out to be very expensive for some members.
    There’s nothing wrong with raw, but for some people it’s not feasible and also not safe if they have a weak immune system from an autoimmune disorder. Or the elderly and physically challenged, they can easily feed kibble, but cooking meals for the pets, running out to butchers or multiple stores is something that’s just not possible either physically or financially on a fixed income.
    It’s very upsetting for me to read posts from these pet owners who explain symptoms, then go on to write about the ‘natural remedies’ they tried, and their pet dies. *Some* of these pet parents do not mention calling their veterinarian, let alone going in to have their animal examined. It seems easier to blame the food than realizing their dog has medical issues from poor breeding, typical medical conditions that even the best bred dogs of that breed get or that they should have taken their pet in to see a medical professional instead of trying to take care of it on their own with help from the ‘group’. I can see how they think they can handle an incredibly sick dog at home because they’re told over and over in the group via copy and pasted responses from admins and mods of ‘recipes’ to detox their pet or switch foods and the pet will instantly be healed.
    They are also bombarded with posts from group members claiming their dog had loose stool, they switched foods and the dog is cured. This is not possible for every animal of every group member, especially when parvo or any other type of medical issue is present. You can’t know what’s wrong with your pet without seeing a vet.
    The group and it’s members are also pushing an older documentary about how pet food is manufactured. With documentaries you really have to be wary, every single one is skewed to make you believe what they want. Whether it’s one about 9/11, Waco, a famous celebrity, or pet food. The viewer really needs to view any documentary more like a ‘theory’ than absolute fact. Producers and directors are very skilled at making things seem real that truly aren’t. There are three sides to every story; mine, yours and the truth. And honestly, in most cases we will never know the truth.
    The creator of the Facebook group has posted over and over that they were the lead plaintiff in a case against Hills food and ‘won’, but what they don’t mention is it was a settlement and not a judgement. The information is freely available with a google search. A ‘deep dive’ is not even needed.
    I think this group leader mentioning her court case and explaining she ‘won’ has a lot of people joining this group just to join a class action lawsuit. I do hope these pet owners can break away from this group, think for themselves, seek actual veterinarian care and don’t get wrapped up in ‘winning free money’.
    Our pets should always come first, and using a pet to make extra money because they ate dry kibble and are fine, is incredibly heartbreaking. Our pets deserve professional medical care when it comes to any type of constant vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea, and not a ‘miracle’ cure from a social media personality or members of the group that have zero veterinary training. Veterinarians aren’t the villains here, it’s those of us who have no vet med training that decide we know what is wrong with our pet and can cure severe pet illnesses by just switching foods or mixing up a ‘detox’ recipe.
    Hug your pets tonight, think about them and what they deserve. Should you believe someone on the internet that has no vet med training that you don’t know or seek professional veterinarian help for your sick pet? And if you don’t seek help, who is actually to blame, the food someone told you is ‘bad’ or is it you that wouldn’t take your dog or cat to see a veterinarian till it was too late or not at all.
    If anything comes out of the Purina Panic at all, I hope it’s people getting pet insurance or creating savings accounts for vet care, so that they can afford to get their dog or cat (that they took responsibility for when they got it) veterinarian care. Some group members state don’t have the funds to see a vet and are seeking ways to cure their own pets.
    When we get a pet, we take on a responsibility to that animal and part of that responsibility is prompt medical care.

  21. This is a fantastic article. It’s balanced and measured. I quite enjoyed it. I feed my critters Purina, my cats have always done well on it as has my pup. I don’t plan on changing.

    That group is a shining example of how quickly social media can spread misinformation and fearmonger. It also shows how divisive things surrounding veterinary care (vets are in it for the money! they’re funded by big pharma! vaccines are poison!) and pet food are, which is wild. Correlation =/= Causation.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      While I understand people are fearful and anxious about their pets health, it’s really important for people to be able to objectively address situations where that anxiety may be taken advantage of. Bold headlines (“big pHARMa”, “vaccines are poison”, “kibble is full of toxins” etc.) sell. Those statements are anxiety-inducing and controversial, and give people something to assign blame to if they are concerned about a health condition.

      From a social media perspective, it’s not at all surprising that this topic has become somewhat viral.

  22. I just read your article and found it to be the MOST informative, insightful, and level headed article I’ve ever read about the dog food panic. Between your article and the ‘Canine: Nutrition…’ FB group, I’m even more educated and able to choose my pets’ foods with FACTS!
    My previous dog died from complications of DCM, most likely from the food recommended by Dog Food Advisor I was unaware of this condition until I researched the food he was eating, however it was too late. To say I fell into a trap of misinformation is an understatement. I had tried raw, I tried boutique foods, only to end up harming him.
    I adopted a Boxer, and voted to feed her right! She’s been eating Purina for 3 years now, and is currently on a hydrolyzed diet to determine whether or not she had an allergy or Mass Cell.
    We are staunch supporters of FACTS, and Science behind the food we feed to our pets.
    Thank you again for a fabulous article!

    1. Thank you thank you thank you Kathy for believing in your veterinarian, believing in us, and following the science. Your comment is much appreciated!

      I too come from a place of having followed the boutique pet food marketing for years; my pets suffered for it. We follow the science now too, and my pets are healthier than ever.

  23. I follow my gut and my animals behaviors when it comes to these things. All I can say is I am an avid Purina customer for both wet and dry food for cats and dogs in my house. I opened a new bag of Purina pro plan chicken for my Shepherd that she has been on for 2 years and she had diarrhea for 2 days. In the 5 days following she refused to eat the food even with her wet Purina one pro plan on top which she always loved. She would sniff it and walk away. I originally attributed this to an upset stomach etc and kept pushing it. But in every other aspect she was starving hungry just wouldn’t touch the Purina. I have switched her and she is eating regularly with no issues.
    Now on to the cats. I have a 5 and 6 year old cats that have eaten Purina their whole life as kibble and friskies/fancy feast wet food also by Purina. 2 weeks ago I opened a new bag of their kibble and noticed some small spots of vomit here and there. No big deal so thought nothing of it. In the following week my 6 year old cat who will literally eat anything you put in front of her started to refuse the kibble. It sat for 3 days untouched while she cried she was hungry. The wet food she was licking the gravy but leaving all the rest behind. Nornally she would finish hers and try to eat the rest of the other cats food so this is very peculiar. Switched both foods 2 days ago and she is back to scarfing it all down as normal. With no gastro issues at all.
    I understand reports take time to come back and let me just point out that dogs were dying for 6 months before the hills science recall and were all being disregarded. It happens and would rather be safe than sorry.
    Listen to your pets and use common sense they know when something is wrong.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. We agree, pet parents should always go with their gut as they know their pets well. There is nothing wrong with switching foods if it’s not working for your pet, and I’m glad you found something that seems to work.

      My pets have had occasional bouts of GI distress, which resolve after a day or two. In our case, it’s usually because of treats/bones or because they found animal droppings in the yard. A lot of people switch their pets food following an upset, and when the symptoms resolve, they blame the previous food. But if they had stayed on that food, chances are, the symptoms would have resolved anyways.

      If a pet has GI distress for more than 2 days, or doesn’t eat for 5 days, they need to see a vet. I’m curious if you called your vet? Have your pets been wormed? Did you get a professional opinion?

      There are a number of reasons for the symptoms you describe and I would be concerned about something in the home, too. This whole phenomenon is making well-meaning pet parents outright blame the food, which can cause them to overlook other potential causes (parasites, toxic products in the home, a neighbor giving the pets treats, salmonella from some other source, etc.).

      Correlation does not equal causation, in other words. Purina is NOT Hill’s, and that comparison is illogical and unfair. They are two different companies, and nobody I know is giving a pass to Hill’s for what happened with their Vitamin D recall.

      I have no doubt that your pets experienced some GI distress, but given how common that is and how many reasons there are for it, I’d be asking a veterinarian. I’m glad your pets are ok now!

      If the food itself is truly a problem, we’d be swimming in toxicology reports by now. I think it’s fair for people to ask for transparency and want to see undeniable proof, especially now that all dry kibble foods have been “implicated” by the Saving Pets group.

  24. I would like to know who the author of this article is and what your credentials are. Thank you in advance for providing this information.

    1. Hello. Members of the “Saving Pets” group have proven, in my comments section and through personal attacks and threats that they are unstable and full of hate. I will absolutely not be revealing my identity, as my personal life should not be a target. If an argument relies on personal attacks, hate, and vitriol to uphold its stance, it is weak.

      As far as my credentials go, I am a journalist with a lot of experience in all aspects of pets and dogs. This position allows me to research and publish factual information with cited sources, and then interpret, develop, (and share) opinions and facts based on that research. My blogging efforts here have been supported and backed by many evidence-based veterinarians who hold the majority opinion, as the information I share aligns with them. I make every effort to position myself on the side of science, common sense, critical thinking and verifiable facts.

      I encourage you to check the sources of all of the people whom you trust, implicitly, with your pets health, not just the sources of people with whom you disagree. There are many brands, stores, influencers and misguided pet parents out there who are ready and willing to give you potentially dangerous and harmful information, with questionable sources, in exchange for engagement, clicks, and sales.

    2. I encourage you to refresh this blog post and read the update. The food that Dr. Morgan paid to have tested in a lab came back clean with no toxins, molds, or dangerous substances. She posted this information today in a video on her Facebook page.

      I’m only posting information from verifiable sources.

      To respond to your implication (in your other comment) that I “work for Purina”, that’s a wild assumption with no proof. They’ve never even contacted me, let alone paid me a dime, and if they had? I would be honest and transparent enough to disclose that information to readers. Believe it or not, some of us are PRO Purina because our dogs do phenomenally well on that food, and we’ve researched the science behind it.

      Affiliate links on our site connect with recommended products on Amazon and Chewy, NOT with Purina. Nearly 100% of the revenue we receive from those links goes back into keeping this site functioning. If somebody can help me sort out how to pay for the expenses related to running a site without using any kind of advertising, membership, or affiliate links, I’m all ears.

      I mention in the blog written above that there is no problem at all with people sharing affiliate links (or even selling things). Did you catch that part? Please go back and read that. The problem I want to point out is related to predatory influencer tactics that depend on sensational or provocative claims without scientific or verifiable evidence. When such tactics are employed to boost sales and social engagement, people need to be cautious.

      I’m only trying to inform people of how to spot the difference.

      If you aren’t there yet, I’m sorry. There is only so much I can write to help people cut through the marketing being fed to us all over the place.

      I urge you to review the details in this blog post, specifically the sections where I provide verified information that we currently know (such as the absence of a Purina recall). Take another look at the segment where I discuss troubling behaviors occurring on the internet and within social media groups. Assess whether these behaviors (such as removing people who ask legitimate questions, discrediting veterinarians, and shaming pet owners for their food choices), align with what you feel is acceptable.

      Lastly, no, I will not reveal my identity. If the Saving Pets group is coming after the personal lives of those trying to share verifiable information, they cannot be trusted. I hate to break it to you, but the vast majority of online personalities are working under an alias as it is, for this reason.

  25. Let me ask you this – forget purina forget the whole issue if pets are getting sick or not for a minute. Honest question what is your diet like? Do you eat processed frozen food/microwave meals every meal you eat? Or do you eat meats, vegetables, fruits, eggs, etc?
    If your answer is the later why are you proposing dogs should eat a diet that is so processed? How is that healthy compared to a fresh food diet?
    Below I pulled ingredient list from purina pro plan and Steve’s real food which is frozen raw.
    This really is an honest question. You can verify the ingredients yourself.

    Do you know what poultry by-product meal is? Soybean meal? Corn gluten meal? Fish meal? If purina is that high quality product or for that matter if any kibble is that high quality why are so many vitamins and minerals added into the food. Shouldn’t it just come from the food?
    Purina Pro plan ingredients
    Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Poultry By-product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Soybean Meal, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Dried Egg Product, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Natural Flavor, Glycerin, Wheat Bran, Calcium Carbonate, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil, Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, L-lysine Monohydrochloride, Garlic Oil. Z44551

    Steve’s Real frozen food turkey
    Ground Turkey, Ground Turkey Bone, Turkey Liver, Turkey Hearts, Broccoli, Spinach, Watermelon, Celery, Goat’s Milk, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, Dried Kelp, Sesame Seeds, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, Taurine, Salmon Oil, Coconut Oil, Inulin, Ground Eggshell

    Are any names foreign in Steve real food as they were in purina?

    1. Hi Sam,

      This is one of my favorite discussions. Before I dig in, yes I’ve looked at the “ingredients”. It’s not like it’s a shock to me that will suddenly “change my mind”. For the record, I used to be a die-hard “holistic” and raw food pet owner. I’ve actually moved away from that, and towards science, after a “natural” diet tried to kill one of my dogs.

      Thus, your argument deliberately overlooks three major key points:

      1. Diet Formulation. . When you really start to dig into, and understand nutrition, you can become overwhelmed with the intricacies of how nutrients and amino acids affect each other. For example, too much calcium or zinc can change the way copper is absorbed (and too much copper harms the liver/kidneys). Too much vitamin D can affect the balance of calcium, which can damage bone health.

      Board certified veterinary nutritionists spend years studying and understanding these mechanisms. Whether the holistic community wants to admit it or not, the science is there to help us feed our pets better food.Pets lives are SHORT. They don’t have time for us to mess around with their nutritional balance.

      Further, Veterinary Nutritionists and food scientists are behind many of the big dry foods (Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s). Do they really want to put their name on something they don’t believe is healthy? They went to school for a decade (and likely into debt, too) to do their job; they aren’t out to harm our pets. They want our pets to thrive.

      2. Kibble = Baby Formula, Not Cheetoh’s. People love to compare properly balanced (see above, about the veterinary nutritionists who formulate these foods) kibble to “processed junk food”, but that is a weak comparison at best. Junk food is not meant to provide all of the nutrients that a body needs to survive and thrive. A meal at McDonald’s is not meant to be eaten for every meal.

      Baby formula and the formula used in GI tubes for humans of all ages is a PROCESSED product that, surprise, provides all of the nutrition humans need. Formula, like kibble, has been scientifically formulated to make the bodies that consume it do all of the things it needs to do for heart/skin/liver/etc. health. Go to an elementary school and tell me which kids were formula fed vs. breast fed. You won’t be able to tell me.

      Go to a dog park and tell me which dogs are raw fed vs. kibble fed. Again, you won’t be able to tell me. (For reference, my dogs are in outstanding condition and they eat Purina! People think they are raw fed, but they aren’t. Interesting, right?)

      Comparing kibble to a processed junk food diet is a terrible argument. Critical thinking is required here.

      3. Ingredients are misunderstood. Chicken? Easy. Rice? Great! Nothing wrong with rice at all. Poultry By-Product Meal? AWESOME. Have you ever seen what’s in raw food? BY-PRODUCTS! Bone, liver, kidney (just like in Steve’s). Corn (of any type)? Fantastic: it has a similar amino acid profile to beef and is MORE digestible! (education and critical thinking matters SO much here). I could go on.

      Those ingredients don’t bother me ONE BIT, and if they bother you, ask yourself why? What marketing has been fed to you, to make you intentionally misinterpret ingredients lists and why those ingredients are in those foods?

      Further…did you know that many “holistic” and raw diets are VERY high in copper? AAFCO doesn’t set an upper limit for copper, and raw companies often ignore AAFCO anyways. Excessive use of ingredients like liver, which are high in copper, can be problematic if it’s not well controlled in the formulation. Uncontrolled copper can be very hard on liver/kidney health. I see that Steve’s Raw also contains goat milk…did you know that goat milk further increases the bioavailability of copper? Yikes.

      Here is an article I wrote on copper in pet food…if you look at the chart, it’s the holistic diets that tend to have the highest levels. Copper storage disease is a real, and growing problem. https://www.hellodanes.com/copper-in-dog-food-liver-health/

      Not to mention, your “Steve’s Raw” is much more likely to come with salmonella and other nasties. The constant load of bacteria on the dogs system is something that science should look more into. Human’s have a more acidic stomach than dogs do…FYI. So the “dog’s stomach is acidic and kills the pathogens” is a load of nonsense.

      There is so much more to this story.

      I would like to point out, as well, that many of us who feed dry kibble diets offer 10% of the diet in fresh foods. My dogs DO receive fresh veggies, fresh proteins, etc. There are some benefits to doing that. Science tells us that kibble works, and it works WELL. Dogs life spans have increased greatly in the last 40+ years, in tandem with the popularity of kibble (which is guaranteed to be balanced, unlike nearly all homemade diets which studies show are not).

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