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10 Brands With Most Dog Food Recalls

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The Brands With Most Dog Food Recalls

With the unfortunate increase in dog food recalls, it’s important for dog owners to monitor pet food companies very closely. From toxic mold to Salmonella to the euthanasia drug, the 10 companies listed below have been put on our “naughty” list for their controversial practices.

When you’re shopping for a new dog food brand, it’s important to know which companies you can trust and which you cannot. It’s not enough to check out the ingredients, but you also need to know about the practices they implement when manufacturing the food.

Even though the ingredients are of high quality, the manufacturing practices may not be. Poor manufacturing can lead to contamination of the food. The worst part is, contamination doesn’t usually changed the smell or appearance of your dog’s meal. That means, if the food is contaminated, it’s likely that you’re not going to realize it until it’s too late. That’s why dog food recalls exist, and generally, they are a good thing.

NOTE: We are not saying that any of these dog food brands should not be considered. It’s always better to recall your product than to hide any problems. While they do have a lengthy list of dog food recalls, the companies have likely made some changes to their practices since the last one. Always do your own due diligence and research. Look into the brand and see what (if any) changes have been made recently.

INFOGRAPHIC: 19 Controversies About the Pet Food Industry

10 Brands With Most Dog Food Recalls

Most Dog Food Recalls

1 Blue Buffalo

Founded in 2002, Blue Buffalo advertises their products as a higher end, higher quality pet food option. In the last 10 years, however, Blue Buffalo has had at least EIGHT dog food recalls. Recall justification varies from salmonella contamination to the presence of propylene glycol (a chemical found in anti-freeze).

Brand Recall History:

  • April 2007: Recall due to melamine contamination
  • October 2010: Recall due to the potential of too much vitamin D
  • November 2015: Recall due to low levels of propylene glycol
  • November 2015: Recall due to Salmonella
  • May 2016: Recall due to possible mold contamination
  • February 2017: Recall due to poor packaging quality
  • February 2017: Recall due to metal contamination
  • March 2017: Recall due to elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone

What You Should Know…

I am a devoted dog-mom and truly thought I was giving my dog the best food for him when I chose to feed Blue Buffalo Wilderness. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Aflatoxin in the kibble I bought very nearly killed my senior Labrador.

By the time we got to our vet, he was unable to stand, unable to walk, and unable to lift his head. When confronted with the evidence, Blue Buffalo requested that I file a claim with their lawyers. After months of waiting to hear back, they ultimately denied paying our veterinary bills saying that there was no way to tell that it was their food contamination responsible for my dog’s illness.

With a senior dog who has his diet monitored VERY strictly, I can tell you that it most definitely was. Unfortunately, without funds to hire my own legal team, I had no way of fighting a team of corporate lawyers.

2 Evanger’s

Started in 1935, Evanger’s is a family owned company that claims to offer better nutritional options for dog food. Unfortunately, Evanger’s has not only had multiple dog food recalls for the same reason – salmonella – but they were part of perhaps the biggest pet food transgression to date. In early 2017, Evanger’s was forced to recall batches of their dog food due to contamination with Pento-Barbital – yes, that is the euthanasia drug.

Brand Recall History:

  • January 2010: Recall due to potential Salmonella contamination
  • July 2010: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • August 2010: Recall due to potential Salmonella contamination
  • August 2010: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • January 2011: Recall due to potential Salmonella contamination
  • August 2011: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • February 2017: Recall due to the potential of pentobarbital contamination

What You Should Know…

Multiple dog food recalls for the repeated incidence of salmonella contamination is a cause for concern. This is not to mention the seriousness of pentobarbital contamination which was thought to have been due to the use of rendered meat product in the recalled food – something Evanger’s claims not to use. The company has since changed suppliers and maintains claims that they use no rendered meat products in their foods.

RELATED: 15 Things You Must Know To Avoid Choosing A Bad Dog Food

3 Diamond Pet Food

Founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Food was founded on the principle that even premium pet food should be affordable and to date, they’re one of the leading dog food brands of great quality pet food that most pet owners are able to afford. However, looking at their history, it seems Diamond Pet Food were forced to issue numerous dog food recalls including multiple occasions of salmonella contamination.

Brand Recall History:

  • December 2005: Recall due to possible aflatoxin contamination
  • April 2012: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • May 2012: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • March 2013: Recall due to low levels of thiamine

What You Should Know…

Diamond Pet Food has long been used by breeders nationwide, mostly due to their great value ratio of cost to quality. We haven’t seen any dog food recalls from the company for four years now and aware of their clientele, Diamond Pet Food has been particularly vigilant in the monitoring of their products since their last recall, and it seems to be working very well for the company and their fans.

4 Nature’s Variety

Nature’s Variety specializes in offering both holistic and raw frozen foods. It is the offering of raw foods that dupes many pet owners into thinking that they are 100% trustworthy. Unfortunately, Nature’s Variety has issued at least five dog food recalls in the past seven years for salmonella contamination and choking hazards.

Brand Recall History:

  • February 2010: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • March 2010: Recall for possible salmonella contamination
  • July 2012: Recall due to an “unusual odor that may develop over time”
  • February 2013: Recall due to the potential of small plastic pieces inside the food posing a choking hazard
  • July 2015: Recall for possible salmonella contamination

What You Should Know…

Repeated salmonella contamination, particularly in raw food, is of significant concern. Salmonella is not only a danger to your dog, but it also poses a risk to you and your family, too.

5 Iams

Begun in 1946, Iams is one of the pet food brands started by Paul Iams, the second being Eukanuba. In 1999, Iams sold Iams to Procter & Gamble, five years later, Proctor and Gamble sold the company to Mars Inc. It was when the brand was acquired by Mars, Inc. that Iams began experiencing repeated dog food recalls for a wide variety of causes.

Brand Recall History:

  • March 2007: Recall due to melamine contamination
  • June 2010: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • July 2010: Recall due to potential Salmonella contamination
  • August 2010: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • December 2011: Recall due to aflatoxin contamination
  • March: 2013: Recall for potential mold growth
  • August 2013: Recall due to potential Salmonella contamination

What You Should Know…

When a dog food is bought by another company, there is always a potential for a change in ingredients, ingredient sources, and manufacturing plants. All of these can lead to gastrointestinal upset for your dog and allergic reaction in dogs with ingredient sensitivities. Sadly, the only way to know who owns your dog food brand when is to track it yourself.

PODCAST: What Dog Food Companies Aren’t Telling Pet Owners

6 Pedigree

In 1934 Mars Limited purchased a pet food company known as “Chappie”. The company would later become Pedigree Petfoods Ltd. Despite their slogan of “Top breeders recommend it” up until 2007, most breeders these days would not recommend feeding Pedigree. The reason? Poor nutritional content and various recalls for salmonella, choking hazards and metal fragments.

Brand Recall History:

  • August 2008: Recall for possible salmonella contamination
  • September 2008: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • June 2012: Recall for possible plastic fragments
  • August 2014: Recall for possible small metal fragments
  • September 2014: Recall for possible small metal fragments

What You Should Know…

In 2014, Mars, Inc. purchased most of Proctor & Gamble’s pet products. This means that Mars now owns a large portion of the dog food market including Eukanuba, Iams, Pedigree and Natura.

7 Purina

In 1894 William H. Danforth, George Robinson and William Andrews started out making animal feed as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company. Passing through a few hands, the company eventually ended up in the hands of Nestle in 2001. Nestle launched a marketing campaign to stop false advertising to promote purity in pet food. Unfortunately, this campaign did not stop multiple recalls for their Purina brand.

Brand Recall History:

  • June 2011: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • July 2011: Recall for possible salmonella contamination
  • May 2012: Recall due to low thiamine content
  • August 2013: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • March 2016: Recall due to inadequate vitamin and mineral content

What You Should Know…

Purina is one of the most popular dog food brands on the planet, with a very large number of different products and formulas. This obviously exposes them to a much higher risk and likelihood of dog food recalls, which is something that needs to be considered when evaluation a ratio of dog food recall chance for every brand.

8 Hill’s Science Diet

Developed in 1960 by veterinarian Mark L Morris Jr., Science Diet began as a quest to develop food for a dog with kidney disease. Morris would later go on to develop other condition-specific foods that are widely promoted in veterinary clinics. Despite being popularly recommended, Hill’s Science Diet (now owned by Colgate-Palmolive) contains “junk” ingredients and has been recalled multiple times.

Brand Recall History:

  • March 2007: Recall due to melamine contamination
  • April 2007: Recall for possible melamine contamination
  • June 2014: Recall due to potential salmonella contamination
  • November 2015: Recall due to labeling problems

What You Should Know…

Many dog owners feed Science Diet because they think it’s the only available option for dogs with special dietary needs. By finding out your dog’s dietary restrictions from your vet, you can research better quality foods that meet your dog’s special needs.

MORE: 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Prescription Dog Food

9 Bravo

Bravo was built out of a meat business which was started in 1942. Specializing in natural pet food ingredients and raw pet foods, Bravo specializes in “simple” foods with few ingredients. Despite touting the use of natural ingredients and antibiotic-free poultry, Bravo has a rather rocky recall history.

Brand Recall History:

  • September 2007: Recall due to potential listeria and salmonella contamination
  • June 2011: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • March 2013: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • April 2013: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • May 2014: Recall for possible listeria contamination
  • September 2014: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination
  • July 2015: Recall for potential salmonella contamination
  • December 2015: Recall due to possible salmonella contamination

What You Should Know…

Bravo recently redesigned their packaging and logo. This is seen by some pet owners as an attempt to leave behind their repeated recalls and reinvent their brand.

10 Wellness Pet Foods

Founded in 1926, Wellness started as Old Mother Hubbard. In 1970 the company was taken over by Eagle Pack Pet Foods who then became Wellness Pet Food in 1997. Finally, in 2008, Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard both merged to become WellPet LLC. As a company that claims to prioritize pet health and make the “healthiest natural” products, Wellness has experienced a few too many recalls.

Brand Recall History:

  • February 2011: Recall due to inadequate thiamine levels
  • May 2012: Recall for possible salmonella contamination
  • October 2012: Recall due to possible moisture contamination
  • February 2017: Recall for possible foreign material contamination
  • March 2017: Recall due to possible elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone

What You Should Know…

The “all natural” label on pet foods can be misleading. An ingredient can be considered “natural” so long as it is derived from mined sources, plant sources, or animal sources. Additionally, ingredients can still contain trace amounts of synthetic substances and undergo various manufacturing processes and be called “natural.”

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