Beneful dog food

September 23, 2008  
Filed under Beneful, Dog Food Reviews

Beneful dog food review

Beneful dog food formulas are manufactured and marketed by Nestle Purina Petcare Company. Currently, there are two Beneful product lines for dogs—dry dog food and one canned formula.

Beneful dog food has often been criticized as a low-grade product because of the low-quality ingredients which are incorporated in their dog food formulas. It is primarily grain-based and uses chicken by-product meal as the major source of animal-based protein.  We do not recommend Beneful dog food brand to your dogs.

Currently, there are seven Beneful dry dog food variants formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages. However, these dry dog formulas contain controversial ingredients that compromise the nutritional value of the dog food.

Beneful’s first five major ingredients are made up of ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, and animal fat.

Ground yellow corn as the first major ingredient already tells a lot about the nutritional value of the dog food. Although corn is a good source of carbohydrates, there is no way of knowing if the corn grains that have been used are of the first class grade and not one which has been designated as livestock feed grade. Corn has been also pinpointed as one of the important food allergens in dog food.

The same way can be said with wheat flour which has been linked to food allergies in dogs.

Another corn-based ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is also a by-product after starch has been extracted from corn. It is an inexpensive but inferior source of essential amino acids which can add to the total protein content of the dog food formula.

Chicken by-product meal is made from chicken parts which have been considered unfit for human consumption. The meal is made by rendering chicken slaughterhouse waste including chicken beaks, feet, entrails, even undeveloped eggs.  As you can see, most of these by-products are inedible.

Although chicken by-product meal comes from such savory ingredients, it is still a good source of protein compared to fresh chicken.

The use of animal fat is controversial, in that the source/s has not been identified. Fat which has been used can come from any source including slaughterhouse waste, diseased livestock, and even restaurant grease.

Beneful dry dog food contains propylene glycol, a food moisturizer which has been banned by the FDA for use in pet food.

Controversial ingredients incorporated in Beneful dog food formulas include garlic oil, menadione, and non-chelated minerals.

Garlic oil, extracted from raw garlic, has been associated with the occurrence of Heinz body anemia in dogs.

Menadione is a controversial form of vitamin K which has been linked to several serious conditions including allergies, liver toxicity, and abnormal break-down of red blood cells in the body.

A run-through of the ingredients will reveal more than 50% carbohydrate content while protein dry matter is only a measly 29%. Fat content is insufficient to satisfy the nutritional requirements of all ages of dogs.

Customer Reviews

A significant number of dog allergies have been reported which have been linked to Beneful dog food products. Many dog owners are dismayed to be fooled into buying a dog food because of its rampant marketing strategies and excellent packaging without considering the poor quality ingredients of the dog food inside. Dog owners also report of digestive problems including diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting. Overall, we do not recommend Beneful dog food and would suggest Kirkland dog food as a higher-quality value alternative.

Please visit the links listed below for Beneful dog food reviews by formula.

Have a comment or question about our Beneful dog food review? Want to share your experiences with others? We welcome your comments!

Beneful dog food reviews

Beneful Dog Food Formulas:

  1. Beneful Original dog food
  2. Beneful Healthy Weight dog food
  3. Beneful Playful Life dog food
  4. Beneful Healthy Radiance dog food
  5. Beneful Healthy Harvest dog food
  6. Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies dog food

Beneful Dog Food Consumer Rating

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163 Responses to “Beneful dog food”
  1. Celt says:

    Ooops, sorry about messing up your name. Oh, I thought the warning might have to do with some of the other ingredients.

  2. Cavielover says:

    I just wanted to pipe in that my parents have always had large breed dogs and feed them whatever looks good to my mom when she is shopping. I`ve seen Pedigree, Beneful, all the ones that look “yummy” to humans. They have never had a dog live less than 14 years ! One thing though, they always fat. 🙂 They`ve had rottweilers, dobermans, shelties, and a Pyranese mix. I feed my dogs 4Health and they love it, but just though ya`ll might like to know. 🙂

  3. Bryan says:

    What an interesting thread. I wish dog food companies would sell small samples of their product. Having a variety available for a puppy might be a worthwhile way of determining which food is the best match. (I’m sick of wasting money on expensive brands only to have my puppy thumb his nose at them….of course, I should probably begin mixing in wet food so he develops a sweet tooth for the stuff.)

  4. Jackie says:

    Well lets see I recently bought my first bag of purina beneful and my dog did not want to eat it at first but later on that day started eating it and started getting sick throwing up and very listless does not want to eat or drink and have been tring to give him water through a oral syringe so he does not dehydrate. Not very happy with this product at all. I previously was giving him purina one and now I will not buy any of Purinas Dog Food any more. My dog was perfectly healthy until this product… I do not think he is going to make it

  5. John says:

    I have a beagle and a yello lab. BOTH dogs ate this food and BOTH dogs vomited and as above, are listless and despondent. Totally out of character and very alarming. I would not be surprised if this stuff is made in China. NEVER AGAIN.

  6. JoMAc says:

    To Bryan:
    I don’t know if you’ve received feedback but I wanted you to know that I have contacted dog food companies of many via internet and received many free samples. Some will send samples for a small shipping fee. Go to the companies web page and click on contact/contact info (usually situated on the bottom in small print)click and ask for a sample. Most have been great and share the product others just say no and no harm done. It is a great way to try foods without wasting large quantities. Hope this helps!

  7. keri says:

    I recently bought a choc lab puppy at 10 weeks old. She was on Beneful. She was eating ALOT of it, and gobbling it down as fast as she could. However, she was getting sick, and had diarrhea alot. So, after reading the ingredients, I switched to ACANA large breed puppy. She eats less than 1/2 she did before, but is gaining more weight than before. She loves it, and is much more active! As for samples, ACANA does sell sample packs (about $2.75), and it is more expensive than Beneful, but she eats less and is more healthy. I figure, if you invest all this money into buying a dog, you better be prepared to give it the best you can. I definitely dont suggest Beneful, but do suggest ACANA!!

  8. Angie says:

    I am shocked to see this…. i am not even sure what made me search this. My two labs have been on this for at least 2 years and we have never had a problem. One of our labs has horrible gas, but assuming its just him, because the other one does not. Will consider looking deeper into this though…

  9. Bo Turner says:

    When I first boarded my Bichon poodle with a breeder, groomer and dog show Chanpion; she took one look at the Purina food I had bought for him and asked, “Are you trying to kill Rascal feeding him this shit?” I switched to
    Pedigree then, but I had been feeding him that junk too long and had to be out down about a year later, because he was blind and crippled! I now feed my mini Dachshund Science Diet to keep her weight down as recommended by my vet.

  10. Jennifer says:

    iv been feeding my dog (minature poodle) benifull for two years and he dosnt like it eats its im swithching and i cant realy buy other food for him becuase im only ten thats why my spellings not so good and i dont have that much money. but i recomend you swith now my dog vomits every once in a while

  11. Jennifer says:

    sorry last comment says switch typo

  12. Tessa says:

    I’ve had my Australian Shepherd on Beneful since he was a puppy… he’s now 1.5 years old and I just looks this up. It’s not very surprising…. There are lots of foods out there that are “cheap(er)” and are attractively marketed.

    Beneful’s bags are “pretty” and the different shapes and colors of the kibbles make us think it looks good. However, so many ingredients are used in Beneful that are controversial. Food dye and sugar are one of them.

    Overall rating for Beneful on the many websites i’ve visited, is a 1 out of 5 stars. It’s attractive to the human eye… So unhealthy for your 4 legged friend. I recently just switched to “Before Grain” which is a 5 star dog food made up of 96% real meat (You have the choice of Buffalo, Chicken, or Salmon) Check THAT out.

    Most importantly, after I’m finished transitioning my dog onto new food, his almost new/full bag of beneful is going to the DUMPSTER. I’d rather spend a few extra dollars on his food every month, then end up taking him to the vet for allergy or health related issues pertaining to Beneful.

  13. Barbara` says:

    Oh okay I have fed my five year old Boston terrier beneful dry with a small amount of wet food his entire life. small meals twice daily. He is healthy, active and alert! My two year old eats this as well. If I tried other dog food, then she had horrible gas! She is also active, healthy and alert. What the world??? Neither dog is fat or vomiting….wow. ….

  14. Valerie Emerson says:

    Though many dogs love avocados, words of warning are posted on the ASPCA Web page regarding the dangers of this popular fruit. While the oil from an avocado is known to give a pup a shiny coat, pet owners must be kept up to date on any sinister side effects.

    Both the ASPCA and APCC (Animal Poison Control Center) have listed that persin, an element in avocados, is known to be toxic to pets. They note it can damage tissue in animals, including, but not limited to, the lungs and heart. Additionally, the high fatty content in avocados can physically provoke severe stomach problems, vomiting, or even worse, pancreatitis.

  15. Elysia says:

    We had our three dogs on Beneful for several years. Recently we had to put our otherwise normally healthy 5 year old husky/lab cross down for acute kidney failure. The vet suggested we switch all of our other dogs to another better brand of food. (In all fairness, she didn’t make any suggestion that the Beneful caused the failure, but she did say our pups would have a better chance at a healthier life eating something else.)

    Within two weeks my little Chihuahua/terrier cross lost all the weight we had been struggling to get off with reduced portions and steady excersize!!! My suspicions were confirmed when later, completely out of food at home, and the pet store out of the new brand we had switched to, I caved and bought a bag of Beneful. Within two weeks again, the little guy had all his pudge back and was lazy as sin!

    Suffice to say, I’ll never feed them Beneful again.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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