Purina Dog Food Killing Dogs – The Truth


The story is horrific. You purchase dog food based on what you see advertised on TV and in magazines and promoted/pushed at you in every big box pet store. Of course you think that the foods you’re purchasing are healthy, that they are good for your dogs and that there’s no way that the people manufacturing these products would ever do something to put a pet’s life at risk.

If you believe this, you’d be wrong.

The story that has burst into the news this past week regarding the lawsuit against Purina is merely another sad salvo in a story that should have ended several years ago when the first stories of tainted pet food hit the news. The first time I remember major stories related to ingredients in some pet foods coming from China and resulting in dog deaths was back in 2006-2007. Several large manufacturers were procuring their “meal” product for their dog food from factories in China, which were using chemically based and otherwise tainted materials to create the meal. The result, dogs and cats were dropping dead from kidney and liver failure.

Fast forward and much progress has been made in world of pet food and I’m happy to report that there are quite a few fabulous pet food companies putting rigorous attention to providing not only clean and healthy products but even focusing more so on ingredients that can help with behavioral issues.

The simple fact is this … the ingredients in your dog’s food and treats matter just as much as the ingredients in the food you put into your own body. Full stop.

Beyond the obvious issues raised by this story – that the wrong food and ingredients can actually kill your dog – the impact on canine behavior from the food they consume is substantial. The very first thing I address when working with a new training client is how and what the dog is being fed, and in many cases adjustment to diet and feeding routine can result in substantial improvement to the dog’s behavior.

If you want to know some ingredients to avoid, here’s a solid list:

  • Corn – no one should eat this stuff, forget the GMO side of things and think of it like giving your dog a bag of candy bars
  • Soy – enormous source of allergy and water retention
  • Wheat – another major source of allergy
  • By-products – the stuff left over after anything edible has been used … ewwwwww
  • Propolene Glycol – another preservative (petroleum based) that is cancer causing
  • BHA and BHT – two preservatives proven to cause tumors, cancer and behavioral change in dogs
  • Ethoxyquin – this is a pesticide used as preservative in food to keep it on shelves longer.

Best recommendation for your dog? A grain-free diet with limited ingredients provided by a company that has some ethics. Great brands we recommend at Hydrant Club include:

  • Taste of the Wild
  • Orijen
  • Zignature
  • PurVita
  • Stella & Chewy’s
  • Good Dog Food Company

These are but a few of the wonderful food options available on the market today for your pup. Do yourself, and your dog, a favor – get educated. Want to know a company’s track record, check out whether they’ve had recalls – and most importantly if they have, how they handled them. (Even some of the best companies have had an issue here and there, it’s about how they handle it and whether they address the issue.).Read labels, ask questions and make sure you know from where a company sources its ingredients, how those ingredients are processed/packaged and most of all the ethics of the business from which you purchase.