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Beneful Dog Food Review

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1 Paw



Find Out Why Dog Owners Strongly Disagree With Our Low Rating Of Beneful Dog Food

Company Information

Beneful Dog Food Review

Beneful Dog Food and Snacks for Dogs are made by Nestle Purina, the pet food division of Nestle. Nestle Purina is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world. They make dog and cat food brands such as Alpo, Fancy Feast, Purina One, Purina ProPlan, Tender Vittles, Friskies, and countless others.

Purina, as part of Ralston-Purina, has been in the business of making animal feeds for decades, though they sold off Purina Mills, their animal feed business, in the 1990s so they wouldn’t be in violation of anti-trust regulations. Purina Mills is now owned by Land o’ Lakes. Today Purina mainly focuses on pet food. They were largely untouched by the pet food recall in 2007 and only had to recall Mighty Dog pouch products as a precaution and Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food. Beneful and their other kibbles were not affected.

Purina Farms has a beautiful event facility and visitor’s center in Gray Summit, Missouri. Many dog clubs, rescue organizations, and other animal groups hold events there. There are dog shows, herding trials, agility trials, cat shows, and other events open to the public. They support both dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club and dog rescue groups. Purina also donates pet food during disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, when there are floods and fires, and other times there are people and pets in need. They have a very active and commendable outreach all over the country and in Canada. Many people criticize their pet foods because some of them do contain large amounts of corn and other grains, but as a company, Purina has to get high marks. They do a lot of good things.

Find Out Why Dog Owners Strongly Disagree With Our Low Rating Of Beneful Dog Food

Product Overview

Beneful advertises the fact that it is made from “wholesome grains,” real beef, and vegetables, so if you’re looking for a grain-free dog food, or a food with less grain, this is not the food for your dog. Now, we can talk about whether these wholesome grains and vegetables are really healthy for your dog, but that’s the thinking behind this food. You can find Beneful in any grocery store. It is priced for most budgets. It looks like a nice food in terms of packaging and it is marketed as such. Certainly when it was introduced a few years ago, many choosy dog owners were willing to try it simply based on the nice packaging and promotion.

Dry Food Products

Canned Food Products

  • Medleys Mediterranean Style
  • Medleys Romana Style Medley
  • Medleys Tuscan Style Medley
  • Prepared Meals Beef and Chicken Medley
  • Prepared Meals Beef Stew
  • Prepared Meals Chicken Stew
  • Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Beef Recipe
  • Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Pork Recipe
  • Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Turkey Recipe
  • Prepared Meals Roasted Chicken Recipe
  • Prepared Meals Roasted Turkey Medley
  • Prepared Meals Savory Rice and Lamb Stew
  • Prepared Meals Simmered Beef Entree
  • Simmered Chicken Medley


  • Beneful Baked Delights Stars with Bacon and Cheese
  • Beneful Baked Delights Stars with Chicken and Cheese
  • Beneful Baked Delights Hugs
  • Beneful Baked Delights Quacks
  • Beneful Baked Delights Snackers

Beneful Original Dry Dog Food Review

Ingredients In Beneful Original Brand Dog Food

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, water, meat and bone meal, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, salt, animal digest, potassium chloride, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried peas, dried carrots, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, Red 40, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, brewers dried yeast, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.


Review Of Beneful Brand Dog Food Original

As you can see, the first ingredient in this kibble food isground yellow corn. Corn gluten meal and whole wheat flour are also in the first five ingredients. As mentioned, Beneful advertises the fact that it contains “wholesome grains.” The problem, of course, is that dogs don’t really need grains – at least not in large amounts. Certainly not as the first or largest ingredient in a food. Corn isn’t a “bad” ingredient and most dogs can eat it without any problem. It’s not true that corn “causes” allergies. Corn and other grains simply exist. Your dog’s immune system determines whether or not it will develop an allergic reaction to something. If your dog encounters any protein often enough, there is the possibility that he could develop an allergy to it. You could feed your dog ostrich meat and if your dog’s immune system finds something objectionable in it, he could develop an allergy. It just so happens that when some ingredients, including corn, are used in lots of food, it means that there is a greater opportunity for some dogs to develop an allergy to them. So, if your dog is allergic to corn, or wheat, or rice, or any of the grains used in Beneful, by all means, avoid this food. But, again, this doesn’t mean that any of these ingredients are particularly bad. If dog food manufacturers used duck in lots of foods, then more dogs would become allergic to duck. It’s simply a matter of exposure and statistics.

Leaving aside the grains, the other two ingredients in the top five are chicken by-product meal and animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E). By-product meal is not as desirable as other forms of meat but at least it is identified as chicken. This means that you are feeding your dog “dry, ground, rendered clean parts of the chicken carcass” according to AAFCO. It is high in protein though it is not as good or digestible as whole chicken or chicken meal. But it’s not a bed ingredient. Animal fat, on the other hand, is not nearly as good as a named source of fat. The fat can come from any kind of animal. It is a plus that the fat has been preserved with mixed tocopherols – a form of vitamin E, and not with artificial preservatives such as BHA or BHT.

The remainder of the ingredients that stand out include rice flour and soy flour – more plant protein which is not as easy for your dog to digest. There is also beef which by itself is good, though what form the beef is in isn’t indicated. There is also meat and bone meal and animal digest which are less desirable sources of meat protein. The food also contains propylene glycol, sugar, and salt which are added for taste and not particularly good for your dog. In addition, the food has a lot of dyes and artificial colors to appeal to the consumer. This is a very bright, colorful food if you’ve ever seen it in a bag or bowl! There’s really no need for all that coloring. Your dog doesn’t care about or need it and some of the coloring comes from dyes that some people have linked to cancer.

Find Out Why Dog Owners Strongly Disagree With Our Low Rating Of Beneful Dog Food

Quality Of Ingredients

Despite the abundance of grains in the first several ingredients, the overall quality of the ingredients in the food does not look too bad. “Chicken by-product meal” is better than an unnamed source of by-products, for example. The food uses some natural preservatives instead of some of the more worrisome preservatives such as BHA. Certainly the food features lots of grain and much less meat protein than most dog owners will want for their dogs, but it could be worse.

Wholesome Grains And Veggies

Now, about the whole idea of dogs eating wholesome grains and veggies – those great looking foods on the Beneful package. Grains and veggies – and meat – are terrific for people but there is lots of confusion in people’s minds between what’s good for humans and what’s good for dogs. This food, perhaps more than any other, plays on that confusion. Your dog doesn’t need to eat wholesome grains (see how they make you think of “whole” grains which people are told to eat?) or veggies in any large amount. Your dog needs to eat meat protein. It’s perfectly fine to fill in his diet with some plant protein in the form of vegetables and grains. They will provide some of the vitamins and minerals he doesn’t get from meat. But that’s completely different from feeding your dog a food that is top heavy with corn and other grains. Humans need to eat that kind of balanced diet, but a balanced diet for a dog is not the same thing.

Lots of dog owners spend a lot of money to feed their dogs a better diet because of the human trend toward eating healthier, and that’s great. Just remember that your dog doesn’t need to eat the same thing you eat. You don’t have to completely cut out grains or vegetables for your dog, but keep in mind that you are an omnivore and your dog is a carnivore. A diet that is good for you isn’t necessarily good for your dog.

Special Concerns

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity) is a controversial chemical. It is a synthetic source of vitamin K3. There are a number of reasons why the synthetic form is controversial, among them the fact that there have been no long-term studies about the safety of the synthetic form of the vitamin added to the dog’s diet, even in pet food. Menadione is banned for human use in some European countries because of its side effects. The FDA has banned synthetic vitamin K from over-the-counter supplements because of its toxicity levels. Dogs can get natural vitamin K from other sources such as fish meal, alfalfa, kelp, and blue-green algae. So, when you see the synthetic form of vitamin K added to dog food – as it is in many dog foods – it does raise concerns.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • 25.0% Crude Protein (Min)
  • 1.1% Calcium (Ca) (Min)
  • 10.0% Crude Fat (Min)
  • 175 mg/kgIron (Fe) (Min)
  • 4.0% Crude Fiber (Max)
  • 0.2 mg/kgSelenium (Se) (Min)
  • 14.0% Moisture (Max)
  • 10,000 IU/kgVitamin A (Min)
  • 1.5% Linoleic Acid (Min)
  • 100 IU/kgVitamin E (Min)

Beneful Original provides 25 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is well above the government’s recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). Much of this protein probably comes from the first ingredient listed – ground yellow corn – and from the corn gluten meal, so your dog might not be able to digest all of the protein, but this is still a good protein percentage. The 10 percent fat in Beneful Original is also well within the government’s recommendations (9 to 15 percent for an adult dog).

Company Reputation And Quality Control Issues

Purina has an excellent reputation when it comes to their products and manufacturing. They rarely have a recall of any of their products for any reason which is remarkable considering the millions or billions of pounds of pet food they produce annually. Beneful has not been involved in any pet food recalls either.


Beneful is chock full of corn, wheat, and rice, with a few veggies thrown in for good measure. Your dog doesn’t particularly need any of these things and some dogs are even allergic to them. But, if your dog is not allergic to them and you are on a budget, this food is not the worst food in the world. But you can certainly find much better foods with more meat protein and better ingredients if you are able to spend a little more money.

Beneful dog food has received our 1 paw rating.


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