Purina dispels 'online rumors' that its pet food is sickening dogs and cats

Purina said that while some online posts are written by 'well-intentioned pet parents,' others may be trying to sow 'chaos'

Purina has dispelled recent "online rumors" that claim the company’s pet food has sickened hundreds of animals

The company said last week that the "false statements may be creating unnecessary stress for pet parents. There are no health or safety issues with any of our products, and they can continue to be fed with confidence."

"At Purina, we take pride in feeding 46 million dogs and 68 million cats every year," Purina wrote in a news release. "The quality, safety and nutrition of our products is our highest priority, and we take feedback from concerned pet owners and veterinarians very seriously."

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hungry dog

Purina said "false statements" that its pet food is making dogs and cats sick are causing "unnecessary stress for pet parents." (iStock / iStock)

Purina explained that its quality assurance team conducts 100,000 quality checks each day, "across our factory network with the goal of ensuring our products are safe at every stage of the process — from when our ingredients arrive at our factories to when we ship our final food and treats out to retailers and consumers. Our comprehensive program ensures the foods you feed your pets, and that we feed our own, are safe."

It added, "The health and safety of pets — yours and our own — will never be compromised." 

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The rumors appeared to come from various social media platforms, including an unsubstantiated Facebook post that claimed various Purina products had caused hundreds of pets in North America and Europe to get sick with symptoms such as diarrhea and seizures since last month. It claimed nearly 200 dogs and cats had died. 

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"If you or someone you know is feeding this food, I recommend you stop the food immediately," the poster wrote. "Do NOT wait until your pet gets sick or Purina issues a recall."

man petting his lab

Purina asked consumers to reach out to the company with any concerns after reading online posts.  (iStock / iStock)

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't have any current recalls for any Purina products.

Purina asked consumers to reach out to the company with any concerns after reading online posts. 

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"We also recommend researching the source of these posts," the company wrote. "Some are well-intentioned pet parents who are genuinely concerned and trying to be helpful, while others may be trying to create chaos and distrust of certain brands as an opportunity to sell their own products. Either way, please know that if there is a confirmed issue with any Purina product, we will be sharing that information with our consumers first."

Early last year, Purina recalled some prescription dog foods after two dogs exhibited signs of vitamin D toxicity.

vet petting corgi

Early last year, Purina recalled some prescription dog foods. (iStock / iStock)

According to a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the pet food company voluntarily recalled select lots of its Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental prescription dry dog food "due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D." 

The affected dog food was distributed across the U.S. by prescription only through veterinary clinics, Purina Vet Direct and Purina for Professionals. It was also sold by other select retailers that have the ability to validate a prescription, according to the recall notice. Both dogs recovered.

No other Purina pet care products were included in the recall.

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Officials said that vitamin D is considered an essential nutrient for dogs, but "elevated levels can lead to health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure."

FOX Business' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.