Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since the first posting.
Several days ago, we started reading reports of dry food possibly making pets sick, specifically Iams. We then asked our readers to provide their experience to us. Here’s what we found:
Number of pets covered: 134 (47 cats, 87 dogs)
Reported ARF (Acute Renal Failure): 24 (17%) 15 cats, 9 dogs
Cat Deaths: 20 | Cat Illnesses: 26
Dog Deaths: 9 | Dog Illnesses: 77
Since our report, one DRY food from Hills has been recalled so far.
We caution you against accepting this as the final word as these are self-reported numbers from parents who have been reading about other sick or dying pets. Given the caveats, the brands that really stood out were Iams, Nutro, and Science Diet. We expected quite a few Iams reports since the survey results from posts about sick pets who ate Iams, (read about Menu Foods’ exclusive contract with Iams) but the Nutro reports seemed to have come from nowhere. Of the 5 reported deaths parents linked to Nutro, 3 were from Acute Renal Failure. 3 ARF deaths were reportedly linked with Science Diet and 7 were linked with Iams. There may be legitimate reason why some brands are on this list, for example, Science Diet may be recommended by vets to particularly sick pets.
Our numbers are not enough data to make any conclusive decision, but some correlations were highly troubling. We are highly in favor of a statistically correct and significant study of dry food-related problems. And we’d love to hear your thoughts in our comments.
Important note: If you feel that dry food is causing your pet to fall ill, please contact the FDA.
Number of Specific Cat Food Brand Reported: What to feed your cat
Iams: 17 (ARF: 5 dead, 1 sick)
Purina: 6 (ARF: 1 dead)
Science Diet: 5 (ARF: 3 dead)
Nutro: 4 (ARF: 1 dead, 1 sick)
Special Kitty: 3 (ARF: 1 dead, 2 sick)
Royal Canin: 1 (No ARF)
Number of Specific Dog Food Brand Reported: What to feed your dog
Iams: 21 (ARF: 1 dead, 2 sick)
Nutro: 14 (ARF: 2 dead)
Ol’Roy: 5 (ARF: 1 dead)
Eukanuba: 2 (ARF: 1 sick)
No ARF reported:
Science Diet: 4
Natural Balance: 1
Trader Joe’s: 1