Pet Food News

Gravy Train Dog Food, Made By Big Heart Pet Foods And Owned By Smucker's Under FDA Pentobarbital Investigation

Gravy Train is made by Big Heart Pet Foods and owned by Smucker's. WJLA news in Washington D.C. has found traces of a euthanasia drug in dog food. The station spoke with a family who say their five dogs had almost instantaneous reactions to eating a can of Evanger’s pet food they later learned was contaminated with pentobarbital, a lethal drug, most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats and some horses. One of the dogs ended up dying.

WJLA decided to launch their own investigation. They partnered with Ellipse Analytics, a lab that specializes in testing for contaminants in food. They said they tested 62 samples of wet dog food from more than two dozen brands for traces of the fatal drug. One particular brand continued to come back positive, Gravy Train dog food. Testing 15 cans of Gravy Train, 9 cans came back positive for the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

Big Heart Pet Foods is also the maker of Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages.

Read the complete article from WJLA here.

Excerpt from -

The FDA, just a short distance from the WJLA studios, also declined repeated requests for an on-camera interview. Instead of speaking to us, and answering our questions, they suggested we contact the Pet Food Institute, which is the trade organization that represents 98 percent of the pet food industry. We asked them to reconsider that response to which they replied that it “will investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement action.”

If you want to contact the FDA, Smucker’s or Big Heart Brands regarding this issue:

  • FDA: 888-463-6332
  • Smucker’s: 888-550-9555
  • Big Heart Brands: 415-247-3000


Can You Believe It's Been 10 Years Since The Biggest Dog And Cat Food Recall Happened?


Wow! It seems like yesterday. I remember seeing the countless recalls come through and getting calls from devastated pet parents who were looking for a healthy option for their beloved dogs and cats. It was awful. I didn't like picking up the phone because there were so many tears being shed from those affected. 

On March 15, 2007 the FDA notified Menu Foods that pets were dying. On March 16, 2007, the first recall was announced. In less than 3 weeks, the FDA had over 12,000 consumer complaints that their pets were dying and suffering permanent kidney damage. I remember opening my email each day and seeing recall after recall during the next few weeks. It was announced that more than 150 different pet foods were recalled. This recall included 5,500 specific products when you consider the different product sizes and manufacturing dates. This was HUGE and still haunts us to this day.

Thousands of pets died. So very sad.

Through the years there still is record numbers of recalls and many of the companies are repeat offenders. It pains me to see some of the "big names" that just keep pushing product. The recall is usually done on a Friday evening because that's when the internet slows down. Peeps are busy and getting ready for the weekend. By Monday the recall is barely a whisper. Just the way the big companies want it. The recall is also posted in the store, products removed and replaced with new products. By the time the consumer gets around to purchasing another bag of dog or cat food or cans of dog or cat food, the recall notice is pulled. The consumer never knows their food was recalled.

Recently we've had another slew of recalls. Names like Blue Buffalo, Wellness and Evangers. Blue Buffalo and Wellness have had recalls in the pat. Evangers did not have a recall, but did have other violations which included being accused of stealing 2 million dollars in gas and electric. Evangers recall was because they found Pentobarbital in a batch of their food. This is a euthanasia drug. 

When will it stop? We don't know. What we do know is that our dogs have never been affected by a recall. Since 2003, we have been feeding a food called Life's Abundance. Life's Abundance is a solid company that has been serving the pet community since 1999. There are a lot of "pop up pet food companies" that say they've never been recalled but they don't have a track record and longevity life Life's Abundance. We found them while we were doing research for our own furbabies and also owned a pet sitting business. Our pet sitting customers were asking us for recommendations and we needed to feel we were giving them solid products. Since we became distributors, we've never looked back. During the 2007 recalls and the countless recalls since then, we've never once been afraid. Life's Abundance genuinely cares about our pets. We've met the co-founders, CEO and staff - they are AMAZING. This team considers each and every one of you family. We urge you to visit Life's Abundance and start feeding and treating your loved one these fabulous products!

Lifes Abundance Dog And Cat Food