Natural Balance Pet Food

Important recall information appears below.

Developed and owned by Dick Van Patten and Joey Herrick in 1989, Natural Balance pet foods strives to provide nutritional, good food for pets. Natural Balance partnered with Petco to honor dogs who have served in the military, raising over $1 million for the cause.


In 2013, Natural Balance merged with Del Monte Pet Foods. Del Monte Pet Foods was renamed in February 2014 to Big Heart Pet Brands. Finally, little more than a year later, the J.M. Smucker company acquired Big Heart Pet Brands, though the contact information is the same for now.

Patten, the actor and animal welfare advocate whose name graces every package, died in summer 2015.

Natural Balance Quick Facts

Brand line includes: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Formula, Natural Balance Alpha Dry Dog Formula, Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Calorie Dry Dog Formula, Natural Balance Ultra-Premium Canned Cat Formula, Natural Balance Delectable Delights, as well as many treats for dogs and cats
Cost: $$$$
Company: Big Heart Pet Brands Inc.
Headquarters: One Maritime Plaza, San Francisco CA, 94111
Contact info: 1-800-829-4493, email

Has Natural Balance Ever Been Recalled?

Yes. This pet food brand has had a few recalls over the years.

But before we go into the full recall history for Natural Balance, we first want to alert our readers to the fact that, in late June 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified Natural Balance as one of 16 pet food brands that may be linked to heart disease in dogs and cats. None of those 16 brands have been recalled as part of the agency’s ongoing investigation, though. Most, but not all, of the pet foods are “grain-free” and/or dry (kibble) dog food formulations. The FDA says this is a “complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors,” and that it cannot even be certain that diet is a cause of the heart problems. For full details, see our article on the subject.

Now we’ll discuss what actually has been recalled in the past …

For starters, the massive melamine recall of 2007 involved some of the Natural Balance line. Later that year, some Natural Balance products were recalled because botulinum — the toxin that causes botulism — was found in a non–pet food product that was produced in the same plant as the Natural Balance foods.


Also, in 2010 and 2012, there were recalls because of potential salmonella contamination. The full list of Natural Balance recalls appears below.

List of Natural Balance Recalls

May 2012

Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA report dated May 4, 2012What was recalled: The following Natural Balance dry dog foods:

  • 5 lb. Sweet Potato & Venison, Lot Code #NBH1202, “Best By” Dec. 12–13, 2012;  Lot Code #NBH0103, “Best By” March 13, 2013 (date corrected by FDA May 11, 2012)
  • 15 lb. Sweet Potato & Venison, Lot Code #NBH0101, “Best By” March 5–6, 2013; Lot Code #NBH1202, “Best By” Dec. 12–13, 2012; Lot Code #NBH1203, “Best By” Dec. 13–14, 2012
  • 28 lb. Sweet Potato & Venison, Lot Code #NBH0101, “Best By” March 5–6, 2013; Lot Code #NBH0102, “Best By” March 7–8, 2013; Lot Code #NBH0103, “Best By” March 12, 2013; Lot Code #NBH1202, “Best By” Dec. 12–13, 2012; Lot Code #NBH1203, “Best By” Dec. 13–14, 2012
  • 5 lb., 15 lb. and 28 lb. Lamb Meal & Brown Rice, Lot Code #NBR1202, “Best By” Dec. 10, 2012; Lot Code #NBR1203, “Best By” Dec. 21–22, 2012
  • 5 lb. Sweet Potato & Bison, Lot Code #NBT1202, “Best By” Dec. 17–18, 2012; Lot Code #NBT1203, “Best By” Dec. 28–29, 2012
  • 15 lb. and 28 lb. Sweet Potato & Bison, Lot Code #NBT1201, “Best By” Dec. 9, 2012; Lot Code #NBT1202, “Best By” Dec. 17–18, 2012; Lot Code #NBT1203, “Best By” Dec. 28–29, 2012
  • 5 lb. Vegetarian, Lot Code #NBV1201, “Best By” Dec. 9, 2012
  • 28 lb. Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Large Breed Bites, Lot Code #NLB1202, “Best By” Dec. 12, 2012; Lot Code #NLB1203, “Best By” Dec. 20–21, 2012
  • 5 lb. and 12.5 lb. Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites Lot Code #NSL1201 Best By Date: December 21, 2012

June 2010

Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA report dated June 18, 2010What was recalled: 5 lb. and 28 lb. bags of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Formula with “Best By” June 17, 2011.

July 2007

Cause: Potential for ofbotulinum (bacteria that causes botulism). Announcement: FDA report dated July 21, 2007What was recalled: 15 oz. cans of the following varieties of Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs:

  • Irish Stew With Beef, Potatoes & Carrots
  • Chinese Take Out With Sauce With Vegetables and Chicken
  • HOBO Chili With Chicken & Pasta
  • Southern Style Dumplings With Chicken & Vegetables

March 2007

Cause: Melamine. Announcement: AVMA report (archived). What was recalled: The following Natural Balance foods:

  • Beef, Chicken and Lamb Formula Dog Food, 13 oz. cans
  • Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods
  • Venison and Brown Rice dog treats
  • Ocean Fish Formula Cat Food 3 oz. and 6 oz. cans
  • Venison and Green Pea dry cat food

If you have not done so already, we urge you to sign up now for Petful’s FREE recall alerts by email. Our free alerts are saving pets’ lives.

Have You Had a Problem With Natural Balance?

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At Petful®, founded by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and editor Dave Baker, we are on a mission to give our readers the best, most accurate information to help their pets live happier, healthier lives. Our team of expert writers includes veterinarians Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, and Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, among others. Petful is also the leading independent source of U.S. pet food recall information on the web. Learn more about the amazing team behind Petful here: Meet the Team.

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