People Are Freaking Out About “Wires” in Pedigree Pet Food

Mars Petcare isn’t saying much, beyond a few comments that these are probably just “natural fibers such as pig hair.” What in the world is going on here?

By: Heather R.
Is it a fiber? A hard plastic wire? Pig hair? Pedigree isn’t saying very much. By: Heather R.

Wire in pet food? That’s the claim running rampant on social media, with many people reporting seeing pieces of plastic or wire in Pedigree brand dry pet food.

Following are some of the stories we’re hearing:

  • “I inspected my Pedigree for small dogs and also found what appears to be small plastic pieces/wires sticking out of some of the morsels.” —Diana M.
  • “I too have found multiple pieces of this wire in my dog’s food…. My dog for the last week has been having stomach issues.” —Jessica C.
  • “We saw these posts and articles about wires found in the food. Went home and found multiple pieces with small black wires in them.” —Kristen R.
  • “Here’s what I got in my bag labeled ‘Meatier Recipe’: Coarse plastic-like shards protruding from the pieces. I urge everyone to check their dogs’ food promptly.” —Erin G.
  • “I have found these little black wires in my dog food! They are throughout the whole bag! Many people are reporting this.” —Koree R.
  • “Found more of these little wire/fibers in our dog’s food! What is wrong with you people! Are you trying to kill people’s pets?” —Brandon T.
  • “This is not pig hair or plant fibers. It’s a hard piece of plastic that goes into the skin!” —Ev C.
  • “Found a plastic wire in my dog’s food. Not just 1 piece. But 27 pieces so far. This dog food is not safe.” —Maria S.
  • “I took a handful of food out of this bag, and every dark brown piece had black or clear plastic/wires in it. This is completely unacceptable!” —Joe-Dayna P.

And on and on and on…

We’re counting dozens, perhaps hundreds of comments just like these pouring in on Pedigree’s Facebook page. There’s a sort of hysteria happening online, and Pedigree isn’t doing very much to quell it.

The company can’t seem to keep up with the sheer number of comments, but the basic reply seems to be this:

“These are naturally-occurring fibers from meat and bone meal, like pig hair, and are completely safe for your dog to consume.”

Here’s a screen shot of a similar reply:

pedigree-response-to-hairs-in-dog-food

Pig hair. Now, doesn’t that make you feel better? It’s natural! (Pardon the sarcasm.)

In fact, pig hair has been to blame before in Pedigree pet food. This past spring, customers complained about “stiff fibers” showing up in Pedigree Marrobone dog treats. Mars Petcare responded that “it’s possible for natural fibers such as pig hair to appear in the finished product. While consumers may not have noticed these natural fibers when feeding their dog, we can assure them that the treats are safe for dogs to enjoy.”

This time, though, the problem seems to be more widespread. The hair seems to be appearing in a variety of dry pet foods from Pedigree.

Some people are comparing the fibers to dental floss or toothbrush bristles. By: Dave Baker/Petful
Some people are comparing the fibers to dental floss or toothbrush bristles. By: Dave Baker/Petful

According to Mollie Morrissette of the blog Poisoned Pets, “The problem with Mars’ explanation is that filth, such as animal hair, is not allowed in pet food — at least not much of it anyway. And certainly not in the amount consumers are finding.”

AAFCO guidelines specify that meat and bone meal should have no hair, “except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”

Morrissette asks: “Is Mars capable of manufacturing a pet food without hair, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices? Or does it appear that pig hair is in such abundant quantities that they are clearly visibly to the naked eye…? Or should Mars be accused of negligence, by not using good processing practices and selling substandard pet food?”

I picked up a random bag of dog food from a local grocery store. Here’s what I found in the bag:

https://youtu.be/SkiDpXe28_o

Let’s hope the company gives everyone a decent answer — and soon. After all, pets’ lives are on the line. If the food needs to be recalled, then recall it. The sooner, the better.

Here are just a few of the many photos rolling in from concerned customers:

Kristen R.
Kristen R.
Jessica C.
Jessica C.
Erin G.
Erin G.
Kimberly S.
Kimberly S.
Brittney L.
Brittney L.
Matt O.
Matt O.
Alicia S.
Alicia S.
Nicole C.
Nicole C.
Kristine C.
Kristine C.
Julia D.
Julia D.
Ev C.
Honest labeling. By: Petful
Honest labeling. By: Petful

Have you found something odd in your Pedigree pet food? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Dave Baker, founder and publisher of Petful, is a journalist and editor who has worked at The New York Times and The Nation magazine. He was also part of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize–winning team at The Times-Picayune newspaper of New Orleans. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where Petful is now based. A longtime advocate for pet food safety, Dave has been passionately tracking pet food recalls for the past 10-plus years, and more than 30,000 pet parents are subscribed to his recall alerts — which often arrive faster than even the recall alerts put out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Clemson University, where he studied journalism and was editor in chief of The Tiger, a student newspaper twice awarded Best in Show during his years there by the Associated Collegiate Press. A passionate animal lover, Dave has cared for a number of dogs, cats and other small pets over the years. Learn more about Dave and the rest of the amazing Petful team here: Meet the Team.

 

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