Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Pet food recall: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Dog Food

Pet food recall: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Dog Food

Where do you go when you’re looking for advice on what to feed your dog? Many pet owners would respond with; their veterinarian. As pet owners, we only want the best for our dogs and when it comes to their health, veterinary medicine is our greatest resource. Unfortunately, this is not always true for nutrition.

While skilled in many medical practices such as surgery, dentistry, and the treatment of disease, many clinic veterinarians fall short when it comes to nutrition. This is not their fault at all as veterinary medicine is a very broad profession and unless a vet seeks additional board certification in nutrition, their knowledge of pet food and specific brands is actually somewhat limited.

This becomes a problem when veterinarians only recommend diets based on what they supply in their clinic. Most veterinary or “prescription diets” are only produced by large corporations like Nestle Purina, Mars Pet Food and Hill’s Pet Food. These companies have gained a reputation for using poor quality ingredients in their food and cutting corners when it comes to profit over quality. However, they have still branded several products as “veterinary diets” to sell in clinics, even though they lack a lot of the basic elements that pet owners are looking for when it comes to food for their dogs.

Unfortunately, when it comes to large, multinational companies such as these, sometimes certain things can fall through the cracks which results in products having to be recalled. This is currently the case for Nestle Purina, as they recently had to recall one of the veterinary dog food products.

What was recalled?

On February 8, 2023 one of the largest pet food companies in the world, Nestle Purina, issued a voluntary recall on their Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets El Elemental Dry Dog Food. The products were all 8lb bags with UPC code #38100 19190 and 20lb bags with UPC code #38100 19192. The production codes for the products that were recalled are as follows:

  • 2249 1082
  • 2250 1082
  • 2276 1082
  • 2277 1082
  • 2290 1082
  • 2360 1082
  • 2361 1082

Why was it recalled?

Purina stated that they recalled their El Elemental Dry Dog Food due to potentially elevated vitamin D levels. The company made a public statement, saying that “Purina is taking this action after receiving two contacts about two separate confirmed cases of a dog exhibiting signs of vitamin D toxicity after consuming the diet, to date. Once taken off the diet, each of these dogs recovered.”

Vitamin D toxicity

Normally Vitamin D is added to pet food as a nutritional supplement to protect and promote healthy bone, heart, muscle and immune health. Too much Vitamin D however can cause toxicity. At toxic levels, Vitamin D can cause kidney failure and heart damage. In severe cases, too much Vitamin D can even be fatal.

What should I do if I purchased contaminated food?

Fortunately for Canadian pet owners, the recalled product was only sold and distributed in the US. If you happen to have purchased this product while in the US, pet owners are being asked to immediately stop feeding and throw it away in a container where no other animals, including wildlife, can get to it. 

A statement from the FDA was released in response to the recall and they had this advice for pet owners, “If signs such as weight loss, excessive drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite or increased thirst or urination have occurred in their dog while eating this diet, pet owners should contact their veterinarian.”

Pet owners are also urged to contact Purina directly at 1-800-345-5678 or via email at - usExternal Link Disclaimer for questions or assistance in getting a refund.

Take home message

Ideally, pet food companies should have a plan in place in the event a recall occurs. It is best if they recall their products as fast as possible, as well as having data on where all of the recalled inventory is. Pet food manufacturers also need to be transparent about the issues they are having with their specific product in order to win back customer trust. 

Recalls happen, however It is especially troubling when it is food that’s marketed as a veterinary product and is supplied in veterinary clinics. Contaminated pet food is not something that owners or dogs with health issues, or any dog for that matter, should have to be concerned about.

The best thing to do as a pet owner is to be aware of product recalls. Recalls can either be found on the FDA website or you can also sign up for the Dog Food Advisor recall alert on their website.

cardboard boxes with the word product recall stamped on it
cardboard boxes with the word product recall stamped on it

View Sources

FDA. 2023. “Nestlé Purina Petcare Company Voluntarily Recalls Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets El Elemental Dry Dog Food in the U.S. Due to Potentially Elevated Vitamin D”. 

Petful. 2023. “Recalled: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Dog Food”. 

Pet food processing. 2023. “Purina recalls dry dog food due to vitamin D toxicity”. 

Dog Food Advisor. 2023. “Purina Recalls Pro Plan Vet Diet Product Due to Elevated Levels of Vitamin D”.

Try Kabo

Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Now serving Ontario, British Columbia, Montréal, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
Formulated by expert nutritionists.
Free delivery!
Learn More
Days 1 & 2
75% old food
25% Kabo (cooked, kibble, or both)
Days 3 & 4
50% old food
50% Kabo
Days 5 & 6
25% old food
75% Kabo
Days 7+
100% fresh, human-grade Kabo!
Try Kabo

Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Nutritious, human-grade, Canadian food customized for your dog.
Developed by nutritional experts & Vet recommended.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Get Fresh - 40% OFF

More from our blog

February 20, 2024
5 minutes
Want more healthy tips for your dog?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* Add a notice about your Privacy Policy here.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
River Park
Bowmont Park
Sue Higgins Park
Nose Hill Park
Tom Campbell's Hill