Wellness Pet Food Recall History

Has Wellness Ever Been Recalled?

Yes, Wellness Pet Food has been recalled multiple times. The most recent Wellness recall was announced on March 18th, 2017 due to elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. In total, Wellness has been recalled five times.

The Wellness brand of pet food was launched in 1997 by WellPet. The company's first brand of dog food was Old Mother Hubbard (which is still available). Although Wellness has been recalled five times within two decades, Old Mother Hubbard has never been recalled.

Not only has the oldest brand never been recalled, neither have any of the other 3 brands owned by WellPet (Holistic Select, Eagle Pack, and Sojos). The fact that Wellness has issued 5 recalls and none of the other brands owned by WellPet have had any recalls is a very strange observation.

List of Wellness Recalls

March 17, 2017

WellPet announced a voluntarily recall for one variety of canned dog food. The recalled canned dog food is called Wellness 95% Beef Topper. The affected product is packaged in 13.2 ounce cans and has an expiration date of 2/2/2019, 8/29/2019, or 8/30/19.

The affected products may contain elevated levels of a naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. According to WellPet, symptoms of consuming the affected canned dog food may include the following: increased thirst, increased urination, restless behavior, and weight loss.

On the same day this recall was issued, Blue Buffalo also announced a recall for the same exact reason. Most likely, Blue Buffalo canned foods and Wellness canned foods are produced within the same facility.

February 10, 2017

WellPet recalled several varieties of canned cat food. The company was notified that foreign material was found in some non-WellPet products manufactured in the same facility as Wellness canned cat foods. Therefore, WellPet decided to issue a voluntary recall as a precautionary measure.

Here are the identifying details of the affected products (12.5 ounce canned cat foods):

  • Chicken & Herring Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 04 AUG 2019)
  • Chicken Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 03 AUG 2019 & 04 AUG 2019)
  • Chicken & Lobster Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 04 AUG 2019)
  • Turkey & Salmon Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 05 AUG 2019)
  • Turkey Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 04 AUG 2019 & 05 AUG 2019)
  • Beef & Chicken Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 05 AUG 2019)
  • Beef & Salmon Canned Cat Food (Best By Date: 05 AUG 2019)
October 30, 2012

Wellness announced a recall for its 12 pound Small Breed Adult Healthy Dry Dog Food. The food's moisture content was higher than expected. According to the announcement, "High Moisture can cause food to mold before its expiration date."

The affected dry dog food has an expiration date of August 18, 2013. No other products were included in the recall.

May 4, 2012

WellPet announced a voluntary recall for one recipe of Wellness dry dog food because of a possible salmonella contamination. The dry food was produced by Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina. Here is a snippet of the original press release:

May 4, 2012 - WellPet LLC announced a voluntary recall of one recipe of Wellness® dry dog food after being notified by Diamond Pet Foods regarding the presence of Salmonella in Diamond’s Gaston, South Carolina facility.

All Wellness products are tested for Salmonella and all lots tested negative prior to shipping to customers. The company is voluntarily recalling the select products below. This voluntary recall is being done out of an abundance of caution as these products were produced at the facility that has been linked to recent recalls of Diamond brand foods due to the threat of Salmonella.

Products being recalled: Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy (15 lbs, 30 lbs, 5 oz) with best by dates of JAN 9 2013 through JAN 11 2013.

February 28, 2011

Wellness recalled certain lots of Wellness canned cat food due to insufficient levels of thiamine. Here are the main points from the original press release:

While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine. However, out of an abundance of caution, WellPet has decided to recall all of the lots listed below.

Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

Here are the products included in the recall:

  • Wellness Canned Cat Food (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13.
  • Wellness Canned Cat Food Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.

Where Is Wellness Made?

Wellness dog foods and cat foods are made in the USA. The WellPet company owns its own manufacturing facility located in Mishawaka, Indiana. The vast majority of products (including all dry foods) are produced within the company's own Mishawaka, Indiana facility. However, it appears that most Wellness canned food products are produced elsewhere.

By studying the recall history of Wellness, it appears that the canned foods are manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. We know that Diamond Pet Foods owns five different pet food facilities through the United States. Unfortunately, pet foods manufactured in Diamond Pet Food facilities have been involved in some very serious recalls.

Is Wellness Pet Food Safe?

Wellness pet food is often considered a premium pet food brand. None of the brands owned by WellPet contain any artificial preservatives or artificial food dyes.

It appears that WellPet has recently increased the size of its Mishawaka, Indiana manufacturing facility. The expansion is a positive step forward for the company because it allows them to outsource less of their production. By manufacturing foods within their own facilities, they could reduce the likelihood of contamination and manufacturing errors.

Most brands owned by WellPet have not been involved in any recalls we've been able to find. However, Wellness has been recalled on five different occasions. We're not certain why there is such a large discrepancy between the recall record of Wellness and the recall record of the 3 other brands owned by WellPet.

Given that Wellness is the company's #1 selling brand, WellPet may have been forced to outsource the manufacturing of Wellness. This could be a possible reason for the discrepancy in recalls, but that is just speculation on our part.

One particular issue that bothers us regarding WellPet is the way in which they announce recalls. Of the five Wellness recalls, two of the recalls were never mentioned on the FDA website. Instead, they decided to only announce the recalls on their own website and Facebook page. We're not sure why those two recalls (February 10, 2017, October 30, 2012) were not announced by the FDA.

Generally, WellPet has had an excellent record of safety throughout its history. Even with Wellness, most recalls have been precautionary in nature. We haven't reported any serious illnesses or deaths attributed to any Wellness pet food recall.

Furthermore, public option of Wellness is positive relative to many of its competitors. Therefore, we believe that Wellness is one of the better premium brands of pet food commercially available.

We are fairly confident in the safety of the dry food recipes offered by Wellness, however we have serious concerns regarding the canned food varieties. Hopefully WellPet will continue expanding its own facilities to accommodate the manufacturing canned pet food.