As reports of dog illnesses linked to Purina’s Pro Plan food caused a stir on TikTok in recent weeks, a Purina spokeswoman said that the rumors “are not true and that our food is safe to feed.”
Purina has been forced to rebut what it described as “online rumors” that have caused a frenzy on TikTok in recent weeks alleging that its Pro Plan food had sickened dozens of pets, mostly dogs.
Days after the company issued a statement in which it said “these false statements may be creating unnecessary stress for pet parents,” a Purina spokeswoman said on Thursday that there was “absolutely no data showing us that there is a pattern of problems” with any Purina product.
“During the past few days, we have seen an increase in consumers who are scared and reaching out to ask if we have a product recall or issue after seeing this rumor,” the spokeswoman, Lorie Westhoff, said in an email. “In response, we are informing them that these rumors are not true and that our food is safe to feed.”
Purina, which is based in St. Louis and is a subsidiary of Nestlé, was responding to unsubstantiated accounts that were shared in TikTok videos that accumulated thousands of views, and in a public Facebook group with 62,000 members called Saving Pets One Pet @ A Time. Dogs were having seizures, vomiting and suffering from diarrhea, according to these accounts, and some were dying, after eating Purina Pro Plan food.
Worried pet owners encouraged a Purina boycott. By last week, the Facebook group had received nearly 197 anecdotal reports that animals — 151 dogs and 46 cats — had fallen ill, and that 51 of them had died.
Purina said there was no evidence to support those reports.
“We know this is a rumor because we have absolutely no data showing us that there is a pattern of problems with any specific product,” Ms. Westhoff said. “As a company that feeds more than 100 million cats and dogs each year, we don’t take risks with pet health ever.”