Ol’ Roy Dog Food Withdrawn For Deadly Drug Contamination; Pentobarbital Found In Canned Dog Food

UPDATE (June 21, 2019) : Because of the tremendous amount of traffic this post has recieved and the overwhelming number of panicked replies and emails – I need to emphasize that this article was written on February 15, 2018. While the problem with Ol’ Roy Dog Food may be dated, the problem of pentobarbital surfacing in pet food continues today.

Today, we learn of yet another national brand of dog food was found to contain the lethal euthanizing drug sodium pentobarbital: Walmart’s brand Ol’ Roy canned dog food. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is now in the process of quietly removing it from all 4,700 stores across America.

At this point, we do not know which Ol’ Roy formulas are affected. There is no information on Walmart’s recall page about the Ol’ Roy pet food withdrawal, nor has Walmart made a public announcement.

This latest discovery was made during an investigation by ABC7 News into pentobarbital-laced pet food following the Evanger’s debacle. This news follows days after the revelation that several other Big Heart Brand dog foods also tested positive for the drug. After ABC7 releasing the results of lab tests that identified the drug, the FDA launched an investigation.


Yesterday, we learned that in addition to today’s news about Walmart’s Ol’ Roy canned dog food, that Big Heart Pet Brand’s Kibbles n’ Bits, Gravy Train and Skippy brand canned dog foods also tested positive for the deadly drug – a drug commonly used to euthanize pets. The news prompted a notice for a nationwide withdrawal of the tainted pet food in which retailers were instructed to pull the tainted dog food from their stores and destroy the product.

The number of brands of dogs found to contain the deadly drug, since the investigation began, has risen steadily to include today’s count of nine varieties of Gravy Train canned dog foods, seven varieties of Kibbles n’ Bits canned dog foods, and one variety of Skippy canned dog food.


On Gravy Train’s website, there is a notice in regards to the discovery of pentobarbital laced dog food, which they refer to as a “claim.” They claim that the products only contain what they describe as “extremely low levels of pentobarbital” and therefore “do not pose a threat to pet safety” admitting only that they are “disappointed that pentobarbital was introduced to our supply chain.”

Instead of taking responsibility for their failure to follow strict auditing practices, they point the blame on a “single supplier.” Curiously, they also claim that none of their foods contain “euthanized animals or pets” in their pet food, nor do their foods contain “3D or 4D meat such as dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals.”


Big Heart Brands manufacturers an enormous amount of branded – and private label – dry and wet pet food, and pet snacks under the Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, Kibbles ‘n Bits, 9Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Reward, Pounce, Cycle, Morris, Jerky Treats, Amore, Meaty Bone, Alley Cat, Snausages, Tartar Check, Flavor Snacks, GravyBones, Super Supper, Ham & Cheesers, Steak & Cheesers, Surf n’ Turf, Farm Stand Selects, Growing Years, Snaw Somes!, Marosnacks, Wholesome Goodness, Plus Care, Bold Meaty Satisfaction!, Acatemy, Combo Bites, Let’s Play, Carribean Catch, Chew-lotta, Pawfections, Kitten Lil’ Nibbles, in addition to many, many other brand names.

Unfortunately, as Big Heart Pet Brands also produces and distributes a number of private label pet products, we cannot know which private label brands may also be contaminated with pentobarbital.


Item Name UPC Item Code(s)
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks 7910052541
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips 7910052542
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks 7910052543
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910051645
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910051647
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910034417
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910034418
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew 7910051933
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley 7910051934
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks 7910034417


Item Name UPC Item Code(s)
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack 79100103777910010378
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Var. Pack 79100103827910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack 79100103807910010377
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack 79100103757910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy 79100103757910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy 7910010380
Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy 7910010378




As more Big Heart Brands pet foods are discovered to contain the deadly drug, it is possible – and based on emerging information and the lack of quality control – that other Big Heart brands may also contain material from the same supplier that supplied them with the pentobarbital-laced meat. Therefore, it would wise to avoid feeding your pet any Big Heart pet food brands until an investigation into the matter is complete.


What consumers want to know is why did Smucker’s fail to have adequate safeguards in place to prevent this tragedy from occurring? How did one of the nations largest maker of pet food fail so utterly and miserably at auditing their suppliers and testing their ingredients that allowed a deadly drug (which can only come from euthanized animals) to slip into their pet foods?


For more information about all the affected pet foods, contact Big Heart Brand’s corporate website.

For additional information about the Kibbles ‘n Bits affected product go here. If you have questions, please call them at 800-828-9980 or email them here.

For more information, contact Gravy Train at 800-828-9980 or via email here.

To find out how to report a problem with a pet food contact the FDA.


Deadly Drug Found in Dog Food; Smucker’s Gravy Train Contaminated with Pentobarbital, February 9, 2018

Lawsuit Filed Against Maker of Deadly Drug-Laced Dog Food; Big Heart Brand Gravy Train Dog Food Named in Suit, February 13, 2018

Big Heart Brands Recalls Multiple Brands of Dog Food For Pentobarbital; Gravy Train, Kibbles n’ Bits, and Skippy Dog Food Withdrawn, February 18, 2018


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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.