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Wellness Dog food with beetles in it?

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  • Wellness Dog food with beetles in it?

    I'm out of town and my boxer is staying at a kennel, who called this morning to say that they had found full grown beetles in my bag of Wellness Core.


    Before I left I bought a new 26# bag of Wellness Core from a pet store that I had not purchased from before. The store I usually buy from is a little out of my way and I had searched the Wellness site to see if I could find a closer store. When I found this one, I was thrilled, it was closer, carried Core, and so off I went.

    I noticed the bag was a little dusty, but didn't think too much of that. I was super surprised when the price of the bag was almost $10 more than the store I had been buying it from and I confonted the owner about the price. She had already run my card, and rather than messing with a refund, and driving the extra distance to the other store, I shrugged it off, figuring I'd never buy there again and had learned a lesson about checking prices over the phone before going to a new store.

    I dropped my dog off Thursday morning with the new, unopened bag of Core. I told them he would probably not eat very well the first few days.

    This morning (Saturday morning) the kennel called to say that they had found full grown beetles in the bag. They hadn't seen them the first two days, but when feeding this morning, they dug a little deeper into the bag with their scoop and found beetles. Digging deeper, the entire bag is infested with full grown beetles.

    They had noted that Stewart wasn't eating well, but its hard to know if he noticed something off with his food, or wasn't eating because he's in a new kennel. They opened the bag Thursday morning and have been resealing it after every feeding (Wellness bags have an internal seal like a ziploc bag). They searched every other bag of dog food and didn't find a single beetle. They also told me they cleared out their feed room to check for beetles in their cupboards, etc and didn't find any beetles. The beetles appear to have hatched in the bag well before it was opened, and they only found them today.

    I have to give kudos to the kennel for a few things, (1) they have web cams and I check in a few times a day and have seen Stewart playing happily in his play group, (2) they stock their own fairly high grade dog food they are going to give him until I get back on Monday, (3) they seem to have a good control system for keeping food seperated, and avoiding cross contamination and (4), the first thing they said on the phone was "Stewart is fine".

    I called the pet food store where I bought the bag. They aren't open this weekend. Neither is Wellness. I am almost sure I threw away the receipt, but I will of course report the bag to Wellness.

    It seems to me like the bag must have been contaminated at the production plant, and perhaps had been sitting at the pet store longer than normal (dusty bag, high prices) and allowed the beetles time to hatch.

    Any other thoughts?

  • #2
    what a pain

    And even more aggravating because you're at a distance. Great kennel, very professional. Will be interesting to see what the manufacturer says/does.


    • #3
      Ask the kennel to save the bag and have them check the expiration date. Most likely the bag is stale-dated and the beetle larva had the time to hatch and grow. If it is stale dated, take it back to the store, receipt or no receipt and demand your money back. As it was the only bag they've sold recently they should own up to it.

      Most everything grain has larva in it. We opened a box of pizza dough mix in Home Ec and WEEVILS came out. Seems like the teacher had purchased the box the PREVIOUS school year.
      ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
      Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

      "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


      • #4
        Wellness has been bought out (I believe by Proctor and Gamble). Not necessarily the same food/quality control now. All the higher end stores around here have stopped carrying it.


        • #5
          I feed Wellness Core and have never had any problems. HOWEVER, that doesn't fix YOUR problem.

          Definitely have the kennel save the bag! You will need it for the manufacturing/batch codes. Call Wellness when they're open next week, with the bag in front of you, and read off the codes. They'll be able to tell you the date of manufacture, the plant it came from, and all sorts of other things. They will DEFINITELY reimburse you and probably send you some coupons for a couple of free bags. Also tell them where you bought it, because I'm sure they have a dealer policy about selling their products after a certain date. They may remove the store from their dealers' list.

          Oh, and to state the obvious: don't patronize that store anymore!
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


          • #6
            Had a similar problem about 10 months ago with Wellness Chicken & Rice. Both dogs went off their food after opening a new bag. Mine didnt' hatch beetles though. They were similar to meal worms. Ick.

            Called and spoke to a very nice man at Wellness who offered a replacement bag, but I was over it by then. What's the point of giving me a free bag of unwanted product?


            • #7
              It is very common for pet food (any brand of pet food) to be infested with pantry pests. If that bag sat on the shelf for any amount of time it is very possible that it arrived pest free but got infested in the store too. This is why you should never store your dogs kibble in your food pantry. I've walked down pet food aisles and have seen the indian meal moths (their larvae look like little meal worms) fluttering around the pet food bags. I take a pass on buying from that store. I'd return that bag to the store you bought it from...you have your credit card record of the purchase if not the store reciept.
              "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


              • Original Poster


                When I picked up Stewart from the kennel (Barkn Lounge in Keller, TX - highly recommend them) they gave me the beetle infested bag, smartly wrapped in a garbage bag and taped shut.

                When I opened up the bag there were beetles in it, though not a huge infestation, but enough to tell that there was significant beetle activity going on in there.

                What I did find was a small pin prick in the bag, it looks like it could have been dragged across a dirty floor, or the floor of a delivery truck. The rep from Wellness and I had a long talk about their process for moving bags and it sounds like whatever happened to the bag happened outside their plant.

                I called Wellness today and they are sending a check for the exact amount I paid. I don't have to call the pet store or mess with returning the bag.

                I love Core and my dog loves it too, so I'll remain a customer for now.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                  Wellness has been bought out (I believe by Proctor and Gamble). Not necessarily the same food/quality control now. All the higher end stores around here have stopped carrying it.
                  Proctor and Gamble recently purchased Natura Pet. Wellness is owned by WellPet, who is owned by Berwind. Berwind is privately held.


                  • #10
                    you can get wellness core from smartpak, shipped to you monthly, in very fresh individually packaged portion-controlled bags.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 53 View Post
                      What I did find was a small pin prick in the bag,
                      The larvae from the beetles or the beetles themselves will actually create pin sized holes in the packaging....that's how they will spread from package to package in your pantry or on the store shelves.
                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                      • #12
                        I buy smaller bags these days - more store trips but less likely to have sat on the back of the shelf tempting bugs. I'm especially careful in summer, where food can overheat, even in my own back porch.


                        • #13
                          ugh not the most comforting thing to read after just purchasing a bag of wellness for the first time. Thankfully I always transfer my dog food into a giant sealed tupperware, but I will be extra careful to dig through the food before I dump it. Thanks for the heads up and I'm glad your boy is okay.


                          • #14
                            We've had the same problem. Now we open the bag in the store, before leaving, and digging through it. I believe that's what Mr B does each time. Yes, it's a pain, but after we brought a beetle in a sealed baggy to show them (and after the first infested bag was opened in store) they've (store manager) been really helpful and willing to go along with us.
                            I definitely think it's a bag/packaging issue with wellness rather than the one particular store (though more careful handling would help some!) Those bags are easily opened in the corners, and i've seen those pin pricks mentioned as well.

                            Our dogs are thriving on wellness as it is, and we still stay with them regardless. Still, it is a hassle.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by wendy View Post
                              you can get wellness core from smartpak, shipped to you monthly, in very fresh individually packaged portion-controlled bags.
                              I just got off the phone with Smart Pak, and this actually sounds like a good option, I'm about to relocate to SoMD and the nearest store that carries Wellness is, well, far. So between time and gas, unless I was up in that area anyway, it seems like SmartPak may be the way to go. Not to mention that it would save me the frustration of any future issues. Esp after hearing the larve will make those holes themselves.