Two huskies enjoy a meal in a silver bowl. The dog food brands that were recalled are no longer sold in stores and accessible for pet consumption. Photo by Jiel Beaumadier.

As of March 2, the J.M. Smucker Company—recognized mostly for their Smucker’s jam—ordered an official recall of several of its dog food brands. Its dog foods include selections such as Gravy Train and Kibble n’ Bits. On February 27, different dog foods were taken off shelves due to the concern that some Gravy Train cans included Pentobarbital, which is a euthanasia and sedative drug. Recent tests have confirmed that it does contain the Pentobarbital drug, and the FDA confirmed that the dog food is unhealthy and dangerous for pets to consume.

The small amounts of drugs that have been found in each can are unlikely to seriously harm or kill an animal. When a small dosage is consumed, dogs may get nausea, tiredness, the inability to stand, or jerky eye movement. In higher dosages, Pentobarbital can kill dogs who ingest it.

The source of the Pentobarbital was found by the FDA and is claimed by the J.M. Smucker Company to have come from one small manufacturing mistake. In an update, Barry Dunaway, the President of Pet Food and Pet Snacks said, “We take this very seriously and are extremely disappointed that pentobarbital was introduced to our supply chain.”
The company encourages anyone with questions and concerns about the recalled foods to call them at 1-800-828-9980. Anyone who bought the food is encouraged to either throw it away or return it to the company. Anyone whose pet may have consumed the food should check with their veterinarian about their pet’s health.

Organizations such as TruthAboutPetFoods are outraged by J.M. Smucker Company’s mistake. On February 20, 2017, Evanger and Against the Grain’s dog food brand decided to recall their dog food due to the same drug found in J.M. Smucker’s dog food— pentobarbital—being found in their food. All of their Chunk Beef dog and cat food ranging from expiration dates of December 2019 to January 2021 were taken off shelves in stores such as Walmart.

It’s currently unknown whether J.M. Smucker’s dog foods will ever go back on shelves, but they have confirmed that they are working to rectify the pentobarbital.