Customers complain that Beneful dog food contains a significant amount of nutrient-poor ingredients such as corn, chicken by-product and gluten, instead of whole meat sources. Additional complaints surround Beneful's controversial ingredients, such as garlic, propylene glycol and menadione, and its lack of added probiotics for digestive health.
Because manufacturers list ingredients in pet food in order of decreasing weight, the first few ingredients on the label are the most important when analyzing nutritional value. Ideally, the first two ingredients should be whole meat or meat meal, since dogs are primarily carnivorous. The third and fourth ingredients can be vegetables or whole grains. Whole grains or starches, such as brown rice or potatoes, are necessary to bind the kibble together, but should be less plentiful than meat and vegetables.
Corn and by-products are not ideal for use in dog food, as neither provides measurable nutritional benefit to dogs. However, the first five ingredients of Beneful dry food are corn, chicken by-product, corn meal, flour and fat, instead of meat or vegetable sources. Beneful also contains propylene glycol, which the FDA banned for use in cat food but still allows in dog foods and treats. Garlic and menadione, both linked to health problems in dogs, are still included in Beneful food, as of 2015.