Cocolicious Dog Food Recall Issued Over Pentobarbital Poisoning Risk

Two lots of “Cocolicious” canned dog food have been recalled, after laboratory testing discovered it may be contaminated with pentobarbital, which is a drug commonly used for euthanizing dogs, cats, and horses. 

The Party Animal Cocolicious canned pet food recall was announced by the FDA on April 24, due to the risk that the drug may poison or kill animals. The barbiturate may slow the activity and function of the brain and nervous system.

The manufacturer first learned of the issue on April 13, 2017, when a Texas customer reported to a local retailer that samples of a certain lot of the canned dog food tested positive at a laboratory for pentobarbital.

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Upon learning of the report, Party Animal Inc. reached out to the two potential retailers in the area and quarantined any and all remaining products.

After further evaluation, the manufacturer requested the laboratory samples from the Texas report and sent several samples from similar lots to an independent third-party lab for additional testing. To date, the additional lab test results have not been received.

Party Animal Inc., of West Hollywood, California initiated a recall nationwide of all associated lots of the canned dog food in question to avoid potential risks from the drug contamination.

The recall includes 13-ounce-can Cocolocious Beef & Turkey dog food with lot number 0136E15204 04 with a “Best By” date of July 2019 and 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food with lot number 0134E15 237 13 and “Best By” date of August 2019. The canned food was manufactured and distributed beginning in 2015 by Party Animal Inc., to retailers nationwide.

Customers with recalled lots of canned dog food should stop feeding the products to their pets immediately and return them to their place of purchase for a full refund. Customers are encouraged to return the cans of dog food to allow Party Animal Inc., to perform additional laboratory testing. Customers with additional questions may contact the company’s customer service department at 323-207-4100.

This is the second time a dog food recall has been issued this year, due to a risk of pentobarbital poisoning.

An Evanger’s Hunks of Beef recall and an Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs recall was issued in early February, after at least one consumer’s pets became very ill and one died, after which laboratory testing identified the euthanizing agent.

Although the source of pentobarbital has not been reported, past sources for pet food recalls have claimed the drug can be within the pet food if it contains “byproducts” from animals that are euthanized. Through transfer of the meat products used in the food, the manufacturing process does not eliminate the drug remains, transferring it to the new dog food.

A study released on April 25, 2017, by the Clean Label Project, a nonprofit organization, analyzed the ingredients and validity to more than 900 top dog and cat food products and found 81% of the products failed to stay within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead action level. Researchers also found that 89% of the pet foods tested exceeded the EPA’s arsenic level requirements.


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