24 Feb, 2012 @ 19:46
2 mins read

Spanish supermarket dog food link to expat pet deaths in Almeria

DOG owners have launched an awareness campaign after several pets have had to be put down after suffering kidney failure allegedly linked to a brand of Mercadona dog food.

A spokesman for Spain’s largest supermarket chain confirmed to the Olive Press that two types of its own brand Compy pet food had been withdrawn from the shelves today (Friday) around the Almeria area.

The group made the move, ‘as a precaution’, after receiving at least six complaints from customers. The products are now being analysed by its technicians to see if there is a connection between the food and dogs suffering kidney failure.

John Beachcomber, who runs the Beachcomber bar in Mojacar with his son, launched a Facebook page to warn owners after his friend’s beloved Labrador-cross Goldie had to be put on a drip five hours a day.

He insisted his pet, along with many others, had been eating the supermarket own brand food Compy, from his local Mercadona.

He told the Olive Press: “My friend told me about Goldie who is quite poorly at the moment and had to be on a trip after suffering kidney failure.

“They noticed after she was drinking excessive amounts of water and peeing a lot.

“In addition a Turre vet has confirmed they are dealing with four dogs, all with kidney problems and my own vet is also dealing with other dogs having the same problems.

“The common factor is they all have the same make of dog food in their diet.”

The dog food – which comes in chunks of beef or as ‘a pate’ – recently switched from tins to cartons.

“Some owners like me have seen the problem since the food changed from being in a tin to a carton,” added Beachcomber.

“I don’t want to be scaremongering but what worries me is that if it is not the food but the carton that is to blame them what else is the carton used for. We need answers.”

The issue, which appears to be localised in Mojacar and the surrounding Almeria Costa, is now being widely discussed on internet forums.

One poster, ‘Nicki’ said: “I gave my dog this food when it changed to cartons. One week after moving to the UK my dog was put down with kidney failure; I am devastated that I could have killed my dog because of feeding him this food.”

Meanwhile JessicaH added: “My wonderful healthy young German shepherd became ill overnight and died last week and she had been eating this food. Her untimely death now makes sense.

“Obviously I cannot prove a connection now but IF true then the sooner Mercadona are aware of the potential dangers the better.”

The Mercadona spokesman Jorge Romero insisted: “At this stage we have only removed the product as a precaution.

“We have received various calls, six complaints, and it has been removed from shops in Albox, Garrucha and Mojacar. This is not all over Andalucia.

“Technicians from our suppliers are currently analysing the products in their laboratories. They are also talking to these clients and have issued a helpline 900500103 for anyone worried. It will be in both English and Spanish.

“We will let you know as soon as we have any more news.”

If your pet has been affected please email [email protected].

The forum can be found at http://www.arboleas.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=59420.msg314814

Wendy Williams

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. I’m afraid this is not JUST Costa ALmeria.. we live on the Costa del Sol and the issue is here as well. My own dog was victim to kidney failure and had to be put to sleep only 5 weeks ago.

  2. This discussion was started a few days ago on our forum, and only yesterday we saw the pate still for sale in Vera Mercadona. I also have friends on the Costa Blanca reporting the same, this problem is most likely in all areas.

  3. Very sad for all dog lovers and a shock as we found that Mercadona was way better in it’s product range/price and quality.

    But why are people feeding their dogs with wet food, any vet anywhere will tell you that dry food contains far more nutrition and is better for a dog’s teeth – remember that wet dog food is 82% water and it may well be that that is the source of the problem.

    Again I feel for those who have lost their friends and companions.

  4. I’m pleased to say a representative from the pet food manufacturers/Mercadona came to find me this morning and after a very interesting meeting I can confirm they are taking this very serious as we all know now I think. Tests are being done on the foods and he promises to let me know the results asap.
    I did ask about other areas and he said he is almost certain it is not a problem on the Costa Del Sol but from Almeria North (He mentioned Alicante) there is also a problem, John.

  5. Clare,
    we had a lovely cat called Pisces that lived to 18 years. She had a hyper thyroid problem. She had always been fed on wet food and refused to change.

    Then the thyroid problem appeared when she was about 12 and we solved it by adding water to her food as she would’nt drink water by itself but thi ‘watered food’ she lapped up with relish.
    Apparently this dislike of water is quite common with cats and leads to many health problems – maybe a good idea with a kitten to mix water with some dry food and the rest without.

  6. I have always fed my 3 Shih Tzu on Mercadona’s dog food. They were thriving on it UNTIL the packaging was changed from the tins to the cartons. They stopped eating it or were very unenthusiastic about it and have been quite sick – all 3 of them. Their blood tests revealed abnormal renal function (urea and creatinine levels raised). I am convinced this is due to the food recipe being changed or the cartons. It is not localised to Andalucia – I am based on the Costa Blanca.

  7. I forgot to add that my cats also used to eat the Mercadona cat food and as soon as the packaging changed they would not touch it. My cats and dogs also eat dried food (Friskies for the cats and Burns mini bites for the dogs) so their entire diet has never been just tinned food. This is very, very concerning – I am going to ask Mercadona to reimburse me for the vet’s fees I have incurred – in excess of 100 Euros!

  8. Well my cat only ever ate dry cat food and died two weeks ago from kidney failure. What we have to remember is that animals kidneys do fail unfortunately it is a fact of life. If it is this dog food that is at fault I do not imagine that it would only be in one place in Spain. Mercadona is a French company so if there is a problem it would be in France as well as all of Spain. If Mercadona are testing it, is it likely that they will come back that it is full of salt? I wouldn´t think so. Surely an independent test is what is needed.

  9. My daughter has just brought this to my attention.
    I had just bought three cartons of pate from Mercadona & too late in the day to return it!!
    The only trade name I can see is ‘Bobby’ in green and gold packaging. Does anyone know if this is the one affected, or just the one that I think comes in 3 packs boxed in red? I lost my cat last year from kidney failure, it was a terrible and slow way to die.
    PS to other comments.. my limited experience with cats is that mine have always craved super fresh water, preferably from a dripping tap!

  10. I live in Murcia and I have 5 cats, they eat Mercadona dry food, in the last few weeks they have needed a lot more water and one of them has now started passing blood, please tell me it could not be the dry food too, … it’s too much of a coinsidence

  11. I cant answer that Ann other than to say a lot of people are now questioning all of Compy’s dog and cat foods so I suggest a visit to your vet is in order.

  12. Dear John, just to be sure.. we are talking about the Pate for adult dogs that comes in 3 unidades in a carton from Bobby? We’ve been feeding it to our labrador too and she has had lots of health problems but does not seem to be related to kidney. How could it be a regional issue? We bought it in Pilas (provincia Huelva) and Ronda (Cadiz).

  13. I am in the US but we are having similar issues here. I lost my 4 month old puppy to acute renal failure. I had an autopsy (necropsy) performed which showed lesions on her kidneys and mineralization of most of her internal organs. It is believed to be “Vitamin D Toxicosis”….Vitamin D3 is a supplement in dog food and her food and kidney are being tested now. There is another issue here with Chicken Jerky treats from China causing kidney failure and Fanconi Syndrome in dogs. The companies have refused to pull anything as they cannot find the contaminant in the Chicken Jerky.

  14. Hi Barbara, here’s a photo of the dog food that made my dog Ill (And many others I’m hearing about)

    Mercadona Compy dog food problem

    I believe a similar looking one for cats is also being blamed for problems with the felines and there are other people saying there are problems with the dry foods.
    I found my dog first showed signs of extra thirst when she went on the supposedly same food previously in a tin but certainly not with such serious results as with the latest briquette packaging.
    Norma mentioned too much vitamin D and this is something being talked about a lot right now although there doesn’t seem to be any proof one way or the other and we will have to wait for Mercadona’s results to find out unless someone is having any independent tests done on the foods. John.

  15. Hi all – having seen the pic above I would like to add that this packaging is not available in our local Mercadona’s so the food my poor dog was eating was still packaged in Can’s not the carton’s so I’m thinking as some had previously suggested the inside or the carton could be contaminated may not be the case.

  16. This is a reply to Susan Field.
    I could have written your email myself. My cat was identical drove us mad drinking from our bathroom tap. Sadly he died three weeks ago but he only would eat dry food which I feel is to blame. As for the Mercadona wet food. I have checked ours and it is labelled Bobby but is exactly the same packaging as is the Compi. However, I do feel that we need some actual facts here. Animals as well as people do suffer from kidney problems I have had many animals over 40 years and have lost some through kidney failure. It happens sadly as it does in humans and we cannot blame Mercadona dog food for that. Can we just get the food tested preferably by an independent laboratory and learn the truth.

  17. John – I agree entirely with your comment of February 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm re the manufacturers being different. My dogs ate the tinned food for about 4 years with no problems whatsoever.

    It is more than a coincidence that every one of my dogs (3 of them – aged 7, 4 and 18 months) suffered impaired renal function and stopped eating the food once the packaging was changed.

    Let’s hope Mercadona come up with some answers quickly.

  18. Please spread the word because a lot of dog owners are not aware of the problem.

    More experiences from dog owners at

  19. Hi Barbara, my dog has improved greatly since being off Compy and is now not what I would describe as being semi incontinent for the first time in nearly three years of eating Mercadona dog food. She is still lethargic and being sick now and again though.

  20. I know this type of outbreak is unusual, but if people did more research on ALL commercial pet foods, they would never willingly feed it to their pets again. I wish everyone would study the information that’s available on the net. Holistic brands are the only type I feed to my dog: Higher meat content, no colours or preservatives, natural oils instead of racid fats, and natural vitamins from meat and vegetables instead of laboratory-produced vitamins which are mostly destroyed during the high-temperature cooking processes used by commercial pet food manufacturers. Holistic food is a little more expensive but no more expensive than some of the popular commercial brands, and the food is fresher because it’s cooked at a lower temperature, thus protecting the natural vitamins and goodness in the food. Incidentally, I do NOT sell holistic pet food. We were hours away from putting our 6-year-old dog to sleep because his epilepsy increased to such an extent that he was having non-stop seizures for hours on end. A change to holistic food, and the seizures stopped within a day. He used to have seizures every 6-8 weeks (funnily enough it started after we switched him from puppy food to Mercadona’s Compy dried food at 6 months of age), but he has now been seizure-free for almost 11 months… the longest time ever. I would never feed commercial food to my dog again. I sincerely hope all those poorly pets out there get better very soon. It’s heartbreaking to hear all these awful stories.

  21. – Como no encuentro ningún foro (de momento¿?), en español, es por esto que escribo aquí.
    Tengo un perro de 3 años (Pancho) y una perra de 10 meses (Leia, que fué estirilizada, al adoptarla, con 3 meses). Hace un mes fuí con mi dos perros para vacunarlos contra la leishmaniosis, al hacerles un análisis previo, a los dos, Pancho lo tenia normal, pero detectaron que Leia, tenia la creatinina y la urea un poco alta, así como baja de defensas, a partir de aquí, empezaron a repetir los análisis, tambíen le hicieron una ecografia, en la cual le aparecían unas sombras ¿¿?? cerca del riñón derecho. Perdió las ganas de comer, orinaba y bebia más de lo normal, temblaba al anochecer y perdio 1 kg. (pesaba 11,5 kg.). Se le medicó y se está medicando, con irc-vet, benacer y cimetadina. Durante la semana siguiente, empezó a comer (lo que le apetecia, muslos y alitas de pollo, higaditos, etc.), se le repitió el analisis, la creatinina salió normal y ya solo la urea estaba un poco alta. hoy en día ya come (poco alimento seco y mucho casero) bastante normal, a recuperado su peso y está muy juguetona.
    Es por esto que creo que el motivo de que le pasara esto a Leia, debe ser por la comida de Mercadona, “Compy”, en cartón, ya que los dos comian de esta marca, (antes comierón la misma en lata grande) aunque tambien comen “Baldo” de Aldi y “Premium” de Día, que por casualidad o no, siempre han preferido estas dos últimas, que son el doble de caras (ahora me lo explico). No obstante, ellos comían, solo un cuarto de brick, diario mezclado con pienso “Bon Menú” de Afinity; a veces Leia, si comia medio, pero Pancho no, él de momento está bien, y espero que Leia se recupere del todo, a pesar de la sombra del riñón. Se quieren tanto. Muchas gracias. Espero que todas las mascotas se mejoren. Un saludo, Jesús.

  22. Dont buy Spanish brands of dog or cat food. It’s poor quality, over priced, and even dangerous to animals in certain cases, as shown above. You can buy German, British, or Dutch dog/cat food through Petmeds.co.uk which is far better quality and cheaper!

  23. I don’t understand why people feed this “technical” canned food or biscuits to their dogs. They dog “foods” all contain grains to bulk them out, something which dogs were never designed to eat and a complete false economy.

    Cheap off-cuts of meat from the butcher, including gristle, bones, etc is the ideal diet for a dog. The dog will be much healthier, the correct weight (not overweight like so many dogs are), happer, it will look so much better (glossy coat, etc) and ironically will smell much better.

  24. I am trying to find the maker of baldo dog food bought from Aldi in alcoy I found pieces of plastic in it no one seems to know who makes these in Spain these are also in cartons help anyone!

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