27 Feb, 2012 @ 13:43
2 mins read

Dog food panic spreads around Spain

EXCLUSIVE By Wendy Williams

DOZENS of pet owners from across Andalucia, Murcia and Alicante have come forward to reveal their dogs have suffered kidney failure after eating Mercadona’s Compy dog food.

Despite claims from the supermarket that the problem is limited to the north of Almeria, dog owners along the Costa del Sol have contacted the Olive Press to say it is widespread.

“I’m afraid this is not just Costa Almeria. We live on the Costa del Sol and the issue is here as well,” confirmed Nicola Lambert.

“My own dog was victim to kidney failure and at just one year old our baby boy had to be put to sleep only five weeks ago,” she explained.

Meanwhile Samantha Dean from La Cala de Finestrat, on the Costa Blanca added: “It makes me sick to my stomach what has happened to the other dogs I have read about and I feel guilty for effectively making my dog ill, especially as he was eating the food for about a month.

“It seems all areas are affected as I am in the Costa Blanca just south of Benidorm.”

The issue came to light last week, when dog owners launched an awareness campaign after several pets had to be put down after suffering kidney failure allegedly linked to two types of Mercadona’s own brand Compy pet food.

Following complaints from six customers, the supermarket removed the food from the shelves ‘as a precaution’ around the Almeria area.

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’s 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.”

Meanwhile Mercadona spokesman Jorge Romero was keen to stress the problem was not widespread across Andalucia.

“The problem seems to be linked to the products in the new packets which were only available in Almeria.

“It is not possible that the problem is occurring in Malaga province as this product has never been sold there.”

He added: “At this stage we have only removed the product as a precaution and we are waiting for the results of the analysis. We do not know with any certainty if the food is to blame.

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

He also added that a helpline had been set up in English and Spanish for anyone worried on 900500103.

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

To learn more about other dangerous foods for your dog, go to pugshome.com

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. Re the problems in the Costa Del Sol it is possible that the food before changing to briquesttes had/has something wrong with it and this also needs checking. My reasons for saying this is my dog is nearly 3 years old and has always eaten Mercadona’s own brand. Before the briquesttes appeared my wife and I thought our dog was just a little bit incontinent as she would pee a lot more than expected but I cant say we noticed the thirst problem. Since being off Compy for a week now my dog is not 100% and is still being sick and is lethargic but hardly pees at all except when I take her out and she loves to ‘Mark’ like a male dog.

  2. “The problem seems to be linked to the products in the new packets which were only available in Almeria.” RUBBISH! We bought Compy in cartons in Gran Alacant, Alicante and our dog has had these symptoms as have many others in that area. Our vet has 6 other dogs with these symptoms and all have eaten Compy in cartons. Come on Mercadona, don’t sweep it under the carpet.

  3. These packs were also available in Murcia, my neighbours dogs who had been eating it from Beginning of February are both ill, raging thirst and incontinence. Very worrying.

    We did not buy these packs because the weight was 7% less than the old tins, consequently we bought dog food elsewhere, so being on the tight side has probably saved us and our dogs a lot of grief.

  4. I am writing from Biología y Nutricion (Bynsa), where we produce all range of DRY PRODUCTS for dogs and cats with the brand COMPY for Mercadona.
    Regarding this article, I can tell that Mercadona, following a precaution principle and in a preventive way, after receiving some comments about the WET PRODUCT in BRICK, manufactured by the supplier Escuris, and sold just in Almeria, Murcia and Alicante areas, has proceed to remove the references mentioned before in those stores. However, this fact doesn’t affect the rest of products manufactured by others suppliers. As it has been said, the removed references are the ones in brick and this information is not related to any of our dry references.

  5. Its easy for the Company to say it is the new containers but this is a problem with the food supply being contaminated at some point. Stay away from Mercadona’s dog food or any other product manufactured my them until the problem has been properly identified.

  6. I believe that dog owners need to have enough money to feed their pets on good quality food – otherwise, quite simply, don’t buy a dog. Imagine the sorts of things that go into these cheaper foods, it won’t exactly be sirloin steak will it?!

  7. Ana
    If you are going to make various claims about the quality of your products, at least make sure you get them translated properly, out of respect for the pet owners. Quite frankly what you have written is rubbish.

  8. I think Ana is saying that Escuris make the product in question and not her company. Escuris make a lot of products and probably make a lot of Mercadona’s Human food too so always check the manufacturer on the label.

  9. I have always fed my 3 Shih Tzu on Burns mini bites dried food mixed with a bit of Mercadona’s tinned food and when the packaging was changed to the cartons they turned their noses up at it and only ate a little bit .. .. .. shortly afterwards they all became ill, vomiting violently. Their blood tests showed renal function impairment (they are aged 7 yrs, 4 yrs and 18 months) – raised urea and creatinine. I am convinced this is due to the food and the vet said at the time that she had had a few other dogs in with the same symptoms and thought it was due to them ingesting pesticide but clearly not. I am North of Alicante near Javea. This must get sorted out and I will be asking Mercadona to reimburse my costs incurred at the vet. My deepest sympathies to anyone who has lost a pet because of this – mine are all on Uri Can tablets for the next few weeks to proect their stomachs and kidneys.

  10. I’ve been invited to talk about the Mercadona pet food (Note I said pet and not dog) alleged poisoning problem on Spectrum Radio ALMERIA 92.6Fm tomorrow morning (Tuesday) just after 11am. I’m not an expert but have a dog whose ill from eating their food in my opinion and in fact with hindsight I believe she’s not been well since being fed on Compy/Mercadona’s dog food for nearly three years now but I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.
    If anyone has any comments for me then call in before or when I’m on if you like, it will give me time to take breath because I won’t be biting my tongue.
    For those out of the area Spectrum Almeria is available on the internet.
    Beachcomber John.

  11. My dog and cat only like the wet cat food from Aldi. I understand the owner of Aldi actually ate the food to prove it is tasty and good. There was a similar incident in the USA a few years ago.

  12. Well the Bobbi food displays exactly the same picture on the front so what is the position with regard to this. My dog isn´t ill and has been eating Mercadona food for years.

  13. I was in Mercadona in La Linea yesterday evening, the store just past the sea road. In the dogfood section the shelf was packed with these cartons of dog food. I thought these were only sold in Almeria area. Why have the been moved down here now?

  14. I have always fed my dog on dry mercadona dog food and occasionally have bought her the tins of wet food. Could someone please tell me if the tins are ok and there’s nothing to worry about. Thank you.

  15. Does this dog food contain any sort of wheat gluten or dairy products or protein concentrates? This reminds me of what happened in the U.S. in 2007, the melamine/cyanuric acid found in pet food that killed thousands of pets. Vets were checking for crystals in their urine.

  16. re: Andy, your comment is out of line. I think most consumers expect that if they purchase anything, it wont kill their pets or their kids or themselves. If someone markets and sells a product, it should be safe. If you own a pet, what do you feed? Anything can end up having problems, even if you feed human food to them.

  17. Also, if anyone has an old container of the food as well as a new one, check the labels. Is it possible they added something to the food in order to get it to hold up better in the new containers? Some sort of thickener that might have melamine/cyanuric acid in it? Dont give up, petowners, you will find the pet food company trying to battle you the whole way, as we did in the U.S. Dont give up!

  18. It´s NOT just dogs. I have 9 cats, 2 of which are about 6 months old. I have always fed them on Mercadonas cat biscuits and Compy wet food, which they only get at one mealtime. When Mercadona changed from tins to box´s we noticed that some of the adults wouldn´t eat it, no susprise, when cat´s can be fussy eaters, but then one of the kittens would start to vomit a couple of hours after he had been given the wet food. We took him to the vets, who gave him injections, anti-sickness and antibiotics tablets, because we thought he had picked up a virus or poison. Now i know what did cause the problem and i´m shocked as well as angry at how a major supermarket can supply such a dangerous product and allow so much suffering to our animals. Luckly we did not lose any of our cat´s but i think it was a close call. SHAME on the suppliers of this wet food.

  19. Just got this from Rosemary.

    “I have just had this information sent by the PR office of the pet food manufacturer.”

    Dear Rosemary:

    We have been given the results earlier than we expeted, tehrefore here you have a piede of information regarding to the issue. Please, don´t hasitate to contact me if you have any doubt.

    Thanks in advance

    Miguel Fernández
    Serfusion (PR Company for Tunaliments)


    Last February 24th 2012 the product of wet food for pets, Compy in Brick format (carton), was retired from the market. This product is made by the pet division Tunaliment, which belongs to Escuris. Mercadona retired this product from the few supermarkets that commercialized it; concretely 190 shops placed in the regions of Albacete, Alicante, Murcia and North Almería.

    Since this same date, indeed, the people that might have bought this product are being contacted in order to proceed to the return of the article in the nearest Mercadona shop. This measure has been approved in application of the principle of precaution that governs this company, after several clients called to inform about the detection of urine problems that their pets were suffering.

    Due to the analysis done, the anomalies found in this concrete product are delimited. An increment of vitamin D has been detected. According to the veterinarian reports that the company has, this vitamin D increment could cause urine problems, although it is true that only in those cases in which the pet has had high dose or quantities of the product in a persistent way.

    Tunaliment wants to thank the collaboration of the consumers who alerted this incident. Tunaliment also wishes to thank these consumers for trusting the company. Due to the way these consumers have acted, the company has been able to give a quick and effective response.

    Furthermore, Tunaliment is sorry for the inconvenience that this problem has caused and wants to apologize publicly to all the clients whose pets may have been damaged. At the same time, Tunaliment wants to highlight that other Compy products made also by Tunaliment or by other manufacturer have the same quality and safety characteristics that have always had.

    For further information, do not hesitate to contact us on the phone (24 hours available) 00 34 619113976 or on the email address [email protected] .

    My answer to rosemary.

    Thank you Rosemary, pretty much what we had been warned might be the answer and we now need to be made sure there is nothing wrong with their other foods ie: The tinned meat and dry foods because many people are coming forward from other areas such as the Costa del Sol, where we are led to believe the poisonous product was not on sale, to claim they have dogs and cats that are ill or dead. There is also now the question of compensation!!!

  20. One of Compy’s directors just phoned me with confirmation of what I’ve already posted at the top and when I mentioned that Mercadona will be being presented with a lot of vets fees he said ” That will be down to Compy” and so I presume we can now start to think about that but of course treatments are ongoing so I’m not rushing to present my bills and also some people will no doubt be thinking about their pet losses, stress and anxiety etc.
    I have to say that I feel both Mercadona and Compy have behaved in a manner (On the whole) which should be applauded as I believe things wouldn’t have moved so fast with some other companies.

  21. The food is also sold in Altea, Alicante. My young dog had these symptoms but luckily I change her food often so she’s had no long term affects.So sorry for all the people who lost their dogs and to those who have had large vet bills.

  22. Surely Mercadona is a national company and all foods come from a central warehouse and are all the same and not just local like Almeria etc.This must be a national problem.Our cat was put to sleep last month suffering from Kidney failure.He was only six and had been fed on Compy food.

  23. John Beachcomber, Im curious, has the cs possible including their website about the problems with this food in an effort to reach as many petowners as they can to tell them to stop feeding it? If its truly an excess of vitamin D causing the problem, where is this companies testing protocol that could have detected it before the food was put on store shelves? Also I would suggest if anyone has the food left and your pet became ill, that you keep that food in case the company refuses to compensate you. You may need to have the food in order to test it.

  24. forocochero says:
    February 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    Guiris, cabrones!
    Viva Mercadona!! Hacendado Power!!

    Did nobody translate that first before letting it go on??? Its a troll!!!

  25. Sam,I don’t suppose Compy or Mercadona want to bring the problem to light any more than it is now and is no doubt why there has been no recall via posters on the shelves.

    Lojaman, the carton was apparently being tested on the Costas from Almeria to Valencia I understand and is why it was not a nationwide problem.

  26. John, I agree but its shameful on the company’s part not to get word out everywhere they can. By them failing to advertise their food issue, there are more pets at risk.

  27. The claim form above indicates to return the food, I would suggest keeping at least one container of it in case you need it for testing if they refuse your claim.

  28. I am writing from Mallorca, and our dog, eating Mercadona DRY FOOD and confirmed by vet, has the same problems described here. He has been having terrible days, until we finally realized what is happening. This is really disgraceful, as the products are still on display. BEWARE OF ANY MERCADONA PET FOOD PRODUCTS.

  29. What a load of rubbish. Owners blamed Mercadona’s product for the death of their dogs, whereas at the time of the animals’ deaths the products weren’t even on the market. And those that claim to have bought the products outside of the Almeria/Murcia/Alicante region may wish to check again. The products in question were sold in the above-mentioned region only, on a test-basis. The editor of the Olive Press would do well if she/he would check sources and stories before publishing. If not, the Olive Press reinforces gossip-monging which is what this is about.

  30. We have had an ongoing problem with our 6yr old female dog. We cannot feed her Royal Canine food which we were recomended from our Spanish vet. It makes her vomit bright yellow and gives her diarrhoea. We give her pedigree wet food and she seems a little bit better with the odd bad turn. Recently her vomit was black and diarrhoea was black as well. I’ve just realised that we give her the “Bacon treats” from Mercadonna. Could there be a problem with the entire Mercadonna pet range?

  31. How the hell can the “testing” by the company concerned be trusted? It sounds really cosy to say it’s all down to over-enthusiastic dosing of vit.D. Get together people, chip in a few quid each and fund an independent analysis by someone who has no axe to grind. You’ll never get to the bottom of this by believing the company. They only care about the bottom line.

  32. My friend was looking after my dog the time I got her passport to bring her over to the UK. She died suddenly, she was on a drip for 5 days and then died. The vet could not find a reason for this. I Have now been told that my friend fed her everyday on this Mercadona dog food. I will be investigating this. It’s awful!

  33. Charlotte – I am so terribly sorry to hear of your sad loss. I am in the process of claiming back vet’s fees from Tunaliment and they have been helpful. As usual, with any insurance claim, they want a fair bit of paperwork from your vet but this should be easy for you to obtain. Once again, condolences and good luck.

  34. Thank you for your kind wordsAudrey. Where do you suggest I go from here? I cannot bring my best friend back but I would like to do everything I can to make sure Mercadonna pays for the suffering and pain we have gone through. I am living in the UK now so it may be slightly more difficult. Can you advise me of a proceedure to take?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Prince of the piste

Next Story

Christmas calamity

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press