Troubleshooter: Expired dog food

That's exactly what happened to Andrew Catania when he bought dog food for his dogs. These dogs are the epitome of what you'd call pampered pooches. Andrew tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "I have a lot of money invested in these guys." Andrew believes in nothing but the best for his pups including a Rottweiler imported from Germany. Andrew adds, "Everything I buy for them is holistic, it's organic. There's a lot out there it will save you in the long run with vet bills."

Andrew buys his dog food at Petco. He says, "The employee there got me on the Solid Gold brand and started educating me to premium food was better." So Andrew bought Solid Gold dog food which is all natural ingredients. But one day, he noticed a problem. He says, "The expiration date was March of 08." This was June. Andrew says he went back to the Durham Petco and checked other bags of Solid Gold. He adds, "All the 6 pound bags and all the 30 pound bags about 80% of them were expired in the last 6 months."

Andrew says he pointed out the problem and got a free bag of Solid Gold and thought all was solved. But a few weeks later, he found more expired Solid Gold. He wrote the company, and they told him they had a new distributor shipping to North Carolina, and they were working on the problem. Andrew wanted Troubleshooter Diane Wilson working on the problem too. So after he called, we went shopping undercover. We went to three Petco's and found expired Solid Gold in all three. A $50.00 dollar bag we bought in August, expired 6 months earlier, in February. The other Solid Gold products we bought were also out of date. When we showed Andrew our findings he said, "That's a concern. It should be a concern to dog owners." A concern because the reason Andrew pays big bucks for Solid Gold is the nutrients. He adds, "The ingredients is why you buy it and it's not going to be as active if it's expired."

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with Solid Gold and Petco. Petco apologized and said they were pulling all expired and soon to expire pet food from their shelves and it's not their policy to sell expired food. Solid Gold said they're working with Petco and the North Carolina distributor to resolve the issue.

Solid Gold admits that expired food may become rancid and cause digestive upset. They also say that since their foods are all natural, with no chemical preservatives, their shelf life is shorter. And, they don't recommend feeding Solid Gold products once they've expired.

Just today we went back and checked on the same stores and did find just a few bags of expired Solid Gold dog food. A rep with Petco said, "First of all, we apologize to the community and to our customers. We have processes in place, we expect those procedures to be followed and we're embarrassed to say that we did not live up to our own standards. We clearly have room for improvement, and we're already discussing with our store teams the importance of ensuring that the products on our shelves haven't reached their expiration dates. We are also having similar discussions with the firm that distributes these products to our stores."

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