This is my detailed comparison of Pedigree vs Purina dog food brands in 2021.
Pedigree and Purina are certainly among the most famous pet food companies. You can find their products in any pet food store or supermarket.
But is it worth choosing the dog food that faces you right away? Is popularity good? Which one is better? Pedigree vs. Purina?
In my article, I contrasted the two brands along as many criteria as possible. The result was that Purina produces better dog food.
However, if you are interested in the details, be sure to read on.
More about Pedigree
Pedigree is a dog food brand whose name is familiar to all owners. It is owned by the parent company of Mars, which also represents other famous pet food brands.
Mars bought Kal Kan Foods in 1968 and changed that brand’s name to Pedigree in 1988. Its popularity has been unbroken ever since.
Due to effective marketing, plenty of dog owners trust these foods. Pedigree has an extensive range of products. You will find suitable food for almost all breeds, sizes, ages, and dietary needs.
In the beginning, Pedigree dog foods didn’t really have a competitor. This later changed as Purina and other smaller brands began to gain more strength in the US.
Pedigree then decided that its main business policy would remain the same. Namely, the production of affordable dog food without a significant reduction in quality.
You can find these dog foods in most supermarkets or pet food stores.
Unfortunately, affordability has its drawbacks. The manufacturer does not put too much meat into its products. It prefers to replace these ingredients with cheap protein sources like corn, wheat, and soy. Unfortunately, there are also many unnamed meat by-products in these foods.
The Mars company also has other famous pet food brands such as Sheba, Eukanuba, Cesar, IAMS, and Nutro.
More about Purina
The history of this brand dates back to 1894. At that time, it ran as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company. It was founded by three people, named William Andrews, George Robinson, and William H. Danforth.
Its president was Danforth, who in 1902 renamed the company Ralston Purina. The brand has spread quite slowly overseas as well. After more than a hundred years, in 1997, General Mills took over Ralston Purina.
The company merged with Nestlé in 2001 to rename Nestle Purina Petcare Company.
Purina is also extremely popular not only in America but all over the world. All this by focusing much more on the U.S. market, and much of the manufacturing process also takes place in the U.S.
Overall, Purina products are of good quality, but this largely depends on which product line we are looking at.
Initially, Purina also aimed to produce affordable food. In America, however, better and better quality dog food appeared, which also encouraged this company to change.
The first premium Purina line was named ONE. To this day, it is one of the brand’s most popular food ranges. However, the company still has several products that contain cheap fillers and harmful meat by-products.
Pedigree vs. Purina: Which is better?
For me, one of the most important parts of the comparison is comparing products from similar ranges.
The problem is that Pedigree and Purina have fundamentally completely different business policies. While Purina has several premium products, Pedigree is more focused on affordability in addition to quality.
The common meeting points between the two brands are puppy formulas and small breed formulas. I will definitely review and contrast these with each other.
This is followed by the most popular wet foods from the two brands. At the end of each comparison, I will summarize the major differences in a table.
Pedigree vs Purina Comparison
- Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Chicken & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
- Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Small Breed
- Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Adult Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Steak & Vegetable Flavor Canned Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food
The manufacturer promises that this product will provide all the necessary nutrients for the puppies to keep up with the bigger dogs. This can be easily followed by observing the ingredients.
Unfortunately, the quality and quantity of ingredients immediately show that Pedigree is paying more attention to cost-effectiveness.
The product does not contain real meat. This in itself would not be a big problem, as a meat meal is also a good source of protein. However, this recipe has meat and bone meal.
On the one hand, it is a good source of calcium, but since it is an unnamed meat meal, I find it unreliable.
We cannot be satisfied with the other ingredients either. Primary ingredients include Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal. These are inexpensive fillers that are low in nutritional value and can cause sensitivity in many dogs.
The third ingredient is Chicken By-Product Meal. Although this is a named meat by-product meal, it is uncontrollable exactly what parts of the chicken are made from.
My opinion about meat by-product meals is that there can be an acceptable protein supplement in a recipe if your dog is not allergic to it. However, when there is no real meat in a product, only a by-product, it can be a cause for concern.
The source of fat is animal fat. It is also unnamed, but the bigger problem is that it is preserved with BHA, among other things. It is a known carcinogen, the effect of which, although studied only in humans, we have reason to believe that it is also unhealthy for dogs.
The product contains many useful added vitamins and minerals. This is very positive, but there are too many controversial ingredients to cause concern.
This puppy formula from Purina is also advertised to contain everything your puppy needs for growth.
What immediately stands out as a difference from the Pedigree recipe is the presence of real meat. The primary source of protein is chicken, which is well-digestible and tasty meat.
Additional protein sources include Poultry By-product Meal, Fish Meal, and Dried Egg Product. As I mentioned, the by-product isn’t the best ingredient, but it’s definitely acceptable to have it with real meat in the recipe.
The main source of carbohydrates is rice, which is a highly digestible, nutrient- and fiber-rich plant.
However, the manufacturer has included questionable ingredients such as Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, and Corn Germ Meal in this formula. These are inexpensive fillers that greatly reduce production costs. Their nutritional value is low, but they can cause sensitization and allergies in some dogs.
The main fat source is beef fat, which fortunately is not preserved with BHA but with tocopherols.
Also, the product contains fish oil, which is an excellent source of omega fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for the proper development of dogs’ skin, coat, and brain. The
Purina puppy formula contains added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. These nutrients contribute maximally to the immune system’s proper functioning, digestion, and other bodily processes.
|First 5 ingredients:||Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Meat and Bone Meal||Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken By-Product Meal, Meat and Bone Meal,||Chicken, Poultry By-product Meal, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product|
|Main Carb sources:||Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice||Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Germ Meal|
|Other ingredients:||Animal Fat, Fish Oil, Added vitamins, and minerals||Beef Fat, Fish Oil, Soybean Oil, Added vitamins, and minerals|
Although the Purina puppy formula is also very cheap, it simply cannot compete with the Pedigree product presented above. However, the Pedigree puppy formula has no other benefits other than that.
Based on the nutrient comparison table, it is clear that Purina is better in everything. Protein sources include chicken. Plus, it’s the very first ingredient in Purina’s recipe, which is pretty positive.
Although both products contain questionable carbohydrates, Purina also includes rice, which is of outstanding quality.
Purina also wins the competition in fats. On the one hand, the source of animal fat in Pedigree is unnamed, and on the other hand, it is preserved with BHA, which is potentially harmful. The fat and protein ratio is otherwise almost the same for the two products.
Overall, of the two puppy formulas, Purina is better.
Overall, small breed dogs do not have different nutrient needs. However, the kibble sizes need to be small enough for these petite dogs to chew them. The Pedigree small breed formula fulfills this to the maximum. And now, let’s look at the ingredients.
There is no real meat in this formula either. The main protein sources are Chicken By-Product Meal and Meat And Bone Meal.
The chicken by-product is not a premium ingredient when it comes to proteins but is a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two minerals are great for promoting joint health in dogs.
Meat and bone meal is a good source of calcium, but its quality is unreliable due to its unnamed nature.
The primary ingredient and also the main source of carbohydrates is Ground Whole Grain Corn. The other carbs come from Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, and Ground Whole Grain Wheat.
Unfortunately, these are just cheap fillers. Their nutritional value is unsatisfactory, and they cause sensitivities or allergic reactions in many dogs.
The main source of fat in the product is animal fat. Although it contains a lot of essential fatty acids, it is preserved with BHA. It is a chemical that is considered a potential carcinogen.
Artificial dyes do not improve the situation either. These are not only unhealthy but also completely unnecessary. Think about it. Your dog will not be interested at all in the color of the food you give him.
The Pedigree small breed formula contains added vitamins and minerals, which greatly improves dogs’ overall health.
As you would expect from a small breed formula, this product’s kibble size has also been developed for small dogs. Otherwise, the composition and ingredients of the recipe are very similar to the puppy formula.
The primary ingredient and the main source of protein is chicken. It is well-digestible, tasty meat. Another major protein source is Poultry By-product Meal. It is a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is good news for dogs’ joints.
The recipe includes carbohydrate sources such as Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, and Corn Germ Meal.
Rice is very digestible and rich in nutrients, but other carbohydrates are not very beneficial. These are cheap fillers. They cause sensitivity in many dogs, and their nutritional value is not satisfactory either.
Most of the fats come from Beef Fat, which is preserved with tocopherols. It is a very beneficial and healthy source of fat for dogs. The added vitamins and minerals will help support your dog’s immune system.
|First 5 ingredients:||Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat, Meat And Bone Meal||Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-product Meal, Beef Fat, Corn Gluten Meal|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken By-Product Meal, Meat and Bone Meal||Chicken, Poultry By-product Meal, Fish Meal|
|Main Carb sources:||Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice||Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Germ Meal|
|Other ingredients:||Animal Fat, Added vitamins, and minerals||Beef Fat, Added vitamins, and minerals|
As with puppy formulas, Pedigree is cheaper for small breed formulas. Let’s look at the ingredients.
Proteins are the most important ingredients in dog food. These are the building blocks of the body and important sources of energy.
Purina’s product contains more protein. But it beats Pedigree not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of quality. This is because real chicken is a much better source than a by-product.
Both formulas contain questionable and harmful fillers. However, Purina’s food also includes rice, which is an excellent source of carbohydrates.
The unnamed animal fat found in Pedigree is preserved with BHA, which is always a red flag for me. There is not too much difference between the quantity and quality of other nutrients.
Overall, Purina is also considered better for small breed formulas.
After previous Pedigree products, this wet canned food is definitely a positive surprise. The manufacturer promises that your dog will be healthy and happy with this food. So let’s look at the ingredients.
Since wet foods have about 80% moisture content, it’s no wonder the first ingredient in this recipe is water.
Fortunately, this is followed by real chicken. It is a very easy to digest, tasty, and nutritious meat.
Besides, other sources of protein are meat by-products and beef. The former is not of excellent quality, mainly because it comes from unnamed sources. Beef, on the other hand, is a nutritious, healthy protein-rich ingredient.
Wheat Gluten is very protein-rich but not recommended for gluten-sensitive dogs.
The main carbohydrate sources are Wheat Flour and Whole Rice. Rice is a very source of energy and also contains other useful nutrients. Wheat also provides a lot of energy, but it is low in nutrients and can cause many dogs’ sensitivity.
The product does not contain added fat, but chicken and beef give your dog enough essential fatty acids. The added vegetables, vitamins, and minerals contain all the nutrients needed for a strong immune system in dogs.
The first ingredient here is water. This gives the product a moisture content of 78%. This wet food from Purina is also likely to win this round if we look at the other ingredients. The recipe does not include cheap fillers and other controversial ingredients.
The main source of protein is salmon and other fish. These are easy to digest and delicious meats, but they are high in omega fatty acids. These fatty acids are responsible for, among other things, the health of the skin and coat of dogs.
The recipe also contains corn oil, which is not the best source but helps balance the number of fatty acids.
The main source of carbohydrates is rice, which is one of the best grain-inclusive carbohydrates. Nourishing, energy-rich, and does not cause sensitivity or allergies.
In addition to the ones listed so far, this food also contains plenty of added vitamins and minerals. This contributes to the maximum functioning of your dog’s immune system.
|First 5 ingredients:||Sufficient Water For Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Beef||Water Sufficient For Processing, Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein|
|Main Protein Sources:||Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Gluten||Salmon, Fish|
|Main Carb sources:||Wheat Flour, Whole Rice||Rice|
|Other ingredients:||Water, Added vegetables, vitamins, and minerals||Water, Corn Oil, Inulin, Added vitamins, and minerals|
|Calories:||332 kcal/can||467 kcal/can|
Purina does not really have a controversial ingredient other than Corn Oil. Although its protein content is slightly lower than that of Pedigree, these quality fish still provide these proteins. Not to mention that these are excellent sources of omega-3.
Purina is also better in terms of carbs, as Pedigree is full of gluten-containing wheat. The price for Pedigree is more affordable, but that’s not enough to win.
While this is the best of the Pedigree products reviewed so far, Purina’s wet food is a much more appropriate choice due to the ingredients.
Pedigree vs Purina: Extended Comparison
Of course, comparing 3-3 products is not enough to get a complete picture of the brands in question. Therefore, I take other aspects into account.
I also summarize the nutrient differences and draw a definitive conclusion. It won’t be long before you actually figure out which brand is better.
There are about 10 amino acids that dogs are unable to produce in their bodies. These are called essential amino acids.
Protein sources in food should contain these amino acids to maintain healthy bodily processes. But not only the quantity but also the quality of the proteins is important. In Purina foods, in general, not only are there more sources of protein, but they are also better.
Pedigree often uses unnamed animal ingredients or Wheat Gluten. All of these can be harmful to some dogs.
Fats are perfect concentrated sources of energy and play an important role in many bodily processes. Omega fatty acids improve the condition of dogs’ skin and coat, for example. The amount of fat varies between the two brands.
Purina products usually have more crude fat. But quality is more important here too. Purina puts omega fatty acid sources in many more recipes, thus supporting the health of dogs.
Although fiber is not essential for dogs, it is still useful for digestion. Pedigree products generally have fewer natural fiber sources than Purina products.
Unfortunately, both brands have harmful or sometimes dangerous ingredients. The most common is corn, which is included in Pedigree and some Purina products. It is an inexpensive grain that has a high glycemic index but low nutritional value. Not to mention that it causes digestive problems in many dogs.
Other controversial or harmful ingredients include meat by-products, wheat, gluten, colors, and preservatives. Based on my observations, these are more common in Pedigree products.
This is, of course, a very subjective thing, and it isn’t easy to give an opinion instead of dogs. However, there is more real meat in Purina’s products. Meat makes the food really delicious, which is why Pedigree can’t win over Purina in any way in terms of taste.
The clear goal of Pedigree is to produce dog food that is affordable for anyone. For this reason, it is no wonder that all their products are cheap. However, as I have already mentioned, this is also reflected in the quality of the food they make.
Range and selection
Purina has many more products and lines. There is a proper diet for virtually every problem and individual preference at this brand. Whether you are looking for food for large or small dogs, puppies, adults, seniors, or special dietary needs, you are sure to find it at Purina.
Pedigree and Purina recall history
Both brands have had recalls in recent years. I list these below:
- March 2004: Suspected link to cases of kidney failure in dogs
- September 2007: Possible metal fragments
- August 2008: Potential for salmonella
- September 2008: Potential for salmonella
- June 2012: Possible choking hazard
- August 2014: Possible foreign material: small metal fragments
- June 2011: Possible salmonella risk
- July 2011: Possible salmonella risk
- May 2012: Possible low thiamine
- August 2013: Possible salmonella risk
- March 2016: Inadequate vitamins and minerals
Real customer reviews
With customer reviews, we can get a real picture of a particular product or brand. I also tend to look at other people’s opinions in every review. Below you can read real customer reviews about the two brands’ most popular products. All of them are from Chewy’s website.
Dogs love it
- My dogs love Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food, never have any unfinished left over my dog’s weight remains constant. Plenty of energy and their coats stay shiny. I will combine the dry food with the chewy cuts in gravy. Very satisfied with Chewy products and the convenience of home delivery is great
Spice & Pearl both love this dog food
- I have been buying Pedigree for years and every dog we have had loved it. I like the small size pieces for my small dog and my Rhodesian Ridgeback loves it too.
- Can’t pass judgment yet. Our dog is still having stomach issues and we are not sure why. It is why we changed dog foods; so, we have to wait to see if this is ok for her.
prepare for the poo
- this is solid dog food and my dog seems to really like it. It’s also a great deal. However, it makes him super gassy. He poops at least 5 times a day on our walks and he farts ALL THE TIME. At this point, I’ve gotten used to the smell (i still do not want it happening) but it’s super embarrassing around guests. Once this bag runs out I’m switching brands.
Hit with my pup
- When My Catahoula/AmStaff mix came home a year ago, at 13 months old, he was a mess. He had Lymes, he was a behavioral mess, underweight, had issues with the skin around his eyes and mouth, and had an extremely soft poo. We started feeding him Pro Plan Sensitive and we could see changes shortly after. Fast forward to a year later His skin issues cleared up and today he actually a bit over his ideal weight. His poo is perfect (gross but true) His behavior is much better mostly because of training but also because he no longer uncomfortable all the time. I would recommend the ProPlan line!
Sensitive skin and stomach
- This specific item was recommended by my vet for my cats since one has skin issues and the other one has an upset stomach. I have a Pit Bull with the same issues. So I decided to try this food on him and his skin issues have gotten so much better and his poop has improved significantly! He used to have diarrhea and now he has good healthy solid poops and he liked the food right away. He loves dinner time nowadays. The 41-pound bag lasts for a while and it’s a great price. Extremely happy.
Quality food but pricey
- This is the 4th brand of dog food I have tried looking for something my dog will eat dry. She shows some interest in eating this which is an improvement over previous dry dog foods. Took off a star because of high pricing.
Worked for a while, now gas problems and uninterested
- My 5 yo shepherd lab mix has been on this food for a year for skin allergies on her tummy. It seemed to be working for the last 10 months or so, but recently she’s had big gas problems and her stomach has been very gurgly. She’s also not interested in it anymore, I think maybe because it’s salmon and she’s always been iffy with fish flavors. She has always been a grazer, but now she looks at it and walks away to beg for carrots or apples instead. Additionally, she gained 11 pounds in one year on this food, probably from the high-fat content? Anyways, just seems like it’s time for us to move on to something new. Likely trying Blue Buffalo this time around and hopefully, she finds that to taste better and it doesn’t inflame her allergies!
As you can see, there are positive and negative reviews about both brands. However, Purina dog foods tend to receive more 5-star ratings on online platforms.
My final verdict about Pedigree vs Purina
From my article, you can also clearly see that this comparison was not balanced. Because the two brands’ goals are completely different, the question is not which is better, but which is more appropriate for you and your pup.
Pedigree products are very cheap, but the cheap ingredients in them are questionable or downright harmful.
Purina also has lower quality products. However, basically, this company’s primary goal is to provide the best possible nutrients to the dogs. And because of the wide range, you are sure to find a Purina product that will be perfect for your canine as well.