Want to know if this brand is right for your pooch? Then check out this detailed Purina dog food review article (2021).
As a responsible dog owner, you are sure to hear about the biggest pet food brands. One of them is Purina. The company is currently owned by Nestlé and has an extensive range of products. Whatever size, breed, or diet you need, you are sure to find the right diet at this dog food brand.
As an avid pet lover, I spent a lot of time studying its history and its products. My goal was to help you decide why it’s a good idea to buy Purina recipes for your dog.
I recommend the Pro Plan line formulas with a calm heart, as they are made of extremely high-quality ingredients. The other product lines have objectionable sources of protein and carbohydrates for me. I leave this to your individual choice.
The point is, you should read on and take a look at my detailed reviews.
Purina Ingredients Quality
Overall, Purina uses good quality ingredients in its products. This is especially true for Pro Plan formulas. In these, the first ingredient is usually real meat.
The wide variety of food compositions allows you to choose a Purina product for dogs of different breeds, sizes, health conditions, and life stages. The brand offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas.
The manufacturer has paid attention to the dogs’ immune system and overall health, so added ingredients include vitamins, minerals, and sometimes prebiotics. And omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are in the products for the health of the skin and coat of dogs.
Another positive is that Purina supplements its grain-free diets with added taurine. This is because the FDA’s investigation into the relationship between Dilated Cardiomyopathy and the diet revealed that grain-free diets could potentially cause taurine deficiency and heart disease.
(Therefore, in many cases, it can be very important to choose dog food with taurine.)
The Purina Institute invests a lot of money and energy in research to help develop the best possible diets for pets.
The above-mentioned institute is a partner with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). This explains the effort and aspiration that characterizes the company.
It also reinforces Purina’s assessment that all products meet AAFCO’s nutritional requirements for dogs.
And now come the negatives. This is because there are some of them about the quality of Purina. You will see later that not all Purina product lines are of the same quality.
Dog Chow and Alpo products, for example, contain artificial colors. These are FDA-approved compounds; however, I’m afraid I have to disagree with their use.
There are also products at Purina that contain many by-product meals, wheat, corn, and soy. Well, these are not necessarily harmful (unless your dog is allergic to them), but they are not considered valuable sources of nutrients.
Of course, these products are excellent value for money, and customers say dogs are also happy with their taste. In my article, you will find a detailed overview of these lines and their popular products.
History of Purina
Purina was founded in 1894 by three people, named William H. Danforth, George Robinson, and William Andrews. Back then, Robinson-Danforth Commission Company was the name of the company.
In 1898, Danforth (president of the company) launched a wheat-based cereal called Ralston Whole Wheat Cereal. A few years later, in 1902, the company was renamed Ralston Purina, and its first logo appeared. It was then that people saw the red and white colors that are still popular today for the first time.
In 1926, Danforth’s son established the first pet nutrition and care center in Missouri. The goal was to create a market-unique diet for hunting dogs and working dogs. This nutrition center is now known as the Nestlé Purina Pet Care Center.
Here was introduced the first dry dog food, the Purina Dog Chow. With this, the company has forever reformed animal nutrition.
There were plenty of innovations to the Purina name in later decades as well. In 1956, they introduced their first pressure-cooked dry dog food. It provided various kibble sizes and shapes. During the manufacturing process, a process called extrusion was used, which was still a novelty in the pet food market at the time.
The company was the first to face the fact that puppies need more protein and other nutrients. That’s why they developed the Purina Puppy Chow, which was introduced in 1963.
However, the real qualitative development took place in 1986. By this time, Purina had developed a process by which the primary ingredient in dog food formulas could be real meat.
At the same time, the Pro Plan product line was introduced, which to date includes Purina’s best quality products. Later, the products of the Pro Plan Veterinary Diet line also appeared in the company’s offer.
On December 12, 2001, Nestlé acquired Ralston Purina. This has also helped to spread the brand’s popularity worldwide. This popularity is unbroken to this day, and the brand has one of the widest offerings in the pet food market.
Purina is today one of the largest brands in the world in the pet food industry. The quality of the products allows them to compete with other dog food brands. I also have some articles comparing Purina to other brands. Here they are:
Top Purina Product Lines and dog food reviews
If you’ve ever looked at Purina, you probably know that it has plenty of product lines. Each of these serves a separate purpose. Below you will find a list of the company’s dog food lines, with an overview of their most popular products. In addition, some lines contain only treats. That’s why I left these off the list. So let’s see the lines and reviews.
Pro Plan is practically Purina’s premium product line. And that’s not an exaggeration, as it’s enough to just look at the ingredients. All products contain high-quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that contribute to the health and performance of dogs.
You will find both wet and dry foods on offer. This allows you to adapt to your own and your dog’s preferences to the maximum.
This line is also varied in terms of flavors. You can choose food for your dog with chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, salmon, and other fish, as well as duck.
The products contain a wealth of ingredients that support the overall health of dogs. But some recipes target different health conditions (e.g., skin and coat problems, digestive problems, joint problems, weight problems, etc.).
Are you looking for food for dogs of different life stages? Possibly different sizes? Pro Plan also offers adult, senior, puppy, small, medium, and large breed formulas.
I want to highlight the high protein recipes that are perfect for working dogs or hunting dogs.
And now, here is Purina Pro Plan’s most popular product:
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach was developed for dogs that have developed skin conditions or digestive problems for some reason (e.g., dog food allergy). How effective this is can be found out from the ingredients. So let’s look at them.
What is specifically positive is that the primary protein source and the very first ingredient is Salmon. Not only is it well-digested meat, but it is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. The beneficial effects of these fatty acids on the skin have long been known.
The product also contains other preferred protein sources, such as Fish Meal or Salmon Meal. The fifth ingredient is Canola Meal. It has a high protein content but poorer bioavailability than animal sources. But you don’t have to worry. The formula contains just enough meat to provide your dog with the right amount and quality of essential amino acids.
Carbohydrate sources are healthy grains that are not only well digestible but contain plenty of fiber and other useful nutrients for your pup.
Finally, the added fat source in the recipe is Beef Fat. This gives the right amount of energy to each dog, plus it makes the food tasty and irresistible.
And that’s not all. The ingredients include plenty of added vitamins (B, K, E, C) and minerals (potassium, calcium, copper, iron, etc.). This will ensure that your dog’s diet is balanced, and you can establish the functioning of his immune system.
Purina is one of the few brands to have a veterinary diet line. Pro Plan Veterinary Diets offer dry and wet food, supplements, and treats.
All veterinary diet products offer a solution to some chronic problem. They are not a substitute for medication, but they can go a long way in improving your dog’s health.
These are prescription recipes, so be sure to check with your veterinarian before using them.
Pro Plan Veterinary Diets can be used for the following problems: digestive issues, skin and coat conditions, obesity, dental problems, kidney disease, urinary tract problems, joint problems, etc.
Most recipes start with some alternative or vegetable protein source. This may not be beneficial for most dogs, but it is an accepted thing for some medical conditions. Because of these proteins, the manufacturer has also paid close attention to taurine supplementation.
Additional valuable nutrient sources can be found among the ingredients.
And now, here is one of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets products:
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine Dog Food Formula is ideal for dogs who have some digestive problems. Each of the ingredients is specifically healthy and well digestible.
Corn Gluten Meal and Chicken Meal give the 26% protein content. The latter is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which support the joints.
In addition, prebiotic fibers create a suitable environment for beneficial intestinal bacteria. This is very beneficial for the digestive system. Additional healthy ingredients for overall health are added vitamins and minerals.
Beyond is a pretty popular line for Purina. Their products are quite affordable and contain only natural and reliable ingredients. Because of the vitamin and mineral content of the recipes, you can be sure that your pooch’s immune system will function properly. Wet and dry as well as grain-inclusive and grain-free dog food are available.
And now, here is Purina Beyond’s most popular product:
The Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe contains everything your pooch may need.
This limited ingredient dog food provides the amino acids needed for growth using a single source of protein. And this is the chicken, which is also present in the recipe in the form of real meat and meat meal. The latter is a great source of glucosamine that is good to have in dog food for joint health.
Rice, Whole Barley, and Oat Meal are perfect quality grains that are well digested and add many useful, healthy nutrients to your dog’s diet.
In addition, the product contains Beef Fat and Sunflower Oil. They provide omega fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects and promote skin and coat health. Plus, Beef Fat is a delicious fat.
And that’s not all. The ingredients include some added vitamins (B, K, D) and minerals (potassium, zinc, iron, copper). Taken together, these lay the foundation for your dog’s overall health and contribute to a happier, healthier life.
In addition to Pro Plan, One is the other line of Purina that contains only high-quality ingredients. (I also have an article comparing Purina One to Purina Pro Plan). The manufacturer makes sure that it serves not only the nutritional needs of the dogs but also their tastes.
The line offers both wet and dry food. Although the primary role of these products is not to treat various conditions, some recipes are suitable for dietary supplements and these diseases. These include joint problems, heart problems, skin and coat conditions, and so on.
The first ingredient in any recipe is real meat or meat meal, so you can be sure your dog is getting what’s best for him. Both grain-inclusive and grain-free diets can be found in this line.
And now, here is Purina One’s most popular product:
Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula contains a suitable source of protein and healthy grains.
Its first ingredient is real chicken, which supplies your dog with the amino acids needed to build muscle. Chicken By-Product Meal is not the most prominent source of protein but a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. It is no coincidence that this recipe is often recommended for joint problems.
This Purina One dog food contains carbohydrates such as Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, and Wheat. If your dog is not allergic or sensitive to these, these can be excellent options.
Ingredients include added vitamins (vitamin A, B, K, E, etc.) and minerals (copper, manganese, iron, potassium, etc.). So it is also a balanced and wholesome food for all adult dogs.
Of course, there are much better dog foods than this, but Purina One products are almost unbeatable in the price range.
The Purina Beneful product line offers wet and dry food and treats. All products contain real meat and fresh vegetables. No artificial additives are found among the ingredients.
Almost all of the products in the line contain grains, and none target any special health conditions. But there is no problem with that. After all, dog owners buy Beneful products for their dogs to provide an adequate diet with wholesome ingredients at an affordable price without additives.
And now, here is Purina Beneful’s most popular product:
The primary goal of the Purina Beneful Healthy Weight with Farm-Raised Chicken Formula is to prevent your dog from becoming obese. Therefore, it is not surprising that the product has a fat content of only 8% and a caloric content of 341 kcal/cup. But don’t worry, your dog will get all the nutrients he needs from this diet.
The primary ingredient is Chicken, which is a valuable and well-utilized source of protein. Another source of protein is Chicken By-Product Meal. I do not generally consider it to be of high quality. Still, in addition to the real meat, the presence of this ingredient may be justified, namely because of its glucosamine content.
Due to the grains content of the product, you should pay attention to any sensitivities or allergies of your dog.
I especially like the fact that we find real fruits and vegetables among the ingredients. This, supplemented with added vitamins and minerals, assures us that we are giving our dog a balanced and healthy product.
Purina Bella was created by the company with the teeth, jaws, and metabolism of small dogs in mind. All recipes are high in meat, protein, and vegetables and free of artificial ingredients. You can choose from six flavors for your pup, the most common of which are beef, chicken, and lamb.
Unfortunately, the first ingredient in many Bella products is meat by-products. This is not considered good quality; however, customers say dogs are maximally satisfied with the flavors of the recipes. You can find both wet and dry food on offer.
And now, here is Purina Bella’s most popular product:
I have a bit of a mixed feeling about the product. The primary ingredient is Meat By-products, which is not only a low-quality source of protein but unnamed. This means that you have no control over the quality.
However, there are also sources of protein that can be evaluated among the ingredients. These include Chicken, Liver, and Beef. These are much healthier and make better use of the by-product.
You should know, by the way, that the perception of this recipe is extremely positive. Customers report that dogs simply love the taste of the Purina Bella with Beef & Smoked Bacon recipe. So this is definitely a positive next to it.
The other positive is the added vitamins and minerals that can help your dog’s immune system function properly.
Unfortunately, the Dog Chow product line contains many ingredients that cannot be considered good quality. Such are the different colors, which, although accepted in the US and the EU, are still considered questionable by many experts in the diet of dogs.
In addition, the primary ingredient in these products is usually not real meat but whole grain corn. No wonder my article on the worst dog food brands also includes Purina Dog Chow.
Nevertheless, many dog owners choose this product line for its excellent taste and affordability. In addition, the line offers dry and wet food for breeds of all sizes.
And now, here is Purina Dog Chow’s most popular product:
The product contains very little real meat. The main protein sources are Meat And Bone Meal and Poultry By-Product Meal. Both are unnamed sources, so you may not know exactly how many animals are in it. This can be a problem when your dog has some sensitivity or allergy.
The primary ingredient and also the main source of carbohydrates is Whole Grain Corn. It’s not the best quality carb, but it can be a good alternative if your dog doesn’t have sensitivity to it.
On the other hand, Beef Fat is an excellent source of fat that contains valuable fatty acids and makes the recipe tasty.
Another positive is that the product contains added vitamins and minerals.
Overall, this is not the best Purina product. Still, if affordability and good taste are important considerations and your dog has no sensitivity or allergy to questionable ingredients, you can purchase this recipe.
Purina Alpo is also not the best quality product line for the company. The primary ingredients in dry food and treats are corn, in addition to artificial colors. This is not very good news for dogs with sensitive stomachs. (By the way, Alpo treats are also in my worst dog treats article).
On the other hand, wet foods contain more real meat, and customer reviews show that dogs love the taste of these products. Unfortunately, Purina Alpo wet dog food is not available at Chewy at this time.
And now, here is Purina Dog Alpo’s most popular product:
Well, if you’re looking for premium dog food with high-quality ingredients, you won’t like Purina ALPO Prime Cuts. The first ingredient is not real meat, but Yellow Corn.
Moreover, there is virtually no real meat in this recipe. The main protein sources are Meat And Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, and Corn Gluten Meal.
I hope I don’t have to say how unhealthy this is for dogs. Animal sources are not named, so their quality is uncontrollable. And plant protein sources are biologically low in value for dogs.
The protein content of the product is 18%, which meets the requirements of AAFCO; however, I do not really recommend this product due to the quality of the proteins.
In addition, artificial colors can be found among the ingredients. Although these are allowed, I still believe that these compounds are disadvantageous in the diet of dogs.
The overall picture is somewhat improved by the fact that the recipe contains added vitamins and minerals. This balances the nutrients somewhat.
Purina Dog Food Recalls History
To have a bold opinion about a dog food brand, you need to look at ongoing and past recalls. (You can find a list of current recalls at this link.) They tell you about the quality of your company’s products. Purina is a relatively old brand in the pet food industry. Compared to that, he didn’t have as many recalls. Let’s see these!
- 10th March 2016 / Cause: Inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals / Recalled products: Pro Plan Savory Meals, 10 oz. tubs; flavors: Braised Chicken Entrée, Braised Pork Entrée, Braised Turkey Entrée, Grilled Salmon Entrée, Braised Beef & Rice Entrée; date range: Best before-June 2017 to August 2017
- 30th August 2013 / Cause: Salmonella risk (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: Purina ONE beyond Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food in 3.5 lb. bags; production Code #31071083; best by October 2014
- 30th March 2007 / Cause: Possible Melamine (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: ALPO Prime Cuts, 13.2 ounce and 22-ounce packs; ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs, 6, 8, 12, and 24 can
- 16th March 2007 / Cause: Possible Melamine (voluntarily recall) / Recalled products: Mighty Dog brand pouch products, product codes are #6337 to #7073; produced by Menu Foods, Inc. 3rd December 2006 to 14th March 2007
As you can see, there have been some recalls in Purina’s past. However, this is not much at all, and there has been no such event at all in recent years.
Real Customer Reviews
For objective evaluation, I always look at customer reviews on the Internet in all cases. After all, these people have also tried the products, so their opinions matter. Below, I have collected reviews of Purina’s most popular products from real customers. These are all from Chewy’s website.
To keep the balance, I will list both positive and negative opinions.
Most of the product reviews and the overall rating are positive. Customers say the dogs are happy with the taste of the formula, and it has helped with digestive problems as well as skin and coat conditions.
- Switched our cocker spaniel to this last summer. She had been a picky eater, but ever since has had a great appetite. After reading some of the negative reviews about a “formula change”, wanted to provide our experience. We have not noticed any difference in her preference for this food. This has helped her stools be formed/solid and regular. The food has a slight “fishy” smell, yet does not linger or give her “fishy” breath. She often asks for seconds. Highly recommend this as a great choice for a dog with a sensitive stomach.
Great for sensitive tummies!
- My little Alex gets an upset tummy if he eats the regular dog foods. Even with Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo he still ended up with a painful belly ache at least once a week. This ProPlan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula has been a life-saver! It’s all I feed him now except for his Pupperoni treats, and he stays “yucky tummy” free. Yes, it has a stronger odor than other dog foods, but it’s not as bad as some people have made it out to be.
- I went through I don’t know how many dog food brands of food trying to find something my pit mix could tolerate. He would get terribly red, scabby, and itchy skin on every food we tried. I fed some of the most expensive brands out there and so many in-between. We spend a lot at different vets’ offices trying to figure out what was wrong and even tried several medications, but nothing worked long-term. I was always very skeptical of the Purina brand and was wary to feed it. Eventually, I got desperate and decided to give it a try as a last-ditch effort. I’m so glad I did. This is the ONLY food that I have found he can eat without a single adverse reaction. I’ve learned a lot over the years about dog food and have overcome the knee-jerk reaction of ‘big brand bad’. I can now appreciate Purina’s commitment to thoroughly and extensively researched and trialed pet foods.
Of course, not every dog may like a formula. There are reviews that some dogs don’t like this recipe. The situation is similar to skin problems. Not all dogs have been helped by the product.
no change with skin issues
- Did not help with itching. Notice no changes. They would eat it but didn’t seem thrilled about it.
Good For Dog
- Tank is very picky about his food apparently. He ate this food for a couple of days and then stopped eating it all together. Now he’s on a different food that has frozen lamb and some duck paste on it. Crazy expensive
Not my dogs favorite, but no fault of Purina Pro Plan
- My dog is now a Senior and we have been using the same high-quality foods for years. Recently, she doesn’t like either of those, so we tried this one. I’m not sure this is her cup of tea either. However, Chewy has been great for years, and I’m thankful they are trying to help her settle into new food!
84% of the reviews are 5 stars, which is absolutely stunning! Even the pickiest dogs love the taste of this formula. In addition, it even helped with digestive problems.
No more ribs showing!
- I cannot recommend this dog food enough! I have tried MANY different foods for my Boxer Bruno. He is 4 years old and I have always had a hard time putting and keeping weight on him. I know that it is common for Boxers to have a “skinny phase” until they turn 2. Have taken him to the vet and they assured me that he is healthy just very lean. After he passed 2 years and I still could not feed him enough to make his ribs not show it bothered me still as I was feeding him WAY more than the recommended amount. Have tried everything and many different foods and was feeling like it was a lost cause. I recently purchased this 50-pound bag from Chewy and almost to the bottom of the bag. My Boxer has finally put on weight and looks healthy. AND I have even been feeding him less!!! My son came home to visit from college for Easter and cannot believe how much bigger Bruno looks since Christmas. I am so happy that Bruno no longer has ribs showing and looks so healthy for the first time ever. Even though the vet said it was OK, it always has bothered me so I would just feed him more and more! Nothing worked until this food! I am a happy and relieved doggie mom now! Thank you Chewy and Purina!
Purina Pro Plan
- At first I was concerned when Chewy notified us that our delivery of the Purina Pro Plan would be delayed. However, it arrived only one day later than expected, so there was much rejoicing – and continued good eats!
- I have a full-bred Belgian Malinois and I was feeding him Iams but noticed he was gassy more often than normal. I read reviews about this brand and decided to give it a shot. My big boy is a working dog breed and is constantly on the move and this food almost eliminated his gas and I found him to not go to the bathroom as frequently. I definitely recommend this if your active doggy is having tummy issues.
Although plenty of dogs love the taste of this product, there are exceptions. Some customers complain that their dog’s stool is much smelly. In addition, quality defects related to minor packaging are common.
My dog liked it. But…
- Decent food. I fed it for 6 months. My dogs enjoyed it however it gave them the stinkiest poop ever and I swear you could light their farts on fire. I switched to a different brand and it fixed the issue, whatever It may have been
Confused By The Last Bag
- My dog, now 9 months, has been on this since he was born. We used to love it! I opened the most recent bag I ordered and now he doesn’t get excited to eat and I have to force him to eat it. I don’t think it’s the new formula since he has gone through several bags and had no issues. I’m wondering if it’s possible I got a bad bag? Ugh.
Torn bag upon arrival
- The bag was torn when it arrived and took a long time to get here.
Purina One products do not contain quality ingredients like Pro Plan products. Nevertheless, most customers are satisfied with the quality. Dogs love the taste of this formula.
- My dog loves this food! We went through every flavor of Pro Plan and he hardly ate it now that we are getting this he actually eats his dinner every night and has gained the weight he needed since we rescued him two and a half years ago.
Z-Boys Love it!
- Wow is all I have to say. Saw some negative reviews and some had nothing to do with the product. A couple that seemed liked “flukes” . Had always given our boys Rachel Ray….but had to mix canned food in with it to get them to eat it. We opened the bag and gave each of them some in their dish and they were hooked! We no longer have to give canned food in the AM breakfast feeding! Note: Dog 1: age 7 Mastiff/Boxer mix Dog 2: age 1 border collie/bulldog mix.
My dog loves this
- I had to switch to this due to the food we were using was no longer available. My dog absolutely loves this as she ate it all up. I ran out and bought a different kind of Purina and she doesn’t seem to like it as much. I just ordered another one like this, Purina One Instinct that is high protein so we will see how that works for her. Otherwise, I will have to purchase this one again but in a much larger bag. I have a German Shephard and she needs high protein and would love something good for her bones, skin, and coat as she sheds a lot.
Not all dogs like this formula either. In addition, we may also encounter quality problems here.
- My German Shepherd just won’t eat this dry dog food. I have added water, mixed Canned dog food. She just leaves the dry dog food.
Hole in bag
- There was a hole the size of a softball in the bag and the food was all over in the bag
- I’ve been getting this food for a year and a half for our dogs. It’s been great up until this last order. The chicken pieces are barely there whereas the last bag had huge chunks of chicken. The dogs now barely eat it. Did they change the formula?
The three products listed above have received excellent reviews online. While there are downsides, overall, I can say that most customers are happy with this dog food brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
I tried to create the most detailed guide possible about the Purina pet foods brand. However, there are still frequently asked questions that I would like to answer below.
Is Purina dog food any good?
Purina products are excellent overall. The brand’s two premium lines (Pro Plan and One) contain excellent ingredients and provide proper nutrition for dogs. Plus, these dog foods are quite affordable compared to other brands’ premium products.
Is Purina dog food healthy for dogs?
Although Purina dog foods are not the best quality on the market (however Pro Plan formulas are quite great), they are still one of the best in terms of value for money. Because of the quality of the ingredients, I suggest that if you are on a low budget, you can safely consider the products of the brand. Recipes are not only safe but provide a healthy and balanced diet for dogs.
Do vets recommend Purina Pro Plan?
Purina has a line called Pro Plan Veterinary Diet. This includes prescription products that can help with a variety of medical conditions. Veterinarians often recommend Purina Pro Plan products because their ingredients are of high quality and contribute to the health of dogs and cats.
My final verdict about Purina
As you can see from the Purina dog food reviews in my article, this brand is considered good overall. I mainly recommend Pro Plan products, but One recipe is also quite good if you’re on a low budget.
Some product line recipes contain questionable ingredients, and although they are approved by the FDA, experts do not usually recommend them. My suggestion is that if you want to give Purina dog food to your pooch, choose Pro Plan or One.