Last Updated on January 28, 2021
Purina began when a man named William H. Danforth produced feed for various farm animals and established the company Purina Mills in 1894. These animal feeds were generally referred to as “chow”, hence, the name of their products “Purina Horse Chow”, “Purina Dog Chow”, “Purina Pig Chow” and many more.
Later, Danforth merged with a university professor, Webster Edgerly, and began producing whole-grain cereals. Edgerly, the founder of Ralstonism, endorsed these cereals and instantly became a hit. Because of its success, the enterprise was changed into Ralston-Purina Company in 1902.
In the following years, Purina was acquired by many more companies like British Petroleum, Koch Industries, and Land O’Lakes. Finally, in 2001, Purina announced a merger with Swiss-based company Nestlé.
Today, Purina brands are now made and marketed by Nestlé Purina PetCare, with 22 manufacturing plants across the U.S. Purina is proud to say that most of its ingredients are sourced from the U.S.
Best Purina Dog Food Reviews
Purina ONE SmartBlend is a delicious dog food formula your pet will surely enjoy. It’s made with real chicken and beef meat that comes in a mix of meaty morsels and crunchy kibble.
It has omega-6 fatty acids for healthier skin and coat. Plus, essential vitamins and minerals to support his overall health.
On an important note, this recipe contains by-product meals and coloring. If you are not a fan of by-product meals included in your dog’s food, then this may not be the recipe for you.
There is also no mention of any probiotics in their ingredients list or if their minerals are chelated. Non-chelated minerals are difficult for dogs to be absorbed.
A more in-depth look at Purina’s ingredients is available below.
- Made with real chicken meat.
- Comes in a mix of meaty morsels and dry kibble for texture.
- With omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals
- No fillers added.
- Comes in 2 flavors (Chicken & Rice, Beef & Rice)
Looking for a variety in your dog’s diet? Then try this Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct wet dog food. It’s packed with essential vitamins and a guaranteed delicious flavor with every bite.
It’s made from real poultry and non-poultry meats and served either with a delicious gravy or in classic ground meat he won’t be able to resist.
There are 4 flavors you can choose from – all of which are available in grain-free formulas or grain-inclusive formulas. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives, but this recipe uses meat by-products and artificial coloring.
Purina did not name the animal – or animals – included in these meat by-products. Hence, it can make determining food allergies impossible.
They may also have used corn starch to thicken the broth into gravy. So, if your dog is allergic to any corn-based ingredients, the gravy style recipe may not be for him. Stick to the ground grain-free recipe.
- Wet dog food
- Available in 2 styles (Ground Grain-free, Gravy)
- Comes in 4 flavors (Beef & Wild-caught Salmon, Chicken & Duck, Turkey & Game Bird, Turkey & Venison)
- With essential vitamins and minerals
- No artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Contains no fillers.
Also related: Best Grain-free Dog Food
Give your dog a dog food that’s both nutritious and delicious with Purina One SmartBlend.
Their #1 ingredient is real lamb meat and added with vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s overall health. Inside is a mix of tender, meaty morsels and crunchy kibbles for texture.
“I own a small breed. Can this support his special needs?” Of course! This same recipe comes in a formula specially made for small dogs too. It comes in easier to eat kibbles, perfect for dogs with small mouths.
The only downside is the Lamb & Rice (for adult dogs) contains chicken by-product meals and artificial coloring. The other flavor, Small Breed Lamb, also, unfortunately, has added color. The minerals for both flavors don’t appear to be chelated as well.
- Available in two flavors (Lamb & Rice, Small Breed Lamb)
- Specially formulated for small breeds that come in smaller kibbles
- Features real lamb meat
- Has omega-6 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals
- Comes with meaty morsels for added texture
- Contains no fillers
Also related: Best Dog Food for Small Dogs
4. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Turkey & Venison Adult Dry Dog Food & Venison Dog Treats
Give your dog a better, more improved formula from Purina with this One SmartBlend True Instinct Dry Dog Food.
It contains 30% more protein and 2x more meaty morsels he loves from Purina Lamb & Rice Formula.
It makes use of real turkey and venison meat without the toxic preservatives, artificial flavors, and poultry by-product meals. Even better, it’s enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals to help your dog stay active and maintain lean muscles and strong joints.
This recipe, however, has artificial coloring. Their minerals also don’t appear to include probiotics, and the minerals are not chelated.
- Made with real turkey meat and venison
- Contains 30% more protein
- Has twice more meaty morsels
- Enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals
- No preservatives, artificial flavor, and poultry by-product meals
If you’re looking for a dog food that’s more tender and softer than your average kibble, then this Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor just might be what you’re looking for.
It’s considered to be 100% complete and balanced dog food with a rich meaty flavor your dog will surely love. It’s also packed in individual stay-fresh pouches for a no-mess convenience.
You can serve it as a meal, a topper, or even a snack in between meals – It’s just that good!
This recipe contains by-products, preservatives, and artificial coloring.
- Semi-moist dog food
- 100% complete and balanced meal
- Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
- Comes in stay fresh pouches for convenience
- Can be given as a meal, snack, or a topper to his favorite dog food.
Give your dog a dog food that he won’t only enjoy eating but one that meets his nutritional requirements. Try this Purina One Smartblend Canned dog food today.
It’s made only with real meats plus vitamins and minerals that support his overall health. It also has omega-6 fatty acids that give your pet’s skin and coat that healthy and shiny look.
An important note to include, some of the flavors contain carrageenan and artificial flavors. It’s highly recommended you read the ingredients list for any of these.
More of Purina’s ingredients are discussed below.
- Wet dog food
- Comes in 2 styles (Ground, Tender Cuts in Gravy)
- Made from real meat sources
- Available in 3 flavors (Beef & Barley, Beef & Brown Rice, Chicken & Brown Rice)
- Contains omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals
- No poultry by-products.
Also related: Best Wet Dog Food
7. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
Almost all large dog breed owners swear by this formula from Purina – and were not wondering why.
Purina One SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula meets all the nutritional requirements of your large baby.
It has antioxidants that strengthen his immune system; Omega-6 fatty acids that provide healthy skin and coat; Glucosamine, one of the most important amino acid for large dogs, help support healthy joints. Other vitamins and minerals are also present to help your large breed maintain a healthy weight and strong, lean muscles.
This formula also includes tender, meaty morsels and crunchy kibbles for added texture.
- Specially made for large breeds
- Made with real chicken meat
- Has omega-6 fatty acids plus essential vitamins and minerals
- Supported by a natural source of glucosamine for joint health
- Comes in a mix of tender morsels and crunchy kibbles for texture
Also related: Best Large Breed Dog Food
8. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Did anybody ask for more array of flavors, more protein, and more meaty morsels in their dog food? Don’t look anywhere else because Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct is exactly that.
Perfect for dogs who leads an active lifestyle, this formula contains 30% more protein to support strong muscles and healthy organ functions. It has glucosamine for healthy joints and twice the number of meaty morsels compared to Purina One Lamb & Rice Formula.
You can also choose between two flavors: Salmon & Tuna or Beef & Bison, for dogs with food allergies.
It contains no poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
- Available in 2 flavors (Salmon & Tuna, Beef & Bison)
- Made with real meats and fish
- Contains 30% more protein
- Has 2x more meaty morsels
- Added with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals
- Has antioxidants
- No fillers, poultry by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives added.
This formula is for dogs who have a sensitive stomach, lots of allergies, or sensitive skin. It comes in 3 different flavors – all specially formulated for 3 different sensitivities, and kibble small enough even for small breeds.
Digestive Health Chicken is for dogs who have a sensitive stomach. It’s highly digestible and rich in live probiotics that support a healthy digestive system.
It has omega-6 for his skin and coat health and essential vitamins and minerals for joint health, eyes, and a strong immune system.
The second flavor, Limited Ingredient Chicken, is for dogs who have a lot of food sensitivities.
This recipe only uses 9 simple and healthy ingredients without corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives, and poultry by-products added. It’s enhanced with vitamins and minerals for his overall health too.
Lastly, the Sensitive Systems formula is for dogs who have sensitive skin. It’s a highly digestible formula made from real salmon that’s naturally rich in omega-6 fatty acids for his skin and coat.
It’s added with vitamins and minerals plus, gentle ingredients to nourish him inside and out.
- Good for dogs with sensitivities
- Comes in 3 flavors (Digestive Health Chicken, Limited Ingredient Chicken, Sensitive Systems Salmon)
- Made from real chicken and salmon meat
- Can be for small breeds
- Highly digestible formula
- Includes live probiotics for a healthy digestive system
- With omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals
- No preservatives or artificial flavor
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for our well-being, just the same for our dogs. Control the number of calories he gets by giving him this Purina Beneful Healthy Weight.
It’s a calorie-smart recipe that’s considered to be a 100% complete and balanced meal. It’s made from real chicken meat and features 23 vitamins and minerals from carefully selected vegetables and fruits.
For added texture, the kibbles are a mix of tender and crunchy kibbles. It has no preservatives or artificial flavoring added.
A word of warning, this recipe uses corn. If your dog is allergic to it, this is not for him.
- Good for dogs who need to control their weight and calorie intake
- Made with real chicken meat
- With 23 vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables
- Comes in a mix of crunchy kibble and tender meaty morsels
- No artificial flavors
Also related: Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
Purina Dog Food Ingredients Analysis
Turkey is considered to be a quality item. But because of its high moisture content, the meat content is greatly reduced after cooking. After processing, it only accounts for a smaller portion of the total content of the finished product.
Duck is the clean combination of flesh and skin and is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids dogs need to thrive.
Like turkey, chicken also has a moisture content of about 73%. After cooking, most of the moisture is lost, hence, reducing the meat content.
Brown Rice is a complex carbohydrate that when cooked, is easily digestible for dogs. Unfortunately, brown rice is only of modest nutritional value to dogs.
Oatmeal is a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. It’s naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and (depending on its purity) can be considered gluten-free.
Barley is a starchy carbohydrate rich in fiber and nutrients. However, compared to other ingredients, barley is only of modest nutritional value to dogs.
Beef broth is a common ingredient in canned pet foods. It’s only of modest nutritional value, but it adds more flavor and moisture to dog foods.
Beef fat is a quality ingredient obtained from rendering beef.
There is also a generic ingredient called animal fat found in some of Purina’s ingredients list. It’s a by-product of rendering, but because there is no mention of any animal, this item can come from anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased, or dying cattle.
Thus, generic animal fat is not a quality ingredient.
Pork lung is organ meat low in fat but rich in protein.
The liver is usually considered to be a quality ingredient (when the animal source is mentioned). In this case, it’s difficult to judge the quality of the ingredient.
Although not all formula from Purina contains poultry by-product meals, some recipes do have them. Poultry by-product meal is what’s made after all the prime cuts have been removed. It can contain beaks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and anything other than skeletal muscles.
On the bright side, they contain nearly 300% more protein compared to fresh poultry.
Chicken meal is a meat concentrate that contains 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
Corn is an inexpensive cereal grain. Other than a good source of energy, corn is of only modest nutritional value to dogs.
Wheat is also an inexpensive grain. And like corn, it’s only of modest nutritional value.
Corn gluten meal is the remaining rubbery residue from corn once most of its starchy carbohydrate is washed out. It contains about 60% protein – a factor to consider when judging the real meat content of the product.
For recipes in gravy form, corn starch is likely to be present. It’s a starchy powder extracted from corn used to thicken the broth into a gravy.
First, caramel is a natural coloring agent usually used by pet food manufacturers to put a golden-brown tint to the product. But a more concentrated version called caramel coloring is considered to be a controversial ingredient. Although deemed safe by the FDA, caramel coloring was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Besides, dogs don’t mind the color of their food. Any added coloring is unnecessary.
Glycerin is a natural sweetener and humectant used in the food industry to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
Although carrageenan has been used for hundreds of years as a food additive and thickening agent, recent controversy regarding its long-term biological safety has appeared. Carrageenan is extracted from seaweeds.
Menadione is a controversial form of Vitamin K that’s linked to liver toxicity, allergies, and abnormal breakdown of red blood cells.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a corn-based sugar used in making soft drinks, cookies, and candy. Similar to humans, sugar is unhealthy and poses no nutritional value at all to dogs.
In some ingredients list, Purina uses iron oxide. It’s a synthetic coloring to give food – or paint – a reddish color. Again, coloring is not considered to be necessary for dog foods.
In some recipes, Purina does not mention the kind of coloring used but only puts it as added color.
Most of Purina’s products do not include probiotics. But for those with them, they are a great addition as they are friendly bacteria that aids with digestion.
Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods. Unfortunately, most of Purina’s minerals in their recipe do not appear to be chelated. Minerals that aren’t chelated are more difficult to absorb for dogs.
Purina Recall History
Considering that Purina has been around for a long time, the company has had a few recalls over the years. This list, however, does not include recalls in the past from before the 2000s. But for your peace of mind, none of it were dog food products.
In June 2011, Purina recalled Cat Chow Naturals through a company press release due to a possible salmonella risk.
A month after in July 2011, Purina also recalled Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ dry cat food in 3.5 lb. and 7 lb. bags due to possible salmonella risk.
May 2012. The FDA recalled Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management canned cat food because of possible low thiamine.
August 2013. Due to possible salmonella risk, the FDA recalled Purina ONE Beyond Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food.
In March 2016, the company recalled Pro Plan Savory Meals in 10 oz. tubs (in varieties: Braised Chicken Entrée, Braised Pork Entrée, Braised Turkey Entrée, Grilled Salmon Entrée, Braised Beef & Rice Entrée) because of inadequate vitamins and minerals.
The following products from Beneful were also included in the recall:
- Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew, UPC #17800-10965
- Beneful Prepared Meals Chicken Stew, UPC #17800-12861
- Beneful Prepared Meals Simmered Beef Entrée, UPC #17800-10963
- Beneful Prepared Meals Simmered Chicken Medley, UPC #17800-10964
- Beneful Prepared Meals Beef & Chicken Medley, UPC #17800-12859
- Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Chicken Recipe, UPC #17800-10764
- Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Turkey Medley, UPC #17800-10968
- Beneful Prepared Meals Savory Rice & Lamb Stew, UPC #17800-10967
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Beef, Carrots, Peas & Barley, UPC #17800-15494
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Chicken, Carrots, Peas & Wild Rice, UPC #17800-15496
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Lamb, Brown Rice, Carrots, Tomatoes & Spinach, UPC #17800-15498
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Chicken, Liver, Peas, Brown Rice & Sweet Potatoes, UPC #17800-16960
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Salmon, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice & Spinach, UPC #17800-16962
- Beneful Chopped Blends With Turkey, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice & Spinach, UPC #17800-16966
Final Verdict: Is Purina Good for Dogs
Purina is an average dog food brand to give your dogs. It’s not one of the healthiest formulas, but for its price, it’s not bad. If you are tight on the budget and your dog doesn’t have that many sensitivities, Purina is okay.
But if you’re not a fan of by-products and additives, Purina is not what you’re looking for. Try Taste of the Wild or Blue Buffalo dog food. They can be quite expensive, but they are top-tier in terms of using only quality ingredients.
Nonetheless, I still highly recommend pet owners read the ingredients list first before deciding on a recipe. You can review the ingredients analysis above for some of the ingredients you should look out for.
Overall, Purina is not the worst but not the best either. Recommended.