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Purina Dog Food Review | Ratings | Recalls

Purina is owned by Nestlé and is one of the biggest pet food-producing companies in the world.

Purina has a number of product lines made for dogs, with the Pro Plan line being the premium-quality dog food that the company produces.

Purina also produces veterinary therapeutic prescription diets as part of the Pro Plan product line, and as a brand is partnered with the WSAVA and the ACVIM and enjoys the endorsement of many veterinarians around the world.

All Purina dog foods adhere to AAFCO standards, with the Pro Plan line being of very high quality.

About Purina

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Purina (originally Ralston-Purina) traces its roots to 1894 when the founder of the company, William H. Denforth, started an animal feed company called Purina Mills.

Their products ranged from farm animal feed to pet food. The company was eventually bought by Nestlé (a Swiss corporation and the biggest food corporation in the world) in 2001 and was merged with Nestlé ’s Friskies division to form Nestlé  Purina Petcare Company.

In 2012, Purina was the largest pet food company in the USA and the second-largest in the world. [1, 2]

Food Quality

Purina sets itself apart from most other pet food companies by investing heavily in research and development through its Purina Institute.

The Purina Institute is a Diamond Partner with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and is also partnered with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). [3]

The brand uses a range of high-quality food ingredients. The ingredients used are either fresh (ex. Fresh meat) or processed (ex. Animal-derived meals).

Purina uses some artificial flavoring and coloring agents (ex. Blue 2 which is FDA approved).

All Purina dog diets meet or exceed the AAFCO nutrient profile standards. They also supplement the grain-free diets they produce with taurine to avoid the development of conditions like Dilated Cardiomyopathy. [4]

Environmental Policy

Purina says that it aims to reduce its footprint on the environment. Purina as a part of Nestlé aims to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce water consumption, and reach zero waste disposal from their plants in the close future. [5, 6]

The Purina dog food plant in Colorado currently has the largest privately-owned solar panel system of the state and is using it to power all its operations. 

Purina claims to source for high quality, sustainably sourced ingredients in a bid to not only protect your dog but also the environment. [7, 8, 9]

However, Purina must abide by Nestlé ’s supplier code. Nestlé was under scrutiny a number of times for being one of the food corporation heavyweights accused of sourcing palm oil from growers using environmentally destructive methods. [10, 11]

Nestlé has since stopped sourcing ingredients from a number of growers and suppliers that have been found to use these practices. [12, 13, 14]

Purina Dog Food Product Lines

Purina carries a large range of product line, each with their specificity. Here is a non exhaustive list of all the brands they currently support.

PRO PLAN

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Pro Plan is Purina’s premium product line. It uses the best ingredients they could source to provide Purina’s specialist and performance-based formulas.

This line aims to keep your dog looking and feeling in tip-top form, and some of its foods claim to have a number of health benefits.

Some are common between different products and others are specific to the dog demographics that they target (ex. large breed puppies, aging dogs, overweight dogs).

Performance-oriented diets target working and sporting dogs that need that extra edge and maintenance.

PRO PLAN Veterinary Diet

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Purina also produces a Veterinary therapeutic line of products.

These aim to help dogs suffering from chronic diseases to manage their conditions through nutritional means.

While these diets are not meant to replace medication, they aim to alleviate pressure on the affected body system by addressing the nutritional aspects.

It is nowadays common practice for veterinarians to prescribe these diets to help with a range of conditions from urinary stones to arthritis.

This particular diet stars a number of alternative protein sources such as trout and vegetable proteins. Due to the alternative ingredients used in the diet, it is supplemented with taurine.

The diet is also rich in omega 3 to control inflammatory reactions resulting from allergic reactions and support skin health.

ONE

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Purina One dog food is a high-quality dog food that comes a close second to the Pro Plan line.

This product line uses high-quality protein sources (ex. salmon, chicken, etc) as the first ingredient of all products.

This product line also has grain-free products, products with dehydrated meat chunks, and veterinary recommended diets with specific health benefits.

BEYOND

purina beyond products

The Beyond line uses natural ingredients such as meat and fish, vegetables, and whole grains, to provide a healthy boost for your dog’s nutrition.

They have recently added probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans for extra gut health.

BENEFUL

purina beneful products

Beneful products put the owner’s mind at rest by having farm-raised meat and vegetables high on the ingredients list and visible in the food.

The products are using no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

DOG CHOW

purina puppy chow products

Dog Chow features both Puppy and Adult lines, as well as Small Dog, Large Breed, and High protein varieties, so you can pick a specific diet based on your dog’s individual needs.

Dog Chow dog food often has whole grain corn as the first ingredient of the diet.

Purina also uses a number of US and EU approved colorants such as Yellow 6 and 5, Red 40, and Blue 2 in Dog Chow dog foods.

While these ingredients might put some dog owners off, most owners recommend this food with many praising the affordability and palatability of the food.

ALPO

purina alpo products

The ALPO line focuses on providing a flavorful range of both dry and wet food for a tasty, meaty experience.

Meat is not featured highly in their ingredient list. The dry food range has ground yellow corn as their first ingredient.

This is followed by meat meals and digests as protein sources. It also contains a number of artificial colorants (ex. Yellow 5 and Blue 2).

On the other hand the wet food range is composed of more fresh meat. Owner reviews are mostly favorable with most commenting on the palatability of the food.

BELLA

purina bella products

Bella is a natural food line geared specifically towards small dogs with high amounts of meat and vegetables and free from artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives.

Both wet and dry Bella products have meat by-products as their first ingredients.

While this dog food line is not premium quality, it enjoys good reviews from small dog owners praising the dog food for its palatability and for keeping their dogs at a healthy weight.

MIGHTY DOG

purina migty dog products

Mighty dog is another line designed for small dogs, with loads of flavors and textures of wet food to choose from.

Mighty dog products are also designed to provide them with enough protein and energy for their higher nutritional requirements.

Purina Dog Food Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2007. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

  • St. Louis, Missouri, 16th March 2007 – Voluntary withdrawal of 5.3 ounce Mighty Dog brand pouch products produced by Menu Foods, Inc. between the 3rd December 2006 and 14th March 2007. Recalled product code is #6337 to #7073 with plant code being #1798. Reason: Possible Melamine contamination. [15]
  • St. Louis, Missouri, 30th March 2007 – Voluntary withdrawal of 13.2 ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts and 6, 8, 12, and 24 can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs. Recalled product code starting #7037 to #7053 and plant code being #1159. Reason: Possible Melanine contamination.[16]
  • 30th August 2013 – 3.5 pound Purina One Beyond Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food with production code #31071083 were voluntarily recalled. Reason: Possible Salmonella contamination. [17]
  • 9th March 2016 – 10 ounce tubs of Beneful wet dog food with product code starting #5363 to #6054. 10 ounce tubs of Purina Pro Plan Savory Meals wet dog food with product code starting #5363 to #6054. Reason: Inadequate vitamins and minerals. [18]

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. [19]

FAQ

What do the codes like V-4484 and K-4449 at the end of the ingredient lists mean? 

K-4449 is not an ingredient. These are product codes that are specific to every Purina product.

Where is Purina dog food made?

Purina operates factories in the USA, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Factories are distributed around the globe so as to increase the proximity between producer and consumer.

For example, US consumers will be getting food made in the USA.

Is Purina recommended by vets?

Vets like all people have varying opinions. However, some Purina product lines (ex. Pro Plan) and research efforts are supported by a number of veterinary bodies like the WSAVA and the ACVIM.

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