Purina Bella Dog Food Review 2021

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Purina Bella may not be as popular as some of Purina’s other dog foods, but it is commonly recommended. 

Purina is one of the biggest producers of pet food in the world, making many different brands that all focus on something just a little bit different. 

For Purina Bella lines, that focus is on smaller canines. 

They tend to have smaller serving sizes, which can be extremely useful when you’re trying to feed a pint-sized dog. They also have both wet dog food and dry dog food formulas, so most owners will find an appropriate recipe. 

Keep reading our Bella Dog Food Review for an overview of their products and an analysis of their ingredients. 

Purina Bella Introduction

purina bella products

Purina Bella is a line specifically designed for small dogs ― which means their wet dog foods come in smaller containers, and their dry dog foods have a smaller kibble size. 

According to the company, their formulas are also specifically formulated for small dogs. However, it was difficult to find specifics on what this actually meant, as the AAFCO does not specify any particular dietary requirements for more petite pooches. 

Some of their recipes are grain-free, and a few others are all-natural. Most do not include any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. Plus, many also include some sort of meat as the first ingredient. 

However, even with this being the case, the quality of this meat does widely vary. 

What Kind of Dog Food Does Purina Bella offer?

Purina Bella prides itself on offering a variety of different food options for small dogs. They provide both wet dog foods and dry dog foods, and all are “specifically formulated.” 

There isn’t a hugely significant difference between their different food brands. All their recipes share the same common focus: small dogs. The ingredients are all pretty similar as well. 

The only major difference is the form of food in most cases, between those wet and dry options. 

Purina Bella Natural Bites

Purina Bella Natural Bites offers both wet and dry foods to pick from. Currently, there are two different wet food recipes and two different dry food recipes available. 

This isn’t as much as some other brands, but it does provide you with some variety. 

These recipes offer pieces of shredded meat and energy-dense bites for extra texture and flavor. Like all Purina Bella recipes, it is specifically formulated for small breed dogs. 

According to the company, their formulas are more densely packed, as smaller dogs have smaller stomachs. This line also features a variety of added nutrients, including antioxidants and minerals. 

Our Recommended Product: Purina Bella Natural Bites with Real Chicken & Beef & Accents of Sweet Potatoes & Spinach Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food features real chicken and beef, providing complete nutrition for small breed dogs. 

Purina Bella Natural Bites Chicken

Key Features:

  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals included
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives


Purina Bella Pate

Pate is Purina Bella’s main wet food option. They offer 13 different recipes in this category, and all are packed into slightly smaller containers to make it easier to properly portion for tiny dogs. 

All of these dog foods include real animal protein, usually in the form of whole meat. Veggies of all sorts are included as well, though many recipes are grain-free. 

This feature is great for dogs that are sensitive to grains.

These recipes do not include any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, they include various vitamins and minerals that are specifically chosen for smaller dogs. 

Our Recommended Product: Purina Bella Grain-Free Pate with Lamb, Peas and Sweet Potatoes Wet Dog Food

This recipe features both real chicken and lamb in the ingredient list ― two high-quality animal proteins.

Purina Bella Grain-Free Pate with Lamb

Key Features:

  • Specifically formulated for smaller dogs
  • High amounts of chicken included
  • Grain-free


Purina Bella Morsels in Sauce

This recipe line is very similar to the Pate recipes, especially in terms of nutrition and ingredients. However, this Bella wet dog food is not ground like the previous option. Instead, it features chunks of meat and veggies. 

Whether your dog prefers the Pate option or the Morsel option is a matter of their preference. Due to the similarities between these two foods, your main consideration should be which one your dog enjoys more. 

Like all Purina Bella lines, this option is specifically formulated with small breed dogs in mind. The serving sizes are smaller, making it far easier for them to eat. 



Purina Bella Ingredient Analysis

As far as ingredients go, this brand falls in the middle of the pack. They don’t include many high-quality ingredients, but they also don’t include lots of low-quality ingredients. 

Their recipes do differ from line to line, so always check the ingredient list of your specific dog food ― some will contain worse elements than others. 

Most of their recipes start with some sort of meat as the first ingredient. However, the quality of this meat varies widely. In fact, it can range from whole meat to an unnamed meat by-product

Preferably, you want your dog consuming most of their protein from whole meat or named meat meal. This is, simply, a dehydrated meat. And because much of the moisture has been removed, it is actually more nutritious per ounce than whole meat. 

Plus, you have to cook down meat to use it in dry food anyway. Therefore, your canine really isn’t eating whole meat, even if it is listed on the ingredient list ― this meat will have needed to be processed considerably before it is included in the final dog food product. 

There are several problems involving meat by-products, especially those that aren’t named. The main being that you really don’t know what you’re getting. 

By-products are the leftovers after the meat has been processed. In some cases, these are nutritious ingredients, like organ meat. In other cases, they may be ingredients completely absent of nutrition, like feathers in chicken by-product meal. 

You have no idea which ingredients you’re getting when the term “by-product” is listed. Your dog could be getting great nutrition ― or not. In fact, most by-product meals are not as nutritious or digestible as whole meats. [1]

Furthermore, when the source of the by-product isn’t named, you have absolutely no idea where it is coming from. You’d like to think that it is coming from a normal ingredient, like chicken or beef, but this isn’t always the case. 

Unnamed products can come from euthanized shelter animals, roadkill, and a whole host of other less-than-stellar options. 

On top of the lower-quality meat ingredients, these recipes also include corn gluten meal. This additive is a corn by-product that is present after much of the starch has been removed. It is very high in protein, which is why many different companies use it. 

However, it provides only veggie-based protein. 

Dogs may have a harder time breaking this down than meat-based protein. The reason it’s used is because it can help pad the overall protein content of the food, making it seem higher than it really is. 

Whole grain corn and whole grain wheat are commonly included as well. These don’t contain many of the nutrients our dogs need, but they are a cheap carbohydrate source. In many cases, these ingredients are used to cheaply raise the caloric content of food. [2]

Furthermore, whole grain corn is not an allergy-friendly alternative to wheat, as dogs can have negative reactions to it. [3]

Soybean meal is commonly included as well, and there are several problems with this. 

Firstly, soybean meal is usually very high in pesticide residue. This is largely because soybeans can stand larger amounts of pesticides, so farmers tend to spray more on them. [4]

They are also very high in protein. However, this protein is not meat-based, so it will contain different amino acids than your dog might need. Plant-based protein is not considered as high-quality as that from meat. 

Brewer’s rice is also usually included in these foods’ ingredients. While this is somewhat controversial, we haven’t actually found any evidence that it may be harmful. It is very high in protein, though, so keep this in mind when reading the overall protein contents of any food that contains it. 

Purina Bella Reviews

Like most Purina brands, many people were amazed by how much their dogs loved this food. It seems like a great option for older, pickier dogs ― especially if you choose wet food. Much of the added flavor is likely due to the beef fat. 

Plus, some dogs simply enjoy wet foods better than dry foods. 

For instance, one customer said this about Purina Bella Grilled Chicken Flavor in Savory Juices Small Breed Wet Dog Food Trays:

“My dog seemed to enjoy the food. It did not cause an upset stomach as some of the other wet dog foods do. I offered the sample portion as an addition to his regular meal, and since he ate it. I purchased a few more, and he continues to enjoy them. I would recommend this food for those trying to find alternate feeding methods for their dogs.”

You can read more Purina Bella reviews on Chewy.

However, we would like to point out that some of these recipes may be less calorie- and nutrition-dense than other pet food formulas, due to the lower-quality ingredients. 

Therefore, if you switch dog foods, they may eat more of these formulas than others. But not because they like the taste better ― because they still need to receive the same amount of nutrition and eat more to compensate. 

The dry dog food usually has similarly high reviews, though they aren’t necessarily as good as the wet food recipes. Many people stated that their dogs enjoyed the wet food more, though you could probably say this about any wet food. 

For instance, one reviewer stated this about Purina Bella Natural Bites with Real Chicken & Turkey & Accents of Carrots & Green Beans Small Breed Dry Dog Food:

“My boys like it with something. So I mix it with canned. They’ll eat it dry when Mom hasn’t made it to the store for more canned.”

You can read more Purina Bella reviews on Chewy.

Purina Bella Dog Food Recalls

At this time, we have not found any recalls specifically associated with the Purina Bella line. However, while this formula hasn’t had any recalls, Purina has had a few. 

It is important to remember that they are a huge company, though, and so are bound to make mistakes regarding their food at some point. For their size and age, this company has had fewer recalls than we would expect. 

Many of their recalls are also voluntary, which means that the company locates the problem and recalls the food without the FDA getting involved. 

Overall, this seems like a very safe brand, especially if you’re judging them only on their dog food recalls. 

You can keep up with current recalls by checking out the FDA website. Not all voluntary recalls will be listed here, however.

Our Verdict

Based on our Bella dog food review, this brand is about average. Their ingredients are often far less high-quality than we would like, and they frequently use by-products in their foods instead of whole meat. 

Most of their formulas also include at least some controversial products, like corn and soybean meal. 

However, they are rather inexpensive, and their smaller portion sizes are great for tiny dogs. If you have a smaller dog and are on a budget, this food may be the one for you.

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AUTHOR
Kristin has been writing about dogs and their nutrition for the last four years. She enjoys educating pet parents on the best things to feed their beloved furry friends using the latest scientific research.

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