If you’re interested in this dog food brand, read on to our complete Purina Dog Chow review below.
Dog Chow is a budget brand owned by the Purina Nestle company. This is one of the largest pet food companies in the world ― they own dozens of dog food brands, most of which are budget options and focused mostly on keeping costs down.
This brand is no different. Dog Chow is much less expensive than other brands, and the quality of their ingredients does suffer because of this.
Keep reading for our complete review of this common dog food.
Dog Chow Line Introduction
Like most Purina dog foods, this brand is made in the United States in Purina-owned facilities.
This brand is, comparatively, ancient. Purina Dog Chow was first released in 1957, making it one of the oldest dog food brands currently still around.
Plus, Purina quickly became a rather large pet food company after releasing this line, making it one of their most successful to date.
You can get Dog Chow just about anywhere ― it is commonly carried in grocery stores and pet stores alike. Most online retailers carry it as well.
This dog food is designed to be a budget option, first and foremost. It is inexpensive, and so uses many lower-quality ingredients. Meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, and whole-grain corn all commonly occur in their dog food recipes.
What Kind of Dog Food Does Dog Chow Offer?
While Dog Chow is one of the more popular brands, they don’t actually produce many recipes. There are just two major Dog Chow product lines, and not many formulas are included within each of those lines.
Furthermore, these different products aren’t all that different from each other. Most of them include similar ingredients, like soybean meal. They are made with cost-effectiveness in mind, which isn’t always the best option for your canine.
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult
Their Complete line is designed for adults and is, easily, one of their most popular recipes. When you see their food in supermarkets, this is probably the group of formulas you’ll find.
As the name suggests, this food is focused on providing your dog with complete and balanced nutrition at a budget-friendly price. And, for the most part, it does a pretty good job of this.
However, it also has the problem that affects most Dog Chow lines ― low-quality ingredients.
These recipes are, quite simply, made with some of the worst ingredients around.
They typically use tons of poultry by-product meal and grains. And high-quality meat is hard to come by.
Our Recommended Product: Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food
This formula meets AAFCO standards while remaining extremely inexpensive.
- Balanced nutrition
- 23 vitamins and minerals
High Protein (Dry & Wet)
Purina Dog Chow also makes some high-protein recipes. These formulas aren’t as high-protein as other dog food brands out there, but they contain more protein than the previous line we reviewed.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this line contains more meat. For the most part, it appears that the company uses veggie-based protein to increase the crude protein content of this food line. For instance, wheat gluten appears very high on the ingredient list.
The high-protein wet foods seem to be the most popular, but they do make dry food options as well. These have fairly similar ingredients, though the wet food contains less whole grain wheat and other grain-based ingredients.
Our Recommended Product: Dog Chow High Protein Beef in Savory Gravy Canned Dog Food
While this recipe does say “beef,” it actually includes mostly chicken according to the ingredient list.
- 40 grams of protein per can
- Gravy to stimulate appetite
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
Dog Chow Ingredient Analysis
As a budget brand, Purina Dog Chow is designed to be as cheap as possible. To accomplish this, they use extremely low-quality ingredients throughout their dog foods.
Meat and bone meal commonly occurs very high in the ingredient list, and this additive is an extremely low-quality meat option. It is completely unnamed, so we simply don’t know where it comes from.
It could literally be anything. It may be something high-quality like chicken, but it could also contain roadkill and euthanized animals. You just don’t know.
Typically, meat and bone meal includes lower-quality parts of the animal, like the hair, hooves, and hide. These are obviously not the highest-quality cuts of meat and can be lacking in nutrition.
It is absolutely not whole meat ― that’s for sure.
Furthermore, meat and bone meal is often difficult for dogs to digest. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it could be because this ingredient is simply lower in amino acids.
Corn gluten meal is commonly included as well. This additive is the part of corn that is left after the starchy part is removed. It is extremely high in protein, but this protein is vegetable-based, and so probably isn’t the best option for your dog.
Corn gluten meal may simply be more difficult for them to digest and doesn’t include all the necessary amino acids they need to thrive. This ingredient’s digestibility for dogs is likely similar to what it is for cats.
Corn gluten meal is also associated with bloat in dogs ― a serious condition that affects the dog’s digestive system.
Beef fat appears in most recipes. While this isn’t a very yummy-sounding ingredient, it is actually a decent quality option. The added fat increases the fat quantity in the food and also improves the taste.
It isn’t odd to find soybean meal, which is derived from soybeans. Soy is not the best option for most dogs, because ― while it is high in protein ― this protein is veggie-based.
Soybean meal is also rather high in pesticides, which your dog shouldn’t be consuming either.
Chicken by-product meal or some other by-products are sometimes included. These are a higher-quality option than meat and bone meal. However, they run into similar problems.
By-products just aren’t as nutritious as other meat ingredients. Plus, you never really know what is in them. By-products are anything that is left over after the animal is processed. And if the source is unnamed, it adds even more to the unknown factor.
Various kinds of cereal grain are often included, such as whole-grain corn and whole-grain wheat. These don’t provide much nutritional value to the dog, but they are inexpensive sources of calories.
While many of these recipes claim to include real chicken, this usually doesn’t show up until much lower on the ingredient list. For the most part, your adult dog will be getting their protein from other sources.
Always check the ingredient list ― don’t judge food by the claims on the front of the bag.
Purina Dog Chow Reviews
Most customers stated that their dogs love the taste of this product. This may be due to the added animal digest, which improves the flavor.
While taste isn’t necessarily a good indicator of a food’s quality, it can be helpful if your dogs are picky. After all, no food is going to do them any good if they won’t eat it. This company also makes a point to add things like chicken flavor to improve the taste.
Many of the wet dog food recipes come in gravy, which stimulates the appetite of most dogs as well. While this food usually doesn’t include many animal proteins, dogs don’t seem to mind when judging on taste alone.
For example, one customer added this review to Dog Chow High Protein Beef in Savory Gravy Canned Dog Food:
“I have always used Purina products for all my dogs; they enjoy them all. This has plenty of gravy, so I don’t need to add anything to it, and they look forward to their eating time”You can read more Purina Dog Chow reviews on Chewy.
Many Purina Dog Chow reviews also complained about the low-quality ingredients, though. Some dog owners were disappointed with all the grain and low-quality meats from a company like Purina.
Some were also disappointed at the amount of gravy the wet dog food seemed to contain. One customer in particular has this to say about Dog Chow Hearty Stews With Real Chicken & Vegetables In Savory Gravy High Protein Wet Dog Food:
“Not enough meat or veggies. Lots of Gravy. I can make my own dog stew for a better price.”You can read more Purina Dog Chow reviews on Chewy.
Purina Dog Chow Recalls
There have been no recalls specifically on the Dog Chow brand itself. However, the Nestle Purina Petcare Company has experienced some recalls on their other dog food brands, many of which are made in the same facilities as Dog Chow.
With that said, most of the Purina recalls are voluntary. This means that the company located the problem and voluntarily recalled its products without being forced by the FDA.
This type of recall is usually a pretty good indication that the company keeps an eye on its food quality.
Overall, this seems to be a relatively safe brand. With how old it is, you would absolutely expect it to be recalled at least once, but this isn’t the case. Compared to other dog food brands out there, this food has far fewer recalls.
You can stay updated on new recalls through the FDA’s website.
Dog Chow is a below-average food, largely because of the ingredients it includes. Poultry by-product meal and whole grain corn are common additives.
Many recipes state that they include real chicken, but this ingredient usually doesn’t occur until much further down on the list.
In most cases, the main source of animal protein is meat and bone meal, which makes us question the protein quality of this food.
This dog food brand is an extremely inexpensive option for adult dogs, though it accomplishes this mostly by cutting corners with ingredients. If you can afford something of higher quality, then we highly recommend it.