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Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Review

This is our review of Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food.

I’m a former veterinary technician who’s researched the best dog food brands, so you don’t have to. And now, I’ve taken an in-depth look at Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind formulas to help you determine if this brand is the best choice for your senior pup.

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind products have an exclusive formula that supports cognitive health in aging dogs. Purina is a well-respected brand with a long history as a leader in the pet food industry.

This formula does contain some controversial ingredients. But overall, it is an excellent senior dog food that includes beneficial supplements for brain function.

In this Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind review, we will analyze the nutritional content, customer reviews, and potential alternatives for this famous brand.

Let’s get started!

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Overview

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food is a specialized line within the Purina Pro Plan family. [1]

The Purina Pro Plan line is Purina’s premium brand of pet food. These formulas use specialized nutrition to meet the unique needs of individual dogs.

All Pro Plan options use real meat as the first ingredient and meet AAFCO canine nutrition guidelines. These dog foods provide balanced nutrition from quality ingredients.

Bright Mind products feature exclusive recipes for senior dogs over the age of seven. Their high concentrations of specific ingredients help support brain health and cognitive function as pups age.

Owners can also select Purina Bright Mind formulas designed specifically for large breed dogs or small breeds. And wet food options that help encourage fussy seniors to eat their meals.

The Pro Plan Bright Mind product line includes three dry and two wet dog food recipes. Here is a list of all of the senior dog food offered in this range.

  1. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula
  2. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Small Breed Formula
  3. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed Formula
  4. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Turkey & Brown Rice Wet Dog Food
  5. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Beef & Brown Rice Wet Dog Food

Our detailed analysis will focus on the Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula. This dog food is the most popular product in the Bright Minds line and is suitable for a wide range of senior pups.




Recipe and Label Analysis

Here is a detailed analysis of the label found on our sample of Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food.

Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Dry Dog Food Formula

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken

Ingredients list: Chicken, poultry by-product meal, rice, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, corn germ meal, vegetable oil (source of medium-chain triglycerides), pearled barley, fish meal, dried egg product, fish oil, natural flavor, l-arginine, soybean oil, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), folic acid (vitamin B-9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B-7), ], mono and dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (vitamin C), dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, garlic oil.

Bold denotes controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content

MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%16%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%34%38%

Crude Fiber Content: 3.0% Max

Total Caloric Content: 423 kcal/cup




Ingredient Analysis

Although this formula includes some controversial ingredients, it is relatively safe for most dogs to consume. Purina uses mostly high-quality ingredients that have to meet health and safety standards. But, you should always consult your vet when selecting a new diet for your dog.

Like all Pro Plan formulas, this dog food uses real meat as the first ingredient. Chicken is a high-quality source of animal protein. 

Animal protein should always provide the foundation for your canine companion’s diet. [2] The real chicken in this recipe contributes to the higher 29% crude protein content to prevent muscle loss in older dogs.

However, older dogs often suffer from allergies. And chicken is a common cause of food allergies. [3] If your pup is sensitive to foods that contain this ingredient, this dog food may not be the best choice for him.

Raw chicken can also contain nearly 73% water, which reduces this ingredient’s meat content when cooked.

Meat concentrates like poultry by-product meals can offer almost 300% more protein than the equivalent amount of fresh poultry. [4] This meal is the second ingredient found in the formula. But by-products are sometimes considered controversial.

Poultry by-product meal is a dry rendered blend of meat, bones, beaks, feet, and undeveloped eggs leftover from slaughtered poultry. These blends are generally less expensive and considered lower quality than the prime cuts removed for human consumption.

The leftover bones found in poultry by-products often act as natural sources of glucosamine. Senior dogs who suffer from joint discomfort can significantly benefit from this chondroprotective ingredient.  [5]

Rice is the third ingredient in this recipe. This grain provides an excellent source of easily digestible carbohydrates for dogs and high concentrations of minerals. These formulas are grain-inclusive, so you may want to consider other brands if you prefer grain-free diets.

This ingredient’s quality is hard to judge because the label does not clarify the type of ground rice. Brown rice and whole-grain rice have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than refined white rice.

Next on the list of ingredients is whole grain corn, an inexpensive cereal grain. This controversial ingredient has modest nutritional value for dogs but is high in energy. Some dogs may also experience allergic reactions to corn.

The fifth ingredient in this pet food is corn gluten meal. Meal production occurs after the removal of corn’s starchy carbohydrate content. Gluten residue is high in protein, but plant proteins have a low bioavailability for dogs.

Corn gluten meal is a controversial ingredient because it may not provide much nutritional value for dogs, despite boosting the label’s total protein content. Still, this ingredient is safe for most dogs who do not suffer from corn or gluten allergies.

Whole grain wheat is the sixth ingredient in this formula. This grain is generally considered a healthy digestible carbohydrate source, But wheat is more controversial than rice. 

Many dog foods exclude wheat to prevent adverse reactions in dogs with gluten sensitivities. [6] Your sensitive pup may prefer a wheat-free formula. But if your dog does well on a grain-inclusive diet, whole grains are a much healthier option than refined ones.

This formula is heavily reliant on corn-based ingredients. The next element, corn germ meal, is produced by grinding corn germ after removing most of the plant’s oil. This by-product is protein-rich but also less bioavailable than meat protein.

Vegetable oil provides a concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides. This ingredient is a fat supplement produced from coconut oil or palm kernel.

Fatty-acids from medium-chain triglycerides have a demonstrated ability to improve cognitive skills in older dogs. [7] It is very safe to feed and can even help treat CDS, or canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

Barley is the ninth ingredient, another starchy carbohydrate. But barley also supplies significant amounts of fiber and other nutrients. Fiber is vital for older dogs as it acts as a prebiotic to nourish gut bacteria and promote digestive regularity. [8]

Essential components of a cognitive health formula include fish meal and fish oil, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are vital for the immune system, coat, skin, and eye health. [8] But they also play a crucial role in preserving brain health in senior dogs.

dog food bowl of dry food

Other Notable Ingredients

Soybean oil is a more controversial fat source. It is high in omega-6 fatty acids but does not provide as much omega-3 as fish oil. Soy is also a common allergen avoided in some canine diets. [9]

Although the garlic oil found in this formula may provide immune support for older dogs, it is also controversial. Some studies link garlic to the development of canine Heinz body anemia. [10]

The last controversial ingredient of this recipe is Menadione. Allergies, impaired liver function, and abnormal blood cell counts are associated with this synthetic form of vitamin K. [11] AAFCO does not have specific recommendations for this vitamin in the canine diet. [12]

High levels of Vitamin A in this recipe are essential for the aging brain and eye health. However, it is unclear if vitamins and minerals in this recipe are chelates. Chelated minerals offer enhanced bioavailability by linking to amino acids. [13]

The probiotics from dried fermentation products also help make this formula ideal for seniors. Probiotics help support good bacteria in your dog’s gut. These microorganisms help improve nutrient absorption to make sure your senior dog gets proper nutrition from his diet. [14]

Glucosamine is another vital ingredient for seniors. Additional glucosamine from natural sources help support aging joints and ease discomfort in pups who suffer from arthritis.

Nutrient Analysis

The nutritional content of this Pro Plan Bright Mind formula is relatively standard for most senior dry dog foods.

The high 29% crude protein content from real chicken provides essential amino acids for muscle health. A dry matter protein content of 33% accounts for the moisture present in the kibble.

Senior dogs can lose muscle mass as they age. A higher protein concentration helps ensure that your older dog stays in good condition. It is also useful for elderly pups who may lose their appetite and need to get adequate protein levels from small serving sizes.

Chicken is an excellent lean protein source for senior dogs because it does not include excessive fat. Fatty protein sources may contain excessive calories that could lead to weight gain and older dogs’ health problems.

A moderate 14% crude fat content and 16% dry matter content is ideal for our older furry friends. High-fat content may provide too much extra energy and calories for elderly couch potatoes.

Although the total fat content is moderate, several healthy sources of fat in this recipe play a vital role in improving alertness and mental sharpness. Concentrated levels of omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides support cognitive function and help prevent degenerative conditions.

The fat to protein ratio of 51% is the primary source of this senior pet food’s 423 kcal/cup caloric content. And this grain-inclusive formula still contains a below-average 43% carbohydrate content safe for adult dogs over seven years old.

Purina Bright Mind Reviews

94% of pet parents who feed this dog food would recommend the product. And over 350 reviews give this formula a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Many reviewers share that their vet recommended this pet food brand for older dogs suffering from cognitive issues.

Owners noticed increased alertness and brighter expressions in their elderly friends who ate this diet. But, some picky seniors may not like the dry dog food.

“Purina Bright Mind came highly recommended by our vet when my foster dog was first diagnosed with early-stage dementia. I began to see an improvement in just a few months.”

You can read more Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind reviews on Chewy.

Recalls

You can make sure that any dog food is safe before feeding your pup by checking the current FDA Recalls list here. The FDA will recall any formulas that are contaminated or have caused health problems.

This product is not on the recall list. And neither are any other Purina dog foods.

Alternatives

If Purina Bright Mind dog food isn’t the right fit, several other similar dog foods also support senior brain health.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Food

This Blue Buffalo senior dog food is an excellent soy, wheat, and corn-free formula for owners of sensitive dogs who don’t want to feed by-products.

This high-protein diet is also explicitly formulated for senior dogs and includes healthy fats for brain health.

Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Chicken

Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food

If you need a more budget-friendly senior dog food, consider Diamond Naturals Senior Formula.

This recipe uses high-quality whole food ingredients to provide a similar nutrient content to Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind at a lower price.

Hills Prescription Diet b:d Brain Aging Care Chicken

Hill’s Prescription Diet b/d Brain Aging Care

Sometimes advanced cognitive conditions need prescription nutrition.

If your senior dog needs advanced mental support from his diet, talk to your veterinarian about Hill’s Prescription Diet Brain Aging Care Dog Food.

Our Verdict

We recommend Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ dog food for older pups who need extra cognitive support.

Although Pro Plan formulas may contain some controversial ingredients, they are safe recipes with balanced nutritional content. But, they may not be suitable for dogs with food allergies.

This review demonstrated how the premium ingredients in these dog foods help improve brain health and even manage some cognitive conditions. Probiotics, lean protein, and extra joint support help make Bright Mind dog foods well suited for aging dogs.

Talk to your veterinarian today to see if Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Bright Mind dog food could help your senior friend enjoy his golden years.

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