Purina is one of those pet food brands you hear about in every vet’s office or dog show. The proponents of all-meat no-grain dog food call it overpriced and outdated, while breeders praise the consistent quality and obvious health benefits. Today we’ll try to get to the bottom of the controversy and decide whether Purina One dog food rating is deserved or blown out of proportion.
Which Purina One Dry Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?
Purina One Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Purina One product line includes the 12 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Purina One Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient ContentProtein =
Ingredients: Chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, whole grain wheat, soybean meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, natural flavor, glycerin, dried chicory root, calcium carbonate, mono and dicalcium phosphate, salt, caramel color, dried carrots, dried peas, potassium chloride, 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, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), biotin (vitamin B-7), ], minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate], sodium selenite, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine monohydrochloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||18%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||38%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient includes rice flour. Rice flour is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The next ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The next ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the choice cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.
The sixth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The seventh ingredient lists soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.
Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that can’t be ignored when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next item listed is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
After the natural flavor, we find glycerin. Glycerin is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Purina product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.
That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
Next, we find dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
This recipe also contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
And lastly, this dog food includes menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Based on its ingredient panel alone, Purina One Dog Food looks like an average dry kibble.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Which means this Purina product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and soybean meals and dried peas in this recipe and the inclusion of corn germ meal and soybean germ meal in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Overall Take In our analysis of 121 expert reviews, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Omega-6 Dry Dog Food
Discover what makes SmartBlend smart. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Lamb & Rice Formula adult dry dog food starts with real lamb as the #1 ingredient to help maintain your dog’s strong muscles, including a healthy heart. Each meal is highly-digestible and has a combination of protein-rich tender, meaty morsels and crunchy kibble, providing a taste your dog will love to help ensure he gets the complete and balanced nutrition he needs. This food for dogs has a dual-defense antioxidant blend of vitamins E and A and minerals zinc and selenium to help support his strong immune system while promoting healthy dog skin, and natural sources of glucosamine help support healthy joints. Give him a premium dog food variety that he’s sure to love, and give yourself the convenience and quality you love. Order Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Lamb & Rice, which is carefully formulated by Purina dog experts and nutritionists who are committed to delivering a positive impact on your dog’s health.
Purina ONE® SmartBlend® Chicken & Rice Formula Natural Adult Dog Food
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
This chicken-first formula is a true one-size-fits-all solution with plenty of protein for small pups and glucosamine for large breeds. An ideal choice for multi-canine homes!
Is it any wonder the chicken and rice combo is the best-seller of the Purina One Smartblend dog food line? The chicken-first formula is heavy on quality animal protein sources and light on fat, with plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your pooch gorgeous and energetic. And the naturally-occurring glucosamine from chicken and chicken by-product meal is a lifesaver for large breeds’ joints.
The kibble size is suitable for Poodles and German Shepherds alike, but it turned out to be inconsistent from one batch to the next. We discovered the same issue with the kibble formula. Our dogs gobbled one bag down while ignoring the other. It could be down to a bad batch or wrong storage conditions, but it could also result from unpredictable changes dog food manufacturers are so fond of. Still, this is a great starting point if you’ve never bought Purina kibble.
WHAT WE LOVED:
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:
Is Purina recommended by vets?
Is Purina One smart blend good for dogs with allergies?
Who makes Purina One SmartBlend dog food?
The main ingredient is meat, which is really important. This food does however contain grains, so it won’t be healthy for a dog allergic to them. This food does have additional omega fatty acids, though. This means dogs allergic to other things may find some relief for their symptoms.