Purina Puppy Chow Rating

If you’re about to bring a new puppy into your home, then your shopping list probably seems never-ending. Of course, choosing a nutritious puppy food should be at the top of your list, but this process is often easier said than done.

The Purina Puppy Chow line includes several wet and dry dog food formulas that have been expertly designed to meet the dietary needs of most puppies. In contrast to adult dog food, puppy-specific recipes contain a higher concentration of calories and a different blend of vitamins and minerals that support your pup’s physical and mental growth.

Overall, the Purina Puppy Chow line is an excellent option for dog owners looking for an affordable and easily accessible dry food for growing puppies. Depending on your budget and your dog’s specific needs, however, there could be a better option out there.

Related products

Our Rating of Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food

Purina Puppy Chow is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Those looking for a similar wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Purina Healthy Morsels canned dog food.

Which Purina Dog Chow Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

Purina Dog Chow receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1.5 stars.

The Purina Dog Chow product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Chicken Flavor 1.5 M
Purina Dog Chow Tender and Crunchy 1.5 M
Purina Dog Chow Little Bites 1.5 M
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Beef Flavor 1.5 M
Purina Dog Chow High Protein with Real Lamb 1.5 M
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Lamb Flavor 1.5 M

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Chicken Flavor 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: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate], sodium selenite, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), folic acid (vitamin B-9), biotin (vitamin B-7), ], yellow 6, l-tryptophan, yellow 5, red 40, blue 2, garlic oil

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Protein =

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 21% 10% NA
Dry Matter Basis 24% 11% 57%
Calorie Weighted Basis 22% 26% 52%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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.

The second ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

The third 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 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.

The fifth ingredient is 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 must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient includes 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.

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.

After the egg and chicken flavor, we find wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

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, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any 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, 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.

In addition, this recipe 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.

Next, garlic oil can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Additionally, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, this food contains 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 its nutrient profiles, we question the use of this item in any canine recipe.

Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Dog Chow looks like a below-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Which means this Purina product line contains…

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and soybean meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

At a Glance: The Best Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food Recipes:

Although the Purina Puppy Chow line does include wet food, these products are not readily available online or in stores. Because of this, we’ll be focusing our review on the brand’s top dry food formulas:

Rating Product Details
Our Favorite Winner Purina Puppy Chow Natural Plus Vitamins & Minerals
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Includes DHA
  • calcium
  • and antioxidants
  • Naturally flavored with liver
  • Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy
  • Meets nutritional requirements for all breeds
  • Includes calcium
  • DHA
  • and antioxidants
  • Combines traditional kibble with tender beef pieces
  • Purina Puppy Chow Complete
  • Meets nutritional guidelines for all breeds
  • Includes key vitamins and minerals
  • Fortified with DHA for brain and vision development
  • FAQ

    Do vets recommend Purina Dog Chow?

    Our Rating of Purina Dog Chow Dry Dog Food

    Purina Dog Chow is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of unnamed meat and bone meal or named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars. Not recommended.

    Is Purina Puppy Chow recalled?

    Yes, Purina Pro Plan is good for dogs. Backed by 400+ Purina scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists, and veterinarians, Pro Plan dog food formulas offer advanced nutrition and the highest quality ingredients to nourish your dog’s best life. Pro Plan is recommended by veterinarians.