Purina has been a household name in the dog food space for years. Chances are, if you are deciding what to feed your dog, you might be considering Purina Pro Plan. Looking at Purina Pro Plan, you might be wondering if the food will meet your dog’s needs, has quality ingredients, and whether it can be fed long-term. If this sounds like you, keep reading to find out all you are going to want to know about this particular brand and line of product.
So, is Purina Pro Plan a good dog food? Purina Pro Plan is an average to slightly above average mainstream dry dog kibble. It comes in a wide variety of recipes for flavor and a dog’s stage of life. It uses meat as a major protein source and is easily found in stores. Some ingredients, along with the heat extrusion processing of Purina Pro Plan, hold it back from being in the ranks of the highest quality dog foods in terms of animal nutrition.
While it’s practical, this is not the best food that you could be feeding your dog.
There is worse out there, mind.
But it’s just not up there with the likes of premium and high-quality foods like Sunday for Dogs (which is what I recommend you switch to).
It’s a fantastic, whole food that dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes can thrive on.
Plus, the process of ordering and subscription model just works.
More on this brand later.
In the meantime, let us take a closer look at the Purina Pro Plan product specifically to see why it just doesn’t quite make the grade when it comes to a long-term solution.
Is Purina Pro Plan Good For Dogs?
Purina Pro Plan is considered by many in the dog industry to be an average to slightly above-average dry dog kibble. It is often used in settings where many dogs need to be fed at once because it is able to be bought in bulk at a wide variety of retailers.
Purina is a well-known name in the dog food industry for good reason and creates a product that serves the basic needs of many dogs.
Purina Pro Plan Adult offers up 19 recipes alongside a puppy line made up of 8 recipes and recipes in sport dog and aging dog categories.
Versatility in flavor and exact makeup is one of the high points of this food for many dog owners.
If your dog doesn’t prefer the flavor of one option, it may prefer another; as your dog ages, it can switch to a different option that might provide for slightly different nutritional needs.
For others, this wide range of recipes can make it hard for discerning owners to determine exactly what their dog is eating if they find a need to switch recipes due to allergies or a dog who simply doesn’t like their current flavor.
It can also create confusion for owners who can’t remember exactly which recipe they purchased on their last visit to the store.
Purina Pro Plan ranks ahead of economy brands of dog food because of its focus on meat products instead of corn or other “fillers” as main ingredients and its overall high protein content.
It doesn’t earn the title of top brand nutritionally due to containing some vague meat sources, its use of soybean oil instead of a high-quality flaxseed oil, and menadione, which has been correlated to some allergies, liver toxicity, and blood cell problems in some dogs.
Overall, Purina Pro Plan is better for dogs than cheaper brands of dry kibble that draw their main ingredients from hard-to-digest corn or have very low levels of protein and a range of artificial food dyes.
Purina Pro Plan can meet the needs of dogs with generally good digestive tracts and be fed affordably across several life stages.
For owners who want their dogs fed the highest quality ingredients, like to avoid potentially harmful additives, and want a low recall risk, there may be better options on the market.
What Is Purina Pro Plan Made Of?
Purina Pro Plan’s main ingredient is usually a meat-based protein followed by a grain and then a mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrate sources that vary in clarity and quality. Purina Pro Plan comes in a wide array of recipes and formulas but has many of the same basic components across the board.
For this article, we are looking at the popularly purchased Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice.
The first ingredient in this Purina Pro Plan dog food is chicken.
Having chicken as a main ingredient helps Purina Pro Plan outrank foods whose main ingredients are corn or soybeans.
However, because chicken is mostly water, the actual amount of chicken in the kibble after processing may not be as significant as implied by the ingredient list.
The chicken and other ingredients used in Purina Pro Plan are considered “food grade” quality ingredients.
This means that they are considered suitable for animal consumption but are not safe or desirable for humans to eat.
Oftentimes the chicken product in dog food is made up of remains of the chicken after quality cuts have been taken for people to eat.
Higher-quality dog foods make an effort to use only human-grade foods to increase both the quality and safety of ingredients.
After chicken, Purina Pro Plan is made with rice.
Rice is a better grain than corn in terms of digestion and allergy friendliness.
What we can’t know based on the ingredient list is what kind of rice is being used in this food.
The type of rice used can affect the overall quality of the grain and the quality of the dog food. Quality checking is made difficult by vague labeling.
Other grains and grain products in Purina Pro Plan include wheat, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, and corn.
If your dog has demonstrated a sensitive stomach or is prone to allergies, these ingredients may be difficult for your dog to handle.
Grain products are used to boost overall protein content and add bulk to many dog foods, which could lead some to question how much of the protein in the food is really from the meat dogs are designed to eat.
Two ingredients that add quality to Purina Pro Plan are the inclusion of beef fat and dried egg product.
Beef fat adds flavor and good nutrients to dry dog foods.
Dried egg product, while sourced from many places (including industrial hatcheries), is an easy-to-digest protein in a form that can be absorbed and used by most dogs.
Two ingredients that may be of concern to owners are menadione and garlic oil.
Garlic oil in trace amounts isn’t likely to cause a dog harm but has been tied to anemia in some dog breeds.
Menadione is a synthetic form of vitamin K that boosts the vitamin content of dog foods but has been known to irritate allergies.
Menadione has also been connected with liver failure in some dogs and blood cell breakdown in others.
These side effects are very rare but are worth knowing about when choosing your dog’s food.
Is Purina Pro Plan Harmful For Dogs?
Purina Pro Plan is not harmful to a large majority of dogs. Many dogs will eat Purina Pro Plan their entire lives and have no adverse side effects. Dogs who have sensitive digestive systems or allergies to grains may find that Purina Pro Plan makes them feel unwell.
Some of the ingredients in Purina Pro Plan have been linked with health concerns, but the amount of the ingredients needed to cause harm and how long they must be eaten to influence a dog’s health is not certain.
All dog foods must pass certain nutritional and quality checks before being approved for selling in stores.
Purina Pro Plan meets these requirements.
Purina Pro Plan is mass-produced in factories which increases the risk of recalls due to contamination or other packaging problems.
Owners should keep an eye out for recalls of any food they choose to feed their dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Purina Pro Plan Everyday?
Purina Pro Plan is designed to be served every day. The suggested amount to feed your dog will depend on the exact recipe purchased along with the size, age, and activity level of your dog. Bags of Purina Pro Plan have recommended feeding charts printed on the bag.
If you plan to change your dog from Purina Pro Plan to another dog food, you will want to slowly phase in the new food to make sure your dog can adjust to the new or different ingredient mixture without upsetting their stomach.
What Dog Food Is Better Than Purina Pro Plan?
Purina Pro Plan is a better option than many other factory produced dog foods on the market, but there are still alternate foods worth considering if you wish to optimize your dog’s nutrition.
Dog foods such as Sundays For Dogs are rated higher than Purina Pro Plan based on their clear-cut, superior quality ingredients, small air-dry batch processing, and ease of digestion.
Sundays For Dogs offers two recipes, beef, and chicken, that are made from human-grade meat products and vegetables that are easy on dogs’ stomachs and packed with nutrients.
The beef option uses USDA-compliant beef and beef liver as a main ingredient and protein source.
The chicken in the chicken recipe is the same quality as what could be served to people for their own dinners.
Because the veterinarian creator of Sundays For Dogs knows that meat is the best source of protein for dogs, she doesn’t add filler proteins such as corn or soy meals.
She also knows that vitamins can best be found naturally in fruits and vegetables.
As a result, Sundays For Dogs uses flaxseed oil, pumpkin, spinach, and other fresh ingredients to provide a complete range of digestible vitamins without the risk of synthetics such as menadione.
Sundays For Dogs is found in a convenient dry kibble form which makes it easy to serve like Purina Pro Plan.
The option to subscribe to a discounted auto-ship plan for your recipe of choice helps offset cost differences between the two foods and gets food directly to your door on a consistent basis.
Sundays For Dogs is easy on your dog’s stomach, is small-batch made and unlikely to be recalled like factory foods, and is a fantastic choice for dogs who struggle with allergies to other food brands.
If a dry kibble that has been proven to help dogs reach peak nutritional health is what you are searching for, then Sundays For Dogs is a great option.
Feeding your dog nutritious food is one of the biggest steps toward good health an owner can provide.
Purina Pro Plan will help owners in the middle price range with non-sensitive dogs be able to feed their dogs.
For owners searching for the highest quality ingredients, easy digestion, and a veterinarian seal of approval, brands such as Sundays For Dogs, may be the preferred option.
When in doubt, speak with your veterinarian about foods you are considering for your dog and help in making their complete nutrition plan.
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I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.