Review: 2 Purina Dog Foods

May 31, 2016

In light of last year’s class-action lawsuit filed against Purina’s Beneful Pet Food, I think it’s time to review some other Purina products.  A friend commented that Purina has dozens of other good pet food options, so I set out to find some of them.  Let’s begin with one that was new to me.

SMARTBLEND® True Instinct Formula with Real Salmon and Tuna for Active Adult Dogs


The food begins with a good protein.  But that is followed by corn gluten meal, a poor option probably used as protein in this product.  Corn does contain protein but it is high in carbohydrates and many dogs are allergic to corn. A real meat in this second position on the ingredients list would have been a better choice.

I don’t like to see soy in any form in pet food.  Most of the soy grown today is genetically modified, and heavy chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used in production.  This Purina product contains 2 sources of soy.

Brewer’s rice is a waste product of the beer-brewing industry and holds few nutrients, if any.  Animal fat is one of those generic fats that come from the rendering process and who knows what may be in it.  Not good options.  Poultry by-product meal is another poor ingredient.  Again, you don’t know what went into that rendering vat from supermarket wastes to euthanized dogs and cats or farm animals, including the drugs used to euthanize them.  By-products in any form are not what I’d want my pets to eat.

Fish meal is another unknown product. Who knows what fish or parts of fish are included.  Fish meal can contain ethoxyquin, a deadly chemical preservative.  A better choice would have been a named fish meal, like salmon fish meal. Then we see more corn, followed by tuna, a good choice, but its location so far down the list makes it a small amount.

The bad news continues with glycerin, a very controversial ingredient and more corn.  Further on, we see animal digest, which is just as nasty as it sounds. It’s used for flavor but comes from digested parts of animals.

Caramel color contains methylimidazole, a known animal carcinogen.  Why risk it, even in small amounts?

The main ingredients end with fish oil, another fishy substance that may well have been preserved with ethoxyquin.  The remaining ingredients listed are vitamins and minerals that are much needed by dogs.

All-in-all, I don’t consider this even an acceptable dog food.


Purina ProPlan® Adult Duck & Rice Dog Food


Duck is a good beginning!  But following that with Brewer’s rice and canola meal doesn’t make good sense.  Dogs need meat in those first few ingredients, not a waste product from the beer industry and canola meal, which is a by-product of canola oil production.  According to, canola meal is usually used in animal feed and biodiesel production.  Why would we want our dogs to eat it? Besides, most canola in production today is genetically modified.

Further down the list we see animal fat.  Brewer’s dried yeast has been linked to liver toxicity and can cause allergies in dogs.  And we see fish oil again, which can contain ethoxyquin.  While there are plenty of vitamins in the remaining ingredients, is that enough for an active dog? I don’t think so.  This food is lacking in real protein and healthy grains.

Are either of these Purina products acceptable for your dog?  You decide.


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