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Purina Dog Food Review (2024) — Best and Worst Products & Recommended Alternatives

Purina Logo
  • 7.5/10
    Protein/Carb Ratio - 7.5/10
  • 4/10
    Quality of Ingredients - 4/10
  • 8/10
    Variety - 8/10


Purina has around 85 different formulas of dog food spread across ~7 product lines, so the quality of their dog food varies greatly. On the low-end you have Dog Chow which should be avoided at all costs. On the high end, you have Purina Beyond which is actually a good quality dog food. Beyond is the only Purina product line we would recommend.

Last Updated: February 21, 2024 by Lisa Melillo

We analyzed over 1500 dog food formulas and reviewed more than 120 dog food brands to understand their company values, product selection, and quality of ingredients. We did this by creating an algorithm to rate each dog food based on the nutrient content and top 10 ingredients. All dog food brands were ultimately graded based on Protein/Carb Ratio, Quality of Ingredients, and Variety.

I first came across Purina dog food years ago, when I was just starting out as a vet tech. I remember being in the pet store, scanning the aisles filled with countless dog food brands, and Purina stood out with its familiar logo and promises of balanced nutrition. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of dogs come into the clinic on a Purina diet, and I’ve always been curious about how it really stacks up in terms of quality and nutrition.

In this article, I’m going to dive deep into Purina and give you a Purina dog food review. We’ll explore its ingredients, nutritional value, variety of options, and how it compares to other brands on the market. I’ll share insights from my personal observations, giving you a well-rounded view of Purina. Stick around to find out if Purina truly lives up to its reputation as a trusted dog food brand.

Purina’s History in Brief

Purina is one of the biggest pet food manufacturers in the United States, and is based out of St. Louis, Missouri. It started out all the way back in 1894, when founder William Danforth began producing animal food at Purina Mills. This first company produced food for virtually every animal one can imagine, from Rabbit Chow to Monkey Chow, and even got into the production of breakfast cereals for people at one point as well.

Expansion and Growth

The company in its current form, however, was birthed in 2001, after the Swiss owned Nestlé corporation purchased the company and merged it into its larger pet care line. Nestlé purchased it for a whopping $10.3 billion and has since significantly grown the company’s footprint to occupy a 45% share of the cat food market opening up “cat cafes.” It controls a similarly high percentage of the dog food world.

Purina Dog Food Now

It has since gone on to become one of Nestlé’s fastest growing divisions, even partnering up with non-profit organizations all across the world. Hence, it proudly secures a top spot in our recommendations for Pitbull nutrition, and it also stands out as an excellent choice for the English Mastiff diet.

Purina Dog Food Overview

I’ve learned that high-quality ingredients are crucial for our dogs’ health and wellbeing. Purina, with its wide range of products, claims to cater to the diverse nutritional needs of dogs. But what exactly are these ingredients? How does Purina ensure quality? These are some of the questions I had in mind, and I’m sure you’ve wondered about them too. In this section, you get a clear picture of what you’re feeding your dog when you choose Purina.


When it comes to the ingredients in Purina dog food, there’s quite a mix. A key component they use is chicken meal, not to be confused with ‘real chicken’. Now, chicken meal is pretty common in many dog foods and isn’t harmful to our canine friends. It’s made from parts of the chicken that aren’t used in human food — think less glamorous, but still nutritious. However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t include by-products like beaks or feet. The chicken is cooked at high temperatures and then turned into a powder that’s mixed into the dog food. It’s a great source of protein, although it’s processed.

But it’s not just about the chicken meal. Purina’s recipes also include ingredients like rice, flour, corn, and soybean meal. In my experience, some dogs find these ingredients hard to digest. This can lead to health issues like bloody stools, sickness, and even diarrhea, especially in dogs with sensitivities. Soybean meal, similar to chicken meal, is often used in dog foods with lower animal protein content. It boosts the protein levels, but like chicken meal, it’s processed.


On one hand, the use of chicken meal as a protein source is a smart, cost-effective choice. It provides the necessary nutrients without compromising on the basic dietary needs of dogs. On the other hand, the inclusion of ingredients like corn and soybean meal raises questions. These are often seen as ‘filler’ ingredients, used more for their cost-effectiveness rather than their nutritional value. From a quality perspective, it’s a balancing act between providing adequate nutrition and using ingredients that might not be the top choice for dog health.


Purina is often seen as an affordable option in the world of dog food. This affordability is likely due to their choice of ingredients like chicken meal and soybean meal, which are less expensive than whole, fresh meats. While the cost-effectiveness is a plus for many dog owners, it’s essential to weigh this against the potential health implications for dogs with specific dietary needs or sensitivities. As a pet owner myself, I always recommend considering both the financial aspect and the nutritional value when choosing a dog food.

Product Lines

For the sake of making this page informative, instead of one massive textbook encompassing the dozens of product lines available, we will take a look at their best-known and most well marketed lines. Each of these lines also has wet foods, and most of them have treats to go with them as well.


Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With Probiotics for Dogs, Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula - 35 lb. Bag

ProPlan is a leading line from Purina which has been fed by breeders and trainers for years. This is likely in large part due to ProPlans contract with the Westminster Dog Show, but nonetheless the food is a decent product that is head and shoulders above the quality of Beneful. ProPlan also has a number of breed specific formulas, which appeals to many dog owners. We actually recommend it for a lot of dog breeds, and is found in our dog food for Dobermans roundup.

Unfortunately, however, if you are against corn or grains, this might not be the best option, as there are relatively few, if any, grain free blends.

The ProPlan line is one of Purina’s higher quality lines, but it’s still not great compared to other brands due to the heavy use of grains and corn.


  • Has breed-specific formulas
  • Great value for money
  • Low price point


  • Contains lots of grains and corn

I chose one of their most popular foods for analysis, the Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice.

  • 26.0%


  • 16.0%


  • 3.0%



Purina Beneful Originals With Farm-Raised Beef, With Real Meat Dog Food - (4) 3.5 lb. Bags

Beneful is one of the top selling dog foods in the United States, likely because of its lower-than-most price point. The company is able to maintain this price point, however, because the quality of the food, unfortunately, is also lower-than-most. Beneful makes use of several artificial ingredients and by-products in its food, but there are some grain free options available. The line also has a remarkable amount of variety, with tons of differently textured options, as well as selections for dogs of various ages, activity levels, and sizes.

This is one of the lower quality dog food lines Purina offers, and also one of the cheapest. An example is the Purina Beneful Originals With Farm-Raised Beef Dog Food.


  • Great price point
  • Popular all over the United States
  • Multiple food texture options
  • Great for fussy dogs


  • Contains low-quality ingredients
  • Full of artificial ingredients

Purina ONE

Purina ONE Chicken and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food - 40 lb. Bag


Purina ONE is a brand I’ve seen a lot in my time working with dogs. It’s well-known for its natural and balanced formulas, and they’ve been around since 1986. The thing that really stands out with Purina ONE is its focus on using real animal proteins as the first ingredient. This includes a variety of options for both wet and dry dog foods, catering to different life stages of dogs, from the playful puppies to the more serene seniors, and even those with special dietary needs. I have also found that there are three lines of dry dog food under Purina ONE.

The Purina ONE Smartblend line is all about providing everything a healthy dog needs, with no unnecessary extras. It’s a blend of high-quality ingredients, offering both wet and dry food choices. This line is packed with good stuff like antioxidants for a strong immune system and is available in flavors like chicken and lamb.

Then there’s the Purina ONE +Plus Smartblend. It’s specially made for dogs with specific dietary needs. Whether your dog is a large breed puppy or an adult needing digestive support, this line has got you covered. It focuses on high-quality animal proteins without any fillers, making it a great choice for different sizes and life stages.

Purina ONE True Instinct is their high protein line, aiming to be closer to what nature intended for dogs. It’s designed for strong muscles, healthy joints, and an active lifestyle, with a higher protein content than many other dog foods. Just a heads up, though, a high protein diet isn’t suitable for all dogs, so it’s always good to check with a vet before making a switch.

Purina ONE seems pretty confident about the difference their food can make in a dog’s life. They even have this 28-Day Challenge where they encourage dog owners to see the positive changes in their dog’s health, like a shinier coat, better energy levels, and overall happier demeanor.

Two examples in this line are the Purina ONE Dry Dog Food Lamb and Rice Formula and the Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula.


  • High-quality protein as the first ingredient
  • Wide range of formulas for different life stages and dietary needs
  • Nutritionally balanced with essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Specialized options for specific health needs
  • Positive reports on health benefits from the 28-Day Challenge
  • Widely available and affordable


  • Some formulas contain grains and fillers
  • Quality varies across different products
  • Use of processed meat products like chicken meal
  • High protein content may not suit all dogs
  • Mixed reviews on palatability
  • Presence of preservatives and artificial additives in some products



Purina Alpo

Whenever I come across Alpo, it reminds me of those traditional, no-fuss dog foods that are all about hearty flavors. It’s like the comfort food of the dog world. ALPO focuses on meaty tastes that most dogs seem to really love. They offer both dry and wet food, and I’ve noticed that dogs often get pretty excited about their beef, chicken, and lamb flavors. Affordable and tasty, it’s a good pick for owners who want to give their dogs something enjoyable without breaking the bank. While it’s not the fanciest option out there, it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser in the canine world.


  • Favored by dogs for its meaty taste
  • Variety in meal types, including both wet and dry options
  • Generally more affordable than other high-end brands


  • Might include some artificial ingredients
  • Not the best choice for dogs with specific health concerns due to its by-product content
  • Limited options catering to special dietary needs

For ALPO, you can check out products like the ALPO Prime Cuts Savory Beef Flavor or the ALPO Chop House Rotisserie Chicken Flavor in Gourmet Gravy.


Purina Beggin' Strips With Real Meat Dog Training Treats With Bacon and Cheese Flavors - (2) 26 oz. Pouches

Beggin’ strips are like a special treat that I use for those ‘extra good’ moments with dogs. They’re designed to smell and taste like bacon, and honestly, I’ve yet to meet a dog who doesn’t go nuts for them. They’re fantastic for training or just as a special treat. The aroma is strong, which really grabs a dog’s attention. But remember, they’re treats, so they should be given in moderation. I find them super helpful for training sessions, as they’re a high-value reward that most dogs will do just about anything for!


  • Enticing flavor that’s great for rewarding dogs
  • Varied flavors and sizes to suit different preferences and breeds
  • Works well for training due to its appealing taste


  • Higher in calories, making them unsuitable for frequent feeding
  • Some artificial ingredients are used in the product
  • Not ideal for dogs on a restricted diet

Some popular Beggin’ products include the Beggin’ Strips Bacon Flavor and the Beggin’ Strips Bacon & Cheese Flavors.


Purina Beyond High Protein Grain Free Natural Wet Dog Food, Wild Turkey Liver & Duck Recipe for Adult Dogs - (12) 13 oz Cans

Beyond is Purina’s answer to the natural pet food trend, and I think they’ve done a pretty good job. It focuses on natural ingredients, with real meat, poultry, or fish as the top item on the ingredient list. This line is for those who are more conscious about what they feed their dogs, preferring a diet that’s closer to nature. There’s no artificial stuff here, and they even have grain-free options, which is great for dogs with sensitivities. It’s a bit pricier than some other options, but for owners looking for natural ingredients, it’s worth considering.


  • Features natural ingredients with real meat leading the list
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Grain-free options cater to dogs with specific dietary needs


  • Tends to be pricier than some of the other Purina lines
  • The variety may be limited compared to other natural dog food brands
  • Not all dogs might find the natural flavors appealing

Beyond product examples include the Beyond Simply Farm-Raised Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food and the Beyond Wild Prey-Inspired Turkey, Liver & Duck Recipe Wet Dog Food.

Moist & Meaty

Purina Moist and Meaty Steak Flavor Soft Dog Food Pouches - 36 ct. Pouch

Moist & Meaty is a go-to for those dogs who aren’t big fans of hard kibble. Its softer texture is easier on the teeth and can be more appealing to some dogs, especially older ones or those with dental issues. It comes in various flavors and can be used as a complete meal or as a topper to spice up regular kibble. It’s a versatile option that’s especially handy for picky eaters.


  • Sooft texture that’s easy on the teeth and gums
  • Convenient packaging, making it easy to serve
  • Appealing flavors that can entice picky eaters


  • Not as high in protein as some dry food options
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors
  • May not be suitable for dogs with specific dietary restrictions

Popular Moist & Meaty products include the Moist & Meaty Chopped Burger Dry Dog Food and the Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor Dry Dog Food.

Prime Bones

Purina Prime Bones Dog Bone, Made in USA Facilities, Natural Medium Dog Treats, Filled Chew With Pasture-Fed Bison - (4) 6 ct. Pouches

Prime Bones are great for dogs who love a good chew. They’re made without rawhide, which I personally prefer for safety reasons, and they use natural ingredients. These chews are a safe and satisfying option for dogs who need to satisfy their chewing instinct. They’re a bit pricier than some other treats, but for a natural and safer chew, they’re worth it.


  • Safe and satisfying chew without rawhide
  • Natural ingredients used
  • Ideal for fulfilling a dog’s instinctual chewing need


  • Not meant to be a dietary mainstay
  • Can be more expensive compared to other chew treats
  • Limited flavor variety

Examples of Prime Bones products are the Prime Bones Chew Stick with Wild Venison and the Prime Bones Filled Chew with Pasture-Fed Bison.

Purina Dog Chow

Purina Dog Chow Complete With Real Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food - 18.5 Lb. Bag

Purina Dog Chow is one of those longstanding, reliable dog food brands. It offers complete and balanced nutrition and is particularly good for families looking for a budget-friendly option. They have formulas for different life stages, and it’s a brand that’s trusted by many dog owners. It’s not the fanciest dog food out there, but it’s a solid choice for basic, everyday nutrition.


  • Provides balanced nutrition for various life stages
  • More budget-friendly
  • Trusted by many dog owners over the years


  • Some formulas contain artificial ingredients
  • Utilizes by-products in some recipes
  • May not be suitable for dogs with special dietary needs

For Purina Dog Chow, you can look into the Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken and the Purina Dog Chow Adult with Real Beef.

Purina Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow Purina Dry Puppy Food; Complete with Real Chicken, 4 LB (Pack of 2)

This line is specifically formulated for the unique nutritional needs of puppies. It includes essential nutrients like DHA for brain and vision development, and it’s high in protein to support growing muscles.


  • Specially formulated for puppies
  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • High protein content for muscle growth


  • Includes grains and by-products
  • Some puppies might not find it as tasty as other brands
  • Artificial colors and flavors in some formulas

Purina Puppy Chow products include the Purina Puppy Chow Complete With Real Chicken & Rice and the Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets


Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Canine Formula Dry Dog Food - 18 lb. Bag

These diets are clinically formulated and recommended by veterinarians, making them a reliable choice for managing health issues through nutrition.


  • Clinically formulated for specific health issues
  • Backed by scientific research
  • Recommended and used by veterinarians


  • Requires a vet’s authorization to purchase
  • Higher cost compared to standard dog food
  • Limited flavor variety

Examples of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets include the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management and the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric.

My Purina Dog Food Review


In my experience, Purina dog food has some notable advantages that make it a popular choice among dog owners. Firstly, it’s widely accessible, which means you can find it in most pet stores and even online. This availability makes it convenient for pet parents who want a trusted brand without the hassle of searching for specialty products.

Purina also offers a range of options tailored to different life stages, from puppies to seniors, and even specialized diets for specific health conditions. This versatility allows pet owners to find the right formula for their dog’s unique needs.

Another advantage of Purina is its affordability. It provides decent quality at a reasonable price point, making it accessible to a wide range of budgets. This affordability doesn’t compromise too much on the overall nutritional value, making it suitable for many dogs.

Additionally, Purina often collaborates with veterinarians and conducts research to improve their formulas. This commitment to quality and research instills trust in pet owners, knowing that their dogs are getting nutrition that’s been thoughtfully developed.


While Purina has its merits, it’s important to consider some of its disadvantages as well. One common criticism is the use of artificial ingredients in some of their formulas. This can include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. For pet owners who prioritize natural ingredients, this aspect may be a drawback.

Another concern is the use of by-products in certain recipes. While by-products can be a source of nutrition, they are often considered less desirable than whole meats. Some pet owners may prefer dog foods that primarily use whole, identifiable meats as the main protein source.

Additionally, Purina’s ingredients can include grains like corn and wheat, which are known allergens for some dogs. For dogs with sensitivities or allergies, these ingredients can lead to digestive issues or skin problems.

Lastly, while Purina offers specialized diets for certain health conditions, they may not always be as effective as prescription diets from veterinary brands for managing serious medical issues. In such cases, consulting with a veterinarian for a specialized prescription diet may be necessary.

Purina Dog Food Alternatives

Of course, Purina dog food isn’t going to be appropriate for every dog, and that is why we have put together a list of great alternatives for your furry family member to try. Here are our top alternative dog foods and a little bit about each one.

Pet Plate

Pet Plate delivers fresh food from their facilities to your doorstep. All of their facilities are USA approved and regulated so that you can be certain your dog’s food isn’t contaminated. You can freeze the food to keep it fresh, and it can be defrosted in just a couple of minutes in the microwave.

The Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog is all about sustainability and fresh food. Their food is delivered in biodegradable packaging, and their dog food is human grade and ready to serve. The Farmer’s Dog is a very popular and spoken about dog food manufacturer with a great track record and hundreds of positive customer reviews.


If you are sick and tired of opening fresh dog food and keeping it in the refrigerator for days on end until your pup finishes it then NomNomNow is for you. They have restaurant-quality dog food on offer which is delivered in single-serving packets.


Ollie also delivers fresh dog food right to your doorstep. You have to pre-schedule and your dog food for your convenience. In order to obtain Ollie dog food, you bust sign up for their prescription.

Fresh Pet

You can find Fresh Pet in most stores across the country. You can choose from a long list of flavors which is brilliant for fussy dogs.

A Pup Above

In order to obtain food from A Pup Above is a relatively new dog food company that was founded by a young couple that is passionate about providing pets with only the best. If you choose A Pup Above, your dog will enjoy fresh food that has been picked out by pet nutritionists.

Where to Buy

Purina can be found virtually everywhere, from the grocery store to the specialty shop. I have even seen bags of Dog Chow in 99 cent stores before, just to show how wide spread the product is. Higher end and specialty pet stores will typically forego the lower grade products but may carry ProPlan and Beyond, among others, and even some vets might carry dedicated ProPlan varieties that target specific breeds. Additionally, these can all be found online, through just about any retailer that sells animal food as well as the company website.

FAQs about Purina Dog Food

Is Purina dog food a good choice for my puppy?

Yes, Purina offers a range of puppy-specific formulas that are designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of growing puppies. These formulas are typically rich in essential nutrients like protein and DHA, which support healthy growth and development. Be sure to select a formula that matches your puppy’s size and breed to provide them with the best start in life.

Does Purina offer grain-free options for dogs with dietary sensitivities?

Yes, Purina provides grain-free options in some of their product lines, such as Beyond. These grain-free formulas are crafted for dogs with sensitivities to grains and aim to provide a well-balanced diet without wheat, corn, or soy. However, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has specific dietary sensitivities to determine the best food for them.

Are there Purina dog food options for dogs with allergies?

Purina offers some limited-ingredient and sensitive skin and stomach formulas designed for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. These formulas typically contain a simplified list of ingredients to minimize the risk of triggering allergic reactions. If your dog has known allergies, consult your veterinarian for guidance in selecting the right Purina formula for their needs.

Can I transition my dog to Purina dog food from another brand?

Yes, you can transition your dog to Purina dog food from another brand. It’s generally recommended to make the transition gradually over about 7-10 days to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of Purina food with your dog’s current food, gradually increasing the ratio of Purina food over time until they are fully transitioned. This gradual approach helps your dog’s digestive system adapt to the new food.

Are there any recalls associated with Purina dog food?

Like many pet food brands, Purina has had some recalls in the past. For instance, in March 2023, the brand recalled some products for possible high levels of vitamin D. It’s essential to stay informed about any recent recalls by regularly checking the official Purina website or reputable pet food recall websites. It’s also a good practice to save the packaging or record the product’s lot number for reference in case of any concerns.

Can I find Purina dog food for specific health conditions?

Yes, Purina offers specialized diets under the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets line, which are formulated to address specific health conditions prescribed by veterinarians. These diets are available through veterinary clinics and require a veterinarian’s authorization. If your dog has a specific health issue, consult your vet to determine if a Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet is suitable for their condition.

Is Purina dog food suitable for all dog breeds and sizes?

Purina provides a variety of dog food options suitable for various breeds and sizes, from small breeds to large breeds. It’s essential to select the right formula that matches your dog’s size, age, and specific dietary needs. Purina typically provides guidelines on the packaging to help you choose the appropriate formula for your dog’s requirements.

Final Woof

When it comes to our furry friends, we all want the best for them, right? We want them to enjoy meals that are not only delicious but also packed with the goodness they need to stay energetic and keep that coat shiny and healthy. It’s all about providing well-balanced nutrition and the occasional tasty treat.

Purina is a brand that’s earned the trust of countless pet owners like us. They offer a variety of product lines, each with its own unique advantages. From the meaty delights of Alpo, Purina has something for every dog’s needs and preferences.

Sure, there are some considerations to keep in mind, like the use of artificial ingredients in some formulas and the presence of grains in others. But overall, Purina strives to provide affordable and accessible options that cater to a wide range of budgets and dietary requirements.


3 thoughts on “Purina Dog Food Review (2024) — Best and Worst Products & Recommended Alternatives”

  1. Melissa cruz

    I feed my dog Purina dog chow I have a big bag I just bought for him

  2. So the alternative brands you’ve listed are quite foreign sounding. What I mean is they’re not buyer friendly. I’ve never seen any of them in a grocery store here in canada.
    I dont normally buy purina dog foods but this time I had no choice. I was out of the brandctheyve done quite well on but were in some bad weather here so going to a city (2 hrs away) was not possible. Most of our small town grocery stores carry the cheapest of the cheap pet products. Living in small towns is a nice peaceful environment but very difficult to get some products. BTW, my dogs are usually on blue buffalo which I can only find at a walmart, and yes a 2 hr drive.
    If some of these pet foods were more accessible and consumer friendly it would make life better for small town folk like us. Just saying.

  3. Cathleen

    I asked my vet about good wet dog food for my American Staffordshire who is racked with allergies. I have him on Apoquel but he still was in bad shape.

    My vet is from the Mid-West. She told me that when she was home (Iowa) she made it a point to visit food processing plants to check on their quality control. Two that came up on her list as high markers were Purina and Royal Canin. She said she repeatedly asked Blue Buffalo to provide her with their quality reports (they’ve yet to do so). They do not process their own foods. And they’ve caused serious health problems with developing dogs. We didn’t get into all the places she reviewed but I have since fed my three boys Purina Pro. I order online. And my staff, although not cured, has greatly reduced his rashes and itchiness.

    I’ve provided one site but there are others that have documented the problems with “Big Blue”.

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