We can understand how difficult it can be to choose the right dog food for your dog, especially with the wide variety of products that are flooding the market to choose from. This is why we are going to do everything that we can to help you to make a well-informed decision.
Purina dog chow food is a type of dog food that you might have come across in your search for the perfect food, and this is the product line that we are going to look at in this article.
We are going to take a closer look at the ingredients and nutritional value of this food, so you can know for sure if it is worth feeding to your dog.
Purina Dog Chow Review
There are 5 different products among the Purina Dog Chow product line, and where available, each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile. This food claims to be suitable for dogs that are of all life stages.
The five products that are included in the Purina Dog Chow line are:
- Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken
- Purina Dog Chow Tender and Crunchy with Real Lamb
- Purina Dog Chow Little Bites
- Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Beef
- Purina Dog Chow High Protein with Real Lamb
Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken
We are going to be looking at the Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult With Real Chicken dog food in closer detail to see how it fares.
We will use this product as a representation of the line, as the contents of each food are very similar. This allows us to go into further details and show you exactly what you can expect from this line of dog food.
The estimated dry matter nutrient content of this food is 24% protein, 11% fat, and 57% carbs. The estimated fiber, also in terms of dry matter content, is 5.1%.
Purina Dog Chow Ingredients List
Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), folic acid (vitamin B9), biotin (vitamin B7), yellow 6, yellow 5, red 40, blue 2, garlic oil.
Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||11%||57%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||26%||52%|
A Closer Look at the Ingredients
Now that you have seen the full ingredients list and nutritional content for yourself, it is time that we take a closer look at each of the individual ingredients that come together to make this dog food. This will help you to better understand what you can expect from this food.
The first ingredient in the list of many in this dog food is corn, which is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain.
While it has a good energy content, this is a grain that does not offer much in terms of nutritional value for dogs. This is why it is not typically a preferred component in dog food.
Meat and Bone Meal
The next ingredient that is worth a mention is meat and bone meal, which is a dry rendered product that comes from mammal tissues, like bone, which can also include unwanted extras, like blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, and stomach and rumen contents.
It can be quite difficult for dogs to digest, especially in comparison to the majority of other meat meals, and the quality of this product is also very questionable. Some scientists believe that the reason why this product is so difficult to digest is because of its higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.
Probably the worst thing about this ingredient is that we do not know where it comes from, so it could be sourced from a combination of cattle and farm animals. This means that identifying food allergens can be really difficult if your dog has any specific dietary requirements.
Meat and bone meal is thought to have a high amount of protein in it, but perhaps this isn’t worth it for all the negative aspects that also come along with it. We can probably all agree that this is not a quality ingredient.
Corn Gluten Meal
Gluten is the rubbery residue that is left behind once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrates washed out of it.
This is another ingredient that contains a decent amount of protein, but it is still nowhere near as beneficial as real meat, and it has a much lower biological value.
One of the main reasons that this is used in food is because it is a cheaper alternative to other ingredients, yet it still boosts the total amount of protein in the food.
Although, most people would prefer to pay that little bit extra to ensure that their dog is getting everything that they need from their food.
Since there are so many protein-containing products that are not meat, it leaves you wondering about the quality of the protein your dog will be receiving.
Beef fat is most likely obtained from rendering, which is a process that is similar to that of making soup. The fat will be skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Even though this might not sound like the most appealing ingredient, it is a quality ingredient, and arguably the highest quality ingredient of this food.
Soybean meal is a by-product of soybean oil production that is commonly found in things like farm animal feeds. Soybean meal does contain 48% protein, but you can expect it to have a lower biological value than meat, which would be a better alternative.
Again, plant-based products, like soybean meal, can help to boost the overall protein content of the food, and they are a much cheaper way of doing so. This is something that you should think about when you are considering the actual meat content of this food.
Poultry By-product Meal
This is a dry rendered product that comes from slaughterhouse waste, and it is made out of what has been left of slaughtered poultry after all of the prime cuts have been removed from the animal. This can include things like organs, feet, beaks, underdeveloped eggs, and more.
One of the good things about this ingredient is that by-product meals are meat concentrates that contain almost 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
However, as you might have already guessed, the quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the raw materials that have been obtained by the manufacturer.
Poultry by-products are known to be lower in quality than a single-species ingredient, for example, chicken by-products.
With generic poultry by-products, it is impossible to know the source of the ingredient, so you can assume that it isn’t the best quality ingredient.
The next ingredient that we are going to talk about is chicken. This is a quality ingredient, but raw chicken can contain up to 73% water and after cooking, most of this moisture will be lost.
This can reduce the meat content to only part of its original weight. So, after processing, the chicken would only account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
Something else that is listed among the extensive ingredients list is wheat, which is yet another type of cereal grain that is subject to all of the same issues as corn.
After this point in the list, many other items are included, but due to how far down in the list they are, they are not likely to significantly impact the overall rating of this food.
However, there are some questionable ingredients on this list that we thought we should talk about, and we will leave them below for you to read about.
Ultimately, artificial coloring is a pointless ingredient when it comes to dog food as your dog probably isn’t bothered by the color of its food, as long as it is tasty and providing them with what they need from it.
It is surprising to find such an ingredient in dog food, mostly due to the fact that it is not necessary, and it provides no benefits to the food.
Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products. It is usually sprayed onto the surface of dry kibble in order to improve its taste.
Garlic is a food item that has stirred up a bit of trouble when it comes to dog food. There is a large debate surrounding whether or not it should be used.
Some people are for it due to its claimed health benefits, but others are against it due to the fact that it has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs. So, you will need to decide which side you are on for yourself.
Of course, minerals are usually a good thing. However, the minerals in this list do not appear to be chelated, which can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are typically associated with higher quality dog foods.
This is a controversial form of vitamin K that has been linked to things like liver toxicity, allergies, and the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells.
Vitamin K is not an ingredient that is required by AAFCO in its nutrient profiles, which makes us wonder why it has been included in this dog food.
When we just look at the list of ingredients that make up this food, we can discover that this is a below-average quality dog food. If you are looking for a high-quality option, then this probably isn’t the right food for your dog.
It contains an almost average amount of protein, a below-average amount of fat, and an above-average amount of carbs when you compare it to general dog food.
Another thing to think about is the amount of protein that comes from corn gluten and soybean meals, rather than actual meat. While there is a moderate amount of protein in the food, most of it comes from sources other than meat.
Overall, we would not recommend that you choose this dog food, as there are much better alternatives available.
There are many unidentifiable sources when it comes to some of the ingredients, which make up most of the protein content, which only lower the overall quality of the food.