Beneful Dog Food (Tubs)

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Beneful Dog Food tubs receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.

The Beneful product line includes 14 tubbed recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew
  • Beneful Chopped Blends with Beef
  • Beneful Chopped Blends with Lamb
  • Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Chicken Stew
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Chicken
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Simmered Beef Entree
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Turkey Medley
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Beef and Chicken Medley
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Savory Rice & Lamb Stew
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Simmered Chicken Medley
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Beef
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Pork
  • Beneful Prepared Meals Hearty Roasters Savory Turkey

Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Turkey Medley was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Beneful Prepared Meals Roasted Turkey Medley

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 46% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, turkey, wheat gluten, liver, corn, meat by-products, corn starch, wild rice, peas, barley, artificial and natural flavors, calcium phosphate, salt, soy flour, potassium chloride, added color, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%9%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis43%21%36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly 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 liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fifth item 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.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The sixth ingredient is meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.2

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The seventh ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

The eighth ingredient includes wild rice. Wild rice is a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The ninth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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 product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.

Soy flour would be expected to have a notably 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.

Next, 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?

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Beneful Tubbed Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Beneful tubbed dog food looks like a below-average wet product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 48% and a mean fat level of 9%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 19%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, peas and soy flour, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Beneful tubbed dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of named meats and liver as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.

Not recommended.

Those looking for a comparable kibble from this same company may want to check-out our review of Beneful Dry Dog Food.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Beniful

Notes and Updates

05/20/2014 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • taira c

    Try weruva. Its great for picky eaters! Its people food for pets! I have 2 really picky eaters. They either get what they want or refuse to eat. They also have sensitive stomachs. Weruva has been great! Only downsides are its expensive and its hard to get even in NYC where I live I either have to order it or buy it from local pet boutiques.

  • Raven Dominique Pozsgai

    Your dog is addicted to the taste of the lower quality foods – tough love is what is needed to switch her to a better food.

  • lena tran

    Thanks so much for your input and advice. I don’t “dress up” my dog’s dry food often (she’s only 1.5yrs old), but when I do it’s just a small spoonful. I will keep in mind about the other alternative to adding moisture instead of canned food. I know there are many great and better brands out there, though I was curious because I did receive a few free from petco and decided to put them to use. If anything I guess I’ll just toss them into the animal rescue food bin (it’s better than nothing, I feel bad tossing them away). Thanks again, I totally didn’t think about the other healthy alternatives I could’ve added instead of wet food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Moist & Meaty is really nasty stuff. See if you can get Dr Karen Becker’s book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” and check out a few of her recipes. Fresh quality ingredients are the best that you can do for your dog, as long as you are feeding a balanced diet, and that book will really help.

  • Betsy Greer

    What other wet foods have you tried that Beneful is “the only” wet food she’ll eat?

    Have you read the reviews for these products that you’re using Janet? They’re terrible quality. If budget is a concern, there are plenty of budget friendly quality foods.

    And healthy table scraps (lean meats, some cooked pureed veggies, etc.) are great healthy additions to your dog’s meals.

  • Janet

    I have a 6-7 year-old rescue dog who was living with homeless people for a time. She is the pickiest eater I’ve ever had! The only wet food I’ve discovered that she’ll eat is Beneful. The only “dry” food is “Moist & Meaty.” She turns up her nose at the latter unless she is really hungry, and we stand by her while she eats. She wants what we eat or doggie treats. She is a thin dog, and I really wonder if nutritional quality needs to be perfect. Back in the day, our dogs ate mostly table scraps, including things that we’re now told are toxic to them.

  • aimee

    Hi Lena,

    I don’t see adding Beneful as “bad”. I think fresh toppers are better, pureed “table scraps” ( lean meats, veggies) cottage cheese but my dogs
    have had the occasional spoonful of Beneful as well. : )

    Some people get wigged out by the term meat by products, but I’m comfortable with that term. The species are limited to cattle, pigs, goat and lamb. Most likely the the meat by products in this are either beef or pork.

    Also the definition “meat by products” includes the word slaughtered. From what I’ve read If an animal doesn’t pass pre slaughter inspection( it is diseased or dying) it isn’t allowed into slaughter house. Additionally, Purina has assured me they do not use any 4 D products( dead diseased down and dying).

    Additionally the AAFCO definitions specifies “other than meat” so I don’t see that things like heads and fetuses are allowed as those would contain muscle.

    I’m not keen on added color, that’s for our benefit not the dog.

    So you could do better, but you could do worse! Quality control is especially important to me and in talking to companies I find that the larger brand name companies have better quality control procedures in place.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Since you asked, I’m gonna say, “Yes”. Even though I’m not a fan of Blue Buffalo, it’s leaps and bounds better than Beneful (canned or dry). I feel you are just negating any good things Blue Buffalo has to offer by putting the Beneful on top of it. I understand wanting to add moisture to your dog’s diet, though. There are plenty of other ways to do that besides adding Beneful tubs. I don’t know where you shop, but Blue does have canned food, as well. There are also other, more cost efficient canned brands. WalMart has Pure Balance, Tractor Supply has TOTW and their own brand 4Health. Petsmart’s brand Simply Nourish cans are awesome. Rachel Ray has tubs of wet food that are reasonably priced. Earthborn is another I can think of. Really, there are even other ways to add moisture…..cottage cheese, yogurt, pureed veggies, just adding water and waiting awhile to make a gravy. Please consider things other than Beneful, in any form.

  • lena tran

    Is it bad that I mix in a small spoonful of this to my dog’s dry food every now and then? She’s on Blue buffalo (dry), she usually just eat straight up dry.

  • Lindsey Masewicz

    A little off topic, but besides owning dogs, I have owned rabbits, any type of Purina rabbit food either has alfalfa hay, too much protein, or too little fiber. Don’t know anything about cat food since I haven’t had a cat since I was a kid, but given what I’ve seen of their dog food, I have come to the conclusion that Purina just doesn’t know how to make good food for pets.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I do not understand how someone can come to this site and still choose to feed a poor little puppy this food.

  • Cyndi

    I highly doubt he’s “feeling great”. & IF he is, I doubt he will be for long.

  • beaglemom

    Have you read the reviews of these two foods?

  • Lori

    We give our puppy Beneful dry and wet mixed and have had no problem. We tried other brands for both and he wouldn’t eat it but mixing these have been a god send for us. He’s eating great and feeling great!

  • beaglemom

    Also please be aware that by the time you notice they’re unhealthy and/or unhappy it very likely will be too late to help them…

  • JellyCat

    Connie, are you OK that your “babies” eat artificial colors, flavors and unnamed meat sources?
    It’s also pretty expensive, why don’t you try something cheaper and also healthier? There are plenty of much-much better foods.

  • Connie

    We used other wet dog foods for our Danes and they got sick. We switched to Beneful wet combined with ProPlan Dry and they are fine. We’ve had no issues with baneful wet when combined with ProPlan dry. Thanks for the research, but as long as our babies are healthy and happy we will stay with what works.

  • Anthony Keller

    Are you seriously that goddamn stupid?? This stuff lists water as 1st ingredient meaning its mostly water, followed close by wheat gluten which adds protein % making it appear as if more meat is in this. This is horrible for any animal

  • diana

    Signed, everyone here should sign it, that food made my dog very sick

  • diana

    purina is not a trusted brand, many of their products have caused dogs kidney , liver problems and even death. for starters there dingo treats are deadly

  • diana

    wow you are clueless.

  • LabsRawesome

    Omg! Please do some research! You can start right here, on this site. By reading the detailed review above. Beneful Tubs are rated 2 stars. And you can see the review for Beneful (1 star) dry here. One look at the ingredients should actually make you sick. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/beneful-dog-food-dry/

  • Elly LeMaster

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I used to bake chickens for my picky dogs to add to dry food. I don’t have to anymore. Beneful wet food is packed with real meat & it’s enough to feed all 3 dogs (with dry beneful). They love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/itsalrightma Justine Curry
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Hi Wendymrhs02,

    I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize your dog was so seriously ill. There are people here who are much more able to discuss your dog’s health and make nutritional suggestions.

    I’ve come across this page previously, and again today, looking up information about dogs with cancer: http://www.k9medicinals.com/dog-cancer-diet

  • Wendymrhs02

    Thanku Betsy Greer, unfortunately my poor big baby developed bowel cancer as I had kept feeding the beneful prepared meals because she wouldn’t eat anything else, & I asked my local supermarket where I can buy wheat free dog food & no-one could tell me. Just recently bought a new one called Nature’s Goodness, grain free made by V.I.P. Pet foods I noticed it has potatoe & sweet potatoe along with other vegies as second & potatoe & tapioca starch as second ingredient is good or not? it says it meets the nutritional levels established by AAFCO for maintenance of adult dogs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Hi Wendymrhs02,

    I recently convinced a co-worker to switch her dog from Beneful. She was interested in a budget friendly food and after doing some math on several foods I really like, I found that NutriSource is only either .16 or .18 cents more per pound for a comparably sized bag. NutriSource is pretty easy to find in stores and online and they also have loyalty rewards and offer regular coupons. I might try the Adult Chicken & Rice first. It seems to be very well tolerated by sensitive systems and if you decide later, you could switch to one of their grain free formulas.

  • Wendymrhs02

    I’m disappointed with Purina Beneful I thought I was using a trusted brand, I didn’t realise this food was harming my dog   & not helping, the vet didn’t say that my dog’s heart problems were associated with this dog food & I was fooled by the label I’m on a low income & was unable to buy science diet from the vet! thanku Dogadvisor for this info. It’s hard to know what is 4 star rated it’s not on the label, & I’m learning how to read & judge by the ingredients.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Bryan
    Can you at least store it in a garbage bag until they come for it? At least then it will be where it belongs!

  • BryanV21

    One of our distributors accidentally gave us a few boxes of this, and needless to say we are ashamed to even have it in the store. Not that we’re selling it, but it’s sitting here until they pick it up next week when they deliver again.

    Yuck.

  • GMA

    My shih zhu, Bentley, loves Beneful!!  I would like for you to vary the kinds of pet food in your ” 6 Variety Packs”.  It is so much easier to purchase in a box than each individual container. Thanks for your dedication to my pets. 

  • Mrmxwll

    My little Bichon buddy will recite Shakespeare for the Beneful prepared meals. So I put a level tablespoon of it in the meals that I prepare for him, once a day. So, a little Beneful mixed
    with some sweet potato and mixed vegetables, a teaspoon
    of pumpkin, and some diced turkey (or boiled chicken), and he’s ready for his closeup.

  • Pingback: All Different Dog Food Brands & Types | My Blog()

  • Julie

    Well my dogs just love the wet beneful dog food but the
    other day I opened one up and it was moldy, so kinda skeptical about giving them the food again. How can you compensate me for this. I buy alot for my 2 dogs.

  • darth mutt

    Beneful isn’t all that good for your dog, but to add insult to injury my dog didn’t even eat the whole thing!

  • Toxed2loss

    Tulik,
    I too, urge you to listen to what Shawna is saying. My area of interest is toxins. The kidneys and liver are the major detoxification centers of the body. If your vet is recommending a low protein diet based on his belief that high protein is harder on the kidneys, I find that horribly misguided. The thing he should be looking at here is “reducing toxins” to reduce the work the kidneys have to do! This food is chock full of excitotory neurotoxins by process.

  • monkey

    This food is absolutely horrible for any dog. PLEASE listen to Shawna.

  • Shawna

    By the way, I would NEVER put my dog with kidney disease on this food.  It would kill her.  Drs Foster and Smith mention a “protein that is more digestible (therefore producing fewer nitrogen byproducts).”  This food, because of the wheat gluten, the meat-by-products and several other ingredients would create more “nitrogen byproducts” then quality protein…  You’ve been duped :(

  • Shawna

    Tulik ~~ I’m so sorry to have to say this but I think your vets are seriously misinformed.  Protein does not damage the kidneys.  In fact, protein does not need to be restricted in kidney disease until the later stages of the disease or in protein is in the urine (indicating inflammation).  They have known this now for over 10 years.  I don’t expect you to believe me so here are quotes from a vet and two animal nutritionists.

    1.  Drs Foster and Smith  “Does high protein cause kidney disease? No. This myth probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low-protein (and thus low-nitrogen) diets. Today, we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein, but instead contains protein that is more digestible (therefore producing fewer nitrogen by-products). ”  http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=459#answer_7

    2.  Nutritionist Mary Straus – writes nutrition articles for Whole Dog Journal and other publications/magazines.  She had a dog with kd and is a moderator of one of the yahoo kidney groups.  This page has WAY TOO many references to quote from but the article is titled “Is a Low-Protein Diet Desirable or Necessary for Dogs with Kidney Disease?”  http://www.dogaware.com/health/kidneyprotein.html

    3.  This is from Lew Olson PhD Natural Nutrition owner of Rottie Bean who was born with kideny disease and also a moderator of one of the yahoo kidney groups.  “The anatomy and digestive process of dogs are designed to most easily digest animal fat and protein. Dogs perform best on animal based products. Studies have shown you cannot feed a dog too much protein.”   http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/dogs-and-protein/

    I am also the owner of a dog that was born with kidney disease.  Symptoms appeared before she was weaned and official diagnosis happened at one year of age.  She has been on a HIGH protein raw diet her entire life and is now 5 and 1/2 years old and in EXCELLENT health.  No drugs ever, no fluids ever etc.. 

  • tulik

    I have fed my various dogs over the years only high end dry/wet dog foods but they are so high in protein the Vets are telling me after reviewing the results of routine blood work to lower the protein intake because the high protein is affecting the kidney functions and as i sat in the vets office i heard it told to patients over and over to lower the protein intake.  I switched at least their wet food to something they would eat and they love Beneful prepared meals but i still buy high end dry food that is available to them at all times.  My suggestion to all of you is to be sure to get your dogs blood work done on a yearly bases to be able to monitor the true effect of the food.  Of course any reaction to a food is a reason to switch but i don’t believe any more that you must give them high end dog food…as long as the blood work is fine and there are no allergies.  And those dogs allergic to this food is probably allergic to  many things so be sure to have their thyroid checked as well as routine blood work. 

  • April Oliveira-Kean

    I think this food is horrible for your pets , my parents feed their large breed dogs Beniful food and I think its discusting , her one dog is almost 3 she only eats 1 wet food a day with 2 cups of hard food both beniful and the dog is almost 60lbs over weight , her other dog isn’t that large maybe just 55lbs but she is in rough shape for her age , and I honestly think it has something to do with the food , my dog is 56lbs and 8 years old same age as my mothers dog , mine is on holistic food and a good diet , she is in awesome shape , she is excersised just as much and mine has next to no health problems since i got her , I honestly think people should look into the dog food they buy … if you really love your pet like a part of your family then treat them like they are

  • Aimee

    i fed my dog beneful not knowing anything about dog nutrition. but after all of my research, i will never feed my baby this crap again.

  • Mike P

    7 red items Phil …beneful is poison ..what you pay for that crap you can do much better

  • Jonathan

    Phillip, you said

    “You can see everything that is in the wet so I really don’t see what the issue is. It’s meat, veggies, rice and gravy.”

    well, buddy, what “meat” are we talking about here? there are little flakes of turkey here and there, but those strange lumps… those are gross. That is where the meat by-products are pressed (probably with the wheat gluten) into those nasty little lumps. Don’t confuse those little lumps with actual meat. The added color here is to hide how unattractive it would really look.

  • Phillip

    I haven’t had any problems with the wet food but I definitely had a problem with the dry…my puppy started getting rashes on her lady parts! not cool at all. I had actually bought both because puppies sometimes have trouble switching to dry food, so, i would mix the two together. Once I noticed she was having a negative reaction I stopped feeding her the dry….not really sure why but for some reason I just knew it was the dry food…I think it’s just something about dog food having food coloring in it. The rashes stopped! …until one day I came home and she had it in her dish….mmm hmmm….yeah my boyfriend had given her the food, not realizing that I had stopped. Yep, just like clockwork, the rash started re-appearing, within 24 hours. So I have no doubt that it was the food causing these allergies. I’ve continued with the wet because my little girl loves it but if I could find something organic and as flavorful and keeps my dogs coat shiny I would have no problem switching. You can see everything that is in the wet so I really don’t see what the issue is. It’s meat, veggies, rice and gravy. Don’t know about anyone else but if I had to make a dog food those are the things I would put in it. I think just like every other living thing, every dog is different. My dog didn’t die from the food and actually didn’t even seem to be bothered by the rashes. More then anything it just bothered me. I’m not a fan of the dry food but if you think it’s worth it for you to try it, knock yourself out. My cousin has been using it for years and he swears by it. So, like I said, everyone’s different ;)

  • Jonathan

    Why “organic”? there aren’t many organic dog foods out there. What other foods have you tried? Have you given Wellness Core a shot? or Blue Buffalo canned foods? They have Turducken, Chicken Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Feast, Back Yard BBQ, Irish Lamb Stew… if your dog won’t eat any of those meat-filled yummy foods, then I don’t know what to tell you. All i know is that this stuff is garbage.

  • helen crowther

    the only reason I give my dog beneful wet food is because she wont eat organic food

  • Leslie Ann Holbrook

    We have a small terrier mix (13 pounds, looks like Toto) who developed rashes after we switched her to Beneful Prepared Meals. When we took her to our vet to have the rashes looked at, she said that this was the third dog she’d seen *that day* that had come in itching after having switched to Beneful. Caveat emptor.