Perfect Balance Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Perfect Balance Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Perfect Balance Grain Free product line includes two dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Perfect Balance Grain Free Chicken and Turkey Meal [A]
  • Perfect Balance Grain Free Pork Meal (4.5 stars) [A]

Perfect Balance Grain Free Chicken and Turkey Meal was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Perfect Balance Grain Free Chicken and Turkey Meal

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, potatoes, turkey meal, chicken fat, herring oil, natural flavors, carrots, peas, blueberries, cranberries, dried kelp, chicory root, dried eggs, Yucca schidigera extract, sage, zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement (natural source of vitamin E), mixed tocopherols, citric acid, rosemary extract, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, l-carnitine, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, cobalt carbonate, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis31%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%19%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%39%33%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is herring oil. Herring oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.

After the natural flavor, we find carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth 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.

The ninth ingredient lists blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

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 two notable exceptions

First, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Perfect Balance Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Perfect Balance Grain Free looks like an above-average dry 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 34%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Perfect Balance Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of chicken or pork meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Perfect Balance Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

06/11/2016 Last Update

  • Kris Johnson

    Chewy.com sells it. Any order 49.99 has free shipping.

  • This is not Pure Balance dog food, it is Perfect Balance. Completely different brand.

  • Guest

    I feed this to my Doberman Pinscher, and it’s awesome. Dobes are prone to skin issues, heart conditions, and sensitive stomachs. Pure Balance Grain-Free Salmon & Pea is perfect
    for my Doberman. His coat is shiny and soft, and his skin has never had a problem. I’m not sure how his heart is, but the fish oil and omega 3’s should help him significantly.

    He absolutely loves the flavor, and the kibbles are small enough for me to use as training treats. I can also stuff them inside a Kong or other similar toy.

  • Sorry it took so long, just needed a few days to test and make sure it would apply the free shipping. Non-China as a coupon will save you 20% on your first order as well through this weekend. Merry Christmas!

  • DogFoodie

    I just checked the manufacturer’s website for this product and, as promised, free shipping is up and running. Basically, it’s free shipping for orders $49 and up.

    http://muenstermilling.com/

  • We manufacture our own foods, Perfect Balance is a brand of Muenster Milling Co. http://Www.muenstermilling.com

  • DogFoodie

    Who is the co-packer of your product?

  • Energy88. We plan on having the free shipping for the entire country available this week,

  • Yes, I am. No, the price will not increase. We just re-negotiated our shipping, and will be passing the savings along to the end users. If it’s not programmed in to the site by this afternoon, I’ll post a free shipping coupon for you.

  • DogFoodie

    Are you the manufacturer of this product, Mitch? Will the price of the food increase when you begin to offer free shipping?

  • Energy88. We plan on having the free shipping for the entire country available this week, hopefully as early as this afternoon.

  • energy88

    Too bad they can’t distribute their product for less. The cheapest shipping was $31.16- almost the cost of the product and overnight was $202. No way!

  • Sandra Kertz

    I’m about half way through my first bag I ordered from their website on Cyber Monday and couldn’t be happier. When you sign up for auto-ship, it’s cheaper than Taste of the Wild. I called and talked to one of the owners because I though the price was too cheap. They told me they don’t use distributors or middle men, so it keeps the price lower. I found this coupon code on their blog: “Non-China” but i’m not sure how long it’s good. It knocked 20% off my order though.

  • Crazy4cats

    You’re welcome 🙂

  • vicky tietz

    Thank you!

  • Crazy4cats
  • vicky tietz

    Where do you get the Perfect Balance grain free? I cant even find it on the net.

  • My fosters have eaten this and did well and the kibble was small.