PMI Nutrition Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

PMI Nutrition Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The PMI Nutrition product line includes two dry dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

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

  • PMI Nutrition Bites and Bones Formula
  • PMI Nutrition Canine Advantage Formula

PMI Nutrition Bites and Bones Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

PMI Nutrition Bites n Bones

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 59%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal, wheat mill run, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, natural poultry flavor, salt, sunflower oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, artificial color (yellow #5, red #40, blue #2), ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, l-lysine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, biotin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium iodate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%9%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%21%56%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The third ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The fifth ingredient is wheat mill run, also known as wheat middlings. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat middlings is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

In reality, wheat mill run is nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.

The sixth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

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

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a 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.

After the natural poultry flavor, we find salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 kibble is?

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

PMI Nutrition Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, PMI Nutrition looks like a below-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 24%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

PMI Nutrition is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of chicken by-product and meat-and-bone meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not 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.

PMI Nutrition 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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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.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

Notes and Updates

08/03/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • Shawna

    Hi Colleen,

    Purina products have been found to have pento in them (Dog Chow I think it was) per the FDA’s website when foods were tested about 13 years back. That doesn’t mean they are in them now or in the Purina Mills foods. It’s my understanding that Purina and Purina Mills are two separate companies.

    This food would actually CAUSE skin issues in the dog in my avatar. She is intolerant of gluten grains (barley, wheat etc) and her symptoms are urinary issues, skin issues and intense itching. If she gets even small amounts of gluten containing foods she is likely to wet the bed while sleeping that night.

    Wheat can actually cause a whole slew of issues aside from skin issues. Gluten is known to cause or exacerbate arthritis. Known to cause villous atrophy which leads to malnutrition which can lead to things like iodine deficiency hypothyroid. Gluten is suspected to cause a specific type of kidney disease as well as cause an illness that leads to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In humans gluten causes an illness called gluten ataxia which manifests as neurological symptoms including temporary blindness, brain damage and stroke like symptoms. Causes leaky gut which leads to allergies. Most of the studies are done on humans but I have no reason to believe that gluten grains are not just as problematic, if not more so, in cats and dogs.

    If you want to research this further, look up gluten, lectins, gliadin, WGA etc. Here’s one example to get you started if interested http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/8/2476.long

    Of course, not every dog (or human) is going to react to wheat (gluten) but gluten is one of the foods most likely to cause a reaction. I’ve read data suggesting that 1 in 33 people are reactive to gluten to one degree or another.

    Wheat is not the only ingredient in this food that I am critical of but this post is long enough already :)…

  • Storm’s Mom

    How do you “know that you won’t find [euthanized animals] in Purina feeds”?

  • Colleen

    Mike, this food is not only not a one star food, but a blessing for dogs who have skin conditions! Countless dogs with problems with incessant scratching and chewing have found relief through this PMI Prime formula, and I sold 2 tons of it every week for years. I had a dog with hot spots, and after two weeks he was cleared up- along with so many other success stories I heard over the years. Several dogs were “diagnosed” with “mange” and on steroid shots weekly for treatment. I can’t tell you how many dogs were “cured” by simply eating this food! So as bad as you think it is, I know a lot of owners who will give it 5 stars based solely on their own experience with it.

  • Colleen

    Hi Shawna. I can assure you that Purina does not use euth’d animals in their plants. You may find these animals in other foods, and I know that you won’t find them in Purina feeds. also, this food is recommended for any dog with any kind of skin issues, which WILL clear up after feeding this food. Purina is the only feed company that has its own research facility, and doesn’t rely on other companies’ data, making it a leader not a follower.

  • Colleen

    okay. I sold PMI Prime Formula for many years at a Purina dealership and can tell you that it is a far superior product! We had numerous clients with dogs that had skin issues with no fleas or dermatitis, and the vets had them on steroid shots, etc. After about a week on this food, they were no longer scratching and chewing, and their coats were improved. It has no soy, which Purina has found ,through research, to be an allergen. It does have wheat, but clears skin conditions- so is wheat so bad? We had dogs “diagnosed” with mange, who were “cured” in about a week…..most skin problems are related to a fat inadequacy, which makes sense. If your dog’s skin is dry, it is itchy! If you want the most bang for the buck and have a dog with any kind of skin issues, this food will clear it up. and it is a small bite, so little dogs will have no problem with it.

  • Shawna

    Hi Love it! ~~ I agree that this is better then many other foods out there.  Sadly though, it has several ingredients that are very problematic (or can be that is).

    Two such ingredient are “meat and bone meal” and “animal fat”.  These ingredients come from rendering plants and euthanized animals can used in the rendering process.. 

    The below quote is from the FDAs website with link to quoted data.
    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”  http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

    The FDA and others say that the amount in dog food is inconsequential however.  But not everyone agrees with them.

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service says this
    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.” http://cpharm.vetmed.vt.edu/USFWS/USFWSFPentobarbFactSheet.pdf

    If the US Fish & Wildlife Service is correct then foods contaminated with pento could slowly be poisoning our pets…  It’s just not worth the risk to me…  Just my opinion though… 😉

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Eileen Smith, You are an angel! :)  Ol’roy is like $20 for 40lbs. The closest food price wise is Kirkland Signature at Costco’s, $25 for a 40lb bag. The Kirkland has much better ingredients. Chicken, Chicken meal, Brown rice. If you can’t afford the extra $ don’t feel bad. You are doing a great thing! :) You can see the ingredients here.  http://shop.costco.com/en/In-The-Warehouse/Kirkland-Signature-Pet-Food/Adult-Dog-Chicken-Rice-Vegetable-Formula.aspx

  • Love it!

    by the way- I agree with shawna about eileen– rescuing dogs- you feed them what you can cuz you’re doing more for them than most other ppl

  • Love it!

    I agree with Been There — apparently the site is not interested in the really bad stuff– o’roy — house brands and that Alpo stuff OMG if they deserve a star this stuff deserves 5 –I was feeding that junk to my dogs -in and out was all they were doing- MY VET switched them to PMI gradually over a month– I now buy 1/2 the food I was before- hardly any waste and as far as my dogs, 2 had gotten so fat off of it they had to have what is deemed normal in day cut to about 3/4 of that and now they 2 look awesome- at first though I bought blue buffalo per my vet’s advice- it is all I can do to get puppies to eat it who have never had anything else- my dogs hated the stuff so bad they didn’t even make it the month it takes to convert them (they just kept eating the stinking alpo and leaving the blue in the bowl) so she switched them over to the PMI– they love it and I am one proud dog owner now.

  • Shawna

    THANK YOU Eileen for everything you do for the dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     I am a foster parent for two rescue groups and I know how difficult it can be with just 9 or 10 dogs!!!  I couldn’t imagine 70…  Ughhh…

    I think anyone that tells you Ol’ Roy is a quality (or even okay) food doesn’t know the first thing about dog nutrition and dog food ingredients.  HOWEVER, I would rather see you feeding the dogs a lower quality food then not being able to take the dogs in because you can’t afford to feed them… 

    If you can find a food in the same price range that doesn’t have so many red flagged items — that would be ideal.  However if you can’t then you keep doin what you are doin and be grateful, imo, that you can afford to feed that many dogs any foods even the less then perfect ones… 

  • Eileen Smith

    I have a canine rescue in McNeal Az and I am so disappointed in everything I read about all these different dog foods I usually have about 70 dogs on my rescue ranch at all times and do all this out of my own pocket  I am not happy with the non profits rules and as long as I can financially do this and do it well and all for the benefit of these wonderful animals I shall  I do have very stricked adoption programs so the animal gets a great home or comes back to me where I know it will be safe and well cared for I have decided to stick with ol roy crunchy kibbles and bites do to all the times I have tried to switch and after reading the reviews on the other dog foods I must stay with the one that works for the canines  I also do feed some the beneful playful life due to food allergies however to keep my cost down I must find one other to feed the rest of the dogs I need some feedback on the ol roy to put my mind at ease Please mail to [email protected]  Thankyou   Eileen Smith from Desert Acres Canine Haven

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hello Been there!

    Based upon all the facts as outlined in my review, this PMI product is only a one star dog food.

    Please re-read my report when you get a chance and notice the notably low protein content made worse by the inclusion of corn gluten meal as a meat substitute.

    This product apparently contains only a limited amount of meat, low quality animal fat, agricultural by-products and generic meat and bone meal.

    Unfortunately, as it is on the label, this PMI product is certainly not entitled to have its stars upgraded.

  • Shawna

    Been there ! ~~ I find it odd that you are getting upset over such a low quality food?  I looked up the ingredients of the Prime and you are correct that corn or wheat is not the first ingredient.  However the actual first ingredient, “meat and bone meal”, isn’t much if any better and only increases the protein content to 26 per the below linked dog food review site.  Which by the way found the food so objectionable that they wanted to give it a rating lower then their lowest one star rating. :( 
    http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=841&cat=7

  • Been there !

    I use the ADVANTAGE and PRIME — update your stars!!! This WILL NEVER compare to CRAPPY ALPO!!! First ingredients are NOT CORN OR WHEAT……………

  • Jason H.

    Update despite the success with hair and itching due my recent education of bha I will be discontinuing use of this product. Just not worth the risk.

  • Jason H.

    Switched most of my dogs to PMI Bites and Bones from PMI Red Flannel due to hair loss and itching a few months back and it has not disappointed. It has some more of the Omega Fatty acids needed for skin and coat. My Boston Terrier and Schnoodle have regrown all their hair and their skin bumps and rashes have all gone. My Aussie Sheppard / Billie Goat Mix can eat anything with no trouble. Despite the low rating it just goes to show that all dogs are different and respond differently to different feeds. What works well for one may not work for all. Definitely works for my dogs, just hope this helps.