PMI Nutrition Dog Food earns the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.
The PMI Nutrition product line includes three kibbles, one (*) claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and the other two not posted on the PMI website.
- PMI Nutrition Canine Advantage*
- PMI Nutrition Bites n’ Bones Formula
- PMI Nutrition Gravy Crunches Formula
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
PMI Nutrition Bites n’ Bones Formula was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
PMI Nutrition Bites n Bones
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||9%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||21%||56%|
The first item lists 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.
The second ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
For this reason, we do not consider either corn or wheat preferred components in any dog food.
The third item includes 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 a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered “unfit for human consumption”.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).
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 includes 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 item 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 livestock.
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.
Needless to say, generic animal fat preserved with BHA is surely not a quality ingredient.
The seventh item includes corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, this PMI Nutrition product also 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.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
Thirdly, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food. Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you, not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble 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.
PMI Nutrition Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, PMI Nutrition Dog Food looks to be a below-average kibble.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.
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 only a modest amount of meat.
PMI Nutrition Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken and generic meat by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.
Those looking for a better quality kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Infinia Dog Food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
03/16/2010 Original review
10/16/2010 Review updated
07/16/2012 Last Update