Pure Balance Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

  • Pure Balance Wild and Free Bison and Pea Recipe (4.5 stars)
  • Pure Balance Grain Free Salmon and Pea Recipe (3.5 stars)

The Pure Balance Grain Free product line includes one dry dog food, claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Pure Balance Grain Free Salmon and Pea Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, dried ground peas, tapioca, pea protein, fish meal, dried plain beet pulp, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried carrots, sunflower oil, natural flavor, whole potato, calcium carbonate, salt, flaxseed, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, l-carnitine, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%17%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%35%42%

The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The third ingredient is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The seventh ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The eighth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).

The ninth ingredient is dried carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, 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 four notable exceptions

First, 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, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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

And lastly, this food also 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.

Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food 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 27%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pure Balance Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of salmon and salmon meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

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.

Notes and Updates

10/29/2013 Original review
04/03/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Per Pure Balance Rep via DFA comment, 10/25/2013
  • kellsey

    So my dogs love this dog food!!! I use the lamb and brown rice for sensitive stomachs. I came across this dog food when I was fostering for a friend. My foster dog was throwing up a yellow foam, consisting of an empty stomach (from eating so much but pooping just as fast). So I went to Walmart and found pure balance. Bought it and he ate it up along with my other two dogs. Now I foster another dog who is about 9 weeks old. She cannot get enough of it. I recommend this dog food for everyone.

  • AZBryants

    we use this food for all 3 of our dogs, and the 10 month old Frenchie mix has only eaten this food for her entire life, and is doing wonderfully, getting great feedback on vet appointments. Our other dogs are an 11 yr old Lhasa, and a 6 yr old chihuahua.

  • pzov

    I have been using the Pure Balance Bison & Pea for almost 1 year. I have found the quality of the food to be very good for a store bought brand. I also add a little teaspoon of the small Pure Balance wet food, beef dinner as an extra. It saves me from cooking. I have an 81 lb hound pooch and she loves the food. You can order the food online and pickup at the store as well. While no dog food is perfect, this is a good alternative to the more expensive brands, especially for those on a budget.

  • Art

    Evening, recently a pup German Shepard joined our family (now 5months old got him at 3 1/2 months) and a few weeks ago he started getting parvovirus so took him to vet and had him treated. This led me to start researching dog food diets since vet put him on chicken and rice diet. Thankfully now he has pulled through and is back on dry food, I was giving my dogs beneful dog food until I read about it, I didn’t realize that I was potentially harming my dogs so I finished the beneful and started him and my other two dogs (min pins) on Pure Balance. All dogs seem to love it so far and am hopeful I made the right choice on dog food. Art

  • Shimp Misuguru

    I’m wowed! I’ve been transitioning my dogs to a healthier diet after years of being clueless about quality dog foods, but my pockets aren’t very deep. I give them Nature’s Variety raw food when I can afford it, but otherwise they’ve been having Nature’s Variety dry kibble. Still the wallet’s getting tighter, so I was at walmart looking for the highest quality food I could get there – and that turned out to be Pure Balance Bison & Pea – a 5lb bag was only $7! So I could get twice as much pure balance for the same price as one 5lb bag of Nature Variety’s kibble. I brought it home to my pups and WOW, they cleaned their plates! That is a first with dry kibble for them! Usually they don’t really care for dry food and just eat a little throughout the day, but they LOVED pure balance, way more than the pricier Nature’s Variety kibble. I will still be getting them Nature’s Variety raw when I can (which they also absolutely love), but from now on it’s pure balance grain free kibble all the way!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Crystal, some foods to look for that have a similar price to Pure Balance grain free are Victor grain free, sold at farm or independent pet stores. victordogfood.com Rachael Ray Zero grain @ Walmart. 4health GF Tractor Supply. And I just recently found Nutro Ultra GF at Big lots, they had 12lb bags for $12 and 22lb bags for $25.

  • Crystal

    Our dog struggled for years until we found pure balance. She is finally regrowing all her hair and not itching all over. Whether its an allergy from food or yeast caused by food we aren’t positive but its something in the food. However with only two grain free foods she is getting bored with the same food over and over! I need help finding similar food with these ingredients. Some variations are fine, as this will stay her main food and the rest will just be to keep everything “fresh”. I doubt she would have a reaction in such a short time to other food, but after suffering for so long we don’t want to make her suffer anymore!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Eva-
    You can always add a probiotic to their meal when you are feeding them. Swanson’s has some very good ones at great prices. It’s hard to tell if the probiotics are still active in dry food anyway.

  • Eva Hickman

    The only problem with this food is that it doesn’t have any probiotics or prebiotics like a lot of the other 4 and 5 star foods.

  • Russ

    I have been feeding my hair ball the Bison and Pea seems to be a good dog food, found it at Walmart $19.98 11 lbs. but I don’t see any info on this blend. I feed him a lot of steak and chicken to fill in the weak spots of dog food my pups a 7 year old Chow, Lab mix

  • Katie

    I found both the chicken and brown rice and the lamb and brown rice at Walmart. The chicken and rice, which gets 4 stars here, is $31– for a 30lb bag. The lamb and rice, which received a 3.5 stars here, is $39– for the 30 lb bag. Just thought you’d want to know. I know some people might not want to shop at Walmart, but every once in a while it pays to. ;)

  • Patty Lyons Wood

    My two shih tzus have always had dry, itchy skin and eye irritations, until I switched them to the lamb and brown rice formula. Their skin and eyes are clear, and they are doing very well on this dogfood. Love the price, and what the food does for my babies!

  • Sean

    Shelley, check out the authority brand at petsmart. Their grain free food is $19 for 15lbs as opposed to $19 for 11lbs of the pure balance bison food. It has good reviews on here too. I’m switching next bag.

  • Qi Xing

    This pure balance is really not as expensive as other same star level brand, to be a 4 stars dog food I think the price of this dog food is really cheap

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Shelley:
    I feed my dog Pure Balance canned regularly. I have searched high and low, but I have never seen coupons for Pure Balance. If you ever find any, come back and let us know where to find them!

    As sue66b suggested, I would also look for a kibble with similar protein, fat, and fiber %’s if it was necessary to switch to a cheaper kibble.

    Another GF kibble to look into at Wal-Mart is Rachael Ray Zero Grain. They are similar in ingredients, guaranteed analysis, and price, but RR often offers a $4 off coupon on her website for any size bag of Zero Grain. This might help you when the budget is tight. I feed RR Zero Grain Turkey and have fed her wet dog and cat foods a few times. Here’s a link to her website, look under the news and offers tab if this link doesn’t take you to her available coupons:
    http://nutrish.rachaelray.com/switchto

    I shop for quite a bit of my pet food by following sales and using coupons. Here is a link to the coupon thread sue66b mentioned:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/coupons/page/11/

    I would also like to recommend rotational feeding which would help with the budget among other things too. If your dog does well on rotational feeding it would give you more brands and recipes to choose from. When the budget is tight or you just find a good price for food your dog does well on, you can buy it with no worries that your dog will become ill. Here’s some info on rotational feeding:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/

  • sue66b

    Hi Shelley, maybe when you get a cheaper kibble look for a kibble that has similair ingredients & same Fat% & Protein % as the Pure Balance & see how he goes..also email Pure Balance & see if they have coupons.. I know if you join some companies like Wellness (Wellpet) they email you coupons….also click on Forums site up the top there’s always post about coupons…just look on ur left & u’ll see the post on coupons..

  • shelley jones

    hi i started my dog on this food when he was a puppy . he is very healthy and also grown much healthier than a few of his siblings . the only bad thing is it is so expensive and if i run out and have to buy a cheaper brand he cannot eat it without vomiting and diarrhea (lucky me) so does anyone know where to get some coupons for this food ???

  • CDub

    I have about six box cutters. All have blades JUST like that.

  • CCM

    That is not a blade from the authorized box cutter that Walmart provides and the only kind that employees are allowed to use (without being fired)

  • Kelly Bommarito

    Would this food be ok for puppies? Since it doesn’t specify adult or puppy I assume it’s an all stage food? Specifically I’m looking to see if it’s be a good food for a cane corso puppy.

  • Sean

    It’s menhaden fish meal.

  • Michelle Taylor

    Thank you :)

  • Sean

    Calorie Content (ME Calculated, as fed):
    3,550 Kcals/kg, 350 Kcals/cup

  • Michelle Taylor

    Anyone know how many kcals are in the Bison formula? I am seriously considering this food.

  • Johnny

    And to keep your pup feeling full as you reduce the food amount, you can add in some string beans (frozen).

  • Tamara Lynn Tennyson

    I have a picky puppy, and she loves this brand too. I was super surprised at how good the reviews were, but I am very pleased.

  • Tamara Lynn Tennyson

    Reduce how much you’re feeding by a handful. Give it a week. If the pup’s weight doesn’t begin to drop a bit, reduce it by another handful the next week. (This is what my brother in law does with the animals that he works with.)

  • Elizabeth Wilmott

    How many calories per cup are in the Salmon and Pea food? I can’t find any information on the bag. I have an overweight dog and am trying to figure out how much he should be eating.

  • Sean

    you’re correct, the chicken & brown rice is the only small breed-specific food.

  • Sean
  • Cyndi

    Your pack leader did a good job teaching you math. ;)

  • Buddykin

    My pack leader buys the 11 or 14 pound bags. The Bison works out to $1.81/lb and the Salmon @ $1.50/lb. He also buys the Authority grain free at PetSmart ($1.50/lb) and mixes all three kibbles with The FreshPet Select he purchases from WalMart in the six pound roll at $2.16/lb. He also adds a vitamin daily and probiotic as needed.

  • Buddykin

    I just add it myself. I mix the kibble with a fresh pet select product, add a vitamin, and a probiotic.

  • govtcheez

    Are you sure? I’ve never seen it online or on shelves at a few different stores. The only smaller breed specific Pure Balance food that I see is their Chicken and Rice formula, which I think is similar/same size as the Salmon & Pea grain free.

  • Casey Boles

    Its the omega oils. I have the bison and salmon for my dog and the salmon is more oily. Coconut oil and a few table spoons of hot water make a great addition to this food for a super shiny coat.

  • Casey Boles

    It depends on what your dog needs. Bison has more iron and salmon has more omega fatty acids. If you feel your dog gets enough iron through its diet then go for the omegas, they act as pain killers in dogs and help with the retardation of aging.

  • Casey Boles

    they do but your local store may not have it

  • Daniel

    It looks exactly like a box cutter blade.

  • Guest

    Looks exactly like a blade out of a box cutter.

  • govtcheez

    Does anyone know if they will be making a smaller kibble for Bison recipe? I fed one bag of that to my small dog and she seemed to like it but struggled with the kibble size. She is now trying the salmon one but doesn’t seem to like it as much, but has an easier time chewing and breaking it down.

  • MJfromGA

    The food is sold only by WalMart. I’d think that was the reason they are able to make the association with their Ol’ Roy brand.

    Ol’ Roy (the dog the food is named after) was a spaniel that lived to age 11. Our dogs have always lived longer than that, so that was kind of funny to me.

  • LabsRawesome

    LOL.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I live in the Wild West. We still have horse and buggies! Lol!

  • LabsRawesome

    You live in Hickville? My Petco has carried all Merrick lines, including WEF for the last 4-5 years.

  • Crazy4cats

    My bad. That is true. But the grain free line is new and they changed their previous recipes also. Some Petco’s in my area didn’t even carry it until the new recipes came out.

  • LabsRawesome

    Whole Earth Farms has been out for at least 4 years, if not longer.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’ve seen it at Petco, a feed store and a small pet boutique. It is fairly new. Maybe your Petco just didn’t have it yet last time you were there.

  • LabsRawesome

    It should be at Petco, If not here’s Merricks store locator. Just type in your zip code. http://www.merrickpetcare.com/find-our-products/

  • Sean
  • Bobby dog

    Chewy.com & Petco.com have it. Maybe it depends on your region if your Petco carries it, IDK.

  • Jen Pilkington

    Where can you find this Whole Earth Farms? I do not recall ever seeing it at my local Petco.

  • Michelle

    It may not be abnormal, but every dog I’ve ever had in my 48 years (and that’s quite a few!) has liked to stick their head out the car window; some would stay there, most would come back in once the wind got too strong. Rest assured that I do that only on errands around the neighborhood, not when I’m going 60+ on the freeway. As for them falling out– I like big dogs, so the chances of my 100+ pound rottie falling out of the little windows in my car are nil…but, since he is a bit protective, I don’t roll the windows all the way down because at intersections he’s gotten a little vocal with OTHER canines in cars. :-)

  • KarmasMom

    While I know Ainsworth makes Pure Balance, Rachel Ray & several other dog food brands, the Pure Balance canned varieties do say “Ol Roy” right on the can. Regardless, the Pure Balance is made completely differently. Ol Roy never appealed to me based on anything I ever read over the many years I’ve had dogs. Pure Balance caught my attention. I freaked when I saw there was a relation to Ol Roy – whether one company bought another or whatever…. none of that matters to me because I researched the grain free salmon & pea and am happy with the ingredients, the amount of protein, fat, calcium, etc. The fact that my baby girl loves this food & that it is grain free (hopefully eliminating the food allergy Sx she’s had on other foods), I’m thrilled with it. There are some great foods out there that cost a fortune and there are some great foods that cost quite a bit more than Pure Balance yet compare very, very closely in ingredients & percentages of protein & such, so I’m thrilled to find this well balanced, easy to find, grain free food at a store that my husband passes on his way home from work well after other stores are closed. Yay for Walmart. I’m so glad to see a food like this that is “good for puppies” like mine…. I was going to try Rachel Ray’s food, but there wasn’t any dry food in her brand available for pups at the store we were at when we made the switch. Luckily we’re happy with this food since Karma loves it so much.

  • KarmasMom

    I never bought Ol’Roy for any of my past dogs, but the Pure Balance Grain Free is the first food my American Bulldog/Pitbull pup likes & not only eats it as soon as the she is told she can, but she anxiously awaits being told it’s ok to eat & runs to her food now. I’m also hoping it will help her as previous food such as Exclusive Lg Breed Puppy formula (which she was on when we adopted her & kept her on initally), was not only of no interest to her, but it & the 2nd food we tried both caused a lot of licking & scratching which are prime signs of allergies. The 2nd food ended up upsetting her stomach – and we switched very slowly. However, I do want to state here, after having another highly allergenic dog (food, seasonal outdoor allergies, etc), I can say that while a dog with ear infections may very well not want to stick it’s head out a car window, I’ve always taught my all of my dogs to lie down, or sit down – and they are buckled in with a harness & tether. I’ve seen, and heard of too many bad things happening to dogs that hang out the windows (depending on how far or if they see something that catches their attention). Either way, I don’t see a need for a dog to have its head out a car window anymore than a person. This is JUST MY OPINION of course. I just wanted to say that it doesn’t make a dog “abnormal” if it doesn’t stick its head out a window. There are many of us that don’t open windows for the dogs for safety reasons. Dogs get breezes outside all the time, yet when the winds are whipping at 50mph or more, I sure don’t stay outside longer than necessary, nor does my dog now (or any previous dog). When driving, the wind is going to hitting a dog at a minimum of the speed of the car. I don’t see any abnormality in a dog NOT wanting that, nor do I think its wrong if some of us teach our dogs not to do that. Seeing as you referred to a dog that was a rescue, he/she may well have not put his/her head out the window due to the ear infections, due to feeling ill in general, due to a past bad experience no one is aware of – or it just wasn’t used to car rides, or wasn’t given the freedom to roam or stick its head out… it doesn’t make the dog abnormal. I’m not trying to tell you to change what you allow your dog/s to do… just asking that you consider that not every dog is the same. They may each be unique, but they can still be well within the range of what’s considered normal :-) God bless you for helping a dog in need & giving it a loving home. Best of luck with the Pure Balance. Glad you’re giving it a try & I hope your dog does well on it!!

  • KarmasMom

    The ingredients are also listed on Walmart’s website for anyone else that is interested in the ingredients of any of the dry kibble formulas…. go to http://www.walmartDOTcom/cp/Pure-Balance/1097490?povid=cat202072-env999999-module012814-PUREBALANCEitembadge & click on the product you’re interested in.

  • Pam c

    I just bought a bag of the salmon and pea last night. I agree that the food seems oily.

  • Johnny

    The Bison & Pea seems to have significantly more protein than the Salmon & Pea. Maybe that’s the reason? Bison & Pea also has less fat. I know DFA rates protein highly, but not sure how they rate fat percentages. One thing to note is that even though Bison is the #1 ingredient, it has a lot of water content. So it looks like the main protein source is from the fish meal and chicken meal. I would try the Bison one, but the Salmon is cheaper.

  • Chuck Celentano

    I am feeding my Beagle, two pugs and two elderly pekes the salmon/pea blend. My beagle’s urinary PH has dropped from 7.0 to 5.5. The reason I am feeding her is this is because I wanted to get off of the Royal Canin SO Urinary Tract Formula. She has had a past problem with Struvite stones and as long as I keep her PH between 6.5 and 5.5, she is good to go! My question is what is the dietary difference between the Bison and pea and the salmon and pea, as I see the Bison got a higher rating?

  • Johnny

    My dog’s a very picky eater. I’ve tried a lot of different kibble – both medium grade and high grade. My dog never eats dry kibble by itself. I always have to add a topper. And even then, she sometimes turns her nose at it. After trying another bag (a 5 star brand) that she turned her nose at even after I added sardines, I was fed up. I returned the bag and bought this one expecting the worst. When I first opened the bag, I noticed a very oily feel to the kibble and an oily smell. But the fat % is below average, so I guess it’s not that bad. Maybe the oiliness is from the salmon? Anyhow, despite this oiliness, it smelled a lot more delicious than any of the other kibble I’ve tried. I tested it out by feeding it to her dry with no toppers and she ate it up! First time ever it happened! I’m going to continue adding nutritious toppers as a supplement, but I am SUPER happy that I have finally found a kibble that she likes.

  • Freeholdhound

    I have no problem with the meals – PB is off my list because my dog is sensitive to chicken, white fish & salmon.

  • Doxie7

    For a dog food, what could contain more protein than whole meat?

    Well,
    surprisingly, a quality grade meat meal can actually be a more abundant
    source of protein than the whole meat from which it was made.

    Here’s why.

    Meat meal is a dried end-product of the cooking process known as rendering. Rendering is a lot like making stew — except that this stew is intentionally over-cooked.

    With rendering, you start with a meat stew, cook away the water and bake the residue. And you end up with a highly concentrated protein powder — or meat meal.

    Now, check out the chart above. Notice how whole chicken contains about 70% water and 18% protein.

    Yet after rendering, the resulting chicken meal contains just 10% water and a whopping 65% protein.

    That’s nearly four times more protein than whole chicken!

  • Doxie7

    yes

  • Doxie7

    Check on line at http://www.walmart.com and see if they have it…then have it sent to your store for pickup…free I have 7 dogs and they love this food..good luck..Also check with your store mger and ask if they can get it…if you need a bar code tell me which one you would want

  • PureBalanceRep

    Hello, I’m a representative of Pure Balance. We
    would appreciate if you would reach out to us at the customer call number 877-307-2192
    7a – 7p weekdays Central time M-F with this concern so we can investigate
    further. Thank you in advance.

  • JaketheMutt

    Mine too.

  • Betsy Greer

    Oops, this post was a dupe. Weird.

  • Betsy Greer

    I would look that bag over very closely, if the razor blade ended up in the bag post-production, the cut in the paper could be a tiny little tear.

    Is the blade corroded? Is the stuff on the blade in the bottom of the picture dried glue or something?

  • theBCnut

    That’s the kind of blade that my boxcutter takes.

  • LabsRawesome

    There are at least 2 different types of box cutters that I have personally used. And 1 does take that same razor blade. Whether or not it was put in the food on purpose, I can’t say. But Those box cutters are probably used at every dog food manufacturing plant. The bags of kibble are stacked on pallets and wrapped in plastic sheeting for transport. The workers use box cutters to cut the plastic. I have seen this process in a video. And as stated in my previous post, those box cutters are also used at Walmart, to cut the plastic off the bags of kibble.

  • dchassett

    I am so glad for you that you saw it before your dog could get hurt. Please report this to the store you purchased the food from, the manufacturer, and the FDA. It is very important to notify all.

  • dchassett

    Hi Labs, That doesn’t look like a blade from a box cutter. If that came out of a bag of dog food then IMO it was put in the bag deliberately. I am so friggin glad I do not feed any kibble at all. People are really really sick to do something like that. Their are so many crazy people out and about.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hmmm, I wonder if that razor could’ve come from a box cutter. They use them at Walmart to cut the thick plastic “sheeting” that’s wrapped around all the bags during shipping. Was your bag damaged at all when you bought it?

  • Betsy Greer

    Yes, and fortunately, the razor blade was big enough for you to clearly see it before you fed the food to your dogs.

    Ainsworth makes Pure Balance and they’re a reputable manufacturer. The number on the bag is probably theirs, but you might also see if you can locate a number for Ainsworth and call them directly.

  • Dawn Marie Cebollero

    ok i will thank you. just be careful check the food before giving to your dog. im so happy i caught it before something bad could have happened.

  • Betsy Greer
  • Dawn Marie Cebollero

    i reported it to walmart. and i will be trying reach the customer serivce number on the bag. i found the razor blade yesterday. customer service is closed on weekends. once i get out of work i will get the batch number and let them know!!

  • Betsy Greer

    To whom did you report this?

  • Dawn Marie Cebollero

    i found a razor blade in a bag i bought from north bergen nj walmart… please be careful

  • Sean
  • Eva Hickman

    Me neither. But I am sure there will be a 24 lb bag in the future.

  • Eva Hickman

    This food doesn’t have probiotics which the higher rated dog foods do.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/RockyMTNsteeze Miltapher

    I have been feeding this to my dog. I have fed him all the flavors. I applaud Walmart for adding Pure Balance to their shelves. It seems like they have made improvements to their dog department. They also have a lot of good treats now. My store started out with just small bags of the chicken formula. Now have many different sizes and formulas. I think the food is doing well in my area. I recommend it to friends. I know one is very happy with it.

    I am feeding the Small Breed formula right now. My dog is a small senior and does not have great teeth. I wish the grain free formulas came in small kibble sizes. He eats the small kibbles more easily.

  • Johnny

    Any idea of the salmon is farm raised or wild caught? I’m thinking it’s probably farm raised?

  • Brenda Price

    My dogs love this dog food. Only problem I can’t find it in the larger bags.

  • Eva Hickman

    Unfortunately, my dogs don’t like it.

  • LabsRawesome

    Since we are on the Pure Balance Grain Free dry page, I assumed you were asking about the kibble. Pure Balance cans are made in the USA by Simmons.

  • Teresa

    Thank you I couldnt fine it on the can of dog food

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes. It’s made in the USA by Ainsworth Pet. http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/923/546/original.jpg

  • Teresa

    is this made in the USA?

  • Pyre Pixie

    Yes, I work at Wal-Mart and am a dog lover. I did my research on each of the name brands we have at our current store. This specific dog food (Bison and Pea) rated the best! When I work, I point our customer’s to Pure Balance. Better food for a lower cost. I think that is a win. My pup is on Blue, only because he loves the taste.

  • Pyre Pixie

    My black lab/shep mix loved it till he ate Blue. When I adopted him from our local Milan, Illinois no kill shelter he was on Purina. So it was a step in the right direction. When I went on vacation for a week, he ran out of his food and the doggie sitter gave my dog Blue. Lol. He’s been ruined ever since.

  • Pyre Pixie

    I used to feed my dog this dog food, mostly because it was at the store I work at (and received a discount). It was the first step into weaning my dog off of grain. I was pleased to find that this was the only dog food at my local grocer that had a high rating of 4.5 stars. (The Bison and Pea) My dog would still be on it, but he didn’t care for the taste. I had to doctor it up with yogurt or oil. He now eats Blue Wilderness and woof’s it down. The money is a lot more, but he eats without issues. The Blue also has Glucosamine, which is also a definite plus. I am glad that Pure Balance is a Wal-Mart and offer’s a better food source for a lower price. Especially for those who can not afford pet store prices.

  • Brenda Price

    My dogs love the bison and pea dog food but I can’t find it in the 24 lb bag.

  • Freeholdhound

    I wasn’t real thrilled with that one either since I would need to know what fish is in there.

  • Betsy Greer

    Fish meal takes it off of mine too. Bummer.

  • Freeholdhound

    Thank you so much for that!!! So nice of you :) My store didn’t have it. I’ve started giving Harry a bit of raw chicken now & then & he seems okay, but won’t feed kibble with it.

  • Betsy Greer

    I know you probably already had to write these off, but FWIW, here are the ingredients and the GA for the Pure Balance GF Bison. I snapped these pics at Wal-Mart for you today.

  • Annie

    Mine love the canned turkey they prefer it over the chicken and beef.

  • Freeholdhound

    Thank you! Chicken/Fish meals take it off my list :(

  • Germansheppups

    I think the 1st four ingredients were bison, fish meal, chicken meal, dried peas. I also asked Ainsworth about the ash and calcium levels. Ash is 9.12%, calcium is 1.56%.

  • AP422w

    I did, We shall see how they do on it. I just started the transition yesterday so I’m hoping it all goes well! Will keep you posted.

  • Freeholdhound

    My goodness my name’s all over the place!!

    Thanks for posting the ingredients- chicken meal takes it right off the list &fish meal is questionable too.

  • Bobby dog

    Funny, Bobby is wagging his tail with approval. I am still FHH!

  • SandyandMila

    When I logged off of FreeholdHound I became Bobby dog.

  • Akari_32

    Hm, not me. I’m still plain ol’ Akari lol

  • Bobby dog

    Me too! lol

  • SandyandMila

    FreeholdHound is appearing as my username on WordPress right now. Strange!!

  • Akari_32

    The first few ingredients are bison, chicken meal, fish meal (the fish and chicken may be switched, I don’t remember exactly), then peas, and so on. Pretty much looks the same as the salmon, only all the extra meat, and is 30% protein. It’s $39.99 for 24 pounds.

  • Freeholdhound

    I haven’t been able to find a run down on the ingredients for the Bison formula. I dread going to the store to turn around & leave.

  • LabsRawesome

    Did you get Bison & Pea? Please let us know how your dogs do on Pure Balance. My 3 love their 95% Chicken & Beef cans :)

  • AP422w

    I was just a little confused with what’s questionable in the ingredients with the bison formula with the whole vitamin K and probiotics not being in there because I read somewhere else that it was in one of their other formulas. But since it’s all similar it shouldn’t be an issue. :) I just hope my dobie likes it and does well on it.

  • AP422w

    I just picked up a bag, for our new dobie. My mini schnauzers are on EVO salmon & herring but I think it would be too much of a protein boost for her since she came from a home that fed puppy chow. I’m hoping this switch works and it a good food all around so that maybe I can just switch all of my furbabies to this. I’m crossing my fingers!

  • Colleen Monroe

    better question is why put rice and potato in the same. Usually if a dog has an allergy to one, switching to a food with the other is the solution. O.o

  • SandyandMila

    Usually the other ingredients are similar so that is why one review is used as an example. If it were different (ie. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Nature) it would have it’s own separate review. 4.5 is a great rating if this is what you feed.

  • LabsRawesome

    The foods have been reviewed separately. Salmon & Pea received 3.5 stars, and Bison & Pea received 4.5 stars. All foods within the same line are reviewed on the same page, one formula is selected to represent the whole line. Some formulas receive more or less stars depending on the ingredients and protein percentage.

  • Corgeek

    Glad to see the Bison variety got 4.5 stars! My dogs are doing awesome on it – they love the bison variety the best. None of them have allergies so I mix the bison and the salmon bags together.

  • AP422w

    Can you update this because I’m a little confused on the ingredients list. Bison is actually the first ingredient on the bison formula. Is there any way you can separate these 2 reviews? It’s a lot easier for consumers to read and understand the differences in the formulas. This review seems confusing to me. I’d like to see the bison formula alone as the two don’t even compare in types of protein. I appreciate it!

  • Michelle

    That’s the main reason I stayed away from Pure Balance. We had a GSD rescue a few years ago…she was fed nothing but Ol’ Roy…and she was a mess. When you patted her, you could feel scabs and growths on her skin underneath her fur, she was bone skinny, and she smelled HORRIBLE, even right after a bath. She also had terrible ear infections–it took us over a year to get those healed up and 100%, 9 months on just ONE year alone. One of the best feelings I ever had was when Tasha FINALLY stuck her head out the car window, like a NORMAL dog. My husband said, “Wow, she’s never done that before…” and I said, “You’re right. She’s never had healthy ears before. You know when your ear hurts that wind makes it worse.”
    Anyway….when a Walmart employee told me that PB made Ol’Roy, I went oh HE!! no. But now…with the info I have now, I think I’m going to try it.

  • Sean

    You might want to check out Whole Earth Farms if you haven’t already. It’s Merrick’s affordable line.

  • Shawna

    I wouldn’t rely on giving glucosamine with the food as the food has potato in it and potatos have a protein in them (called a lectin) that binds with glucosamine making it unavailable to the body. The potato protein can actually bind to the glucosamine at the joint too. Potato isn’t really high on the ingredient list so it likely wouldn’t bind with all the glucosamine but it will make it so you need to give more then if on a potato free diet. Gluten grains bind with glucosamine too.

    This research paper discusses diarrhea in autistic children but it also comments on how potato and gluten binds with glucosamine.
    “Conclusion: Gluten contains a plant lectin that binds
    glucosamine. Glucosamine binds to potato lectin in the same manner” http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13590840500088495

    Seems odd that they would use glucosamine as a treatment rather than just eliminate potato and gluten from the diet???

  • Colleen Monroe

    I can’t switch, this is the one her vet wants her on for many reasons, and it took a long time to find the one that works for her. But I want a dog food with it added for exactly the reason you mentioned, relying on the glucosamine in the chicken alone is not a therapeutic dose. The vet wants her to get 750mg of glucosamine daily and 100mg of condroitin. If I can get at least 250 of the glusamine to her in the food, I can give her the lower dose version of her pills, which give only 500 per pill, and she can handle that fine. I also can’t simply cut the higher mg ones in half and feed at two separate times because they would then interact with her other meds. :-/

  • Michelle

    This really surprises me, considering I can buy this at Walmart. I will have to try it, as the Purina One Instinct wasn’t as good for my dog as I thought it was. But he sure does like it!
    ****
    I usually feed my rottie Merrick dry and wet foods, but we’ve hit a financial bump so I’m always looking for quality dog food that won’t break the bank. I’m a BIG believer in best food = best health..it sure worked for my shelter dog. Hardly any trips to the vet for anything other than shots, and he died at 17…not a bad age for a GSD / Rottie/ Golden mix.

  • theBCnut

    Ol’ Roy does not make Ol’ Roy. Pure Balance was labeled “by the makers of Ol’ Roy” or something like that, so Walmart created the association with their nasty food.

  • theBCnut

    Due to how they process meats for dog food, almost all chicken based dog foods have glucosamine in them, but it is not added in addition to what is naturally occurring in chicken(or other animal’s cartilage and connective tissue), so it is not listed in the ingredients. It is also nothing like a therapeutic dose. If glucosamine upsets her tummy, it might be a good idea to switch to a different joint supplement that has lower levels of glucosamine, but more of other ingredients that are beneficial to joints.

  • Colleen Monroe

    Already thought of that, but the whole point of going with the salmon was the added Glucosamine, which allowed me to cut back on the glucoasamine tablets that sometimes upset my collies tummy. The Blue buff I was feeding also had the glucosamine, so I was hoping to stick with foods that do since it didn’t seem to bother her tummy, only my pits. THe Bison doesn’t have it, and I can’t go with any brand not available at Walmart, because I would then have to drive over 50 miles to get it.

  • LabsRawesome

    Maybe a different protein source would help. Try Pure Balance Bison, it’s rated at 4.5 stars. If that doesn’t work, try Rachael Ray Zero Grain, it’s a 4 star food and about the same price point. Both foods are made by Ainsworth :)

  • Colleen Monroe

    So here’s what I know. I had recently switched my two dogs, a 12 y/o American Eskimo/Border Collie mix, and 7 year old Pit Bull to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken and Rice Senior. My collie did fine on it, but my Pit had non-stop Diarrhea, even after plenty of time to adjust. (about 2 1/2 months) In addition to all the consumer complaints about blue bufallo causing kidney damage, I was more than ready to kick that over-priced mess to the curb. When I found this food, I was ecstatic. Higher quality ingredients, grain free, and the price is great. First off…It smells positively awful. Second, the gas it’s giving my dogs is also positively awful. I’m going to mix the food with their blue buffalo until both are gone, if the gas isn’t better by then, it’s back to searching. I also find myself worried about the source of the salmon used. Are they anti-biotic flooded farm-raised salmon, or wild caught? Also the arsenic possibility from the rice worries me.

  • Akari_32

    It does look really good. Its on my list! Comes out to $1.66 a pound before tax. It’s a lot more expensive than the other flavors, but its got much more meat in it.

  • Germansheppups

    Wow, 4.5 stars for the Pure Balance Bison.

  • LeahA

    Hahaha your welcome! And hopefully this food works out for your dogs like it did with mine!

  • Akari_32

    Cool, thanks! That seems less than the other flavors, if I remember correctly. Not much, but some. Not that my dogs eat that much anyways lol

  • LeahA

    I have the food and it says a 3-12lb dog should get 1/2-1 1/4 cups. And 51-100lb dog should get 3 1/4-5 1/2 cups.

  • Germansheppups

    I’m sorry, I don’t. I didn’t buy it today. Hopefully it will be on the website soon.

  • Akari_32

    Wow, I’m surprised to see three different meat sources as the first ingredients! Maybe its not a bunch of peas after all. The Bison Nutrisource is like $60 for 30 pounds, and is only 25% or 24% protein, I think. Same price per pound (basically), and higher protein for the PB. Very interesting!

    Do you happen to have the feeding recommendations close by? Whats a 7 pound and 60 pound dog eat on this stuff?

  • Germansheppups

    It’s approximately $40 for 24 lbs. I looked at it pretty quickly, but if I remember right, the first 4 ingredients were Bison, fish meal, chicken meal, and dried peas. The protein was 30%, fat was 12%.

  • Akari_32

    I know what I’m trying next! Did you happen to get a price on the big bags? No prices on the website yet.

    I still think it’s probably a lot of peas, but I want to try the dogs on a protein they’ve never had before. The big guys eat anything, and Bentley love red meats, so I don’t see any issues in there :p

  • LeahA

    The new grain free bison and pea formula is 30% minimum protein!! Good to see Ol’Roy make a change for the better. Btw I tried it on my two mini poodles and they loved it!

  • Tracy N. Occhipinti

    Ok, I just have this to say about this food!!! It’s the Best! I give it five stars!!

  • Corgeek

    I feed my dogs this. They have a new bison variety. My dogs do awesome on this food and I am on a budget (I have 5 dogs) and all ages from pup to senior do well on it. I mix in Merrick canned or Honest Kitchen too. Never thought I would say I get my dog food at Walmart. Ainsworth makes this exclusively for Walmart as a private label. And my closest walmart is 15 mins away and 24 hours so I don’t have to worry about running out (I just have to worry about being on People Of Walmart website).

    I also mix in Raw when I have the freezer space. I would do this regardless of what I fed but I am pleased Walmart carries a good food at a good price.

  • magnoliasouth

    Well, you mentioned Alpo which is a 1-star food. I’m not agreeing with either of you, just pointing that out.

  • magnoliasouth

    So the question here is, have you actually used this food? You’re talking about another food, so yours is off topic.

  • magnoliasouth

    Look, the bottom line is that this is a quality food for a budget. I personally feed mine Wellness Core, but if I were broke (and I have been, believe me) I’d feed this. It’s great for dogs with allergies, it’s healthier than most, it’s grain free (which is what God intended) and it’s very palatable (all the dogs I’ve seen eating it love it; my daughter’s dogs).

    The old ‘Ol Roy was garbage food, but renamed Pure Balance with all new better ingredients, this wins the best food for the best value award.

  • MidwestGoesSouth

    It would be a lot less tedious to find genuine reviews for this dog food if “regulars” didn’t argue about everything from spelling to star alignment (insert sarcasm here.) I find myself scrolling endlessly through bickering to stumble upon a valid opinion. I give up. If it gets that serious, send hate messages to each other but this isn’t a social site!

  • Sean

    Just saw a new grain free bison & pea dog food today. There’s also a new small breed formula, not sure if it’s grain free though.

  • Aimee

    Hnmike the hdehntist acts like an ahprentihce

  • Chf

    If you challenge the groupies they will turn into booties.
    Mike from virginia will trash ypu like a gorilla and chew ypu uplike vanilla

  • Eric Bowman

    Are you going yo delete Inked Mary for slander ald stalking too?

  • Joe Bito

    And I never said 1 star rated food was good.

  • Joe Bito

    I feed taste of the wild now cause thats what the breeder had him on and he responds well to it. But before that I had a dog on ol roy and he did very well on it. Feed whatever your dog enjoy and keeps them healthy. Top brand names are not always the best

  • Bob K

    Joe – How can you say with good conscious that a 1 star rated dog food is healthy eating when you feed your loved one TOTW? Why do you feed TOTW? With a little research and good shopping many can feed their loved ones a 2.5 or perhaps 3 star rated dog food for the same price they pay for a 1 star rated food thats has marginal ingredients and nutritious value.

  • Joe Bito

    We gonna have to agree to disagree

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know if you’re being dense on purpose or not but any of us can live on McD’s. Dogs can live on crap food. That does not mean the foods are good. It does not.

    anyone else understand my point or is it just Joe who doesn’t get it?

  • Joe Bito

    I meant some not dome lol

  • Joe Bito

    U might be able to live 100 on mcdanalds and s omeone else may not. Thats my point everyone is different just like every do is different. Crappy or ok food my work for dome dogs and not work for others. Judt like dome high rnd good font do well with some dogs.

  • InkedMarie

    Joe, you are correct. Any food is better than no food but that does NOT mean the food is good. You are free to think what you want but YES, dogs can live to be old on crap food just like I could live to be 100 and eat McD’s daily.

  • Joe Bito

    Do u know they are people feeding not so great food but are adopting dogs from the shelters. Any food they feed is better then then being a stray dog with no food roaming the streets. Btw no dog is gonna live to be 17 if the food hes fed is bad for him. I bet my house that dog wouldnt live to be 17 on some of these expensive brands.

  • InkedMarie

    Lots of people have dogs who live on horrible food. Humans live on fast food & homemade crap food. “Living” doesn’t mean the food is good. Ol Roy is not a good food, I don’t care if someone’s dogs lived to be 17. That doesn’t mean it’s good.

  • Joe Bito

    Lol good response. Dogs do love raw but I dont think InkedMarie should be telling everyone to feed raw. Its whatever works for your dog.

  • Joe Bito

    The man said his 17 year old dog lived happy and healthy eating Ol Roy. How many dogs eating the best food money can buy out there will live to be 17 or even make it to 12…. just be happy with whatever works for your dog. Every dog is different. My last dog did well on ol roy lived 12 years never got sick till the end. My new dog is on TOTW only because thats what the breeder had him on and he loves it.

  • Joe Bito

    The man said his 17 year old dog lived happy and healthy eating Ol Roy. How many dogs eating the best food money can buy out there will live to be 17 or even make it to 12…. just be happy with whatever works for your dog. Every dog is different.

  • Joe Bito

    I really agree with all your post. People are going dog food crazy nowadays. With all these different brand of food claiming to be the best. Back before all this grain free this grain free that. Dogs was living longer. And they were eating alpo. My dog is on TOTW now but I say feed your dog whatever they like and do well on. .

  • Sandra

    If your dog has food allergies and you are on a budget. Pure balance is a great food. I have been a vet tech for 13 years and have researched dog food for years. I have had 2 pets that have had corn allergies and watched them suffer until finding the right food for them. That food is pure balance. My pit and Chihuahua both love this food and best of all no more itching. It’s awesome to see them happier and no itching. If your dog or dogs have allergies and your not sure what they are allergic to. Start with food change, corn, chicken and beef are most common sources of food allergies, if it is food allergies itching, ear infections, smelly skin, hair loss, if your pet has allergies to food. trying a food change is the cheapest place to start without having pet tested at a vet for allergies. I first recommend changing food, by mixing old food with new food for a week and then giving new food 3 months to see if pet has improvement with skin. That means no other food can be given while you are doing the food trial. Unless it is carrots and green beans. If no improvement after 3 months, you may want to have your pet tested at a full service clinic, to find out the source of your pets skin issues. Even if your pet doesn’t have allergies to food. If their diet is beneful,kibbles and bits,ol’e roy,old yeller. these foods contain horrible things like euthanized pets that are ground up and put in these foods. Have you ever noticed the smell when you open the bag. Do your dog a favor and do a little research and make sure your pet is eating a quality diet. Good luck

  • InkedMarie

    If you have a diabetic dog, look for a low glycemic dog food for her.

    http://www.chewy.com/dog/food-treats-332/low-glycemic

    That link from Chewy.com has low glycemic dog foods. I will warn you, they are going to look very expensive to you because you’ve been feeding Purina Dog chow, which is a low quality food at a low price. Maybe use the Pure Balance for the other two and low glycemic for the diabetic dog.

  • LULU

    I have 3 mutts and usually feed purina dog chow and some treats every now and then. Our one dog had seizures for years, until recently started eating and drinking non-stop which I have found out is a sign of diabetes. I was told that I should reduce grain in her diet to help her. So I bought Pure Balance and all 3 dogs love it. She has not had a seizure in a month or so and seems to have quit eating and drinking so much. Yes, she had been on medication for seizures, but it didn’t work. So hopefully this is doing the trick. Our vet is a “farm vet” so I don’t think he believes in treating doggie diabetes. Just my 2 cents!

  • InkedMarie

    Unless the vet is a nutritionist or a holistic vet, I don’t care what they write. I have no training. One doesn’t need training to read about what is best for dogs & their nutrition.

  • Nicole McMahon

    Ole Roy is the WORST of the WORST ! I bet you that if you tried an above average dog food for 1 JUST 1 week you would notice a HUGE difference in your dog over all apperance, his skin will not be dry and flaky, his coat will be soft and shiny and most of all your dog will be full, not hungry every hour. It is healthier to feed him a “Better” food, would you feed yourself or your kids bottom of the barrel food ? I would hope not

  • Shawna

    Vet Dr. Meg Smart taught clinical nutrition for over 30 years. She states

    “I believe that whole food diets either homemade or commercial are ideal as variety is easy to achieve. When I make homemade diets I use a variety of cooked ground whole grains, raw coloured vegetables and fruits ( I include the peel and seeds) along with meat (poultry) eggs and fermented milk products, Omega 3, 6 and 9 supplements and wheat germ.. The only problem with these diets is that the Calcium can be deficient which I correct with ground egg shell. The proportions of the ingredients vary depending on what I wish to accomplish with the food.

    I see a benefit in feeding whole foods whether cooked or raw. Genetically the dog and the anatomy of its digestive tract are closely aligned with that of the wolf. So we can use this as a dietary model when designing diets for the domestic dog. – See more at: http://www.angryvet.com/angryvet-nutrition-interview-drs-joseph-wakshlag-and-meg-smart/#sthash.svmyIzfy.dpuf

    I can site many many many more references however I think Dr. Smart has the best credentials of those I know. Some others however are Dr. Pitcairn, Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Martin Goldstein and Dr. Demian Dressler (owner of dog cancer blog) who technically doesn’t recommend raw to cancer patients but does recommend home made and has on article on why commercial kibble can cause cancer. The article is titled “Dog Food: Is There A Cancer Risk”.

  • Shawna

    I discuss dog food often here on DFA. I may be one of the ones that would be deemed to have an elitist attitude. I too share your concern about unwanted and abused dogs, that’s why I foster and am involved in rescue. I assume you foster as well?

  • Susan LaRue

    I’ve been reading through all the comments here this morning, and it’s really too bad people have bypassed some important issues to argue about dog foods. I probably research these issues more than most, and while I don’t have a “holistic” vet, I have an outstanding vet with a wonderful reputation in our area. I follow his advice, but I also do lots of digging for my own understanding on lots of issues.

    I can guarantee that no two people will every agree on the “best” dog food for a dog, just like no two vets will. Recently there was lots being written on grain-free foods, and now lots of vets are claiming it may just be the latest fad. Someone who uses Blue Buffalo Dog Food will accuse another person who feeds their dog EVO Dog Food as feeding garbage to their pet. Lots of vets agree with the raw food diet while others absolutely refuse to give it the thumbs-up. Point is, there are far too many foods out there to say one person is right and everyone else is wrong.

    Isn’t it more important that a dog have a wonderful warm, home, a family who loves it, gets fed, and has good medical care when so many others are roaming the streets, being abused and starved, receiving no medical care at all? It’s great to discuss the quality of various foods and point out things others may have missed, but bickering, pointing fingers, getting contentious or having an elitist attitude doesn’t do much for anyone. I think we all love our dogs.

  • Susan LaRue

    And I’ve read blogs by half-dozen vets that completely disagree with that. What sort of training do you have since you’re so knowledgeable and adamant on your information?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I change my dogs’ food every day and they never get diarrhea, no matter what I give them. If dogs aren’t used to having their food changed, they can get diarrhea. That doesn’t make a food bad. That makes the dog’s guts unhealthy.
    I feed raw because I’m feeding what I feel is the absolute best for my dogs, not what is cheap or what they do well enough on or what is easiest for me.

  • Betsy Greer

    My two are meat drunk here tonight following a nice meal of Darwin’s beef.

  • InkedMarie

    I think you need to do some research on what dogs should really eat. It’s raw. For a variety of reasons, only one of mine eat raw but I know that they should be.

  • InkedMarie

    Didn’t you say you fed ole Roy? You can’t get much worse than that. No offense but most vets know very little about nutrition. Looking healthy isn’t the only way to judge a dog food. I’ve seen dogs on ole Roy that look fine; that doesn’t mean it’s a good food. It’s not. Anyone who thinks Purina is a good food won’t be talking dog food with me. If they did, *they* would be doing the listening.

  • InkedMarie

    You’ve tried what, canned? There are many, many, many canned foods out there to try. Practice tough love. Put the food down, give them 15 min. If they won’t eat it, remove it and they get nothing til the next meal.

  • InkedMarie

    The only food I feed that does not have a good review is Natural Balance lid sweet potato & fish. He’s on it for a reason, it’s working but he will change to something better in a couple months.

  • InkedMarie

    One has no teeth & has had a problem with constipation & two back to back uti’s so she eats canned: two of the Canidae Pures, Whole Earth Farms puppy and NB fish & sweet potato.

    My boy has had ear infections since April, is on Natural balance sweet potato & fish. Not my choice, the food isn’t up to my standards but it’s working. I’ll be chatting with my holistic vet next month about a change.

    Ginger is my gal who eats anything: she gets some pre made raw from Darwin’s, ThenHonest Kitchen, kibble (currently eating Natures Logic) and canned (Wellness core, Weruva, Hound and Gatos, Natures Logic )

  • Naunieann

    Well dogs was getting Diarreah from a lot of these brands and some was changing companies. My dogs have never had Diarreah or upset stomach from their foods. When they get table scraps they do. Why do you feed a dog raw food that sounds gross ?

  • Naunieann

    You didn’t hit a nerve with me. I’m proud of my dogs and the way they look and act. They are thriving. Look up the reviews for your brand I bet they aren’t all good..

  • Pattyvaughn

    There is a big difference between a couple people saying their dogs got gas or diarrhea from a food versus every other post being a complaint about the food. And there are a LOT of 4 and 5 star foods that I just plain wouldn’t feed because they are made by companies that you can’t trust. Often the number of bad reviews is all you need to see to get a clue as to what foods those are.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Just answered that at the other spot you asked.

  • Naunieann

    What do u feed your dogs ?

  • Naunieann

    Researched a lot of the foods that are mentioned on here and they get bad reviews also. My vet is very proud of the way my animals look. He said they look very healthy . Most of his employees use Purina .

  • Naunieann

    My mini pin is a beautiful striving boy . He has a shiny coat, no itchy skin and stools are great .
    He is his ideal weight .
    What do you feed your dogs ?

  • Naunieann

    My Chiwinnie was 2 years when I got her from an abusive family . She was eating out of trash cans . But she still was picky about dog food .she has bad teeth and can’t eat the dry too well. She has liked the beneful but stopped eating it .She ate the Pure Balance in a can a couple of times. But she won’t eat for days .i give her the mighty dog she will eat it. She also like this grain free Pure Balance .i have seen mixed reviews on the pricy dog foods that y’all say are so good. This Grain free Salmon is tiny and both my dogs can eat it. I don’t want my dogs hungry. I want them to eat. I don’t want to eat anything I don’t like no matter how good it is for me .

  • Naunieann

    I have tried them they won’t eat them.

  • InkedMarie

    That doesn’t mean Ole Roy is a good food. It’s not. Look at the ingredients. If you don’t know how to tell good dog food ingredients, do some research, here and elsewhere.

  • InkedMarie

    I didn’t say you made your dogs picky, I said *some* owners do. It sounds s if I may have struck a nerve; maybe you have. By the way, none of th foods you’ve listed would be considered good foods. If they won’t eat dry, pick a high quality canned.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My uncle smoked hand rolled unfiltered cigarettes until he was 92. That doesn’t make them healthy.

  • Naunieann

    My 17 year old Lab Mix ate Ole Roy for years and he did fine .He died a couple years ago of old age but was healthy and happy until then.

  • Naunieann

    I didn’t make my dogs picky. I use to feed my Chiwinnie Pedigree it made her hyper and pant a lot. I tried everything and the Mighty Dog Beef was the only thing she really liked and didn’t get sick on. She has a very sensitive stomach . I have to give her reglan when she gets upset, but usually that’s when she’s stayed with my Mom and got a lot of table scraps that upset her never from the Mighty Dog . She ate the Beneful Natural bowls but she seemed Gasy on those . My Mini Pin was on Caesars when I got him as a puppy. I tried to wing him off but he would just not eat anything elese. He loves the breakfast ones and he eats the Ole Roy brand filet Minet. He has a beautiful cost and is ideal weight at 10 lbs . Never had any trouble . They don’t like Dry food .ive tried Purina One that they liked a little and the little bites . But they have never liked any kind like they liked this Pure Balance grain free tonight. I will keep a close watch as I always do with them. But so far they like it. They also liked the Other Pure Balance type I bought them and they have had no trouble. My Chiwinnie would eat the pure balance can that is 5 stars but she loves the mighty Dog or the Alpo Filet Minot better.i have seen recalls and bad reviews on the expensive brands also. I do want my dogs to eat. If they sniff and won’t eat it then why buy it. They know what’s good and what they like they we do. If we don’t want certain foods we don’t eat it .its the same with them.

  • InkedMarie

    It’s fine if you want to feed what your dog will eat but that does not mean its a good food. My dogs will eat anything, whether it’s good/bad/ safe/ toxic to them. I personally believe some owners make their dogs picky. I’ve had lots of dogs in the last 26 years and they learned early on that they get what I give them.

  • Naunieann

    I thought we was suppose to be reviewing this dog food not all these studies. I have read where some of the 5 point dog foods that people say are the best have made dogs sick. I don’t see anything wrong with Ole Roy products. I go by what my dog will eat. Yes I do want it to be healthy . But so far my dogs love this food. I have a one year mini pin who is very picky will only eat Caesars wet food, also have a 8 year old Chiwinnie who will only eat mighty dog beef wet food. This is the only dry food they have liked. If they do good on it they will stay on it I don’t think you have to pay 30 dollars a bag to keep your dog healthy.

  • Naunieann

    Tried my dogs on this tonight and they love it. They usually won’t eat dry food but they loved the Pure Balance Grain free

  • Krista Bingham Pitts

    Thanks so much for the advice…

  • Debby Olech

    Paul Newman’s bagged at $18 for a 20 lb bag, $2 per can is organic, and Paul N. is a good name. My chow with allergies is on Pure Balance as she has allergies so she’s on the grain free. As a rescuer, I hear great things about HALO, (see freekibble.com) and Blue, but w 6 dogs, too expensive for me. Good Luck:)

  • Storm’s Mom

    How old is your dog? If she’s a puppy, she’s got specific nutritional needs that only certain foods provide for.. here’s a list of those foods:

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    If she’s an adult, you’ve got more options. In another thread, you asked about Pure Balance… I’ve never fed it, but it seems like a good food for the price. I tend to feed mostly grain-free, but Nature’s Logic, which has millet (a pseudo grain), is a staple in my rotation, and I’ve tried Merrick grain-inclusive, and I think another one, but I am drawing a blank on its name. Personally, I try to mix up what I’m feeding Storm as much as possible, so I’m not sure *entirely* grain-free is the way to go (unless you have a grain-intolerant dog, of course!) because a lot of grain-free foods contain similar ingredients (peas and potato in particular), that can be just as problematic to feed over the long term.

    Foods I’m particularly fond of are Nature’s Logic, Nature’s Variety Instinct, NutriSource ..and then a few Canadian ones I’m not sure are widely available in the US: Go Turkey (the grain-free, potato-free one), Performatrin Ultra Grain Free, Wholesome Blend Grain Free, and Nutrience Grain-Free.

    Hope that helps!

  • Krista Bingham Pitts

    As of now our lab doesn’t have any allergies that we know of. We’ve never had problems up until now. We live near Tulsa, ok. What’s the best dog food do u recommend.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Every review you read will have mixed reviews, that’s just the nature of the internet beast. My suggestion would be to print out the “Best Dog Foods” lists that you’ll find by clicking on the link on the top left of this page, bring them to your local stores, see what’s available and within your price range, and pick 3 or 4 you’d like to try …and then just try them and see how your dog does on them. If you tell us what your price range is, any known allergies, what you’ve fed before, etc we can make some recommendations if you’d like.

    Generally, though, if your dog has been eating the same food for a while, you’ll want to go transition to the new food very slowly (start with 75% old food with 25% new food for a while and gradually add in more % of new food when your dog’s stools are firm). You’ll also want to get some probiotics and digestive enzymes and give them with your dog’s food as well, both during the transition and generally.

    The reason I mentioned looking at 3-4 different foods you’d like to try is that once you do switch to the new food, I would feed it for a bag or two and then switch again to another of the new foods you’d like to try, etc etc. It’s generally not thought to be good for a dog to be fed the same food for an extended period of time.

    Hope that helps!

  • Krista Bingham Pitts

    Please help…..I don’t know what to buy. I want a good dog food for my dog. Every one i look up has mixed reviews

  • Doxie7

    Well I can say I have 7 Doxies from 2yrs old-12..they have been on this for 1 1/2 yrs and are doing great coming from Wellness($60.00 a bag)…one had alot of gas,ichy,hard tummy…now none of this….You can listen to some of these people or””” go to the web site “””””and read how many people say how good this is..how well their dogs are doing…I work in a pet dept. and let me tell you the people that buy nasty food for their dogs..I mean the cheapest I won’t even buy for the shelters……and their dogs are fine…..
    This also comes in Chicken or Lamb…..*******People buy what you can afford go with what you and the dog feels…don’t let people tell you what to do….I see many people buy Ol Roy…and their dogs were as old as 14 and 16..NO..don’t buy that but try this I think you and the dog will like it…with no problems…We are not talking about a $18.00 for 30 lb bag…but $32.00 for
    30 lbs….

  • Briennec

    Switched my puppy/dog to this food after we weaned off puppy chow. He was always itchy and scratching sores into his fur, always nipping at his paws etc. After switching no more allergy symptoms and he seems to have accepted the new food. For someone who needs a grain free food and can’t afford the more expensive brands this food has been great. My only issue is the fishy smell it has given my dog!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    According to a study I read (the Oftedal study done at Cornell published in the Journal of Nutrition) bitch’s milk is about 33.4% +/- 0.60% protein on a dry matter basis. However it also contains 41.4% +/- 0.87% fat. So it’s low carb. Obviously during the time period a puppy is nursing it’s necessary that fat levels are very high – they need concentrated energy. Post-weaning such high energy density isn’t required, especially into adulthood. You say that “If mother nature during the time of highest nutrient demand, rapid
    growth provides about 25-30% protein calories. I don’t see why people
    feel we should be exceeding this for maintenance of an adult.”

    I have a few questions concerning this statement.

    1. You mention that you don’t understand why “we” feel we should be going against mother nature. Is it not mother nature that created the adult canine’s diet to naturally be around 56% protein? Is a commercial pet food with significantly less protein than that not defying mother nature?

    2. In order to decrease energy density post-weaning the diet would have to be reduced in fat which would then require an increase in carbohydrates or protein. By making it clear you feel there’s no reason for protein to kept at that level or increased how would you justify it being preferable to increase carbohydrate level rather than protein level?

    3. Protein sources used in commercial pet food’s will have a lower bio availability than bitch’s milk. How could you make a direct comparison between the protein levels present in bitch’s milk and in kibble?

  • aimee

    I saw a study that looked at that specific issue. Some bitches were fed high protein i think 48%?? and others low protein 16% ?? The protein content of the milk remained constant at the about 25-30 % no matter what the bitch diet.

    They did see a difference in fat and carb content of milk depending on diet but not protein.

  • Shawna

    The nutrient composition of the milk produced by the bitch would be directly influenced by her diet.

  • Shawna

    I’m simply not sure how they can determine “optimal” requirements or that they even really are interested in optimal. Take a cats diet as an example. There is NO question that cats are obligate carnivores. Or that cats can develop diabetes or urinary issues from diets too high in carbs. Yet the Adult Maintenance Minimum for cats is 30%.. WOW

    It is not, nor seems to have ever been, what is optimal for the cat but rather what is optimal for the industry as a whole. If that was not the case, they would require the tocotrienol group of vitamin E in pet foods as well as omega 3.

    Additionally, they (scientists and policy makers) OBVIOUSLY didn’t know the importance of taurine in cat foods before cats started dying. IF they didn’t know deficiency of ONE amino acid in cats could cause death, how can they possibly know the importance of ALL amino acids and the role they play in optimal health? I personally don’t think they can.

  • aimee

    Of a high quality protein 12 % as fed protein calories was considered optimal was adequate at 5-7% depending on the protein used. AAFCO min is 18% protein calories which allows for a fudge factor.

    I do think though for seniors on a typical commercial diet this should be higher more like 25% to allow for a fudge factor.

  • aimee

    I was just confused as to the “they” you were talking about. The researchers into optimal protein levels have no connection with AAFCO.

    If you accept the researcher conclusions regarding increased protein levels in seniors than I take it you also accept their conclusions that protein balance can be achieved at about 5 % protein calories fed and optimal functioning at 12 %.

  • aimee

    It may not be odd at all as wouldn’t your higher protein diet also be higher fat? I didn’t think you fed a lot of carbs. On a caloric basis then it may not be that different from what the experiments showed.

    How are you controlling for texture, palatabilty etc in your observations?

    Is it conditioning?? Maybe… as I posted to HDM bitch milk is about the protein level as what dogs self select.

    If mother nature during the time of highest nutrient demand, rapid growth provides about 25-30% protein calories. I don’t see why people feel we should be exceeding this for maintenance of an adult.

  • aimee

    No I’m not saying palatability indicates nutritional quality. In fact we can see the opposite. Dogs like sugar. These experiments were not based on what food a dogs eats first but rather what levels of nutrients they self select over the course of days.

    In one test sugar was added to the low protein food to increase the patalabiblity and not to the higher protein option. The dogs ate more of the lower protein food in the two pan test, but the grams protein they ate stayed the same and they increased the total calories they took in.

    In regards to conditioning I recall one set up was to use a run in period where the dogs were either fed a low protein or a high protein diet before the testing period to control for a dog selecting that with which they were familiar. Yet in both situation when allowed to self select the dogs ate the same amounts of protein .

    In regards to conditioning from birth well that may be as the protein level in bitch milk is similar to what the dogs self select. 25-30% protein calories.

  • zj

    It was also shown that the imprinting phase for wolves starts earlier. Wolves start exploring their environment at 2 weeks old which is before they have developed all their senses. Wolves also need to spend a much longer time around humans during this time in order for human contact to imprint upon them.

  • Shawna

    Whole heartedly agree !!!! :)

  • Shawna

    Interesting zj!! I was not aware of that!

  • zj

    The initial phase when dogs learn to accept various things that they are exposed to starts at around 3 weeks and lasts til about 10 weeks. I would say 4 to 8 weeks is the optimal time to expose dogs to new stimuli including foods. I believe a study to determine which foods a dog would pick out of various protein levels would have to be done immediately after weaning and before 8 weeks to accurately reflect which foods dogs would prefer.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s unfortunate that the AAFCO focuses on adequate versus optimal – some people don’t seem to understand that there’s a huge difference between the two. Just because 18% protein is “adequate” in no way means it’s “optimal.”

  • Hound Dog Mom

    So are you implying that palatability is an indication of the level of nutrition present in a food? How would which food something eats first possibly give any indication of nutritional quality? Also how would scientists know whether the dogs were, as you say, “self selecting” versus “conditioned” (as Shawna brought up)?

  • Shawna

    Why on earth would I be saying that?
    AAFCO has guidelines specific to puppies but no guidelines specific to seniors? Many people, AND vets, are recommending a lowered protein diet for seniors. Why hasn’t this been addressed? The AAFCO has a responsibility, in my opinion, to do so.

  • aimee

    Not sure who you are referring when you said “they missed the target…”. Are you saying that you think that Wannenacher’s research which concluded that seniors should have a higher percentage of their calories from protein compared to adults is incorrect?

  • Shawna

    Seems odd then that eight of my eight would go for the higher protein diet? Based on the odds that you mention, most of mine should want lower protein — which would be a whole lot cheaper for me by the way…. Even my kidney girl opts for the higher protein meals.

    Isn’t it possible that we “condition” dogs to favor one profile over another? I started my grand daughter on veggies early in life. Now at three years old she LOVES steamed brussel sprouts, broccoli and green beans. I imagine if I tried starting her on those foods now that she’s developed a taste for the junk food served at day care, things might be very different. We certainly “develop a taste” for what we are used to. I don’t imagine dogs are much different.

  • Shawna

    Morning Aimee,

    The fact that they missed the target with a senior’s diet, when formulating the guidelines, doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith that they got the small details right either. Seems to me that attempting to determine how much glutathione is optimal or how many enzymes are needed for apoptosis is nothing short of an educated guess, but guess none the less, on the part of the scientist.

  • aimee

    In your example there is a significant confounding variable of palatability.

    One such study was designed with bland diets, same base ingredients with various protein levels offered concurrently. For example a pan containing a 10% protein calories diet and a pan containing 30 % protein calories diet or 50 % protein calories diet offered alongside a 20% protein calories option. The dogs selected from the two diets such that the % calories eaten as protein was fairly consistent at around 25%.

  • aimee

    Depends on the study. There are several each with strengths and weaknesses. I just remember that no matter how the study was done the results were all nearly the same.

    One purpose is to see if dogs retained the ability to self select ( rats are very good at this, it is considered somewhat of an omnivore trait). Palatability/texture was taken into account. In one study the diets were bland and offered as pairs a low protein and a high protein two pan test option. Dogs adjusted their intake from each pan such that the total intake of protein remained near I think 25 % of total calories.

    In another I think the individual components were offered and dogs again selected around 25-30% protein calories.

  • aimee

    Shawna,

    If you are interested you can track down and read all the original studies. I did.. it took a bit of time but the short answer is yes many factors were taken into account.

  • aimee

    It depends on the study, Wannemacher used casein. Protein quality and digestibility are definitely factors. I see AAFCO as a rec allowance based on taking processing factors in account with the NRC recommendations.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Not much. If someone asked me if I’d rather have a cheeseburger or a salad I’d go for the cheeseburger. :)

    No, I haven’t actually read about that but I wouldn’t put too much stock into it. The healthiest option isn’t necessarily the first choice. What were the higher protein foods made of? Were the protein sources different? Were the fat levels different? Did any of the lower quality foods contain sprayed on fat or other palatability enhancers (sugars, flavorings)? etc. Lots of variables.

    I would be willing to bet, however, that a dog would pick a high protein species-appropriate meal (such as tripe or a meat/bone/organ blend) over a kibble with 25%-30% of calories from protein. :)

  • Shawna

    Where the foods identical other than variations in quantities? Example – were all options chicken, barley, chicken fat and vitamins/minerals in varying quantities? Or were all the diets different? Some possibly having “flavor enhancers” and such? How “scientific” was the study?

  • aimee

    What do you make of the studies which “asked the dogs” what protein level they desired? I think when left to choice the dogs choose about 25-30% calories from protein.

  • Shawna

    I’ve wondered how they determined protein needs — do they factor in the amino acid needs for the production of glutathione as an example? Do they factor in the cellular turnover rate of an ill dog? Or the amino acids that are needed to trigger apoptosis or those needed to produce the enzymes required for digestion?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If I’m not mistaken, the studies demonstrating the absolute minimum requirements were done using a very high quality protein source (lactalbumin?). That wouldn’t translate over to a commercial pet food – especially the lower quality foods that contain a lot of vegetable proteins (such as this food). I understand the 18% to be more of a “safety blanket” to compensate for variable protein quality rather than a “recommended daily allowance.”

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Well this is made by ‘Ol Roy so I wouldn’t expect to much out of them lol

  • aimee

    Hi Storm’s Mom,

    !8 % is AAFCO’s min for a maintenance diet for a dog. This however is very different from min to sustain life, rather it is more in line with a recommended daily allowance.

    Wannemacher’s protein studies demonstrated that by feeding approx. 5% of calories as protein a dog is in protein balance. This is a level considered the minimum to sustain life ( for an adult dog).

    In that study optimum protein stores and function was achieved when 12% of calories were fed as protein and with seniors at 18%.

    In this diet we see 23% of calories coming from protein nearly 5 times the minimum to sustain life.

    NRC reports the minimum protein for adult dogs is feeding approx 7% of calories as protein. This diet is over 3 times that amount.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    27% is low when you take into consideration a dog’s natural diet is closer to 50%.

    You say “There is really no point in going over 30 or 40% because there is no way the dog will use it all.” –

    With that statement is implying that it’s pointless to feed more than the minimum required level of protein – however dogs have no requirement for carbohydrates. Could you justify why there is a point in feeding high levels of carbohydrates but not protein?

  • Shawna

    “There is really no point in going over 30 or 40% because there is no way the dog will use it all.”

    Um, that’s just nonsense. My dogs get well over 40% protein and my kidney dog would be having a MAJOR issue if the amino acids in the protein above 40% weren’t used.. Every single cell of the body uses amino acids.

    Additionally, I think it should be noted that carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that are definitely not required — there is no minimum requirement for carbs in the AAFCO guidelines. A food can be carb free and still be AAFCO complete and balanced.

    I’m no fan of grains as everyone knows. My issue with this food is not that it is “grain free” but that the protein sources in the food are already on the low side and of that lower amount some of it is vegetable based protein (pea protein). Vegetable proteins are inferior sources of protein. So the already lower amount is also partially of poor quality.

    “A Nutritional Evaluation of Commercial Dog Foods — Dogs are able to utilize meat protein better than vegetable protein. Digestion studies have shown 80% digestibility and 54% utilization of vegetable protein by dogs.” http://books.google.com/books?id=ytVAOtuk7goC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=kronfeld+54%25+protein&source=bl&ots=HK5qRXFoQP&sig=xTp9XLqCvWk4ghnjW7cvq7DU6Ws&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yTBxUurAD4v22AXH54HYDg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=kronfeld%2054%25%20protein&f=false

    Fifty-four percent is definitely “poor quality”. However, for those on a budget unable to afford better foods, this is a decent option.

  • Storm’s Mom

    There is “no point going over 30% or 40%” protein, but there is a point to going over that amount in carbs?!?!?

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dog-food-carbohydrates/

  • mward1993

    27% protein is not low. Low protein is 20% and under. High protein is more like 30% and over. And 21-29% is pretty average. A food does not need to be 30, 40, 50% protein in order to be a good food. There is really no point in going over 30 or 40% because there is no way the dog will use it all. Grain free diets do not all have to resemble orijen or evo to be good, just as not all grain inclusive dog foods are “low” protein or “low” quality. Grain free diets offer alternative carb sources for dogs based on their dietary needs or preferances. So you have potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, tapioca, garbanzo beans, ect. For dogs who do poorly on rice, oatmeal, barley, ect. That is all that grain free is. No grain. Alternative carbs.

  • Storm’s Mom

    The ingredients aren’t bad at first glance, it’s that they only add up to 27% protein and almost 50% carbs – in a grain-free kibble!!! – that’s hugely disappointing. Means there’s a whole lot of peas and very little fish meat in this product. The whole point of feeding grain-free isn’t to just replace a lot of grains with a whole lot of another protein-laden carb source (which is what Pure Balance has essentially done here), it’s to get higher protein from meat sources and to get closer to a dog’s ancestral diet. Pure Balance fails miserably at this.

  • mward1993

    Whats bad about this food’s ingredients? Its seems like a decent grain free dog food.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Ugh, another company looking to hop on the grain-free bandwagon by doing a really bad job of creating a grain-free, and hoping no one notices. Weird how the other major one that did this – Ideal Balance by Hill’s (the Science Diet folks) – has a similar name.