Pure Balance Dog Food (Tubs)

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Rating: ★★★★½

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Pure Balance tubbed dog food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Pure Balance product line includes four tubbed recipes, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two for growth and maintenance.

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

  • Pure Balance Lamb Dinner (4 stars)
  • Pure Balance Chicken Dinner (4 stars)
  • Pure Balance Beef Dinner in Gravy (5 stars)
  • Pure Balance Chicken Dinner in Gravy (5 stars)

Pure Balance Chicken Dinner in Gravy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pure Balance Chicken Dinner in Gravy

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, dried egg product, peas, sweet potatoes, potato starch, guar gum, spinach, salt, sodium phosphate, flaxseed, natural flavor, potassium chloride, sunflower oil, cranberries, blueberries, fish oil, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, xanthan gum, rosemary, parsley, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%17%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis38%35%27%
Protein = 38% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 27%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2

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

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

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

The fourth ingredient lists chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient lists sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The seventh ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The eighth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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, 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.

Next, 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.

In addition, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

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

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 Tubbed Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pure Balance tubs looks like an above-average wet product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

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

Bottom line?

Pure Balance tubbed dog food is a meat-based wet product using a notable amount of chicken, beef or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

03/10/2016 Last Update

  1. As of 3/10/2016
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Wanda Orraca

    I’m very happy and content with the lamb pate tubs. Both my furkids are very healthy with this food & no tummy upsets or gas. Will & shall continue buying this & the lamb & rice dry as well. I give it 10 stars. Thank you Walmart for finally giving our pets a great rating food at an affordable price. Wanda & furkids.

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree. In fact, I wish the guaranteed analysis label would show both salt and sugar amounts.

  • Destiny Wright

    I wish it would say something about Sodium. I have a dog that has a bad heart and shes getting tired of Science Diet Heart Care wet food

  • Crazy4dogs

    Unfortunately, I’m in the Midwest. I’ll have to see if there’s on in my area.

  • Crazy4cats

    You’re welcome! They are a Tractor Supply brand. But, they are also available at Del’s feed stores in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I think I’ll take a look @ these too if I can find them near me! Thanks C4C!

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks, I am adding it to my list! I keep the list in case I ever need to eliminate carrageenan from my zoo’s diet; you never know…

  • DogFoodie

    Another I wish I could buy locally is FirstMate. No carageenan, cassia, guar or other gum. http://www.firstmate.com/dog-food/canned-limited-ingredient/

  • Shea

    Thanks so much for the list! Interested in some of these. Appreciate it!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Shea:
    Here’s a list I have of brands/recipes of canned foods that are carrageenan free. Check the labels because I don’t update it often. Red Barn recently added to and maybe changed their recipes so I have not checked them out to see if they are still carrageenan free:
    4Health Stews, Fromm’s, Go, Lotus, Nature’s Variety, Nulo, Precise Holistic Complete GF, Precise Naturals, Pure Balance Stews, Red Barn, Tiki Dog, Weruva Human Style – except Marbella Paella, Wellness Stews, Whole Earth Farms, Wysong Epigen, Zignature, and ZiwiPeak.

  • Crazy4cats

    You’re welcome! Whole Earth Farms is another fairly budget friendly canned food that does not contain it in either their pate or stew canned food.

  • Shea

    You’re right. I have been researching more and found the same with the stews. I’m going to go get her some soon. Thanks so much for your advice!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi again! The 4H stews do not contain carrageenan and they are also grain free. However their pate styles do, Most stews likely will not have it as carrageenan is used as a firming ingredient. The problem with that is you are paying for less calories and more water with the stews. That’s why I try to stick to the more value type brands when buying them. I think the 4H stews are also around $1.00.

  • Shea

    The review is for the chicken dinner in gravy. I bought the grain free chicken dinner pate. I thought all of the tubs didn’t contain carrageenan and didn’t notice until I fed it last night. I’m trying to make sure I feed her the best especially with her turning 8 next month. I thought 4 health contained carrageenan also. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hmmm? The review above does not show carrageenan in the ingredient list. Do you think it needs updated? I also try to avoid it. I feed the Pure Balance stews as a topper to my dogs. However, there is a little rice in them. And, I mean only a little. I often wonder why they even bothered with it! Also, there is 4Health and Nature’s Domain stews that are carrageenan free. I believe Whole Earth Farms is another budget friendly canned that also is. Most stews do not contain it. Good luck!

  • Shea

    After researching Pure Balance on this site, I decided to use this food as a topper for my dog’s nutrisource dry food and was so excited that it was a good price and didn’t contain any kind of bad stuff or fillers. I grabbed some tubs and a couple of the cans at walmart. After feeding my small terrier half a tub, I saw that carrageenan was in it. How disappointing! it is so hard to find a canned food without this ingredient in it. Any suggestions?

  • Adding to my post below from a month ago, my dogs like the PB tub variety so much, that I’ve all but stopped buying the PB in the can. Even for my larger dog, the tub is just right when mixed with dry kibble and little bit of diced veggies.

  • Both of my dogs absolutely LOVE the Lamb Pate’ and Chicken dinners. Not so much the beef, but then, they don’t like beef much anyway.

    I use these little tubs to mix in with their dry food. They are very happy with PB, so I am too. 🙂