Purina Beyond Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Purina Beyond Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Purina Beyond Grain Free product line includes three dry dog food.

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

  • Purina Beyond Grain Free Tuna & Egg Recipe [M]
  • Purina Beyond Grain Free Beef and Egg Recipe [M]
  • Purina Beyond Grain White Meat Chicken & Egg Recipe [M]

Purina Beyond Grain Free Tuna & Egg Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Tuna and Egg

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Tuna, pea starch, chicken meal (natural source of glucosamine), cassava root flour, canola meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, dried egg product, dried beet pulp, dried yeast, pea protein, natural liver flavor, calcium carbonate, mono and dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%18%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%38%37%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 37%

The first ingredient in this dog food is tuna. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw tuna 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 pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

The fifth ingredient is canola meal, a by-product of canola oil production more typically used to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.

Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is dried yeast, which can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, this food contains 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.

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

In addition, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

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

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

Purina Beyond
Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Beyond Grain Free Dog Food looks like an 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 31%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Purina Beyond Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

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.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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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".

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

Notes and Updates

01/27/2016 Last Update

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m curious about the rating and actually the 1st protein source in this food. Here’s the National resources ranking of fish by mercury level:

    http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp

    Tuna is on their list as moderate(6 servings or less per month), high (3 servings or less per month), or highest (don’t eat) depending on which specie of Tuna it is. I realize the rating is for human consumption, but wouldn’t this be equally true for dogs?

  • Eva Hickman

    I use this food in my rotation. The dogs love it. I also feed Fromm and
    Pure Balance dog food.

  • Dog Lover Plus
  • theBCnut

    Collect ingredient lists from as many foods as you can that he has tried. Take notes on how he did on them. Compare lists to figure out what he is and isn’t reacting to.

  • DogFoodie

    If he’s doing great on this food, I wouldn’t suspect chicken was a problem for him… chicken meal is the third ingredient in this food.

  • Leigh Balius

    I bought this food out of desperation for my dog – he seems to be allergic to almost every food he’s tried so far with the exception of Purina’s Canyon Creek Ranch (which was discontinued shortly after I discovered he could eat it). He and his 8 littermates were raised on Eukanuba Puppy for their first 6 months and then switched to 4Health Puppy. He did fine until he was about a year old and started with allergy-induced skin problems and non-stop itching. Since then (he was 2 in September) I’ve pretty much ran the gamut of moderately expensive foods for him (haven’t gone to the insanely expensive yet but was close). We’ve tried organic, various grain-free, etc. I don’t really want to put him on a raw diet (chicken seems to be one of the main allergens for him – which bites because that would be insanely easy for me. I have a huge flock of chickens, ducks, and occasionally turkeys). He responded almost immediately to the Purina Beyond Tuna and Egg! I tried switching him last week to I&Love&You – his itching and allergies were back within a day. Now I just have to hope that this food will not be discontinued anytime soon, too . . .

  • Lacnunga

    The Purina Beyond Adventure Grain Free Tuna and Egg gets a 3.5/5 which is exactly where I rated a while back. 43% Carbs is way too high in my opinion, but you pays your money, you takes your choice. It is reasonably priced and WILL be available at Walmart. It is something we can recommend as a short term expedient, easily obtained, like we do with Walmart’s Pure Balance range, before getting folk to look at the long term alternatives.

  • Dori

    So cute. Your pom definitely looks like a stuffed toy. How precious.

  • Pom Pom

    Your reviews are just great! Thank you!