Purina One SmartBlend (Dry)

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Purina One SmartBlend Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.

The Purina One SmartBlend product line includes nine dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages, five for adult maintenance and one for growth (Large Breed Puppy).

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

  • Purina One SmartBlend Large Breed Adult
  • Purina One SmartBlend Sensitive Systems
  • Purina One SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy
  • Purina One SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula
  • Purina One SmartBlend Lamb and Rice Formula
  • Purina One SmartBlend Healthy Weight Formula
  • Purina One SmartBlend Chicken and Rice Formula
  • Purina One SmartBlend Small Bites Beef and Rice Formula
  • Purina One SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7 Plus Senior Formula

Purina One SmartBlend Small Bites Beef and Rice Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina One SmartBlend Small Bites Beef and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Beef, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), soybean meal, oat meal, whole grain wheat, animal digest, glycerin, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, caramel color, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, sulfur, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%18%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%38%38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

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

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

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

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

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: restaurant grease, slaughterhouse waste, diseased cattle — even (although unlikely) euthanized pets.

We do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The ninth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

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 six notable exceptions

First, animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

Next, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.1

In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.

That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

In addition, garlic oil can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2

In addition, garlic is also officially classified as “toxic to dogs” by the Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.3

So, due to its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to red blood cells in both dogs and cats (even when present in only small amounts), we do not consider garlic a favorable addition to any dog food.4

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

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

Purina One SmartBlend Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina One SmartBlend Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten and soybean meals in this recipe, and also the soy and corn germ meals included in some other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina One SmartBlend is a plant-based dry dog food using a below-average amount of beef, lamb, poultry or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.

Not recommended.

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

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

09/13/2014 Last Update

  1. Consumer Reports February 2014
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  3. Garlic, Poison Control Center, ASPCA
  4. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant DVM, Veterinary Toxicologist, Vice President and Medical Director, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in an interview with Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz for Pet Life Radio, Pets Have a Real Taste for Danger
  • MJfromGA

    Jade, the senior dog here is often fed the Vibrant Maturity food. She is about 11 and is as healthy as an 11 year old, defective genetic runted GSD mix can be expected to be. The food is EGH, but I do not buy her food… another house member does, I only do the walking and care as this family member has arthritis and cannot properly walk the dog etc.

  • Walker Coonhound

    Raised my puppy on Purina puppy chow. Switched her to Nutromax lamb and rice, she began vomitting bile every other day. Now back on Purina One Lamb and rice, no vomitting. Also supplement with multivitamins.

  • Cyndi

    Make sure you do a gradual switch to the new food, and if you need to, use pure canned pumpkin to help with runny poop, and you can also add probiotics to help with transition. Some people on here also recommend NutriSource as a good, easy to transition to food. You could always rotate between the two, that’s better for your dog anyways. Good luck!

  • Becky S.

    My dog ate Ol Roy Complete Nutrition for 5 years. I wanted to make a change because I saw this food was very low quality and wanted to see if my dog would do better on another food. Unfortunately I couldn’t access internet in the store to check the foods as I browsed, so I tried to use my best judgement… and ended up buying Purina Lamb & Rice by mistake. Well, at least it was slightly better than my dog’s current food I thought, and I’d do my research ahead of time next time when she finished the bag. My poor dog now has bald spots on her back side from biting at itchy skin she’s never had before in her life. She absolutely loved the food at first, and would drool over it, but now she’s not eating much either. I feel terrible for getting this food for my dog. I’m not sure what she’s allergic to but after just a couple days of noticing her biting and scratching I can’t take anymore, I will be going back to the store and getting 4health. Hopefully that will be better on her. If not then I guess it’s back to her old food. It might have given her smelly poops but at least it didn’t make her chew her skin to bits.

  • LabsRawesome

    I agree with you a hundred percent. Over vaccinating, heartworm preventatives, and flea/tick meds, are making our sick. And shortening their lifespan.

  • Mandy

    Our adult dogs now eat 4Health but I’ve looked at the Purina one. We got our first dog as a family 20+ years ago. We had NO idea about different foods then. She was a gorgeous husky mix and she was 7 weeks when we got her. She ate Ole Roy her entire life. She died a couple years ago, 5 months shy of her 18th birthday and besides going blind and deaf the last year or so, had no health problems. We tried some premium foods with our now 3 and 10 year old cattle dogs, One had vomiting and bloody diarrhea on one food, horrid gas on others and the other never had good stools on others we tried. They do good on the 4Health…great stools, look great…but our 8 month old puppy has had nothing but runny poop and disgusting gas on the 4Health puppy. All the money we’ve spent the last few years on dog food….I keep thinking about how we had no problem on cheap crappy walmart food for almost 18 years. I bought Purina One Puppy tonight to try and If she does good on it…we may stick with it.

  • theBCnut
  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    The information you’re looking for is in the last section on every review under “A Final Word”.

  • Cyndi

    The foods that are 5star, their ingredients alone make them 5 star foods, the companies don’t need to pay for a higher rating. If that was the case, don’t you think multi-million dollar Purina would pay for higher than a 1 star crappy food?

  • Bunny Lee Ryan

    Wonder if the reviewer is being paid by those receiving 5 stars. js

  • yorgo

    I likse corn bet you like da cob don ya? you do…you know you do.

  • yorgo

    sure he do shawana do you believe otherwise…you a fool.

  • yorgo

    dats cuase dey are made by da man and these goobers don like da man.

  • yorgo

    no kidding, the drug cos just want to pump them full of crap jsut like they do humans and the humans allow it. take a look how heartwortm is conveyed…there is no point to heart worm meds in cold climates year round and yet the vets push like drug dealers..

  • andrew

    if you don’t feed raw then your a jerk and any argument is just trying to justify buying cheaper food to yourself x) lol and who loses ,YOUR pet !! haha

  • aimee

    The statement “”better than anticipated” means just that. Some protein combinations may be anticipated to be be poor but were fair, some may be anticipated to be good but were excellent. I didn’t say it meant good I said “can”

    If you hold bias against plant proteins then you may not be able to see that combining plant based proteins can yield an AA profile that may even exceed an animal based source.

    You are invoking a “straw man’s argument”, as I never said that corn is a “superior protein” or “best source” I simply acknowledge that corn is a source of AA which can contribute to an overall excellent AA profile to meet an animals needs. It is not my opinion it is fact.

  • Toki

    Sorry, I’ve been lurking for a long time and have seen a lot of aimee’s posts and felt I needed to speak up.

  • aimee

    I didn’t say it was though did I :).. I was saying I understand the effect of low fiber diets on cattle, and feed formulation. Most of the work I did was in dairy rations.

  • Toki

    I think we’re all aware of the FAO and have read many a report from them. I believe the comment was in regards to your interpretation of the phrase “better than anticipated”, which can be taken in a number of ways depending on the context. I realize that you enjoy playing devil’s advocate, but I believe you are understimating the intelligence of the regulars on this site. I’m sorry, but you can’t expect everyone to believe that “better than anticipated” means good. “Bad” is better than “terrible”, and if I anticipate my dog dropping dead from feeding him Beneful and he doesn’t, that’s a better result than I originally anticipated. Fancy language and vague expressions are not a substitution for the facts, and the fact is that corn is not the best source of protein for dogs and cats. I could list a number of sources, but you can read any article on this site (or talk to many of the regulars) and get the same proof.
    It is nice that you play devil’s advocate, because it leads us all to search for credible information to PROVE that corn is inferior in dog and cat nutrition but at some point you should review everything and realize that your opinion is wrong–and has been proven as such. :)
    Why would I use an inferior protein in my rotation instead of just using a different superior protein?

  • JellyCat

    Feeding of a livestock is not equal to feeding companion animal. Simply because feeding of a livestock is very much geared towards productivity, but not long term health and most definitely not longevity.

  • aimee

    No misinterpretation on my part. I understand perfectly well what was meant. This is probably because I have logged multiple hours of university credit in the feeding and productivity of livestock.

  • aimee

    Well that is the just the dry language of the F.A.O. : )

  • aimee

    Hi Rabbinator, The F.A.O. is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

    If you are interested in credible and reliable nutritional information it is an awesome site!!

  • Shawna

    In my opinion you misinterpreted the quote in an attempt to make it sound favorable. Just my opinion though.

    Edit: I won’t say I’m above misinterpreting data either though. I suppose that is human ..

  • Shawna

    If something were excellent or superb I’d want to use more than such an insignificant term as as better than anticipated but I suppose that could just be my thinking.?

  • Rabbinator

    It can also be equated to “it didn’t kill my dog right away” or “my dog didn’t spew blood from its stomach”. If I anticipate it will kill my dog and it doesn’t, that’s better than anticipated.

  • aimee

    I simply quoted from your source. I’d think feed efficiency, days to market etc might be how “productivity” is measured.

    Not sure what you mean by “I support feeding corn” As I’ve said before I’m neutral on the issue.

  • aimee

    This is true… “better than anticipated can equate to excellent or superb!

  • Shawna

    “Better than anticipated” doesn’t equate to good necessarily..

  • aimee

    I interpreted his statement as meaning comparing a N.A. of each diet. Apparently I understood correctly as he clarified when he said “No not by itself but taken as whole”

    I think we all know that the BV of corn protein is less than animal based protein. However, “Determination of BV of a single protein is of limited use… Mixtures of protein foods frequently promote better growth than anticipated from the performance of individual components of the mixture.”
    F.A.O.

  • Shawna

    You are surely welcome to your opinion aimee, but I will NEVER agree with it. Ingredients DO matter…

  • Shawna

    Feeding cattle corn has less to do with “productivity” and more to do with making them fat quicker bringing a higher price at auction and requiring less time/feed on the farm for the farmer.

    And as the cost of corn has increased, farmers are looking to alternate forms of feed for that “energy” such as m&ms and potato chips.. Same link as quote below.

    “Grass-fed cattle make up only 10% of the beef market, according to the
    report. The farmers have to charge 30% more for the beef because its
    more costly to raise the cattle, and they can’t pack as many cattle onto
    the property because of resource limitations when cattle just roam and
    graze. Americans are used to the high-fat taste of corn-fed beef, which is another concern for grass-fed cattle farmers when they take their beef to market.” http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/cows-like-mms-too.html

    It’s perfectly fine that you support feeding corn aimee. But at least call it what it is… It’s more about money and less about the health of the animal eating the food..

  • Ross C.

    No not by itself but taken as whole, the foods analyzed chemically could not be differentiated. I would also go out on a limb and tell you that Pro Plan is much more digestible than Orijen. I have fed both and you see it in the amount fed and the amount of fecal matter. Please don’t pick one ingredient because corn gluten is not the only protein in Pro Plan and whether it is second or fifth doesn’t tell you much because you don’t have the weights of all the ingredients. It is clear that Orijen uses more animal protein than Pro Plan, not as much as you think, but it is not clear to me the protein is as digestible or as well balanced.

  • Shawna

    Please tell us what he meant aimee.

  • aimee

    The key point is not that corn makes cattle sick but that lack of fiber does!

    “low- fiber diets can make cattle sick”
    “finer- deficient rations can disrupt physiologic mechanisms”

    where as “When cattle are fed grain, productivity is increased”