Purina Pro Plan Focus (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Focus product line includes 13 dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and seven for adult maintenance.

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

  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Toy Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Toy Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Giant Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Small Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Lamb and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management
  • Pro Plan Focus Small Bites Lamb and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Large Breed

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), barley, corn germ meal, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, fish oil, wheat bran, dried egg product, calcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, 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) = 5.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%14%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%30%44%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 includes 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 wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

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

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The ninth ingredient is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.

However, the protein found in corn germ meal (about 25% dry matter basis) must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The tenth ingredient includes fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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, wheat bran is made from the tough outer layer of a wheat kernel. Brans are especially rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

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

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

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

We also note 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 Pro Plan Focus Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Focus looks like a below-average dry dog food.

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 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

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 57%.

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 corn gluten meal and corn germ meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Focus is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 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.

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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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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.

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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

02/25/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  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)
  • Erika

    On raw, chicken would cause her to become itchy. She would lick her feet and her whites would turn red. She scratched until she was bald on her chest and her ears would become infected.

  • theBCnut

    How was your dog determined to be allergic to chicken?

  • aimee

    Fibrosarcomas are one of the cancer types I read that have been associated with spontaneous remissions. Cases like this should be studies and documented as it is unknown what leads to the remission.

    One thought is that the act of biopsy or even infection sets up inflammation which activates the immune system that drives the remission.

    With spontaneous remission the patient or in this case dog may also have been taking supplements, made diet change etc and what role if any these things played in the remission is unknown.

    The Drs will claim the biopsy or antibiotics is what spurred remission and the “holistic” people will claim it is the supplements etc

    Likely, recent biopsy is the only commonality in these types of cases which is why it is thought to play a role.

  • aimee

    I’m glad you are looking into this further. I’d hate for her to be saddled with a cancer diagnosis, scaring off potential adopters, if there really wasn’t a true diagnosis. To diagnose mammary cancer you need a surgical tissue biopsy.

    From what information you provided it seems the “diagnosis” was made based on the presence of masses. Considering she was intact the masses could have been related to her hormone status and subsided as levels fell. Afterward she was “cleared” and spayed.

    The picture link didn’t come through in my e mail : (

    Let me know what you find out!

  • Shawna

    Ebony’s cancer diagnosis was “high grade fibrosarcoma”.

  • theBCnut

    It sounds like your dog was not actually allergic to chicken, but I’m all for believing in miracles, so I’m so glad for you and your dog. I’ve known a few people who were not satisfied with their raw feeding experience. I have no problem with that. I just don’t think your experience applies to everyone, just like my experience doesn’t apply to everyone. We all have to do what we find works best for our dogs.

  • Shawna

    Lola was intact when I got her. The surgery was done after she was cleared at her six month eval – they did a dental and spay at the same time. Poor girl!!

    Did you see her picture (in the link which should be in your email — I removed it from the posted post for obvious reasons). She’s a beautiful dog and there’s only been a couple adoption requests. I surely hope they didn’t misdiagnose her as I’m sure that’s why she hasn’t had more interest. I plan on asking the rescue president the next time we have a conversation…. I’ll let you know if I find anything new out.

  • Erika

    Kibble seems to be the best food for my “allergic” dogs. And convenient to boot.

    My dog was allergic to chicken. But I have her both on the chicken based formula and no issues. Hm..

  • theBCnut

    I would agree that many people who switch to raw do so because of multiple food sensitivities. My dog can’t have any bird based ingredients, any grains, tomato, flax, or alfalfa. There are literally no regular kibbles that fit the bill. Feeding raw DOES NOT cure this, it just makes it manageable, BECAUSE I can easily avoid all ingredients that he is sensitive to. Dealing with deficiencies is EXACTLY like feeding humans. I do not balance every single one of my meals either, but I do eat as much variety as I possibly can. It does take getting a bit of an education, or buying commercial raw, which my dog also can’t eat, but it is doable for anyone who wants to put in the time and effort. Kibble was NEVER the best food, it was just the most convenient. It is also one of the most processed foods on the entire planet.

  • aimee

    The only thing I can really relate that to is was what I went through with my first cat. I found two nodules in her mammary gland, one about a 1/2 inch across and the other 1/4 inch. But more were found pre op and a lot more were found during surgery. Most were small and very hard many only the size of a sesame seed. The larger ones about 1/8th inch. They were found in multiple glands.

    I don’t remember the exact wording for the diagnosis but they were considered precancerous cystic ductal changes.

    The only ones removed were the original large ones I found and several of the smaller ones for diagnosis. But after surgery they all eventually resolved.

    It was odd because she had been spayed many years before and I thought for sure she had an aggressive cancer.. but nope.

    Was Lola spayed by the rescue? Was she spayed prior to the rescue getting her or is she intact?

  • theBCnut

    I found it! Great story! Ebony has gone though so much.

  • Shawna

    Lola was not in my custody when she was diagnosed so I took the rescue president’s (and vet at re-eval appt) word about the cancer but in looking at mammary cancer pictures online, the “cancer” didn’t look like those? I have no idea how a diagnosis was made. If it wasn’t cancer it’s a bit frustrating because I’m quite sure hearing the word cancer has thwarted potential adoptions. ๐Ÿ™

    There were no “masses” or large tumors. There was about 10 to 14 areas of very small (smaller than a pea) sized, VERY hard and movable, pebble like stones (for lack of a better word) on her underside (most near a nipple and some in small clumps – four or five in one spot). What’s your thoughts on this description?

    Here’s her Petfinder page (the rescue is technically in neighboring Lincoln but quite a few of the foster homes are here in Omaha). https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/33231357

  • Shawna

    Did you find it? I’ll tag you if not… REALLY AWESOME!!!

  • Shawna

    I knew about using capsaicin for pain relief but never heard of it as a cancer benefit. VERY COOL!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Shawna

    This topic actually greatly interests me!! I have read some info on epigenetics and I agree that certain nutrients can be needed in higher amounts due to injury or illness/stress.

    The Merck Vet Manual states that there is three breeds of dogs – German Shepherds, Shar Peis (and blanking on the other) that can genetically have a predisposition to IgA deficiency. Since IgA binds with toxins in the gut (including foods causing a sensitivity) these breeds are more susceptible to allergies (or more likely in my opinion sensitivities). Once the IgA has been used up there is nothing to stop the allergic ingredient from binding to the gut wall.

    Certain bacteria in the gut (I’m not sure which) help to produce IgA so an animal or human can be perfectly fine with a food if producing enough IgA but give that person/pet an antibiotic and continue feeding the offending food – there’s nothing to stop the damage from that problematic protein now.

  • Shawna

    I’ve never read that linoleic acid deficiency causes allergies (or sensitivities). It would certainly exacerbate the issue and an allergy may cause an increased need for linoleic acid which would moderate the symptoms of an dermatological allergic reaction but cause the allergy to begin with?

    Corn oil is not the only source of linoleic acid, I’m sure you are aware.

  • Erika

    Genetics don’t stipulate allergies. Genetics are merely a blueprint for metabolism. Different breeds have different requirements. This is no different for any other species.

    This area of study is called epigenetics. Different strains of mice and rats require differing formulations according to their genetic needs. This you can read up on.

    Stress or injury increases the need for certain nutrition, like certain amino acids and fatty acids, and even minerals.

    So, in this case you are misunderstanding what genetics actually are. i have worked with many rat lines/strains/genes and you are over simplifying genetics.

  • Shawna

    Allergies (and sensitivities) don’t work like that. Either you are allergic/sensitive or you are not. The way the food is prepared doesn’t prevent it from being allergenic unless the allergen is removed or degraded to the point of being no longer seen by the body (such as hydrolyzing proteins).

    For instance — you mentioned my raw fed dog reacting to barley. She reacts to barley (gluten) whether in raw foods or treats or kibble. My pup that reacts to chicken reacts to ALL foods with chicken in it – kibble or raw.

    Genetics plays a role in allergies and even, apparently, more so in sensitivities. Border Terriers, as just one example, have a genetic predisposition to gluten sensitivity (be it from gluten in kibble or home cooked and mixed with raw). Gluten is gluten. “Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome in BTs is a gluten-sensitive movement disorder triggered and perpetuated by gluten and thus responsive to a gluten-free diet.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476197

    Anyone suggesting that raw feeding is a panacea clearly doesn’t understand the raw diet or allergies/sensitivities.

    Assuming everyone that feeds raw has orthorexic tendencies is pretty narrow minded. Some may go to extremes but most of us simply want to do the best for our dogs that we are able. I feel the same way about my two legged family members. Yeah, it would be much easier to feed them McDonalds every night and they would probably be perfectly fine with it but I don’t feel it’s the best decision for their health. Do they get McDonalds when I’m up to here with stuff, yes. Likewise my pups get kibble when I’m up to here as well. Most of the time however I try to do better for all members of my family. I really don’t see how that could be considered a bad thing?

  • Erika

    The raw forums I’ve been on are full of people trying to figure out how to fix this or that. Or comments about how they are allergic to this or that, still.

    All I’m saying is my dog had reactions like that to foods while on raw. Since switching her to purina, she is eating foods that caused her problems, without any issue. In fact, she just got into my chicken feed this week, and other than a few raunchy farts, she didn’t have a problem. Not a single scratch, or lick. Nothing.

    If she had done that a couple months ago, there would be diarrhea and vomit all over my house. And she’d have scratched her chest bare.

    I like giving her prices of my sammich. We bond over the lack of paranoia. I no longer have to think about whether she is going to get something that will upset her system, cause it just doesn’t anymore.

    I have never ever seen a comment like that on any raw forum, or heard it in my co op. No one has ever said that while on raw, they can feed their dog anything.

  • InkedMarie

    As I just typed twice, my issue is “most dogs still have reactions while on raw”…possible many but not most.

    I have no recipe. It’s grinds that are meat/bone/organ & some have tripe. A few condition specific supplements, eggs & salmon oil and I’m quite confident we’re good.

    I’m all set with a grinder. i feel that variety is important and I’m all set with buying pigs, goats etc to grind. I just buy them from Hare Today. She does all the work!

  • InkedMarie

    The comment I was referring to was “most dogs jhave reactions while On raw still”……many is not the same as most.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Erika,
    I read other responses from you but just going to answer on one. Barley while on raw? Who feeds barley if they’re feeding raw?
    I asked what kinds of raw you feed because my oldest dog can’t have produce….not all obviously but some causes his yeast issues to flare. He gets grinds only.

  • Erika

    And to answer your question, over the 9 years I fed raw, I did everything from commercial, specialty, and homemade raw diets. I stood next to my butcher at times as he slaughtered cows, sheep, pigs and took what I wanted. The freshest organic, grass fed nonsense. I got whole heads. I’ve been a part of raw co ops, and a part of many online raw communities. I can rest assured I have it my best, better than most, and it didn’t work as well as purina.

  • Erika

    My Tibetan terrier had those issues. That’s why I went raw in the first place. It did eventually clear those issues, but she has just had chronic other issues for the almost 9 years I’ve done raw. In the end, it just saw her become deficient in things. I should have just switched feeds initially, and stopped feeding her treats for a while rather than go full bore raw.

    Frankly, she hated raw the whole time, anyway. Didn’t matter if it was premade, homemade, grass fed, wild, organic, or whatever. She’s still loving this kibble, and as an aside, her fatty tumors are shrinking, and she is losing weight she put on while on raw.

    And it is funny, because I’ve seen this on the forums as well. If it doesn’t work for someone’s dog, that person is accused of not doing the diet right.

    If it’s such a panacea, it shouldn’t be so hard to do right. Every dog would take to it, and do fabulous all the time!

    Truth is, the people it doesn’t work for just don’t stick around for the accusations. They sulk off and secretly feed beneful, like my friend and her frenchies. Haha

  • Erika

    Then I have that friend in Illinois who’s frenchies cleared up completely on beneful.

    I just spoke with my aunt who’s boxer mix has allergic skin issues. She tried raw. She said it didn’t fix the problem and was gross. Her dog does much better on kibble. She just rotates as she finishes a bag.

    I know, anecdotes… but I us to open my mind after so many years of bs and hard work to get no where…

  • Erika

    And looks like a couple people here have added that raw did not work for their dogs. I think perhaps your perspective only is only allowing you to see what you want to see. That it works for every dog…

    It just doesn’t. It’s not the panacea that it’s made out to be.

  • Erika

    Someone on this thread commented on their dog having reactions to barley while on raw. Another commented on needing to avoid the “offending foods.”

    I’ve been on a lot of forums as well. Maybe we are just seeing things through different perspective. But I see a lot of people comment on their dogs being allergic to beef, or chicken, or what have you, while on raw. Even this comment thread has people saying those things.

    Read through all the comments again if you need.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Raw did not work for my dogs either. However, I try to keep an open mind and I respect the opinions of others.
    Maybe it depends on the dog and getting the recipe just right.
    I know I won’t try it again.
    PS: I did put some effort into it, invested in a meat grinder which went to the Goodwill. It was horrible trying to clean that thing, lol

  • Pitlove

    Hi Inked Marie-

    Raw did not work for us as well. There are many people who’s dogs raw does not work for since it is not a magic cure all.

  • InkedMarie

    “Most dogs fed raw have “reactions” to foods still”…..where did you hear that? I am on a lot of dog forums, a lot, and your dog is the only one I’ve heard of that has the problem when on raw.

    I’d be curious to know what raw you fed…was it a premade raw?

  • Erika

    Corn oil is fantastic. There’s a reason it’s in those formulas. Dermatitis is a symptom of linoleic acid deficiency, and the corn oil is there to correct it. Corn oil is over 50% PUFA and in animal studies has the highest rate of digestion. About 94% of what’s ingested is utilized, compared to about 60% for beef tallow.

    Corn oil is easy on the system and the reason it’s used so extensively in animal feeds.

    I went and read some real studies done by real scientists on these ingredients. I got sick of relying on the whole “primal carnivore” orthorexic ideals as a basis for nutrition.

  • Susan

    Gee, Corn Oil that’s what is in the Vet Diet Purina Pro Plan HA Hydrolyed has vegetable Oil, Corn Oil & Canola, I was worried there was too much oil?? my boy has IBD (mainly the stomach) & Food Sensitivities & Environment Allergies ….I’m taking back a kibble cause he’s getting his stomach pain after eating it & itching again, I bought from pet shop to get a refund & I’m tossing up trying the Pro Plan Adult OptiDigest Sensitive Digestion or odering the Pro Plan HA vet diet, I was worried about the corn Oil thinking it was bad…

  • Susan

    Hi, last night on Australian T.V nightly news they have found an ingredient in “Chilli” could be the key to fighting breast cancer, here’s the link, just scroll down till you see red chilli’s.. http://www.9news.com.au/new-south-wales

  • Erika

    Then that must be just about everyone that feeds raw.

    If the raw diet truly took care of the issue, then there wouldn’t be any more “allergies.” And the elimination diet would not be necessary. But it doesn’t. Most dogs fed raw have “reactions” to foods still. So IMO it didn’t fix the problem. Just a very expensive and time consuming crutch that is very very easy to get wrong.

    If a raw diet was so perfect, so many people wouldn’t so easily do it wrong. Deficiencies wouldn’t be so easy to induce…

    Sounds like a bother that needn’t be bothered with.

  • Susan

    I ask a vet once why are so many vet against raw feeding & this vet said, I don’t mind people feeding their dogs & cats a raw diet, its what their GI tract has been made to do eat a raw diet, the problem is when the raw diet they are feeding isn’t balanced properly & this is when vets start to see health problems because the person is just given their dog some raw mince a bit of this & a bit of that & they think they’re feeding their dog a balanced raw diet….vets are seeing Vitamin D deficiency & dogs are getting Rickets…
    Rodney Habib posted about this last year, he said he spends 1 hour preparing his dogs their freshly made breakfast, he was shocked when one of his dog blood test come back deficiency in vitamin D.. he was so shocked & couldn’t believe it…

  • InkedMarie

    Yep and I’m one of them. Boone had so many yeast ear infections & used to lick his paws, sometimes causing a raw spot (hot spot?), off & on for years.

    Switching him to raw cleared him up but he will get one or two ear infections a year in really humid weather.

  • theBCnut

    I have loved hearing about Ebony’s journey every step of the way. She is an amazing girl. I somehow missed reading the good news about her cancer disappearing. YAY!!!!!

  • theBCnut

    I moved to feeding raw *BECAUSE* of food allergies. My dog had a whole host of problems because of his sensitivities to several foods that are common in all kibbles. Feeding raw took care of ALL of those issues and he has not developed any other issues at all. I know a great number of people who switched to raw for the exact same reason, who no longer have problems with their dogs as long as they stay away from the offending ingredients. I can only guess that you know a lot of people who don’t know how to feed raw correctly.

  • aimee

    Thanks for clarifying that these were two different dogs. Spontaneous remissions of cancers do occur.

    I’m curious about Lola as I read it is very uncommon to have spontaneous remission of breast caner in people as opposed to other cancer types.

    Was it just that she had mammary masses or was a diagnosis made from a tissue wedge sample?

  • Cannoli

    i feed my pup raw honey on occasion.

    i want to thank your friend from the bottom of my heart for saving that pup.

    i have never rescued or fostered a dog so i am grateful for people like you

  • Shawna

    Yes, they did but now looking back I can honestly say they weren’t all that healthy.

    We adopted my Chi at the age of nine and she wasn’t in that great shape (poor coat, cloudy eyes etc). She lived to age 19 (which is only a few years older than my poodle) but she rarely had to go to the vet for more than her yearly checkup. Actually she never had to go except for an eye injury which ended up blinding her. She died of old age – no diagnoseable illness at time of death. My current five are all seniors too and to date no illnesses, none are taking meds, no arthritis etc.

  • Shawna

    I know right!! However a biopsy was done and sent in to a lab. I suppose the lab could have screwed up. The surgeon that did the dental was a specialist not Ebony’s normal vet – which is VCA. Both vets saw Ebony while the mass was there but surgeon did the diagnosis. The cancer formed in her jaw line and was eating away at her bone.

    All of the things that my friend used have been shown to kill cancer so she gave them a try. Here’s what she used in addition to the raw diet (which also included things like sardines, bone broth and raw goat milk).

    Turmeric w/ pepper – apoptotic and antiangiogenic

    Honey – anti-inflammatory as well as antiangiogenic

    Therapeutic grade Frankinsense oil – antiangiogenic

    Therapeutic grade Copabia oil – has CBDs

    Therapeutic hemp (in treats) – has CBDs

  • Shawna

    Hi Aimee,

    No, different dog. Most of my friends are in rescue too.

    My foster is a Dachshund named Lola. Lola had mammary cancer. Lola was pretty ill (enlarged spleen, abdominal issues as well as the cancer) but had really good spirits.

    My friend’s foster (now forever) Ebony is a Newfoundland. She’s (I don’t feel comfortable giving her name here) actually my best friend and we spend at least one day almost every weekend together so I’ve been along for the whole ride. Anyway Ebony came in to Newf rescue. The cancer wasn’t noticeable when she first came in but her teeth were ground down to the gums. Rescue thinks she had been locked in a cage most of her life. Possibly a breeder dog as she was not spayed? My friend took Ebony in to get dental work done and most of her teeth were removed. The cancer popped up in her gumline four months after the surgery (I just confirmed the timeline on friend’s facebook page). Ebs was taken back to the vet, because of her new symptoms – lots of oral bleeding, that did the dental surgery. Vet did several x-rays and a biopsy. The biopsy was sent to a lab and came back showing “a very aggressive form of cancer”. I was told what type but can’t remember. I texted my friend but she hasn’t texted back (I’ll post when she does). She was given four weeks to live but as said, she is now cancer free. The vet also did a chest x-ray as he said this type of cancer mastatizes to the lungs. Chest was clean and lymph nodes are normal. Judy also said the x-rays of Ebony’s jaw shows she hasn’t had any additional bone loss and that the bone still there is denser than in the previous x-rays.

    Lola had a great outcome but Ebs has her beat by far!!!

  • aimee

    Is this the same or a different dog than the one you posted about 10 days ago?

    You wrote: “My current foster is a Dachshund that came in with cancer plus. Her vet
    told me at her six month checkup that they had recommended euthanizing
    her to the rescue president. At the checkup he said she looked like a
    different dog. The only thing I did for her was a raw diet with
    supplements and essential oils and she is now cancer free”.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    When I hear these miracle stories, I often wonder if the dog was misdiagnosed in the first place.
    Maybe the dog never really even had cancer in the first place….sometimes it’s best to get a second opinion.

  • Erika

    Sounds like they did very well on cheap kibble! Lived quite a long time.

  • Shawna

    My girlfriend just “cured” her foster (now forever) dog of cancer. A biopsy was done and based on the type of cancer (which I can’t remember off the top of my head) the vet gave Ebony only four weeks to live. My friend started Ebs on only raw, turmeric with pepper and raw honey as she wouldn’t eat the turmeric w/o the honey. Turns out honey helps starve cancer cells – go figure. She also started her on two types of essential oil, coconut oil, sardines and other whole foods.

    Ebs was taken back in for her re-eval on January 2nd and no more cancer. Pretty cool!!!

  • Shawna

    Yes, digestion and immune system are linked. I totally agree. As just one small example — good bacteria in the gut prime neutrophil white blood cells. They also produce mucin and immunoglobulin A which protects the gut from bacteria and toxins.

    I’m not suggesting what you are feeding isn’t doing good for your dog. I am saying that I’ve seen raw do some pretty wonderful things for some pretty messed up dogs. I’m sorry it didn’t work well for you but I’m glad you found something that does work well.

  • Shawna

    Yes, your initial post was based on anecdotal experiences so….

    I had a toy poodle that lived to 17 on cheap grocery store kibble and at the same time a Yorkie that lived to 15 on the same food. They were great until the poodle developed kidney disease and the Yorkie developed cancer. Up to that point they were quite healthy — well, at least they seemed healthy enough and had good blood work until they didn’t.

  • Pitlove

    Ok that’s fine. Glad you rescued her. Sounds like a lot of stress for her right now. That could very well be why she’s having GI issues. Changing foods on her again, at this time, can only do more damage. Stick it out with the Pro Plan for a while longer. She just may need time to adjust to her new environment and family. I would suggest talking with your vet and seeing if FortiFlora which is a probiotic is something they would suggest to help her with this transition.

  • Susan

    Hi it can take 1 day to 6 weeks to start reacting to an ingredient, Food Sensitivities.. My boy did real well when he started Wellness Complete Whitefish & Sweet Potato, then 3 weeks later he was doing yellow sloppy poos that stunk real bad & had bad gas/wind, when you read the ingredient list the Sweet potato is the 7th ingredient & Barley is 2nd ingredient, Try another kibble that doesn’t have the ingredients she’s eating now, look at a Large Breed Puppy in a grain free like “Holistic Select” it’s money back guaranteed & is made for Digestive Health, my boy does real well on the “Holistic Select” Adult/Puppy Salmon Anchovy & Sardines Grain Free, its fish & Potatoes & healthy ingredients.. or try the Large & Giant Breed new formula…. No point feeding a kibble that isn’t agreeing with her her body is telling you this is crap, might work for some dogs but doesn’t work for your girl take it back say she wont eat it & get refund. http://www.holisticselect.com/

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Have you tried a bland diet? Boiled hamburger and rice.
    If the diarrhea goes on for more than 72 hours, I would go to the vet asap, puppies are vulnerable to dehydration. Also, I would not add any supplements, before speaking to a vet that has examined the dog.
    Of course, it depends on how severe the symptoms are, is the dog drinking water? Loose stools are one thing, diarrhea is another thing.

  • Sara Ann Cecilia Urban

    That’s great advice I’ll do this asap!

  • theBCnut

    You can try a few different things to help her out. First would be adding a couple spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to her meals. The added fiber helps slow passage through the intestines so her body can work on it a little longer. Second would be to add probiotics to her food. This isn’t a bad idea to do every few days throughout life. Third would be to add digestive enzymes to her food until this clears up. All of these just give her body a little bit of extra help to get back to normal quicker.

  • Sara Ann Cecilia Urban

    It was about a week transition of mixing foods until I ran out of the food that was given to me. I saved my pup and the food she was on I was told was delivered from a mil and can’t be bought in stores so I can’t even tell you. I’m just worried about my pup.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Sara-

    What was she on before? Did you do a slow transition or just switch her right away?

    Also will she be on the larger side for a Husky? Over 50lbs shen she’s done growing?

  • Sara Ann Cecilia Urban

    My 3 month old huskies was just switched over to pro plan puppy last week. She has regular stool when we had her and now it’s just loose stool, lots of gas. Has anyone had this issue with transitioning over.. if so how long should it last? Or should I call the vet.

  • Erika

    A medical background does not equal understanding of biochem.

    Example: a nurse doesn’t have more than basic high school genetic education.

  • Erika

    Inbreeding can solidly deleterious mutations as well, without proper understanding of inheritance, if the issue is in fact genetic vs epigenetic. However, constant outcrossing results in it being unknown who carries the bad genes. Hence the reason behind genetic testing.

    Many breeders wouldn’t need genetic testing if they just knew who carried what. That becomes difficult with constant outcrossing.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Believe what you want to. I have a medical background, so, for obvious reasons I cannot support some of your opinions.
    Best of luck

  • Erika

    You fail to understand genetics and even inheritance. Genetics is merely a blue print of how a biosystem uses the energy put in. Hence the newer area of research which is termed “epigenetics.”

    Inbreeding does NOT CAUSE deleterious mutations. Those are random, regardless of good or poor practices. Inbreeding is actually a tool used to remove deleterious mutations. This is how labs solidify test strains of all sorts of animals.

    Mill bred animals are not necessarily unhealthy animals. That would be a function of nutrition/environment/epigenetics, and also spay/neuter which affects mineral metabolism. Sex hormones function for more than sex.

    Lab animals are mill bred. They are not unhealthy unless specifically bred to be so.

  • Pitlove

    We started on the Sensitive Skin & Stomach at the recommendation of our vet, but I actually switched them to the Sport 26/16 a month and a half ago and am still getting the same good results.

    Despite what people say about Purina, the veterinary nutritionists they employ clearly know how to put out a nutritionally sound food and I most certainly agree with you that many of the “high end” brands do not.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    No, I’m saying I am glad that your dogs are stable at present. Until they have been stable 1 year/4 seasons you can’t rule out environmental allergies.
    Dogs are more vulnerable to genetic issues these days due to inbreeding, puppy mills, backyard breeders that continue to breed dogs regardless of reported or observed hereditary conditions.

  • Erika

    My opinion is, these new orthorexic tendencies we have as a society are the cause of more issues than not.

    Here’s what I see when I look around, and look at the dogs I’ve groomed over the years…

    People who try too hard, end up with more and more issues. People who don’t care, or are too poor to care, don’t have the issues.

    I’m going back to what worked, before the orthorexia. And it’s working again. It’s so simple. Doesn’t need to be complicated again.

  • Erika

    What does that have to do with anything? I remember quite well how long my dogs lived and how playful they were. My dogs didn’t have issues before high end feeds. We weren’t looking the other way. They lived a long time. 15 ain’t short time…

    Are you suggesting my good experiences on low end kibble is the result of lack of memory? Huh?

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I have owned dogs for decades too, cheap dog food and all, some with good results, some not.
    My dog with allergies, the only one I ever took to a dermatologist and had Intra-dermal skin testing done, responded to the recommended treatment immediately, it’s not cheap, but it worked.
    What we don’t remember, is that dogs did not live as long as they do nowadays, and often we looked the other way when they scratched or whatever. We did not have the specialists and the treatment options that are available today.
    A lot of these conditions are genetic, therefore, they don’t respond much to diet changes and supplements.

  • Erika

    Actually, allergies are the result of systemic dysfunction. They are the result of deficiencies which cause the biosystem to not be able to function properly. Something as simple as a linoleic acid deficiency can cause a whole host of issues. I actually think this was my dogs issue. I wish I would have had a serum mead test done.

    Do you know how that is corrected? By the addition of corn oil. There are studies done in children as well, that the addition of corn oil alleviates allergic conditions better than an elimination diet.

    Allergies aren’t magic. They aren’t there for no reason. There is a reason the system is out of whack.

    I will leave it to professionals who have a lot of money backing their research to understand what the real issue is, rather than internet websites that have a heavy bias. I spent a lot of time and money on the latter with nothing but headaches to show for it.

  • Erika

    I guess since anecdotes are what we are basing this discussion on, anecdotally, growing up I never had a dog that had allergies. Never. And we had 5-6 dogs at a time, all the time.

    My mom fed cheap nutro because she didn’t care to research anything. All our dogs lived to ripe old ages without chronic health issues. I never had an issue until I moved out, for my own dog, and tried too hard.

    Another anecdote, I recently bought some chickens from an ad. At pick up, the guy had this super old dog with him. A lab he said was 17 years old. I asked what he fed and he said whatever was on sale at the grocery store. I was floored, the dog looked amazing for 17.

    Why swim in blood anymore, or be paranoid about ingredients when I can just buy a bag of food, and get those results?

  • Erika

    Of course he can.

    I’ll be honest, I thought raw did my dog some good too, at first. The food I had started her on when I got her was a high end kibble, but she had ear infections all the time. That’s why I switched to raw in the first place.

    The ear infections cleared up, but she has had many other issues instead. Like picky eating, loose stools, gas, became less energetic, or overly anxious, gained weight, has fatty tumors at a young age, her eyes had a constant red glow, indicative of nutritional deficiencies, and she had food reactions to treats and certain ingredients.

    I’ve done everything for her over the last 8 years. Tried every raw formula, and commercial high end kibble. I stood at my butchers as he was butchering cows and sheep and picked out the freshest raw pieces as he cut them off the animals, packed it in coolers and took it home. I was swimming in blood on more than one occasion trying to do the absolute best for my dog.

    Well her ear infections never did come back. But they haven’t come back on this cheapo kibble either. And all the other issues she had, are gone. Almost over night. I can feed her a piece of my sandwich now without her vomiting or having to put up with horrid gas. Her eyes are not glowing. She has lost weight. She wants to play more than she did.

    Raw did her good on one area. But then I had to do all this crazy nonsense to maintain that one thing. She had “food allergies” too. But all that’s gone by switching her to a formula full of the stuff she seemed to be “allergic” to.

    My guess was she just wasn’t getting what she needed on raw. Digestion and immune system are linked. Immune system only functions as well as one can pull the nutrition for it from the food. Obviously she gets what she needs from cheap kibble much better than she got from raw or high end.

    I’ve seen this so much in the raw communities I’ve been in. Sure, raw fixes one issue, but not without the addition of a host of other issues, especially food allergies. I don’t know a single raw fed dog that doesn’t have “food allergies.” I don’t know a single cheap fed dog that has “food allergies.” And I am a groomer. I see a lot of dogs. My poorer clients have healthier dogs. My clients who don’t care about nutrition have healthier dogs.

    I always did wonder about that actually, and was so frustrated my dog was such a complicated mess.

    I get it now…

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I agree with you, to an extent. However, keep in mind that the allergies may be environmental.
    https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/choosing-the-right-diet-for-your-pet/

    Environmental allergies wax and wane and often return with a vengeance, regardless of diet.
    Go to forums and search allergies.
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/

  • Erika

    Yeah I didn’t even have to switch to a sensitive formula. Just the regular formula has been amazing.

    A friend of mine recently switched her frenchies to beneful. She just gave up after years of trying too hard, and everything went away on the beneful! Her dogs are doing the best they’ve ever done!

    I’ll be using purina for all my dogs now. But my moms dogs live into their teens problem free on Costco dog food too. That’s another one my vet mentioned that she sees good results with. I’m happy there are economical options.

  • Erika

    Funny enough though, these formulas are full of corn and chicken, and that’s what fixed all their allergic issues.

    I actually sent a text to a friend back in Illinois. She has frenchies that she has done EVERYTHING for. Done every diet and spent so much money. They were constantly allergic. I told her to try this food and shared my experience. She actually texted me back and said she was embarrassed to admit that she had been feeding beneful lately and every last symptom her dogs had, are gone! No itching! No pustules! Nice firm poops and no more bad gas!

    I don’t think corn or chicken are the issues.

  • Erika

    I switched to pro plan savor chicken formula. No sensitive stomach formulas. Just regular and she (Aussie pup) has cleared right up on every symptom. When I say immediate, she took a nap right after her first bowl, and after her nap she had the best poo she’s had with me and was a calm snuggle puppy. Completely different personality.

    My older dog, I bought her the over adult 7 bag of the same formula, and same thing. Not so much as a hiccup even after a cold turkey switch for both. Immediate good poops, zero gas, no more whining, dry skin absolutely gone. Not a flake on them.

    I’m not giving any supplements. Doesn’t appear I need to. They are golden.

    Honestly, I think we owners cause most of our dogs issues with our paranoia. Let the experts do the research and put together the formulas. Google nutrition degrees don’t cut it.

  • Susan

    Hi Shawna, yes you couldn’t feed this OR any other kibbles that are high in carbs when the dog has cancer, Rodney Habib has been teaching me & others about cancer something I never knew much about.. What makes me cranky is these kibble companies should write “Not to be feed if dog has cancer & other illnesses” where carbohydrates can make illness worse… The vet diets they are worse very high in carbs… My last dog Angie, poor girl she ended up with Mass Cell Tumors high grade 2 cancer & the vet prescribe the Hills Z/d kibble it was back in 2009 she hated it & sites like this weren’t around & I didn’t have the internet, I would go to the library & a lady there would just print stuff on Mast Cell Cancer in dogs but we never looked up diet
    ๐Ÿ™ as soon as Angie went on the Hills Z/d she got worse, I wish I knew what I know now…

  • Pitlove

    Hi Erika-

    My experience with Pro Plan mirrors yours. I saw amazing improvements in my allergic pitbull within just a few days when I switched him to the Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach. My experience with raw and more expensive diets is also the same as yours. I’ve stopped allowing the negative things people say about Purina and other brands like it to get to me and get in my head. I let my pets tell me how good a food is, not strangers on the internet.

    I personally no longer use the information found on this website to chose or recommend foods because like you, I find it difficult to simply recommend a food because it has a good star rating on ONE website. I do however find some of the other functions of this website helpful.

  • Shawna

    I’m so glad this food is working so well for your dog. It must have been devastating seeing your poor pup suffer so much. My experience with raw has been the absolute opposite though. I foster and between my own and my foster dogs I’ve had about 40 dogs over the last 12 or so years. Every one of them has had raw and every one of them has done fabulously on it. Some, of course, have issues with certain ingredients and so I have to avoid those ingredients for that dog but all have done smashingly well with raw in general.

    My current foster is a Dachshund that came in with cancer plus. Her vet told me at her six month checkup that they had recommended euthanizing her to the rescue president. At the checkup he said she looked like a different dog. The only thing I did for her was a raw diet with supplements and essential oils and she is now cancer free.

    My own pup had kidney disease from birth and was expected to pass by her two year birthday. She lived to almost nine the whole while eating a raw diet. This same dog was gluten sensitive — I found out the hard way by giving her organic barley for a short time in her raw diet. She would have been an absolute MESS on this food, listed above, with the wheat in it.

    My point is not to compare your experiences to my experiences but to simply point out there are many different experiences. The owner of this website had his own experiences with his own dog leading him to start this website. Yes, there probably is some bias here but then it is his website so I suppose he can run it, and rate the foods, as he sees fit.

  • Susan

    Hi which puppy formula are you feeding, the Sensitive digestion or the Sensitive skin puppy?? we have 2 different formulas in Australia & the ingredients are a bit better then the American Pro Plan…. I’ve never tried the Pro Plan range, my boy has IBD, Skin allergies & food sensitivities, when I email Pro Plan about their Pro Plan range in the Pet Shop, a vet nutrition rung me back & did say I’m better off trying the Pro Plan Vet diets as they are better suited for health problems, we had just gotten the Pro Plan Vet diets here in Australia but we only got 4 different vet formulas & there’s not one for the skin except the Hydrolized Pro Plan. I will try when Patch is real bad again, I don’t want him on a hydrolyzed protein yet when he can eat some proteins, he gets pain after eating as well & doesn’t have any diarrhea either poos are firm…. Pro Plan will be my last kibble to try as I’ve tried most of the vet diets, most of them for his stomach pain made him itch, smell bad & yeasty the ones for his IBD, I’ve been keeping Pro Plan on the back burner for when Patch gets bad again with his IBD but for his skin make sure you read the Omega 3 & 6 the Omega 3 in the kibbles, the Omega 3 should be 1/2 of what the Omega 6 is, a lot of kibbles are too high in Omega 6 & tooo low in Omega 3 causing skin problems for our dogs … With the itchy skin problems, baths are the best, Daily or weekly baths, have a look at Malaseb medicated shampoo, baths wash off the dirt, pollens & allergens on their skin & the Malaseb kills the bacteria & keeps the skin nice & moist leaving their fur/coat feeling sooooo soft…. So with the new food & weekly baths you’ll have a new dog, in about 4-6 months start looking for another kibble to feed as well, make sure it has around the same fat, protein, & fiber % as the one she’s doing good on, that may have been the problem with the kibbles last time, the protein & fat may have been too high causing stomach pain & with some of the ingredients she may have been sensitive too causing the itchy skin.. so this way you’ll have 2 kibbles she can eat & rotate between them, this way you’ll start strengthening her immune system & she will be able to eat more ingredients & write it all down what you’ve try & what were the ingredients, you may start to see a pattern when she itches like chicken is there all the time or corn/maize, or oats barley. etc, Fish is suppose to be best for sensitive stomach & itchy skin…

  • InkedMarie

    I understand that; I’m trying to make you understand that there is criteria that *this* page uses to rate dog food. You obviously don’t agree which is why I suggested looking for another dog food review website or starting your own.

  • Erika

    This post invites opinions on the food and the review itself. I’ll give that opinion without the need to start my own page. I think this review process is full of silly bias. Orthorexia seems to be extending to our pets…

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

  • InkedMarie

    I suggest if you want foods rated by performance, start your own or look for one; DFA isn’t the only dog food rating website out there.

    This website rates dog food using certain criteria; type “how we rate dog food” in the search here to read how this is done.

  • Erika

    I’ve switched to purina pro plan and the improvement in my puppy was immediate. And I mean immediate!!! After the first bowl she went from screaming every minute, howling all day long to taking a 4 hour nap right on the floor next to her bowl. It must have calmed her stomach.

    I’d had her on a couple different 5 star raw and/or grain free foods, and she has been nothing but absolutely miserable. She wouldn’t stop biting us and gnawing at everything she could get her mouth on. She has screamed day and night and could not be consoled. I didn’t think it was the food because she didn’t have diarrhea, but the vet tech at petsmart said her stomach probably hurt and suggested I switch to a “low end, low rated” commercial kibble.

    I am so glad I listened instead of staying stuck in the dogma that is “natural” dog feeding. My dog is a completely different dog. She sleeps. She cuddles. She’s quiet and content. She no longer bites. And she no longer pees on herself.

    Please do better at rating dog foods. Purina is so maligned and yet they have poured millions into research behind their feeds. This kind of website really gives bad suggestions that are more based on what seems like a cult like thinking about how a dog “should” function versus how a dog actually functions.

    My Tibetan terrier is 10 and riddled with tumors, fat, and aged due to raw and grain free crap diets. I’ve only ever bought her the absolute best and I have nothing to show for it. She has a pedigree full of champions and was shown herself, so it’s not bad breeding. It’s my fault for following silly dogma.

    Please fix this website. Rate foods by their performance rather than your imagined ideal. Maybe people like me, and dogs like my two poor dogs wouldn’t have to deal with the pain and headaches…

  • Susan

    Hi have a look at Wholesomes “Sport Mix” 40lb bag=$27.99 for Chicken & Rice protein is 26%min or Lamb Meal & Rice=$31.99- 40lb bag… Rotate with different brands & a different protein to the Pro Plan they’re are eating at the moment….Earthborn Holistic make the Sport Mix & Pro Pac Ultimates…there would be other good kibble brands that make a cheaper kibble…
    https://www.chewy.com/s?rh=brand_facet%3ASPORTMiX

  • Erica

    I wish my dogs would gain more but we don’t have a lot of money to buy fancy foods I love pro plan so does myw picky German Shepherd but its just getting costly to feed three big dogs

  • theBCnut

    You may want to search “How we rate dog food” to understand why each got the rating that they did.

  • Susan

    Hi Lynn, I feed “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb.. My boy has IBD mainly stomach problems vomiting, stomach pain, nausea & sloppy poos & Skin Allergies… TOTW has been the only kibble Patch has done really well on, he’s been on TOTW for 6 months now & has stopped all these problems.. He would do OK on a kibble then around 2-3 months go down hill again, I’ve try all different kibbles over 3 yrs…

  • Lynn

    Hi Susan what food did you end up going with?

  • Lynn

    Hi Patrick,

    I went with purina pro plan Sensitive skin and stomach lamb and oat meal mix. My dog has been doing great on it! It has been so much better than blue buffalo! Has not thrown up since she has been on it! What did you end up going with?

  • Patrick Roman

    I just bought Purina Pro Plan Focus – Puppy Chicken and Rice this weekend and am switching from Blue Buffalo Wilderness – Puppy Chicken and Rice.

    The website has me a little worried, but they also rated the food that (the vet has indicated) is giving my dogs diarhea 5 stars so I feel a little conflicted.

    Let me know what you choose and how it goes (although I am sure our dogs are very different).

  • KcQ8ov

    This could indicate environmental allergies which would have nothing to do with the food.
    Most dogs and people have environmental allergies to some degree, if they are mild sometimes no specific treatment is indicated. It depends on how much discomfort they are causing as to whether or not you wish to explore testing (not mail-in saliva/hair) and treatment.
    Environmental allergies tend to wax and wane and get worse with age. If you start to see skin rashes, ear infections and such, consider consulting a veterinary dermatologist…..start with the regular vet first and see what they suggest..

  • theBCnut

    If it’s just for a few moments, then it’s fine, but if it lasts a half hour or longer, you have something going on. If you are seeing any other symptoms, like greasy, thin coat, hives, gunky ears, then something is going on.

  • DogFoodie

    Mine do the same after eating. A face rub, a good stretch, and then it’s time to rough house.

  • KcQ8ov

    I would ask a veterinarian, someone that has examined the dog. Otherwise, it is all speculation and the advice you receive may cause harm rather than be helpful.

  • kali

    I feed my golden retriever puppy Purina Pro Plan for Puppies, Chicken and Rice. After he eats it (gobbles it down) he always goes over to the carpet and rubs his nose scratches his nose with is paws. Could he be allergic to something? How do I find out what he is allergic to? What dog food do you recommend instead?

  • Amateria

    I didn’t really notice any difference in the ingredients of their new opti named products, just renames to me, they may have added something extra at the bottom of the list but the rest looks the same.

    I’m also sure that adding anything at the bottom of the list since it’s by weight is going to very helpful if at all.

    Someone also mentioned Casein earlier and they’ve added that to one of the formulas and what I read didn’t sound like you would want it added to your dogs food, but maybe since it’s all the way at the bottom the effects may not be the same.

  • Susan

    Hi Lynn, I just google Purina Health Extensions gee I wish we had the Health Extension in Australia, the ingredients look really good in the Grainfree Buffalo & Whitefish Allergix, I had to check to make sure it was made by Purina, I was thinking of trying the Pro Plan Optirestore, it use to be called Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach… These dog food companies are starting to wake up to what the dog owners want for their pets & improving their foods…. http://www.healthextension.com/dry-dog/

  • Susan

    We have different ingredients in Australia to our Purina Pro Plan kibbles (Better) & the name has been changed to Pro Plan Opti now, there’s Optidigest for stomach, or Optistart puppy or Optipower all ages or Optirestore is for Skin & Stomach, Optiweight & Senior 7+..

  • Pitlove

    Wish I could be of more help, but I’m not familiar with Health Extension.

  • Lynn

    Ok thank you. Have you heard anything about the health extension brand? I think it is holistic? That was another brand I was looking into as well.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Lynn-

    You are not the first person who’s dog has experience GI upset on Blue Buffalo. If you are thinking of using Pro Plan, I would highly recommend trying the Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula. I was hesitent about using a Purina product, but it has been a lifesaver for my sensitive pitbull.

  • Lynn

    I’m in the process of switching my dog food. My dog is currently on Blue Buffalo and it is not agreeing with her and she is throwing up. Several people including the vet have told me to switch to Purina, but I have always heard not so good things about Purina. I am thinking about giving purina pro plan a try. I am not sure if I should go with a grain free or the purina sensitive stomach and skin?

  • theBCnut

    On the subject of animal nutritionists, just because one is one the payroll of one company does not mean that s/he is not on the payroll of a hundred other companies. It isn’t a full time job. It’s consulting work. They might work a few hours a year for each company, and that company can claim they used them forever. I’m sure the 2 Purinas still share many things in common, including those nutritionists. Most of them were probably from when it was still one company anyway.

  • bojangles

    Hi Storm’s Mom,

    I agree!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes, I know.. I’m just surprised they’d use (and be allowed to use) the Purina name, logo and website design template, at minimum, if there really was no longer any association between the two entities.

  • Pitlove

    It still begs the question…what does any of this have to do with dog food?

    The OP mentioned a recall for Pro Plan dry dog food, I stated that there was no current recall on Purina products or Pro Plan. Yet here we are debating a recall on lamb grower???? I obviously made a mistake in assuming everyone here had an understanding that I was talking about dog food on a dog food review forum.

  • bojangles

    Hi Storm”s Mom,

    They were the same company until 1986.

    “Ralston Purina sold Purina Mills, the U.S. animal feed business, to British Petroleum in 1986, while retaining the pet food and international animal feed businesses. In 1993, the Sterling Group of Houston led a leveraged buyout of Purina Mills. In 1998, it was purchased by Koch Industries, but a U.S. bankruptcy court cancelled out all equity held by Koch to maintain the company’s viability. Purina Mills was purchased by Land O’Lakes in 2001”

  • Pitlove

    I’ll check it out when I’m home! on my phone arm. Thanks!

  • Pitlove

    Yup.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I just find it interesting that a company that apparently has nothing to do with Nestle Purina uses the same name, logo, and, apparently, website template, complete with claims about hiring thousands of animal nutritionists, etc. Purina Mills hires thousands of animal nutritionists, but Nestle Purina hires its own thousands of animal nutritionists, too? I’d really be surprised if there’s, literally, 4000+ animal nutritionists kicking around the US.

  • theBCnut

    “Purina Mills licenses the Purina and Chow Brands for the United States and its territories (including Puerto Rico) from the successor of the Ralston Purina Company and owner of the trademarks, Nestlรฉ Purina PetCare.” is referring to their right to continue to use the word Chow in their farm animal feeds.

    Sheep are extremely sensitive to copper and any added copper will kill them, so carelessly running a batch of sheep chow after a batch of goat chow could contaminate the sheep chow with more copper than sheep can handle, even though it would be considered copper deficient for goats.

  • Storm’s Mom

    July 1 isn’t all that more “current” than June 24. I don’t know about quantities for feeding lamb, but it seems to me it’s absolutely possible that a bag distributed on June 22 might very well still be being fed. Making it, you know, “current”.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi PL-

    There is a poster on the forum that is needing some help with LBP food. I’m not really up to date on which foods are ok these days. My “pups” turned five on Sunday. Yikes! They are questioning a Fromm recipe. Maybe you could help them out.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-breed-puppy-food-with-no-chicken/

  • DogFoodie

    Purina Mills (PMI) is a subsidiary of Land O’ Lakes, Inc.

  • Pitlove

    Please read my exact wording instead of looking for any reason to go on a rant about a company you don’t like. I said “current” recalls…as in currently for the month of July.

    No matter how much you dislike a brand of food there are other people who use it and have a right to know that there is in fact no current recall for it before they get scared.

    Edit to include: BTW as BCnut pointed out to me a while back, Purina Mills (the makers of that lamb grower) has no affiliation with Nestle Purina Pet Care.

  • Pitlove

    Best of luck!

  • Hilary

    Thanks. However I’m still switching my dog over to a different food due to weight issues. She just gains too much on the pro plan.

  • bojangles
  • Storm’s Mom

    Perhaps not for dog food, but there was a Purina recall on June 24 for elevated copper levels in lamb feed. Wonder how all their “animal nutritionists” failed to notice this potentially fatal issue (along with all the other recalls Purina has had in the last few years):

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm508725.htm

  • bojangles

    Hi Hilary,

    There have been 11 Purina recalls since 2010. That averages almost 2 a year.

    There is also a class action lawsuit against Purina claiming that more than 3,000 dogs have gotten sick or died after eating Purina Beneful.

    The FDA also released a report in April of this year stating that “above the allowable level” of Melamine was again found in some of Purina’s foods..

    Melamine was responsible for over 4,000 pet deaths and the biggest recall in pet food history in 2007

    So six years later Melamine was again found in some of Purina’s foods

    Purina claimed in 2007 that they were making changes to ensure that Melamine would never be found in their foods again.

    So much for promises!!!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Hilary-

    There is no current recalls for any Purina Pro Plan product or any Purina product at all.

  • Hilary

    I have the weight management right now.. I had no idea there was a recall for it.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Bojangles, I won’t play the online food trivia wars over petty issues. We understand (hopefully we understand) that one’s lifespan can be shortened by jumping off a cliff, BUT given all things equal in terms of vet care, medical, and exercise you will not increase your pets life thru feeding Acana vs Pro plan, unless your pet has a specific immune deficiency (genetic issue) towards something particular in either brand. But again that would come back to the DNA of the animal. If you believe that feeding brand “X” is better than brand “Y”, more power to you, but neither brand will give you any written guarantee that your pet will live any longer, healthier than determined thru genetics.

  • bojangles

    Hi Antonio,

    “Fact is Pro plan won’t decrease your dogs lifespan just like Acana won’t increase it. Facts and data would suggest that longevity and health are hardcoded in the DNA”

    Could you please post the data that suggests that longevity and health are determined solely by a dogs DNA, and are not affected by environmental factors such as the food they eat and other things like:

    Household toxins
    Pesticides
    Medications
    Exercise
    Water quality, and so on?

  • Antonio Fisher

    Typically none b/c if you’ve ever competed then you understand the cost of training far exceeds the measly feed bill. Most competitors like myself wish there was a magic fix all dog food but regardless of what you feed Fluffy it comes back to genetics, hard work, and sweat. If a diet is lacking we will quickly acknowledge it’s inferiorities including companies like Purina,but the stuff works as well as we can hope. Typically money is of no issue on our choices.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Fact is Pro plan won’t decrease your dogs lifespan just like Acana won’t increase it. Facts and data would suggest that longevity and health are hardcoded in the DNA. Everyone is passionate about what they feed Fido, that’s a good thing, but we “pet owners” have blown the whole feed thing beyond proportion over the last 12 years and that has opened the door to allow ALL pet food manufacturers to add 1000% inflation to the cost of what is essentially just a dog biscuit with sprayed on vitamins and minerals

  • Antonio Fisher

    Seems from the OP that the Pro Plan instantly delivered desired results and alleviated loose stools in the process what more is necessary. Also were is the scientifically tested, peer reviewed studies that guarantee that Natural claimed dry pet food increases pet health or lifespan? No dry kibble can replace good genetics or bad for that matter unfortunately.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Unfortunately all pet food companies make borderline frivolous claims to increase marketability and boost sales. Currently Blue Buffalo does it more than most other commercial pet food companies.

  • Shawna

    I don’t think I said anywhere that they weren’t high in protein – they are, and cheap.

    I’ve read, from several sources, that our ancestors didn’t eat soybeans but used them in their crop rotation to add nitrogen, I think it was, back into the ground. Except for their lecithins and vitamin E content they aren’t even widely used in our food supply. That would leave a lot of other soy product needing to be used. I do like edemame once in a while but it’s not routine.

    If you read that, then I’m guessing you read this too — early feeding leads to negative effects on the growth of the spleen and kidneys,. Sounds very nutritious – and like a great thing to feed to kittens who later in life already seem to have an increased risk of developing kidney disease. Lovely “SBA binds to the intestinal epithelium, which leads to the disruption of the brush border [8] and extends negative effects on the growth of spleen and kidneys [9]. SBA, a glycoprotein, is composed of a tetramer with 30 kDa subunits. Each subunit has a carbohydrate-binding site, with a high affinity for N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (GalNAc) [10].”

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good luck Pitlove! Fingers crossed too!

  • aimee

    And yet despite it anti nutrient factors. The first sentence of the second paragraph of the paper you cited is “Soybeans are widely utilized in the food and feed industries due to their high nutritional value”

    .

  • aimee

    Well … just a bit backwards ๐Ÿ™‚ A nutrient will have high bioavailability because of its high digestibility. Digestibility is used to estimate bioavailability.

    Bioavailability is the proportion that is usable. If for example a protein is highly digestible .. 95%, we’ll say for simplicity sake that means that 95 of every 100 amino acids are taken up into the blood stream. Can they all be used?…. Maybe not.. some AA that are absorbed may be complexed to other components and can’t be freed. So those may end up in the urine. Let’s say 3 AA end up in the urine. The 92 that are left are available for the body to use. In this case the digestibility is 95% and the bioavailability is 92%.

    You’ll find that often the term bioavailability is used in reference to individual AA’s vs protein as a whole.

  • Crazy4cats

    My my fingers are crossed. Good luck!

  • Shawna

    Soy protein is not even a good source of protein for humans. Soy isn’t even a good source of protein for pigs….. Granted in this study they used a concentrated source of the soybean lectin (SBA) but at only .1 (point one) percent it induced gut permeability in just seven days. That seems risky to me to feed even lower amounts long term — just my opinion though. “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257084/

  • Shawna

    They are two very different things. Digestibility is how well the gut can break down the protein into amino acids. Bioavailability is how well the cells of the body can utilize the digested amino acids.

  • Blues Mom

    Yes, same retailer. Easy change as I live near several. Thank you!

  • Blues Mom

    Thank you! I will change retailers.

  • Pitlove

    I have always been under the assumption that high digestiability was because of high bioavailability. Am I wrong?

  • Shawna

    I would agree that celiac is probably not widely diagnosed in dogs and cats but gluten has been shown to cause a wide array of issues in humans. It’s just now trickling down to the pet population. The most recent research I read was published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The conclusion reads “Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome in BTs is a gluten-sensitive movement disorder triggered and perpetuated by gluten and thus responsive to a gluten-free diet.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.13643/full

    The digestive tract is by no means the only place gluten causes problems.

    I do agree that gluten is highly digestible but the bioavailability is weak compared to meat based proteins.

  • Pitlove

    Pasta I couldn’t say (I choose not to use any of the formulas with pasta or cheese in them)

    Purina says this about wheat gluten:
    “Gluten from various grains is a nutritious ingredient that provides a concentrated source of protein in pet foods.

    Gastrointestinal problems associated with gluten are rare in dogs.

    Gluten-induced enteropathy (celiac disease) is very rare in dogs and has been reported primarily in Irish Setters
    Pets with celiac disease react to the proteins (gluten) in wheat, rye and barley
    The protein in corn gluten does not cause GI problems, even in individuals with celiac disease
    Gluten is an excellent source of high quality protein.

    Gluten is the concentrated protein from grain after all the starch has been removed
    Corn gluten meal contains approximately 60% to 70% protein
    It provides essential amino acids that form the building blocks for protein
    Gluten is highly digestible”

    I did not see an explanation for soy protein concentrate either, though I haven’t seen that in any of the diets I use for my girl.

  • Shawna

    I get it for a kibbled diet but any idea why a manufacturer would use pasta, wheat gluten and soy protein concentrate in a canned cat food?

  • Bobby dog

    Good luck with your academic endeavors! At least you have options for food she does well on regardless of the form.

  • Pitlove

    Yeah, I am much happier with Pro Plan given how great she does on it and the price. It could certainly be doable, but I will have to see how badly my hours at work get cut if I get accepted into the vet tech program I applied for *fingers crossed*

  • Bobby dog

    Mine love some recipes from the True Nature line and a few from the Focus line.

    Don’t know what your wallet looks like, but if nothing else you may be able to feed more canned considering the difference in price.

  • Pitlove

    Oh I loved when Petco would do free shipping! Dani loves the Turkey and Rice formula (Savor line maybe?) so we have 2 cases of that right now I ordered at work. I’ve been thinking about going back to all canned after this bag of dry food, but it is so expensive. We did it for a while, but we were also feeding really expensive foods like Nature’s Variety, Weruva, Ziwipeak, and Merrick.

    Edit: She got so sick on Ziwipeak, it was awful. Shame too because she loved the food.

  • Bobby dog

    If not, at least we have the correct info out to anyone concerned.

  • Bobby dog

    lol Last night I took advantage of Petco’s free shipping no minimum special and ordered two cases of Pro Plan canned for my cats. They have had really good prices on some of the recipes that my cats love and do really well on.

  • Azul

    Oh yeah, it’s probably lost in the filter. Maybe it will reappear later.

  • Bobby dog

    Sometimes when you post links the filter might deem them to be spam. It did show up, but I refreshed my page and it was not there when the page re-loaded. It happens.

  • Pitlove

    It’s ok!

  • Azul

    lol maybe it will reappear later? Again, sorry for the confusion.

  • Pitlove

    Very odd! Disqus is however notorious for acting up like that though.

  • Azul

    Bobbydog said my post disappeared. Idk why tho.

  • Azul

    It disappeared? That’s weird. I didn’t delete it. Maybe dfa did? Idk.

  • Pitlove

    No I still don’t see it. And yes my kitty eats Pro Plan canned and dry, so I was very worried. She never did well with a rotational diet (shes eaten just about every high end canned food available to me through both jobs I’ve had) and this is the food she does the best on by far.

  • Azul

    Yeah, sorry about that. Did my link get approved? I still can’t see it yet, but I’m on my IPad, and it doesn’t always show everything for some reason. Sorry for the scare if you use that food.

  • Bobby dog

    Azul’s link that disappeared.

  • Pitlove

    No problem. I see that it was for Science Diet and in Russia only from Bobby Dog’s comment. Needed to make sure it wasn’t USA.

  • Pitlove

    Thank you! Much appreciated.

  • Azul

    Oops, sorry guys, I just checked and that recall is for Science diet cat food in Russia and Europe. I posted a link for you, but it’s waiting to be approved for some reason. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good job, BD! How did you find that?

  • Bobby dog

    The recall is for Science Diet cat food pouches for sale in Russia and Europe.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree with Pitlove. This is most likely a storage problem. Have you bought it from the same store? If so, I would choose another place to purchase.

  • Azul

    Hi Pitlove. I posted a link, but it says it’s waiting to be approved by dog food advisor for some reason?

  • Pitlove

    Hopefully Azul has a link. If not, then I’m not sure why he posted that…

  • Bobby dog

    I checked some cat forums for chit chat as well and didn’t read anything about it.

  • Pitlove

    Ya I’m looking all over the place and I can’t find anything. How can there be a recall and it is not posted on the FDA’s website?

  • Bobby dog

    Hello Piitlove:
    I checked the FDA too. Nothing on Purina’s site either.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Azul-

    Could you link that to me please? I can’t find anything about a Pro Plan cat food recall on the FDA’s website, DFA or anywhere else.

  • Pitlove

    This is not a manufacturer error. It is a retailer storage error. I would buy from somewhere else.

  • Azul

    Pro Plan cat food was just recalled a couple days ago, for excessive vitamins.

  • Blues Mom

    This is the second bag of Pro Plan Giant Breed that has what appears to be webs of some sort and larvae. The first bag I assumed was just an isolated issue but I’ve seen the same thing in this second bag.
    It’s unfortunate because I have a very picky Dane and he loves this food. I just do not trust the the company any longer if they do not have controls to avoid bugs ending up in the food.

  • aimee

    Hi Burkes Mom,

    If a large breed puppy food’s AAFCO statement is based on feeding trial it may not meet the requirements for reproduction. The AAFCO
    statement for Pro Plan large breed puppy is for growth and maintenance.

    When using Pro Plan for reproduction you’ll need to use a different formula.

  • Pitlove

    Hi-

    Which Large Breed Formula? Puppy or Adult? The puppy formula is not recommended on the ProPlan site for lactating bitches and it doesn’t look like the Adult is either as it has no feeding guidelines for reproduction. The regular puppy Chicken & Rice is though.

  • Burke’sMom

    The organization wants to feed my Labrador pro plan focus large breed chicken and rice while she is breeding and feeding her pups. This is not at all like her usual food. It also doesn’t quite meet AKC standards for the protein and fat ratio needs of a breeding female. Has anyone feed a breeding female pro plan and have advice on making it work? (besides don’t let them do it?)

  • InkedMarie

    I’m not the person you directed your post to but I agree, to a point. I’m not speaking about Alex Woodman but I personally know people who don’t have a clue whether a food works for their dog or not. They say their dogs food works but I see a dog underweight or overweight, goopy eyes, a dry or oily coat, ear infections, allergies etc.

    While a dog *may* look good, if a poor quality food is fed, the dog may not actually *be* good. Poor ingredients are poor ingredients, can’t change that. People who eat nothing but McDonalds their whole lives will have something to show for that & it won’t be good. JMO.

  • Gustiyudhiongskynaga

    if the food works for his dog it is an excellent food for his dog, don’t you agree?
    Different dog react to different way to different ingredient. you are a dog owner,
    i am sure you understand that don’t you?

  • LabsRawesome

    Okay. That doesn’t make the ingredients or the food excellent tho.

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