Purina Pro Plan Focus (Dry)

Share

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 14 dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and eight 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 6 Plus Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management
  • Pro Plan Focus Small Bites Lamb and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult 7 Plus Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Large Breed

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 five 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, garlic oil may be a controversial item. We say “may be” here because we are not certain of the oil’s chemical relationship to raw garlic itself.

Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

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

Next, 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 also 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 32% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Above-average protein. Near-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 chicken or lamb as its main sources 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.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

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.

Other spellings: Proplan

Notes and Updates

08/25/2014 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)
  • 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.

  • Gustiyudhiongskynaga

    It is because the food is suitable for his dog, not making the dog sick. as simple as that.

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Receive lifesaving dog food recall alerts anytime there's a recall event within the United States or Canada.

You'll also get our best tips and ideas to help you feed your dog safer... and better.

No spam.  Unsubscribe anytime.

You have Successfully Subscribed!