Purina Pro Plan Focus (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Focus canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Focus product line includes six canned dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two for growth (puppies).

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

  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult 7 Plus Beef and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Beef and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Turkey and Rice

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

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken, liver, wheat gluten, rice, turkey, meat by-product, corn starch-modified, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, added color, salt, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%11%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis46%25%29%

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

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

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

The third ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

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

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly 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 rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The sixth ingredient is turkey, another quality raw item.

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

The seventh ingredient is meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The eighth ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

And lastly, 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.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

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

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 48% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Focus is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of beef, chicken or turkey as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

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

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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

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.

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

Notes and Updates

08/21/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICSHSY3U643OX3N3TK55UIC7XQ Steve

    Here’s a rule everyone should follow.  Just don’t buy anything Purina.  They are outsourcing dog treats from China which have killed dogs.  They knew and didn’t do anything about until recently.  If a dog food company doesn’t care about dogs, then don’t use them.  Nestle also doesn’t care about this planet.  Their spring water bottling plants are destroying some of the most beautiful places on earth.

  • belai123

    Gross food for dogs with the meat by-products. All of us animal owners should get together and tell these companies to stop!