Purina Pro Plan Savor (Dry)


Rating: ★★½☆☆

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

The Purina Pro Plan Savor product line lists ten dry dog foods, three 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.

  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Large Breed
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Beef and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Tuna and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Lamb and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Salmon and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice
  • Savor Puppy Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Weight Management
  • Savor Adult 7 Plus Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice
  • Savor Adult Shredded Blend Sm Breed Chicken & Rice

Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Large Breed formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend 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, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), soy flakes, whole grain corn, corn germ meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), barley, soybean meal, dried egg product, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, glycerin, calcium phosphate, wheat bran, fish oil, salt, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, sulfur, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), copper proteinate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, 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 when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%14%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%30%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 is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is 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 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 a nutshell, poultry by-products are those unsavory and inedible leftovers deemed “unfit for human consumption”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: 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 ninth 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

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The tenth 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 next 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.

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 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).

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 this food inlcudeschelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better 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 Savor Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Savor Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Near-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, corn germ and soybean meals, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Savor is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of beef, chicken, lamb or fish 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

08/16/2014 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)
  • Crazy4dogs

    When you feed a better food, generally you feed less. Where you feeding the same portions?

  • DoubleDoodle

    I know this food is not high quality, but it’s the only food my dog tolerates. I’ve tried Acana, taste of the wild, blue buffalo, and some merrick variates to no avail. Every other food upsets his GI tract, and it gets progressively worse until we switch back to Purina Pro Plan Savor. Even Purina Pro Plan Select, the slightly higher quality variety from purina, didn’t set well with him.

    And yes, I taper the switch to other food for about 10 days on average, and usually he doesn’t have problems right away. A week later is when he starts to react, and sticking with the new food longer doesn’t seem to correct it. He will have diarrhea until we switch back to this food.

    A little background: this is the food the breeder fed him when he was a puppy, and the food that the breeder fed his mother. Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to feed a better food to my dog, but he doesn’t seem to do well on anything else but this junk food! Help!

  • Pitlove

    Westminster Dog Kennel Dog Show also promotes ProPlan and claims the last 8 Best in Show champs eat the food. First off I doubt they aren’t being paid to say that and secondly doesn’t make it a good food just because a big name endorses it. Science Diet is another good explain.

  • Pitlove

    Haha no not really. He has only ever eaten all natural food, so it was my attempt at letting him have some junk food for a meal. I was so foolish to do that! Defintely will never mess with his stomach like that again.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Was this an experiment? Too much brewer’s rice, corn, soy, wheat, etc! LOL!!! Don’t tell Aimee, she’ll never believe you! 😉

  • Pitlove

    Very interesting experience I had with this food yesterday. I feed a rotational diet and my dog does not get GI upset when I dont blend his food when I switch it. I’ve fed samples of different all natural foods for one meal and then his normal food the next with no GI upset. He gets digestive supplements during the time I would normally be blending his food when I switch and probiotics. I gave him 1 cup of a sample bag of ProPlan assuming his stomach could handle it. I was very wrong. Explosive diaherra the whole day. One meal of the normal food hes on right now and his poop is solid. Guess my dog can’t handle crappy food.

  • Ryan

    Lmao we are suckers because we can afford food that isn’t loaded with garbage? I don’t see how ignorant someone has to be to think that dogs don’t need better.

    I’ve picked up poops from dogs on proplan, not only was it huge, but I literally threw up it smelled so bad.

    But hey, better coats and less/better smelling poops from our dogs means we are suckers, right?

  • Don

    Right you are. I was simply looking for Purina. Didn’t realize they’d have other Purina products under a different name. This is helpful information.

  • GSDsForever


    I think if you look through that list again, you will see that Purina Pro Plan did test positive for it in multiple formulas, Puppy Beef & Rice, Adult one, via contaminated beef fat/tallow, etc.

  • Dori

    Did you check the ingredients in Beneful, a Purina product? It contains Propylene Glycol. Baneful is the subject of the class action suit against Purina. It’s also in their Purina Active Senior 7, Purina Be Happy, and Purina Healthy Morsels.

  • Don

    Guide Dogs of America requires everyone housing puppies and guide dogs in training to use Purina Pro plan food. It can’t be that bad.

  • Don

    I looked at that link and every one of Purina’s brands were listed as NO for the presence of that chemical… Why are you spreading rumors?

  • Dog Lover Plus

    Class action lawsuit brought against Purina.:


    “Mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by mold found in grains, a major ingredient in Beneful. Mycotoxins pose a health risk to dogs and consumer complaints on Beneful report symptoms consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the lawsuit. Cereghino said he and his team plan to collect further data and perform testing of the products for toxins.”

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Please consider switching your pup to a better food. You can check out the four and five star foods on here. Purina is not a quality food. I don’t even consider it a decent food. There are so many foods to try im sure you can find a better one that will fit your budget. Have you read this? This is just gross negeglance! This is the recent FDA letter warning to Purina.


  • Dorothy Evelynn Adrian

    this is the only decent food my puppy eats

  • aquariangt

    There is no logic to this argument. This is a dog food board, diets of people who feed their dogs a certain way have very little to do with it (unless you are feeding a vegetarian diet whereas most likely you have those ideals yourself) There is also no logic in the “dog lived to 15 on kibbles and bits” argument unless you are comparing sibling dogs from the same litter fed the same thing every meal-1 on kibbles and bits, 1 on a higher quality food. Even then it’s not necessarily fully telling. I’m glad you only pay that amount for your food. I don’t, and I wouldn’t use Purina products.
    FWIW-I live near a puppy chow plant. The smell of that when they are manufacturing is enough to make you want to die. On the human food side, there is also a wonderbread manufacturing plant near me. It smells similar

  • aimee

    I wouldn’t say Goodguide is my “holy grail” but it is an example of a different way of ranking. I don’t rely on an ingredient panel to evaluate a food as I can’t tell much from an ingredient panel. Similarly Goodguide doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on ingredients. Other than that my criteria are somewhat different than Goodguide’s.

    So while Beneful’s ingredients only rate 2/10, (I think in wholly or in part due to the inclusion of garlic oil ) because ingredients are considered least important in the overall rating the rating was calculated as 7.5/10

    Purina Pro Plan Select’s ingredient rating by Goodguide is 9.3/10. Yet the overall rating of 7.8 is not that different from Beneful’s because not much importance is placed on ingredients.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes I agree, we do have different standards, aimee. A rating system that calls menadione,rice flour,ground yellow corn,whole wheat flour,animal fat, and soy flour “Desirable ingredients” and gives Beneful a 7.5 rating, makes no sense to me. http://www.goodguide.com/

  • LabsRawesome

    I counted 13 as well, but only said 12. I left out garlic because I feel small amounts are beneficial. Thanks for pointing that out, to try and make me look stupid. :) Anyway, I feel Purina could make excellent dog food, but they choose not to. I think they use the cheapest ingredients, in order to make the most profit.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Yeah, that definitely seems like a likely source.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    As Aimee stated, no it doesn’t mean they used dogs – it means they used euthanized animals (could be dogs and cats, could be zoo animals, could be livestock – who knows).

    I don’t think you can necessarily judge the quality of a food based on whether or not it contains by-products. I frequently see people vilify foods that contain by-products yet, often, these same people are willing to use foods with named meat meals. With the exception of chicken meal, there’s no differentiation between a by-product meal and a non by-product meal – meaning a named meal such as, say, fish meal or lamb meal is likely the equivalent of a chicken by-product meal. There are also different qualities of meals, many chicken by-product meals are comparable in nutrient composition to chicken meal. A high quality chicken by-product meal (while it may be less appealing on an ingredient list) would likely have a more favorable nutrient composition than a low quality chicken meal.


  • aimee

    I can count 13 red flagged ingredients.

    Everyone holds different criteria to differing degrees of importance. Just as you wouldn’t feed Pro Plan to your dogs if given to you for free, there are foods you feed/recommend that I wouldn’t feed to my dogs even if given to me for free.

    We have different standards.

  • aimee

    Do you think the source is cattle since it is used as a feed additive?

    “Cyanuric acid is an FDA-accepted component of feed-grade biuret, a
    ruminant feed additive. The additive can legally contain up to 30% of
    cyanuric acid (and triuret).”

    I could see trace amounts coming through processing

  • LabsRawesome

    Well maybe not 4D anymore, but still horrible ingredients. This food has 12 red flagged ingredients. 12! I wouldn’t feed this food if it was given to me for free.

  • LabsRawesome

    Have you ever tried 4health from Tractor Supply? It’s 4 stars and right around that same price point.

  • aimee

    Hi Sue66b,

    Not HDM but no the presence of pentobarbital does not mean that dogs were incorporated into the food.

    Very sensitive testing was done on the foods that were pentobartital positive to look for presence of canine DNA and none was found.

    When looking back at the original report, foods containing beef ingredients (Beef meal Beef fat) tested positive.

    Purina has told me that at the time the report came out Purina did use ingredients from independent renderers. They no longer source from independent renderers, and that they do not source from 4D.

  • Bob K

    Thats about what it is worth $25.00/35lbs. for a 2.5 star rated dog kibble. If that’s the best you can do, it is certainly better than starvation and 1 star rated foods..

  • sue66b

    Hi HDM, so that means that they have used dogs that were PTS, doesn’t it, as thats the only way I can think a food could contain Pentobarbital, thats awful, I dont like Purina we have this brand in Austraila but Australian made, it still crap..I saw a lady the other day reading the packet & she believed all the crap they write on the bag, I told her read the ingredients, it has By-products, she didnt now what by-products were..

  • Dori

    Just because some of us want to do better by our dogs does not mean that we have been suckered into believing anything. No, you do not have to pay huge amounts of money to get a better quality food you just have to do some research. A lot of cheap crappy food is typically the foods that have been recalled. Of course, everyone’s idea of a crappy food is different. This particular food is crap to me and I would never feed this to any of my dogs. For the money one can do so much better in quality.

  • Dori

    Yikes HDM, that’s awful.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    FDA tests have also found Pro Plan to test positive for Pentobarbital (the drug used to euthanize animals) in the past, forgot about this one:


  • steamed

    Actually, it said 2.5 stars. And I pay $25 for 35lbs. I doubt you are paying less than that.. I have 4 dogs who eat that much a month. You are just a sucker. But then you are probably a hypocrite who eats a poor diet, full of sodium and fat.. Bet you don’t read the labels on your own food to see how much sodium more that the suggested 2000mg you eat. Do you eat canned food? Prepared food? LOADED WITH SODIUM!! Ham alone has 1500 mg of salt.

  • Bob K

    steamed – Its not about money for kibble, its about getting a quality product at a fair price and consumer education. I know kids who eat Hotdogs, McDonalds and PB&J but it not a healthy diet. ProPlan is not a 1 star dog food and there are many 4 and 5 star rated foods that cost less than ProPlan.

  • steamed

    You people have been suckered into believing that you have to pay a huge amount of money for dog food and most of your expensive food has been recalled. I work with a purebred rescue that feeds their dogs Pro Plan. I had a sheltie live a very healthy life to age 15 on this food. Been using it for 20 years with no problems. I know dogs who ate Kibbles and Bits and lived very healthy lives to age 20. I guess you are all an example of people who believe everything you read on the internet. And I bet you all eat a pretty poor diet for yourselves.

  • Dori

    It may never have had a recall but it is not a food that anyone should be feeding their dogs. There are so many things wrong with this food and it’s ingredients that it should be obvious to anyone who looks at the review and ingredients of this food.

    Just because a dog food manufacturer has never had a recall does not make the food something that one should be feeding their animals. IMHO!

  • Cyndi

    It’s also not a very good food to begin with.

  • Hound Dog Mom
  • steamed

    Pro Plan dog food has never had a recall.

  • Annie

    aww I love this breed and have 2 myself lol it’s hard to find a food these dogs do really good on.

  • theBCnut

    Peeing doesn’t cause infection. Infection causes peeing.

  • Gonzalo Carpio

    I started my Boston Terrier with Eukanuba when he was puppy which caused
    him to vomit A LOT! He has been in PRO PLAN ever since, first the regular chicken and rice, then weight mgmt because he
    was getting fat. Great results!!! Came across a friend in petsmart who
    recommended to switch him to blue. I switched him slowly and properly
    like it is instructed when switching and after that… he started peeing more often to the point where
    he got an infection :( waiting for the results tomorrow. Not saying that
    Blue is not the best; however, it may not be the best for my dog. Will
    keep you posted.

  • Susan Drechsler

    asdfaThis site is highly nmanipulatedb.When you say someting against their favorate companies for instance Nature Logic or orijin then you find yoru posts eather

    officially deletedn or magically dissappeared a few days later. Only the devotees posts will remain.When you say someting about

    their nheigh proteinn diets who are proven nwrong then they will bullyn,flag,nblock and ndelete you in order to

    promote their subversivenn angenda.i have to write this way otherwise I end up in nspamn.They misrepresentedb the bstudies

    and then when you point out the ndangers their own nstudies have shown they will delete your posts making up stories.

    They construe textbooks for instance claiming the textbooks state you can give 40 or 50% knprotein to a senior dog

    while they say 28% max. then they use nstudies sponsored by pharmacytical companies or purina to falsely substantiate their claims.

    when you point out the flawsn then your posts will dissappearn. Nshawnna will lie pretty much about anything to

    promote her 50% nprotein dietnn. For instance falsely claiming her dog is not on medication or those dogs would not live very long

    while it would not be unusual if the dog is still alive. Then she keeps contradicting herself how much knprotein she feeds

    depending on the arguments.check out the web under nscammn about more information.

    100s of people have been nbulliedn and blockedn on here. Vetsn get regularly blockedn and their posts deletedn. Mnike the ndentist

    is not an expert yet him among the devoteesnn without any credentials make so many false claims but think they know it all.

    Please don’t buy into their highnnnproteinn meatmnn based dietn it is all not nessessarly superior, also don’t believe their

    exchagerated claims on lentils,ngluten,nntomatoes,nraw food etc.

    Buyer Beware!

  • Boby
  • Boby

    Meh, seems average. Anyways I bought 10 bags for 6lb different pro plans
    since they were only $0.90 after coupon (Free bag from petco coupon)
    and taking advantage of the coupons. My dog seems to love it so far. Got
    10 bags to last me til next year. Will still get more then donate it to my local pet pantry.

  • Gvvbb

    Pattyyyyy is no fun with her gun

  • Gfvvb

    Pattyyy is no fun with her gun fghv

  • Fvvgvv

    Pattyyy is no fun with her gun

  • Cynjam

    I switched to Purina pro plan lamb and rice for my puppy after dealing with loose stool issues with another food, and shes doing fantastic on it. Nice firm stools and she loves it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The company that keeps the pups for a year and a half and screens for DOD – I’ll give that some credit. Other than that, I still don’t find them useful. I’m actually glad you mentioned that because I had been meaning to ask you whether or not any companies that feed trial their lbp formulas screen for DOD after the trial.

  • aimee

    I do not. I’ve never seen it published anywhere. I did find on a blog that a person whom I did verify was a nutritionist said when she was involved about 20% failed.

    The bookmark was lost when my computer died and sadly I haven’t been able to find it again. So take it for what it is worth….not much LOL : )

    There is this publication http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1659568

    Trials account for palatability and bioavailability. I’d think before a company invested in a feeding trial they would ensure palatability. JMO

    IDK… nutritionists don’t put a lot of stock into judging nutritional adequacy by looking at ingredient lists. They do put stock into feeding trials, knowing full well of their limitations. Major allied groups do as well.

    The WSAVA Global Nutritional guidelines gives the edge to trials, the Pet Nutritional Allience, an organization made up of American and Canadian nutritionists calls feeding trials “the preferred method”, and heck even Pet MD prefers foods that have been trialed.

    An AAFCO trial is a min and any company can do more. For example, I talked to 2 different companies regarding their growth trial. Both foods were marketed as being appropriate for large breeds.

    Company 1. Neither the breed or weight of the dog used in the trial were known. The trial was run for 10 weeks and only the tests done were those required by AAFCO (PCV HGB ALKP and ALB)

    Company 2. The breeds used in trials are representative of the breed the food is marketed for. For the large breed food I inquired about the breed in the trial was the Labrador. Growth trials are run for 6 months and the pups are then adopted out. I was told over 1200 data points are collected on each dog including full blood panels, UA’s and hormone levels. The pups are screened for DOD’s and he thought DEXA scans were done as well but he’s have to check on that one. Some pups stay in the program and are fed and monitored an additional year as part of their growth study.

    Each diet carries the same AAFCO statement, yet they are very very different growth trials.

  • losul

    Yes, i too would seriously interested to know, and the whys and hows, but not so sure the pet food companies doing them would allow it to be public knowledge?

  • Pattyvaughn

    We already know that decent ingredients aren’t required to pass, so you would think that decent ingredients could definitely pass.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It would be interesting to know the failure rates of feeding trials. I have a hard time believing that any food that meets the AAFCO nutrient profiles and that uses decent ingredients couldn’t pass a feeding trial. I know Aimee has attempted to sway many people on here with puppies against 4 and certain 5 star foods because they haven’t passed feeding trials and I just don’t believe that a food with 5 star ingredients that meets AAFCO standards couldn’t pass a feeding trial.

  • losul

    Aimee, do you have any data on failure rates of feeding trials, and the hows and whys of those failures?

    I get the feeling many of the failures have to do with poor palatibilty, and/or the failure to eat enough, digest enough, be beneficially usable etc. to maintain weight, or to gain weight and grow properly in the case of puppies. If that’s the case, I would think it’s more the companies using low quality ingredients that SHOULD be the most interested in doing these tests.

    [“I have worked with formulas containing as little as 8% and as much as 70% animal products, and with few exceptions; the higher the level, the greater the palatability ,” states Dr. Herbert Heinicke, Ph.D., experienced pet food industry consultant. Fat is especially attractive to dogs, especially if it
    naturally occurring in the meat rather than coated on a grain-based kibble]



    “Palatability has become as important to petfood formulation as the core ingredients. After all, those ingredients can’t provide nutritional benefits if pets won’t eat the food or, perhaps more importantly, their owners don’t perceive the pets are enjoying the food. Thus, leading companies invest heavily in research and work to ensure they can accurately measure the palatability of their flavor enhancers.” *I bolded to emphasize



    Just me, but if I were using/or had to use a low quality ingredient dog food, I too would put more value on the benefits of a food trial for that particular food. As it is, it just doesn’t hold very much meaning for me, sorry.

  • LabsRawesome

    You believe in fairy tales, go pet your unicorn.

  • LabsRawesome

    LMAO, my Dachshund would definitely go for the Deer poop first, he loves that stuff! The other two won’t touch it tho. Too funny.

  • Cyndi

    Do your own “food” trial then. Take any commercial dog food in one bowl and put deer poop in another bowl. I know which one my dog would eat first, but I’m certainly not going to feed her poop for the rest of her life. It’s up to us, as humans and our dog’s care givers, to feed them what is best for them, not just what they want to eat.

  • Crazy4cats

    You can dislike the way the creator rates the food. But, you cannot deny the amazing amount of information about hundreds of different foods that are available to us consumers. Dr. Sagman gives us an excellent start at learning and exploring nutrition for our pets. All of this at your fingertips for free! Rate the food however you want and don’t be so negative.

  • aimee

    Hi Rott n,

    I may be the only “regular” poster here that sees great value in feeding trials. During growth, the base diet I feed must have passed a growth trial. That said, trials do have limitations, which is why it is easy for detractors to criticize them: )

    I understand the limitations, and I don’t use the basis of a trial as a litmus test as to what constitutes a good food, but it is one of the things I evaluate. There are plenty of foods that have passed an AAFCO feeding trial that I would never feed, and plenty that haven’t been trialed that I would!

    I see a trial as a short term test of bioavailability, no more no less. Veterinary nutritionists are in favor of feeding trials, in part because they have seen first hand that diets fail this simple test.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Feeding trials are overrated. Here’s what Dr. Randy Wysong, a respected veterinarian and pet food formulator, has to say in his article about feeding trials:

    “…these tests do not prove what they are intended for 100% completeness. Feeding trials are performed on caged animals and are short-term (generally 26 weeks at most). Such tests deny that nutrition can have effects beyond the few weeks used in a feeding trial. Undetected nutrient imbalance in youth has, for example, been shown to affect both animal and human, adult- and latter-age susceptibility to many chronic degenerative diseases, and even impact the health of future generations. A feeding trial does not and cannot measure this. Results from a laboratory-bred puppy raised on concrete in stainless steel cages, placed under fluorescent lights, breathing conditioned air does not necessarily correlate to real animals in homes and backyards.”

  • rott n

    Do these reviews ever take in to account food trials which pro plan has done vs. A dog food meeting aafco standards, which basically means your dog is the trial. I hate these reviews for this reason.

  • TimF

    My dog would pick the rubberish chicken looking pieces out of the food and would never eat them. I switched to another dry for him.

  • InkedMarie

    Hopefully you will read this, apology accepted. I know some people are on a budget but there are quality dog foods out there that are nicely priced.

    People get “worked up” because some of us have had dogs with serious medical issues that have been directly related to dog food. There are good ingredients and bad ingredients. If you choose to feed an inferior food, thats on you but that doesn’t mean that others can’t do the very best they can.

  • Blue Bird Vision

    It’s sad that people take what was said out of context then attempt to deflect from the argument at hand. Never did I mention anything about income…

    Some people want to feed four or five star foods to their pets, but they’re unable to due to financial reasons, which is a shame…that’s basically what I said. Good for you if you feed this and it’s been working for your animals.

  • Blue Bird Vision

    I appreciate your apology and I hope I didn’t hit a nerve with you. From a year ago, I didn’t word my post properly (and I don’t even think I was referencing the right Purina formula).

    All I was saying was that some people WANT to feed their dogs a five star food, but are unable to. Purina’s foods are nowhere near the best, however, I will not judge or question a person’s decision on what they feed their animals and children. If your child has been eating high carb, sugary foods and their triglycerides and blood pressure checks out, then keep doing what you’re doing!

    In MY experience, my family’s “cheap” budget almost led my dog to her early death and if it wasn’t for our research and this site, she wouldn’t be here.

  • Tom Kealy

    I apologize;
    it was immature for me to make that remark about income and about Blue
    Bird. I don’t have a lot of patience or respect for people who try to
    take cheap shots at people who are on a budget. I had no idea people would get
    so worked up over dog food… I will look at this website for the expert star
    reviews, but this will be the last post from me….

  • LabsRawesome

    Obviously “making more money than Blue Bird” doesn’t make you more intelligent. Because while you are paying a lot for Purina Pro Plan, you are not getting a superior product.

    Brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal,soy flakes, whole grain corn, corn germ meal, animal fat Are not good ingredients. These are some of the worst ingredients.Instead of bragging about how rich you are, do your dog a favor and learn about what a good dog food is made from. HINT- not grain, thats for sure! Take a look at some of the 4 & 5 star rated grain free foods.

  • Melissaandcrew

    You have no idea who makes what and I typically find that people who attempt to make such comparisons are generally those that only wish they did.

  • InkedMarie

    No one knows how much anyone makes here. It is a shame that you apparently make more than the person you are responding to yet you choose to feed a dog without a good ingredient list. Your dog may like it & have a great coat but that doesn’t mean that the food is good. It’s not but its your choice to feed it.

  • TK

    My dog loves this food and she is very healthy with a beautiful coat and I guarantee I make a lot more money than Blue Bird…. let me guess you feed your dog filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and a gorgonzola cream sauce every night for dinner and she sleeps in a Louis Vuitton kennel?? Get a life…..

  • texas952

    We feed all six of our dogs, ranging in age from six months to 13 years, on Purina Pro Plan Shredded Chicken, puppy, adult, and 7+ and they all are doing great on it. Their coats look good and they have absolutely no health issues.

  • doglover

    I have fed my dogs pro plan selects and I swear by it. My bichon lived to be 18 and I have 4 dogs now with no medical conditions.

  • mdkroma

    Here are a few options that you can research that are in the same price range (albeit slightly more per lb, and I’m also using big bags for price comp): Wellness Super 5, Earthborn Holistic, Fromm Four Star.

  • Kikki

    I don’t think anyone here judge others by their income. I think I can speak for everyone when I say the main objective is to find the best food possible within your budget. Pro Plan is by all means not cheap, especially considering all the crap they have in it, it’s extremely overpriced. For the same price (or even lower), there’s many, many higher quality foods. I don’t judge anyone on a budget but I’ll sure judge if they’re ignorant enough to say a low quality food filled with cereal and by-products is excellent and the best food for their dog just because their dog loves it. What’s most frustating is that some of these people actually manage to find their way here, a great place to learn with so many knowledgable people around who are willing to help yet they rather take the easy way and dismissing all new information.

  • Ivan Balabanov

    I buy this for my dog at $15 per 10 lbs… not a cheap dog food by far. I buy it because he is healthy, energetic and so have his champion predecessors. It’s sad that people try to judge others by their income, and try to judge income by the products they choose to use.

  • Collie Rescuer

    I have fed my dogs Pro Plan for about 20 years. I had a sheltie who ate it and lived to 15 years old. She was always in excellent condition for her age and looked good and acted young until right before she died. I have gotten dogs from rescue, permanent and foster, with coats in poor condition that had beautiful, shiny coats after eating Pro Plan. I volunteer for a collie/sheltie rescue that feeds its dogs Pro Plan. Pro Plan is $40-$50 for a 35lb bag, so we don’t feed it because its cheap…and I am feeding 2 collies and 2 shelties and go through 35lbs per month.

  • pat

    I have tried many of the expensive dog foods. My dog has had all kinds of skin and digestion problems. I tried this on a fluke and wow. She looks great. Unbelievable. What ever it is if it works I am really happy.

  • Edward Donohoe

    iam a registered vet tech and i myself feed wellness core grain free however its 65.00 a bag but my mini dachshund are in great shape they dont eat as much or go as much do to not a buch of cheap fillers like yellow corn yuck if thats the first thing in your dogs food then you are spend double the money for your food my food last a month so its well worth it however i under some people cant afford it so i do recommend that you feed like iams pro plan science diet at least that is better then dog chow but pro plan uses by products so use caution check your labels but do a test buy a bag of high quality dog food see the differance it will surprise you you will not be rushing right back because it last longer and your pooper scooper will get a nice break as well lol !!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cendymcvoy Cendy McVoy

    Have Been feeding Pro Plan for 25 years… If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!!! We have been breeding and showing dogs for almost 45 years and have almost 60 Champions.. Are dogs are in GREAT coat and body weight! Also the dogs enjoy the food and can’t wait to eat!

  • Delgada Dawn

    Just reading the ingredients makes me shutter. It’s sad that this is sometimes the only thing people can afford to feed their dogs. Unbelievable. ;(

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICSHSY3U643OX3N3TK55UIC7XQ Steve


    No vet I have ever visited has been able to give an informed opinion on food aside from “stick with the big brands because they are consistent.”  I’ve seen a lot of vets over the years for my ferrets and dogs and asked these kind of questions.  I got a similar response from all of them and don’t even try to talk to them about training and behavior.  Vets have an amazing skill to diagnose an animal without the animal telling them what the problem is and possibly even trying to hide it.   Vets work and study long and hard on improving this ability. 
    But, don’t believe for a second that being a vet makes one the end-all expert on everything pet-related just as you would not expect your doctor to give you a diet to follow.  Your doctor would probably send you to a dietician, someone who studies diets and lifestyles.

  • Tushar Ani

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