Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric product line includes four dry dog foods, each designed to help in the treatment of digestive issues.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Naturals
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Low Fat
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Fiber Balance
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, coconut oil, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, wheat bran, natural flavor, potassium chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, sodium bicarbonate, salt, fish oil, soybean oil, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, dried colostrum, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||12%||54%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||27%||50%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 third ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1
Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
The seventh ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
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, we find wheat bran. Wheat bran is made from the tough outer layer of a wheat kernel. Brans are especially rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Next, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
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.
In addition, this food contains chelated 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 recipe includes 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 Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Although this is a prescription product, our review has nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to the product’s ability to treat or cure a specific health condition.
So, to find out whether or not this dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric looks like a below-average dry product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or poultry by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dog Food
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.
- Purina Beneful and Pro Plan Dog Food Recall (3/11/2016)
- Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
12/02/2016 Last Update
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
- 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) ↩