Purina Veterinary Diets EN dry dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
Purina Veterinary Diets EN gastroenteric dry dog food is designed to “help nutritionally manage stress related diarrhea in dogs”.1
Purina claims this EN dry dog food meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.
Purina Veterinary Diets EN
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 (form of vitamin E), coconut oil, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, wheat bran, animal digest, potassium chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, sodium bicarbonate, salt, fish 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 when present 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.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower 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 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 livestock.
For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is coconut oil. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Coconut oil has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.2
The seventh ingredient is calcium phosphate, a nutritional supplement used as a source of both calcium and phosphorous.
The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, possibly used here as another dietary mineral supplement.
The ninth ingredient is 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.
The tenth ingredient is animal digest. 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, 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.3
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.
Thirdly, this food also 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 Purina Veterinary product 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 Veterinary Diets EN Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Even though 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, you must consult your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Veterinary Diets EN looks to be an average dry dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
In addition, when you consider the plant-based protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipes. Without this controversial supplement and minus the corn gluten meal, we would have been compelled to award this brand our next higher rating.
Purina Veterinary Diets EN is a plant-based dry dog food using only a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein.
However, due to its intended therapeutic design, this dog food is not rated.
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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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
02/01/2011 Original review
11/09/2012 Last Update
- Purina Veterinary Diets website ↩
- Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3 ↩
- 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) ↩