Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA product line includes two dry dog foods, each designed to help in the treatment of food sensitivities.

HA is a vegetarian recipe featuring simple proteins and low-allergen carbohydrates. It is typically prescribed to minimize the risk of food based allergic reactions.

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

  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Adult Maintenance
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Adult Maintenance Chicken Flavor

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Adult Maintenance was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Adult Maintenance

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 20% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 63%

Ingredients: Starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, vegetable oil, dicalcium phosphate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose, corn oil, potassium chloride, guar gum, choline chloride, dl-methionine, salt, magnesium oxide, lecithin, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, garlic oil, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis18%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis20%9%63%
Calorie Weighted Basis19%21%60%

The first ingredient in this dog food is starch. The source of this starch is unknown but it is most likely derived from corn or wheat. Without more information, it’s impossible to adequately judge the quality of this ingredient.

The second ingredient is hydrolyzed soy protein isolate. Soy protein isolate is a highly refined form of soy bean protein with a protein content of about 90%.

In this case, the soy protein has been hydrolyzed which means it has been broken down into its individual amino acid components.

Hydrolyzed protein is valued by veterinary professionals because of its proven and effective hypoallergenic properties.

The third ingredient is vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

The fifth ingredient is partially hydrogenated canola oil, a man-made ingredient similar to margarine or shortening. Hydrogenated oils are (at least, in humans) considered a source of unhealthy trans fats.

What’s worse, this fat has also been preserved with TBHQ, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The sixth ingredient is powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose prdovides no nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is corn oil. Corn oil has one of the highest (and most unfavorable) omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios of any vegetable oil. Compared to almost any named animal fat, corn oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

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 can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

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, 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 recipe 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
Veterinary Diets HA 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 HA appears to be 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 20%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 63%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 20% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 62% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Because of its hypoallergenic design, this recipe contains no meat or any other source of animal protein. So, all essential amino acids appear to be provided by the hydrolyzed protein ingredient.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA is a plant-based dry dog food using hydrolyzed soy as its main source of dietary protein.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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

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

06/06/2015 Last Update

  1. 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)
  • Karen Bonner

    This food is good for allergies but it is total crap with next to zero nutritional benefit. I would use it only for short term use until you can up with a better, nutritionally balanced, healthy alternative. The reason vet allergy foods work is because everything of any value that might cause allergic reaction has been removed and replaced with chemicals. Total garbage.

  • elisha

    Carolina Prime. Wheat free Sweet tater fries all natural.

  • DAWN

    Your thoughts are…exactly right! Vets want dogs on rx foods because they get a kick back from it!! Grrrrr..These ingrediants are deplorable :( IMO

  • Aimee Jolley Somers

    I give it my Praises!! Wow, lots of bad comments. Well I’m not wild about the ingredients but Purina HA is the ONLY commercial dog food my dog can eat. So I will give it my praises!! I’m tired of making home made food (people food/twice a day) or having a dog with diariah or bladder problems. And the only treat he could handle before was Ice cubes. It is so wonderful now that he is on Purina HA. He is now a normal dog, not a demon from hell (and I have never ever called any of my animals that before). He is rapidly and happily improving on his training. And now that he is on normal food we can travel. Not every food is right for every dog. My older one also has an allergy but not as severe and is on Blue Diamond.

  • Dori

    Is it possible for you to use something other than canned tuna? Tuna has the possibility of containing Mercury so long term it may not be a good idea. Possibly integrate sardines in water and/or canned mackerel so that he’s not eating quite so that he’s not eating tuna on a regular basis.

  • Christina Cervantes-Ayotte

    Our Lab/Golden mix has had the same issues. We have spent thousands on him trying to find out what is causing all of these problems, including specialists, medications, and ultrasounds. While on the HA, he began to lose his fur. He’s on a couple of meds now, including Imodium anti-diaherial, and is eating a combination of HA and grain free Sojos with canned tuna that we add to it. He’s doing much better now, but we’re not entirely out of the woods, yet. We’re happy with the Sojos and hope we can phase out the HA, as that is our Vet Specialists goal.

  • Tracy Hutchinson

    FYI For those reading…Our dog also had problems choking and gagging on this food. Adding some water to it just before eating alleviated his issues in regards to it getting stuck in places.

  • Julie A

    I have a 2.5 year old Weimaraner that has really bad dirty ears. I have had problems with her ears since she was little. She was on Life Abundance Dog food from the breeder. I checked the dog food out and decided to keep her on it. Finally after numerous vet visit’s one of the vets had me put her on the Purina Veterinary Diets HA Hypoallergenic cleared ears right up never looked better! He just wants me do a trial and error to figure out what she is allergic to. Mean while my dad heard about Dinovite so I got online and checked it out. Put her back on Life Abundance added the Dinovite to her food her ears are back where we started. So now I want to start food trials see if I can get her on something that works for her. Through some of my reading and research on here sounds like dogs are usually more allergic to a protein source than a grain source. Just was looking for some recomendations on what to try.

    I also have a 14 week Weimaraner and 12 Year old Black Lab they do great on the Life Abundance!

    Thanks!

  • K8a

    My dog was prescribed this in attempt to alleviate allergies. I hated the ingredient list from the second I saw it but thought I would give it a shot. She did horrible on it and only lasted 5 days. I understand the idea behind the hydrolyzed diet but it’s still soy.
    Not to mention, the food goes really pasty when the dog is eating it and it sticks like glue to the roof of their mouth. I was careful to watch her as she was eating it from reading other posts and I had to feed her a bit at a time to prevent choking. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE!

  • theBCnut

    Why did you turn this into an argument? The OP was feeding Purina, Wellness is leaps and bounds better than that. The OP stated that their dog had a weight problem, the advice that you originally replied to gave suggestions for quality low fat foods. Wellness may not be quite as high quality as Orijen, but it is certainly a high quality food in its own right. And the post that you originally replied to specifically mentioned Wellness Core, which is not grain inclusive. You created an argument out of nothing. Try adding further suggestions instead.

  • evilpinkloli

    You’re wrong. Wellness Grain Free is $53 for a 26 lb bag on Chewy. It has similar ingredients to Orijen: turkey, chicken, peas, potatoes, etc. Orijen is $74 for a 28.6 lb bag on Chewy. That’s for the CHEAP Orijen. Now if you want the fancy Orijen, you’re paying $93 for a 28.6 lb bag ($3.25/lb).

    And I’d like your proof that you’d be feeding more Wellness than Orijen, because you’d have to be feeding almost twice as much Wellness Grain Free to make feeding overpriced Orijen worth the extra money.

  • erm016

    You’re wrong. Wellness is SUPER expensive for what it is, the mediocre products & ingredients.

    You feed A LOT more of Wellness than you would Orijen, so it’s no cheaper, and in fact, more expensive to feed Wellness.

    Not to mention the ingredient panel. Compare Orijen to Wellness (assuming you know what you’re reading) and you’ll see the difference.

    Wellness has no business charging what they do for Adult Chicken (with grains) for close to $60. It’s crap.

    I promise, you won’t win this argument.

  • Kramer

    No big surprise here, evilpinkloli eats dog food

  • evilpinkloli

    There is nothing wrong with Wellness. It’s a great food. Orijen is extremely expensive, and other foods, such as Wellness, are just as good for much less money.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Thanks for your question. Because of their intentional therapeutic designs, we don’t review prescription dog foods on this website.

  • erm016

    And anyone who knows about dog food doesn’t recommend Wellness 😀

    I recommend Orijen over Core.

  • Chad

    Thanks for adding a positive comment. So many bash a particular good when they have almost no idea what they are taking about. Purina, other pet food companies and your vet all want your pet to be healthy. It’s their ultimate goal.

  • healthyliving

    Consider a hydrolyzed protein food- purina HA sucks with corn and soy protein sources (two worst GMO poison crops), but Hills ZD Ultra has a better ingredient list. Visit their websites and look at their choices. They are prescription foods. For a cheaper-available at Walmart- OTC alternative the Rachel Kay grain free or just 6 aren’t too bad.

  • healthyliving

    I hate the ingredient list- Corn starch and corn oil, Soy protein and soy oil- the two worst GMO crops. Since it is hydrolyzed to component amino acids- for this price they should be able to use a higher quality food source. Once it is broken down to the less allergenic amino acids vs the intact protein, the amino acids are the same. But I would rather NOT start with protein from the two worst toxic poison GMO source plants.

  • InkedMarie

    Have you looked at the ingredients? They’re horrible. Please think about changing your dogs food. I recommend Wellness Core reduced fat dog food, also Annamaet lean. Your dog deserves better.

  • Sky Soldier

    Try giving your dog simple bites of fresh apple. Our dog loves it..and also fresh bits of carrot.

  • Sky Soldier

    Our elderly dog (mixed breed Cocker Spaniel/Terrier) was overweight until the Vet prescibed (Veternarian only carries it) “Purina OM (overweight management)” dry food. I’m wondering why this specific Purina dog food is not on the list?

  • JM

    Hi! My dog is having very similar issues to yours….chronic diarrhea, etc. The vet suggested we try this food out, so we just started him on it yesterday. His diarrhea is now like water! Anytime we have changed his foods we have issues. Can you tell me how long it took for your dog to get used to this food and for the diarrhea to stop? thank you!!!!

  • Eldee

    Purina makes a veterinary treat called gentle snackers hypoallergenic dog bisquits.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Time to break him of being spoiled by treats, it seems to me!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sorry, there is nothing like this except other prescription hydrolyzed foods.

  • Erik E

    Does anyone know of a dog treat with similar or equivalent ingredients that I can give to my dog while on the Purina HA? He’s on it for allergy testing purposes for the next 8-10 weeks but won’t eat the puffs as a treat. He’s been spoiled to get a treat after he eats his meals.

  • Betsy Greer

    Gotcha! I think I’ll try it also, then. We’re doing good so far on the Legacy, but I think I’ll look at Great Plains Feast then also and see if that might fit into our rotation. Thanks!

  • Pattyvaughn

    So far Great Plains Feast. I would try Coastal Catch, but I can’t remember why I thought I’d take a pass on Meadow Feast, either protein to low or it had something in it that I’m avoiding with my crew, or maybe it was just that they didn’t have it when I came across Earthborn at a little hole in the wall pet store I found by my agility class. They had the new Orijen, but only in tiny bags, so I still haven’t tried it, but now I’m not so sure that I want to, until I find the freeze dried.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hey Patty,

    Which particular variety of Earthborn do you use?