PureVita Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★½☆

PureVita Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The PureVita Dog Food product line includes three dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • PureVita Duck and Oatmeal [A]
  • PureVita Salmon and Potato [A]
  • PureVita Chicken and Brown Rice [A]

PureVita Duck and Oatmeal was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

PureVita Duck and Oatmeal Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, oatmeal, barley, sunflower oil, flax seed, peas, natural duck flavor, alfalfa meal, tomato pomace, calcium carbonate, salt, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, carrots, apricots, cherries, cranberries, choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), dried brewers yeast, blueberries, turmeric, taurine, chicory extract, lecithin, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lactic acid, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, glucosamine hydrochloride, pomegranate extract, garlic, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%14%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%31%45%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 45%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.

The third ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

After the natural duck flavor, alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

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, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, 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.

In addition, this recipe also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

And lastly, 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.

PureVita Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, PureVita Dog Food looks like an above-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 27%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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 flaxseed, peas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

PureVita is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, duck or salmon meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


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.

PureVita 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

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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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

08/28/2016 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)
  • Bobby dog

    Don’t forget the Larry the Cable Guy stuff! I feed Nutrisource & Pure Vita every so often too.


  • Cynthia

    Not to discredit NutriSource or PureVita any, (my dog eats PureVita and it works amazing for him,) but KLN Family Brands, the makers of NutriSource and PureVita, are also candy makers. Licorice, gummy bears, chocolatey snacks, etc. Just an FYI.

  • Devil Dawg 223

    Excellent dog food. NutriSource makes 2 brands of dry dog food. Grain Free and PureVita. Both are high quality, especially for the price, even though it’s still expensive. But I did the taste test. Pure Grain Lamb vs Pure Vita Turkey and Sweet Potatoes. Pure Vita slayed it with both high performance labs. Even my yellow one who eats on time every time. He wouldn’t gobble down the Lower end, literally put in PuteVita and couldn’t wait to eat. Black lab is a Grazer and he crushes it every time as well. Done Blue, Nitro, Merrick and a few others but this won hands down. I like the ole editor needs to revisit this again. Doesn’t add up as Blue was a 5 star and have horror stories on it.

  • Devil Dawg 223

    Dogs have a unique digestive system. As long as they are firm, dog is eating and drinking and acts normal and healthy, never heard the popping several times a day is a bad thing. My labs will go twice a day sometimes and my yellow lab poops more than my black. Maybe it’s color relates but they tbeive on this food.

  • Devil Dawg 223

    My only question to your comment is why one poster makes you decide not to “try” something without judging for yourself, especially after all the positive comments. I have 2 lab that are field trained, hunt, very active and live in the house with the family. Over 25 years of using every high quality food, this is by far the best. Just because Chris’ dog is eating poop may not be the food. And I can assure you a dog food has never been proven for causing a dog to ear their kids food. My labs would eat little kids food over their dog food no matter what I fed them. That’s a bit a dof food problem that’s a discipline problem. Just sayin…

    PS- Your current dog food is made by Mars. Yeah candy bars and overpriced dog food. But if it works, that’s great.

  • wolfypumpkin

    My rescue dog I have had for 3 yrs, and he wouldn’t eat anything until I gave him Pure Vita dry kibble and add Pure Vita Turkey Stew Dinner. He has done very well on this and tried to change several times but nope he knows what he likes. The only thing I don’t like is they changed the dry kibble taking out things and now the kibble is bigger and darker, not happy about that.

  • Diane

    Thank you Pitlove! The gentleman in the store I always deal with told me nothing in this food is from China. They will not eat the dry alone so I mix it with a tablespoon of Pure Vita wet. Hoping this food works out as I have tried so many without success. I had tried Stewart’s all natural freeze dried Lamb Recipe and they loved it but the crude protein was 45% and the crude fat was I believe 31% or 35% which was very high for my two little dogs. They gained 2 lbs in less then a month!!! and I measured it out and did not over feed them. I will continue with the Pure Vita and see how they do. Thank you for helping me out I appreciate it.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Diane-

    The post you are responding to was from 5 years ago. I would email the company directly for answers to your current questions. I am not aware of any product made by Tuffy’s Pet Foods being sourced in China.

  • Diane

    What food do you feed your boxer now? I do not want any ingredients from outside the USA, thank you

  • Diane

    This now has me very concerned as the store where I bought the food assured me none of the ingredients were from China or Asia

  • Diane

    Yes and Venison and Red Lentils grain free

  • Diane

    I just started my two yorkies on Pure Vita Venison and Red Lentil grainfree dry and use the Pure Vita turkey stew on top just a little bit and they have been pooping a lot! They were on wellness for years and my boy became severely allergic. Should I change foods?

  • soulfinder2012

    I am glad I read this,since I’m always on a lookout for a variety of brands to rotate. I can see the same issues in my dogs,Chis, when I switch them to something that doesn’t work,the first thing they do is start eating poop,shredding paper,acting starved,etc,they don’t do it when I get them back on Royal Canine mini adult & med puppy. I won’t be trying Pure Vita although it sounds good on paper as many do,but my picky ones won’t touch it. I believe I have tried almost all the high end brands at one time or other & always have some sort of issue. Guess I will be sticking with RC. At least they thrive on it well. Hopefully RC won’t sell out or change up ingredients again. Eukanuba sure went to crap after two sellouts…can’t use them anymore.

  • ChrisWG

    I have a hound mix. Two years I have searched high and low for a food that would stop him from stinking and solve severe dandruff issues. In addition, I have spent more than $1,000 taking him to an alergoligist, renal and a few other specialists with no problems noted. Fast forward two years later, I introduced him to the Salmon grain free with peas, after one month on this food, his smell has improved 95% and dandruff has improved 99%. The key to this food are its natural pre and probiotics often over looked by dog food manufacturers. He had been on many high-end dog foods, this is a dream come true. Finally, his stools were good before, but now they are even firmer and smaller, a bonus. Kramer is a licensed service dog. His smell cleared the room, now he’s present to be around. It’s a great product for him.

  • theBCnut

    If you want to make sure Dr Mike sees this info, use the “Contact Us” thingy at the bottom of the page to send him an email. That’s the best way to handle info about recipe changes.

  • 3bostons

    Hi Mike, I noticed by comparing ingredient list to their website that they must of updated their recipe because some of the red flagged items are no longer listed, such as the potato protein and the alfalfa is now listed as alfalfa meal. So I wondered if this makes any difference on their rating and I was also wondering if you could rate their canned line of turkey and beef stews?
    Thank you, still enjoy this site and use it regularly

  • Jessica

    We decided to try this food after we couldn’t get to the pet store that carried Zignature and picked this up at the store very close to is.

    It seemed like just what our Beagle needed with the high fiber.

    Her behavior suddenly changed to the naughty Beagle she used to be: stealing our son’s food, eating cat litter, breaking into to cabinets to eat tea bags(!) which she never bothered even when she was on Nutrish, and breaking into the garbage can. After almost two small bags of the food, we realized it had to be what was causing the issues.

    We switched her back to Zignature and her behavior is slowly improving. There are nutrients she clearly wasn’t getting or properly absorbing in the Pure Vita.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m glad you figured out what works for her.

  • Our 14 mo golden retriever had loose stool with Eukanuba large breed puppy, and I had been using Charlie bears for training.

    Changed her over to PureVita turkey with sweet potatoes grain free and only freeze dried sweet potatoes for training treats. Changed her over in 4 days. Stool firm. She has has smaller stools and 2 per day. The Eukanuba pkg called for 4 cups per day, while the PureVita only 2 and 3/4 cups per day.

    Added Charlie Bears back in to diet for one day to verify weather wheat was the problem. She had loose stool for the next day and a half. NO more wheat for her!!

  • Madisonian

    Im giving pure vita bison entree to my 5 months old golden retriever mix and seems like he is doing ok with this food. My pup has some food sensitivity and we tried about 5 or 6 different high end foods with no success . What do you think about the bison entree?

  • Melhopkins78

    My almost 2 year old French bulldog has been on Pure Vita for a month now (switched from Taste of the Wild) and we are experiencing the same pooping situation as some others—she is pooping almost every time we go out.  The piles are large and it happens 3-5 times a day.  From what I’ve read, this isn’t a good thing.  Any thoughts on this?

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  • hounddogmom12

    Yes. It meets the AAFCO nutrient requirements for all life stages meaning it’s suitable for both adults and puppies.

  • Jenleigh111222

    Is the Pure Vita Bison & Sweet potatoes ok for puppies (8 weeks old)?

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  • Kathy Spurgeon

    What about Pure Vita Turkey Formula withh Sweet Potatoes & Peas?  This is a grain-free dry food.  Can you do a review on this product line??

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  • Karen

    Hi Derek, You have switched your dog to a Grain Free Food. It will take some time to get the other food your dogs have been on out of their system. Did you do a gradual change over? Your new food is cleaning the old food out. 🙂 I do not know the ingredients on the other food. Just a FYI kind of thing.

  • They have a new Bison entree now. I started feeding it to my 6y 20lb chihuahua and 9y 48lb mixed hound from Nutro HOlistic and they have been having more BM’s than usual. Up to 4 a day, when it was about 2. So they end up going inside. They are firm and look ok, but should I be concerned? 

  • Toxed2loss

    Mike P,
    My deepest apologies to Jubilee!!! I did not mean to refer to her as a he! I must have not tapped the “s” touch pad hard enough, on my iPad!! Please express my sincerest regrets that I was not more careful! Her feelings are completely understandable, after all, she is simply MARVELOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike P

    Toxed I was reading post to Jubilee and she became a little upset you referred to her as a he.She is over it now and is very interested in the Skype thing.She is a little to much into herself.We try to calm her self interest down but she is a typical Boxer and it’s all about her.Crazy kids…

  • Shawna

    I was experiencing the same thing Mike P..  I was on my laptop running Windows 7 with the Internet Explorer 8.

  • Toxed2loss

    Jubilee’s getting an iPad?! Better make it an iPad2. That way he can Skype or oovoo with the other dogs! LOL

  • Hi Mike P and Mary Lou,

    The problem only appears to be associated with Internet Explorer. It did not affect Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m usually using Firefox or Chrome. So, without your messages, I never would have known.

  • Mike P

    Thanks Mike mine is fixed too….

  • Mary Lou

    Mine is fixed.

  • Mike P

    Internet Explorer .8.0. Windows Vista yahoo

  • Mary Lou

    I’m guessing Internet Explorer?  I’m signed in on AOL ~ does that make a difference?

  • Mike P

    Mike S what’s a browser ?

  • Hi Mike P and Mary Lou,

    What browser are you using?

  • Mike P

    Mary Lou thanks.I think Jubilee needs a ipad…

  • Mary Lou

    Mike P ~ my computer is experiencing the same issue, but not my iPad.

  • Toxed2loss

    I’m not experiencing that, Mike P….

  • Mike P

    Why is the DFA web page shifted to the left? Anyone else seeing this? I can’t see any of the tabs on the left side of the screen.

  • Shawna

    So true Eric!!  And even for those that truly are motivated by health simply haven’t been taught what a truly healthful diet is.  The courses on nutrition are quite limited and in many (if not most) cases are taught by the big kibble manufacturers.  Dr. Karen Becker talks about this being the case when she went to veterinary school.  SAD

  • Eric

    I would like to believe a vet would provide unbiased opinions in choosing dog food but they also sell dog food. Their opinions could be financially motivated.

  • Laura M

    I think my dog has sensitive stomach, and is a picky eater.  I had him on Taste of Wild and Evo.  He really liked Evo Small Bites.  I then switched to the Pure Vita Turkey-Sweet Potato dry formula.  He really likes it, and his stools became firmer, but are almost double size of poop when on other food.  I will stay with this formula though, as that’s still a good tradeoff!

  • Dave M

    Eric try Natures Logic (which I use to feed my Greyhound) or Natures Logic Wysong Epigen mixed. The poop will be small – 1 to two times per day.

    I actually feed 1/2 can ziwipeak and 3/4 cup natures logic in am and the poop is small.

  • Eric

    Tried this dog food with my Greyhound. I won’t be buying it again. My Greyhound has to go poo four times a day (twice as much as normal) and they are huge piles!

  • Christina

    When my English Bulldog was about a year old he developed severe food allergies. He was vomiting, shedding excessively, and had small sores on his cheeks and flank. The vet had me do the “bland” diet for 1 week and then she had me add a food that was made for sensitive skin. The first two dry foods I tried caused the same allergic reactions. I started using homemade dog food recipes until a local pet store owner gave me a free bag of Pure Vita Duck and Oatmeal. It worked! My English Bulldog has tolerated it beautifully!

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    Wow…I also think you may be feeding too much. When I fed all kibble/can my 28 lb. dog ate 2/3 c. a day topped with a tblsp. of canned food. He had 1 to 2 stools a day on that amt. and maintained his weight. He was a couch potato, though!

  • sandy

    Maybe she could use a reduction in serving size. It says 1/2 to 3/4 cup per 10 pounds. I always feed my dogs less than the recommended serving size on the bag. My 22-23 pound pugs eat 2/3 cup a day right now. And they are not gaining or losing weight.

  • Tera

    I changed my dog to Pure Vita salmon and sweet potato grain free. She now has 4 stools a day rather than 2 stools when she ate science diet natures best lamb and rice. Would grain free cause that. To me that means alot of waste. She loves that food I am just not liking 2 am outings. She is a yorkie under 10lbs and I am feeding her 1/3 cup in morning and 1/3 cup in evening. I haven’t been able to find any reviews on the grain free food.

  • Michelle

    I would think that these companies would test the vitamin/ mineral supplements for toxins, their reputation is on the line…..

  • Hi Barbara… Even though I can’t give you exact figures, I’ve so far found the large majority of commercial companies include at least some of their vitamin and mineral supplements sourced from China.

  • Barbara

    Pure Vita Pet Foods
    Pure Vita Pet foods is manufactured by Tuffy’s Pet Foods a division of KLN Interprises. Foods are manufactured at a company owned plant in Perham, MN.
    Unfortunately, their vitamin/mineral premix comes from Asia:(
    I was feeding the chicken and brown rice to my boxer a few years ago. At that time I did not have the information about the vitamins and minerals. She actually did well on it but I would not use it again knowing what I know now.

  • Hi Patti… Weight control can be accomplished with almost any quality dog food. High protein, low fat foods may be better. In any case, you may wish to visit our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Weight Loss for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Patti

    I have a golden retriever 7 years old. She has numerous skin allergies, hypothyroidism (treated with medication) and is slightly overweight. I was told at the pet store today that I should try PureVita Salmon grain free food. Any problem with this being the dog is overweight? Also, any benefits with the Salmon ingredient?

  • Jonathan

    Jo, Dr. Sagman rates dog foods on the apparent quality of the ingredient and the amount of meat in the formula. Vets recommend Science Diet because they are taught to in school. It is an unfortunate self-serving system hill’s has created. Good luck!

  • jo

    I can get natural Balance. We actually just got back from the pet store to see what are options were. (it is limited). The synergy one is one we looked at. another one was orijen. The owner said it had natural herbs in it for sensitive stomachs. Not sure what he was talking about but we brought back samples of both. I’ll keep you up dated. (BTW our vet suggested Science diet for sensitive stomachs, but you guys only rate it a 2 star?!? Why is the vet recommending something with by-products?? When I said something they said it was still a very good product and they recommend it to everyone and they don’t see issues with it. I’m not convinced!

  • Jonathan

    jo, can you get Natral Balance in your area? If so, give the Synergy formula a try. And if that doesn’t work, try their LID’s.

  • jo

    Mike, HELP! We have a 15month old Golden Retriever. After trying Blue and taste of the wild foods (both giving him very loose and smelly stools, vomit occasionally, and lose of appetite) we switched him to Pure Vita. He did much better and we loved it. But now the stores near us no longer sell it and we have to switch again. We are just confused as what to try next. He obviously has a sensitive stomach and we want a no by-product food that are healthy and easy on the digestive tract.

  • April Dawn

    I have fed my yorkie Frankie a few different holistic foods (Evo, Pure Vita, Health Extensions, and Amicus) and so far, this has been my favorite for him. He LOVES it, and since dogs are omnivorous, the fruits & veggies in here balance out a diet that most people believe should be just meat. I really like the fact that the meat used is of human grade consumption. Especially now since increased radiation levels are being found in food because of Japan’s nuclear disaster, meaning garbage food is just getting even more infused with refuse….. 🙁

  • Hi Bill T… Since all foods contain varying amounts of moisture, we use dry matter basis to report the nutrient content of every product we review. This method mathematically removes all the water from a food.

  • Bill T.

    On your review it says 27% protein, but on the bag and on their website it lists it at only 24%. Did they recently change their recipe?

  • Hi Frank… Thanks for sharing your interesting story and suggested diagnosis. At your request, I’ve forwarded Caryn a link to your comment here. Hope things work out for her. Thanks for your concern.

  • Frank Dajnowicz

    Hi Mike & Caryn,

    I’m new to your site, and find it very interesting. I have a GSD that was Dx’ed with EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency in Dec, 2007. Dogs with EPI need low fat and low fiber. Pure Vita Chicken has worked great for us, the only issue is it is pricey. I highly recommend it. But, with that said, each dog with EPI is different and what works great for one doesn’t work well for others.

    After reading the above posts there was one from Caryn that really sent alarm bells off in my head. It was the one that said;
    “My 15 week old chow chow has been eating PureVita Chicken & Brown Rice since 1/12, I mixed it slowly the first 2 weeks and now he is eating about 1 1/2 cups twice a day ( and he is having loose stools….at first like pudding, but now formed stools but still loose and smelly)…he gobbles everything down and always acts hungry…..but I’m wondering if the brown rice is acting as a laxative for him??? ”

    To me this sounds like EPI!!!!!!! The cow pies (will range from yellow to gray), smelly (Don’t be down wind), Acts hungry (watch for weight loss and eats like a pig, in a matter of weeks ribs will show). All classic signs of EPI and most vets know very little about. The only way to truly Dx this issue is with a TLI (Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity) blood test, and the dog must have been fasted for 12 hours prior to the blood draw. This is NOT a death sentence for a dog, It can be treated with pork pancreatic enzymes, but not cured. Everything these dogs eat must be treated with enzymes.

    For all that would like to learn more about this chronic illness go to http://www.epi4dogs.com/ It is by far the best site for info and there are not many sites out there.

    Mike, since you have Caryn’s email address could you please pass the web site on to her. It took our Vet 2 months and 20 lbs weight loss before being Dx’ed.

    Once again great site. We EPI owners need to find many dog food that will work with our pets since these kibble manufacturers have a tendency to change their formulas and not tell you and your dog will suddenly backslide. And the chances of that happening is often. So, we like to have 4 or 5 different brands as backups since they are so food sensitive.

  • Hi Jessica… Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it would be impossible for any food to assure you of a gas-free pet. Sometimes just switching can cause bowel changes. And other times it has to do with the fiber content of the food. Unfortunately, choosing the right dog food still involves some trial and error.

  • jessica

    I have had my Maggie on the chicken and rice purevita for a couple weeks. She has TERRIBLE gas…is this from the food or just her. When I got her from the breeder she was on puppy chow….I thought switching to a good food would help, but so far she still runs us out the room lol

  • Hi Caryn… I’m not really sure how to answer your first question. As long as you’re sure you’re dog is not sick with some other issue and appears to be acting normal, it would seem to me a week or two (at the most) should tell you what you need to know. If it becomes apparent to you that things are not showing any signs of improvement, you may need to try another brand. Unfortunately, this process still involves some trial and error.

    Regarding your Chow Chow breed, I’ve never seen any scientific study to suggest that your Chow Chow is any different than any other dog in a single important fact… dogs are omnivores with an obvious carnivorous bias. They need meat. Not breakfast cereal grains. The answer to your question can be found on our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Dog Food Protein”.

  • caryn

    @ Mike: “Read” above is supposed to ‘read’ as past tense!! (Like I read the link you refered me to!!)

  • caryn

    Thanks Mike: Read the link….how long is “a little longer”? Also do you have any advice on what to feed Chow Chow’s?? I’ve read since they originated in China that they mainly should have grains and veggies and no red meat??? However, others have told me to avoid grains for dogs?? thanks

  • Hi Caryn… Sorry to hear about your experience. You may need to give the new food a little longer. In any case, you should be able to find some help with your question on our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “How to Feed a Dog”.

  • caryn

    My 15 week old chow chow has been eating PureVita Chicken & Brown Rice since 1/12, I mixed it slowly the first 2 weeks and now he is eating about 1 1/2 cups twice a day ( and he is having loose stools….at first like pudding, but now formed stools but still loose and smelly)…he gobbles everything down and always acts hungry…..but I’m wondering if the brown rice is acting as a laxative for him??? How long do I keep him on it with loose stools??? When do I change over to something else again????

  • Hi Susan… Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it would be impossible for me to assure you feeding a specific product would be right for your dog’s diabetes. However, here’s a link to some products that exhibit a low-glycemic index. Some of them are certified low-glycemic for diabetic dogs by the Glycemic Research Institute in Washington, DC. By the way, many are also high in fats (which can be a problem for dogs prone to pancreatitis, like Miniature Schnauzers).

  • Susan Monak

    I have an 8yr. old Min-Schnauzer who has severe food allergies & is diabetic. Currently have him on holistic Solid Gold & Evanger’s, which is a huge improvement over the pervious dog food I was feeding him. But, he still has issues with his skin & coat, red & itchy eyes. I am looking for an even better dog food. My vet thinks he is allergic to the grains commonaly found in dog food. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jonathan


    1. A four star rating is very good. It means he highly recommends the food. So what’s the problem?

    2. $35 for 15lbs isn’t all that great. Earthborn Primitive Natural in the same size is $28.99. And it’s grain free.

    3. Yeah, that’s why he doesn’t give good reviews to the foods that have all that trash you mentioned in them.

    4. High protein? This food contains “average” protein for a kibble. 27% is not high. Most five star foods have no less than 30%. Most have more.

    5. What? senior foods have LESS carbs? That’s silly. They are lower in fat and protein which would mathematically require that there be MORE carbs!

    6. Yes, your pet will probably have less health problems and live longer on a good food. This is a good food. THAT’S WHY HE RECOMMENDS IT! 🙂

  • Lacey

    I just switched my dog to Pure Vita Chicken and Brown rice. I am extremely happy with this product and would beg to differ on it’s 4 star rating on this site. The reason is that the ingredients in this food is rather comparable to other brands like Organix and Natural Ultramix made by Castor and Pollux. And the price at around 35.00 for 15lbs is very reasonable. Do you people realize all of the by products in other kibbles I mean anything that says poly had PLASTIC in it. Would you want to eat bleached grain that has sat around for 10+ years and is no longer suitable for human consumption? Wheat, Corn and Soy are the main problems in normal kibble besides the chicken and beef by products not to mention some food has horse in it. Considering that the food is made in the USA with products that are deemed expectable for HUMAN consumption and the fact that high grade kibble goes further despite the lesser amount of poundage because dogs eat less due to the high protein. As for the carbs all dog food has carbs in it if your concerned get senior food it has less carbs for dogs who are not active. If you find a high grade kibble such as Pure Vita or other organic or hollistic food your pet will live longer and be less likely to gain heath problems due to expired wheat and grain as well as byproducts.< to human consumption standards). On top of all of the benefits of Pure Vita or other hollisitc or organic foods companies like Pure Vita have consumer loyalty programs your 13th bag of food is free so its good on your wallet too.

  • Jonathan

    Have you mixed the two foods carefully? You should start with 25% of the new food and slowly increase the portion of new food over one or even two weeks. If you did the transition any quicker than that, you may see loose poops. They aren’t necessarily sick, their tummies just need time to adjust.

  • I like a all natural dood food that is healty for the mini and tandardschnauzers I breed. I am currently using the last of my INNOVA and started on AKANA. I dont know if my dogs are getting sick from it a few of them have had diarrhea.

    I could use some help. Thankyou.


  • Hi Sally… Unfortunately, when you feed a kibble, you can expect to find an abundance of carbohydrate in each recipe. A company can’t manufacture a kibble without them. However, not all dry foods have the same amount of carbs as others. That’s why we shamelessly favor kibbles made with higher apparent meat content. Hope this helps.

  • Sally

    Had to change my 6 month old Westie’s food due to his decision not to eat it any longer. He loves Pure Vita, but I’m concerned that this has more carbohydrates than protein. (I did try him on Gold, but it kept coming back up.

    Is it healthy for him to have more carbs than protein?

    Thank you.

  • Denise

    Ahhh I see you re-rated Pure Vita! Thanks Mike for all the information!

  • Denise

    Pure Vita also has a Chicken and Brown rice formula, similiar ingredients to the Nutri Source chicken recipe with the exception that there is no white rice in the Pure Vita, and the first 5 or 6 ingredients are switched around. So would the two chicken recipes be rated similiar, or would the Pure Vita Chicken be closer rated to the lower rated Duck recipe? Thanks, you have a great web site!



  • Echo

    The woman at the speciality pet food store raved about this food like it was the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread. She went on for several minutes about how this was made from an American family owned company and uses only quality ingredients…. I’m glad to see this review here sets the record straight! (Wonder if she raved on and on about this food because it is so expensive at that speciality pet food store?)

    Nonetheless, since this specialty pet food store offers lots of free small bag samples of many of their foods, I took one home. My pug ate it (as he would eat anything that resembles food) seems like an average food to me too. Pretty pictures on the bag though! lol (we did the chicken and brown rice samples with is rated on here at 4 stars)