Pure Balance 95% (Canned)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Pure Balance 95% canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Pure Balance 95% product line includes 3 canned dog foods.

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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Pure Balance 95% Chicken [M]
  • Pure Balance 95% Beef and Chicken [M]
  • Pure Balance 95% Turkey and Chicken [M]

Pure Balance 95% Beef and Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pure Balance 95% Beef and Chicken

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 41% | Carbs = 10%

Ingredients: Beef, chicken, beef broth, beef liver, guar gum, cassia gum, carrageenan, tricalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), choline chloride, inulin, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), salt

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%41%10%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%66%7%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 66% | Carbs = 7%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Both beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The fourth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The sixth ingredient is cassia gum. Cassia gum is a plant extract likely used here as a gelling agent and providing no nutritional value to this food.

The seventh ingredient is carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

The eighth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

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.

Pure Balance 95% Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pure Balance 95% looks like an above-average wet 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 41%, a fat level of 41% and estimated carbohydrates of about 10%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 41%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 100% (a notably high reading).

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.

However, with 66% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Pure Balance 95% is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of named meats 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.

Pure Balance 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
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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

09/10/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • RayRay Risin

    Well, my dog is currently fed this because, according to her vet, it’s almost IDENTICAL (one or two ingredient difference, maybe minor differences in the vitamin levels) to a PRESCRIPTION FOOD for sensitive stomachs that they had wanted her on. We couldn’t afford the prescription food, and when we found this, they said it’s a perfectly acceptable substitute. This should at least have 4 stars if it’s just as good as a prescription food.

  • bojangles

    Hi Mike,

    In the past I have used “the form” to report “product changes and corrections”. I have never received a reply, and no changes or corrections were ever made.

    When I post “changes and corrections” in the comment section, I always receive a reply within hours and “changes and corrections” are immediately made.

    In order to guarantee that your readers have the most up to date and accurate information in between your 18 month intervals for updates, I have found by trial and error that posting “changes and corrections” in the comment section is the most reliable method to achieve this.

  • bojangles

    Hi Mike,

    “Until you stop using fake identities and email addresses, you will NEVER receive a reply from our system.”

    And until you stop using fake identities like “Barbara S” you really shouldn’t accuse anyone of doing the same.

  • Bojangles,

    Whenever you use our reporting form, you will ALWAYS see the following message on your screen right after you click the “Submit” button:

    “Thanks! We’ve now added XXX to our “To Do” list for a future update. However, due to our current backlog of products awaiting review, please allow up to 90 days for us to get to your request.”

    You will also ALWAYS receive an automated email response sent immediately to you confirming our receipt of your request.

    I just checked our records and find no record of a form EVER submitted by you to our team.

    Until you stop using fake identities and email addresses, you will never receive a reply from anyone.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Just in terms of not getting a reply, you may want to check your junk mail and/or spam filters.. I used the form about a week ago to report a new dog food (one that hasn’t been reviewed on DFA yet, at any rate), and got a response back pretty much right away. Because of their backlog, I don’t expect to see the new review for a while, but I did receive a response back.

  • bojangles

    Hi Mike,

    In the past I have used “the form” to report “product changes and corrections”. I have never received a reply, and no changes or corrections were ever made.

    When I post “changes and corrections” in the comment section, I always receive a reply within hours and “changes and corrections” are immediately made.

    In order to guarantee that your readers have the most up to date and accurate information in between your 18 month intervals for updates, I have found by trial and error that posting “changes and corrections” in the comment section is the most reliable method to achieve this.

  • Bojangles,

    The label information posted on Walmart’s website at the time this review was last updated on 3/10/2016 and to which you have linked remains incomplete as of today. The Guaranteed Analysis is still missing from the retailer’s page.

    As previously requested, please report all product changes and corrections using the form we have provided.

  • bojangles

    “Warning! Recipe Change Possible Company Does Not Respond to Requests for Label Info1”

    Here is the current “Label info” for this product, taken right from Walmart’s website. Hope this helps 🙂

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pure-Balance-95-Percent-Beef-and-Chicken-Dog-Food/38464542#about

    Pure Balance 95 Percent Beef and Chicken Dog Food:

    Ingredients:
    Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Beef Broth, Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide), Salt, Inulin, Flaxseed Oil, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Oxide.

  • circe801

    bones are not permitted in this food.

  • circe801

    ‘all that other stuff’? vitamins and CHELATED minerals are not ‘other stuff’…

  • circe801

    NOT because of ‘lack of specific meats’. where did you get that idea?? chicken; beef and chicken; turkey and chicken–doesn’t get more specific than that.

  • circe801

    pretty sure ainsworth makes it.

  • Ttoe

    Well, you read, the only reason they didn’t give it higher is because of the lack of specific meats, and the amount of fat/protein ratio. They feel it’s too much fat.

    But that’s not actually that bad for a carnivorous animal like dogs unless you’re giving it a lot of carb-heavy treats.

    But in this food, look at how low the carbs are, only contributing 10% of the calories. You could literally do a Paleo-diet if you lived on those cans of food.

    Well, on a budget, and considering my dog does fine on half a can per day, they ensure that at least my dog gets to eat much better than all of those grain-rich foods.

    I give him a multivitamin that he hates and I also give him a stew can for a couple days after using a few of the 95% cans.

    He prefers the 95% cans, but you know. I want at least some vegetables in his diet from time to time, you know because in the wild, sometimes, he’d be the one that gets some of the intestines and stomachs, which would have those plants inside of them

  • Joe Desrali

    Good point, but, especially in an older, perhaps more prone to diabetes dogs, I’d much rather they derive their energy from fat than all the carbs present in the grain fillers, such as corn, used in common dog food. Fat gets far too much of a bad rap in human and dog food! Grains and sugars were’t very common in either animals diet until the last 10,000 years or so, so our bodies haven’t evolved to handle so many carbohydrates for the long term. People might point out that man in pre-history ate fruit, but it wasn’t always in season, and was more like a temporary boost. Like taking a drug. Besides, Eve gave Adam the apple, and see what happened! How much more scientific proof do you need???

  • LabsRawesome

    I like the fat % in a food to be around half of what the protein is. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis.

  • aimee

    Hi Joe,
    Diabetes in dogs is not related to carbohydrate content of the food. This is a bit older but summarizes what is known about the causes of DM in dogs.

    http://samedicine.anzcvs.org.au/samedicine_assets/documents/2004%20sam%20proceedings/fleeman.pdf

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Joe,

    You need to convert that percentage of fat to a dry matter basis in order to fully appreciate the percentage.

    Four or five percent fat, with say approximately 78% moisture equals between 18% and 22% fat on a DMB.

  • Joe Desrali

    It’s a lot better to for a dog to have fat for energy, rather than carbs. Many dog foods are mostly corn, which makes them high in carbohydrates, putting the dog at greater risk for diabetes, as it gets older. The extra fat in this food is a good thing for most dogs. Don’t let the anti-fat Nazi’s fool you!

  • Joe Desrali

    Most canned dog foods don’t have nearly enough fat to sustain a human, much less a dog (4-5%). I’m glad it has more fat than usual!

  • Crazy4cats

    The Pure Balance stews do not contain carrageenan. In fact most stews do not contain it as it is most often used as a thickener.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi steamrollers61, Simmons manufacturers Pure Balance cans. I only use the Stew varieties. The 95% meat cans are way too high in fat.

  • steamrollers61

    Does anyone know who manufactures Pure Balance? It only says “distributed by WalMart” on the can … no other information.

  • Shea

    I bought this recently and was upset to find it has carrageenan in it. How do you find a grain free wet food that’s not so expensive that doesn’t have this ingredient in it?

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Chris, I use a couple of other canned foods too. Costcos Kirkland Natures Domain case of 24 cans $19.99 and 4health Tractor Supply .99 per can. Don’t know if you’ve ever used either of those two, but my dogs like those as well.

  • Southern Born

    ** I mix in other ingredients…thanks!

  • Chris

    ummmm they are missing out on a lot of nutrition if you are using what I think you are. are you using chicken in a can that is a lot like tuna in a can. dogs need the bones that they can actually consume…. like chicken bones as well as organs like liver. all in balance to a certain percent.

  • Chris

    oh whew…. I had actually been buying the stew variety and the puppy and not this one. (but now that our puppy has had a taste of raw…. she won’t eat the canned anymore. but she will eat some merrick grain free kibble…. go figure. but she loves and I mean loves raw. just like the other dog we took in this summer…. ) so now I can buy either one and don’t have to worry. but i love that that stew version is 5 star and at a buck a can you just can’t beat that! and at one stop shopping. I like to add various brands and proteins for a balanced diet… the dog that gets kibble and canned prefers the stews that are canned instead of the pate style…. and she was my mama’s baby so we feed her the good stuff…. even though my parents fed her beneful.

  • Cyndi

    Ha ha, I told you! They DO look like glow sticks! He had started having trouble seeing, mostly when it started getting dark out, I wonder if that has something to do with why they glowed like that? Not sure if he had cataracts or not, the vet didn’t seem to think so, just his eyes weren’t as good as they used to be.

  • LabsRawesome

    When I enlarged the pic, his eyes look like the glow sticks my son likes to play with. I’ve never seen a dogs eyes glow like that before. It actually looks like he could shoot lasers at you. 🙂

  • Cyndi

    Dori, he was the best dog ever! Not a mean bone in his body. Not sure if you saw it, but I posted a tribute to him yesterday on my facebook page. Yesterday was 3 years since he’s been gone and I miss him terribly, still!

    & yeah, that’s my ex boyfriend’s dog Whiskey, the one laying down. There wasn’t too much he cared about, he was very laid back! Lol!

  • Dori

    Damn Cyndi. I wouldn’t wanna come across him alone in the dark. I bet he’s probably a real sweetie in person but, yeah, watch your ass for any lazering. I love how your other one looks like he could care less. Love it.

  • Cyndi

    Glad you saw my response to the other poster. I was going to reply to your comment to, but I forgot. 🙂

  • Southern Born

    Ty for letting me know.

  • Southern Born

    I just bought chicken in a can made for people, for mine. I need it without all that other stuff anyways.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Chris, I was shocked by the fat content of PB 95% canned too. I’ve been buying Pure Balance Puppy cans instead. They’re cheaper @ $1 per can. Really good ingredients, I’m impressed by the use of Selenium yeast, instead of sodium selenite. They’re rated 5 stars, as Cyndi mentioned.. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/pure-balance-dog-food-canned/

  • Cyndi

    The regular Pure Balance cans are rated 5 stars.

  • Chris

    I guess I’m a little shocked by this update. like you I thought I had found a quality food I could pick up on my one stop shopping trip since I live in the boonies and we only have walmart and just got a super walmart. I guess I’m going to have to make a second stop at TSC for the 4health canned as we only serve canned when I am out of raw on a rare occassion. but only one of our crew gets kibble once a day (canned twice) and that is high quality. serving merrick grain free ATM. so I keep quite a few cans on hand so I don’t run out, as I live about 45 miles from decent shopping.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hahaha. It’s even creepier when I enlarge it!

  • Cyndi

    Found it! There was actually another pic where his eyes are glowing worse, but this one is pretty funny…

  • Southern Born

    Why the lower ratings? Bummer thought I had found a quality dog food at wally world!! wherever you go theirs a wally world close by.

  • Cyndi

    LOL!! If he ever does walk backwards up the ceiling, make sure you get a pic of that!! Lol!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hahaha. Laser beams. 🙂 He looks possessed. His eyes are usually brown, they just had a weird glare in that pic…he hasn’t walked backwards up the ceiling yet, so I guess he’s okay. lol.

  • Cyndi

    Awww, cute puppy!! Yeah, those yellow eyes ARE creepy. What’s up with that? I have a pic of my doberman, not sure where it is though, but his eyes were glowing big time and it looked like he was shooting laser beams from his eyeballs, lol!

  • LabsRawesome

    Thanks. Yeah except for those creepy yellow eyes.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Another cute crew member!!!

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, I know. I just don’t remember what the “Dash Board” profile of this food used to be, when it was 5 stars. They must’ve had a recipe change because the fat % is the same as the protein % now. And the foods been downgraded from a 5 star to a 3.5 star. PB 95% was last Updated 8/23/14. Not sure when the recipe was changed tho. Thanks for the comment on my pics from the other day. My Springer was not in them tho. 🙂 Btw, he does not actually have yellow eyes. Lol. Creepy!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Labs

    Nice pictures of your crew the other day!

    The reason the fat content can be so high in this or other foods with meats listed is because they can use the trimmings from whole cuts of meat. So if you take a large cut of beef and trim all the fat off you can use that 90% fat, 10% lean meat piece of trimming and put it in dog food and call it BEEF!

  • LabsRawesome

    Was the fat always so high in this food? I don’t remember it being that high before. It used to be 5 stars, but I don’t think the fat was that high then. The Pure Balance grain inclusive cans have a much better profile @ 42% protein and 22% fat. I’d go for that one instead.

  • Alyssa

    Just tried the chicken variety. It smelled very chicken-y (like the crockpot chicken stew I make for the dogs from a whole chicken) and when I mashed through the food, it was pretty consistent in texture. It really does have a lot of fat, but as a topper on a more moderate protein/moderate fat kibble, it worked just fine. I probably won’t buy it again, but wanted to try it for curiosity’s sake.

  • Crazy4cats

    I was surprised too. But, after looking at it, the fat is pretty high and it contains carrageenan. Maybe that is why?

  • Cyndi

    I’m a little surprised by the rating. I thought the 95% was supposed to be better than their regular wet food, which got 5 stars. I use the regular for stuffing Bailey’s kong and she LOVES it!