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Pure Balance Dog Food Review (Canned)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: June 7, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Pure Balance wet product range is made up of five recipes with ratings varying from 2.5 to 4.5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 4 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Pure Balance Grain Free Beef Dinner in Gravy with Carrots and Sun Dried Tomatoes Tray 4.5 G/M
Pure Balance Beef, Vegetables and Brown Rice Stew 4.5 G/M
Pure Balance Grain Free Filet Mignon Flavor in Savory Juices Tray 2.5 M
Pure Balance Grain-Free Chicken Dinner Tray 4 G/M
Pure Balance Grain-Free Lamb Dinner Tray 2.5 G/M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Pure Balance Beef, Vegetables and Brown Rice Stew canned recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Pure Balance Beef, Vegetables and Brown Rice Stew

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

22.2%

Fat

25.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Beef broth, beef, beef liver, dried egg product, carrots, salmon, potato starch, brown rice, peas, tomato, sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, guar gum, spinach, oat fiber, red peppers, calcium carbonate, ground flaxseed, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, cottage cheese (milk, whey, inulin, salt, citric acid, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, corn starch, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, added color, bacterial culture, microbial enzyme, carbon dioxide, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3), salt, tricalcium phosphate, garlic powder, dried kelp, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, parsley, rosemary, olive oil, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, selenium yeast, choline chloride, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, L-Carnitine, cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 4% NA
Dry Matter Basis 44% 22% 25%
Calorie Weighted Basis 36% 44% 21%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient 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

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The fourth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient lists salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

The seventh ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The eighth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The ninth ingredient lists 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.

The next item is tomato, a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.

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 Pure Balance product.

With three notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

And lastly, this food includes 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Pure Balance wet dog food looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44.4%, a fat level of 22.2% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25.3%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42.4% and a mean fat level of 24.2%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25.4% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Which means this Pure Balance product line contains…

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Pure Balance Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Pure Balance through June 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Pure Balance Dog Food

Pure Balance includes both grain-inclusive and grain-free wet dog foods using a significant amount of named meats as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

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Recommended

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

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