Which Pure Balance Recipes
Get Our Best Ratings?
Pure Balance Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4.5 stars.
The Pure Balance product line includes the 2 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Pure Balance Chicken and Brown Rice
|Pure Balance Lamb and Brown Rice
Recipe and Label Analysis
Pure Balance Chicken and Brown Rice was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Pure Balance Chicken and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, dried peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), barley, dried plain beet pulp, rice bran, natural flavor, flaxseeds, sunflower oil, oatmeal, dried egg product, dicalcium phosphate, fish oil, salt, dried carrots, potassium chloride, dried chicory root, dried cranberries, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), zinc oxide, dl-methionine, l-threonine, copper amino acid complex, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese amino acid complex, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, l-carnitine, riboflavin supplement, manganous oxide, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The next 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 fourth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. This item is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The next ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
After the natural flavor, we find 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.
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 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, this food includes 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.
In addition, chicory root 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, 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.
And lastly, this product includes sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Based on its ingredients alone, Pure Balance Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Pure Balance Dry Dog Food
Pure Balance is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.
Pure Balance Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Pure Balance through March 2024.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Pure Balance Brand Reviews
The following Pure Balance dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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