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Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Pure Balance Chicken and Pea Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Which Pure Balance Grain Free Dry Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?

Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Pure Balance Grain Free product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Pure Balance Grain Free Chicken and Pea 4.5 A
Pure Balance Grain Free Poultry Free Lamb and Fava Bean 3 A
Pure Balance Grain Free Wild and Free Salmon and Pea 4 A
Pure Balance Grain Free Wild and Free Grass Fed Beef and Wild Boar 5 A
Pure Balance Grain Free Wild and Free Bison, Pea, Potato and Venison 4.5 A
Pure Balance Grain Free Small Breed Chicken and Pea 4.5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Pure Balance Grain Free Chicken and Pea was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Pure Balance Grain Free Chicken and Pea

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, dried peas, whole dried potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, pea protein, whole flaxseed, pea starch, turkey meal, fish meal (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried carrots, natural flavor, dried celery, dried yeast, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate), taurine, dried beets, dried parsley, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, lactic acid, dried lettuce, dried watercress, mixed tocopherols (used as a preservative), vitamin E supplement, dried spinach, citric acid (used as a preservative), l-carnitine, l-threonine, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%18%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%37%38%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 38%

Ingredient Analysis

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 third 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 fourth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

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 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 seventh ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in 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.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

In addition, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

And lastly, this product contains 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Which means this Pure Balance product line contains…

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potato, pea protein, flaxseed and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Our Rating of Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food

Pure Balance Grain Free is a dry dog food that uses a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Pure Balance Grain Free Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Pure Balance through February 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:

A Final Word

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