PureVita Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The PureVita Grain Free product line includes the 9 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.
- PureVita Grain Free Salmon and Peas [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Beef and Red Lentils [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Pork and Peas (3.5 stars) [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Duck and Green Lentils (3.5 stars) [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Venison and Red Lentils (3.5 stars) [A]
- PureVita Grain Free Kangaroo and Green Lentils (3.5 stars) [A]
- PureVita Small Bites Salmon and Peas [A]
- PureVita Small Bites Turkey and Sweet Potato [A]
PureVita Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
PureVita Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey meal, peas, sweet potato, pea flour, turkey fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), pea starch, alfalfa meal, flax seed, natural turkey flavor, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salmon oil (preserved with tocopherols), sunflower oil, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), dried tomato pomace, dried cranberries, dl methionine, choline chloride, brewers dried yeast, dried blueberries, taurine, 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), dried apples, turmeric, dried chicory root, lecithin, lactic acid, glucosamine hydrochloride, garlic, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Yucca schidigera extract, chondroitin sulfate, l-carnitine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||18%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||37%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fifth item is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that can’t be ignored when judging the meat content of this recipe.
The sixth ingredient is turkey fat. Turkey fat is obtained from rendering turkey, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Turkey fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, turkey fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The seventh 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.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of pea product:
- Pea flour
- Pea starch
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making peas (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.
The eighth ingredient is 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.
The ninth 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.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other ingredients.
But to be realistic, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this PureVita product.
With 7 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, 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.
In addition, 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.
Next, we find 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.
We also note the inclusion of 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.
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.
And lastly, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
PureVita Grain Free Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, PureVita Grain Free 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 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.
Which means the PureVita product line contains…
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, alfalfa meal, flaxseed and brewers yeast in this recipe and the lentils and garbanzo beans contained in others, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.
PureVita Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its primary source of animal protein, thus receiving 4 stars.
PureVita Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this NutriSource product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- 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) ↩
04/21/2020 Last Update