Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free product line includes the 2 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 check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free Beef and Egg [M]
- Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free White Meat Chicken and Egg [M]
Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free Beef and Egg was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free Beef and Egg
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, pea starch, canola meal, cassava root flour, dried egg product, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, dried beet pulp, pea protein, dried yeast, natural flavor, potassium chloride, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, salt, dried peas, choline chloride, taurine, dl-methionine, mono and dicalcium phosphate, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid (vitamin B9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), vitamin D3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B7), ], dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||18%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||38%||37%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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. This item is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third 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.
The next ingredient is canola meal, a by-product of canola oil production more typically used to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.
Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is cassava root flour, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The sixth item 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 seventh ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth 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 ninth 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 can’t be ignored when judging the 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 Purina product.
With 7 notable exceptions…
First, this recipe contains dried yeast. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients but can be controversial.
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 insists 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, we note the use of 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.
In addition, 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.
Next, we find dried peas in this food. 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.
We also 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.
Additionally, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products, which are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.
And lastly, this recipe contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free
Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Which means this Purina product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the canola meal, pea protein, dried yeast and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 3.5 stars.
Purina Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Purina. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Purina Beneful and Pro Plan Dog Food Recall (3/11/2016)
- Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
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
06/18/2020 Last Update