Purina Dog Chow Natural Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Purina Dog Chow Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Purina Dog Chow Natural product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Purina Dog Chow Natural

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, whole grain wheat, chicken, beef, ground rice, natural flavor, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], choline chloride, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), folic acid (vitamin B9), biotin (vitamin B7), ], l-lysine monohydrochloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%11%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%13%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%28%47%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 47%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the choice cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient lists soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The seventh ingredient 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 eighth ingredient is beef, another quality, raw item.

The ninth ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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.

And lastly, this food 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 Dog Chow Natural
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Dog Chow Natural looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and soybean meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Dog Chow Natural is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

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.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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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

02/12/2019 Last Update