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Purina Dog Chow Natural Review
Purina Dog Chow Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||13%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||28%||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 next 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.
The sixth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The next 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 inclusive of moisture.
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 Purina product.
With 3 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Dog Chow Natural looks like an average dry product.
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%.
Which means this Purina product line contains…
Above-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 notable amount of meat.
Is Purina Dog Chow a Good Dog Food?
Purina Dog Chow Natural is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named by-product meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
Has Purina Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Purina.
- Purina Recalls Pro Plan Vet Diet Product Due to Elevated Levels of Vitamin D (2/9/2023)
- Purina Recalls Pro Plan Vet Diet Product Due to Mislabeling (12/6/2022)
- Purina Beneful and Pro Plan Dog Food Recall (3/11/2016)
- Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Purina Reviews
The following Purina Dog Chow reviews are also posted on this website:
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- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 08/27/2020 ↩
03/05/2022 Last Update