Purina Dog Chow (Dry)


Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Purina Dog Chow receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1 star.

The Purina Dog Chow product line includes five dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Purina Dog Chow Large Dog [M]
  • Purina Dog Chow Small Dog [M]
  • Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult [M]
  • Purina Dog Chow Healthy Weight [M]
  • Purina Dog Chow Tender and Crunchy [M]

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, yellow 6, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, yellow 5, red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, blue 2, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%11%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%26%52%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 52%

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 meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

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 animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is 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 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 prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

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

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

After the egg and chicken flavor, we find wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

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 six notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

Next, animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3

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.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.

We also note that the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Dog Chow 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 24%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

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 in this recipe and the soybean germ and corn germ meals contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Dog Chow is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of meat and bone meal or chicken by-product meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/19/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. 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)
  • hershey71

    Wow, Look at that calorie count. Twice most. This food must be garbage.

  • Pitlove

    Thank you for sharing. I agree partically, however I’ll caution you that just because a dog likes the taste of something it doesn’t automatically mean it is good for him, though I am happy to hear your dog is healthy and an ideal weight 🙂

  • Melissa

    My dog has only had Purina dog food for 12 years and I have never had an issue. It depends on your dog. We like to joke he has a cast iron stomache. Have you ever seen a dog who like hot boneless wings? Mine does. If your dog is healthy and maintains weight, feed them what you want.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Kindra, here’s a list of high quality foods that won’t break the bank. They’re all between $20-$25 for a 14lb to 16lb bag. 4health Tractor Supply, Rachael Ray Zero Grain Walmart and grocery stores, Pure Balance Walmart exclusive, Kirkland Signature Costco, Nature’s Domain $30-$35 for a 35lb bag @ Costco, Victor dog food Farm & Fleet stores and independent pet stores.

  • Dori

    I agree with Crazy4Dogs. Change your dogs food to a higher quality, higher protein, moderate fat, low carb diet and you should see some changes. What were you feeding her before the switch to Purina Dog Chow? There are a lot of ingredients in this food that most dogs would not do well on. Dogs also do not need dyes in the food. Those are put in the food as a marketing ploy for the dog owners. Try a grain free dog food that doesn’t contain dyes, soy, corn and a lot of ingredients that do not specify exactly what they are. First few ingredients should be a known meat source.

  • Kindra

    This didn’t happen until she started eating this, I don’t know if she’s allergic or just a side effect of the food.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you tried to switch to a better rated food?

  • Kindra

    Ever since I’ve been feeding my Australian German shepherd Purina Dog Chow she has significant fur loss, it is July and she has never shed this bad; you can pull hand fills after hand full off of her and it doesn’t stop.

  • barley

    Sure, Purina will sustain a dog, just as McDonald’s can sustain a person… think about that… feed your dog the equivalent of McDonald’s hamburgers, or feed them quality, healthy, BENEFICIAL food… I wouldn’t use Purina for an extended period of time on Any animal…

  • This reminds me of a friend who’s parents fed the dog purina and the cat fresh liver from the grocery store. The dog lived a sickly 10 years and the cat lived 20 years.

  • Crazy4dogs

    They don’t list it on this site, but all of the formulas should have them on the bag. If not, they should be on the website of whatever formula you are interested in feeding, hopefully something other than Dog Chow.

  • Macrocompassion

    In all of your dog food reviews, please include the number of kcals per kilo. This will enable the calculation method given elsewhere to be applied.

  • Zeltzin Campillo

    Of course you think your dog is fine. After all, he looks fine, right? Dogs are made to act like they are fine even when they are not. Besides, except for extraordinary cases, dogs that eat low-quality foods often live a low-quality, shorter life. Their coats are dry and do not reach their full potential, they are more prone to sicknesses and illnesses, they run out of energy sooner and are hungry more often, and eventually their lack of necessary nutrients their food is meant to provide catches up and ends their lives prematurely. I have always fed my 5 year-old golden retriever high-quality food as an investment on his life and health and has never given me any complication. Every single trip to the vet, I walk out proud to hear the vet telling me he is in “perfect physical condition” and that he looks young for his age. He is turning 6 in six months and he is not graying yet! I am proud to say I have saved money by feeding my dog foods that prevent illnesses and, more importantly, I’m giving my dog a fuller, longer, happier life. I encourage you to do so as well

  • aimee

    I think it would be a valid choice.

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I don’t disagree with anything you copy pasted. In fact in my post I acknowledged it: “It is a lower cost food and hence uses lower cost ingredients and therefore may have lower digestibility than other foods.”

    AAFCO feeding trials don’t look at digestibility, they “measure” if the dog is getting out of the diet what they need. For example if a dog needs 10 units of nutient X and when feeding diet A the dog takes in 15 units with 75% digestibility and when feeding diet B takes in 15 units with 80% digestibility in both cases the dog’s need is being met.

    In that sense the digestibility of the diet doesn’t equate to meeting nutritional needs which is what I think Dr Weeth meant when she equated it to “owner convenience”

  • Shawna

    If the equivalent to this food (quality for quality) was found in a human nutrition, would you feed it to your child?

  • Crazy4dogs

    aimee, here is a direct cut n paste from the very article in weethnutrition you are using to support purina dog chow:

    -Digestibility: Digestibility just means how much of what you feed actually gets incorporated into the dog or cat vs. coming out as poop. For commercially-prepared dry and canned foods, digestibility tends to be lowest for grocery store brands (around 75-80% digestible), moderate for “premium” priced brands (consistently 80%), and highest for foods sold through veterinary offices (closer to 85% digestible). Fresh food ingredients are even more digestible still (over 90%), but this can vary depending on ingredients and cooking technique. There are exceptions to every rule, but these can be used as general guidelines. Digestibility is affected by the quality and processing of the raw materials (animal- and plant-based), the presence of other ingredients (especially fiber), and the processing and cooking of the combined diet (heat and pressure cooking). Unfortunately there is no way of knowing the quality of the ingredients and digestibility of the diet just by reading the label. This comes from knowing the manufacturers and having experience with the diet. Even a diet labeled as having undergone “AAFCO feeding trials” may be less digestible than one that bares a “formulated to meet the needs” label since “increased volume of stool” and “excess gas production” are not grounds for failing a feeding trial. Sometimes lower digestibility can be a good thing, like a dog that need to eat a higher fiber diet to maintain intestinal health, but can also be an issue if you live in a fifth floor walk-up. And it’s the middle of winter.-

    I might be wrong, but this food would be in the least digestible category. Your own arguement is refuted in this very article as posted above. I do have difficulty with the very fact that she is qualifying poor digestibility with owner convenience at the end.

    I agree that there are many foods that are simply overpriced because they can, as are many things in life. However, there are also many moderate and even equally priced foods (okay maybe not as cheap as Dog Chow, but close) that have much better ingredients.

    In my many, many years of owning dogs I have found that every time I upped the quality of food, my dogs got shinier, softer, healthier, smelled better and had a better overall quality of life. So, from my end on this issue, I will stay on the right of center.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Aimee,
    What DF wrote!!!

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Aimee,

    I may not agree with your opinion, but I respect it and your diplomacy.

  • aimee

    My point was not to “call out” any individual as I know myself included has posted comments that I should have worded differently.

    It is just that I see this pattern for lack of a better word that when someone posts that their dog has done well on a low cost brand posters tend to “pile on” and say things like “well you may think your dog looks great and is healthy but he isn’t” ” The food is ( insert a derogatory word of choice). It makes me sad.. this is why I’ll sometimes post a simple comment back to the OP. “Thanks for your observation” acknowledging that their observation is valid. I myself have seen dogs that are doing great on low cost brands and others that are not just as I’ve see dogs do great on high cost 5 star brands and others that do not.

  • aimee

    Hi Aquariangt,

    I don’t evaluate a food as by looking at an ingredient list. I do realize that many would vilify the ingredients in dog chow but when evaluated from a nutrient, digestibility et al standpoint every ingredient has its pros and cons.

    I see it as a valid choice as it meets my criteria in regards to diet formulation see http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Recommendations%20on%20Selecting%20Pet%20Foods.pdf
    and https://weethnutrition.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/considerations-to-help-you-find-the-perfect-for-you-pet-food/

    It is the only food I know of that undergone a lifetime feeding trial from which numerous papers have been published.

    It is a lower cost food and hence uses lower cost ingredients and therefore may have lower digestibility than other foods. But if the quality control is in place and it is established that the dogs are getting out of the food what they need to I see it as a valid choice.

    This blog article from a vet nutritionist pretty closely reflects my thoughts on the subject.


    I do often go “left” when everyone is going”right” so I can see how you’d think I like to “stir the pot” but that is just because my views are different and I do post those differences.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Sorry aimee but I am also agreeing with aquariangt on this one.
    Also, I think you have come in a bit late on this thread. Erika was the one who was making very unkind posts if you read up the thread.

  • aquariangt

    Aimee, I may actually call you out on this one. While I may not agree with you on Hills and Pro Plan, I can see your viewpoint. But you are honestly telling me you think Dog Chow is “a valid choice”? What ingredient in there makes this a valid choice? I know Dr Mike has said that you are calm and professional in your posts, but honestly, I think you like to stir the pot a bit. I enjoy reading your posts when they are informative, but this one isn’t.

  • aimee

    Hi Erica,

    I think you have a good point. Purina Dog Chow can be a very valid choice. I myself would choose Dog Chow over many foods with a higher star rating or a “better” ingredient line up. I value different things when choosing a food then those that many on this site value.

    While I think that when people berate others choices their intention comes from a good place, I find that it is often unkind in the delivery.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Actually, the site that analyzes it gives it the rating. The forum is just commenting, discussing and sharing experiences.

  • aquariangt

    Well, if you don’t want to believe this forum or the review, can you link me something that explains why this is healthy?

  • LabsRawesome

    It’s true, so yes, you should believe it. I’m still waiting for you to find at least one good ingredient in Dog Chow and name it. I guess I’ll be waiting forever…..

  • Erika

    omg a forum says it’s bad. I should just believe everything i read on the internet, huh?

  • Erika

    I am not. Feed what you want and I’ll do the same. I said she has her opinion on what’s good and so do other people. I’m not commenting on everything saying “You’re wrong and your dog’s gonna get sick unless you feed it Dog Chow.” haha. There’s always that one person on a forum railing everyone that disagrees with them and in this case, that’s her, so I said something about it. People can express their opinion and when they do shouldn’t be told their stupid by someone not in agreement with them. Have I once said you should feed it because I think it’s good? Nope. Has she said people shouldn’t feed it because she doesn’t think it is? Yes. Let people form their own opinion about things instead of forcing yours onto someone.

  • Erika

    K, genius.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    I think we have another kindergartener posting.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Labs already said it for me. This fact is this is a very poorly rated food. It is poorly rated on many sites that rate dog food. People are coming to this site to see how their or other dog foods rank. It is nothing like comparing a fact to a belief. The point of the discussion is for people to exchange comments or questions. You diminish your own statements by beginning every one of them with Ha or HaHa and including rude comments.

  • theBCnut

    So then you’re not forcing your opinion of large breed puppy food on someone? It’s the same thing.

  • theBCnut

    People are so weird.

  • LabsRawesome

    No, that is nothing like a Christian telling a Mormon they’re wrong. There is not one good ingredient in Dog Chow. Not one, that is not an opinion, that is a fact. Have you read the above review for Dog Chow? It has 15 red flag ingredients. 15!!! It’s not real hard to figure out that it’s a bag of trash.

  • LabsRawesome

    I’m sure you can read. But I know for a fact that you can’t tell the difference between good and bad ingredients. No one that knows what good dog foods actually consist of would say that Purina Dog Chow is a good food.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Ahhhhh! 🙂

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Interesting, I’ve been wondering about that. I once posted a photo that got something like 20 guest upvotes, no idea why. I guess it could have been the same person, but I don’t know why anyone would want to do that on a random picture that someone else posted.

  • Erika

    ha. Yeah this forum is an opinion that she agrees with and yeah that’s cool she has her right to that but when people say they don’t agree with the forum why would she rail each one for not agreeing with her and force her beliefs about it on them. That’s like a Christian telling a Mormon that what they believe is wrong. Who cares what they believe.

  • Erika

    never said she didnt. its funny that she is one of them though.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Actually Lara got several up votes from regular members.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Actually, if common sense were involved, you would’ve replied to the person you intend to make the comments to. Perhaps you don’t belong on a forum that’s trying to help.

  • Erika

    i can read a bag thank you very much. I’m just saying let people feed their dogs whatever tf they want and its annoying that this Lara girl is forcing her opinion of how bad it is on people that do feed it to their dogs. She has her opinion on what’s good just like they do and if they think its good then who is she to tell them they’re wrong.

  • Erika

    haha if you had any bit of common sense you’d realize that that was directed towards Lara who said she gets upvotes on her stuff yet she upvotes all her stuff herself.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Erika, do you realize that you just told YOURSELF that you up vote your own stuff????


  • Crazy4dogs

    Understood. That explains why I see some just terrible posts with a lot of upvotes. I wonder if that can be changed?

  • theBCnut

    If you log off, you can upvote yourself as a guest. We had a particular poster that always did this. Every single time he posted, he would immediately get an upvote from a guest, no matter what time of night he posted. We had another who kept coming back and upvoting herself over and over, so she would have 17 upvotes from guests while everyone else was telling her what was wrong with what she just posted, and were getting upvotes from real people with real names.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I know I’ve been guilty of that on my cell phone only because I was curious to see who upvoted me but it only adds me as an upvote. I think I’ve always undone them. I don’t understand how so many people get “guest” upvotes either, especially on wrong information.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL!!! 🙂

  • theBCnut

    I’m about to and ruin everyone’s numbers!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Actually, theBCnut, I was just replying to Labs because I added an upvote & so did Labs.

  • theBCnut

    Upvoting yourself doesn’t count. I never understand why people do this. But she is right. And it was 7 including the upvote of herself when Labs posted, so Labs was right too.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Actually Lara & Labs, she has 9 upvotes! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Lara, you got 7 upvotes because you are correct. 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    FYI you don’t go to a doctor for advice on nutrition, you go to a nutritionist. The same applies to dogs. Since you are so fiercely defending Dog Chow, I’m guessing that’s what you’re feeding. Please tell me which ingredients are nutritious for dogs on this ingredient list. Because I can’t even find one.

    Purina Dog Chow Complete and Balanced

    Dry Dog Food

    Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content


    Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, yellow 6, vitamin E supplement, l-lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, yellow 5, red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, blue 2, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil,
    pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate,
    vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

  • aquariangt

    It’s one thing to me uninformed. It’s another to be aggressively uninformed. Just saying. You aren’t right here, btw. Feed Dog Chow if you want, but it’s worse than garbage

  • Erika

    and YOU up vote your own stuff. that’s funny.

  • Erika

    Haha. No, it’s just that scrolling through reading the comments… you’re on MOST of them and basically telling everyone they’re stupid for making the choice to feed it to their dog, like you are pretending to be a vet.
    Which – My vet says it is perfectly fine to feed to my dog. She’s a long time family friend and wouldn’t tell me that it is just so that I have to come to her with a sick dog(which also hasn’t happened).

    & yeah I’d say vets and human doctors would definitely know more than you. Different dog foods have different ingredients and certain dogs may not react well to that particular ingredient just like a person may not react well to an ingredient in their food.. it doesn’t mean my dog is going to get sick if I feed her this because it’s BAD dog food. She could get sick if she had an allergy to an ingredient, which she obviously doesn’t, but that’s with ANYTHING and ANYONE.

  • Lara

    And notice that was posted a year ago. I haven’t been active on here for months, thank you for reminding me about this website. I will be sure to visit more often. Its nice to see all the upvotes I got, obviously some people enjoy my helpful commentary.

  • Lara

    No need to be defensive. I am guessing you feed one of these low quality foods. I do consider myself an expert on dog foods. I have heavily educated myself on the matter. I am not a vet, I won’t pretend to be. However, vets, just like human doctors are not nutrition experts. They require special training, that any educated member of the public can get as well. So my advice, educate yourself. You might learn something.

  • Erika

    Omg. you are annoying commenting on every single post that says they feed it to their dog, like you’re an expert on different dog foods.

  • Dog Lover Plus

    For me, something like this comes down to you asking yourselves if you want to continue to continue to risk the health of your pet. Clearly, a lot of people are dodging bullets here. But, it is also pretty apparent a lot of pets owners haven’t.

    Do you really want to take that chance? How bad would you feel if this happened to your pet and you knew that you had the foresight to prevent it, unlike many pet owners?

    There are plenty of other dogs foods out there that don’t come with this sort of risk in the same price range. Do your research and choose one that doesn’t have a history of lawsuits or recalls.

  • Babslynne

    This 117lbs golden retriever is still a puppy, not even a year old and has been on steroids and antibiotics for most of her life. Her immune system is destroyed, she is plastered with yeast, suffers from hair loss, has eaten her pads apart and finally has been fed a diet consistent of over 50% carbohydrates, made of genetically modified corn in a ba…g. The owners had no idea what was wrong because their breeder (paid a commission by the manufacturer) told them it was the best food for the breed.

    I post this, because I know you, the manufacturer, follow my page.

    Today that changes. Meet Sugar who is starting a species appropriate fresh food diet and saying “so long” to Purina Pet Foods. — with Beth Groom.

  • Guest

    This 117lbs golden retriever is still a puppy, not even a year old and has been on steroids and antibiotics for most of her life. Her immune system is destroyed, she is plastered with yeast, suffers from hair loss, has eaten her pads apart and finally has been fed a diet consistent of over 50% carbohydrates, made of genetically modified corn in a ba…g. The owners had no idea what was wrong because their breeder (paid a commission by the manufacturer) told them it was the best food for the breed.

    I post this, because I know you, the manufacturer, follow my page.

    Today that changes. Meet Sugar who is starting a species appropriate fresh food diet and saying “so long” to Purina Pet Foods. See More — with Beth Groom

  • Babslynne
  • mike gqgliardi

    funny how all the guests are pro purina-they are as stupid as it gets. how much do they pay.

  • Karen Alissa Gutierrez

    I feel you. That’s what I’ve been feeling mine since he was a pup and he’s been fine.

  • Jeff

    I don’t know what to think I have siberian huskys a 13 yr old an 2yr old an had from pup an have been feeding them dog chow all their lives an not had a problem

  • Dog Lover Plus

    Class action lawsuit brought against Purina:


    “Mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by mold found in grains, a major ingredient in Beneful. Mycotoxins pose a health risk to dogs and consumer complaints on Beneful report symptoms consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the lawsuit. Cereghino said he and his team plan to collect further data and perform testing of the products for toxins.”

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I wanted to say something like that but didn’t have the guts to. Thanks!

  • Babslynne

    Please don’t feed your dog this or any Purina #$%@! Please read the ingredients and the other comments and educate yourself.

  • Ashley Dillon

    My dog had been having a minor food allergy (thinning of fur) to the Purina One True Instincts. After only a day of this she is already showing improvement. Purina has never let me down before. No dog food is perfect. Eventually I will start making my own dog food but for now, this works.

  • yvonne robles

    We gave this to our dog for about a year.His kidneys started shutting down and he was dripping blood from his penis. The vet said prolonged use of this food was takimg a toll on his kidneys and body. Changed his food and within 3 days he stopped bleeding and is recovering well. We switched to blue buffalo.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Um, which site?

  • Lisa Holcomb

    There is also another dog food comparison website that applaudes Purina Dog Chow. Just saying…..

  • Carrie

    Since, so many reports have been made against Purina, I would also report it to the FDA.

  • Carrie

    Megan, First let me say how terribly sorry I am for your loss. I do know that Purina has a lot of complaints on the consumer affairs website. I do know that food can be tainted and cause illness and even death.

  • megankleinhardt

    My 5 month old pit bull pup died suddenly after eating purina dog chow he began vomiting and became lethargic had Ceasing and within hours bled out everywhere and died our family is devastated and cannot understand why this happened we have been told by several people it may have been tainted food. Could this be ?

  • Doxie Mom

    He learned his lesson on that one. He does go to vet. Soon as we switched his food, hes better. Some people are hard headed.

  • Bob K

    Your boyfriend is an idiot. Does he think all pizzas , spaghetti, hamburgers and hotdogs taste the same? Are all car tires the same? Using this website as a guide, find out what is available in your area and do some comparison shopping. Check out Costco, Menards, Fleet Farm. Transition slowly to a new dog food, When was the last time your BF dog has a comprehensive fecal test including parasites, Crypto, Coccidia and Giardia? It might not all be the dog food. Does the dog get monthly Heartworm preventative?

  • Doxie Mom

    My boyfriend is cheap and thinks all dog food is the same and bought a bag of Dog Chow for his dog. Well, that dog ate one bowl full and later that night had the squirts all over his crate and the house. He tried to feed it to him again and the dog would not eat it! He is on Iams now (which I dont agree with) but is doing so much better. His dog must have a sensitive stomach because even on grain free and other good foods he has always had soft stools. Iams has worked better that them all.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Paul, yes, there are many good dog foods that are budget friendly. Rachael Ray Zero Grain *only* Walmart $22 for 15lbs and Evolve is also carried at Walmart. 4health Tractor Supply same price point. Costco’s Kirkland is under $30 for 40lbs. Petsmart has

  • Paul Dabbs Sr.

    is their any good dog food that’s affordable

  • Lena

    Does anyone get the feeling that the “Guest” comments applauding Dog Chow are either trolls or Purina employees?

  • Sean M Wilson


  • MeGa SaMa

    Figures Dog food advisor, cant handle the truth about some people. Instead allowing comments that people want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Ugh not worth it anymore my dog eats Blue Buffalo anyway i look forward to this comment being deleted . Pure crap if you ask me. Instead they allow someone to shame others who don’t have the luxury to feed raw and insist their way is the way to go, when in reality I watched a documentary on Youtube that stated that feeding raw all though has its benefits can actually be bad for their teeth, breaking them clean off fracturing them getting stuck in thier mouths choking cooked or not and that is extremely painful and costly to fix and some vets have found that some pets can do well on it some can’t and there are some dogs on commerical dog food that are very healthy, I think what it all comes down to is genetics and excersise or fitness level of the dog, I do know that mixed breeds tend to be healthier than pure breds. Pure bred dogs are predisposed to diseases known in the breed for instance I’ve had a golden already he had cancer but died of Arthritis , cancer is known in Goldens. I just think a certain some one needs to get off their high horse and holding thier dog on a higher pedestal because of a better diet, and saying their dog is better or healthier than everyone elses seems like a rather uncalled for thing to say. We are all here with one thing in mind we all care for our 4 legged friends.

  • Charles

    As soon as I I turned my dog to Purina.it was effected by diarea and the only reason was Purina dog food. Please do not buy this crap.

  • Jana Maria Shaw Church

    Animal digest means stomach and intestine.

  • Lara

    I hate to say this, but most true farm dogs I know are the healthiest dogs ever. Sometimes table scraps (of local meat/vegetables – not processed garbage) and slaughter house excess are a MUCH better than most conventional dog foods.

    My extended family, while not hilbillies, have had many dogs (10+) to live 15 years (large breeds) to nearly 20 year (small breeds).

  • Lara

    But it isn’t. Pretending something is good because you dog seems “fine” and “energetic” does not mean the health of your dog in the future will be “fine” or “energetic”. This is a low quality food and it will eventually cause issues – case closed.

  • Lara

    Sounds like you switched too soon. Diarrhea and gas is normal when switching foods and to be expected in sensitive stomached dogs. For dogs that are sensitive stomached, switch over 10-14+ days.

  • Lara

    Yes, and my kids are ‘happy’ eating McDonalds. Doesn’t mean I let them eat the garbage. Required nutrients are the very bare minimum, it is like comparing a meal replacement drink to a meal with fresh meat and vegetables – they are NOT the same.

  • Lara

    Spot on, Eldee! Sick dog = lots of money for the vet. Some vets are just plain stupid when it comes to pet nutrition, others purposely push low quality foods to make money.

  • Lara

    OR, you can stop feeding this crappy low quality food and not have to worry about chunks of mold and other horrific ingredients.

  • Lara

    Why wouldn’t you just switch her food if she won’t eat it. Did you not read the review? This is terrible food, there is not wonder why your dog won’t eat.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi David,

    If encourage you to spend five minutes researching Diamond as a pet food manufacturer. On its face, Diamond Natural ingredients do look pretty good, but to me, feeding Diamond is like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Their history of recalls, and their handling of same, is deplorable.

  • David Howell

    Raw meat is actually considered the best food you can give your dog. They do not digest the same as people do. They do not get benefits a food such as purina, it doesn’t even contain any meat. If you’d spend 5min researching healthy dog food diets you would know this. It is rated at 1 star and they break it down quite simply as to why. If it is the cost then go to tractor supply, for purina one it is $35 at my local petco that is a 2 star rated food still not good. At tractor supply I can get diamond naturals which is a 4 star food and is highly recommended for its value. I can get the same size bag as purina for $30, it is a 4 star not 1-2 star food. Contains no wheat corn or soy. You don’t have to shell out $50 for a bag of food and if you love your dog you’d feed them something better

  • Pattyvaughn

    I always wondered why they call it animal digest when everyone who reads that and hasn’t read the AAFCO definitions is going to think exactly like Rachael.

  • While animal digest is a crappy ingredient, it is not technically crap. It’s chemically broken down by-products, not feces!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Silva,

    Nutrisource is a great budget friendly food…, it’s one of my favorites.

    Another you might want to consider is Victor. If you are able to buy Victor locally, you can buy some of the formulas for about $40.00 for 50 pounds and it’s a very good quality product.

    Here’s a link to their product locator: http://victordogfood.com/.

    And, here’s a link to their review pages on DFA: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/?s=victor

  • Silva

    Im going to give nutrisource a try if it isn’t too expensive… i have three hound dogs and they go through 50lbs of dry dog food a week so i have to be at least somewhat price wary

  • Rachael

    One of the ingredients is animal digest!! Animal digest is animal crap!!

  • Rachael

    My dog hates it she refusesto eat it. She will go without food sometimes.

  • Cyndi

    That’s good to hear! I’m sure your husky would thank you if he/she could.

  • ivan

    Cyndi thank you for your posts here you have been most helpful I my self am going to change my huskies diet from Purina to Nutrisource

  • Worried Dog Guardian

    I found a fist size clump of what APPEARS to be “MOLD?” in my newly purchased and opened bag of PURINA DOG CHOW (marked “best by May 2015 ” # 33096001 0552L08, # NZ 0800 738 84) last night, Dec 12,2013. I will be contacting PURINA in the morning at 1-(800) 778-7462 as when I called after hours I reached an answering service in CANADA and was greeted by, “Thank you for calling BENEFUL.” The bag was NOT damaged which indicates to ME the contamination occured before distribution. I recall a contamination of dozens of brands by mold perhaps 4 years ago which resulted in hundreds of sick dogs and dozens who died. This is frightening to me. CHECK YOUR LOT NUMBERS AND DON’T CHANCE IT.

  • Eldee

    Your vet truly appreciates the fact you feed Purina Dog Chow. Just like the dentist that promotes Halloween. The fact that your dog is getting absolutely no nutrition from the corn meal they call dog food is of no concern to anyone but you and your vet. So, instead of writing the big cheques to the vet because your dog suffers from allergies and lethargy, why don’t you do your dog a favour and write the big cheques to the dog food companies that don’t use corn as the number one ingredient.

  • Cyndi

    How the heck did I get your dog sick? & I don’t know of any “hillbilly” sites. I’m nowhere close to being a hillbilly.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ
  • InkedMarie

    I’m not sure who you’re talking to but anyone can post here, even about non Purina foods.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Nutrisource costs more than Purina and has the same required nutrients. Although I have not given it to my dogs yet, they are 100% happy with Purina. And my wallet is happy too.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Purina Dog Chow works for my dogs. They love it and are energetic and happy! Some may call it “crap” but they are wrong! Case closed!

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    I am proud I feed my dogs Purina Dog Chow. It’s good for your dog. My dogs love it.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ,

    Your comments have certainly taken on a different tone than when you first posted more than a week ago when you had decided to switch your dog from Purina; saying, and I quote you here, “That makes sense. I never bothered to research Purina dry dog chow to find out how bad it is. I’m going to look at Nutrisource and others.”

    Did you switch? Did you switch too quickly?

    Edit to cite source: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/purina-dog-chow/#comment-1133828660

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    I tried their feeding slop to my dogs and they spent plenty of sick days because of it. Now I’m back and proud of Purina and happy my dogs are back on a healthy diet. I LOVE PURINA AND IT’S GREAT TO GIVE YOUR DOG. Let my post be a testament.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Well, my parents are nothing like Deliverance,” but they are truly hillbillies from the back hills of Tennessee. My mom didn’t ever know she was one of “those poor Appalachian people” until she was in her thirties. Instead of Deliverance, think Beverly Hillbillies, think one room schoolhouse, think raccoon as a food source.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Ah..then they are country folk, not hillbillies…lol..when I hesr the term “hillbilly” I hear banjos and think Deliverance. When I hear “country folk” I think simplistic in lifestyle, hard workers and some of the most honest people I have met.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Actually Cyndi, my family are those “ignorant hillbillies.” And they fed their dogs leftover human food and the things they didn’t want from slaughter. They couldn’t even afford the cheap crap dog food. However, they used proper English to express themselves publicly and they never spouted the hate coming from this guy. And they always strived to better themselves, never satisfied with the status quo, also unlike this guy.

  • Cyndi

    Oh, & I believe “hillbillies” will spend like $8 for a 50lb bag of crap dog food, like purina dog chow or old roy. I am NOT a hillbilly. I spend about $150 a month feeding my dog and she eats better than most dogs. I guarantee my dog, eating her raw food, is 10 times healthier than all your dogs put together.

    Why are you even on this site? You obviously came here for a reason. Can’t you read the ratings and understand it’s black and white? There’s no meat in Purina Dog chow, it’s all crap! So is Beneful and Old Roy and other 1 star foods. You would be better feeding a 3 or 4 star food than feeding your dogs what you do. It’s nothing against Purina, the ingredients speak for themselves…

  • Cyndi

    I really feel sorry for your dogs.

  • Cyndi

    Purina dog chow doesn’t even have any meat in it! You don’t have to spend a bunch of money for a quality food. This food is rated 1 star for a reason, just look at the crappy ingredients. I believe you asked for recommendations for a better food, and you were given some. Nutrisouce is a MUCH better food and it doesn’t cost a whole lot more.

  • Cyndi

    & exactly what do you believe is wrong with raw feeding? There are MANY dog owners, me included, that feed their dogs a raw diet. When it’s done right, it’s the most species appropriate, healthy diet for a dog.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Purina dog chow is good for me and my dog. It’s got most the nutrients your dog needs. It keeps my dogs happy. Stay away from posts that say otherwise. Especially those who advice giving your dog raw chicken bones or any raw food.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m looking at my bookshelf full of unread books. The other bookshelf is in the spare room and it’s got empty shelves.

  • aimee

    Yes! If only industry is funding studies than they control what is being studied and more importantly what is being submitted to a journal for publication. She is giving “us” a heads up!

    An independently funded study may be more valuable. Even so should be scrutinized for research design flaws and bias. But peer reviewed industry sponsored research is still valuable for example the study you often cite regarding protein and weight loss was industry funded.

  • Shawna

    She also states that there is “bias” as to what gets in these journals and what doesn’t. She further states that the pet food industry “controls and directs” research done — and therefore published.

  • aimee

    That’s not what i took away from this article as she stated she is providing a set of criteria by which we should evaluate research.

    “These guidelines provide both the consumer and the veterinarian with a sett of criteria to critically evaluate the research associated with veterinary medical foods and determine if the product is truly efficacious.”

    The criteria to be evaluated are the importance of the research ( Level 1 is more important than level 7) and how that research reaches the audience (Peer review in credible journals over internal publications and symposia.

  • losul

    That’s true. I wouldn’t be up to the task myself. Maybe both of you could write?

  • Shawna

    Good question!!! I think someone impartial would need to send the email as I would feel her email might even be interpreted differently by different individuals. Or the sender could unintentionally or subcontiously word things in a manner to get the response most likely to support their view..

  • losul

    Ha, you gals have gotten me interested in reading the book now. Good points on both sides of this discussion, IMO

    Since both sides are interpreting somewhat differently, I wonder if she would respond to an EM to clarify her position.

  • Shawna

    Oops, I see it now

    “Other factors such as body weight, dietary fibre, anti-nutritive factors (inhibitors, denatured) and the composition of the colonic micro flora will influence the amount of protein and the by-products formed iv. The gut micro flora break down these nitrogenous compounds into ammonia, indoles, phenols, volatile sulphur containing compounds, potential neurotoxins, and many unknown and potentially toxic compounds[iv]. Some of these compounds are absorbed into the

    In another article she discusses “sterile food” and environment etc as having a negative impact. In the earlier quote she discusses how raw foods may have a healthier impact on gut flora. This opens a can of worms as anything that could alter the gut flora could be a potential problem — chlorinated water, antibiotics, NSAIDs, inappropriate amounts and forms of prebiotics, probitoics with only certain strains, high pressure pasteurization etc….. Eeeek…

  • losul

    I think that is an interesting hypothesis.

  • Shawna

    Initially I thought she was suggesting the avoidance of high protein diets all together — until I read the section I quoted.

    I took her to say that certain processing of foods had an impact on the digestibility and that poor digestion was the reason for increased protein for colonic bacterial digestion of protein. So yes, I do believe she is stating that when feeding higher protein it should be less processed…

    As to the illnesses caused by the treats she mentions multifactoral – subclinical hepatic or renal disease, quantity in conjunction with quality of protein leading to digestibility issues, inappropriate gut flora and possibly toxins on the treats themselves (contaminated glycerin).

    I do agree with her that dogs with hepatic or renal issues (even subclinical) should not be fed any form of kibble — I’ve mentioned this before. I also agree that if feeding these dogs kibble, high protein kibbles are inadvisable. I know the quality of the gut flora does play an impact in both liver and kidney issues. And there is no question that substances harmful (or even hard on) the liver or kidneys would contribute to further harm of an already compromised organ.

    Even after a partial re-read I’m missing the part about toxins in vivo.. I’m a bit tired today so….. 🙂

  • Shawna

    I actually prefer paper too but I find the e-books easier to read (I get eye fatigue pretty easily). Not to mention the availability — I have my phone, tablet or iPad with me pretty much all the time and no book light required.. 🙂

    I have a Sony Reader which I like the absolute best — you can write hand written notes on the page you are reading as well as other nice editing features but I get eye fatigue from it too.. 🙁

  • aimee

    Sure you can have valid research without it being published. My husband didn’t submit his PhD for publication. He was so sick of it. Years later what he found was found by someone else and published.

    But it hasn’t gone through per review be cautious. Pet food companies “publish” their own research and it must be critically evaluated.

    She is cautioning readers to look for valid studies ( ranking the types of studies) and to look for peer review.

  • aimee

    My husband is a Kindle guy…I like paper. You can’t lend “kindle” to your friends. Too many good books so little time…

  • aimee

    How I saw her idea as protein in jerky treats may be damaged/altered which prohibits normal digestion and absorption.

    Colonic bacteria then act on this and produce metabolites which are absorbed and some of them are toxic. (Perhaps unique to the proteins/peptides generated by processing of these specific treats??)

    This is very different from the passive filtering of BUN which is not damaging to the kidney. Dogs on high protein diets, even of high quality, have higher BUN and void more urea. This doesn’t damage kidneys.

    She does have a lot of tables comparing total protein ingestion when feeding various levels of treats so she must feel that plays a role somehow.

    Higher protein diets present more undigested protein to colon providing more substrate. Do you think she feels if feeding high protein it should be only be fed raw?

    It is an interesting hypothesis. The “toxin” hasn’t been found because it is formed in vivo.

  • Shawna

    I agree, that’s how I interpreted it too…

  • Shawna

    Or could she be saying that the research could be quite valid but unless published correctly they won’t be considered valid? Did you read her article on research just released this month.. She states “Research in small animal nutrition has been traditionally underfunded or
    more accurately seldom funded by independent granting agencies. This
    has left the field wide open for the pet food industry to control and
    direct the research done in an academic institution, and within their
    own facilities.”

    And “The validity of trials conducted on dogs and cats kept in a kennel or research facility is questioned, as
    these animals do not have the same freedoms and human bonding experiences of the pets kept within a home environment. Most nutritional
    trials on companion animals are only valid for that particular group, maintained under the same conditions, fed identical diets. Even the results from the relatively simple non invasive digestibility, palatability and feeding trials done in kennels or catteries specifically established and approved to conduct these trials have come under scrutiny when environment, previous diet, gender, breed and age differences are considered.”

  • She’s not calling for it, she’s stating how it is.

  • Shawna

    Oops, one more thought.. Sorry for multiple posts.

    You mention “A Dog’s Breakfast”. I don’t recall Dr. Smart being in that video.. However, Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins is in the video. Within the first few minutes of the video the narrator says Dr. Hodgkins worked for the pet food industry and is now one of it’s most outspoken critics. And that Dr. Hodgkins claims the industry often produces an inferior product and deceives the public”. Dr. Hodgkins goes on to say “Unfortunately the industry is cutting corners, is not doing the testing it says that it is doing, is not using the quality of ingredients it wants pet owners to believe are in that bag and can and is not being forthcoming with pet owners about those facts. It is not a truthful industry.”

    I googled Dr. Hodgkins to see if I could find out who she was employed by — per Amazon “She formerly served as Director of Technical Affairs at Hills Pet Nutrition”. Of course, she may have been employed by other pet food manufacturers, or privy to their practices, too?

    Here’s a link to the video if anyone wants to watch it in its entirety — it’s 43 minutes long… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrBOOhDCC6g

  • aimee

    I don’t disagree with anything that Dr. Smart said in that article! The important takeaway is that she is calling for peer review in a credible journal.

    “none of these research trials is considered valid unless published in a forum that requires peer review and approval prior to publication.”

    She is warning people to only consider peer reviewed research! If it isn’t peer reviewed than it may not be valid!

    She also ranks levels of evidence with the highest weight being given to randomized controlled studies, Level 1 and the lowest, level 7 to educated ideas, opinions and editorials.

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying all along!!

  • Shawna

    PS — gonna have to pass on the gift exchange… While laying in bed last night it dawned on me that I had already purchased the book and loaded on my phone/iPad’s kindle app. Per Amazon I purchased it on April 13, 2013.. Some day I’ll get the time to read it.. Still haven’t read Dr. Blaylock’s “Health & Nutrition…” book and purchased that in March of 2013… Ughhh.. Just need to find a few more hours in each day… 🙂

    I am REALLY enjoying the “Shake” picture book!!! 🙂

  • Shawna

    I gotta say aimee that I was HIGHLY disappointed when I read the information you quoted.. I feel MUCH better though after reading the entire article.

    Towards the end Dr. Smart writes —

    “Some unprocessed raw diets definitely exceed 35% protein and yet they do not appear to be associated with the problem. But these diets may be providing a healthier functioning colonic microbial flora, a more balanced amino acid profile and more efficiently digested and metabolized protein.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-theory-about-jerky-treat-threat.html

    Based on this paragraph I would have to guess that it is not the overall protein that concerns her but rather the quality and digestibility of the protein fed as well as the animals microbial flora.

    Two things struck me about this — Dr. Becker and now Dr. Smart have both mentioned poor quality protein/amino acids and kidney stress.. I initially accepted your data that the kidneys filter passively but I think that idea needs to be revisited in light of this article.

    Second thing that struck me is that Dr. Smart apparently feels the protein that is digested by gut flora contributes to KD not just what is digested/absorbed.. I hadn’t heard this before except when researching fermentable fibers — pectins seemed to create more ammonia and increased Audrey’s BUN while Inulin/FOS and acacia fiber did not. Dr. Smart recommends apples w/ skin and seeds in the homemade renal diet but maybe there isn’t enough pectin in the whole apples to cause an issue.

  • Shawna

    More from the article linked above.

    “Validation of Research

    Within the scientific community, none of these research trials is considered valid unless published in a forum that requires peer review and approval prior to publication. This process relies on the integrity and policies of the Journal’s editorial board and the reviewers. To accomplish this can take considerable amount of time.

    “Cooperate biases” can weaken the validity of nutritional research by
    promoting studies with a positive effect and ignoring those showing a
    negative trend or by amalgamating several weak positive studies produce one strong positive result. Another concern is if the company‘s Research and Development division are interested in supporting a particular conclusion studies showing negative results may-be excluded. Positive trends rather than statistically sound results are cited as positive research in support of a diets formulation and efficacy. In order to properly evaluate companies research the reader must be satisfied that “cooperate bias” did not exist in the formulation or in the marketing of a veterinary medical food. This may-be almost impossible to determine from the information provided by the company.”

  • Shawna

    I was just on Dr. Smart’s site looking for the article aimee quoted in a post to me yesterday and came across this latest post from Dr. Smart.. Kinda sums up what most of us have been thinking all along if you ask me.

    Dr. Smart writes
    “Research Funding

    A recent article “Science under Siege” although about pharmaceutical
    research(Discover Magazine Oct2007)) reflects what is happening in the pet food industry . Private funding to academic institutions by big pharmaceutical companies is allowing science to become a powerful tool in their fight against regulation. Research in small animal nutrition has been traditionally underfunded or more accurately seldom funded by independent granting agencies. This has left the field wide open for the pet food industry to control and direct the research done in an academic institution, and within their own facilities. Research into pet
    foods is seldom at “arm’s length”.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=3

    **Note — I haven’t read the whole article yet so there may be more to it than what the first paragraphs implies??

  • Cyndi

    Yep, I give my dog alot of different raw meaty bones and it’s done wonders for her teeth. They look like puppy teeth they’re so white.

    & yes, I learned from the experienced people on here to give my dog heartworm every 45 days instead of every 30. I don’t want to risk her getting heartworm, so that is one of the few things she’s getting…

  • Cyndi

    Yep, Bailey got her last one last month too. I’ll figure out next year when I’ll start it up again…

  • Cyndi

    That’s definitely the way to go. I’ll be the first to admit that feeding your dog raw isn’t for everyone & there are definitely alot of great dog foods out there. I chose raw for the path I wanted to take because of all my research. Good luck to you in whichever change you make. You’ll feel good feeding your dogs better and I know your dogs will feel better too! 🙂 Have a great day!!

  • InkedMarie

    I do the same with heart worm but they get their last one in October, start up again in May. Thats what my holistic vet recommends.

  • InkedMarie

    Correct, you wash your hands after handling your own raw meat. What would be the problem with dogs eating raw, if you’re worried about salmonella, you wash your hands.

    Chicken bones splinter when they’re cooked. We’re talking raw. Dogs shouldn’t get cooked bones.

  • aimee

    Found the homemade article, I don’t disagree that dogs are anatomic carnivores.

    So protein between 14-40 %, Fats 5- 30% with the upper range being used in highly active dogs and carbs 3-50%. She doesn’t have any concerns about feeding carbs does she or grains for that matter.

    First time that I remember seeing grapefruit in a recipe.: )

    Her diet on a dry matter basis as written is 28% protein 30% fat and 34% carb. On a caloric basis it is 20% calories from protein. Not too far away from the AAFCO min. of 16% calories from protein.

  • aimee

    That’s a very interesting viewpoint.

    I know when I first posted here Dr. Mike asked me for peer reviewed research references to support what I said.

    Dr. J said he sticks to peer reviewed sources.

    My husband does too and requires the same of his students.


  • Of course I realize that peer review continues after publication – I experience and engage with that on a daily basis. Doesn’t make the peer review process any less flawed or more credible… or make it all that much different than DFA, for example, or the page you were calling Cyndi out for linking to.

  • aimee

    Heehee we can gift it to each other this year!

    Hey did you catch her idea as to why jerky treats are causing kidney issues?

    “These jerky treats when fed to dogs on a commercial processed diet of 30% Crude Protein (CP)or more results in an excess of dietary protein which the body may or may not be able to handle metabolically especially if there is some
    subclinical impairment of kidney and/or liver function, and an associated abnormal gastro intestinal micro flora.
    This could be further complicated if the protein in the treats was heat damaged or denatured or if crude glycerine from the Biofuels industry was added as a preservative”

  • aimee

    I didn’t know you were in academia! What field ? My husband’s PhD is in cell/molecular biology. What Journals are you published in? Congrats!

    I agree that just because a study passed peer review for publication does not mean it will be perfect. However, as you realize peer review continues after publication.

    Dr J said “I stick to the big
    properly reviewed journals.” I try to to the same. I usually stick to pubmed as it is harder and harder for me to figure out what “journals” are credible.

    There are a variety of peer reviewed options for nutritional research to be published. The Purina study info was picked up by a variety of journals.

    Small dissenting voices are heard if the research is sound. ( see Barry Marshall)

  • Pattyvaughn

    I live in an area where we get mosquitos year round and they even get in the house all the time, so I give heartworm meds, but only every 45 days.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Monthly heartworm preventions kill the larva up to a certain stage. They suggest every 30 days because it is easier for people to remember, but it is good for up to 45 days. I always gave my dogs their heartworm prevention on the 1st. Easy to remember. But now that I have a calendar that alerts me when I have to do something(cell phone), I just plug in the new date when I give the pill, so 45 days isn’t hard to remember anymore.

  • Shawna

    Salmonella is actually a common bacteria found in the digestive tract of dogs. Only the ones that have a compromised immune system become ill from it. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ccah/local-assets/pdfs/newsletter_2003_fall.pdf

    I have eight dogs and none of my current, or previous two, get heartworm meds. In over 20 years I’ve never had one diagnosed with heartworm either (and I am in a heartworm area). However, I have a fantastic vet that would be very valuable if one ever did become infected AND I do other things to lessen their risks. For what it’s worth, my vet and many other vets don’t give heartworm meds either but education is an absolute MUST if not giving…

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Thanks for your replies and patty too. I never thought about animals eating other animals. Whatever change I make I’ll be sure to do it slowly and with love and care. 🙂

  • tonia

    I was weirded out about raw chicken at first too but was amazed how well it cleaned their teeth. I’m curious Cyndi with the 45 days did you research that is it safe and healthier? I never thought about doing harm just the protection. I have recently wondered if they really needed it every 30 days for protection if they’ve be on it for years..

  • Cyndi

    Patty explained the bone explanation very well. I just wanted to add that I was brought up the same way as you regarding chicken bones and stuff. But, if you think about it, wolves and coyotes and other carnivores eat the bones from their prey. They just chew them up and swallow them with their meal. Their meals aren’t cooked, so the bones are perfectly digestible.

  • Cyndi

    I used to worry about that. It took me a while to finally get up the courage to hand my dog her first raw piece of food. Most dogs will take to it easily. Like I said before, I did alot of research before I started her on a raw diet, and I had alot of expert help from the raw feeders on here.

    I do give my dog heartworm medicine, but I do it every 45 days, instead of once a month. I didn’t want to give it to my dog at all, but after listening to the suggestions and advice from people on here, I use a certain brand and only give it every 45 days, followed by milk thistle for a week, to help protect the liver.

  • Cyndi

    Awesome! Glad to hear you are going to make the switch for your dogs. Make sure you a gradual change of the new food, and if you have trouble, you could always add a bit of wet food, to make it more appealing to them.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Cooked chicken bones splinter and are dangerous, but raw chicken bones break differently. Any cooked bone is not good regardless of the animal it came from.
    Dogs can handle some bacteria on their food. Due to their short digestive tract, they don’t have contaminated food in their body long enough to cause a problem, unless it is very contaminated. Of course, if the dog is unhealthy already, it is more susceptible to salmonella. My dogs must be pretty healthy, because one of their favorite things is the dead toads in the road and they have never gotten sick from them. Yuck!!

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    That makes sense. I never bothered to research Purina dry dog chow to find out how bad it is. I’m going to look at Nutrisource and others. I just feel bad my dogs are going to look at me funny if i make a change.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Yes I do worry about catching salmonella when i touch raw chicken, so i use a lot of dish liquid cleaner. Aren’t you? Also I heard of dogs getting a bone caught in their intestine tract and resulting in all kinds of problems. That’s enough to scare me. You can call me paranoid but that’s the way I am right now. Chicken bones splinter but steak bones are ok. That’s how I was brought up. But I stand to learn new things. 🙂

  • butchroy

    Probably best start by telling how much you would like to spend. Then you can be given some good choices in that price range. I use Nutrisource, which is very nicely priced and easily available. Check out their website. I also feed raw, Darwin’s which is delivered right to my door, frozen. Check out their web site, too. You can and should rotate and use many different brands and kinds of dog food. It makes it fun for you and good for your dogs. I will let the others who have taught me so much tell you more. Good luck and glad you are willing to feed your dogs better!!!

  • InkedMarie

    I’m not Cyndi but dogs chew chicken bones. Raw food, salmonella….do you worry about that when you touch you own raw meat?

  • Shawna

    No nothing specific to adult dogs however In her home made article she states protein can be between 14 and 40 percent on dry matter basis. She also states dogs are “anatomically a carnivore”. She also states dogs can survive on an herbivore diet when their natural prey is scarce and discusses a balance over time when eating a natural diet..
    I think you probably should read her book.. I’ve actually got it on my list too… 🙂

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Aren’t you worried about your dog choking on a chicken bone? or about your dog getting salmonella poisoning for eating raw meat? Do you give your dog heartworm medicine once a month. I do and I’m curious what you would say about that.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    Thanks for all the responses about purina dry dog chow. What brand of dog food would you recommend?

  • There’s an “About the Author” section below the artlcle.

    Working as I do in academia, peer reviewed sources are NOT without their credibility issues either. I would suspect, with respect to dog food, that very few would be seen as “credible peer reviewed sources” within a multi-billion dollar industry that is controlled/dominated by a very small number of huge companies with their own research agenda. It’s no surprise, then, that smaller – perhaps dissenting – voices are being forced to “report out” via blogs, etc …like, oh, I don’t know.. the Dog Food Advisor, perhaps?! Are you saying DFA is not credible? And if so, why then are you here?!?!

  • aimee

    If you didn’t test it how do you know the “poison and crap” came from Purina? Or that is contained any poisons at all?

    My concern with an article like that is that there are no references. Heck I didn’t even find an authors name!!

    Were any of the sources you read from a credible peer reviewed source?

    Because there is so much nonsense to be found on the web I never repeat or take to heart things without good references.

  • aimee

    She prefers small companies yet also wants research. I’ve yet to see any small company publish any type of research. It poses a bit of a dilemma doesn’t it.

    As I recall from the video, ( A Dog’s Breakfast ??) she said premium foods are not worth the extra money.

    I wonder what companies she does like.

    She like’s to see animal based protein in a food, as do I, but I see she doesn’t limit herself to that. Her recipe for homemade puppy contains about 37% plant based protein sourced from wheat germ and yeast.

    Have you read anything from her regarding what protein percentage she recommends for adult dogs? I see that she doesn’t think there is any need to exceed 30% protein DM for a puppy during rapid growth.

    I need to put her book on my reading list. Hmm… can any one say Christmas gift idea?

  • Cyndi

    I didn’t have it tested, but I’ve read, in many places, what those fatty tumors are.


  • Pingback: Your Dog Food Matters « Unforgettable Underdogs()

  • Shawna

    I would agree that Dr. Smart likes Purina’s research but based on her suggestions as to what commercial foods to purchase, she’s not a fan of many of their products (especially for cats).

    “Choosing a Commercial Diet

    If you wish to feed a commercial diet find a company that is small, family owned and accountable

    Rule #1: Protein sources must
    be animal based”

  • aimee


    When you had the mass on your Doberman tested exactly what poisons were found? I’d be most interested in seeing that lab report.

    My dog is currently eating Purina.

  • aimee

    Clearly most veterinarians do get nutritional instruction as part of their education. However, like most of their education, it is a general framework to work off of.

    It doesn’t surprise me that exit interviews indicate vets don’t feel adequately trained in nutrition. I’d venture to say you’d get the same answer if the question was asked about their dental training for example, or ophthalmology, or even surgery( Heck vets can graduate and be licensed to preform surgery without even having spayed a single dog in vet school.)

    There simply is not enough hours in the curriculum to be adequately trained in a lot of the facets of medicine.

    Dr. Smart in her conclusion is asking for more data. She specifically is calling attention to the fact that Purina is a company that is meeting that challenge! The product in that study was of course Purina Dog Chow.

    “Pet food producers should also step up and know that providing better information will improve both the industry and customer loyalty. Some efforts, like Nestlé Purina’s “Advancing Life Through Diet Restrictions” (49) study
    has shown the value of long-term non-invasive research and the
    considerable information that can be obtained from good research.”

  • Shawna

    Most vets, like most doctors, are not trained in nutrition and often don’t have the time to further their knowledge base after starting their practice..

    Veterinary nutritionist Dr. Meg Ryan co-authored a paper on nutrition knowledge and vets. Here’s a quote from the “Conclusion” of the paper

    “At present, only 8% of the Veterinary Colleges in North America have nutrition as a prerequisite for admission into the veterinary programme (45). Introductory nutrition courses are taught in 75% of the veterinary colleges in the United States. Applied clinical nutrition in both large and small animals is taught as an elective in 14 to 28% of the colleges. Exit interviews of graduates and surveys of practicing veterinarians indicate that they are not adequately trained in nutrition (46).” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/03/pet-food-industry-and-nutrition.html

    Purina Dog Chow has three ingredients that the FDA have proven can be contaminated with the euthanasia drug pentobarbital. From the FDA’s website

    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed
    ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The
    ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.” http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service says that pento contaminated ingredients should NOT be used in animal feed (not cattle feed and not dog feed).

    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not
    destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.” http://cpharm.vetmed.vt.edu/USFWS/USFWSFPentobarbFactSheet.pdf

    Veterinary nutritionist Dr. Smart also writes ” Nutrition in food animal production is focused on optimal production and economics, not what is necessarily healthy for the animal.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-nutrition-key-to-wellness-food-for.html The quality and type of ingredients used in Purina Dog Chow demonstrate exactly where Purina’s interests lie — and it is not the health of your animal..

  • Pattyvaughn

    They don’t take classes on how to keep animals healthy either, except in the most general sense. They take lots of classes on how to treat what has already gone wrong though.

  • Cyndi

    Read this, for one. There’s lots of info on this site about what goes into pet foods. The ingredients say it all.


  • Cyndi

    Thanks Patty!

  • Cyndi

    Your vet thinks it “good” to feed what you do because vets don’t know any better. They don’t take nutrition classes. & when your dog gets sick, from eating the Purina “food”, that’s what the vet counts on, so you spend more money with them.
    I thought vets were supposed to know everything there is to know about how to keep a dog healthy too, but they don’t. They only think they do.

  • Cyndi

    I was exactly like you not too long ago. I thought raw meat, chicken bones, or any bones, could kill a dog. I thought Purina One was one of the best foods I could feed my dog. But, then I did some research. I researched for months and realized what I had thought was right all along, wasn’t right at all. Those big commercial pet “food” companies are poisoning our pets! My doberman I had, had a lump the size of a softball on his side. The vet said it was just a fatty deposit. Do you know what that lump was? All the friggin’ poison and crap from the Purina food I was feeding him trying to leave his body by coming to the surface. Do you think my vet would have told me that?

    I have been feeding my current dog a raw diet, for 7 months now, and she’s never been healthier. & yes, she eats raw chicken bones, lots of them. They are perfectly safe. She also eats raw organs and veggies and lots of other stuff. Heck, she eats healthier than I do, and, on occasion, I give her a small piece of a chocolate cookie or something. It’s not going to hurt her being that small of a piece.

    Please, do some research. Look at the ingredients of Purina dog chow for yourself. Read some of the articles on this site about what goes in to some dog foods. All the proof is out there. You just have to find it. & you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a better food. Just ask anyone on this site to suggest a better food for you and they would be happy to.

  • Pattyvaughn

    While I wouldn’t give a dog any chocolate, because I don’t want them to develop a taste for if, it would take quite a large amount of chocolate to do them harm. It takes 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight to poison a dog with milk chocolate. And raw chicken bones are perfectly safe for many dogs. It’s cooked ones that are the problem, or how individual dogs eat, gulping not chewing.
    Purina is like McDonalds. You can probably get away with eating junk for a while, some even do it long term, but for most, a bad diet catches up to you. Purina does not use quality ingredients. And this food, in particular has 4 food dyes and 4 anonymous animal sourced ingredients that could be just about anything except good, and none of them are actually meat. Don’t even get me started on how much plant matter is in there.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    And besides, my vet knows I feed my dog purina dog chow. And she say that’s good. I also give them healthy dog treats and take them to the dog park. That keeps them healthy and happy too.

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    What’s so wrong with purina? I read a couple of your posts and you say it’s ok to give a dog a chicken bone or a little bit of chocolate. I don’t know if I could trust anything you say.

  • InkedMarie

    That’s too bad.

  • Cyndi

    Your dogs may SEEM “healthy” and “happy”, eating Purina Dog crap, but trust me, they aren’t. My son, when he was little, would have loved if I fed him McDonalds every day. I’m sure if I did, he would still SEEM happy and healthy, but we all know he wouldn’t be. Just because your dogs like purina best, don’t you think feeding your dogs a better food would be better for them?

  • disqus_rCcp8MNgwQ

    I have 4 dogs and they all love the the purina dog chow. They are very healthy and happy dogs. I use to feed them different brands but they liked the purina best.

  • InkedMarie

    I realize I should have said same ingredients but different order, sorry

  • Do you really believe we edit Orijen (or any other dog food) differently than we do this Purina article?

    Please note in “The Final Word” section of this review, I wrote the following:

    “Although it’s our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.”

    Also, on our FAQ page (accessible from every page of this website) you’ll find the following information:

    “How often do you update your reviews?

    “Although it’s our goal to maintain the accuracy of our reviews, it’s
    impossible for anyone to keep all the information for thousands of
    products up-to-date on a daily basis.

    “However, we do try to revisit and update each article at least once
    every 18 months — or more frequently whenever we’re alerted by a reader or a company of a product or recipe change.”

    Please note this review was 100% accurate on the day it was last updated — 5/20/2012 (as you can see from our history at the end of this article).

    By the way, did you take the time to report this ingredient change? How could anyone possibly know without your help?

    By the way, Sandy and I plan to update this (and many others) within the next few days.

  • InkedMarie

    If Orijen changed the ingredients but different order, I’d say the same thing I just did except it’d be good food, not crappy. Good ingredients are good. Crappy ones are still crap.

  • InkedMarie

    Yes, as she said, the same ingredients, except gorgeous brewers rice, in different order. Those ingredients, in any order, aren’t good but I know you’re going going to say it’s some miracle dog food and good for you. I feel sorry for your dog.

  • Wow, Purina’s actually managed to make a really horrible food just that little bit more horrible. Lovely.

  • guest

    Both of those lists of ingredients are disgusting, so I don’t see how it makes a difference…

  • somebodysme

    Well if that was Orijen and the ingredients were in a different order, it was be totally unacceptable. And as far as I know, dog chow (the regular variety) has never had rice in it.

  • beaglemom

    Like I said the ingredients are the same (minus rice), just listed in a different order.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The update is due tomorrow or so.

  • somebodysme

    No it is not the same with just rice as different. Not the same at all. New ingredient list directly from Purina’s website.


    Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat
    preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal,
    egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, calcium
    carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride,
    zinc sulfate, Yellow 6, Vitamin E supplement, L-Lysine
    monohydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, Red 40, manganese sulfate,
    niacin, Blue 2, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium
    pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12
    supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin
    supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source
    of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

  • beaglemom

    According to purina’s website, the only inaccurate ingredient here is brewers rice. Everything else is correct, just in a slightly different order than is listed above.

  • somebodysme

    The ingredients listed for this food are not correct.

  • Dr J

    Take a carpet knife and cut it out….jeeze I would worry more about what the red stain is and why it is not water soluble…..

  • UncleBob

    UncleBob again.
    Purina Dog Chow sells for $0.66/pound.
    $0.50/pound at Walmart 20 miles away.
    Chicken drumsticks have dropped to $1.00/pound.
    It makes a lot of sense to feed your dog real food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Disqus has been doing that to me more than usual lately. They probably “improved” it again.

  • Shawna

    I just love Disqus :)… I couldn’t see your post when I left mine.. Was actually surprised that you or HDM or one of a few others hadn’t posted… Ughhh

  • Shawna

    I’m not sure I understand your logic? How does a wolf knowing what it’s eating have any relevance? It may not know it’s eating the thyroid but the fact is, it does eat the thyroid.

    Give animals and mother nature a little credit here.. I’ve been told by vet and wildlife rehabber Dr. Karen Becker that wolves and dogs will eat bunny poo if they are in need of digestive enzymes. The reason she told me this was because my dogs would make a game of finding and eating bunny droppings. However as soon as I started giving enzymes in both their daily meals (raw meals), the bunny poop eating immediately stopped.

    Please consider this as well, wolves are not subjected to nearly the amount of toxins our pets come into contact with on a daily basis — phthalates from candles, car exhaust, PFOA from non-stick cooking pans, formaldehyde in particle board furniture and carpeting, lawn chemicals, flea/tick and heartworm drugs etc.. A few extra antioxidants surely can’t hurt when factoring in this onslaught of toxins they are routinely exposed to….

  • Pattyvaughn

    Um, the only time they leave the head is when it is too thick for them to crack it open. And if they are eating small prey animals they consume the whole thing. Shawna didn’t say they know what they are eating and in case you are saying that the thyroid is in the uneaten head, your science is a little off. The thyroid is in the throat.

  • UncleBob

    I supplement my nieces dog with chicken drumsticks at $1.30/pound and guts/gizzards/hearts at $0.80/pound. This keeps the dog from eating poop and grass. The dog eats purina dog chow at home

  • Shawna

    My Yorkie lived to 15 and my Poodle lived to 18 years old on Purina products. Excellent lifespan, however neither were ever truly healthy. The Poodle died of kidney disease and the Yorkie died of stomach cancer. Their coats were okay but not GREAT like the eight dogs I have now. Fleas were attracted to them unlike my current dogs etc. Longevity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality of health or life.

    I wouldn’t touch a Purina product, now that I know about the true quality of foods, if it was given to me free of charge for the life of my dogs. And since I have eight dogs that could be a HUGE savings… Just my opinion though!!

  • CaptElaine

    I have a 17, 15, and 12 year old dogs fed Purina from puppyhood until today.

  • beaglemom

    God I hope not. What is wrong with people.

  • InkedMarie

    Are you serious?

  • E. Viergever

    Our Jack Russell Terrier Buddy eats Purina Little Bites. Saturday, he had a mild stroke and vomitted his breakfast all over our carpet. I’ve used Bissell’s Pet and Stain Remover and also OxiClean, but I am unable to get the red food coloring out of the carpet. Do you know how this stain can be removed from our carpet?

  • Shawna

    I’m so very sorry for you loss!! That is horrible… 🙁 In my opinion, there’s not many, if any, Purina products that are quality foods — especially for breeding dogs and puppies..

  • Jessalynn Doss

    My name is Jessalynn Doss. I have a kennel in KY. I have always fed my dogs Purina Dog Chow. I purchased 2 bags around June 19th. By July 14 my dogs were sick. They started vomiting and having runny stool. Then They started to swell. There was something in that food that posioned them. I lost 10 breeders and 4 unborn puppies! I was on honeymoon when dogs got sick and died There was nothing vet could do and didnt know that it was the food until i just recently started researching because I could not get it off my mind! some $5000+ dollars lost. I realized it was the food after the ordeal was finished when the water and dirt came back negative for any harmful additives. I am not sure what to do about this situation, needless to say… i no longer feed the Dog Chow in the green bag!

  • aimee

    Hi Esther,

    I think the important thing to remember is this statement from the ratings; “However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.”

    There are far too many important factors at play which are not art of the rating system which make health predictions impossible.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Alas, there are no guarantees in life.

  • Esther Grossman

    How much longer will a dog live, if it’s feed 5 quality dog food, than a dog eating 1 star?

  • Cyndi

    I am so very sorry for your loss! 🙁 I’m just curious as to which food you were feeding your dog. Purina One and Purina Dog Chow are 2 different “foods”. They’re both crappy foods, but different, nonetheless. I lost my doberman a couple years ago and he was eating Purina One. I also lost my cat about a year or two before my doberman, and he was also eating Purina One. After I got my new dog, I did A LOT of research on dog food and I ended up on this site. I have switched to a species appropriate raw diet for my current dog and will NEVER feed crappy commercial dog food again. There are plenty of good dog foods out there though, you can check reviews on this site or ask anyone and they can help you out.
    I agree with butchroy below, Hound Dog Mom is one of the very knowledgeable people on here in raw feeding and she or the other regulars can help you out in finding a different kibble to feed your current dog.
    Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. I unfortunately know exactly what you’re going thru. 🙁

  • butchroy

    So sorry to hear about Lucky Deer. You can look on this web site for help in making your own food from Hound Dog Mom and others to make sure you get the amounts correct. She is very knowledgeable on raw feeding. I have switched to Darwin’s raw due to all I have learned here. Good luck to you and my heart aches for your family. I pray God gives you peace, it is not your fault, you did not know.

  • Plain Truth

    Dave ( Cutterman ) I just lost four year old ” Lucky Deer “. He was a pure breed blood hound. I was feeding him ( Purina One, Dry dog food ). When he started acting as if some thing was wrong we toke him to the Vet. Vet, ran X Rays And found no problems. Gave him dose of antibiotics. He got better started eating and got worse and fast. We carried him back to the vet. Vet did not figure it out. More antibiotics. He died next morning with me at his side. My son and I trained him to track and recover deer. He was second to none. Loving dog. Protective of my family. Good guard dog. I don’t usually get all mushy about these things. Here is why this time is Different. We also have Toy poodle that stays in the house. I named him ” Zero” He is the most alert dog I ever owned. We had a Whole big Bag of { PURINA ONE DOG CHOW } left over My wife started giving it to ” Zero ” . He came down with same symptoms as ” Lucky Deer “. My wife told me this as I walked in the house after work. My mouth hit the floor. I thought to myself. I am going to have to watch another dog suffer and die, then have to bury him.{ The light came on } I said the food. Stop feeding him the food. I felt so stupid I was poisoning my prize most favorite dog to date, and did not know it. We toke Zero to the Vet. Told him the deal He backed my decition to Stop useing that dog food. I now feed my dogs real food. Meat, vegitables , Of all kinds ( No More Processed Dog Food).

  • Pattyvaughn

    Actually they are allowed to throw out up to 25% of the dogs for any reason, including death. So even if 25% of the dogs die, it’s still a success.

  • Suzanne

    Keep in mind that most clinical trials simply feeding a group of dogs for a period of time and are considered a “success” if none of them die. It really doesn’t prove anything – I could eat nothing but oatmeal and grits for 3 months and live to tell about it but that doesn’t mean I’m thriving or eating a balanced diet.

  • Cyndi

    And another thing, most people just don’t know why their dog is getting sick or dying from different diseases or getting giant fatty tumors. I didn’t, and I lost my previous dog too young. I have since educated myself and now I know all the crap that goes into pet food, and it’s not just CORN! The naive people that are loyal to Purina don’t know these things and they are losing their beloved pets way too young!

  • Cyndi

    Nowadays it IS garbage, plain and simple. When I was growing up 35-40 years ago, we fed all our dogs dog chow or old roy or things like that. Nowadays, the same companies put more crap and poison in their foods and they just don’t care! Most companies, like those I mentioned, were smaller companies back then, now they are big companies, bought out by greedy money hungry bastards that don’t care what’s in their “food”. They just care about making money. It’s up to US, as “consumers” who purchase that crap to take a stand! It’s common knowledge, atleast on here, what kind of garbage actually goes into making the crappy pet food; dead, diseased and dying animals, euthanized animals. Do some research and learn about it for yourself…

  • bigbaddave

    And there is something evil about a company wanting to make a profit? I have known many people with dogs throughout my life, including my family, that have fed “crap” like dog chow and had dogs that lived many healthy years. Corn is much maligned yet it is a good source of protein and is in many animal feeds. Actually its in a companies, such as Purina, best interest to make food that keeps animals healthy and long lived. Thats how they manage to grow large and keep folks buying their dog food. If dogs were commonly dying early, and having all sorts of health issues, due to their food I believe people would have noticed long ago and stopped purchasing their food. Not that their isn’t maybe better food but calling it garbage is just silly and incorrect.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Thanks Shawna – I agree with Cyndi, very well said. 🙂

  • Cyndi

    Very well said Shawna!!

  • Shawna

    I know some people who feed prey model and do an excellent job at it. But most botch it up royally. If you look at “prey” there is more to them than meat, bone and fat.

    As an example, wolves eat the thyroid gland which is a source of iodine. So unless you are feeding thyroid or cod your pup could be deficient.

    The blood of a live animal is a source of sodium. The fur is a source of non-digestible fiber. The eyes and brain supply omega 3 DHA and EPA. The pancreas is a source of enzymes. The tripe is a source of enzymes and probiotics etc etc etc.

    NO animal in the wild eats just the meat, bones and liver/heart. Some of us strive to feed ALL the nutrients (not just macro nutrients) that a wild carnivore would consume. Hound Dog Mom does a FANTASTIC job of it..

  • Rhett J D.

    Why are you feeding your dogs kelp they are carnivores not the other. Fat and meat is what they eat not all this other garbage. Your over doing it.

  • Rhett J D.

    Ill show you the years of no vet bills.

  • Rhett J D.

    Raw meat diet is the best thing you can do for your carnivore pets why people dont do this is beyond me. And they dont suffer from all the ailments like kidney disease. I find it funny my vet and many vets kept telling me my cat and dogs need to go on this special formula. After reading the package its loaded with Grains yet again so now i dont trust these guys as they probably get a kickback. Its all about money

  • Rhett J D.

    Your feeding your dog the wrong ingredients your dog is a carnivore not a cow. They eat meat overall their organs were never designed to consume such things. Make your own dog food and see your dogs health improve.

  • Rhett J D.

    They are also into making money is why I do not feed my animals this garbage. And guess what my vet bills dont exist, and my animals live much longer healthier lives. Ask the millions of Americans who eat this crap yes lots of corn, wheat and other grains and see all their health issues…

  • Shawna

    This isn’t technically “research” but I found this comment, made by a vet, very interesting. (This is taken from an article in the blog Sandy links to below).

    “What about vitamins? Why don’t
    raw food companies just go ahead and add vitamins so they can meet AAFCO nutritional standards? Many nutritionists, human or veterinary, especially those who are also raw food advocates, are against chemically synthesized vitamins for good reasons. There are many examples in the literature available of how a natural, whole food vitamin is different then a chemically synthesized vitamin. These differences will affect how the synthetic vitamin is absorbed and utilized by the body. For example, the Vitamin C complex found in whole foods has ascorbic acid, rutin, bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen, and other components.(12) On the other hand, synthetic “Vitamin C” is often just ascorbic acid. Do you think this will make a difference to the dog? I do! As another example, Vitamin E may be d-alpha or dl-alpha. Only one is found in nature, the other is the mirror image. Synthetic alpha-tocopherols can actually be any of eight stereoisomers and these forms, besides differing chemically in structure, vary in absorption, metabolism, and bioactivity both in the tissues and the plasma (13). Dr. Ron Carsten, DVM MS, speaking about process pet food, stated: “Synthetic vitamins and other
    substances are added (to kibble) in an effort to compensate for this nutrient loss. However, these additives create ongoing metabolic stresses that coupled with the limited ingredient selection and processing of foods leads to situations in which cellular nutritional status can be compromised, causing tissue malnutrition.”
    (14) Synthetic vitamins may even be harmful. Certainly excesses can be harmful.” http://dramyrawdogfoodresearch.com/RawDogFoodResearch/Does_Raw_Pet_Food_Warrant_Unique_Set_of_Nutrient_Requirements_%28copy_of_my_article-some_%22food_for_thought%22%29.html

    Edit — MANY raw food companies do meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines — some use only whole foods to do so while others do include some synthetics and added minerals.

  • Shawna

    I was communicating off and on with Mrs. Hill when Dr. Amy started the trial/blog but kinda lost touch with it because my old PC had issues with the site…?? Grrr

    I was so sorry to read that Charlie lost his battle with PLN :(… I want to go home and hug Audrey right this very minute!!!!!

    I was reading through some of Dr. Amy’s comments and ran across some very valuable, in my opinion, data. THANK YOU for linking to the blog.. I’m copy/pasting the data in a post to bigbaddave shortly.

    THANK YOU!!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Very interesting!

  • Studies cost a lot of money. And of course the big dog food manufacturers are not going to help fund a raw food study. Here is one vet that has done a 12 month study on raw food:


  • Shawna

    I appreciate you taking the time to check it out :)..

  • bigbaddave

    Thanks I will check it out.

  • Shawna

    My dog was born with kidney disease. She showed symptoms as early as six weeks of age but wasn’t officially diagnosed til her one year blood eval. She was given one year longer to live (to age two).

    I have fed her raw since coming to me at nine weeks of age. She is still, to this day, un-medicated and her diet is high in protein and phosphorus, low in carbs with moderate fat. I do give her whole food vitamins, filtered water etc though.

    My pup, Audrey, turned seven years old this past June and is still VERY healthy.. I don’t need science to prove to me that a raw diet is better for her (or a healthy dog for that matter). But the science is out there if you are willing to look for it — I’ve sited data in another post to you.

  • Shawna

    Unfortunately you can have all the scientists and nutritionists you want on staff but if the ingredients in the food are inferior, the end product will be inferior.

    Granted this is from 1999 but they had science and employed nutritionists back then too.. Purina ProPlan was one of the foods that the FDA found the euthanasia drug pentobarbital in. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129135.htm

    Vet Dr. Meg Smart taught small animal nutrition at the college level for more than 30 years. This is what she says about finding a dog food.

    “Highly processed and dissected and reconstituted (convenience) foods have only been part of our diet and that of our pets for a little over 200 years. Less than one percent of the time, that dogs have been associated with man….

    Now dogs are confined, over vaccinated, their activities are controlled by us, their environment polluted and sanitized, and their food and treats made primarily from highly processed waste products from the human food chain….

    If you wish to feed a commercial diet find a company that is small, family owned and accountable.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html#more

    Corn, like all grains and many other foods, has a protein in it called a lectin. Lectins, in susceptible individuals (both dog and human) are capable of causing major disease in those that are intolerant. Diseases that range from brain damage to pancreatic lesions to kidney disease and diabetes… There is ample research about lectins if you are willing to look for it. I will note that the lectin in corn, called zein, is not as well studied as the lectin in wheat, a gluten protein called gliadin.

  • Janet

    I think you are joking here…right? Since when are carnivores, your dog, suppose to have a diet bed on corn, cereal and junk that is not safe for humans? Garbage in…garbage out. When you put your dog on a raw diet, it is natural and it creates less stress on the body to break it down and digested very easy.

  • Shawna

    Hi bigbaddave,

    There actually is ample evidence that processed foods are inferior.

    “Compared with the raw animal meals, rendered meals generally had decreased protein quality, with lamb meal having the poorest overall protein quality. The decreased protein quality of the rendered animal meals may be due in part to the heat processing during rendering; although differences in raw material composition may have also contributed.” http://www.animal-science.org/content/85/12/3285.full

    I’ve found other similar research. I’ve also found a research document stating that synthetic amino acids are not utilized by the body in the same manner as those in whole protein. This makes sense.

    There have also been ample research demonstrating that synthetic vitamins are ineffectively used by the body. “Tests have shown that synthetic vitamins may be as much as 70% less biologically active than natural vitamins.” http://www.medicalonline.com.au/medical/nutrition/natural-vitamins.htm

    Even IF synthetic is used as efficiently by the body, they do not replace all nutrients damaged by processing back in to the final product. A prime example is vitamin E. There are eight KNOWN forms of vitamin E (alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopherol and the same four tocotrienols). They add back alpha-tocopherol (or it’s synthetic version dl-alpha tocopherol) and they’ve begun adding “mixed tocopherols” — not sure if that is all four or a mix of two or three? BUT, you NEVER see any tocotrienols added back in. And they have discovered via research that the tocotrienols are the prime cancer fighters of the E group.

    And then let’s not forget all the cats that died of heart disease because science did not know that cats require the amino acid taurine. Or the excess vitamin D in the Blue Buffalo that gave dogs and cats kidney disease. And then the whole melamine incident. Or how bout cancer. Vet Dr. Demian Dressler of the dog cancer blog discusses, in an article titled “Dog Food: Is There a Cancer Risk”, how heat and extrusion can create carcinogens from the protein and carbs in the food. http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-food-is-there-a-cancer-risk/
    There is actually ample evidence if you are open to the info and willing to look for it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No, you know it meets the AAFCO profile, which is not the same thing.

  • bigbaddave

    The problem is assuming processed food is bad, for you or the dog. Without scientific evidence you don’t actually know, you are just guessing. The problem more likely is getting a complete and balanced diet, processed or not. I doubt most people do get the proper amount of nutrients in their diet. At least with scientifically formulated and prepared dog food you know the pet is getting everything he needs and in the correct amounts.