Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct product line includes the 4 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- True Instinct with Beef and Salmon Cuts in Gravy [M]
- True Instinct with Chicken and Duck Cuts in Gravy [M]
- True Instinct with Turkey and Venison Cuts in Gravy [M]
- True Instinct with Turkey and Game Bird Cuts in Gravy [M]
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Chicken and Duck Cuts in Gravy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Chicken and Duck Cuts in Gravy
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, duck, soy flour, corn starch-modified, potassium chloride, added color, tricalcium phosphate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, niacin, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||55%||18%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||47%||36%||17%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 fifth ingredient includes meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1
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 allergies impossible.
Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.
The next ingredient is duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.3
Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The seventh ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that won’t be ignored when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.
Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Purina product.
With 2 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?
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct
Canned Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct canned dog food looks like a below-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 55% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 32%.
Which means this Purina product line contains…
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other canned dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten and soy flour, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct is a grain-inclusive canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and unnamed meat by-products as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 2.5 stars.
Purina Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Purina. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Purina Beneful and Pro Plan Dog Food Recall (3/11/2016)
- Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
05/28/2020 Last Update