Review of Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Dog Food
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free with Real Beef
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, soybean meal, canola meal, cassava root flour, pea starch, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, dried egg product, dried yeast, dried beet pulp, lentil flour, natural flavor, glycerin, pea protein, sunflower oil, salt, dl-methionine, dried sweet potatoes, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), biotin (vitamin B-7), ], calcium carbonate, taurine, mono and dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||34%||19%||39%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||39%||32%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is canola meal. Canola meal is a by-product of canola oil production more typically used to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.
Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is cassava root flour, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The sixth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth ingredient is dried yeast, which can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
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 One product.
With 8 notable exceptions…
First, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, lentil flour is a powder made from roasted peas or lentils. Lentil flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
In addition, we note the use of glycerin. Glycerin is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
This food also contains pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
We also find taurine in this recipe. Taurine is an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Additionally, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, this product 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 its nutrient profiles, we question the use of this item in any canine recipe.
Based on its ingredients alone, Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
But when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, canola meal, dried yeast, lentil flour and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Dog Food
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Has Purina One SmartBlend Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Purina.
- Purina Beneful and Pro Plan Dog Food Recall (3/11/2016)
- Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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- Purina One Dog Food Review (Canned)
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- Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Review (Canned)
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- Purina Pro Plan Savory Meals Dog Food Review (Tubs)
- Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Dog Food Review (Dry)
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01/17/2021 Last Update