Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct product line includes 3 dry dog foods.
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.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Use links below to compare price and package size information at an online retailer.
- Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Beef and Salmon [M]
- Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Salmon and Tuna (2.5 stars) [M]
- Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Turkey and Venison (2.5 stars) [M]
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Turkey and Venison was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Turkey and Venison
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, soy flour, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken meal (source of glucosamine), whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, soy flakes, rice flour, corn germ meal, glycerin, venison, oat meal, liver flavor, calcium carbonate, mono and dicalcium phosphate, salt, caramel color, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid (vitamin B9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), vitamin D3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B7), ], potassium chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], sulfur, choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%
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 turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
The third ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.
Both corn gluten meal and soy flour are less costly plant-based products that can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The sixth ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat 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 wheat a preferred component in any dog food.
The seventh ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).
The eighth ingredient includes soy flakes. Soy flakes are derived from whole soybeans and contain about 55% protein, a factor that must be considered when attempting to judge the actual meat content of a pet food recipe.
The ninth ingredient is rice flour. Rice flour is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The next item is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.
However, the protein found in corn germ meal (about 25% dry matter basis) must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.1
In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a 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?
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
And lastly, this recipe 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 One SmartBlend True Instinct
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soy products, corn gluten and corn germ meals in this recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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
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
06/02/2019 Last Update