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Purina One True Instinct Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: June 6, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Purina One True Instinct product range is made up of four recipes which each receive the Dog Food Advisor’s rating, 3 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Purina One True Instinct with a Blend of Real Turkey and Venison was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Purina One True Instinct with a Blend of Real Turkey and Venison

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

34.1%

Protein

19.3%

Fat

38.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Turkey, chicken meal, soy flour, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, soy flakes, corn germ meal, glycerin, venison, natural flavor, oat meal, calcium carbonate, salt, mono and dicalcium phosphate, caramel color, 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)], potassium chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate], sodium selenite, choline chloride


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 30% 17% NA
Dry Matter Basis 34% 19% 39%
Calorie Weighted Basis 29% 39% 32%

Ingredients Analysis

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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.

Although soy flour contains about 51% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The next ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient 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 sixth ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).

The seventh 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 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 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 Purina product.

With six 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.

Additionally, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, this recipe includes 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Purina One True Instinct Dog Food looks like an average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 34%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Which means this Purina product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soy flour, soy flakes, corn gluten and corn germ meals in this recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Purina Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Purina through July 2024.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Purina Grain Inclusive Dog Food

Purina One True Instinct is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

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Recommended with Reservations

A Final Word

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