Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind product line includes the 4 dry 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.
Use the links to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed [M]
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken and Rice [M]
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Small Breed [M]
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Chicken and Rice (3 stars) [M]
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken and Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), ground rice, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, corn germ meal, vegetable oil (source of medium-chain triglycerides), barley, fish meal, dried egg product, minerals (potassium chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, salt, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), fish oil, natural liver flavor, amino acid (l-arginine), vitamins (vitamin E, choline, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin D3, vitamin B7), garlic oil
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||16%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||34%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.
We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).
The third ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The next ingredient 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 fifth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn 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 seventh ingredient 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.
The eighth ingredient is medium-chain triglyceride vegetable oil (MCT), a fatty-acid supplement derived from palm kernel or coconut oil.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1
Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), MCT can be considered a positive addition to any senior recipe.
The ninth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The tenth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.3
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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 failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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.
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 food contains an item identified as vitamin K. Is this the safe natural version of vitamin K. Or is this a cleverly disguised version of the synthetic (and controversial) form of the vitamin also known as menadione?
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the nature of this ingredient.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind
Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Which means this Purina product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and corn germ meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Purina Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Purina brand. 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
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- 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) ↩
03/07/2020 Last Update