Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind product line includes 7 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 sizes at an online retailer.

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

Protein = 33% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), brewers rice, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, corn germ meal, medium-chain triglyceride vegetable oil, barley, fish meal (source of glucosamine), dried egg product, fish oil, natural flavor, potassium chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, l-arginine, salt, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, and sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%16%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%34%38%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 34% | Carbs = 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 brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth 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.

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 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 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 fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.4

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. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food 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 Pro Plan
Bright Mind Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

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 54%.

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.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

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
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Dog Food Coupons
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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

09/07/2018 Last Update

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  4. 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)