Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

Purina Pro Plan Focus canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Focus product line includes the 9 canned 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.

  • Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice Classic (2.5 stars) [G]
  • Focus Adult 7+ Beef and Rice in Gravy (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Focus Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Classic (2.5 stars) [G]
  • Focus Adult Large Breed Beef and Rice in Gravy (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Focus Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice in Gravy (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Focus Adult Weight Management Turkey and Rice in Gravy (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon Classic [M]
  • Pro Plan Focus Classic Puppy Chicken Entree Grain Free (2.5 stars) [A]
  • Pro Plan Focus Classic Puppy Turkey Entree Grain Free (2.5 stars) [A]

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Beef and Rice in Gravy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Beef and Rice in Gravy

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, beef, liver, wheat gluten, chicken, rice, meat by-products, corn starch-modified, added color, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, salt, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, and sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%11%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis46%25%29%
Protein = 46% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 29%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The next ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although wheat gluten contains 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The sixth ingredient includes meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible.

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The next ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

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 2 notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any 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?

And lastly, 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.

Purina Pro Plan Focus
Canned Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Focus canned dog food looks like a below-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 45% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Which means this Purina product line contains…

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Focus lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free canned dog foods using a notable amount of named meats and unnamed meat by-products as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include anonymous meat by-products in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

Not recommended.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

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.

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

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

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials

07/27/2020 Last Update