Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Sport product line includes the 6 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 check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Beef & Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Beef & Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Beef, corn gluten meal, rice, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, corn germ meal, dried egg product, fish meal (source of glucosamine), natural flavor, fish oil, soybean oil, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, 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), ], choline chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, magnesium sulfate, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (vitamin C), dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, garlic oil

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%23%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%44%28%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 28%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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.

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 third 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 fourth 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 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 sixth 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 seventh ingredient includes 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 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.

The ninth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

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 5 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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

In addition, 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.

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.2

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.

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.

Purina Pro Plan Sport
Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Sport looks like an average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 34%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.

Which means this Purina product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten and corn germ meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Sport offers both with-grain and grain-free dry recipes that include a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

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

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. 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)

11/17/2019 Last Update