Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food Review (Dry)

Purina Pro Plan Sport All Ages Dog Food

Pro Plan Sport Dog Food Review

Rating:

Purina Pro Plan Sport All Ages Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Sport product line includes the 7 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Pro Plan Sport Active 26/16 Chicken and Rice 3 A
Pro Plan Sport Active 27/17 Turkey and Barley 4 A
Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Chicken and Rice 3.5 A
Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice 4 A
Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Beef & Rice 4 A
Pro Plan Sport Active 27/17 Chicken and Rice 4 A
Pro Plan Sport Small Bites 27/17 Lamb and Rice 4 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Pro Plan Sport All Ages Performance 30/20 Chicken and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Chicken, corn gluten meal, rice, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, corn germ meal, dried egg product, fish meal (source of glucosamine), natural flavor, fish oil, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, 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), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B-7), ], 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%

Ingredient Analysis

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 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 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 next 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 sixth 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 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 next 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 Purina product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we find fish oil, which 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 oil 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 its nutrient profiles, we question the use of this item in any canine recipe.

Nutrient Analysis

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 32% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

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.

Is Purina a Good Dog Food?

Purina Pro Plan Sport is a grain-inclusive dry dog food that uses a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient and minus the plant-based protein boosters, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.

However, those concerned about the presence of menadione in this recipe may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for a different product. Or consider using diet rotation to reduce the risks associated with feeding the same dog food… continuously, for a lifetime.

Has Pro Plan Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Purina.

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

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More Pro Plan Reviews

The following Purina Pro Plan reviews are also posted on this website:

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.

References

  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)

10/25/2020 Last Update