Purina Pro Plan Sport (Dry)


Rating: ★★½☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Sport product line includes five 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.

  • Pro Plan Sport Active 26/16 Formula [A]
  • Pro Plan Sport Active 27/17 Formula [A]
  • Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Formula [A]
  • Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice [A]
  • Pro Plan Sport Grain Free Performance 30/20 (4 stars) [A]

Pro Plan Sport Active 27/17 Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Sport Active 27/17

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Turkey, brewers rice, barley, chicken meal (natural source of glucosamine), dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, oatmeal, pea protein, pea fiber, dried beet pulp, fish oil, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, salt, mono and dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried sweet potatoes, dried tomatoes, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, 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 B6), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), vitamin D3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B7), l-lysine monohydrochloride, and l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (vitamin C)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis27%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% 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 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fifth 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 have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is brewers yeast, which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The ninth ingredient lists pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 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 meat content of this dog food.

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 six notable exceptions

First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

Next, this food includes beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

In addition, 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.

We find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

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
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Sport looks like a below-average dry dog food.

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 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

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%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Sport 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 2.5 stars.

Not 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

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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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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/15/2017 Last Update

  • regina walker

    I have 3 pit bulls they love the Purina brand especially the Proplan sport 30/20. Petsmart currently has the sport 30/20 in 50lbs bags for 49.99 I think it is great product and price for the results. My dogs just love to eat but they do enjoy the Purina line.

  • Jill Prescott

    Compare little kids that refuse to eat kale, beets, cooked carrots…whatever. We don’t feed them cotton candy just because they eat it. When dog foods are sprayed with coating that small good they will eat it.

  • Jimbo Smith

    Those specialty dog food stores are trained to prey on people. They say fillers, feed less, biological what ever. They dont know anything. Grain free foods are a gimmick. If people with expensive show and hunting dogs use this its very good. I know one German Shepherd Breeder that buys Pro Plan Performance 30/20 purple by the pallet. They have been making this formula for a long time 10 years or more. Im a Disabled veteran and work for no company. Its great for puppies to old dogs.

  • Jimbo Smith

    Pick your fade over priced grain free dog food of choice. Only 1 percent of dogs have allergies to corn. The grain free foods = slow eating dogs, mud pies, poop in dog cages, and dogs that are not happy. Purina Chows, one, and Pro Plan are better.

  • Cathy Koh

    I do that

  • Susan

    Hi yes I’ve read the lower the ash the better… In Australia the only kibble that’s low is ash is “Meals For Mutts” & it has 5% Ash, I’ve noticed Kibble companies DON’T like writing the Ash % especially if its high, some kibbles have around 10% ash…..

  • B. Vaughn

    If you don’t mind, can you share what you have tried and what the results were?

  • dad

    I have tried many foods with higher ratings but I always come back to 30/20 Sport. The results are just superior.

  • LabLover

    The 28/18 has been discontinued now. The 30/20 chicken has 6.7% ash and the 30/20 Salmon is 6.9% if anyone was wondering. For me, ash content is important.

  • Adonia Wilson

    Funny considering some of the top sprint sled dog teams in NZ use this as there base diet for the dogs. They get the right amount of fat protein and energy from this product. you can tell a lot about a dogs diet from looking at there stool.

  • Alex Woodman

    All the dogs I know that eat PP Sport look fantastic, as stated below. The rating just proves the methodology on this website is completely wrong and that many of the posters simple don’t know what they are talking about.

  • Pitlove

    There will always be negative comments even about the “top” rated foods. Thats why I take the ratings on this site and the comments with a grain of salt. They are a good jumping off point, but its more important to care about what food works best for your dog, rather than what the star rating on it is. I tried the ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach a few months ago, but my dog wouldn’t eat it so that didn’t work. Now I have found a food he eats and loves, but most important hes doing great on. Oh and btw its rated 3.5 stars. I couldn’t care less.

    I wish your dog continued success on ProPlan.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi LabLover:
    I feed several Beyond and Pro Plan recipes, both canned and dry, to my dog and cats.

    My JRT grew up on Pro Plan kibble and ate it for most of her life, no canned foods. The latter part of her life I fed various premium kibbles. She became prone to hot spots, gastritis, and excessive shedding. Other than that, she had no other issues.

    My current dog had terrible skin and fur issues a few years ago. I came to DFA to help find a good diet for him. I was on the fence about feeding any Purina product again after reading various negative comments. Then I would read a comment like yours and start contemplating feeding Pro Plan again. In the end I couldn’t deny how well my JRT did eating it. I decided to take the plunge and have been feeding several grain free and grain inclusive Beyond and Pro Plan recipes for well over a year. Everyone is in tip top shape, enjoys their meals, and all bodily functions are perfect.

    My dog’s fur is in the best shape when eating Pro Plan Natural or Focus weight management recipes, Wellness Core, and Avoderm Trout and Pea. I don’t supplement with added oils when feeding Pro Plan or Core; Avoderm is no longer in my rotation. His diet during warm weather is low fat regardless if it is kibble, canned, or home cooked. He has been eating the low fat Pro Plan Focus weight management with various canned since August. Today we stopped by his favorite pet store, several employees and customers commented on how soft and shiny his coat is; it really is in great shape.

    I feed a rotational diet and will soon be feeding another brand. As long as everyone continues to like and do well on Beyond and Pro Plan they will continue to be a part of their rotation. Good luck with your pups!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi LabLover,

    It’s always best to test for yourself. I don’t use Purina personally, for various reasons, but if it works for you dogs, that’s the end result. I have a couple of dogs that react to grains, so I do feed grain free. I tend to use ones that are higher in protein and fat (similar to the G/A on the Purina formulas you chose) and family companies.

    Depending on which formulas of the companies you mentioned, their coats would generally get softer and shinier due to the higher fat content. Low fat diets are notorious for causing a dull flaky coat. So if you were using a food that had less fat than the Purina, you are likely to see the improvement you did.

    Anyway, glad you are happy with the results! As many on here say, the best food is what works for you dog!

  • LabLover

    Ok, I got on here 4 months ago and asked why dogs on Pro Plan look so good if the food is terrible. I admit, I have been a complete Purina hater for 4 years because I spent so much time researching dog food and convinced myself that the food is terrible. After-all its what people on the internet tell you. For four years my dogs NEVER ate a food with corn, wheat, soy or by products. I rotated between brands often. Iv used Dr Tims, Fromm, Victor, Annamaet, Canidae, Diamond, Taste of the Wild, and 4Health. My dogs did fine on them all and looked good. I have three labs and they all hated Canidae though. Because I wanted to actually see how my three labs would look and perform on Pro Plan, I gave it a try 3 months ago, and only fed them 30/20 chicken or 30/20 Salmon. They are very active everyday. After three months, they look great. There is no difference in their shinny appearance, but they ALL have a softer coat, they just do They do NOT poop excessively, only twice a day. Stools are fine, teeth, gums, eyes, hair, nails are fine. My small lab has ALWAYS had a rumbling stomach a couple times a week for years. Iv tried many different probotics, supplements, etc..to help her, took her to the Vet. Nothing ever helped. Since shes been eating Pro Plan, there has never had a rumbling belly ever. They do not eat anymore food than the other brands, 3 cups for the small lab and 3.5 for the two bigger ones. AS MUCH as I wanted to hate this food, I just cant, its works well for us. Im just a regular guy with a regular budget that tried things for himself. I have nothing against any of the brands Iv fed and do understand that the ingredients in Pro Plan dont look as good, but I cant argue with my results.

  • aimee

    Glad to know she is doing so well. I can understand your hesitation in keeping the appointment. Let me know what Dr Wynn says if you do decide to go.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    This should be added to the end of your definition of “animal digest”

    “…If it bears a name descriptive of it’s kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.”

    Thers is no definition for “Natural Flavor” in the 2015 AAFCO OP.

    There is a definition for “Spices and other natural seasonings and flavorings”, and “Natural”

    Definition of “Spices and other natural seasonings and flavorings”

    Botanical name of plant source is in the CFR.
    Alfalfa herb and seed •
    Ambrette seed
    Angelica root
    Angelica seed
    Angostura (cusparia bark)
    Anise •
    Anise, star
    Balm (lemon balm)
    Basil, bush
    Basil, sweet
    Camomile (chamomile), English or
    Camomile (chamomile), German or
    Capsicum •
    Caraway, black (black cumin)
    Cardamom (cardamon)
    Cassia, Chinese
    Cassia, Padang or Batavia
    Cassia, Saigon
    Cayenne pepper
    Celery seed
    Cinnamon, Ceylon
    Cinnamon, Chinese
    Cinnamon, Saigon
    Clary (clary sage)
    Cumin (cummin)
    Cumin, black (black caraway)
    Elder flowers
    Fennel, common •
    Fennel, sweet (finocchio, Florence
    fennel) •
    Fenugreek •
    Galanga (galangal)
    Ginger •
    Grains of paradise
    Horehound (hoarhound)
    Linden flowers
    15 of 18 3/15/2012
    Marigold, pot
    Marjoram, pot
    Marjoram, sweet
    Mustard, black or brown
    Mustard, brown
    Mustard, white or yellow
    Oregano (oreganum, Mexican oregano,
    Mexican sage, origan)
    Pepper, black
    Pepper, cayenne
    Pepper, red
    Pepper, white
    Poppy seed
    Pot marigold
    Pot marjoram
    Sage, Greek
    Savory, summer
    Savory, winter
    Star anise
    Thyme, wild or creeping

    Definition of “Natural”

    “A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subjected to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing processes.”

  • Shawna

    Most people do not know about a more sinister side of grains (and legumes, potatoes, dairy etc). These foods have a type of protein called a lectin. Lectins can damage the gut wall (without any symptoms) and can cause food allergies. They can also cause autoimmune diseases. This is a favorite source of mine on the topic.

    “Of particular interest is the implication for autoimmune diseases.
    Lectins stimulate class II HLA antigens on cells that do not normally
    display them, such as pancreatic islet and thyroid cells.9
    The islet cell determinant to which cytotoxic autoantibodies bind in
    insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is the disaccharide N-acetyl
    which must bind tomato lectin if present and probably also the lectins
    of wheat, potato, and peanuts. This would result in islet cells
    expressing both class II HLA antigens and foreign antigen together—a
    sitting duck for autoimmune attack. Certain foods (wheat, soya) are
    indeed diabetogenic in genetically susceptible mice.11
    Insulin dependent diabetes therefore is another potential lectin
    disease and could possibly be prevented by prophylactic
    oligosaccharides.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/

    I’m a raw feeder too (but I do feed a little kibble).

    Your GSD is GORGEOUS!!!

  • GSDgrl82

    My boy who eats mostly a raw diet of “people” food… I’ve had to switch back to kibble for a few months and noticed several big changes. One his ears got all gunky and nasty, a build up of tarter where there was none before only pearly white choppers and his coat has become more dull, not as blindly shiny as it was on raw. I don’t show but train in herding and IPO, most dogs are raw fed… in fact I split a big bulk order of raw with my IPO club.

  • GSDgrl82

    So what did dogs eat before kibble was invented? It hasn’t been around that long relatively speaking. Chicken isn’t a “human” only food, that’s just silly. Dogs are carnivores and should be fed as such, real fresh meat. Kibble is a highly processed food that isn’t natural for them to eat, people are incredibly brainwashed by vets and kibble companies if they think real fresh whole food is only meant for humans. That thought process boggles my mind. I was with you up until this point as I don’t think pro plan and grain inclusive foods are as evil as a lot of people make them out to be.

    I did however buy a bag of pro plan sport out of sheer curiosity and was shocked when I opened the bag and the food smells like a load of bread.

  • Shawna

    They can be the same thing but are not always the same thing.

    Definition of “Natural Flavor (i.e. chicken, turkey, etc): Natural Flavors are minimally processed flavor ingredients that do not contain synthetic or artificial components.”

    “Animal Digest: Animal digest is a material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.” http://www.skaervet.com/documents/Common%20Pet%20Food%20Ingredients.pdf

    The important part, in my opinion, however is that the FDA did not find the euthanasia drug in natural flavoring.
    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed
    ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The
    ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.” http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

    The “Beef Tallow” in ProPlan Beef and Rice Puppy formula was confirmed to be contaminated with pento when originally tested. I assume that Purina owned the ProPlan brand back in 1998 but may be wrong on that? http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129135.htm

  • Shawna

    That’s a very valid point but they could post something on their website rather then on the bag itself. Maybe they have though?

    I would also agree that there likely is no “conspiracy to use junk ingredient”. When they use junk ingredients they are quite open about it — Beneful anyone.

    Thanks in large part to aimee, I am no longer completely anti Purina but I will also never be a supporter.

  • el doctor

    Hi Philo

    You went into a lengthy discussion where you explained why Nestle Purina MUST use generic terms like “Animal Fat” instead of descriptive terms like “Chicken Fat” on their dog food labels otherwise they would suffer dire consequences.

    I wanted to know why your theory only applies to Nestle Purina’s dog foods and doesn’t hold true for their much larger people foods divisions.

    Your reply was angry, rude, insulting, vague, and wildly speculative. That’s my point.

  • Philo Vance

    Apart from the fact that common sense would tell you that they are completely different products manufactured by completely different businesses within a conglomerate that probably has thousands of products and makes billions of dollars tailoring their practices to each of those myriad products, what’s your point? What evil deception do you think Purina Petcare is guilty of and where’s your proof? This sounds awfully like the argument I heard on another board that claimed that Pro Plan must be “crap” because Beneful is “crap” and if Purina cared about pets and quality they wouldn’t even make Beneful. I kind of doubt that the poster was a board certified animal nutritionist and I suspect that your knowledge of the business world is likewise limited.

  • el doctor

    Hi Philo

    Why is it that Nestle Purina has no problem listing the name of the animal fat used in their human products?

    Why is it your statement that it’s
    “just not practical or good business for Purina to adhere to a fixed formula” only apply to Nestle Purina’s dog foods and not to their people foods that contain named animal fats?

  • Philo Vance

    The vast majority of Purina products have never been recalled, including Pro Plan.

  • Philo Vance

    Purina sells millions and millions of bags of a given formula. If tbey adhered to a fixed formula that specified certain ingredients like fat then if chicken fat, for instance, became unavailable in sufficient quantities for such a huge production run or shot up in price, then per FDA regulations thousands of bags would have to be discarded and new bags printed. Then once the market for chicken fat reverted to mean all the new bags would have to be discarded and replaced. It’s just not practical or good business for Purina to adhere to a fixed formula. Normally they wili use the same fat as the primary meat source. There is no conspiracy to use “junk” ingredients here and if duck fat has to be substituted for chicken fat temporarily the formula can be adjusted to maintain the same nutrition profile without the unnecessary expense of changing the packaging. “Boutique” brands with much smaller runs don’t have the same business concerns but a fixed formula tells you very little about the quality of the feed.

  • el doctor

    Hi Philo Vance

    “What Purina calls “animal digest” other manufacturer’s call “natural flavoring.”

    That is true, but not all Natural Flavoring is Animal Digest. Animal Digest must come from an animal, while Natural Flavoring can come from fruits, vegetables, plants, herbs, etc, as well as from animals.

  • Dori

    Sorry Aimee. Life has been crazy around here but in my life that’s nothing new. I just came across your question in my email. I’m not sure whether I’m going to keep the appt. with Dr. Susan or not yet. It’s scheduled for the last week of September. Hannah will be 16 on Wednesday and doing spectacularly well that I’m not sure on want to rock her boat which includes any vet visits as they do stress her out. She goes to her regular vet check ups and specialist and oncologist visits and in her little world that’s quite a bit between thyroid visits and x-rays and ultra sounds for bladder tumor and lung lobe mass. The visit with Dr. Susan was scheduled months ago as a follow up to see how all was going with Hannah. Since all is well I may just opt for a phone call, let her know how Hannah is doing and, possibly…hopefully…..forego the actual visit. Less stress for Hannah. If she wants to see her and I take her in then I will ask the questions and I’ll report back. Thanks for remembering.

  • Shawna

    I SO agree!! It is even better yet to feed five star foods with healthy fresh foods added. 🙂

  • aimee

    Hi Dori,

    Are you still planning on seeing Dr Wynn? I’m interested to know what she says in regard to companies she would or wouldn’t recommend and why.

  • Philo Vance

    I have frequently said that it is far better to feed middle of the road kibble with the addition of healthy fresh foods *in moderation* than it is the feed any “five star” kibble exclusively.

  • Philo Vance

    What Purina calls “animal digest” other manufacturer’s call “natural flavoring.” Many kibbles include it for palatability. It’s an innocent ingredient that just “sounds” bad, like OMG by-products (which are liver, lungs, tripe, brains, etc.)

  • Philo Vance

    My dog has better, more consistent stools on Pro Plan than any other kibble I’ve ever fed over the past 13 years, including Orijen, Merrick, Canidae, Holistic Select, Wellness, Wysong and others. My previous dogs ate only raw meaty bones, commercial raw, home made and four/five star kibbles. They both died from GI problems specialists couldn’t cure, suffering from explosive diarrhea the last months of their lives. I think you should relax and be glad you found something that “works.” Your dog’s health depends much more on genetics than what you feed. Pro Plan won’t kill your dog and Orijen won’t keep her from getting sick. Breathe.

  • LabLover

    I personally use Dr. Tims, Victor Fromm, and Annemaet, but I know several friends that feed Pro Plan, and to be honest, their dogs “Look” just a nice as mine. Im just curious is all. Thinking out loud I guess.

  • Crazy4dogs

    In comparison to what other brands/formulas of food?

  • LabLover

    I dont feed any Purina products, but I must ask, why do so many dogs I know look so good on Pro Plan products. If its so terrible, yet almost everyone one looks great on it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks C4C. I thought that might be what she was referring to, but I don’t go to Costco and who knows. It seems like every company has been adding new lines lately! Glad I took advantage of all the 5 star foods that were clearanced! 🙂

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi c4d-

    Here is the link to the Kirkland pet food. Their grain free line is called Nature’s Domain. Maybe that is what she is referring to?

  • Crazy4dogs

    She’s probably liking the fat and flavoring added to the food, since that’s what most dogs like as opposed to corn, rice and wheat or potatoes. If you’re using the Purina Sport, it’s fat runs from 16%-20%. Are you using the chicken formulas of Purina? Which formula? If you only tried the Pure Balance Salmon, she just might not like fish. I don’t feed the Costco brand, so I’m not sure what Kirkland Naturals are and I don’t seem to be able to find that formula. Is the food actually called Kirkland Naturals?

  • LabsRawesome

    JV77, Have you ever tried 4health? It’s sold at Tractor Supply. It’s about $1/pound. Their grain inclusive has rice. http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/4healthtrade%3B-performance-formula-for-adult-dogs-35-lb-bag

  • Bobby dog

    Hi JV777:
    Check out Pro Pac, Fromm, Infinia, or Exclusive. The Pro Plan Natural grain inclusive line might appeal to your dog’s taste as well.

  • LabsRawesome

    JV77, Have you ever tried 4health? It’s sold at Tractor Supply. It’s about $1/pound. Their grain inclusive has rice. http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/4healthtrade%3B-performance-formula-for-adult-dogs-35-lb-bag

  • JV777

    My price range is around 30-40$ for 30 pounds 1$/pound on average. I haven’t really tried anything else aside from Pure Balance, Kirkland, and Purina Sport, but I have noticed that she does not like foods that have allot of plant based ingredients (soy, fruits, potatoes etc.) However, she seems to really like foods that have corn, rice, and wheat along with a high amount of fat. The food that she is on has allot of fruits, and potatoes and she does not like it. I noticed the same reaction with Pure Balance Salmon recipe (it had no grains, and its main ingredient is peas.)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you tried any of the 4-5☆ rated foods? Many pet stores have samples to try before you buy.

  • JV777

    I am in the same boat. Although my dog does not have any digestion issues with the food she is currently on, she does not like to eat it, at all! I am giving her Kirkland Naturalds dog food, but before Kirkland she was on Purina Sport and she actually seemed to enjoy it. Untill I switched her, and she hates the Kirkland brand. I am aware that Purina Sport Plan is not the best food, but it is also not the worst. I am about to order this food on Amazon…..

  • aimee

    Yup! As I said “To be able to use “human grade” it has to meet all the criteria of that which it is implying”

    “Human grade”, which does not have a legal definition, implies “edible” which has a legal definition. As long as the company meets the criteria of “edible”, which Honest Kitchen did, then the food is not misbranded and the term “human grade” can be used on the food.

  • Shawna

    From Reuters

    “The Honest Kitchen Successfully Renews “Human Grade” Claims Approval with FDA for Use on All of the Company’s Pet Food Products

    The term “human grade” is not permitted on conventional pet food products, even if they are made with human grade or human quality ingredients, if the finished product itself is not made in a human food production facility.

    The Honest Kitchen, which began making human grade pet foods in 2004, first obtained an FDA statement of no objection that same year, and elected to renew with the administration in the fall of 2013. The process involves providing detailed documentation from each of The Honest Kitchen’s suppliers to verify the human edible status of every ingredient used in the company’s recipes.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/18/ca-the-honest-kitchen-idUSnBw185293a+100+BSW20140618
    Why would you need FDA approval and to provide documentation if there was no meaning of the term human grade?

  • Shawna

    “The Honest Kitchen’s food is produced in a human-grade facility that makes cereals and other foods for human consumption. This fact, along with the company’s ingredients, which are sourced directly form the human food chain, resulted in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) providing a formal statement of no objection to The Honest Kitchen, permitting the company to use the term “Human Grade” on its product labels.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Honest_Kitchen

    The Honest Kitchen won a lawsuit in Ohio allowing it to legally, on it’s label, make the claim that the food is “human grade”.

    “The Honest Kitchen has prevailed in its six-month lawsuit against Ohio Department of Agriculture. The department earlier this year refused to grant a license to The Honest Kitchen, to sell its products in the state, citing the fact that the labels were misleading because they describe the company’s pet foods as ‘human food grade’.

    The court has ruled in favor of The Honest Kitchen, citing the company’s right to truthful, commercial free speech.” http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pet-food-company-wins-right-to-free-speech-58814862.html

  • aquariangt

    Holistic isn’t even discussed from what I’ve found on AAFCO or FDA, so I’m not sure if that could be a comparison? Foods may take a holistic approach to something, and probably still fall within their right to label it holistic.

    This seems to be the definition of holistic from a few dictionaries I googled: “Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” In food, to me that would say that the food can only be as good as the ingredients, which is something I’m already on board with, so saying holistic…technically could probably be applied to any 4-5 star food on this site.

  • aimee

    ‘The term “holistic” does not have a legal definition yet companies are free to claim their food is holistic. It is a marketing term.

    The term “human grade” also does not have a legal definition but it can not be used as a marketing term becasue use of the term implies it is edible, which is a legal term. To be able to use “human grade” it has to meet all the criteria of that which it is implying

    From AAFCO: “A claim that
    something is “human-grade” or “human-quality” implies that the article
    being referred to is “edible” for people in legally defined terms. The
    terms “human grade” or “human quality” have no legal definition.


  • Shawna

    The term is not allowed because KIBBLE will never be human grade as it is made in a facility that makes dog food not that it has no definition or is meaningless. A food, such as Weruva, that is made in a facility that makes human food can legally claim on the label that it is human grade. IF there was no legal definition than NO dog food could make the claim.

  • aquariangt

    I agree the word itself without any context is perhaps meaningless. However, given the legal issues that would inevitably surround misuse of the word, you can certainly assign meaning to the term being used

  • aimee

    I’m seeing it that same as you are. “While Human Grade doesn’t mean anything, it does imply…”
    It is the implication that is problematic as that constitutes misbranding because of what human grade implies.
    I’m not saying the implication is meaningless as that can get you in a heap of trouble, just that the term itself is not defined which for me makes it meaningless.

  • Bobby dog

    Same here!

  • aquariangt

    Yeah, I don’t particularly look for foods with that label. I use THK as a topper almost every dinner, but it’s definitely not in my criteria, so I don’t care if it’s on there or not

  • Bobby dog

    Ahhhhh, your looking at the legal aspect regarding misbranding, got it!

  • aquariangt

    I garner from that-that’s only a portion, but also includes the ingredients combined to make the food. all together, those things would combine to be able to label with that terminology without misrepresenting the branding. My point, is while it may not be regulated in the way people think it is, the misbranding part would cause a heap of problems most companies aren’t going to be able to deal with, so I don’t think it means as little as Aimee is claiming

  • Bobby dog

    Isn’t the AAFCO just stating that in order for a pet food to make that claim they would have to abide by the FDA code they reference, 21 CFR 110?

  • aquariangt

    “Thus, for all practical purposes, the term “human grade” represents the product to be human edible. For a product to be human edible, all ingredients in the product must be human edible and the product must be manufactured, packed and held in accordance with federal regulations in 21 CFR 110, Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food. If these conditions exist, then human-grade claims may be made. If these conditions do not exist, then making an unqualified claim about ingredients being human grade misbrands the product.”

    This is a direct quote from AAFCO.

    While Human Grade doesn’t mean anything, it does imply it to be human edible provided that all ingredients within are. You can go on saying that it means nothing, however, misbranding is a huge, huge issue if caught, and big companies always do.

    Welcome to lawsuits. They can close companies, and outside of the big few manufacturers, I doubt any of the dog food companies that make this claim could recover

    Edit: Paragraphs

  • aimee

    Yup… The term is not allowed because of what it implies but as it says in the text there is no legal definition of the term.

  • aimee

    el doctor

    The confusion lies in what constitutes an AAFCO definition. This is an example of an AAFCO definition.

    9.14 Poultry By Products must consist of………..( Proposed 1963, Adopted 1964, Amended 2000)

    What you are claiming is a definition is not in this format and I do not see it as an official definition. It says as much as it is written right within the text you posted “The terms “human grade” or “human quality” have no legal definition.”

    The term is not allowed because it is misleading in that it implies “edible”

    As you know Susan Thixton is on the definition committee. In 2012 she wrote “The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has no definition of human grade ingredients…”


    I’m open to this having changed as the most recent source I have is 2013 and there may now be a legal definition which is why I asked you for the OP year and number.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I know this might not be related, but I was thinking, if there is no legal definition of human grade, how did Naturapet have the class action law suit? I know it was “settled” but money was given up since I was feeding it & got a check from the settlement.

  • aquariangt

    Aafco’s website does have a human grade portion on it…http://petfood.aafco.org/labelinglabelingrequirements.aspx#human_grade

  • Crazy4dogs

    Welcome to the world of discussion with Aimee. :-/

  • el doctor

    I already provided you with the actual definition of Human Grade from the AAFCO Labeling & Labeling Requirements page and here it is again;


    What’s the point in continuing this conversation? I post the AAFCO definition, then you tell me there is no AAFCO definition, then I post the definition again and….

    I’m sorry, but I can see why Susan Thixton wouldn’t want to publish your comments on her website and get into this kind of back and forth with you.

  • aimee

    For me the term is meaningless as it has no legal definition. As I see it, if “AAFCO clearly defines it” then the term then it would have a “legal definition” which AAFCO says it does not.

    This is older… from 2008 “We do not see too many claims about human-grade ingredients on package labels, mainly because AAFCO does not have an official definition of the


    And from Susan Thixton’s site in 2010 she wrote “Since currently there is no official AAFCO definition or acceptance of the ‘human grade’ term”


    From Purina on line chat with crazy4dogs Purina stated “Currently, the term “human-grade” is not defined by regulatory agencies nor is it defined by the pet food industry.”

    The term implies something but as far as I know there is no AAFCO definition for the term Human grade.

    If there is an AAFCO definition as you claim for the term “human grade” please provide me with the OP number and year.

  • el doctor

    You originally wrote that the term human grade “is meaningless”, not that it has no legal definition, and now you write that it’s “not defined”

    Excuse me, but the term “Human Grade” has a meaning and AAFCO clearly defines it.

  • aimee

    Yes as you posted from the AAFCO site the term is not defined “The terms “human grade” or “human quality” have no legal definition.” which is why I see it as meaningless and why I know Purina would never use the term.

    I have seen “human grade” in product literature but not on a label until recently due to it’s implication that the product is fit for human consumption.

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    Sorry for your confusion. I posted the AAFCO definition of “Human Grade” because you wrote;

    “I know Purina products are not fit for human consumption and Purina
    wouldn’t ever use the term “human grade” as it is meaningless.”

  • aimee

    Not sure why you are posting this for me.

  • el doctor

    AAFCO definition for “Human Grade” on a pet food label

    “I use ingredients from the grocery store; I want to tell customers that my product is human grade. Can I do that on the label? ”

    “Claims on animal foods should not be false or misleading. A claim that something is “human-grade” or “human-quality” implies that the article being referred to is “edible” for people in legally defined terms. The terms “human grade” or “human quality” have no legal definition. When one or more human edible ingredients are mixed with one or more non-human edible ingredients, the edible ingredients become non-human edible. To claim that a product composed of USDA inspected and passed chicken, plus
    poultry meal, which is not human edible, plus other ingredients is made with human-grade chicken is misleading without additional qualification
    and disclaimers in the claim because the chicken is no longer edible. Thus, for all practical purposes, the term “human grade” represents the product to be human edible. For a product to be human edible, all
    ingredients in the product must be human edible and the product must be manufactured, packed and held in accordance with federal regulations in 21 CFR 110, Current Good Manufacturing Practice inManufacturing,
    Packing, or Holding Human Food. If these conditions exist, then human-grade claims may be made.
    If these conditions do not exist, then making an unqualified claim about ingredients being human grade misbrands the product.”


  • DogFoodie

    I didn’t know you switched Patch to raw, Susan. Glad to hear it’s going well!

  • Susan

    Yes Shawna, as you have probably read on the Dog Allergy International group, I did switch Patch to a raw diet home made with the help of a Naturopath we are using enzymes & probiotic with Patch cause of his stomach & he’s doing really well on kangaroo & blended veggies & fruit, I wish I did the 1 year ago, the only problem is Patches Lower Esophageal Sphincter isn’t closing properly & sometimes while walking or just getting up from a sleep he’ll bring up his food into mouth then swallows & swollows it quickly… another problem cant seem to win with Patch…its 2 steps forward & 1 steps back but we are getting there, very slowely lol

  • Crazy4dogs

    No problem. I guess the stores figure some profit is better than none or a loss. Depending on the formula, date code and price, I’ve occaisonally bought the “sale” items and not had any problems. If I can see freezer burn, it’s just not worth buying.

  • aimee

    Guess cause I hadn’t bought it much I haven’t seen short dated product on sale and hadn’t made that connection.


  • Crazy4dogs

    It could be a distributor problem as well. I think you’re right about the venison not selling as fast being part of the problem. I’ve often seen raw that’s on sale because it’s short dated and those seem to be the less common formulas.

  • aimee

    Thanks.. i’m wondering if this is more of a “plant” problem than an individual “store” problem. Will have to see how the other bags I get come in.

  • theBCnut

    Some good friend of mine took us to a wonderful gourmet pizza joint and they ordered a seafood pizza. It sounded really good and I really wanted to try it. It had shrimp, scallops, white fish, and squid on it. As soon as the waiter brought it to the table, I knew it was going to be bad. It smelled like a bait shack. It had little tiny baby squid on it and they reeked. I got a slice that had little or no squid, but as soon as I started to take a bite, I started gagging from the smell right under my nose. They made the entire pizza disappear in no time. Apparently, it was great, yuck! I can’t stand those fried calamari rings either.

  • theBCnut

    As far as I’m concerned, the erasers are better. I’ve also had conch, which is a sea snail, but it was in a fritter, so you could barely taste it, which is for the best. I’m not really that adventurous an eater. Some things I can’t get past my nose, like squid.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! I see the similarity, but I think the erasers might be an easier chew! 😉

  • aquariangt

    Octopus is a bit akin to chewing on one of those big erasers you had in elementary school, hah

  • losul

    Wow, the one-stop shopping must be nice! We can get most of those brands from various different stores, but not so many varieties, and not so conveniently.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Wow BC! You’ve really tried a lot of unique proteins! I’m not a big fan of octopus, but calamari……..yummm!

  • theBCnut

    Our slugs are a mouthful, but NOT mine. In Alaska, they have slugs big enough to make a meal off of for the whole family,, and all different pretty colors too.

  • theBCnut

    I burped a little vomit after reading all this… I know, TMI.

  • theBCnut

    Rattlesnake is really good…if you have a Vietnamese chef grill it for you. Alligator is kind of dry and chewy. And frog legs sort of look and taste like chicken legs/wings, if the chicken was eating fish before it’s demise. Armadillo is a little stringy. I don’t eat turtle, since we have so many endangered ones here, and far too many unethical people. And I can’t stand octopus and squid. People here used to eat manatee too, and I’m sure some still do, but that’s akin to eating puppies, in my book. They are so cute! I suppose we have a lot of choices for a novel protein for an elimination diet…

  • Crazy4dogs

    Or sauteed in garlic butter. 🙂

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve had them before, and I hate to say this, but they kind of taste like and have the consistency of chicken. They really are mild.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Ewww. Just Yuck! LOL!

  • Bobby dog

    Hmmmmm, interesting. Maybe I would give them a try. You never know, I tend to get pretty bold when I am on vacation so if I ever see them on the menu…

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, they would eat a chihuahua! And they are particularly unpleasant when you accidentally step on one in your bare feet.

  • aquariangt

    They’re a really nondescript flavor when I’ve had them. They hold up well to pretty aggressive seasoning (Cajun style) or deep drying

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you seen the alligator treats at some of the specialty pet stores? I haven’t tried them since I already have 2 dogs with intolerances. Saving the exotic meat for when I run out of options. 🙂

  • Shawna

    The two main stores I buy from both had the issue and one told me the food partially thawed — the distributor for our area brings it up from Missouri or Tennessee I think it was. I accepted that as the answer not knowing others from different locations were having issues too.

  • Shawna

    I think she would take each case as an individual case — similar to Dr. Smart when stating she would not recommend home prepared diets to someone who eats TV dinners. I think Dr. Wynn would prefer the client prepare homemade (and if needed use an elimination diet / challenge) and use rotation (be it home prepared or kibble). She mentions rotation in the article you linked.