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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

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Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: May 15, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric product line includes 3 dry dog foods, each designed to help in the treatment of digestive issues.

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

Recipe and Label Analysis

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

26.1%

Protein

11.9%

Fat

54%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, coconut oil, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, wheat bran, natural flavor, potassium chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, sodium bicarbonate, salt, fish oil, soybean oil, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, dried colostrum, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 23% 11% NA
Dry Matter Basis 26% 12% 54%
Calorie Weighted Basis 24% 27% 50%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 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 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.

The fourth item is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fifth 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 just about anywhere: salvaged roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat… even dead, diseased or dying cattle.

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

The sixth ingredient is coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

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) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

The seventh ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

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 Pro Plan Veterinary product.

With 7 notable exceptions

First, we find wheat bran. Wheat bran is made from the tough outer layer of a wheat kernel. Brans are especially rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Next, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.

However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.

In addition, 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.3

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.

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

In addition, 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.

We also find sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Although this is a prescription product, our review has nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to the product’s ability to treat or cure a specific health condition.

So, to find out whether or not this Purina product is appropriate for your particular pet, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

With that understanding…

Based on its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric looks like a below-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 54%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 35%.

Which means this Purina product line contains…

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal in this recipe, and the potato and pea proteins contained in others, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Purina Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Purina through July 2024.

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

Our Rating of Purina Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat and by-product meals as its main source of animal protein.

Sources

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: 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)

A Final Word

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