Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed product line includes 2 dry dog foods, each designed to help in the treatment of food sensitivities.

HA is a vegetarian recipe featuring simple proteins and low-allergen carbohydrates. It is typically prescribed to minimize the risk of food based allergic reactions.

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.

Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 20% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 63%

Ingredients: Starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, vegetable oil, dicalcium phosphate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose, corn oil, potassium chloride, guar gum, choline chloride, dl-methionine, salt, magnesium oxide, lecithin, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, garlic oil, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis18%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis20%9%63%
Calorie Weighted Basis19%21%60%
Protein = 19% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 60%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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.

The second ingredient is hydrolyzed soy protein isolate. Soy protein isolate is a highly refined form of soy bean protein with a protein content of about 90%.

In this case, the soy protein has been hydrolyzed which means it has been broken down into its individual amino acid components.

Hydrolyzed protein is valued by veterinary professionals because of its proven and effective hypoallergenic properties.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

What’s worse, this hydrogenated canola oil has also been preserved with TBHQ, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The fifth ingredient is powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we find corn oil. Corn oil has one of the highest (and most unfavorable) omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios of any vegetable oil. Compared to almost any named animal fat, corn oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

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.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.

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

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe contains 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
Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Dog Food
The Bottom Line

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 dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

With that understanding…

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 20%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 63%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 20% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 62% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

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

Because of its hypoallergenic design, this particular recipe contains no meat or any other source of animal protein. So, all essential amino acids appear to be provided by the hydrolyzed protein ingredient.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA is a plant-based dry dog food using hydrolyzed soy as its main source of dietary protein.

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.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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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Notes and Updates

04/18/2018 Last Update

  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)