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Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct is a low-priced dog food with overall lower quality. This product has 5 controversial ingredients, including artificial flavor and color. The food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs) with excellent meat and fat quality. Purina has an above-average number of recalls. The company was relatively transparent when answering our questions.Read the Full Review Below
Learn what makes a great dog food and get expert advice on how to choose the best food for your dog.Learn More
This dog food review was created by experts who love dogs. Find out more about our team and mission.About Watchdog Labs
This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 34.09%
Min. Fat 19.32%
Min. Carbs 38.64%
Max. Fiber 3.41%
Max. Ash 7.95%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 30.0%
Min Fat: 17.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 3.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 12.0%
360 Calories per Cup
This product has an average amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Average calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Turkey (Source of Glucosamine), Corn Gluten Meal, Soy Flour, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Chicken Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Soy Flakes, Rice Flour, Corn Germ Meal, Glycerin, Venison, Oat Meal, Liver Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Caramel Color, 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)], Potassium Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Sulfur, Choline Chloride.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 5 total controversial ingredients and 2 of them are found in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Purina is made in the United States.That’s a very good thing, because it means the company has to follow strict dog food safety standards when making the food. We generally recommend buying dog foods made in the USA, Canada, Europe, New Zealand or Australia for that reason.
Meat & Fat Quality
When looking through the ingredients list you will find Turkey, Beef Fat, Chicken Meal and Venison as major meat sources. All of them are named meats, meaning they show you which animal they come from. There is no added oil, so the fat comes from the different plant and animal ingredients in this food.
This product has no controversial artificial preservatives. If you’d like to know more about this topic: It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.
This dog food contains Caramel Color, a controversial artificial color. We describe more details above.
As mentioned above, this food has added artificial Liver Flavor. It’s a controversial and unnecessary ingredient and the product would be better without it.
Purina has an above-average number of product recalls.
We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?
Purina Pro is owned by the multinational company Nestlé Purina. It required two emails over two weeks to get the answers below. Like most large companies, many of the customer service answers will read like well-crafted marketing messages.
Does Purina ONE (Nestlé Purina) have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
At Nestlé Purina, we have over 500 nutritionists, veterinarians and scientists who work daily to formulate and make quality changes to our products. We also staff quality control specialists at all of our manufacturing plants that run over 100 quality and safety checks during the manufacturing of our formulas.
This lengthy answer did not answer the specific question that was asked. In addition, the names of the professionals could not be provided.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
(see the previous answers)
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
All of our products are manufactured following stringent guidelines approved by the USDA and AAFCO, and our Purina® Pro Plan® brand Pet Food products have undergone the AAFCO feeding studies for quality, safety, digestibility and palatability.
Since this representative is responding on behalf of a family of brands, they have referenced a few of the other brands that do the feeding trials, but they were not clear if the Purina ONE line does the feeding trials.
What country are your products manufactured?
The vast majority of our products are manufactured in the US, at Nestlé Purina owned facilities, with ingredients sourced from the US as well.
The vast majority does not mean “all” which is less clear than it could have been.
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
Unfortunately, we do not offer public access to our manufacturing plants at this time, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
We also staff quality control specialists at all of our manufacturing plants that run over 100 quality and safety checks during the manufacturing of our formulas.
This is good, but not as not as clear as it could be.
Does Purina ONE (Nestlé Purina) own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
Do any parts of your product come from China?
A very small number of ingredients are sourced from China, however, these are mainly vitamins and minerals, such as taurine and Vitamin B12, that are not readily available in the US in the quantities we need.
Sourcing quality ingredients at scale is a significant challenge that many large companies will cite. This means that companies like Nestlé who are supplying massive distribution channels will often use a variety of sourcing options, including China.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.