Purina Dog Chow Dog Food Ingredients

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Purina Dog Chow manufactures roughly 12 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Purina Dog Chow ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Purina Dog Chow uses roughly 71 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Purina Dog Chow, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. water sufficient for processing
  2. chicken
  3. meat by-products
  4. meat by-products
  5. soybean meal

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Purina Dog Chow is water sufficient for processing. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken, followed by meat by-products, meat by-products, and soybean meal.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Our records indicate that Purina Dog Chow does use artificial food coloring dyes. More specifically, we've identified 5 artificial food dyes used by Purina Dog Chow.

Although these food dyes are classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, we recommend avoiding them when possible.

According to the Center For Research In The Public Interest (CSPI), there are many potential health risks associated with the consumption of artificial food coloring dyes.

Given that most pets consume the same products for prolonged periods of time, these concerns should be taken seriously. In general, we recommend pet owners avoid feeding products which contain artificial food coloring dyes.

For more information regarding the CSPI's findings, read our artificial food coloring article.

red 40
5 Recipes

Red 40 is the most widely used artificial dye in consumer goods. Studies have shown that red 40 may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice, cause allergy-like reactions and trigger hyperactivity in children.

The following recipes contain red 40:

yellow 6
3 Recipes

Yellow 6 is an artificial food dye which may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. According to the Center For Science In The Public Interest, yellow 6 can cause adrenal tumors in animals.

The following recipes contain yellow 6:

blue 2
5 Recipes

Blue 2 is an artificial dye which can increase the likelihood of tumors according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Like other dyes, blue 2 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain blue 2:

yellow 5
5 Recipes

Yellow 5 is an artificial dye which may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. Like other dyes, yellow 5 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain yellow 5:

Animal By-Products

Purina Dog Chow does indeed use animal by-products. More specifically, 4 animal by-product ingredients were found during our analysis of Purina Dog Chow dog food ingredients.

According to AAFCO, by-products are defined as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. In other words, animal by-products are the leftover ingredients that humans typically do not consume (lung, heart, tongue, stomach, intestine, blood, etc).

Many consumers have equated animal by-products with slaughterhouse waste. Animal by-products are still very controversial. Most premium brands have abandoned them in favor of specific named organ ingredients (duck liver, chicken heart, etc).

If you must feed a product with animal by-products, ensure that the specific animal source is specified. In other words, avoid ingredients such as meat by-products or poultry by-products.

turkey by-product meal
1 Recipes

Turkey by-product meal is produced by cooking turkey by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, turkey by-products contain nearly all parts of turkeys which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, turkey by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as turkey by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain turkey by-product meal:

poultry by-product meal
3 Recipes

Poultry by-product meal is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry by-product meal are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein by-product meals (e.g. chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, duck by-product meal).

The following recipes contain poultry by-product meal:

meat by-products
6 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

chicken by-product meal
1 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 5 anonymous meat ingredients used by Purina Dog Chow.

animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
1 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

meat and bone meal
5 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

poultry by-product meal
3 Recipes

Poultry by-product meal is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry by-product meal are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein by-product meals (e.g. chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, duck by-product meal).

The following recipes contain poultry by-product meal:

meat by-products
6 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

animal digest
2 Recipes

Animal digest is the result of undecomposed animal tissue after hydrolysis, a chemical reaction. It is typically used as flavoring to improve taste. Animal digest is considered by many as an undesirable low-quality ingredient. What's more, the source animal is not specified and therefore animal digest can contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!

The following recipes contain animal digest:

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 15 controversial ingredients inside Purina Dog Chow products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

whole grain wheat
5 Recipes

Whole grain wheat contains the entire grain of wheat (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Wheat is the second most-produced cereal grain in the world (corn is the first). Although wheat is a controversial ingredient, it is not necessarily undesirable because it provides dietary fiber and many other nutrients. However, wheat contains a notable amount of plant based protein, which is inferior to meat based protein and therefore an undesirable substitution.</p><p>Wheat is also one of the most common ingredients to cause food allergies or intolerance. However, grains such as wheat are typically low offenders in comparison to certain protein sources (such as beef).

The following recipes contain whole grain wheat:

corn germ meal
1 Recipes

Corn germ meal is a high protein by-product of the oil extraction process from corn (maize). It's considered controversial because plant based protein does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn germ meal protein for meat based protein is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.

The following recipes contain corn germ meal:

soybean flour
6 Recipes

Soybean flour contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.

The following recipes contain soybean flour:

turkey by-product meal
1 Recipes

Turkey by-product meal is produced by cooking turkey by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, turkey by-products contain nearly all parts of turkeys which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, turkey by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as turkey by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain turkey by-product meal:

animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
1 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

meat and bone meal
5 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

corn gluten meal
6 Recipes

Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.

The following recipes contain corn gluten meal:

soybean hulls
1 Recipes

Soybean hulls are a by-product of soybean oil and meal processing. They are typically regarded as low quality and inexpensive fillers which lack any significant nutritional value.

The following recipes contain soybean hulls:

wheat gluten
4 Recipes

Wheat gluten is the main protein of wheat. Although wheat gluten is mostly protein, wheat gluten is considered controversial because it significantly boosts the protein content of the product. This is undesirable because plant based protein does not provide the same amino acid profile as meat based protein.

The following recipes contain wheat gluten:

whole grain corn
6 Recipes

Whole grain corn is the entire corn kernel (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in dog food.</p><p>Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.</p><p>Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.</p><p>In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.</p><p>Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The following recipes contain whole grain corn:

poultry by-product meal
3 Recipes

Poultry by-product meal is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry by-product meal are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein by-product meals (e.g. chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, duck by-product meal).

The following recipes contain poultry by-product meal:

liver
5 Recipes

Liver is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous animal ingredients are typically very low quality and may contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!

The following recipes contain liver:

meat by-products
6 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

animal digest
2 Recipes

Animal digest is the result of undecomposed animal tissue after hydrolysis, a chemical reaction. It is typically used as flavoring to improve taste. Animal digest is considered by many as an undesirable low-quality ingredient. What's more, the source animal is not specified and therefore animal digest can contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!

The following recipes contain animal digest:

chicken by-product meal
1 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Purina Dog Chow for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 6 harmful ingredients used in certain Purina Dog Chow recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

red 40
5 Recipes

Red 40 is the most widely used artificial dye in consumer goods. Studies have shown that red 40 may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice, cause allergy-like reactions and trigger hyperactivity in children.

The following recipes contain red 40:

yellow 6
3 Recipes

Yellow 6 is an artificial food dye which may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. According to the Center For Science In The Public Interest, yellow 6 can cause adrenal tumors in animals.

The following recipes contain yellow 6:

blue 2
5 Recipes

Blue 2 is an artificial dye which can increase the likelihood of tumors according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Like other dyes, blue 2 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain blue 2:

yellow 5
5 Recipes

Yellow 5 is an artificial dye which may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. Like other dyes, yellow 5 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain yellow 5:

menadione sodium bisulfite complex
6 Recipes

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

Purina Dog Chow Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult With Real Chicken

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Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult With Real Beef

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Purina Dog Chow Natural Made With Real Chicken & Beef

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Purina Dog Chow Little Bites For Small Dogs

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Purina Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy With Real Lamb

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Purina Dog Chow Healthy Weight Made With Real Chicken

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Beef (Classic Ground)

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Beef (In Savory Gravy)

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Chicken (Classic Ground)

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Chicken (In Savory Gravy)

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Lamb (In Savory Gravy)

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Purina Dog Chow High Protein With Real Turkey (In Savory Gravy)

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