Purina is among the biggest global pet food manufacturers with a dozen brands to fit every dog's taste and every pet owner's wallet. Renowned for its dedication to high quality and home-turf manufacturing facilities, Purina is also among the few brands vets recommend to new dog parents. Today we take a look at the most affordable of the company's offers, Dog Chow.

Who Makes Purina Dog Chow?

Purina was established in 1926 as a pet nutrition and care center in Missouri. And Dog Chow, launched in 1956, was the first pet product to use the extrusion process to produce dry food we now know as kibble. Since then, plenty of other product lines, including Pro Plan, Beneful, and more, were launched, but Dog Chow remains the most affordable and down-to-earth of all Purina offers.

At the end of 2001, Purina became a part of Nestle, which enabled the company to reach far beyond the US borders and introduce pet foods globally. As of 2021, Purina is the second-largest pet food manufacturer in the world and the largest within the US. This comes with the benefit of reducing the cost of mass-production and the drawback of spotty quality control.

So, where is Purina Dog Chow made? According to the official website, all Dog Chow products are produced within the US; however, the company is less forthcoming about sourcing ingredients.

Purina Dog Chow Reviews

Purina Dog Chow ratings

You can love or hate this brand, but there's no arguing it's one of the most affordable options by a respectable pet food company. Sure, Dog Chow relies heavily on grains and plant-based protein sources, but if a choice is Purina Dog Chow vs Pedigree, most canine parents will choose the former.

Not only is it available virtually everywhere in the world, but it also comes in a variety of bag sizes and several flavors that can appease even the pickiest eaters. Considering the brand has been around for over 70 years without a single recall, it surely deserves at least a cursory glance.

Before we jump straight into Purina Dog Chow complete reviews, here's a quick overview of the current kibble options.

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

  • Basic everyday kibble for all breeds
  • Chicken-inclusive recipe
  • Moderate protein, fat, and fiber content

Purina Dog Chow Natural Dry Dog Food Plus Vitamins & Minerals

  • Improved protein-to-carbs balance
  • Respectable protein sources
  • Zero artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Purina Dog Chow Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • The least-calorie dense option of the line
  • Better protein-to-carbs ratio
  • Varied protein sources

Purina Dog Chow Little Bites with Real Chicken & Beef Dry Dog Food

  • Tailored for small energetic pups
  • Improved protein and fat content
  • Real chicken and beef inside

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Dry Dog Food With Real Beef

  • Solid daily kibble with beef in place of chicken
  • Well-balanced with vitamins and minerals
  • Affordable for households with multiple pets

Purina Dog Chow High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Lamb

  • Increased protein and fat
  • Delicious thanks to real beef flavor
  • Peas and carrots inside for balanced nutrition

Purina Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy Dog Food

  • Double-texture kibble for picky eaters
  • Large bags for bulk orders
  • Real lamb meat inside every bag

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

An affordable and balanced formula perfect for families with two or more large dogs.

The most popular of the Purina Dog Chow large-breed lineup is your basic corn-based formula with a bit of US-bred chicken tossed in for fancy marketing slogans. While the kibble comes with a moderate protein content of 21%, some of it is derived from plant-based sources (think corn gluten and soybean meals) that aren't easy to absorb for our canines. Using this food may lead to a carbohydrate-rich diet, acceptable for energetic adult dogs but too starchy for senior pets.

I wouldn't go as far as to claim grains, like corn and wheat, should not be in dog food, as there's no conclusive research supporting these claims. Still, corn as the first ingredient on the list gives me pause. And the unspecified 'poultry by-product' meal is a red flag if I've ever seen one. The same is true for artificial flavors and colors present on the ingredients list. After all, colorants are only there to make kibble more pleasant for your eye, not your dog's.

Despite the dubious contents, this kibble comes with plenty of positive reviews, and it's a surefire way to save money if you have two or more large dogs to feed. Supplementing this product with more nutritious kibble is also an option.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Purina Dog Chow Calories: 416 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 21% min
  • Crude fat: 10% min
  • First 6 ingredients: whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 4.4, 18.5, 32, 42-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Super-affordable for multi-dog households
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Enough protein and fat for adult dogs

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Unspecified poultry by-product meal
  • Cheap protein sources, like corn and soy meal
  • Excessive carbohydrate content
  • Artificial colors and flavors in the bag
  • Non-chelated minerals are harder to absorb

Purina Dog Chow Natural Dry Dog Food Plus Vitamins & Minerals

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

A more balanced and natural take on the most popular Dog Chow product with better protein sources and zero artificial colors or flavors, perfect for allergy-prone canines.

Purina is nothing if not attentive to customer reviews. Considering the number of complaints, the company introduced a cleaner and safer version of the most popular product. So what are the ingredients in Purina Dog Chow Natural? While the formula still relies on corn, soy, wheat, and rice as affordable fillers, you also get chicken, beef, and chicken by-product meal to provide your pup with plenty of proteins to build muscle and provide energy.

The lack of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors is another point in favor of this kibble. While getting your dog used to a new food may be a bit harder, the risk of allergies and skin irritation is much reduced. All the while, the full complement of vitamins and minerals is present to keep the fur lustrous, the eyes shining, and the bones strong as ever.

If you decide to give this product a try, you might have to look hard. According to Purina Dog Chow Natural reviews, it seems the product is either on pause or discontinued, as most online stores only carry smallish 4-pound bags that won't do much for large dog owners.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 413 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 11% min
  • Crude fiber: 4.5% max
  • First 9 ingredients: whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, whole grain wheat, chicken, beef, ground rice

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 4, 16.5, 32-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Increased protein content
  • Better protein sources
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Too much protein is plant-based
  • Carbs content is too high
  • Manufacturing is on pause or discontinued

Purina Dog Chow Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Treat your pudgy pup to a delicious combination of crunchy and tender bites to help her lose a couple of pounds and get more energetic.

According to the Purina Dog Chow nutrition label, the least calorie-dense of the lineup comes with increased protein and limited fat content to promote weight loss and return your dog to the highly energetic and active pup you fell in love with. If only this brand was better at formulating their recipes without the fillers dogs' tummies can't process. Expect to see corn, soybean hulls and meal along with wheat inside the bag. While animal-based protein sources are present too, I wonder how much of that 25 % protein is made up of plant-based ingredients that don't do much for canines.

High fiber content is not only designed to be filling but also promotes healthy digestion, though it may cause initial tummy discomfort and increased pooping. The kibble is packed chock-full of minerals and vitamins, but the nasty artificial colors made it among the Purina Dog Chow ingredients too. You might even see your dog eating some of the pieces while leaving specific colors behind.

Despite the apparent lack of severe complaints and a mediocre rating among the buyers, the product is hard to get your hands on, so don't miss a chance if you want to give it a try.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 305 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 7% to 9%
  • Crude fiber: 9% max
  • First 11 ingredients: whole grain corn, soybean hulls, soybean meal, meat and bone meal, whole grain wheat, soybean germ meal, corn germ meal, egg and chicken flavor, corn gluten meal, chicken, animal digest
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 16.5-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Low caloric value for weight control
  • Extremely affordable
  • Various animal-based protein sources

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Lots of filler ingredients
  • Non-specific protein sources
  • Artificial colors are on the ingredients list
  • Difficult to find online

Purina Dog Chow Little Bites with Real Chicken & Beef Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

A high-energy kibble in tiny bites tailored for small breeds who need extra protein and fat to stay active throughout adulthood.

Designed with small dogs' higher metabolism and more active life in mind, this kibble is packed with protein and fat. As is always the case with Dog Chow, the protein sources are the cheapest. Plant-based ingredients, like corn, wheat, and soybean meal, may provide vital fiber, but they are mostly fillers with little nutritional value. And while both chicken and beef are present on the Purina Dog Chow ingredients list, neither is within the recipe's first five positions.

The long list of components includes plenty of goodies, like vitamins and minerals, and plenty of nasties, like artificial colors, that do nothing but make kibble more aesthetically pleasing for us, humans. Your dog couldn't care less.

As is usual for small-dog kibble, you won't find large bags of Purina Small Dog Chow, and that's mostly a blessing. The price tag is affordable as it is, and storing the dog food requires a cool and dark place that's not always readily available. You can start with a 4-pound bag to let your pup taste-test the new kibble before making the switch.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 402 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 12% min
  • Crude fiber: 4.5% max
  • First 9 ingredients: whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, poultry by-product meal, whole grain wheat, chicken, beef
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Small dogs (3 to 20 lbs)
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 4, 16.5-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Chicken and beef as protein sources
  • Tiny pieces suitable for small dogs
  • Increased protein for higher energy levels

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Unclear animal-based protein sources
  • Artificial colors included
  • Hard to find large bags for bulk orders

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Dry Dog Food With Real Beef

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

An alternative to boring chicken-based kibble for canines with discerning taste and average energy needs that's also easy on your wallet.

Whenever your pup gets sick and tired of chicken flavor, why not treat him to a new take on the same affordable kibble? It isn't much different from a basic formula with an equal amount of fillers and plant-based protein from soybean and corn gluten meals. Still, real beef is among the ingredients in Purina Dog Chow, and it provides a new, exciting nuance to standard kibble. And it's better suited to picky eaters.

The one-size-fits-all kibble is good enough for medium and large breeds but can be unwieldy for smaller breeds. And it's colored with artificial colors too, though they are at the very bottom of the list of components.

This kibble is an affordable way to provide balanced nutrition for a large dog or three, but it's far from the best on the market. So don't follow this Purina Dog Chow review blindly and consult a vet before buying a 50-pound bag and keep watch over the pup's health once you introduce the new food.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 421 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 21% min
  • Crude fat: 10% min
  • Crude fiber: 4.5% max
  • First 8 ingredients: whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, meat and bone meal, ground rice, beef
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 20, 46, 50, 52-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Super-affordable bulk bags
  • Real beef inside
  • Moderately balanced

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Too many fillers among the ingredients
  • Unclear protein sources, like meat and poultry meals
  • Artificial colors in the formula
  • Spotty quality control

Purina Dog Chow High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Lamb

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

An improved, high-protein take on traditional Dog Chow kibble with plenty of crunch and nutritional value, packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals.

The latest addition to the Dog Chow lineup is a new rendition of the same commercial filler-packed formula, this time with increased protein content to satisfy the unhappy customers. While soybean and corn gluten meals still make up for a large part of protein content, there are chicken and lamb to provide real sustenance to your dog. Besides, the natural beef flavor coupled with carrots and peas makes this kibble irresistible for pets.

While the brand assuaged some of the buyers' concerns, the others are left unanswered. Purina continues to use artificial colors, even if they are at the very bottom of a lengthy ingredients list, behind all the minerals and vitamins.

If you want to try out this kibble, make sure to keep an eye on the bag size. It's different from the traditional kibble with only three options, and the largest is a whopping 50-pounder.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 424 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 27% min
  • Crude fat: 12% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, meat and bone meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, egg and chicken flavor, lamb
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 3.5, 20, 50-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Increased protein and fat content
  • Chicken and lamb as protein sources
  • Natural beef flavor
  • Real peas and carrots inside

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Artificial colors still present
  • Plant-based protein sources
  • Plenty of filler ingredients
  • Large kibble pieces (¼ inch) unsuitable for small dogs

Purina Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

It is a lovely combination of different textures and flavors beloved by most dogs, including picky eaters, and good for them too, thanks to lamb, grains, vitamins, and minerals.

If you were wary of corn-based dog food, this product will seem even more surprising, with corn and wheat being the first two ingredients on the list. And while lamb is present too, true to the bold proclamations on the bag, the first protein source you'll see on the recipe is the meat and bone meal. This ambiguous phrasing can mean many things and makes me even more suspicious of the company's nutritional decisions.

Despite plenty of whole grains in this formula, dogs seem to love it, and most are free of digestive issues or sensitivity, which might surprise the proponents of zero-grain pet kibble. Besides, the double-texture bites make every meal a fun adventure for your pup. Some dogs are reported to skip the pieces of certain colors and gobble others, so you'll need to keep an eye on your dog to make sure she enjoys a balanced diet.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 368 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 21% min
  • Crude fat: 10% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 7 ingredients: whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, lamb
  • 23 vitamins & minerals

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds and sizes
  • Lifestage: Adult dogs
  • Weight: 16.5, 32, 40-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Affordable large bags
  • Lamb is on the ingredients list
  • Nice texture beloved by picky eaters
  • Minimal tummy issues

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Artificial colors on the ingredients list
  • Grain-first formula
  • Ambiguous animal-based protein sources

Purina Puppy Chow

The dedicated Puppy Chow line includes products with increased protein content for promoting muscle growth, as well as a recommended concentration of DHA for brain development and a combination of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. The lineup includes three types of kibble, three wet food options, as well as a sole training treats variety:

  • Purina Puppy Chow Complete Dry Puppy Food With Real Chicken & Rice
  • Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Puppy Food (sometimes sold as Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels)
  • Purina Puppy Chow Large Breed Dry Puppy Food
  • Purina Puppy Chow Wet Puppy Food With Real Chicken
  • Purina Puppy Chow Wet Puppy Food With Real Beef
  • Purina Puppy Chow Wet Puppy Food With Real Lamb
  • Purina Puppy Chow Training Treats For Puppies

If you want to learn more about this lineup, wait for a detailed Purina Puppy Chow review.

Purina Dog Chow for Senior Dogs

At the time of writing, Purina no longer has a separate Dog Chow line for senior dogs. However, a few years back, you could buy Purina Dog Chow Active Senior with a nutritional profile more suited for canines past their prime. Considering the lower energy levels and activity, older dogs require less protein and fat to keep in shape. Besides, kibble designed for senior dogs usually comes with additives that promote joint, heart, and digestive health.

If you want to keep feeding your pet Dog Chow after he is seven or ten years old, consult the vet. In some cases, you can continue with the usual kibble after adjusting the feeding chart portions. You should always keep an eye on your dog's shape and lower the serving size if you notice weight gain.

Purina Dog Chow Recalls

For a brand that's been around since 1956, it’s surprising that Dog Chow has never been recalled. At least, I couldn't find any proof of a recall among official records.

The FDA lists all of three recalls by Purina concerning lamb chow, wet cat food, rabbit and turkey feed. And there are zero entries about Dog Chow recalls. However, I've found mention of a few voluntary recalls and product removals from the market by Purina.

For instance, in 2016, the company announced a recall of several products in Purina Pro Plan and Purina Beneful lines, as the vitamin and mineral levels were outside the recommended dosages. A more concerning recall occurred in 2013 when a batch of 3.5-pound packs of Purina One Beyond was removed from the market. After an investigation, one bag was found to be contaminated with salmonella.

Overall, Purina Dog Chow rating is top-notch when it comes to recalls. Still, considering this brand is manufactured by the same facilities that produce other Purina lineups, the possibility of quality control issues remains.

Conclusion

Is Purina Dog Chow a good dog food? No one knows for sure aside from your dog, your vet, and you. While the ingredients may seem dubious at times, this brand has been around for decades without a single recall to its name and plenty of positive reviews from pet owners the world over. Consult the vet, choose the food that fits your dog's needs, and give it a try. You might be surprised how great your pup will look and feel on an affordable diet.

FAQs

Is Purina Dog Chow Healthy?

Veterinarians recommending it sure think so, despite the recent hype around the all-meat no-grains kibble. Still, take your dog's individual needs and health requirements into account before making the switch.

How Much Purina Dog Chow to Feed?

Follow the feeding guide on the bag and choose the serving size according to the dog's weight. The daily amount of kibble ranges from ½ cup for pups of 3 pounds to 4 cups for large dogs of 100 pounds.

How Many Calories in Purina Dog Chow?

Purina Dog Chow nutritional information is specified on every bag. The caloric value is usually between 305 and 424 kcal/cup.

What Is the Difference Between Purina Dog Chow and Purina One?

Dog Chow is the cheapest of the company's offers that relies on soybean and corn gluten meal along with meat and chicken to provide protein. Purina One is a premium dog food with poultry or meat as the first ingredient on the list resulting in higher protein content.

Related articles

article card Best Plastic Dog Crates - TOP-10 plastic dog boxes in 2020
A full breakdown of the top plastic pet crates on the market. Find the perfect option for any budget, dog size and requirements. Click to learn more!
article card Best wooden dog houses - TOP-10 wooden dog kennel in 2020
Check our top picks of insulated wood dog house options to surround your canine with unbelievable comfort and a sense of security, both indoors and outdoors.
article card Best Dog Car Seat Cover - Top-10 Back Seat Dog Covers in 2020
What are the best car seat covers for dogs and are they worth the money? We wanted to find out if covers are any better than the bed mat your dog sleeps on. This is what we learned.

What else do you want to learn?

All articles
arrow