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Pure Balance Dog Food Review

pure balance dog food review

If you read the label, you’ll see that Pure Balance dog food balances plant-based nutrition with a moderate dose of animal protein. However, there’s always more to the story than the nutrition facts can tell. How healthy a brand of dog food is depends on the cleanliness of the manufacturing process and the ingredient sources. Here’s our Pure Balance dog food review so that you can decide if it’s the right choice for your pet.

About Pure Balance

While it’s not obvious from the product packaging, Walmart is the retail giant behind Pure Balance dog food. It promises to bring a range of vitamins, minerals, and other necessary components of a healthy diet straight into your pet’s bowl. Walmart’s creation is a premium dog food product that holds up well against other premium dog foods on the market.

AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, approves Pure Balance dog food. It also uses only human-grade ingredients in every recipe. Overall, Pure Balance is rich in nutrition. It also comes in wet and dry forms with various flavors to suit any dog’s preferences. It’s marketed for all breeds and age groups as well. With all of this in mind, Pure Balance is much more affordable when looking at the price of comparable dog foods.

The Product Lineup

You’ll be able to find many flavors of Pure Balance food in the pet food aisle. You’ll also notice that some foods specify “small breed” or carry a label like “grain-free” on the front. Here’s a look at what Pure Balance offers in both the wet and dry categories.

Wet food

  • Beef & Chicken Recipe
  • Chicken & Beef Dinner
  • Beef Dinner in Gravy with Carrots & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Chicken, Vegetables & Brown Rice Stew
  • Turkey, Green Bean & Sweet Potato Recipe in Gravy
  • Limited Ingredient Turkey and Potato Grain-Free

Dry food

  • Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Poultry-Free Grain-Free Lamb & Fava Bean Recipe
  • Baked Grain-Free Chicken with Broccoli & Carrot Recipe
  • Grain-Free Small Breed Chicken & Garden Vegetables
  • Grain-Free Chicken & Pea Recipe
  • Baked Grain-Free Chicken with Broccoli & Carrot Recipe
  • Wild & Free Grain-Free Bison, Pea & Venison Recipe
  • Wild & Free Superfood Blend Trout & Lentil Recipe
  • Wild & Free Grain-Free Grass-Fed Beef & Boar Recipe
  • Wild & Free Grain-Free Salmon & Pea Recipe

Explaining the Ingredients

On every nutrition label, you should note that the ingredients panel lists items in order of bulk. In other words, the first ingredient makes up the biggest portion of the food, the second ingredient makes up the second biggest portion, and so on.

Prioritize high-quality ingredients

The ingredients panel is the first place your eyes will likely gravitate to when checking a dog food, and that’s good. Seeing certain ingredients in the panel, like meat “by-products” and low-quality fillers, tells you that the brand of dog food isn’t worth considering for your pet’s health. Fortunately, Pure Balance doesn’t include any low-quality filler ingredients or by-products. The very first ingredient in their recipe is fresh, deboned chicken. That puts this food off to a great start because real meat should always be the first ingredient. It’s a great, healthy, and natural source of protein for dogs.

Understand the macros and calories

The second ingredient in this recipe is potatoes. This does lead to a high carbohydrate content in this food, which is something to look for when choosing. Your dog shouldn’t get too many carbs or calories since it can lead to excessive weight gain. The next ingredients on the list also show the thought that went into the design of Pure Balance. It’s meant to compete with the top brands. Dried peas are next on the list, then fish meal.

Meat meal is something you’ll often see in dog foods. The average meat is about 70% water, so companies produce meat “meal” by evaporating most of the water from a whole meat product. The result is meat meal, which often ends up being healthier and more protein-dense than whole meat. Following these, you’ll see dried egg products, pea protein, tapioca, pea fiber, chicken fat, ground whole flaxseed, broccoli, and carrots, among others. You won’t find any particular ingredients that stand out; they are all pretty clean and straightforward.

What’s Not in Pure Balance Dog Food?

Corn is often misrepresented as a vegetable, but it’s a grain. Unfortunately, you will find it on the ingredient panel of many low-quality and average dog foods—generally near the top of the list. Pure Balance has multiple formulas that advertise corn-free. The grain-free formulas are also corn-free.

When digested, corn gets converted into sugar and can wreak havoc on your pet’s organs. It’s also often genetically modified, which isn’t best for your dog’s health.

Along these same lines, soy is at the top of the list for genetically modified foods. Finally, wheat can throw off the delicate balance of gut flora and contribute to autoimmune disease. So, many dog food manufacturers are moving away from these ingredients. With growing consumer knowledge and competition, the shift is only happening faster now, and Pure Balance is part of the movement.

Additional Nutrition Facts

Across Pure Balance wet and dry dog food, each serving contains up to 39% carbs, 35% essential fat, 26% protein, and 5.6% fiber. Most recipes include essential vitamins for a healthy canine diet. Vitamins like ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, calcium iodate, folic acid, potassium chloride, and vitamins E and D3.

Moreover, most Pure Balance recipes are free of corn, soy, and wheat. This is a major selling point for many dog owners who look to avoid these ingredients in their dog’s diet. This is becoming an increasing trend in the dog food world. That’s why Pure Balance and other brands are stepping up to offer such foods at more accessible price points.

The major reason dog owners avoid corn, soy, and wheat is simple. It’s not appropriate for the species. As we continue to study and understand more about our canine companions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we should seek to feed them a diet reminiscent of what they’d get in the wild.

Dogs have had little time to evolve and aren’t built to eat many of the things we give them. Feeding them low-quality food that doesn’t coincide with what they would eat in nature will put them at a higher risk of disease and decrease their lifespan.

When Pure Balance is Suitable

Pure Balance has multiple foods in its lineup. Most get marketed towards adult dogs with a select number of “small breed” foods and even some puppy formulas. Feeding the right formula to your dog is essential to supporting your pet’s health throughout every life stage. So don’t overlook these labels when picking out your dog’s food.

Pure Balance also features a feeding recommendation on every bag. The amount you feed your dog will vary depending on the food, your dog’s age, and their weight. Make sure to follow these feeding recommendations so your dog does not overeat or go underfed.

When switching, follow the suggestions on the bag for transitioning your dog to Pure Balance from another food. Doing so will help avoid a shock to your dog’s system as your pet gradually changes from one formula to the next. This process can take many weeks. But it can keep your dog healthy and happy.

To better understand the quality of Pure Balance dog food, here’s a closer look at one of the brand’s most popular sellers, the Baked Grain-Free Chicken with Broccoli & Carrot Recipe.

Where to Buy Pure Balance Dog Food

Currently, Pure Balance is exclusive to Walmart, although you can occasionally find online retailers selling it second-hand on Amazon or eBay. We recommend buying directly from the source to ensure its legitimacy and freshness. You can buy Pure Balance online and in stores, so long as it’s in stock.

Factors to Consider

Independent testing of dog foods ensures their purity beyond what you can read on the ingredient list. In the dog food industry, the production process can introduce many contaminants. These contaminants can also come from the ingredients themselves.

For instance, if the farm sprayed pesticides on the vegetables used in the food or if the animals were ever fed hormones, these things would impact the final product. However, you’ll never be able to tell the cleanliness of a brand of dog food unless you have results from a third-party lab.

Pure Balance has yet to be third-party tested. While the dog food line launched in 2012, the market for dog food testing is still in its infancy. With that said, some other premium dog foods already have test results published from various sources, like the Clean Label Project.

The results can change with time as companies source ingredients from new places to find the best price and keep up with demand and availability requirements. The unfortunate thing is that, without contamination tests, the only way to estimate the cleanliness of a dog food brand is to look for recalls.

Recalls often occur in response to contamination. While accidents surely happen and are sometimes out of the manufacturer’s control, frequent recalls or recalls due to mishandling of ingredients or the final product will clue you into how clean the dog food likely is.

In the case of Pure Balance dog food, it has never received a recall notice in all seven years that it’s been on the market. That’s great news, and it should help provide you with confidence regarding the cleanliness of the food, even though no lab results currently exist to quantify the contaminants (or lack thereof).

Pure Balance Dog Food Review: The Bottom Line

Every dog owner knows that choosing a great brand of dog food is one of the toughest parts of owning a pet. You might spend hours mulling things over in the aisle of your local store before you finally come home with a product that passes your strenuous tests. Then, even when a food does pass your test, a picky eater may sometimes cause you to start the process over again. Comparing it to a typical dry dog food, you’ll find that Pure Balance grain-free dry dog foods have about average fat and protein content but fewer carbs. The fat-to-protein ratio is roughly 56%; ingredients like pea protein and flaxseed add extra protein alongside the meat. Considering this, Pure Balance dog food contains a moderate amount of meat. However, it’s still classified as a plant-based food in most books due to its ratio.

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3 responses to “Pure Balance Dog Food Review

  1. I used to give my dog lamb and brown rice, the ingredients randomly changed to lamb and fava bean. I figured it would basically be the same thing. They left the packaging exactly the same. It poisoned him, he had 4 seizures in the 3 weeks he was on it before we realized it was that. Fava beans, if not properly cooked, are POISONOUS to dogs! I feel mildly betrayed by the company because it seems like they were shady, changing an ingredient but keeping the packaging the same.

  2. We had our dog on Pure Balance Salmon and Pea and never had a problem. Tried Pure balance chicken and pea and he threw up all of what he ate. Do not know if I should use this brand again or not.

  3. Our dog cocker and ship tzu did well on the lamb and brown rice for sensitive skin for years, but now they are sick with skin and allergy issues. We finally noticed the green label for sensitive skin has changed ingredients from brown rice to fava bean. What the heck is a fava bean?? Very disappointed! Our dogs have been suffering for weeks and we have not been able to get it under control or figure out what happened. Feeling pretty betrayed! We are now trying to find a new dog food to alleviate their new skin issues!!!

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