Be a part of something BIG!

In this Post

When it comes to caring for our canine companions, one of the most critical decisions we face is choosing the right dog food. This choice becomes even more significant when you have a big dog, as their nutritional needs differ from those of smaller breeds. Among the many dog food brands on the market, Purina Pro Plan often stands out as a popular choice for pet owners. But is Purina Pro Plan a good dog food for big dogs?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when selecting dog food for larger breeds and examine whether Purina Pro Plan lives up to the expectations of providing quality nutrition and meeting the unique requirements of big dogs.

In this post we will talk about:

  • The benefits of Purina Pro Plan for big dogs
  • Nutrition science & research
  • Whether or not Pro Plan & Purina Dog Food is healthy or not
  • Pet food marketing tactics and myths

The “Too Long, Didn’t Read” Summary about Pro Plan Dog Food

I realize that my blog posts at times become long and involved. So I’m going to spare you that and give you a short run down (for those of you that just need a quick answer).

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed is an exceptional food for all big dogs, including Great Danes.

Now I understand you may have heard otherwise. As a big dog owner, you are bombarded online with cries to feed Victor, Diamond Naturals, 4Health, and Gentle Giants. You’re told to find foods with “low protein” and “better ingredients”.

You’re even told that if you feed your dog a brand like Purina, Pedigree, or Iam’s, you are “feeding your dog fast food” (and thus, are a bad pet parent).

Of course, if an influencer or brand rep can convince you that you are harming your dog, it’s much, much easier for them to sell you their product.

Now if I have your attention, let’s deep dive into why Pro Plan is so popular and why it is a recommended brand for big dogs!

6 4

The Truth about Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

One thing people don’t realize, or know, about the pet food industry is that a solid majority of pet food brands out there are manufactured by companies that:

  • Do not have a single qualified nutritionist on staff
  • Do not own or operate their own manufacturing facilities
  • Never test or research their food or formulations
  • Will sweep issues under the rug instead of issuing a recall
  • Create inconsistent products with nutritional values that fluctuate greatly from bag to bag
  • Use deceptive tactics on the ingredients list to make it appear wholesome and healthy
  • Formulate products that appeal to humans and their wallets, vs. products that are well researched and truly healthy for pets

Many of these corner-cutting companies produce foods that are sold at a premium price point, with ‘good ingredients’ and wholesome stories health and family.

So here lies the problem.

Deceptive marketing in the pet food industry is a concerning and prevalent issue that puts the health and well-being of our beloved animal companions at risk. Many companies engage in practices that prioritize profit margins over the nutritional needs of pets. From enticing packaging that showcases images of succulent meats and fresh vegetables, to catchy taglines and misleading labels, deceptive marketing tactics can mislead pet owners into purchasing products that, while expensive, are actually subpar in terms of quality and nutritional value.

This can lead to health problems, allergies, growth disorders, and chronic digestive issues for our pets.

FACT: Purina Dog Foods are among only a handful of brands that are NOT cutting corners on formulation, nutritionists, research, or sound manufacturing and quality control practices.

I used to be solidly against Purina foods, because a lot of marketing has gone into making all of us believe that it’s trash. Marketing is often far from the truth, however.

17 1

Is Purina Pro Plan a Good Dog Food for Big Dogs?

Yes! Any Pro Plan Large Breed formula is ideal. Here are just a few reasons:

  • Purina employs a team of 100’s of top researchers, nutritionists, veterinary nutritionists, food scientists, and quality control specialists
  • All Purina formulas are some of the most well researched and heavily tested foods available anywhere
  • As a “big 5” company, Purina dog food is fed to billions of pets, successfully
  • Researchers at Purina have brought forth many peer reviewed studies that have helped veterinarians gain new understanding and insight into disease, cancer, nutrition, growth, dental care, and overall health

Very, very few other companies can even come close to meeting these standards. So even if you question the “ingredients” or don’t like Purina as a company, you cannot deny that they are considered a leader for a reason.

Consider this, too. If Purina was such a bad food, how is it that dogs lifespans have increased in the last 40 years (despite the fact that Purina Dog Food, including Dog Chow) are fed to a massive percentage of pets?

The numbers don’t add up, which is what brings me back to this. Marketing.

20 1

Are Purina Dog Food Ingredients Good?

There is not a single ingredient in Purina Dog food that isn’t backed by a lot of research, science, and published information. Purina even states that “Every Ingredient Has a Purpose”.

Here are some common ingredients in Purina foods that are often misunderstood:

Corn – Corn, when used in dog food, can be a valuable and nutritious ingredient. Did you know that corn is more digestible than beef?

It offers an easily utlized energy source that provides the fuel dogs need for their active lifestyles. Furthermore, corn contains essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which contribute to a well-balanced diet. Corn is definitely not a ‘filler’, nor is it devoid of nutrition. Want to read more about corn in dog food? Check out this article from TUFTS University.

Meat Meals – this misunderstood ingredient is actually a must have in kibble. Meat Meals are simple cooked before they go into the kibble; by grinding and dehydrating meat first, more meat based nutrition can be packed into the finished kibble! Here are some. of the other benefits:

  1. High Protein Content: Meat meal is a concentrated source of protein, as it is made by rendering meat to remove moisture and fat. This makes it an excellent protein source for dogs, supporting their muscle development, growth, and overall health.
  2. Nutrient-Dense: Meat meal is packed with essential nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which are crucial for a dog’s well-being. These nutrients help to maintain a healthy coat, strong bones, and a robust immune system.
  3. Enhanced Flavor: Dogs are natural carnivores, and they typically prefer the taste of meat. Including meat meal in dog food can make it more appealing, encouraging them to eat and enjoy their meals.
  4. Longer Shelf Life: Meat meal’s lower moisture content contributes to a longer shelf life for dog food, reducing the need for artificial preservatives. This can be especially beneficial for owners who want to buy dog food in larger quantities.
  5. Digestibility: High-quality meat meals are highly digestible, meaning that dogs can absorb and utilize the nutrients more effectively. This can be advantageous for dogs with sensitive digestive systems.

Still not convinced? Check out these large breed Purina versions and see what you think:

3 1

Pet Food Marketing

Influencers, bloggers, pet stores, and pet food brands often disparage big brands because that is how they tap into the emotional side of pet ownership. By pushing those emotional buttons, they can get the sale.

Here are some common marketing deceptions in pet food:

  1. Misleading Imagery: One of the most common tactics is the use of misleading images on packaging that suggest high-quality, whole ingredients like succulent cuts of meat and fresh vegetables (which appeal to us humans). In reality, the actual product inside may contain lower-quality ingredients.
  2. Exaggerated Health Claims: Some pet food brands make exaggerated claims about the health benefits of their products without sufficient scientific evidence to back them up. This can lead pet owners to believe that they are providing the best possible nutrition for their pets when, in fact, they may not be.
  3. Renaming Ingredients: claiming to have “no by-products”, for example, and then hiding them (organ, bone, cartilage) in the ingredients list under different names (editors note, by-products are natural and biologically appropriate)
  4. “Natural” and “Organic” Claims: These terms are often used loosely, and many pet food products labeled as “natural” or “organic” may not meet the rigorous standards that consumers associate with these terms.
  5. Emotional Appeal: Some brands use emotional marketing tactics, such as heartwarming stories or claims of “premium” quality, to create an emotional connection with pet owners, often diverting attention from the actual nutritional content.
  6. Ingredient Splitting: Manufacturers sometimes break down similar ingredients into smaller parts to push more desirable components higher up on the ingredient list, creating the illusion of a higher quality product.

I think the point I’m trying to make here is this:

Feed the food that works for your pet, but make sure you are choosing the food that has science and nutritional research behind it. This means that you might consider Purina or any other “big” brand, despite what marketers and influencers have tried to convince you otherwise.

Anecdotally, Purina saved my dogs life. They thrive on Purina, and I know many, many other dogs that do too. Don’t knock it until you try it 🙂

Check out THE GIANT DOG FOOD PROJECT to compare brands and values.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. The commissions help support the maintenance and development of the site.

Share this post:


Related Articles