Welcome to our Pure Balance Dog Food Review. We have personally used this dog food for the rescue dogs we foster because you can purchase it right at Walmart with other family groceries and it’s high-quality stuff.
Keep reading to learn more about this quality dog food brand, and why we think it’s a healthy and solid choice for all the canines in your family.
Pure Balance Dog Food Flavors
The Pure Balance brand comes in many flavors sure to please dogs of all palates. They are grain-free and grain-containing. The brand is rather limited, but there are plenty of flavors available and none of my foster dogs ever turned up their noses.
You can purchase wet food or dry food.
Here are the standard dry food options, each of which contains vitamins and minerals plus plant-based ingredients and grains.
- Chicken & Rice for Puppies
- Grain-Free Lamb & Fava Bean
- Chicken & Brown Rice
- Small Breed Grain-Free
Now onto the Wild & Free subset of the brand. This line features grain-free food and has more exotic ingredients. These are a bit pricier, but you will find the quality is higher, too. Meat is the first ingredient, along with healthy plant-based ingredients your dog will love.
- Trout and Lentil
- Beef & Wild Boar
- Bison, Pea, Potato, & Venison
Now let’s discuss the wet food varieties. These are sold in tubs and cans and have many flavors that will have your dog drooling.
They have grain and grain-free choices. You can treat your dog to stew, gravy, or traditional food.
- Duck, Red Pepper, & Spinach in Gravy
- Turkey, Green Bean, & Sweet Potato in Gravy
- Turkey & Potato
- Turkey & Sweet Potato in Gravy
- Chicken, Vegetables, & Brown Rice Stew
- Turkey & Chicken
- Beef, Green Bean, & Carrot in Gravy
- Chicken Dinner in Gravy
- Lamb Dinner in Gravy
- Beef & Chicken
- Lamb, Pea, & Carrot in Gravy
- Beef Dinner in Gravy
Fresh Roll: An Alternative Option
The brand currently has two options in the Fresh Roll lineup. They are sausage rolls that are to be cut into slices and given to your dog. It’s a nice alternative to wet food or kibble. It’s not as processed and features ingredients of higher quality.
Flavors currently available are Chicken, Salmon, Beef & Egg or Bison & Beef.
The most-sold type of Pure Balance Dog Food is Chicken & Brown Rice Kibble.
This is also the type our foster dogs enjoy.
So, let’s go over the ingredients in greater detail.
Chicken: Offers your dog healthy fats and proteins.
Brown Rice: Provides healthy carbs, better than that of soy or corn. A bit less digestible for dogs compared to white rice.
Chicken Meal: Nutritious for dogs and better than regular poultry meat, as it is made from rendered chicken bones and chicken parts, such as muscle, and organ meat.
Poultry Fat: Fats are good for your dog’s skin and coat health. But the use of the term “poultry” indicates this stuff is rendered from many different birds and is probably lower in quality than a specific fat such as turkey fat or chicken fat.
Beet Pulp: This comes from turning beets into sugar. It’s loaded with fiber but doesn’t offer much else in the way of dog nutrition.
Pea Protein: This is easy and cheap to manufacture, so food-makers use it to add protein to pet foods (and human plant-based foods, too). This protein isn’t as accessible to the canine’s digestive system.
Brewer’s Rice: This rice comes about as a byproduct of rice milling. There’s nothing harmful about it, but it is mostly a filler for this dog food.
Dried Peas: Legumes are a great source of protein and fiber, but plant-based proteins are not as beneficial to dogs as meat-based sources.
Other ingredients are included in the recipe, but the amounts are so small they don’t sway the food quality either way. For example, menhaden fish meal is an ingredient that helps your dog get fatty and amino acids.
The brand is a lot like other commercial foods in that it makes use of added vitamins and minerals to meet AAFCO feed guidelines. This is common and not dangerous to your dog, but micronutrients that occur naturally in pet foods are better and a sign of a high-quality diet.
Proteins of Pure Balance Dog Food
The Guaranteed Analysis (GA), or label, lists the food as being over one-quarter protein at 27%. This protein is high and certainly adequate for most dogs.
Do keep in mind that the protein comes from unconventional sources. For example, pea protein. This certainly adds to the total count of the nutrient but is not as accessible for your dog compared to meat sources.
That being said, the protein is adequate and will satisfy your dog and energize them for all their activities.
GA on the bag shows that this Chicken & Brown Rice contains 15% fat. This is more than we usually see in commercial dog foods.
The fat used in this blend is lesser in quality than we’d prefer, thanks to the use of “poultry fat” and sunflower oil but including menhaden fish oil is a surefire way of bringing healthy and accessible fats to the food.
Dogs that are pets will be happy with this food- it will give them all they need. However, working dogs/ extremely active canines are going to need more fats.
Pros of Pure Balance
Now that we’ve gone over the guaranteed analysis and the ingredients, we can see that this food includes way more quality stuff than the average dog food you buy at the big box stores.
There are no filler ingredients like soy, corn, or wheat. Plus, there are zero animal byproducts.
On top of that, the fats and proteins make it a fine choice for the average pet dog.
Here are the Pros:
- No ingredients that raise red flags for us
- Ingredients known to be less allergenic such as oatmeal and rice are used
- Contains high protein at 27%
- The top two ingredients are chicken meal and chicken
Now for the Cons
Overall, we get a positive impression from Pure Balance Dog Food. But there are a few caveats.
For starters, the plant-based ingredients outnumber the meat-based ones. Dogs can certainly use these plant-based ingredients, but they are not as nutritious as meats. Meats, after all, are more biologically available to dogs.
Plus, the use of legumes and peas has been suspected of being the reason we are seeing more cases of DCM. This stands for Dilated Cardiomyopathy, and we see it mostly in larger breeds such as the Great Dane or Doberman Pinscher.
The FDA began investigating these claims in 2018 after DCM cases were spotted in dogs eating “grain-free” foods, which contained legume seeds, lentils, and peas as part of their main ingredients.
In summary, however, here are the main “cons” of this brand:
- Contains lots of fillers that are plant-based
- Contains beet byproducts
- Peas are likely creating the high protein contents
- Added vitamins and minerals are used instead of naturally sourced ones
Pricing of Pure Balance Dog Food
What sets this dog food apart from others is the higher quality ingredients used, but the reduced price point. This brand sure does make good on its claims.
Compared to other brands you’ve heard of, the food is less pricey. It has higher-quality ingredients than some major brands like Kibbles n’ Bits.
Because of this, we think this is a fine food to offer your pet if you’re on a budget and still want to give your dog a little something better than low-quality food (but can’t afford those specialized diets).
For us, it makes sense- we currently have three dogs in foster care and two dogs we own.
This helps us keep our wallets and dogs happy.
Who Makes Pure Balance? Is There a Recall?
This brand is enough to make everyone’s tail wag. It’s good quality and a fair price, who could ask for more?
But do consider a few things before making the switch.
This food is sold by Walmart (although we’ve seen it on Amazon). Many third-party manufacturers make this food. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your work, but it can lead to recipe inconsistency.
Even worse, the quality could be affected.
Make sure you save packaging in case your dog doesn’t respond well to the food. You can contact the company and use the printed numbers/barcode on the bag to help the company check the batch quality.
Thankfully, no recalls have been reported for this dog food. They launched nearly a decade ago, in 2012.
Will My Dog Benefit?
Our 3 foster mutts love this stuff. Right now, we have a lab mix, a hound dog, and a pit mix who can’t get enough. Plus, our two-family dogs enjoy it, too.
They have the energy to play, go for walks, and enjoy life on this food.
But every dog is different. We find that the fat and protein levels are average and adequate for the everyday adult dog.
If your dog is a puppy, go with the puppy formula to make sure they get the nutrients they need as they mature.
There is also a specialized blend for adult small dogs, such as Pomeranians and chihuahuas. The diet also features smaller kibble for small mouths.
You can choose fresh, dry, or wet foods, too. And if your dog has allergies, or is picky about texture, flavor, or meats, there are plenty to choose from.
Any Dogs That Should NOT Eat This?
Working dogs, athletic dogs, or high-energy dogs should not consume this as a regular diet. The protein level isn’t adequate. Also, dogs with skin issues should consume a high fat, high protein diet- this one just doesn’t have enough.
The brand also lacks a large breed blend. If your pup is going to be 70 lbs. and up when they are full-grown, don’t feed this to them until their bones and joints have developed in full.
Lastly, if you have a large breed, it may be best to steer clear of this brand. The usage of legumes has been linked to DCM in larger dog breeds, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pure Balance Dog Food is a fine choice for your pup. It’s not perfect, but they do use better quality ingredients and have meat as their first ingredient overall.
For the price point, you can’t beat it. It’s a great way to treat your dog to better foods without spending hundreds every month on a specialized raw diet.
With the wide range of flavors to choose from, there’s certainly going to be one that your dog just loves, if not all of them.