Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Last Updated:

pure balance grain free

Our Final Verdict

We give Pure Balance Grain-Free dog food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pure Balance Grain-free dog food is an all-natural pet brand that is affordable and nutritious. They make their recipes with vitamins and minerals to support your pup’s well-being and overall health. What’s more, they have several different flavors and dishes available depending on your pet’s needs and palette.

To give you a better understanding of this grain-free option, we have reviewed Pure Balance down to the ingredients. We will answer all of your most important questions such as where the food is made, and whether it has had any recalls. Not only that, but we will also share our favorite dishes and some comments from other consumers. Keep reading to see if this option is right for your pooch!

Divider 1

At a Glance: The Best Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food Recipes:

Dog FoodPriceTypeFlavor
Pure Balance Grain-Free Wild & Free
Pure-Balance-Grain-Free-Wild-Free-Bison-Pea-Potato-Venison-Recipe(Our Favorite)

Check Price
DryBison, Pea, Potato & Venison Recipe
Pure Balance Grain-Free Wild & Free
Pure-Balance-Grain-Free-Wild-Free-Beef-Wild-Boar-Recipe-Dry-Dog-Food

Check Price
DryBeef & Wild Boar Recipe
Pure Balance Grain-Free Multi-Pack
Pure-Balance-Grain-Free-Chicken-Recipe-Wet-Dog-Food-Multi-Pack

Check Price
Wet (Canned)Chicken Recipe
Pure Balance Grain-Free
Pure-Balance-Grain-Free-Lamb-Dinner-with-Real-Lamb-Pate

Check Price
WetLamb Dinner
Pure Balance Wild & Fresh Dog Food
Pure-Balance-Wild-Fresh-Dog-Food-Beef-Bison-Recipe-with-Superfoods

Check Price
Wet (Roll)Beef Bison Recipe

Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food Reviewed

Grain-free dog food has become increasingly popular in the last several years. Many pet owners have found that their pet fares better with a gluten-free meal as it can be easier to digest. Many pups also suffer from allergies from grains such as wheat and corn.

That being said, there is starting to be some controversy about whether this is the best option for your pooch. Often, brands that lack grains replace them with other fillers that are even less nutritious. Not to mention, grains play an essential role in your canine’s diet. The FDA also found a link between grain-free formulas and heart disease in 2019.

Due to this information, there has been some debate over whether this type of food is healthy. Regardless, if your pet as an allergy or sensitivity to these ingredients, you want to make sure the grain-free formula you are choosing is a good one.

Who Makes Pure Balance Grain-Free and Where Is It Produced?

The Pure Balance brand is a Walmart label that was created in 2012 after they saw a need for cost-friendly dog food. Walmart wanted to create a pet food line that was healthy and easy to find, as well. It is Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC who manufactures most of Pure Balance’s products out of Pennsylvania.

Ainsworth is owned by the J.M. Smucker corporation who also owns several other pet brands including Kibbles N’ Bits and Milk Bone. Interestingly enough, Ainsworth does not manufacture all of Pure Balance’s products, and it is unclear which ones they do produce. What we do know is all their pet food is manufactured in the USA, yet the ingredients are sourced from around the world.

Our Favorite Deal Right Now
Chewy logo

30% OFF at Chewy.com

+ FREE Shipping on Dog Food and Supplies

How to redeem this offer

The Grain-Free Menu

Another benefit of Pure Balance’s grain-free formula is it comes in several different varieties and recipes. You can choose from dry food, wet food, semi-raw rolls, wet food in gravy, and wet “dinners.” They also offer several flavors such as chicken, beef, bison, salmon, turkey, and many others.

Pure Balance is not strictly grain-free, however. They carry options that are made with rice and other grains. If you want to take a look at the entire brand, check out this article.

All of the grain-free formulas are made without any artificial ingredients, soy, corn, and wheat. They also have a lot of nutritional value in the form of vitamins, minerals, and other important supplements such as fish oil, omegas, and biotin. Besides these basic adult meals, they have a small breed food and a poultry-free diet.

Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

Unfortunately, there are two types of canines that may do better with a different type of food. First, is Puppies. Though Pure Balance offers a puppy formula, it is not grain-free. If you need something with wheat, corn, and rice for your new pup, try the Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food. This meal is made with real chicken and it is packed with all the nutrients they need.

The second type of dog that may need a different brand of food is a senior pup. Pure Balance does not carry a senior formula in their grain-free or regular line, and many canines require a gluten-free meal.

Senior pups also benefit from additional supplements such as the joint-supporting glucosamine that none of the Pure Balance formulas contain. If you need a tasty and grain-free meal for your older pet, try the Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Natural Senior Dry Dog Food.

bone

The Nutritional Value

As we mentioned, grain-free dog food formulas can lack some essential nutrients your pet needs to lead a strong and healthy life. When you cut out grains, manufacturers usually replace them with something else. Sometimes the alternative ingredients can be good, and other times, not so good.

First, though, let’s take a look at the nutritional value for the different types of recipes Pure Balance offers:

Protein

Protein is one of the most important aspects of your pup’s meal. They need a good amount to keep them energized, strong, and flexible. The AAFCO recommends your pet gets at least one gram of protein per body weight, which is the equivalent of 18% of dry matter.

  • Dry Food: 27%
  • Wet: 9%
  • Semi-Raw Rolls: 8%

Fat

Fat is another important part of your pet’s diet. In this case, experts recommend you feed your dog at least 10 to 15% as they will turn it into energy. Dogs that are more active should receive up to 20 to 25% daily.

  • Dry: 15%
  • Wet: 9%
  • Semi-Raw Rolls: 8%

Fiber

Fiber is what helps your pup go to the bathroom easily and without the mess. It keeps their digestive system running smoothly, plus it helps with other essential needs, as well. The AAFCO tells us that your dog’s food should have between 1 to 10% fiber.

  • Dry: 5%
  • Wet: 1.5%
  • Semi-Raw Rolls: 1%

Calories

Canine experts also recommend that your dog consumes at least 30 calories per pound of body weight each day. Your pet’s two meals plus snacks and treats should not exceed this amount. Unfortunately, the calorie levels are not readily available with this product, and there was no response when we attempted to reach out.

A Quick Look at Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food

Pros
  • All-natural formula
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Grain-free
  • Variety of recipes
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
Cons
  • May be missing essential nutrients
  • There is no puppy or senior formula

Ingredients Analysis

This formula has many added vitamins, minerals, and supplements such as vitamins A, D, E, and B-complex. Not to mention, omega 3 and 6, biotin, iron, calcium, CFU’s, and much more. The natural formula has no artificial ingredients, wheat, corn, or soy. What’s more, the meals are all made with real meat (except the poultry-free option), and it has no by-product meals.

We could go on about the important nutrients in Pure Balance’s Grain-Free formula, but we would be here all day. So, not to be a downer, but we are going to concentrate on the grain “substitutes” and other not so desirable ingredients.

  • Pea Protein: This is an ingredient commonly used to replace carbohydrates like wheat in dog food. The protein from peas is not the same as peas, however. In their raw form, a few peas in the formula can add nutritional benefits. In the protein form, there is little to no benefit for your pet.
  • Chicken Meal: We are sure you have heard of “meals” and by-product “meals”. Though by-products are never good for your dog, there is a lot of debate over whether “meals” are good or not. Here’s the gist, meals are only as good as what goes in them. If it’s made with less nutritious parts of the chicken or cow, you will have less than stellar “meal”. Unfortunately, this is a piece of info not available to the public.
  • Pea Starch: you face the same issue with starch as you do with protein when it comes to peas. Consider this, however. There is such a thing as ingredient splitting. If you see an ingredient in several forms, it may have been done intentionally to lower the weight of the ingredient. The FDA requires dog food ingredients to be listed according to weight. In some cases, if you add up the weight of all the “pea” products, they could weigh more than the first ingredient-like beef.
  • Dried Potatoes: this is another ingredient where there is some debate regarding its nutritional value. In general, though, rarely will a potato hurt your pooch. They can give a quick burst of energy, yet their diet does not require them.
  • Carrageenan: This ingredient is used as a filler in most dog foods. It adds weight to the product. In this case, the ingredient is found in their semi-raw rolls. Not only does it have no benefits for your dog, but it also can be hard to digest, cause gas, and diarrhea.

One thing we want to note is that the formula for the grain-free wet food is not readily available on any web site including Walmart’s. Though the FDA requires all pet foods to have a listing of their ingredients, it is concerning that you cannot find this information anywhere online.

Pure Balance Wild & Fresh Dog Food

Recall History

The Pure Balance Grain-Free dog food has not had any recalls at the time this article was published. That being said, when a product is outsourced to another manufacturing company, you want to look at their recall history, as they will be the parties responsible for “making” the food.

The manufactures, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC, have been involved in recalls regarding their Rachel Ray line. What’s more, J.M. Smucker has also been involved in two voluntary recalls in the last three years. One of those recalls involved euthanasia ingredients found in their canned dog food.

Divider 4

Reviews of the 3 Best Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food Recipes

1. Pure Balance Wild & Fresh Chicken, Beef, Salmon, and Egg Roll

Pure Balance Wild & Fresh Chicken, Beef, Salmon, and Egg Roll

This Pure Balance semi-raw dog food is a great option to give your pet for either a snack or a full meal. It is made with all-natural ingredients, grain-free, and without any artificial ingredients. Not only that, but it is also packed with additional supplements, vitamins, and minerals.

You should note that this formula can take some getting used to in regards to your pet’s stomach. Small portions initially are key to a smooth transition. Beyond that, this healthy option has real meat with biotin and calcium. Just keep in mind that it is also formulated with carrageenan. This is a filler with no nutritional value for your pet. Other than that, this is a tasty meal that comes in two flavors.

Pros
  • All-natural
  • Snack or meal
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Tasty
Cons
  • Contains carrageenan
  • Can be initially hard on the stomach

2. Pure Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog Formula Chicken and Pea

When it comes to delicious dry dog food, this chicken and pea recipe takes the cake. It is not only grain-free, but also made without artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Plus, there is no corn, soy, or other harmful ingredients. Unfortunately, it is formulated with pea starch and protein which have no benefit for your dog.

Besides that, you will find many added vitamins such as C, D, E, and B-complex. There is also biotin, calcium, and potassium to support your pet’s overall well-being. This dry food is made with all-natural ingredients, and it is manufactured in the USA though the ingredients are sourced from around the world.

Pros
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial ingredients
  • All-natural
  • Great flavor
  • Added vitamins and minerals
Cons
  • Contains high levels of pea starch and protein

3. Pure Balance Grain-Free Poultry-Free Lamb and Fava Bean Dry Dog Food

Pure Balance Grain-Free Poultry-Free Lamb and Fava Bean Dry Dog Food

If your dog has grain allergies and sensitivities to poultry products, this is the dry food for you. Not only does it lack the above ingredients, but it is also an all-natural formula with a lot of nutritional value to keep your pet healthy.

Formulated without corn, soy, poultry, grains, or artificial ingredients, this meal is tasty and healthy. Unfortunately, one drawback of this pet food is it has a high concentration of pea protein and starch. Plus, it can be hard to digest. Other than that, this meal has great levels of protein, fat, and fiber.

Pros
  • All-natural
  • Great protein, fiber, and fat levels
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • No grains or poultry
  • No artificial ingredients
Cons
  • Can be hard to digest
  • Contains high levels of pea protein and starch

What Other Users Are Saying

There is nothing more reassuring to a customer than seeing positive reviews about a product from other pet parents. It will reinforce all the benefits the product has, and it will help you decide on which food to pick. Take a look at these reviews below.

Walmart.com

“Absolutely love this food. My Pomeranian is sensitive to grain, licked all the time, she’s doing so much better, my sheltie is sensitive to everything, tried everything until now. We use lamb and both of my furbabies love it and do I !! Thank you for this and now I don’t have to buy two separate kinds of food.”

Walmart.com

“I have three dogs ranging from a 2-year-old weighing 10 pounds to a 9-year-old weighing 90 lbs. Pure Balance is the only food I give them, any of the grain-free flavors. I have seen a huge difference since I switched 2 years ago and it’s all my baby has ever eaten.”

Our Favorite Deal Right Now
Chewy logo

30% OFF at Chewy.com

+ FREE Shipping on Dog Food and Supplies

How to redeem this offer

Divider 5

Conclusion

We hope that you have enjoyed our review on Pure Balance Grain-Free Dog Food. This tasty option is available at Walmart and Amazon and comes in multiple varieties. With so many options for dog food available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one. If we have made your life any easier with the above information, we consider it a job well done.