Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros, and Cons

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purina puppy chow review

Our Final Verdict

We give Purina Puppy Chow dog food a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.


If you’re about to bring a new puppy into your home, then your shopping list probably seems never-ending. Of course, choosing a nutritious puppy food should be at the top of your list, but this process is often easier said than done.

The Purina Puppy Chow line includes several wet and dry dog food formulas that have been expertly designed to meet the dietary needs of most puppies. In contrast to adult dog food, puppy-specific recipes contain a higher concentration of calories and a different blend of vitamins and minerals that support your pup’s physical and mental growth.

Overall, the Purina Puppy Chow line is an excellent option for dog owners looking for an affordable and easily accessible dry food for growing puppies. Depending on your budget and your dog’s specific needs, however, there could be a better option out there.

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At a Glance: The Best Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food Recipes:

Although the Purina Puppy Chow line does include wet food, these products are not readily available online or in stores. Because of this, we’ll be focusing our review on the brand’s top dry food formulas:

Dog FoodPriceFlavorSizes Available
Purina Puppy Chow Natural Plus Vitamins & Minerals
small Chicken & Beef

Check Price
Chicken & Beef3.8 lb,
15.5 lb
Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy
Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy

Check Price
Beef & Rice16.5 lb,
32 lb
Purina Puppy Chow Complete
Puppy Chow Complete

Check Price
Chicken & Rice4.4 lb,
8 lb,
16.5 lb

Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food Reviewed

For both new and experienced dog owners, the search for a great puppy food formula can feel endless. Fortunately, Purina offers a comprehensive range of puppy food catered to your little one’s unique nutritional needs. Here’s what you need to know before purchasing from the Purina Puppy Chow line:

Who makes Purina Puppy Chow and where is it produced?

Purina Puppy Chow is made by Purina, one of the nation’s most popular dog food brands. However, as of 2001, the Purina brand is owned by Nestlé.

According to Purina, 99% of its dog food is manufactured in the United States. The company also states that many of its ingredients come from local sources, but there is no official list stating which products are or are not made/sourced in the U.S.A.

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Which Type of Dog Is Purina Puppy Chow Best Suited For?

As the name suggests, this line of dog food is specifically formulated for growing puppies. Generally speaking, dogs should be on a puppy-specific formula for the first one to two years of their life. Speak to your vet to learn more about when is the right time to transition your puppy to adult food.

Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Formula?

While your dog might love their puppy formula, there will eventually come a time when this food no longer meets their nutritional needs. Purina also manufactures a variety of adult and senior dog foods, including:

1. Purina One Smart Blend Vibrant Maturity

Purina One Smart Blend Vibrant Maturity

2. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind

3. Purina Pro Plan Savor

Purina Pro Plan Savor

4. Purina One Smart Blend

Purina One Smart Blend

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A Quick Look at Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food

  • Available in multiple flavors/recipes
  • Grain-inclusive recipes may prevent heart disease
  • Dry food is widely available online and in store
  • Specifically formulated to support growing puppies
  • Good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Budget-friendly value
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Corn is the primary protein source
  • Not suited for puppies with food allergies
  • Wet food recipes are not widely available

Ingredients Analysis

Regardless of which Purina Puppy Chow formula you choose, there are a couple of controversial ingredients. Here’s what you should know about the top three ingredients in Purina Puppy Chow dry food:

Whole grain corn

Many owners will see corn or a corn by-product in their dog’s food and instantly think that the food is poor quality. But this is not always the case.

For most dogs, grains are a crucial part of a nutritious diet. Whole grain corn is not known to cause stomach upset unless a dog has a specific allergy or sensitivity.

According to Hill’s Pet, corn can actually offer a range of benefits to your dog, including being highly digestible and containing a range of proteins and essential fatty acids. Corn is also high in vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lutein.

Corn gluten meal

The second ingredient in Purina Puppy Chow dry food is corn gluten meal, a concentrated by-product of corn made up of plant proteins. Despite the ingredient’s name, it actually doesn’t contain any gluten at all.

The main concern surrounding corn gluten meal has less to do with the ingredient itself and more to do with what it’s replacing. When a dog food lists corn gluten meal as one of the top ingredients, it means the formula contains more plant protein than animal protein. While plant protein generally won’t harm your dog, many experts agree that meat is a better source of quality protein.

Chicken/Poultry by-product meal

While the name of this ingredient doesn’t sound that appetizing, it’s not as bad as many owners believe. Simply put, by-product meal is a ground and dried mixture of skin, bones, organs, and other body parts used to make kibble.

The thought of feeding ground-up beaks, necks, feet, and intestines to your dog might sound appalling, but think about what your beloved puppy would eat if it was still a wild animal. In many cases, these traditionally unappetizing body parts include essential nutrients that your dog won’t find in standard butcher-quality meat!

Recall History

Purina’s recall history is short, but it’s important to be well informed when choosing a food for your growing pup. Notably, though, there have been no recalls on the Purina Puppy Chow brand itself.

In 2016, Purina recalled select products from its line of Pro Plan wet dog food over concerns about the concentration of vitamins and minerals. In 2013, the brand recalled a single batch of Purine ONE dry dog food for possible salmonella contamination.

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Reviews of the 3 Best Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food Recipes

Do you think Purina Puppy Chow could be the right formula for your growing pup? Let’s take a closer look at the top three formulas from this dog food line:

1. Purina Puppy Chow Complete With Real Chicken & Rice

Purina Puppy Chow High Protein Dry Puppy Food,...
  • Carefully Crafted And Formulated With The Building Blocks Of Puppy Nutrition
  • Contains Dha As Well As Vitamins And Minerals Found In Mothers’ Milk

The Purina Puppy Chow Complete formula is the primary dry food from this particular line. It is designed with the specific needs of puppies in mind and includes key nutrients like DHA, antioxidants, calcium, and more. According to the AAFCO, this formula contains the necessary nutrition for all dogs, including puppies that will weigh 70 pounds or more in adulthood.

This particular formula includes a minimum of 27.5% protein, 12% fat, 5% fiber, and 12% moisture. Each cup of food contains 407 calories, so consult the provided feeding guidelines to determine how much to feed your puppy each day.

If you’re like us, then the thoughts and opinions of other consumers matter most. You can see what other buyers are saying about this puppy food by reading the Amazon reviews.

  • Meets nutritional guidelines for all breeds
  • Made in the U.S.A. with locally raised chicken
  • Includes key vitamins and minerals
  • Fortified with DHA for brain and vision development
  • Primary protein source is corn
  • Not appropriate for dogs with food allergies

2. Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy

Purina Puppy Chow High Protein Dry Puppy Food,...
  • Four (4) 4.4 Lb. Bag - Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dry Puppy Food
  • Formulated With The Building Blocks Of Nutrition To Meet The Unique Needs Of Growing Puppies

Many dogs are easily bored by standard dry food, including puppies. The Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy formula combines regular old kibble with pieces of tender beef for an exciting taste and texture that puppies will love. It contains DHA, calcium, and antioxidants, and is easily digested. According to the AAFCO’s standards, this puppy food is appropriate for all sizes of dogs.

This specific recipe contains 27.5% protein, 12% fat, 4% fiber, and 14% moisture. Each cup contains 387 calories.

To learn what other puppy owners think of this particular formula, you can read the most recent Amazon reviews.

  • Meets nutritional requirements for all breeds
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Includes calcium, DHA, and antioxidants
  • Combines traditional kibble with tender beef pieces
  • Corn and poultry meal are the top ingredients
  • Not recommended for dogs with food sensitivities

3. Purina Puppy Chow Natural Plus Vitamins & Minerals

Purina Puppy Chow Natural High Protein Dry Puppy...
  • 15.5 Lb. Bag - Purina Puppy Chow Natural With Real Chicken & Beef Plus Vitamins & Minerals Dry...
  • Made With Real Beef And Farm-Raised Chicken

The Purina Puppy Chow Natural formula is similar to the line’s other recipes, but with the exclusion of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. However, the top ingredients are still corn and chicken by-product meal. Again, this formula is approved by the AAFCO for all sizes of dogs, including those that will grow to over 70 pounds.

The Puppy Chow Natural formula includes 27.5% protein, 12% fat, 4.5% fiber, and 12% moisture. There are 405 calories in each cup of food.

For first-hand accounts of this puppy food, you can check out what real buyers have to say by reading the Amazon reviews.

  • No artificial ingredients
  • Includes DHA, calcium, and antioxidants
  • Naturally flavored with liver
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Easy to digest
  • Primary protein source is corn
  • Includes several common allergy triggers

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If you’re trying to decide on a high-quality puppy food for your new family member, then Purina Puppy Chow might be on your list. In most cases, any of these formulas would make a great meal for the average puppy.

If your pup suffers from food allergies or sensitivities or if you’re concerned about the ratio of corn-to-animal protein, then this might not be the best puppy food for you. Your veterinarian will be able to direct you to a better puppy food that provides the necessary nutrients without any of the potential allergy triggers.

All in all, the Purina Puppy Chow line is a great starting point for new dog owners who want to see their puppy grow up to be strong and healthy. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Featured Image Credit: Purina Puppy Chow, Amazon