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Purina vs. Pedigree Dog Food: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Purina vs Pedigree Dog Food - Featured Image

Purina vs. Pedigree Dog Food: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

As a pet parent, you want only the best, healthiest food for your canine friend. However, there are so many choices out there it can get overwhelming pretty quickly.

You may have researched several brands and concluded that Purina and Pedigree are the two giants among the many dog food makers in the world today. In fact, you can’t go into a grocery store, pet store, or shop for dog food online without seeing the companies’ products.

Does being the world’s biggest and second-biggest dog food manufacturer mean they have the best food for your furry friend? Which brand is better: Purina or Pedigree?

Our guide below will give you the pros, cons, and what we consider the best between the two brands. We chose a winner based on our research, and there are a few things we were surprised to find.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Purina

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Turkey & Venison Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Turkey & Venison
  • Works with animal welfare charities
  • Uses most healthy ingredients
  • Good for specialized diets
  • Runner Up
    Second place
    Pedigree Adult Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Pedigree Adult Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable
  • Can be purchased in most stores and online
  • Very affordable
  • Great for owners who want to feed their dogs wet food
  • While Pedigree certainly has its advantages as a healthy food for your dog, it seems more focused on providing affordable dog food than high-quality food with good nutritional value.

    On the other hand, Purina provides high-quality food at affordable prices. However, both brands produce several recipes, and you may find some products from one company that your pet prefers.

    We chose Purina as our winner. Keep reading to find out why.

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    About Purina

    As one of the oldest pet food companies in the neighborhood, Purina has spent the last 100 years perfecting its dog food formula. The company works hard to combine high-quality ingredients at affordable prices.

    For a while, Purina seemed more focused on affordability like other dog food providers on the market but soon concentrated on nutrition and affordability with great success. The brand has innovative recipes that span over eight different brands; Purina is a force to be reckoned with in the dog food world.

    What’s Good About Purina?

    Purina not only works toward the goal of affordability and high-quality nutrition for your pet, but it’s also involved in animal welfare projects. The ingredients used in its dog food are high-quality to keep your pet healthy and happy.

    Purina also produces a huge array of specialized brands, including ALPO, Mighty Dog, and Beneful, to name a few. However, their most well-known and loved brands are divided into three major groups. Those groups are Purina One, Purina Dog Chow, and Purina Pro Plan.

    What’s Bad About Purina?

    As with any dog food, while Purina has plenty of benefits, it also has a few problems. While the company uses primarily healthy ingredients in its food, there’s room for improvement. For example, some of its brands use cheap fillers instead of quality ingredients. There are also a few that use animal by-products.

    However, the first ingredient is usually always meat, which helps to make up for some of the questionable ingredients. The numerous recipes from Purina can be overwhelming, making it hard to choose the best food for your furry friend’s needs.

    • Works with animal welfare charities
    • Uses most healthy ingredients
    • Has a wide variety of product options
    • Good for specialized diets
    • Large number of products can be overwhelming
    • Sometimes uses cheap fillers and animal-byproducts


    About Pedigree

    If you’ve heard of Mars, Inc., your mind probably immediately goes to candy bars. You are correct, but the company also owns the Pedigree dog food brand. While Pedigree is a household name regarding dog food, it’s not focused on producing healthy food for dogs.

    While Pedigree isn’t just junk food, it doesn’t meet most dogs’ specific needs.

    What’s Good About Pedigree?

    Pedigree is located in England and is still one of the biggest pet food suppliers in the world, while Purina operates out of America and is primarily America-based.

    Along with the Pedigree line, the brand also owns Sheba, Cesar, Nutro, Iams, and Eukanuba, to name a few. One of the best things about Pedigree is its desire to keep its food affordable for everyone who has a dog to feed. You can find the food online and in big box stores, boutique pet stores, and grocery stores as well.

    When you think of Pedigree, you automatically think of the big yellow cans of wet dog food it’s most famous for. In fact, some of its dog food lines have nothing but wet food choices, like Caesar. Pedigree is great for owners who would prefer to feed their dogs only wet meals instead of dry kibble.

    What’s Bad About Pedigree?

    Like Purina and other dog food companies, Pedigree could use a few improvements. While the food is affordable to almost anyone on a budget, it’s also not the highest-quality food. Also, the cheap fillers and animal-byproducts that the company uses may not be suitable for all dogs.

    • Can be purchased in most stores and online
    • Very affordable
    • Great for owners who want to feed their dogs wet food
    • Wet food might not be suitable for many breeds
    • Contains cheap fillers
    • Depends too much on animal-byproducts


    3 Most Popular Purina Dog Food Recipes

    Now that you know the pros and cons of each brand, we’ll give you the top three most popular recipes from each, starting with Purina.

    1. Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Active, High Protein Dog Food

    There were quite a few options available in the Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food line, but this is the one that has a high protein performance claim. The food is also grain-free, which may suit some dogs. It’s best to talk to your vet before giving your dog grain-free food since the FDA is currently researching whether grain-free food is causing heart issues in animals.

    Pro Plan has a protein content of 30% and a 20% fat content. Since this is a high-fat, high-protein food, it might not be the best choice for dogs that aren’t very active.

    Pro Plan is expensive, and the food contains a lot of salt, detracting from the product’s benefits.

    • Perfect for active dogs
    • High levels of fat and protein
    • Contains fish oil
    • Very expensive food
    • Might not be best for inactive dogs
    • Contains a lot of salt

    2. Purina One Natural True Instinct Dry Dog Food

    Purina ONE High Protein, Natural Dry Dog Food

    Purina One Natural True Instinct Dry Dog Food is made with real turkey and venison, making it one of Purina’s best dry dog foods. This recipe has no animal by-products or fillers, and it has a high percentage of protein. Purina One is suitable for active or lazy dogs.

    The only problem with this recipe is that it’s twice as expensive as Pedigree, so some pet parents might not be willing to cough up the money. The food also tends to upset some dogs’ stomachs.

    • No fillers or animal by-products
    • High percentage of protein
    • Great for active and lazy dogs
    • Twice as expensive as the Pedigree brand
    • Doesn’t agree with some dog’s stomachs
    • Uses a lot of plant proteins

    3. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food is the ideal dog food if you have a puppy. The first ingredient in this recipe is chicken, which means it’s high in protein and meets the active needs of a growing puppy or even a small breed dog.

    The food has guaranteed live probiotics to help keep your puppy’s digestive tract healthy. It also has no artificial colors or additives.

    The only drawback we saw is that the food doesn’t sit well with some dogs’ stomachs, and it is quite expensive.

    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Guaranteed live probiotics
    • No artificial colors
    • Works for small breed dogs
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t sit well with some dog’s stomachs


    3 Most Popular Pedigree Dog Food Recipes

    Next, we’ll give you the three most popular Pedigree dog food recipes as well.

    1. Pedigree High Protein Beef & Lamb Adult Dry Dog Food

    Pedigree High Protein Beef & Lamb Flavor Adult Dry Dog Food

    Pedigree High Protein Beef & Lamb Adult Dry Dog Food contains real beef and lamb meal to provide extra protein for your furry friend. In fact, it contains more protein than most of the other Pedigree foods on the market.

    However, what seems to be high protein to Pedigree is only moderate protein to Purina. The food relies heavily on fillers and animal by-products. The recipe’s protein average is lower than most Purina meals, and the lean animal protein is limited as well.

    • Has more protein than Pedigree’s other products
    • Contains real beef
    • Contains lamb meal for added protein
    • Uses too many fillers and animal-byproducts
    • Protein levels are only average
    • Very limited amounts of animal protein

    2. Pedigree Big Dogs Adult Dry Dog Food

    Pedigree Big Dogs Adult Dog Food

    As with other Pedigree dog foods, Pedigree Big Dogs Adult Dry Dog Food isn’t as it seems. It is hard to tell if Pedigree Big Dogs is any different from the brand’s standard kibble or if it’s actually made for the needs of bigger dogs. It has more protein than the basic kibble and contains more glucosamine, but that’s about it, sadly.

    Pedigree Big Dogs may cause weight gain, focuses heavily on carbs, and contains a low amount of protein overall, and it’s not one of our favorites.

    • Includes more glucosamine than the company’s basic kibble
    • Contains more protein than the basic kibble
    • Low protein
    • Focuses on basic carbs
    • Could cause weight gain

    3. Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food

    Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food is a popular choice from Pedigree because of the low price. The recipe contains a suitable amount of fiber and is perfect if you have several dogs to feed.

    However, Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition is low in fat and protein, depends on fillers and by-products to fill out the ingredients, and shouldn’t be eaten by animals that are overweight.

    • Super affordable
    • Great for homes with multiple dogs
    • Good amount of fiber
    • Low levels of fat and protein
    • Depends too much on fillers and by-products
    • Not for overweight dogs

    divider-dog pawRecall History of Purina and Pedigree

    When you research the recall history, you’ll see that Pedigree has had several of them over the past few years. Most of these occurred in 2008 when there were Salmonella concerns with its recipes. However, no dogs were reported to have gotten sick from the food before the recall.

    Another recall occurred in 2012 when there were concerns that plastic had made its way into the food. In 2014, the company recalled products that were contaminated with metal fragments. While there were no reports of dogs being injured due to these last two recalls, it’s still concerning to pet parents.

    Purina has recently had several recalls. One was in 2013 for a possible salmonella outbreak. No dogs were hurt, and the salmonella was only found in one bag of food. Another occurred in 2016 when some of the wet dog food was recalled amid concerns that the food didn’t have the correct amount of vitamins and minerals. In this recall, the food was not considered to be dangerous to the animals. More recalls also occurred in 2023, mainly due to elevated ingredient levels like vitamin D.

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    Purina vs. Pedigree Comparison

    Now that we’re done listing the pros and cons of each brand, let’s break it down and do a comparison of the two below.

    • Taste: While this metric is based on opinion and every dog is different, most dogs prefer the taste of real meat, making Purina the winner hands down in this department. Pedigree uses too many fillers and tasteless ingredients to be the clear winner.
    • Nutritional Value: As previously stated, Pedigree tends to sacrifice nutrition for budget-friendly options. Purina, on the other hand, while it isn’t perfect in this regard, includes more nutritious ingredients.
    • Price: Regarding the price, Pedigree is the clear winner in the budget-friendly arena. Almost every food they have is budget-friendly and affordable. However, you get what you pay for, and the tradeoff of getting a great price is getting low-quality dog food, so Purina might win this one in the long one as well.
    • Selection: When it comes to the selection of dog food products on the market today, Purina wins hands down over Pedigree. Whether it’s a specialized diet, grain-free dog food, or one that’s high in protein, Purina has it all.


    Overall, in our opinion, after doing careful research into both Pedigree and Purina dog food brands, we have to say that Purina is the clear winner. Purina’s food is better, has higher quality ingredients, and pets seem to prefer the flavors of Purina recipes.



    If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that will feed multiple dogs on a strict budget, then Pedigree might be the logical choice for you. However, if you can afford it, Purina is the best choice because it has a better selection and uses high-quality ingredients than Pedigree

    Our choice of the best dog food brand overall between Purina and Pedigree has to go to Purina, as it’s superior in every way except the price.

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