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Purina Beneful Dog Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Recalls & FAQ

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

Purina Beneful Dog Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Recalls & FAQ

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Purina Beneful dog food a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Purina is one of the largest dog food manufacturers out there today. They were actually one of the first to create dry dog food and remain one of the most popular options today. In fact, the history of this company dates all the way back to the 1860s.

However, this company produces a wide range of different dog foods and Beneful is one of their budget options. Therefore, it often costs less than most others out there. For those on a budget or with very big dogs, it can be a lifesaver. However, it also utilizes less-than-stellar food ingredients, which can be a problem for some dogs.


At a Glance: The Best Beneful Purina Dog Food Recipes

Purina Beneful Dog Food Reviewed

Who makes Purina Beneful and where is it produced?

Purina owns all of its own facilities and creates its foods there, including Beneful. According to the company, all Beneful recipes sold in the United States are made in facilities the company owns. Because the company has direct control of these facilities, they are able to keep track of how the food is made and ensure that certain safety procedures are followed.

Typically, dog food made at company-owned facilities is safer than those made by third parties.

However, while this food is made in the United States, some of the ingredients are sourced from other countries. While we don’t know exactly what is sourced where, we do know that many companies source their vitamin mixes from China. These mixes are often hard to source in the United States in the quantities that these larger companies need.

close up of a dog eating from the bowl
Image By: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

Which type of dog is Purina Beneful best suited for?

Generally, we recommend this brand for dogs without underlying conditions that are rather healthy. This food isn’t designed to handle health conditions or specific concerns that you may have regarding your dog. Therefore, if your dog needs a specific formula, we recommend looking elsewhere.

Small- to medium-sized breeds will likely do best on this brand, as they do not have many formulas designed for larger breeds. Large breeds need specific nutrition, as they are prone to certain joint and heart conditions. Therefore, it is often best to feed them a formula designed explicitly for larger dogs.

Furthermore, this food is considered generally lower-quality than other options out there. Therefore, we don’t recommend it for particularly unhealthy breeds, as it may increase their risk for health issues.

Which type of dog might do better with a different brand?

If your canine has underlying conditions, you should speak to your vet about what food would work best for them. Beneful does not make any health-specific formulas, so you’ll often have to look elsewhere for most health issues. However, if your dog has something minor like food allergies, then you may be able to find a Beneful formula that works for them.

Larger breeds may also want to choose a different brand. Beneful does not have many options for larger dogs, who often benefit from very specific nutrition. Larger dogs are more prone to certain health issues and benefit from extra vitamins to prevent those health problems.

In this way, Beneful isn’t for every dog out there. However, if your dog is relatively healthy and you’re on a strict budget, then Beneful may be a great option for you.

white and brown dog eating in a food bowl
Image By: Kabo, Unsplash

Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

To keep prices low, Beneful utilizes some lower-quality ingredients. While these may not upset all dogs, they absolutely can upset some canines.

With that said, the ingredients are not as bad as you’d imagine. For instance, the first ingredient is typically whole meat of some sort. Beef is utilized for beef-centered recipes, for instance. Sometimes, other meat sources are also utilized. Some sort of animal fat is also used, which increases the flavor of this food. However, you’ll also notice flavorings on many ingredient lists, which can be troublesome for some dogs.

Most Beneful formulas are grain-inclusive. Despite many misconceptions, grains are not bad for dogs in the least. In fact, grain-free formulas have been linked to certain health issues. Therefore, we typically recommend feeding your dog grains unless they have an allergy, which is quite rare.

In fact, these formulas often include whole-grain corn of some sort. Corn is surprisingly very good for dogs, as it is extremely digestible. In other words, dogs are able to easily digest and use the vitamins and amino acids in corn. Therefore, dogs typically get more out of corn than other grain ingredients.

Purina Beneful Formula Changes

In recent years, Beneful has changed many of its formulas. While formula changes are common, many dogs did not like the Beneful formula change, which led to several negative reviews. The company has even commented on why they changed their formulas, stating that they switched to higher-quality ingredients.

While dogs may stop refusing food for many reasons, we expect that Beneful started using fewer artificial flavors in the past years, which led to some dogs refusing to eat their formulas. Switching from artificial flavors to natural flavors can be a shock for many dogs.

With that said, it does not appear that this formula change signaled a decline in Beneful’s quality. Therefore, we don’t necessarily recommend avoiding this company simply because of their formula changes.

Quality Assurance

Because Purina owns all of its facilities, they are able to control the standards in those facilities directly. Therefore, they are able to produce very safe food using strict standards and very careful protocols. Because their food is made within the United States, all of their food meets FDA and AAFCO standards.

Furthermore, Purina runs many quality checks within a 24-hour production period. Before being distributed, ingredient quality, packaging, processing, and packing are all checked and double-checked.

This company does a lot to ensure that their pet products are safe for your dog.

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A Quick Look at Purina Beneful Dog Food

  • Crafts food in owned facilities
  • Mostly grain-inclusive formulas
  • Meat as the first ingredient
  • Inexpensive
  • Some lower-quality ingredients

Recall History

Purina has been around for a long time. Therefore, they have had several recalls. However, considering how massive the company is, Purina hasn’t had as many recalls as you’d expect. They carefully make all of their own food in the facilities they own. Therefore, they have direct control over how their food is made.

Because Beneful is a brand of Purina, all of this information applies to them, as well.

There have been several claims that “Beneful is making dogs sick” over the last few years. These claims started in 2011 and pop up every few years. However, Beneful has claimed that these claims are false and misleading. Furthermore, a lawsuit stating the same thing was dismissed because there was no link between the dogs eating Beneful and then getting sick.

Another lawsuit claimed that an ingredient in Beneful called propylene glycol was causing dogs to become sick. This ingredient is commonly confused with ethylene glycol, which is an ingredient in antifreeze. However, they are not the same thing. You’ll still find many claims today that Beneful contains antifreeze, though this is untrue. As you’d guess, this lawsuit was also thrown out.

While there have been some unsuccessful lawsuits, Beneful has actually been recalled once. This recall occurred in 2016 and was targeted at specific Beneful wet dog foods, which potentially did not contain enough vitamins or minerals. The problem was found during the company’s regular quality checks. There were no animals reported to be affected.

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Reviews of the 3 Best Purina Beneful Dog Food Recipes

1. Purina Beneful Originals with Farm-Raised Beef Dog Food

Purina Beneful Originals With Farm-Raised Beef Real Meat Dog Food

Like most formulas, Purina Beneful Originals with Farm-Raised Beef Dog Food contains beef as the first ingredient. It also includes a variety of grains, including corn, barley, and wheat. Luckily, most of these grains are whole, which makes them high in fiber and other nutrients. Corn is the second ingredient, which works well for most dogs.

This formula delivers 100% of the nutrients that your dog needs. It is approved by the AAFCO for adult dogs. Furthermore, it doesn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. All of the taste is natural, which typically makes it healthier for your canine.

We also like that this formula includes tons of antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress. Oxidation is associated with a variety of health conditions, so the inclusion of these antioxidants helps prevent health issues in your dog.

  • Beef as the first ingredient
  • Contains whole grains
  • Meets AAFCO requirements
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Quite a lot of grain included

2. Purina Beneful Medleys Romana Style Canned Dog Food

Purina Beneful Medleys Romana Style

Compared to other wet foods, Purina Beneful Medleys Romana Style Canned Dog Food contains very small chunks. Therefore, it is a great option for senior dogs and canines that have difficulty eating. Very small dogs should have no problem eating this wet food, either.

The very first ingredient in this food is chicken broth, which adds to the moisture and nutritional content. Furthermore, chicken is included as the second ingredient. With that said, there are some lower-quality ingredients included, too. For instance, meat by-products are also included. We don’t know what parts of meat this ingredient is or what type it is. Therefore, it is basically mystery meat.

On top of the by-products, unnamed liver is also included. While organ meats contain a lot of nutrients, we don’t know the source of the included liver.

  • High in meat
  • Chicken broth utilized instead of water
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Individual servings
  • Some low-quality ingredients

3. Purina Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew

Purina Beneful Prepared Meals Beef

As the name suggests, the primary ingredient in Purina Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew is beef and beef broth. The usage of beef broth instead of water adds to the flavor and nutritional content of the food. As you’d expect, things made with broth are more flavorful than things only made with water. It’s the difference between making soup with beef broth or making it with water—the taste difference is obvious and the broth contains extra nutrients.

On top of that, this food also contains wheat gluten. This ingredient contains the processed protein portion of the wheat, raising the protein content substantially. However, this protein isn’t as digestible as meat protein, so your dog won’t get quite as much out of it. Furthermore, meat by-products are also utilized.

We love that this formula doesn’t include any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Therefore, it is generally healthier for your dog than other options.

  • Beef and beef broth as the first ingredients
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Inexpensive
  • Some low-quality ingredients

What Other Users Are Saying

Many users reported that their dogs loved Beneful wet foods, even if they were on the pickier side. One dog owner had an extremely pick Rottweiler, for instance, who would only eat Beneful wet food. Their use of broth instead of water really makes a difference.

However, there are other reviews stating that their dogs didn’t like the food. Of course, some dogs simply aren’t going to like certain foods and that isn’t necessarily the brand’s fault. Therefore, while most dogs seem to love this food, it will be a bit hit-and-miss for others.

Some owners did love that Purina has spent years researching what foods are best for dogs. On the other hand, many new companies have not done this, despite much of their advertising. Therefore, dog owners often feel more comfortable using this food because of the research behind it.



Purina Beneful is a budget company. They cost far less than other dog foods out there, and they use some lower-quality ingredients to keep those prices low. However, they also have a lot of research behind them and have very strict safety guidelines. Therefore, they have fewer recalls and seem to have fewer problems with their food.

Still, if you’re looking for high-quality, premium food, this isn’t the best option.

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