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Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food - Featured Image

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls & FAQ

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

One of the most recognizable brand names for dog food is Purina. As the biggest manufacturer of pet food in the industry, Purina has over 90 years of experience, various product lines, and several child companies. It opened the first pet nutrition and care center in 1926 in Missouri and has since become one of the leading names in the pet industry.

The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food recipes are among the various formulas in the Purina ONE product line. They are high in protein and made with real meat while containing a careful blend of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to ensure that your dog receives a balanced diet. However, some of the ingredients used in the recipes are controversial and low quality, which can be off-putting to some dog owners.

With Purina being such a big name, it can be difficult to know all the differences between the child companies and the different formulas. To help you out, we reviewed Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food to help you determine if it’s a good fit for your dog.

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At a Glance: The Best Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct
  • Made with real chicken, turkey, and venison
  • Nutrient-dense formula
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Second place
    Purina ONE SmartBlend Turkey & Venison Purina ONE SmartBlend Turkey & Venison
  • Real turkey is the first ingredient
  • High-protein from venison
  • No poultry by-products or artificial additives
  • Third place
    Purina ONE Tender Cuts in Gravy Purina ONE Tender Cuts in Gravy
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives and no poultry by-products
  • Nutrient-dense, high protein dog food formula
  • Contains antioxidants to help support the immune system.
  • Purina ONE Ground (Beef & Salmon) Purina ONE Ground (Beef & Salmon)
  • Real beef is the number one ingredient
  • Made with no poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors or colors
  • Helps support your furry pal's healthy skin and coat
  • Purina ONE Classic Ground Turkey & Venison Purina ONE Classic Ground Turkey & Venison
  • Real poultry is the number one ingredient
  • Made with no poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • No fillers included
  • Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Reviewed

    Purina started by feeding farm animals as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company in 1894. Purina left feeding farm animals behind in 1986 so it could focus on dog and cat food.

    The name was changed in 1902 to Ralston Purina, and then it became Nestlé-Purina in 2001, when Nestlé acquired the company. These days, Nestlé-Purina has a broad, worldwide distribution and is the most well-known brand of pet food available.

    Who Makes Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct and Where Is It Produced?

    Owned by Nestlé, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food is made by Purina ONE. Recommended by veterinarians, Purina ONE and each of the formulas in the product line are made in the U.S.A. All the recipes are made at Purina-owned facilities throughout the United States.

    Being made in the U.S.A. requires the brand to meet strict safety standards while the food is being manufactured, even if it isn’t designed for human consumption. The formulas are also required to meet AAFCO nutrition standards, ensuring that your dog receives a nutritional diet to keep them as healthy as possible.

    Which Type of Dog Is Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Best Suited For?

    Due to its distribution across the world, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food benefits from Purina’s widely known name. It’s one of the most affordable dog foods on the market, so it’s best suited for dog owners who need a cheaper, nutritional option for their dogs.

    The recipes in Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food are formulated for adult dogs of all breeds, but they are high in protein. High-protein recipes suit active dogs the most because they provide more energy and support their muscle development.

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

    While Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food is formulated for all breeds, it’s only one product under the Purina ONE brand. Dogs with underlying health issues, puppies, or seniors might do better with other formulas dedicated to their individual requirements.

    For example, dogs with allergies might do better with limited-ingredient diets like the Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    In most of the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct recipes, the first five ingredients include real meat. The meat itself changes depending on the recipe but ranges from beef, turkey, and chicken, among others. Real meat ingredients are also a good source of glucosamine that supports the health of your dog’s joints.

    However, several ingredients cause many dog owners to question the suitability of the food for dogs. Here are a few of the controversial ingredients in Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food.

    Corn Gluten Meal

    A waste product from the process of manufacturing corn, corn gluten meal is used as a source of protein in dog food. It’s preferred by many brands due to its inexpensiveness, and it keeps the price of the final product down. However, it doesn’t offer as much nutrition as meat ingredients.

    Soy Flour

    Another source of protein is soy flour. As a by-product of processing soybeans, it’s high in protein but contains less nutritional value than meat. Like corn gluten meal, it’s generally considered a filler ingredient that boosts the protein content in dog food formulas without making the final product cost too much.

    Artificial Colors and Flavors

    Although many of the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct formulas claim to not use artificial additives, some of the recipes do have instances of liver flavor or caramel color. While these additives can entice your dog to eat the food and make the color more appealing to us, they don’t add anything to the nutritional value of the food. Some additives, like propylene glycol in semi-moist dog food, and BHA can be toxic in high quantities.

    Grain Free vs. With Grain

    When it comes to dog food, including the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct, there are a couple of controversies when it comes to grain-free diets. Both wet and dry options for the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct formula are available with or without grain.

    While grain-free diets can avoid triggering grain allergies, dogs rarely suffer from these kinds of food sensitivities. Dogs are primarily scavengers and need a balance of meat protein and plant matter, including grain to stay healthy. Grain-free diets are also currently under investigation by the FDA for a suspected link with heart disease. It’s recommended that you speak with your veterinarian about suitable diets for your dog and properly diagnose their potential food allergies before you settle on a new meal plan.

     

    A Quick Look at Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food

    Pros
    • Natural ingredients
    • Veterinarian-recommended formulas
    • Affordable
    • Available in most pet stores and supermarkets
    • Wet and dry formulas
    Cons
    • Contains a few controversial ingredients
    • Some of the ingredients aren’t high quality
    • Does contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
    • Purina products have been recalled twice in the past 10 years

    Recall History

    Having been around since the late 1800s, Purina has a long history in the pet food industry. Understandably, the brand has had several recalls in the past, although there are none specifically for Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct products.

    The most notable recalls occurred in the past 10 years, and both times, Nestlé-Purina voluntarily recalled the products based on its own investigations. In August 2013, Purina ONE Beyond Dog Food was recalled for suspected salmonella contamination. The second recall occurred in March 2016, when Purina Beneful and Pro Plan dog food was recalled due to nutrient deficiencies in the formula.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Recipes

    One of the best ways to figure out if a brand is right for you is by looking at reviews of the products to see if the nutritional contents and ingredients match what you need from the food. Here are three of the best Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct recipes.

    1. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Turkey & Venison Canned Dog Food

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Classic Ground with Real Turkey & Venison Canned Dog Food

    Affordable and made with real turkey, venison, and chicken, the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instincts Tender Cuts in Gravy recipe is filled with healthy, balanced nutrition. High in protein to support the activity level of adult dogs of all sizes, the formula uses a complex blend of nutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals, to keep your dog as healthy as possible. The recipe doesn’t have any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so your dog can benefit from the nutrients and taste of real ingredients.

    Some dogs can suffer from allergies to chicken protein, so the chicken content in this formula could make them uncomfortable.

    Pros
    • Made with real chicken, turkey, and venison
    • Nutrient-dense formula
    • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
    • Antioxidants support immune health
    Cons
    • Some dogs have sensitivities to chicken

    2. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy with Real Chicken & Duck

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy with Real Chicken & Duck

    Another favorite of the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct line is the real chicken and duck tender cuts in gravy. It’s a canned dog food manufactured in the U.S.A. that can be mixed with kibble or used as a standalone meal, depending on your preferences. Along with being affordable and found in most stores, the SmartBlend formula contains all the nutrients that your dog needs.

    This is one of the grain-free products by Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct. Grain-free diets have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, so you should discuss your dog’s food allergies with your veterinarian to determine whether the diet is right for your dog. Fussier dogs might not enjoy the texture or flavor, and it does contain chicken, which some dogs can be allergic to.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Manufactured in the U.S.A.
    • Can be mixed with kibble or used alone
    • Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
    Cons
    • Fussy dogs dislike the texture
    • Some dogs can be allergic to chicken protein

    3. Purina ONE Natural True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison High Protein Dry Dog Food

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct with a Blend of Real Turkey & Venison Adult Dry Dog Food

    If you’re a dog owner who prefers dry food instead of cans, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct has several kibble formulas, including a turkey and venison recipe. The formula has real turkey as the first ingredient and contains plenty of nutrition to meet the requirements of adult dogs of all breeds. High in protein from the turkey and venison content, it supports active dogs.

    To provide a healthy diet, this kibble doesn’t contain poultry by-products or artificial additives. However, venison isn’t high on the list of ingredients, and there might not be much added to the recipe despite being a source of protein. Some fussy dogs have also been known to refuse to eat this option.

    Pros
    • Real turkey is the first ingredient
    • High-protein from venison
    • No poultry by-products or artificial additives
    • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
    Cons
    • Some fussy dogs don’t like the flavor
    • Venison is not in the first five ingredients

    What Other Users Are Saying

    • Watchdog Labs — “The food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs with excellent meat and fat quality.”
    • Dog Food Heaven — “Most dogs seem to like the taste, and it is quite high in protein compared to other formulas.”
    • Amazon — As one of the biggest stores for all kinds of things, Amazon is a good place to find reviews from other dog owners. You can find Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food reviews here.

    Conclusion

    As one of the biggest names in the pet food industry, Purina has many product lines under its own name and its child companies. The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food focuses on supplying dogs with a high-protein diet from real meat. Unlike many other brand names, Purina is affordable for pet owners on a budget. You can also find it in most, if not all, local pet stores and supermarkets.

    While the recipes do contain real ingredients and meet AAFCO nutritional requirements, some formulas also use artificial additives and controversial ingredients. Some of the contents are also lower quality than what most dog owners expect from such a well-known brand name, which is why we only rated the SmartBlend True Instinct line at 4.2 stars.

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food still wins for its affordability and distribution.

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