Pure Balance Dog Food: How Does It Rate? (Buyer’s Guide)

Choosing the right food for your canine pal is one of the decisions that dog owners have to make every day.

In a market populated with thousands of brands, low-quality formulas, food with fillers etc., the process of selecting a good formula can be difficult.

Dog owners have to do extra work to analyze the ingredients to determine the most appropriate dog food for their puppies. The ideal formula should be well-balanced, all-natural and with zero fillers.

Pure Balance dog food is one of the top premium dog food brands in the market. This brand was established in 2012 by Walmart in response to the growing demand for favorably priced well-balanced diets for puppies.

This dog food brand is primarily prepared for dog owners looking for a premium diet for their canines but at an affordable price, without sacrificing the nutritional value of the diet.

Who Makes Pure Balance Dog Food for Walmart?

There are many questions regarding the manufacturing of Pure Balance dog food. Does Walmart manufacture Pure Balance, is the manufacturing process outsourced to a different company?

Walmart launched the Pure Balance brand in 2012. This brand is not exclusive to Walmart, and it is available for purchase at other online retailers.

Although Walmart did not make public information about the company that manufacturer’s Pure balance products, it is believed that Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC manufactures the products on behalf of Walmart.

J.M. Smucker LLC acquired Ainsworth LLC, and the company still manufactures some of the Pure Balance products.

Pure Balance Dog Food Recalls

We checked the FDA website, and there is no history of Pure Balance Dog Food recalls.

This brand has been in the market for less than a decade, and there have been fewer to no issues with its products.

Although there a few complaints about certain ingredients, none of these issues have warranted a recall of this brand.

Most pet owners who have used this brand are satisfied with its quality and price, and there are consistently high score reviews on online retailers.

However, there are a few complaints about diet-sensitive dogs getting diarrhea after eating this formula. 

cute pup eating from bowl

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Pure Balance Wet Dog Food Review

1. Pure Balance Chicken & Beef Variety Pack Review (Best Canned)

This variety pack comprises 3 packs of beef and 3 packs of chicken, and it the best meal for dogs that like a taste of chicken and beef.

This canned formula can be mixed with a dry formula or fed as a standalone meal. In total, this formula contains 6 3.5 OZ trays of delicious meals.

The gravy formulation makes this formula tickle the taste buds every time the dog gets down to fight the hunger pangs.

The chicken packs have added peas and sweet potatoes to supplement the proteins while providing the required energy for active canines. The beef dinner has added carrots and sun-dried tomatoes for an even better tasting meal.

This high-protein variety pack also contains moderate amounts of animal fats to make the formula balanced for the nutritional requirements of your dog.

Since the variety pack contains two different flavors, your dog will enjoy a different flavor every day, and will rarely get bored of the great taste.

There are no fillers, artificial colors or preservatives.

Top five ingredients: Chicken meat, chicken broth, chicken liver, dried egg and water (Chicken dinner); Beef meat, beef broth, beef liver, egg and water (beef dinner).

Calorific Content: 88 kilocalories per Tray (Chicken Dinner); 94 kilocalories per Tray (Beef Dinner)

Guaranteed analysis

  • Crude Proteins (min): 8%
  • Crude Fats (min): 3% in Chicken Dinner & 2.5% in Beef Dinner
  • Crude Fiber (max): 1.5%
  • Moisture (max): 82%

Pure Balance Dry Dog Food Review

2. Pure Balance Salmon and Pea Dog Food 

The Salmon and Pea recipe is one of the best-selling products in the Pure Balance list of products. It is formulated using organically sourced ingredients from the United States.

The main ingredient in this formula is Salmon, which is ideal for both young and older dogs. Salmon is rich in DHA and EPA, a type of omega-3 fatty acids. These natural fats are known to help in t

he brain development of younger canines as well as in eye health. It also helps in managing inflammation in joints and skin.

The salmon ingredient is combined with pea protein to make this grain-free recipe perfect for your dog’s health.

The pea protein ingredient is rich in plant-based proteins, and it is the part that remains after removing the starchy part of a pea.

The Pure Balance Salmon dog food has added vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and E, which boost the dog’s immune system to prevent common diseases.

This formula does not contain fillers, artificial colors or preservatives which may have negative effects on your canine.

First five ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, peas, tapioca, and pea protein.

Calorific Content: 373 kilocalories per cup.

Guaranteed analysis

  • Crude Proteins (min): 24%
  • Crude Fats (min):15%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5%
  • Moisture (max):10%

3. Pure Balance Wild & Free Bison, Pea and Venison Recipe

If you are looking for an alternative to what your dog is already eating, you should try this Pure Balance wild and free bison, pea and venison recipe.

This formula has a distinctive sweet flavor with a gamey taste of venison.

This Wild & formula is formulated using real bison meat as the first ingredient. It also contains venison and powdered peas to create a balanced high-protein dog food.

It has added vitamins which are anti-oxidant rich to boost the dog’s immunity.

One unique feature we like about this formula is the higher protein content combined with the gamey taste of venison to create a delicious meal.

Also, the fact that this formula does not contain any grains and other fillers makes it ideal for dogs with tummy issues and food allergies. Also, it does not contain preservatives or artificial colors.

Top five ingredients: Bison meat, chicken meal, tapioca, ground peas, and pea protein.

Calorific content: 386 kilocalories per cup

Guaranteed analysis

  • Crude Proteins (min): 30%
  • Crude Fats (min):10%
  • Crude Fiber (max): 5%
  • Moisture (max):10%

4. Pure Balance Grain Free Small Breed Chicken & Garden Vegetables

The Pure Balance chicken and garden vegetables recipe comprises small-sized kibbles that are perfect for small dog breeds such as Pugs, Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranian and Chihuahua.

This formula has real chicken as the first ingredient, to provide your small dog with the appropriate level of animal proteins. It is supplemented with the nutrient-rich garden vegetables to provide both vitamins and minerals.

This chicken and garden vegetable dinner has a great taste that brings out the hunger pangs in your dog, and he will eat everything to the last bit. No leftovers! Your canine will get leaner muscles and get enough energy to jump and play around in the garden.

If you are worried about your dog eating grains, this dog food is grain-free, and it does not contain corn, soy or wheat, which may trigger allergies and even lead to unnecessary weight gain.

It does not contain unnecessary additives such as artificial flavors and colors.

Top five ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, dried ground peas, tapioca, and whole ground potato.

Calorific content: 409 kilocalories per cup.

Guaranteed analysis

  • Crude proteins (min): 26%
  • Crude fat (min): 15%
  • Crude fiber (max): 5%
  • Moisture (max): 10%
  • Linoleic acid (min): 3%

5. Pure Balance Grain-Free Chicken & Pea Recipe

If your dog is accustomed to a protein-rich chicken recipe, get this formula for him. This formula is both delicious and nutrient-rich to give your canine lean and healthy muscles.

The chicken and chicken meal proteins are supplemented with plant-based proteins from peas. This combination of proteins provides enough energy to power the muscles of active and playful dogs.

This formula uses potatoes as a top-up for the dry kibble.

As a starchy vegetable, potato is highly digestible and is packed with lots of essential minerals and vitamins that are good for your canine’s health. Potato skin is also rich in fibers to help in digestion.

The addition of fish oil into this ingredient helps in keeping the dog’s skin nourished and smooth. The chelated minerals also help maintain a proper psychological function.

Top five ingredients: Chicken meat, chicken meal, ground peas, pea protein, and whole ground potato.

Calorific content: 387 kilocalories per cup

Guaranteed analysis

  • Crude proteins (min): 24%
  • Crude fat (min): 15%
  • Crude fiber (max): 5%
  • Moisture (max): 10%

Pure Balance Dog Food Ingredients Analysis

Pure Balance Dog food is formulated by veterinarians to meet the nutritional profile of canines.

Like most premium brands, this brand is preparing using premium quality ingredients from both animals and plants as the main ingredients. It also comes at a budget-friendly price.

Following is the Pure balance food ingredient list and an explanation of the benefits (and risks, if any) of all the ingredients:

Real Animal Protein

Pure Balance attempts to maintain a healthy nutritional profile by using real animal proteins as the first ingredient in both the Pure Balance dry dog food and Pure Balance wet cat food.

The main animal proteins that we identified were chicken, salmon, and bison.


We identified two Pure Balance dog foods that have chicken as the first ingredient i.e. Pure Balance Chicken and Brown Rice, and Pure Balance Small Breed Chicken and Garden Vegetables.

Raw chicken comprises 80% water, and this means that, once the food is cooked, the meat loses a lot of moisture, and what is left is just a fraction of the original weight.

  • When chicken is used in dog food, it represents only a fraction of the original weight before it was cooked and processed.


Since the inception of the pet foods industry, chicken has been used as the main source of protein in dog foods. However, most pet food brands, including Pure Balance, are moving away from using chicken to other novel proteins that have not been eaten by dogs before.

Salmon is an example of a novel protein, and it is a fish protein that contains a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.

Pure balance uses salmon as the main ingredient in a select number of dog foods, and this helps provide a protein-rich diet for your canine.

Salmon has also been used significantly to enhance brain development and the eye function in both humans and pets. It is also a rich source of vitamins (such as vitamin C and E) and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Just like raw chicken, raw salmon is made up of 80% water. When cooked and processed, the meat content shrinks significantly, so does its nutrient composition.

  • Regardless of that, salmon is protein-rich, and it is a good alternative for dogs that want a different taste other than chicken or beef.


Bison is another protein-rich meat that is classified as a novel protein because it is a relatively new source of protein for dogs.

Bison is a type of wild ox that is found in North America. In some regions, the word “bison” is used interchangeably with the word “buffalo” even though the two are NOT the same animal.

In recent years, bison meat has been in high demand for use in human food, and pet owners have championed to have their pets have a bite of this delicious meal.

Typically, bison has one of the highest protein contents of all meats, and they have a low proposition of saturated fat.

  • Bison meat is a rich source of omega 33 fatty acids, linoleic acid, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in iron, and it helps fight iron deficiency.
  • The iron content is what gives bison meat a bright red color. It is also rich in zinc, a nutrient that is necessary for a stronger immune system.

Plant-based Proteins

The Pure Balance dog food brand uses plant-based proteins to supplement the animal-based proteins already included in the dog food. Plant proteins contribute 25 to 30% of the overall proteins in Pure Balance products.

The main plant proteins include:

Pea Protein

Pea protein is the part of a pea that remains after removing the starchy part of the vegetable during processing.

Pea protein is protein-rich, and it is added to dog food as a secondary source of protein alongside an animal-based protein such as salmon, chicken or bison.

  • Even though the pea protein has more than 80% protein content, it has a lower biological value than meat proteins.

Dried powdered peas

Dried peas are a rich source of proteins and carbs, and they are an important ingredient in Pure Balance dog food.

Dried peas contain 27% protein, and you should take this into consideration when checking the meat content in the formula. Dried peas are also rich in dietary fiber.

Other Pure Balance Dog Food Ingredients

Brown rice

This Walmart dog food brand uses brown rice rather than white rice, which is a rich source of dietary fiber. It is a complement carbohydrate which, when cooked, can be easily digested.


This ingredient is rich in starch, and it is extracted from the roots of cassava. Tapioca is gluten-free and it is a rich source of dietary fiber. It also improves the texture of the dry kibble.

Dried carrots

Dried carrot is added to a select number of Pure Balance products, and it is used as a source of fiber. It eases the digestion process and helps improve the dental care of your dog.

Beet pulp

Using beet pulp as an ingredient in dog food is a controversial topic, with some food specialists questioning its use in dog food.

Beet pulp is obtained in a process known as sugar beet processing. However, beet pulp is added in reasonable amounts, and it is unlikely to have negative effects on your dog.

Nutritionists argue that beet pulp is a rich source of fiber that will help in the digestion process. It is also beneficial in regulating the dog’s blood sugar levels and helping in intestinal health.

In our assessment, including low amounts of this ingredient is acceptable, and it can help lower the cost of your dog food.

Poultry fat

Poultry fat is the byproduct that remains when any poultry source is rendered. Rendering is similar to the process of making soup where, when boiling the meat, fat content rises at the top of the cooking pot, and it is skimmed off and stored in a separate container.

Some of the notable benefits of poultry fat is that it is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, and other nutrients.

However, the benefits that your dog will derive from this ingredient will depend on the original type of poultry used and the process of obtaining it.

Salmon meal

Salmon meal is used as the second ingredient in a formula that has salmon as the main ingredient. Salmon meal is a concentrate of meat, and it has a higher protein content than the whole salmon meat.

Salmon meal is obtained by taking the ground tissue remains from a fish, offal and other fish cuttings, cooking away the water, and baking what remains. The final product is a concentrated protein powder, which is the salmon meal.

Salmon meal has a strong smell that is enough to arouse the hunger pangs in your dog. Salmon meal is an excellent source of amino acids, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

Chicken meal

Chicken meal is also used as the second ingredient in a select number of Pure Balance products. Chicken meal contains more protein content than fresh chicken, and it is added to dog food as an additional source of protein.

Chicken meal is obtained through a process known as rendering where chicken meat is intentionally over-cooked to dry the water and remain with a dried-end product. This dried end product is the chicken meal.

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that dogs must get from the food they eat because their bodies cannot produce it.

Sunflower oil is low in saturated fats, and it helps in maintaining a smooth and shiny coat as well as in stimulating hair growth. It also boosts the immune system.

Flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil is a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, especially when the flaxseed is ground into a meal. It contains 19% protein content, which contributes to the non-meat protein content in dog food.

Chelated minerals

The addition of chelated minerals in dog food is proof of the high quality of the Pure Balance dog food brand.

Chelated minerals are minerals that have been chemically altered so that they are attached to the proteins in the dog food.

The minerals are chemically combined with organic molecules such as amino acids in a process known as chelation. The chelation process makes it easy for the minerals to be absorbed.

FAQs about Pure Balance Dog Food 

Is Pure Balance a good dog food?

Pure Balance is a good dog food for both large and small dog breeds. It scores highly in terms of the quality of ingredients, source of proteins and fats, pricing, packaging, etc. It has an above-average protein, fat and carb content compared to other top brands.

Is pure balance grain-free dog food?

All Pure Balance dog food products do NOT contain any grains such as soy, wheat, or corn. All the ingredients included in this dog food are gluten-free and less likely to cause allergies in dogs with food sensitivities.

Is pure balance dog food bad?

Pure balance scores highly in terms of quality, and most dog owners are satisfied with the quality of its ingredients. Since its introduction to the market, there are no reported recalls of this dog food brand.

Is the pure balance lamb and rice grain-free?

The Pure Balance lamb and rice is grain-free, and it does not contain any corn, soy or wheat, which are known to trigger allergies and lead to unnecessary weight gain.

Is pure balance dog food good for pit bulls?

Pure Balance dog food is good dog food for pit bulls and other energetic dogs. It contains a high protein, fat and carb content than other comparable brands. This dog food provides enough energy to power your Pitbull’s muscles.


Walmart’s decision to provide a premium quality dog food at an affordable price was an ingenious solution to the challenges that dog owners encounter when choosing a diet for their pups.

Pure Balance dog food is prepared using organically sourced animal and plant ingredients to provide high-protein dog food that is grain-free, and without preservatives, fillers and artificial additives.

From our assessment, Pure Balance is an above-average brand in terms of ingredient quality, pricing, and packaging.

With thousands of positive reviews, this dog food is a definite answer to what many dog owners are looking for. Its protein and fats content is above average compared to other brands in the pet industry.

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