Purina Puppy Chow is better than some brands of grocery store puppy foods, it is still basically junk food for puppies. Although it’s better than feeding nothing, the puppy may not get the optimum nutrients needed for a healthy life if Purina Puppy Chow is the main food (in wet or dry varieties).
The Whole Dog Journal is considered the “Consumer Reports” of dog products because this journal accepts no advertising. Purina Puppy Chow consistently hoovers near the bottom of brands to be avoided, although it is considered to have better quality ingredients better than Alpo, Ol’ Roy and Cesar. It’s also considered to have less sugar than another popular Purina dog food brand, Beneful.
What’s In There?
The first two ingredients in Purina Puppy Chow chicken flavor are “whole grain corn” and “corn gluten meal”. This means that most of the food is made up of corn. Dogs tend to love the taste of corn but they can’t digest it properly, so most of it passes through the dog undigested.
Unfortunately, that’s about the most recognizable ingredient in the puppy food. The third ingredient is “chicken by-product meal”. Do not confuse this with “chicken”. Chicken by-products are basically feet, necks, guts and any eggs females may have been starting to develop. This is then ground up into a gruel or meal and then cooked into a hard kibble or slopped into a can.
Another ingredient is “animal digest”. This is the stuff that’s in an animal’s guts when it is slaughtered and it is ground up into the food. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?
When Can Puppy Chow Be Useful?
If your puppy or even adult dog is having trouble putting on weight, then Purina Puppy Chow may be the thing to help get the puppy back to a healthy weight. It’s better than giving the puppy human food, because if you do, the puppy will expect that for the rest of his or her life. If you are willing to cook for your dog, please talk to your vet about your dog’s unique nutritional requirements.
Also, if you travel and the puppy needs to placed in a kennel or has a prolonged stay at the veterinarian’s, the puppy will only be fed commercially made dog food, so the puppy needs to get used to commercially made dog food. Some dog owners like to rotate the dry or wet brands of food to help keep the puppy from getting bored and to make sure the puppy’s digestive system is used to a few kinds of commercially made food. Since Purina Puppy Chow is found in so many stores, this is one of the foods these owners use.
“Top Dog Foods for Total Wellness.” The Whole Dog Journal. Small book for subscribers only.
Pet Education. “Dog Food Standards By the AAFCO.” Holly Nash, DVM; 2008. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2&aid=662
Dog Food Project. “Label Information 101.” http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=labelinfo101