Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
So, you’ve decided to switch your dog’s food? Good for you!
It can be a tough decision, but it’s one that’s important for your pet’s health and longevity.
And I bet you’ve also been considering two popular brands out there: Black Gold dog food vs Purina Pro Plan.
In this post, I will break down the key differences (or similarities) of 6 key factors that I think are important when choosing the right dog food.
Let’s jump in!
Overview: Black gold dog food and Purina pro plan
⚠️ Consider the following when choosing dog food:
- Life stage
- Size of dog
- Grain-inclusive or grain-free
What’s most important in choosing the right type of food for your dog is understanding its breed (activity levels) and any existing allergies.
If you need more help, consult your vet or find a veterinary nutritionist at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (AVCM).
These two brands are both quality dog foods that are designed to provide your pet with a balanced diet.
They are both made by companies that have been around for decades, and they both have a variety of formulas to choose from.
Both are sold at a majority of pet stores and online, making them convenient to find.
But which one is better? Which should you choose for your dog?
Let’s look at each factor closer before making our choice.
1. Brand Reputation
Black Gold places an emphasis on feeding energetic dogs and has become a premium brand name.
There are formulas for every stage of life, and there are numerous grain-free ones.
Black Gold dog food is also available in a variety of tastes, including the well-liked beef and chicken flavors as well as uncommon ones like quail, whitefish, and deer.
The food is produced in America, but its components come from all around the world.
Despite a fairly rocky start earlier in the company’s history where it used some undesirable ingredients, they are now well placed to serve the niche they operate in.
Purina Pro Plan
Purina has a number of product lines available, with Purina Pro Plan being one of their most well-known and expensive items.
In 1894, William H. Danforth founded Purina, then known as Purina Mills.
He began a company producing animal feed that later specialized in domestic pet food.
It is currently one of the best-known pet food brands in the world and is offered in most regions.
They offer many facilities for both research and production, including a facility dedicated specifically to the study of animal health.
The idea of Purina is to provide individualized nutrition for all dogs and their unique dietary, size, and age needs on the basis of scientific research.
⚠️ A few points to note about the product label
Product name – tells you the percentage of the main ingredient
- “Chicken” – at least 70% of the product.
- “Chicken entree”, “Chicken platter”, “Chicken dinner” – at least 10% of the product.
- “With chicken” – at least 3% of the product
- “Chicken flavor” – less than 3% of the product
Ingredients – The first few items listed are the most important and make up the majority of the product (determined by weight).
Meat-meal – Can have much more protein than actual meat. To further understand, refer to this guide by AAFCO.
In this comparison article, we will consider the following dry food products from each company:
The company focuses on providing nutrition for high-energy dogs and offers both grain-inclusive and grain-free dog food that is made with high-quality ingredients.
Beef is often used as the primary source of protein, and most of its formulas now include taurine too, an ingredient that is good for heart health.
One of its best sellers, the Original Performance Formula, also contains extra Omega 6 and 3 oil blends for healthy skin and coat.
However, a closer look at the ingredients list will show that ground corn, ground wheat, and corn gluten meal make up the next 3 ingredients.
I personally do not like seeing these so high up the list, as they are often used as fillers.
Purina Pro Plan
In order to create the best dog food formulas, the science-driven Purina employs over 500 scientists and experts in canine nutrition and spends millions of dollars across several research facilities.
Real meat is the first ingredient in Purina Pro Plan, which also offers grain- and grain-free versions.
You will also find meat by-products, in this case, from poultry, which might not sit well with some people.
The Probiotics Shredded Blend High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food, one of its best-selling items, contains extra supplements to help dogs’ digestion.
3. Key Nutrients
Every pet food label must include a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients, according to AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) regulations.
It has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs.
This means that complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the “guaranteed analysis.”
The analysis must validate minimum crude protein and crude fat percentages as well as maximum crude fiber and moisture percentages.
The tables below will show you the data from the two brands.
Take note: When comparing dog food nutrients percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it a more even comparison.
This is also referred to as calculating its dry matter basis (use this calculator).
This approach is a more accurate way to understand the true nutrient contents of dog food, instead of just relying on the number on the label (which is an ‘as-fed’ basis).
Purina Pro Plan vs Black Gold Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis
|Dry matter basis
|Purina Pro Plan
|Dry matter basis
Because it gives dogs the amino acids and other nutrients they require for growth, development, tissue repair, and maintenance, protein is crucial to dogs.
Building strong bones and connective tissue is another benefit of protein.
From the tables above, it can be seen that there is pretty much no difference in the dry food each company produces.
Both products are more than capable of fulfilling a dog’s daily needs (18% min)
Dogs need fat because it aids in the development and maintenance of healthy cell membranes.
Without these membranes, cells would just sort of flop around since they are what keep cells from losing their structure.
Additionally, fat facilitates the assimilation of vitamins and minerals by dogs.
When you compare the 2 brands, there is really not much difference between them.
In the table, you can see that both companies offer more than enough (minimum 5.5%) amount of fats in their recipes, both dry and wet.
Fiber is crucial for a dog because it keeps its digestive tract in good shape. Lack of fiber in a dog’s diet can cause constipation as well as other issues.
It also contributes to the health of their digestive system and gives them a sense of fullness, which can help them feel less hungry and avoid overeating.
In this comparison, again you can see that both offers very similar amounts of fiber.
From the data, we can see that both companies offer an adequate amount of the recommended daily fiber required (2 – 4%).
4. Range of formulas
I personally like to stick to one brand of dog food as much as possible, and if a brand gives me that choice, I will be partial to it.
When it comes to the range of formulas, Purina has a clear advantage as it produces both dry and wet food options as well as a wide variety of treats.
Black Gold only offers dry dog food in its lineup.
Both companies offer grain-inclusive and grain-free options.
Here’s a look at their most popular products:
5. Product Safety and Recall
There is really no discussion about quality dog food without talking about their safety records.
Companies do make mistakes, and it is important for us dog parents to know about them and decide if they are worth our consideration.
Black Gold dog food has never been recalled before.
Purina Pro Plan
In March 2016, a few varieties of Pro Plan wet dog food sold in tubs were recalled because of inadequate vitamin/mineral levels.
In this section, find out how much it will cost for each brand’s dog foods, both dry and wet, to better understand the financial aspect of using them.
|Adult Dry Food
|Purina Pro Plan
In Conclusion: Black Gold Dog Food vs Purina Pro Plan
While Black Gold might not enjoy the same level of popularity as Purina Pro Plan nor do they have the same kind of research facilities, they do produce pretty decent quality kibble for your dog.
My only issue is that they use quite a lot of filler ingredients, which probably explains the lower cost.
In this respect, I would say that Purina Pro Plan would probably be a better option.
My personal top choice of dry food is Wellness Complete Health.
How about you? I hope this has helped make your decision that much easier!
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.