Canidae vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

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.

You love your dog. You want to feed him the best and most nutritious food possible—but it’s confusing. There are so many options!

Right now, you are probably comparing Canidae vs Purina Pro Plan dog food, but how exactly do you choose?

On the one hand, you want to feed your dog something that is going to be good for their health and help them live a long and happy life.

But on the other, you want to feed them something that will be affordable and sustainable for your budget, right?

In this post, I will show you a few tips on choosing the right food for your dog, information about Canidae and Purina Pro Plan dog food, and hopefully help you to make an informed decision.

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purina pro plan vs canidae dog food comparison
Dear Dog Owner

Overview: Canidae vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

⚠️ 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).

Canidae and Purina Pro Plan are both great dog foods and there are many similarities between them.

They use similar ingredients, have been rated highly by experts, and have met the standards for feeding your dog a quality diet.

Both brands offer grain-free options, which makes them great for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.

One of the main differences between these two brands is that Purina Pro Plan uses more meat by-products than Canidae (which might be a point of contention with some people).

Purina Pro Plan has a more diverse selection of food for dogs than Canidae does, and it’s also less expensive, but is it necessarily better?

We look at these 2 brands in more detail below.

The sections will focus on the following factors:

  • Brand Reputation
  • Ingredients
  • Key Nutrients
  • Range of formulas
  • Product Safety and Recall
  • Price

1. Brand Reputation


The modest, high-end dog food company Canidae was established by John Gordon and Scott Whipple in the middle of the 1990s.

The company has won praise for its commitment to making high-quality, secure products that are free of chemicals and preservatives.

When you look closely, the ingredients they employ reveal the company’s commitment to excellence.

They purchase locally-raised food and meat whenever feasible, and the meat they consume is both hormone and antibiotic-free.

This demonstrates that the ingredients in Canidae dog food products are secure for the well-being of your dog.

Additionally, they have given generously to the community, winning the San Antonio Food Bank’s 2021 Hunger Fighter of the Year award.

Purina Pro Plan

Purina has several product lines available, with Purina Pro Plan being one of their most well-known and premium options.

In 1894, William H. Danforth founded Purina, formerly known as Purina Mills.

Initially engaged in the production of animal feed, the company later turned its attention to domestic pet food.

It is currently one of the most well-known pet food brands in the world and is accessible everywhere.

They offer a wide range of facilities for both manufacture and research, including one just for the investigation of animal health.

With a team of hundreds of scientists and veterinary nutrition experts, they have led the way in the industry for many years and are widely recognized as one of the top brands.

2. Ingredients

In this comparison of Canidae and Purina Pro Plan dog food, we will focus on the following dry food product from each company:

⚠️ 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.


It is well known that Canidae only uses organic, fresh ingredients.

All of its recipes start with real meat or fish and fresh vegetables.

They exclusively use premium foods, never meals created from by-products of poultry, wheat, corn, or soy.

Therefore, your dog doesn’t require any additional grains or fillers.

Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular dog food we are discussing today:

  • Salmon
  • Salmon meal
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal

Purina Pro Plan

In order to create the greatest dog food recipes, the science-driven Purina employs more than 500 scientists and nutritionists for canines and spends millions of dollars across numerous research facilities.

Real meat is always the first ingredient in Purina Pro Plan, which is available in grain-inclusive and grain-free forms.

Additionally, you will encounter the utilization of meat by-products, in this case from poultry, which some individuals may find objectionable but in our opinion, perfectly acceptable.

There are strict rules that regulate the production of dog food, and can only be used if it passed the test.

Meat by-products such as liver are also very high in protein, more so than regular muscle meat, so they are surely beneficial to your dog.

The Probiotics Shredded Blend High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food, one of its best-selling items, has additional digestive aids too.

Here are the top 5 ingredients used in this particular kibble:

  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Whole wheat grain
  • Poultry by-product
  • Soybean meal
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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).

3.1 Canidae vs Purina Pro Plan dog food nutrients comparison

NutrientCanidaeDry matter basisPurina Pro PlanDry matter basis
Crude protein25% min32.97%26% min29.55%
Crude Fat14.5% min19.78%16% min18.18%
Crude Fiber5% max2.75%3% max3.41%
Moisture10% max12% max
Based on dry adult dog food

Crude protein

For a dog’s diet to be nourishing and well-balanced, protein is a must.

Their bodies require it for a number of processes, including the growth and upkeep of muscles and other structures.

Among other things, it is crucial for the development of new skin, muscle, and hair cells.

In addition, it supports the synthesis of hormones and enzymes, two vital physiological components.

Like carbs, it strengthens immunity and releases energy.

Half of the 22 amino acids needed to produce proteins can be synthesized by dogs but the other half must be obtained through food, which is why it is important to find one that contains the appropriate amount.

Dog diets should contain at least 22% DM (dry matter) for growth and 18% DM for maintenance, according to AAFCO’s recommendations.

Canidae has a slight advantage here, but not significant.

What’s important here is that both brands exceed the requirement by quite a fair bit, yet not so much (more than 40%) that it might cause harm to regular dogs.

Crude fat

Dogs need fats and oils in a balanced diet.

A diet with between 10 and 15 percent fat (a minimum of five percent) is ideal for typical, healthy adult canines.

Fat in the diet is only a problem when dogs are allowed to consume excessive amounts of calories and fat (from additional snacks and table scraps, for example), without getting enough exercise to make up for it.

Both brands provide a good amount of fat for your dog, not exceeding 25%.

Crude fiber

By increasing mass and absorbing additional water, fiber helps to create solid, well-formed stools and encourages regular bowel motions.

Furthermore, fiber helps maintain a healthy intestinal pH balance, which inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.

Additionally, it enhances the health of their digestive system and makes them feel satisfied, which may curb their desire and prevent overeating.

Although a greater number would have been preferable, both of these products provide your dog with an adequate amount of fiber.

It should not exceed 6% unless your dog requires a high-fiber diet as advised by a vet.

4. Range of Formulas

Both of these products have a wide range of formulas available.

For example, Purina Pro Plan offers a variety of dry foods for different life stages, including puppy and adult formulas.

This makes them more versatile and suitable for a variety of breeds that display different behavior.

For example, the Canidae Active Goodness formula was created to take better care of the needs of highly active dogs by increasing the amount of proteins and fat content.

Here are a few widely sought-after formulae from each brand.

5. Product Safety and Recall History

You should always be aware of the safety and recall history of your pet’s food.

This is especially important as you want to know that your money isn’t going to a company that has had any major issues in the past.

Both Purina Pro Plan and Canidae have enjoyed a good reputation for producing high-quality products that do not pose any health risks.

They both also have a pretty good track record when it comes to product recalls and how they deal with them.


There has been one recall in the company’s history, which took place in 2012.

This was due to the manufacturer of their products at that time, Diamond Pet Foods, discovering the presence of Salmonella in their production facility.

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.

6. Price

When selecting dog food, the cost may play a significant role, especially if you have several dogs to feed and a tight budget.

It’s also no secret that costs can differ significantly between brands and product types, so if you want to save money it’s crucial to thoroughly weigh the costs associated with a purchase before proceeding.

The table below shows the price per pound for the options discussed in this article:

BrandPrice per pound
Purina Pro Plan$1.83/lb
based on similar product packaging; always check for latest prices

In Conclusion: Canidae vs Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Comparison

Overall, dog owners who want to provide their pets with high-quality food can’t go wrong with either Canidae or Purina Pro Plan.

Both companies are renowned for making high-quality dog food that your pet will adore and enjoy eating.

Remember this: each dog is different and there is no one size fits all dog diet in this world.

Always consider your dog’s breed, activity levels, and allergies, and this should put you on the right course.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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