Purina Pro Plan or Acana: Which Dog Food is Better?

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.

It can be a real dilemma to figure out the type of food to feed your dog.

With so many options ranging from the different brands or whether to choose dry or wet food, it can be tough for a dog owner.

Two popular brands often come into discussion, and in this post, you will learn if you should pick Purina Pro Plan or Acana.

I will compare these two brands side by side and hopefully help you make an informed decision.

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purina pro plan vs acana comparison
Dear Dog Owner

Overview: Purina Pro Plan or Acana

⚠️ 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).

This article compares a number of factors that are important in choosing the right dog food for your dog, no matter which phase of life it is in.

Overall, we feel that Acana is the better brand due to its superior ingredients, nutritional value, and manufacturing reliability.

However, they do cost more which might be a big consideration for dog owners.

This is not to say that Purina Pro Plan is not good. In fact, it is one of the most trustable food brands out there and would be suitable for most pets.

Budget might be the major deciding factor here.

Here are our top choices for each brand:

1. Brand comparison

1.1 Purina Pro Plan

Purina offers a variety of ranges, with Purina Pro Plan being one of their most well-known and premium products.

William H. Danforth started Purina, which was originally known as Purina Mills, in 1894.

He started a business making animal feed that subsequently focused on domestic pet food.

Today, it is one of the top brands of pet food, which is well-known throughout the world and available in most markets.

They have numerous locations for both research and manufacturing, including a center solely for studying animal health.

Purina’s philosophy is to offer personalized nutrition based on scientific research for all dogs and their various dietary, size, and age needs.

1.2 Acana

The name Acana was derived from the farmlands of Alberta, Canada, where it was founded, and over the years, it has come to be associated with quality.

Today, Acana produces its products in world-class kitchens in Auburn, Kentucky, and Edmonton, Alberta.

One of the best dog food brands currently on the market, their goods are now sold in more than 60 countries.

Acana produces its kibbles using premium, biologically appropriate ingredients and sells a number of dry kibble choices that are loaded with nutrients and flavors that are unmatched for a happy, healthy dog.

The ground-breaking Acana grain-free dog food uses organic ingredients and protein from free-range and wild animals, which will also simultaneously reduce food waste, animal brutality, and environmental harm.

2. Ingredients

⚠️ 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.

2.1 Purina Pro Plan

Over 500 scientists and dog nutritionists work for the science-driven company Purina, investing millions of dollars and having multiple research facilities in creating the best dog food formulas.

Real meat is listed as the first ingredient in Purina Pro almost all the time, but not always.

Their goal is to exclusively utilize healthy food because it can improve and lengthen the lives of our furry friends.

In some recipes, grains or other components are listed first.

However, Purina Pro asserts that this only occurs when science indicates that grains are more significant for the target canine population.

They also employ ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy in some of their formulations, which other companies argue are hard on dogs’ digestive systems.

Yet again, science demonstrates that not all pups will experience this.

In addition to using genuine meats in some of their formulations, Purina Pro has come under fire for incorporating meat by-products and by-product meals.

In comparison to genuine meat and meat dishes, some dietitians claim that this protein supplement is of poorer quality.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Farmina vs Orijen Dog Food [COMPARED]

2.2 Acana

Acana Dog Food is a physiologically suitable diet with a ratio of 60% premium animal components, 40% fruit and vegetables, and no grains.

They use nothing less than human-grade ingredients, so you won’t find any of the rendered meats or waste and by-products of the human food industry that are so prevalent in commercial dog diets today in Acana.

The meats utilized don’t have any preservatives and are never frozen.

The fresh regional meats used in Acana Dog Food are processed the same day they are received, which is unlike most commercial pet feeds.

This is a major contributing reason to Acana’s exceptional palatability and feeding performance.

Acana Dog Food will give your dog the biologically available, easily digested, and absorbed protein sources a dog needs for optimum muscular tone, adequate energy levels, injury recovery, and a robust immune system.

In fact, it is good to know that every Acana diet is produced with a minimum of three fresh meats.

dog essentials banner in content

3. Key Nutrients

All pet food labels, according to AAFCO, must include a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients included.

Minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, as well as maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture, must be confirmed by the analysis.

It is good to understand the daily requirements your dog needs to in order to choose the right food.

Purina Pro Plan Dog Food vs. Acana Dog Food

Dry dog foodPurina Pro PlanAsana
Crude Protein26%33%
Crude Fat16%10%
Crude Fiber3%8%
Based on dry adult dog food
Wet dog foodPurina Pro PlanAsana
Crude Protein9%8%
Crude Fat2%3.5%
Crude Fiber1.5%1.5%
Based on wet adult dog food

Crude protein

Dogs need protein in their diet because it is a major component of every cell in their body.

They are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of cells, helping to keep your dog’s muscles and bones healthy and strong.

In our analysis, Acana’s dry dog food recipe offers about 7 percent more protein than Purina Pro Plan’s.

Acana and Purina Pro Plan both have about the same amount of protein in their wet dog food options.

Crude Fat

Fat is important for dogs because it helps them build and maintain healthy cell membranes.

These membranes are what allow cells to retain their shape, so without them, the cells would just sort of flop around.

Fat also helps dogs absorb vitamins and minerals from their food.

You can tell that Purina Pro Plan dry food has noticeably more crude fats than Acana.

Acana and Purina Pro Plan both have about the same amount of fat in their wet dog food options.

Crude Fiber

Fiber is important for dogs because it helps them feel full, which can make them less likely to overeat.

It also helps to keep their digestive system moving, which can reduce the risk of constipation and other gastrointestinal diseases.

When you compare the two brands, it is obvious that Acana offers higher amount of fiber in its dry food, while they are about the same in the wet food version.

4. Range of formulas

Both brands of dog foods cater to the entire life cycle of dogs, from the time they are puppies to when they qualify for seniorhood.

In the section that follows, we will go through some of the products they have for each age group and how they perform.

4.1 Puppy formulas

4.1.1 Purina Pro Plan

Right now, Purina has 9 different puppy formulas.

These formulations offer choices for puppies of various sizes (small, medium, and large), as well as for those with various nutritional needs and medical conditions, such as sensitive skin and stomachs. (This is one of the best zd dog food alternatives too)

Each choice includes a list of substances high in omega fatty acids, which are important for the growth of the eyes and the brain.

4.1.2 Acana

Acana has about 10 different formulas for puppies now.

Their Puppy Recipe is carefully designed to nourish developing puppies of all breeds, as this recipe gives your puppy the protein and nourishment they need to promote their quick development.

It is rich with 70% high-quality animal foods including fresh Canadian chicken and raw flounder balanced with 30% fruit, vegetables, and botanicals.

Every meal of the ACANA Puppy Recipe tastes as though it just left the farmer’s market thanks to the high-quality animal proteins that are balanced with fresh fruit, vegetables, and botanicals that are delivered every day.

4.2 Adult formulas

4.2.1 Purina Pro Plan

For adult dogs, Purina Pro provides over 20 different kibble flavors.

These include different options for large and toy puppies, as well as a variety of sizes, flavors, and nutritional requirements.

There are also higher protein diets for working or performing dogs for adults who lead an active lifestyle.

Adults who need help managing their weight can purchase weight management kibble.

For those with sensitive skin and stomachs, there are kibbles designed for certain ailments.

In the adult range, there are three major proteins: chicken, salmon, and lamb, all of which come in a variety of grain-free and grain-inclusive options.

4.2.2 Acana

In order to satisfy the requirements of adult dogs of various sizes and types, Acana Adult Dog Recipe was carefully designed to offer the nutrients and animal protein your adult dog needs to live their best life.

It is rich with 60% quality animal products including fresh Canadian chicken and raw flounder balanced with 40% fruit, vegetables, and botanicals.

The series offers quality dog food that keeps them energetic and happy.

4.3 Senior formulas

4.3.1 Purina Pro Plan

Compared to adult dogs, senior dogs require less energy and more vitamins to maintain their optimal health.

Senior kibbles should contain less energy and lipids and more glucosamine to maintain joint health in order to minimize weight gain.

There are seven different Purina Pro kibble options for seniors.

For the majority of older dogs, there is a generic kibble called “complete essentials.”

The final choice is a kibble labeled “brighter minds,” which contains botanical oils to maintain cognitive function.

It’s important to note that Purina Pro Plan has an average higher fat and energy content than other manufacturers’ senior products.

For this reason alone, Purina Pro might not be the greatest choice if you have an inactive senior.

4.3.2 Acana

In order to encourage and keep lean muscles and lower the danger of obesity and diabetes, senior dogs often thrive on a diet high in proteins and low in carbohydrates.

There are no grains, soy, wheat, maize, or tapioca in Acana’s formula.

Additionally, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives are used in its production.

Omega fatty acids are added to this for luxurious, healthy skin and coat.

Having said that, this meal is unrivaled with its regional and fresh ingredients from the best suppliers in Canada to provide a premium diet to keep your dog healthy and content.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Heritage Ranch Dog Food Review [In-depth Guide]

5. Product Safety and Recall

5.1 Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Tuna Entrée in Sauce Wet Cat Food was recalled in July 2021 due to the possibility that some of its 3 oz. cans may have plastic fragments inside.

The business issued a limited recall of one of its Muse cat food kinds in late March 2019.

Additionally, Pro Plan wet dog food supplied in tubs was recalled in March 2016 due to low vitamin and mineral content.

Also, Purina voluntarily recalled a batch of Purina ONE dog food in the summer of 2013 due to possible salmonella contamination.

5.2 Acana

There has never been any Acana dog food recall.

6. Price

Acana is quite a bit more expensive than Purina Pro Plan in general.

That is justified by its superiority over Purina Pro Plan in almost all aspects of its dog food, from the ingredients used to the quality and nutritional aspects.

Tip: Not a special formula, but a budget-friendly option for non-fussy dogs and owners: Good Friends dog food.

6.1 Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro PlanPrice per pound
Dry food$1.94/pound (based on 34 lb bag)
Wet food$3.01/pound (based on 12-can of 13 oz)
estimated prices only

6.2 Acana

AcanaPrice per pound
Dry food$2.79/pound (based on 25 lb bag)
Wet food$5.54/pound (based on 12-can of 13 oz)
estimated prices only

In Conclusion: Purina Pro Plan or Acana

Both brands are excellent choices for your dog, offering formulas that are packed with important nutrients that are highly beneficial.

Overall, Acana seems to be slightly better, but that is reflected in the higher price too.

Whichever choice you decide on, be sure to know your dog’s daily requirements and ensure that the food you choose is able to satisfy them.

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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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