Purina Pro Plan vs Taste of The Wild Dog Food Comparison

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.

As a dog owner, one of the most important decisions we have to make is what to feed our furry friends.

With so many different brands and options out there, it can be mind boggling to try and determine which one is best for our dogs.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at two popular brands: Purina Pro Plan vs Taste of the Wild.

Using 6 important selection criteria, we’ll compare them side by side to help you make an informed decision about which one is the right choice for your dog.

So grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s dive into the world of dog food.

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Purina pro plan vs taste of the wild Dog Food Comparison

Overview: Purina Pro Plan vs Taste of The Wild 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).

I’m sure that you have definitely noticed the vast amount of dog food brands if you’re one of the many pet owners seeking a premium option.

But not every one of those choices is the same. Some brands are simply better than others, and it all comes down to your needs.

Both Purina and Taste of the Wild make premium dog food that will satisfy your dog’s dietary requirements, but which is better?

The sections below will focus on the following factors:

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

1. Brand Reputation

Purina Pro Plan

Purina is an organization that has been making dog food for more than 100 years, and they are very well known and highly regarded in the industry.

The business is renowned for its commitment to creating premium dog chow that is nutritionally balanced and manufactured with premium ingredients.

Ask around and you will see that both dog owners and veterinarians highly regard and recommend Purina.

Besides that, Purina is also well known for their dedication to research and innovation.

The business employs over 500 pet nutritionists who are constantly working to enhance their formulations and develop new products that cater to the evolving demands of dogs.

Purina’s dedication to innovation has enabled the company to continue at the forefront of the dog food sector and preserve its standing as a reputable and trustworthy brand.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why do vets recommend Purina?

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild is a smaller family-owned business that is well-known for using unique protein sources and premium ingredients.

Although they are a much younger company (already over 50 years old actually), they are highly regarded as a trustworthy and dependable brand among dog owners.

Utilizing novel protein sources like bison, venison, and wild boar in their recipes is one of the things that sets Taste of the Wild apart from other dog food companies.

Thanks to this strategy, they have been able to stand out in the congested dog food industry.

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.

Purina Pro Plan

The majority of the ingredients that you will find in Purina Pro Plan dog food formulas are high-quality protein sources such as real chicken, steak, and salmon.

These easily digestible protein sources give dogs the vital amino acids they require to keep their muscles strong and their immune systems healthy.

Not only that, I love the fact that Purina Pro Plan dog food formulations include a variety of fruits and vegetables in addition to protein.

Essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are provided by these ingredients, supporting general health and wellness.

Something that might be of note to you is that the company does use meat meal or by-products in its kibble.

This might be considered a controversial component to some, but to us, it is perfectly good to use as meat meal often packs a lot more protein than just meat muscle.

Considering the fact that strict measures are put in place, we feel safe to recommend it.

Taste of the Wild

As highlighted earlier, Taste of the Wild utilizes exotic protein sources, such as bison, venison, and wild boar.

Although these protein sources are less frequently employed in dog food, they nonetheless provide vital amino acids and are very easily digested by all dogs.

Taste of the Wild formulations also include other high-quality sources such as fowl, fish, and lamb if you want a more traditional recipe.

Another interesting aspect you will notice is the use of Ancient Grains in some of its products.

Whole grains known as “ancient grains” have been consumed for thousands of years, and they have been demonstrated to offer a number of health benefits for dogs including being a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Quinoa and millet are examples of these grains that are added to Taste of the Wild formulas.

Take note that all products from the company are grain free.

dog essentials banner in content

3. Key Nutrients

In the United States, pet food labels must include a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients according to AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines.

These guidelines are strictly enforced and they are put in place to ensure that pet food products are balanced and complete for dogs.

The guaranteed analysis indicates the minimum amount of all essential nutrients needed by dogs that are found in a particular product.

This includes minimum levels of crude protein and crude fat, as well as maximum levels of crude fiber and moisture.

The tables below will show you the data from the two brands.

Take note: When comparing dog food nutrient percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it a fair 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 Purina Pro Plan vs Taste of The Wild dog food nutrients comparison – Guaranteed analysis

Key nutrientPurina Pro PlanDry matter basisTaste of the WildDry matter basis
Crude Protein26% min29.55%25% min27.78%
Crude Fat16% min18.18%15% min16.67%
Crude Fiber3% max3.41%3% max3.33%
Moisture12% max10% max
Based on dry adult dog food

Crude protein

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

Their bodies need it for a number of processes, such as the growth and maintenance of muscles and other tissues.

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

It also helps with the synthesis of enzymes and hormones, two vital physiological components.

Like carbs, it increases immunity and releases energy.

It’s important to choose a meal that contains the correct amount of proteins because dogs can only manufacture about half of the 22 amino acids needed to produce proteins; the other half must be received from food.

Both of the companies offer a high amount of protein for dogs and are neck and neck in this category, with Purina having a slight edge.

Crude fat

As a necessary nutrient in your dog’s diet, fat can aid in your dog’s ability to live a longer, healthier life.

To feed their muscles and provide them the energy they need to go around, active dogs need more fat.

In particular, working and sporting dogs perform better and can burn fat more effectively on a high-fat diet.

Both brands have fat content that is within healthy limits, which is 20% of a dog’s diet.

Crude fiber

Fiber increases mass and absorbs more water, which helps to encourage regular bowel movements and the development of solid, well-formed stools.

Additionally, it helps to maintain an intestinal pH level that is balanced, preventing the development of potentially hazardous bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.

Last but not least, it strengthens the health of their digestive system and makes them feel full, which may stifle their appetite and prevent overeating.

Both of these two dog food provides adequate fiber for most dogs, falling between the good range of 2% to 6%. Unless you have been advised by your dog to let your dog have a high fiber diet, these will be suitable.

A side note here is that this particular kibble from Purina Pro Plan also contains additional probiotics, which is good for your dog’s gut health.

4. Range of Formulas

Another important consideration is the availability of a wide range of formulations, as the majority of dog owners prefer to avoid switching brands on a regular basis.

The good news is that both businesses cater to dogs of all sizes and ages, from tiny puppies to seasoned seniors.

However, the range in Purina is a fair bit wider by having specialized diets such as for weight management and sensitive stomachs.

Puppy formulas

Puppy formulas are an extremely important part of a puppy’s growing-up years, as they provide the essential nutrients needed for proper growth and development.

In order to support this phase that takes place during the puppy period, these formulas often contain increased amounts of protein, fat, and other nutrients.

Purina Pro Plan

What stands out to me is that Purina includes DHA, a fatty acid crucial for brain and visual development in their puppy formulas.

This nutrient, which is naturally present in the mother’s milk, is crucial for pups as they develop and learn.

When you take a closer look, you will notice that the formulas are created to provide puppies with nutrients that are comparable to their mother’s milk.

All in all, Purina Pro Plan has 9 different options available that cater to different breed sizes and specialized needs.

Taste of the Wild

The company has 2 dedicated products for puppies, while the rest of the formulas can also be used.

However, if you go with a non-specialized option, the concern is whether there is sufficient nutrition for a growing dog.

I would advise you to stick with the puppy formulas if you do choose this brand.

Our Pick

Purina Pro Plan.

Adult Formula

Adult dogs have different nutritional needs than puppies, so adult formulas are designed to suit those needs.

Due to their slower metabolisms, adult dogs do not need the same amounts of protein and other nutrients as young dogs.

Adult formulations are designed to offer the ideal ratio of nutrients to support general health, maintenance, and well-being.

Take note too that it is crucial to select an adult formula that is suitable for your dog’s breed, size, and specific demands such as one that is super active.

Purina Pro Plan

In total, Purina Pro Plan offers 25 different formulas for adult dogs. This is to meet the needs of different dog breeds, sizes, and those that have specific needs such as sensitive skin.

Besides the great flavors that dogs love, they are also fortified with Guaranteed Live Probiotics for better digestive and immune health.

Taste of the Wild

Similarly, Taste of the Wild has a range of products that caters to different breeds and sizes too.

In total, there are 14 different formulas to choose from, but none of them are made for unique needs such as for weight management of sensitive stomachs.

Our Pick

Purina Pro Plan.

Senior and Wet Dog Food

Taste of the Wild does not actually have senior dog food formulas but rather claims that seniors can use the same adult formulas too.

I am not a fan of that as seniors do have different needs.

When it comes to wet dog food, the story is similar here.

Purina has a huge selection that dwarves the ones over at Taste of the Wild, which means you are more likely than not to find something that matches your dog’s exact needs.

Our Pick

Purina Pro Plan.

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.

And obviously, we need to know what we are feeding our dogs is safe!

I try to update this section as much as possible, but if you find anything amiss, you may double-check on the FDA’s site or its archives for accuracy.

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.

Taste of the Wild

Because of positive salmonella tests, thousands of units of Taste of the Wild were recalled in May 2012.

A multi-state salmonella outbreak that affected dozens of states was brought on by numerous brands of tainted pet food that were all produced by Diamond Pet Foods at one of its factories.

6. Price

Price is significant, but you shouldn’t make your decision exclusively based on it.

The availability of inexpensive, high-quality goods is limited since a product’s price can be a reliable indicator of both its quality and quantity.

I’ve seen that certain dog food brands cost less than others because they contain fillers or inferior materials, which may subsequently create health issues.

It might be worthwhile to spend a bit extra on a recognized brand if you want something that will last longer and give more nutrients.

The cost per pound for the choices covered in this article is displayed in the table below:

BrandAdult Dry Food
Purina Pro Plan$1.83/lb
Taste of the Wild$2.11/lb
Adult dog food, based on similar product packaging; always check for latest prices

In Conclusion: Purina Pro Plan vs Taste of The Wild Dog Food Comparison

Now that you know the key differences between Purina Pro Plan and Taste of the Wild, which would you pick?

Of the two, my personal choice would be Purina Pro Plan as it provides plenty of nutrition at a much more cost-effective price.

Quick note: My personal choice for dog food now is Ollie fresh dog food. Find out what’s good about Ollie here.

Keep in mind that every dog is unique and that there is no such thing as the best dog diet.

Always take into account the breed, lifestyle, and allergies of your dog, and this should direct you in the right direction.

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.

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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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