Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 6/10
Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice is an average quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein. Despite being above average, we consider the carbohydrate proportion of this dog food to be far above ideal and it should be lower to better reflect a dog’s natural diet. It contains a range of high-quality ingredients including Chicken and Chicken Meal. It contains also contains Peas which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. The formula also contains Pea By-products and grains, such as Brown Rice, which are considered lower quality ingredients. Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice contains a range of vegetables, grains but a single source of meat. This means it may not be suitable for dogs that suffer from severe allergies or sensitivities.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients.
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion Contains Grains and By-products Low Level of Omega Fatty Acids
A Full review of Chicken & Brown Rice by Pure Balance
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 40% of Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and grain ingredients of this dog food. Vegetables such as Peas and are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates while grains such as Brown Rice are considered of lesser quality. These will be discussed in more detail later on. This is considerably above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates and it should be lower to better reflect a dogs natural diet.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 27% of Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This is a satisfactory level of protein for the average dog but will not be adequate for those who are more active. It appears to be sourced from the poultry ingredients. Poultry such as Chicken are considered high-quality sources of protein and provide the full range of needed amino acids. Unfortunately, a minority of this protein level is from the vegetable content. Plant-based proteins are not as beneficial as animal-based protein.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 33% of Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice calories are derived from fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the poultry ingredients which are a high-quality source. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of the average dog but not those who are more active. Sadly, this formula is very low in the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.
Overall Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice contains an average of 3,582 kcal/kg or 326 kcal/cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 27.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 11.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.0%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.35%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Chicken Meal
- Brown Rice
- Pea Protein
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice contains two sources of poultry.
The primary meat source present in this formula is Chicken. Chicken is the most common meat ingredient used in dog food and is considered a high-quality addition. Chicken can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat. In addition to being an excellent protein source, Chicken has high levels of some vitamins such as Niacin and Vitamin B6. Whole Chicken contains a high concentration of water. This water will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving behind a lesser portion of Chicken. Given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient of this formula, there should be a significant portion remaining once its water content has been evaporated.
Another meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Despite being a grain, Brown Rice can provide some nutrition. Therefore it is considered one of the better grains. To add to this Brown Rice is far superior to White Rice which is heavily processed. Brown Rice can provide dietary fiber for healthy digestion and high levels of Magnese.
Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice contains Peas. These are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Pea Protein is a by-product of Peas. Pea Protein is considered a low-quality ingredient. It is often used as a cheap way to increase the overall level of protein in a dog food without including additional meat or fish content. While the protein in Pea Protein is not harmful, plant-based proteins such as this are considered inferior to meat and fish-based proteins as they do not contain the full range of needed amino acids. Pea Protein is one of the most common ingredients used in a technique called Ingredient Splitting.
Dried Beet Pulp is a by-product of sugar beet processing. It is added to pet food as a source of soluble fiber. This fiber helps absorb excess water in your pets digestive system, as well as promote healthy bowel movement and stool. Dried Beet Pulp does not contain any significant nutritional value.
Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
Sunflower Oil is one of a number of oils commonly added to pet food. Sunflower Oil contains high amounts of Omega 6 Fatty Acids. However, it does not provide any of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are often considered the more beneficial of the two. For that reason, Sunflower Oil is considered by many to be a less desirable addition than other oils such as Salmon and Canola Oil.
Full Ingredient List – Pure Balance Chicken & Brown Rice
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Dried Peas, Pea Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Oatmeal, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Carrots, Menhaden Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Dried Cranberry, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Biotin, L-Carnitine, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.