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Purina Pro Plan vs. Royal Canin: Who Wins? [2024]

Written by: Arlene D.
Arlene A. Divina, a resident of the Philippines, is a devoted fur mom to two adorable dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Beagle. With a passion for animals and storytelling, Arlene has channeled her love for dogs into her career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. Her writing captures the essence of the bond between humans and their furry companions, offering insights, tips, and heartfelt stories to a wide audience of dog enthusiasts. Read more
| Published on January 2, 2024

Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin are two leading brands in the dog food industry, often at the forefront of a pet owner’s choice. In this article, we’ll delve deep into a side-by-side comparison of these giants, evaluating them on ingredients, ingredient quality, protein content, price, value, and their recall history. Join us as we uncover which might be the better fit for your furry friend.

Purina Pro Plan Vs. Royal Canin: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison

Purina Pro Plan Ingredients Pros:

  1. Meat-First Approach: Many of Purina Pro Plan’s formulas emphasize a meat-first approach, which means the primary ingredient is often a high-quality source of animal protein, such as chicken, beef, or salmon. This is a plus for dogs, as they require a rich source of protein for optimal health.
  2. Natural Fiber Sources: Purina Pro Plan frequently uses sources like oatmeal, barley, and rice, which not only act as carbohydrates but also provide natural fiber aiding in digestion.
  3. Addition of Probiotics: Some of the brand’s formulations include live probiotics to support gut health and promote better digestion.
  4. Variety of Fatty Acids: You’ll find ingredients like fish oil in various Pro Plan formulas, ensuring a good supply of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, crucial for skin and coat health.

Purina Pro Plan Ingredients Cons:

  1. Use of Poultry By-Product Meal: While not inherently bad, poultry by-product meal is a more ambiguous protein source than whole meats. It can consist of various leftover parts of the bird, making it a less consistent source of protein.
  2. Inclusion of Corn: Some Pro Plan formulas include corn or corn gluten meal. While it can be a protein source, it’s not as easily digestible for some dogs and can be a filler in dog foods.
  3. Occasional Artificial Colors: While many of their formulas are free from dyes, some Purina Pro Plan products contain artificial colors, which are unnecessary for pets and can be a concern for some owners.

Royal Canin Ingredients Pros:

  1. Tailored Nutrition: Royal Canin’s standout feature is its specificity. Whether it’s breed-specific, size-specific, or age-specific, the ingredients are meticulously chosen to cater to that particular segment’s needs.
  2. Highly Digestible Proteins: Royal Canin often employs proteins like chicken by-product meal, which, contrary to misconceptions, is a quality protein source that’s highly digestible when processed correctly.
  3. Nutritional Additives: Royal Canin formulas are known for their precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They also include tailored fiber content, which can be beneficial for digestive health.
  4. Consistency: Royal Canin maintains strict quality control, which means the ingredient consistency is often reliable. This is crucial for pets that are on specialized diets.

Royal Canin Ingredients Cons:

  1. Less Emphasis on Whole Meat: Unlike Purina Pro Plan’s meat-first approach, Royal Canin often lists meat by-products as the first ingredient. While these are still quality protein sources, some pet owners prefer seeing whole meats listed first.
  2. Use of Corn and Wheat: Some Royal Canin formulas include corn, wheat, or corn/wheat gluten. These grains, while providing energy, can be potential allergens for some dogs and are not always considered premium ingredients.
  3. Price Point Due to Specialization: The specific nature of many Royal Canin diets, especially prescription formulas, can lead to higher costs. The inclusion of specialized ingredients might be ideal for dogs with unique needs, but it can be a financial strain for some pet owners.

Both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin stand out as leaders in the pet food industry, and their ingredient lists reflect deep research and understanding of canine nutrition. The pros and cons of each brand’s ingredients largely depend on a pet owner’s values and their pet’s specific needs. While some owners might prioritize a meat-first approach and natural ingredients, others may seek out the specialized nutrition and consistency that Royal Canin offers.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Purina Pro Plan vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Recalls & Lawsuits: Purina Pro Plan Vs. Royal Canin

When it comes to the safety and reputation of a brand, recalls and lawsuits can provide critical insights. Both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin have faced their share of challenges in these areas, which potential buyers may want to consider.

Purina Pro Plan Recalls & Lawsuits: 

Over the years, Purina Pro Plan has had a few recall incidents, though it’s worth noting that no dog food company is entirely immune to such events. Some notable recalls for Purina include:

  • In 2016, certain Pro Plan products were recalled due to inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals. This was identified as a temporary quality deviation which the company swiftly addressed.
  • In 2015, a limited number of wet dog food products were recalled due to concerns over possible plastic material in the food, which could have presented a potential choking risk.

Purina Pro Plan Recalls & Lawsuits: 

Purina, like many prominent brands, has been a target of lawsuits over the years. One significant case occurred in 2015 when a lawsuit was filed alleging that certain Beneful products (another Purina brand) could harm or kill dogs. The suit was based on consumer complaints; however, no scientific evidence was presented in the lawsuit to substantiate the claims. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed, but it drew attention to the importance of ingredient sourcing and transparency in the pet food industry.

Royal Canin Recalls & Lawsuits: 

Royal Canin, being another major player in the pet food industry, has also had its brushes with recalls. Some notable ones include:

  • In 2007, a substantial recall was initiated due to melamine contamination, a widespread issue that affected numerous pet food brands at the time. The contaminated wheat gluten, originating from a supplier in China, was the culprit. Royal Canin responded by removing the tainted ingredient from their products.
  • Again, in 2007, a separate recall was announced for eight of their Sensible Choice dry dog foods and seven of their Kasco dry dog and cat foods. This was due to elevated levels of Vitamin D3, which could have adverse effects on pets if consumed in large quantities.

Royal Canin Recalls & Lawsuits: 

Royal Canin hasn’t been as much in the limelight for lawsuits as some other brands. However, they did face backlash following the 2007 melamine incident. Some consumers initiated lawsuits, seeking compensation for veterinary bills and emotional distress. The melamine crisis led many pet food companies, including Royal Canin, to reevaluate their ingredient sourcing and quality control measures.

It’s worth noting that both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin have taken proactive measures following these recalls and legal challenges. Both companies have invested heavily in quality control, research, and transparent communication with their customer base. When evaluating these incidents, it’s also essential to consider the sheer volume of products these companies produce. While any recall is concerning, the percentage of affected products is typically a small fraction of the brand’s total output.

In conclusion, while both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin have faced recalls and lawsuits in the past, they have demonstrated a commitment to rectifying issues and ensuring product safety. As with any product, it’s always a good practice for pet owners to stay informed, check for updates, and choose products that best align with their pets’ needs and their comfort levels regarding ingredient sourcing and brand reputation.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Purina Pro Plan vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Our Verdict –Purina Pro Plan Vs. Royal Canin: Who Wins?

After a careful comparison of Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin based on protein content, ingredient quality, and recall history, a distinction emerges. While both brands offer commendable quality and have their strengths, Royal Canin tends to focus more on specific breed needs and has slightly fewer major recalls. Purina Pro Plan often emphasizes a meat-first approach which many owners appreciate for protein content. However, considering the broad aspects, we lean towards Royal Canin. It offers consistency in ingredient quality and a slightly better track record in recall history. Still, both brands have proven to be reputable choices for pet owners.

Purina Pro Plan vs. Royal Canin: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which brand, Purina Pro Plan or Royal Canin, is more affordable on average? While prices can vary depending on the specific product and retailer, Purina Pro Plan often tends to be slightly more affordable than Royal Canin. However, it’s essential to factor in the type and size of the product you’re considering to determine the best value.
  2. Do both brands offer breed-specific formulas? Yes, both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin provide breed-specific formulas. Royal Canin is particularly known for its extensive range of breed-tailored diets, while Purina Pro Plan offers select breed-specific options.
  3. Are there grain-free options available in both brands? Yes, both brands offer grain-free options. Purina Pro Plan provides various grain-free formulas under its line, while Royal Canin also has specific products without grains for dogs with sensitivities.
  4. Which brand is more recommended by veterinarians? Both brands are often recommended by veterinarians due to their focus on research and nutrition science. Royal Canin has a strong presence in many vet clinics, especially with their veterinary-prescribed diets, but Purina Pro Plan also garners a significant amount of vet endorsements.
  5. Do these brands source their ingredients globally? Both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin source ingredients from trusted suppliers around the world. They maintain strict quality control standards to ensure ingredient safety, regardless of origin.
  6. Which brand has a wider variety of protein sources? Both brands offer a diverse range of protein sources, from chicken to fish to more exotic proteins. Purina Pro Plan often emphasizes its meat-first approach, but Royal Canin also provides a wide variety of proteins, especially in its specialized diets.
  7. Have both brands faced product recalls in the past? Yes, both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin have had recalls in the past, though they have been responsive in addressing these issues. It’s always good to stay updated on any recall news for the safety of your pet.
  8. How do the two brands approach food allergies and sensitivities? Both brands take food allergies and sensitivities seriously. Royal Canin offers a range of hypoallergenic and sensitivity-control diets, while Purina Pro Plan provides formulas specifically designed for sensitive skin and stomachs.
  9. Do these brands offer life-stage-specific formulas? Yes, both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin provide life-stage-specific formulas. Whether it’s a puppy, adult, senior, or all life stages, you can find a product tailored to your dog’s specific age and needs.
  10. Which brand is more environmentally conscious? Both brands have initiatives aimed at sustainability and reducing their environmental impact. However, specifics can vary based on products and regions, so it’s best to check their official websites or contact their customer service for detailed information.
  11. Are there prescription diets available in both brands? Yes, both brands offer prescription diets. Royal Canin’s Veterinary Diet line is extensive and widely recognized, while Purina Pro Plan also has a range of veterinary formulas for specific health concerns.
  12. How do the two brands fare in terms of palatability? Palatability can be subjective and varies from one dog to another. However, both brands invest in research to ensure their formulas are tasty to most dogs. Feedback from pet owners indicates that most dogs find both brands appealing.
  13. Do they have cat food options too? Yes, both Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin manufacture cat food alongside their dog food ranges. They offer a variety of products tailored to the unique needs of felines.
  14. How transparent are they about ingredient sourcing? Both brands strive for transparency regarding ingredient sourcing. They maintain strict quality control and regularly communicate with consumers about where their ingredients come from and how they’re processed.
  15. Where can I purchase Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin products? Both brands are widely available. You can find their products at pet stores, vet clinics, and online retailers. If looking for specific formulas or prescription diets, it might be best to check availability in advance or consult with your veterinarian.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Purina Pro Plan vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

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