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Taste of the Wild vs. Purina Pro Plan: Who Wins? [2024]

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on January 2, 2024

Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan are two prominent names in the dog food industry. This article dives deep into a direct comparison between these brands, evaluating their ingredients, quality of constituents, protein percentages, cost-effectiveness, and past recall instances. Join us as we dissect the offerings of each, aiming to provide clarity for dog owners seeking the best for their canine companions.

Taste of the Wild Vs. Purina Pro Plan: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison

Taste of the Wild Pros:

  1. High-Quality Meat Sources: Taste of the Wild often uses novel proteins like venison, bison, and salmon. Such sources not only offer unique flavors but can also be beneficial for dogs with common protein allergies.
  2. Grain-Free Options: Many of their recipes are grain-free, catering to dogs with grain sensitivities or allergies. Instead, they use alternatives like sweet potatoes and peas, which are easier for many dogs to digest.
  3. Natural Ingredients: The brand emphasizes the use of fruits and vegetables, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  4. Prebiotics and Probiotics: Taste of the Wild includes these in their formulations to support gut health and digestion.

Taste of the Wild Cons:

  1. Cost: Due to the premium ingredients, Taste of the Wild tends to be more expensive than many other brands.
  2. Limited Variety for Special Diets: While they do cater to grain-sensitive dogs, they have fewer options for specific needs, like low-fat or prescription diets.

Purina Pro Plan Pros:

  1. Wide Range of Formulas: Purina Pro Plan offers a vast range of options catering to dogs of different life stages, sizes, and special dietary needs, from puppies to seniors, and even breed-specific formulations.
  2. Use of Real Meat: Many of their formulas list real meat (like chicken or beef) as the first ingredient, indicating a good protein source.
  3. Scientific Approach: The brand is known for its scientific approach to pet nutrition, often conducting research and studies to enhance their formulations.
  4. Fortified with Supplements: Many of their dog foods are fortified with additional vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids for comprehensive nutrition.

Purina Pro Plan Cons:

  1. Use of Grains and By-products: Some Purina Pro Plan recipes include corn, wheat, or poultry by-product meals. While not inherently bad, these can be problematic for dogs with sensitivities.
  2. Artificial Additives: Certain recipes may contain artificial colors or preservatives, which some pet owners prefer to avoid.

Shared Traits:

  1. Amino Acid Profiles: Both brands ensure that their formulas have the essential amino acids that dogs require. This is crucial for muscle development, tissue repair, and overall growth.
  2. Omega Fatty Acids: Both Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan recognize the importance of these for skin and coat health. As a result, sources of these fatty acids, like fish oil or flaxseed, are prevalent in their formulations.
  3. Minerals and Vitamins: Both brands fortify their dog foods with essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring that dogs receive comprehensive nutrition.

In-depth Dive: When comparing Taste of the Wild with Purina Pro Plan, the emphasis both brands place on quality ingredients is evident. Taste of the Wild’s approach leans more towards mimicking a dog’s ancestral diet, which can be seen in their use of unique meat sources and grain-free formulations. Their emphasis on natural ingredients is commendable, offering antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in the mix.

On the other hand, Purina Pro Plan, with its extensive range of offerings, caters to a wider audience. Their formulations backed by scientific research ensure that each product is tailored to meet specific needs. While some may critique the use of grains and by-products, it’s essential to note that not all dogs are sensitive to these ingredients. In fact, grains, when properly processed, can be a valuable source of energy and nutrients for many canines.

Both brands undoubtedly offer quality. However, the best choice will often come down to an individual dog’s needs and any specific dietary requirements or sensitivities they may have.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Recalls & Lawsuits: Taste of the Wild Vs. Purina Pro Plan

When evaluating dog food brands, it’s vital to consider their history regarding safety recalls and any legal issues. Both Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan have faced recalls in the past. Let’s delve into each brand’s history to offer a clearer perspective on their safety records.

Taste of the Wild Recalls & Lawsuits:

In 2012, Taste of the Wild was among several brands recalled by Diamond Pet Foods due to potential salmonella contamination. This bacteria poses risks not only to pets consuming the products but also to humans who handle the contaminated pet food. No direct illnesses were linked to Taste of the Wild, but the recall covered several batches of their products manufactured in a specific facility.

Apart from recalls, Taste of the Wild faced a lawsuit in 2018 when a pet owner claimed the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and acrylamide in their dog food. The brand denied the allegations, emphasizing their commitment to quality and safety. To the best of available knowledge, the lawsuit did not lead to a recall.

Purina Pro Plan Recalls & Lawsuits:

Purina, as a broader brand, has experienced several recalls over its long history, though it’s worth noting that not all these recalls were directly associated with the Pro Plan line. However, there were notable instances:

  1. In 2013, Purina issued a voluntary recall for certain batches of their Pro Plan Savory Meals product due to inadequate vitamin and mineral levels. The brand acted out of caution, emphasizing the importance of balanced nutrition for pets.
  2. In 2016, a limited number of Pro Plan wet dog food tubs were recalled due to concerns that they didn’t contain the recommended level of vitamins and minerals.

Regarding lawsuits, Purina faced significant attention in 2015 when a class-action lawsuit claimed that several of their brands, including Purina Pro Plan, contained toxins and heavy metals harmful to pets. Purina vehemently denied the claims, and the case did not result in a recall. Importantly, many of the allegations in such lawsuits remain unproven in court, indicating that they should be interpreted with caution.

Both brands have shown a commitment to addressing concerns and ensuring their products meet safety and quality standards. Recalls, while concerning, can sometimes indicate a company’s dedication to transparency and corrective action.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Our Verdict –Taste of the Wild Vs. Purina Pro Plan: Who Wins?

After evaluating both Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan based on protein content, ingredient quality, and recall history, a differentiation emerges. Taste of the Wild often offers high-protein formulas derived from unique sources like bison or venison. Purina Pro Plan, meanwhile, provides a broad range of formula options with a consistent quality of ingredients. Considering recall history, both brands have faced issues, but have demonstrated a commitment to rectifying concerns. Weighing these factors, we lean towards Taste of the Wild for its higher protein content and distinctive ingredient list. However, individual pet needs might tilt the preference toward the Purina Pro Plan in certain scenarios.


Taste of the Wild vs. Purina Pro Plan: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the primary protein sources in Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan? Taste of the Wild often focuses on novel protein sources like bison, venison, and salmon. These sources provide a natural and grain-free approach to nutrition. On the other hand, Purina Pro Plan offers a range of protein sources, including chicken, beef, and fish, allowing for diverse formula options to cater to different dietary needs.
  2. Are grain-free options available in both brands? Yes, both brands offer grain-free options. Taste of the Wild primarily emphasizes grain-free recipes, emphasizing novel proteins and vegetables. Purina Pro Plan also offers a selection of grain-free formulas, catering to dogs that may have grain sensitivities.
  3. How do the price points of the two brands compare? Taste of the Wild tends to fall in the mid-to-high price range, given its premium ingredients. Purina Pro Plan offers a broader price spectrum, with its specialized formulas being on the higher end and its standard recipes being more budget-friendly.
  4. Which brand is better for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies? Both brands offer hypoallergenic or limited ingredient formulas. Taste of the Wild’s grain-free and novel protein formulas can be beneficial for dogs with certain sensitivities. Similarly, Purina Pro Plan has a Focus line that caters specifically to dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs.
  5. How do the two brands address life stage and size-specific nutrition? Both brands provide formulas tailored to various life stages, from puppies to seniors, and breed sizes. Purina Pro Plan, with its wider product range, offers specific formulations for large breed puppies, small breed adults, and more. Taste of the Wild also offers puppy and small breed formulas, ensuring balanced nutrition for every life stage and size.
  6. Where are the ingredients sourced from? Taste of the Wild takes pride in its US-based sourcing, emphasizing local and quality ingredients. Purina Pro Plan also prioritizes high-quality sourcing, with most of its ingredients coming from the US, though some specific components might be globally sourced.
  7. How do the brands prioritize natural ingredients in their formulas? Taste of the Wild prioritizes natural ingredients, with a focus on real meat, fruits, and vegetables. Purina Pro Plan also emphasizes natural ingredients but includes scientifically researched components like probiotics in many of its formulas for added health benefits.
  8. Are probiotics included in their dog foods? Yes, both brands include probiotics in many of their formulas. Taste of the Wild incorporates species-specific probiotics to enhance digestive health. Purina Pro Plan also includes guaranteed live probiotics in many of its formulas, especially within its Savor and Probiotic-infused lines.
  9. Have either of these brands faced recalls? Both brands have experienced recalls in the past, although for different reasons. It’s essential to check the FDA recall list for the most up-to-date information. Both companies have taken steps to address and rectify the issues leading to recalls.
  10. Which brand offers a wider variety of flavors and recipes? While both brands offer diverse flavors and recipes, Purina Pro Plan, being a larger brand, provides a broader range of options. Taste of the Wild focuses more on novel proteins and grain-free formulas.
  11. Do these brands cater to specific health concerns? Yes, both brands have formulas tailored to particular health concerns. Purina Pro Plan’s Focus line addresses issues like sensitive skin and stomach, while its Bright Mind formula targets cognitive health. Taste of the Wild, with its natural ingredients, can cater to dogs with certain food sensitivities.
  12. Are there cat food options available for both brands? Yes, both Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan offer cat food options. They provide a range of flavors and formulations to cater to felines’ specific needs, from kittens to seniors.
  13. How do the two brands ensure the quality of their products? Both brands have rigorous quality control measures. Taste of the Wild emphasizes its state-of-the-art facilities and real meat-first approach. Purina Pro Plan, under the Purina umbrella, has decades of research and quality control measures ensuring product safety and nutritional adequacy.
  14. Which brand is more environmentally friendly in its production? Both brands are conscious of their environmental impact, with initiatives aimed at sustainability. While specifics can vary, it’s best to refer to each brand’s official stance and efforts toward sustainability on their respective websites.
  15. Where can I purchase these brands? Both Taste of the Wild and Purina Pro Plan are widely available across pet stores, online retailers, and certain grocery outlets. Availability might vary based on location, but both brands have extensive distribution networks.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

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