Choosing a dog food is a tall order. With so many brands and product lines to choose from, it can be easy to doubt your own decision-making and what’s best for your dog.
Two popular brands on the market are 4health and Purina Pro Plan. With their many similarities, you may be wondering which is the right choice for your dog. To help, we’ve compared these two brands and their product lines to help you with the decision.
Click to skip ahead:
- A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Purina Pro Plan
- About 4health
- About Purina Pro Plan
- The 3 Most Popular 4health Dog Food Recipes
- The 3 Most Popular Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Recipes
- Recall History of 4health and Purina Pro Plan
- 4health vs Purina Pro Plan Comparison
A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Purina Pro Plan
Though 4health and Purina Pro Plan are both quality dog foods, Purina Pro Plan gets an edge because it’s tested on real animals in a controlled feeding trial and meets the standards put forth by AAFCO, the FDA, and WSAVA for complete and balanced nutrition. Purina Pro Plan also offers a range of different diets for different life stages and dietary needs.
Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan High Protein DHA Lamb & Rice Formula Puppy Food
|Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice Formula||
|Purina Pro Plan High Protein DHA Lamb & Rice Formula Puppy Food||
4health is owned by Tractor Supply Co. Though the company began in 1938 with a catalog for tractor parts, it’s now a massive retail chain that offers products for your farm, home, livestock, and pets. Then, in 2010, it started 4health dog food.
Where Is 4health Manufactured?
Despite being owned by Tractor Supply Co., 4health is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. This brand is located in California, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Missouri. Like its parent brand, 4health features quality ingredients, though there’s not a lot of information about where ingredients are sourced. You can only purchase 4health at Tractor Supply Company stores or Petsense.
Is 4health a Good Food?
As the name implies, 4health is a nutritious dog food that provides complete and balanced meals for dogs of all life stages. It also offers product lines to address different health issues, such as digestive health and joint health. The company focuses on providing good ingredients at a low price to make it more affordable.
Are There Any Issues with 4health?
The formulas have quality meat and vegetables, but they also contain legumes and potatoes. This can contribute to the overall protein, even though it comes from lower-quality plant sources instead of animal sources, which are more bioavailable to dogs. Legumes are also possibly connected to the FDA announcement regarding grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
About Purina Pro Plan
Purina is owned by Nestle, the confectionery company, but it began in 1926 as an animal feed business. Along with dog and cat food, Purina offers a variety of foods for other animals, including livestock like horses and cattle. It’s also a massive umbrella with Pro Plan, Purina One, Dog Chow, and more.
Where Is Purina Pro Plan Manufactured?
Purina maintains control over its own food and works with pet specialists to create recipes. All Purina food is manufactured in Purina-owned US-based facilities. The ingredients are primarily sourced in the US and held to strict quality standards. Pro Plan has a wide distribution and may be purchased at virtually any pet retailer or online at Amazon, Chewy, and more.
Is Purina Pro Plan a Good Food?
As a longstanding brand, Purina has been committed to pet health backed by science. Purina works with a team of veterinarians, veterinary nutritionists, and other researchers to ensure its foods are completely balanced for the dog’s needs. To ensure quality, Purina tests recipes in live feeding trials. The brand has an array of product lines for different breed sizes, life stages, and health conditions.
Are There Any Issues with Purina Pro Plan?
Purina may have strict quality control for all its foods, including Pro Plan, but there’s not a lot of transparency on the label. Ingredients are listed as “rice,” for example, without details like whether the rice is whole grain, brown, or white. It also has by-product meal, which is a controversial ingredient
The 3 Most Popular 4health Dog Food Recipes
1. 4health with Wholesome Grains Adult Salmon and Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
This recipe is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of adult dogs with salmon as the first ingredient. Along with animal protein, vegetables, and fruits, this recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and probiotics to maintain healthy digestion. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help the skin and coat stay healthy and shiny.
2. 4health Strive Endurance Performance 87 Formula Dry Dog Food
Formulated for active dogs, this Strive recipe features 87% of the protein derived from animal sources for muscle and skeletal health. It’s also fortified with taurine for heart health and probiotics for digestive health. The antioxidant formulation is guaranteed to provide the levels of selenium, zinc, and vitamin E for immune support.
3. 4health with Wholesome Grains All Life Stages Chicken and Rice Recipe Wet Dog Food
If you want wet food, this canned variety of 4health provides real chicken and brown rice to support lean muscle mass and energy needs. It also contains specific probiotics to support digestive health and the immune system. There’s no wheat or soy in this recipe. You can feed this on its own as a wet food or combine it with dry food. Reviewers have been struggling to find it in stock, however.
The 3 Most Popular Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Recipes
1. Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice Formula
This recipe features chicken as the first ingredient for lean muscle mass and rice to support energy needs. The combination of hard kibble and soft, shredded pieces create an appetizing meal and variety for dogs. Additional fruits, vegetables, and animal sources provide vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids for all-around health. This food is expensive, however.
2. Purina Pro Plan High Protein DHA Lamb & Rice Formula Puppy Food
This recipe has lamb as the first ingredient for a more novel source of protein, along with fish oil for DHA to support healthy brain and vision development. The protein is highly digestible to ensure pups get the nutrients they need during this crucial growth period, and it’s appropriate for puppies up to one year old and nursing or lactating female dogs. Some reviewers were concerned about the quality of the ingredients.
3. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Pate Beef & Rice Entrée Wet Dog Food
For wet food, this Purina Pro Plan recipe contains high-protein beef in an appetizing pate and rice for highly digestible energy. Formulated for adult maintenance diets, this food offers the appropriate protein for adult dogs and all the essential vitamins and minerals dogs need as they age. This can be fed on its own or with dry food.
Recall History of 4health and Purina Pro Plan
Most dog food that’s been around for a while will experience some recalls. Both Purina Pro Plan and 4health have had recalls for different concerns, including possible Salmonella contamination.
4health was one of the brands mentioned in the FDA report on grain-free foods, but the products weren’t recalled as a result. Purina Pro Plan had a recall in 2016 due to inconsistencies in the nutrition in one recipe, which they found through their own quality testing.
4health vs Purina Pro Plan Comparison
Both 4health and Purina Pro Plan offer a variety of different product lines, formulas, and protein sources. Reviewers are generally satisfied with the foods, but some mentioned that their dogs didn’t like different formulas. That said, Purina Pro Plan offers more options than 4health, which may make it easier to find the right food.
4health and Purina Pro Plan has complete and balanced nutrition according to guidelines from AAFCO and the FDA. Purina Pro Plan takes it a step further and is one of the few brands that meets the guidelines set forth by WSAVA, and it conducts live feeding trials to ensure its formulas are safe for dogs.
The foundation of 4health’s branding is being a quality food at an affordable price. Purina Pro Plan is one of the brand’s more premium lines, compared to more budget-friendly options like Dog Chow or Beneful. As a result, Purina Pro Plan is the more expensive of the two, so that’s important to consider when choosing between them.
4health and Purina Pro Plan offer several options for wet or dry dog food. 4health is more limited, however, with only a few product lines, a limited number of special care diets, a few grain-free options, and wet food. Purina Pro Plan is only one brand under the umbrella brand of the Nestle Purina PetCare Company, but it still offers nearly 100 formulas for adults, puppies, special care, and more.
Purina Pro Plan comes out ahead in nearly every category except for the price. It is a premium dog food, however, and comes backed by veterinary research and science. In addition, Purina Pro Plan has a wider variety of options to address the specific needs of individual dogs at any life stage.
Overall, Purina Pro Plan is the winner of this comparison. Though 4health is a high-quality food that’s more budget-conscious, Purina Pro Plan is backed by science and provides a lot of variety for pet owners and their dogs’ specific needs. 4health is also limited to Tractor Supply Co. stores and Petsense, whereas Purina Pro Plan is a highly recognizable brand that’s available at many pet retailers and online distributors.