Purina is one of the biggest companies in the world, never mind one of the biggest pet food companies. Ever since it merged with Nestle in 2001, it’s been the second-largest manufacturer of pet goods in the world, and the largest in the United States.
The company makes most of its products in the U.S., and they have multiple processing plants in which to do so. They make food and accessories for just about any pet you can think of, and they have several specialty lines dedicated to servicing particular diets.
Their Beyond Grain-Free line is aimed at owners who don’t want to feed their dogs low-grade filler like wheat and corn, and who also want to be able to afford rent every month. That’s certainly admirable, but does the food live up to that promise? Read on to find out.
At a Glance: The Best Purina Beyond Grain-Free Dog Food Recipes:
|Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural High Protein Northwest (Hake & Lentil
|Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural (Chicken & Egg)
|Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural (Beef & Egg)
|Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural (Tuna & Egg)
Purina Beyond Grain-Free Dog Food Reviewed
Who makes Purina Beyond Grain-Free and Where is it Produced?
Purina Beyond Grain-Free is made by the Nestle Purina PetCare Corporation. It’s manufactured in one or several of the company’s many processing plants in the United States.
Which Types of Dogs is Purina Beyond Grain-Free Best Suited For?
Dogs with sensitivities to grains like wheat or corn will do well on this food, as will pups that are trying to shed a pound or two. Similarly, owners who are very particular about the types of food their dog ingests may want to give this a hard look.
Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?
Many of the recipes in this line have unusual food combinations, like hake and lentil or tuna and egg. As a result, picky eaters may turn their noses up at it.
For a grain-free food that’s more likely to get wolfed down, check out Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Original (Turkey & Chicken).
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients
The foods all start with protein as the primary ingredient—in this case, hake, which is a highly nutritious whitefish that most dogs love. In addition to being a good source of lean protein, it’s also full of omega fatty acids.
The next ingredient is pea starch. This is used in place of cheap fillers like wheat or corn, and it provides a ton of iron in addition to being a nutritious carbohydrate. We’d prefer to see another protein here, but for a food in this price range, any non-filler ingredient is a welcome sight.
Chicken meal is up next, and this provides a ton of protein and other essential nutrients that can only be found in meat. One of the most important of these is glucosamine, which is essential for healthy joints. Other high-quality ingredients include beef fat, pea fiber, whole lentils, and canola meal.
It’s not all good news, though. The recipe uses dried egg product, which many dogs are sensitive to. Also, there’s a fair amount of plant protein in here, which is typically used because it’s cheaper than animal protein sources; unfortunately, it’s usually less beneficial, too.
However, Purina attempted to make an affordable, high-quality food with this line, so we can’t penalize them too much in that regard.
Purina Beyond Grain-Free Skips Cheap Fillers
Dog food manufacturers love wheat and corn because they add bulk to the food without costing an arm and a leg. However, your dog won’t appreciate them nearly as much, as many pooches have difficulty digesting them, plus they’re full of empty calories.
This food does away with those cheap ingredients, choosing instead to replace them with healthier alternatives like pea starch and cassava root flour.
This Food is Fairly High in Protein
Several of the recipes in this line have 30% protein, which is towards the higher end that you’ll find. That’s especially impressive at this price point, even if they must cheat a bit by using plant proteins to reach those numbers.
The other foods top out in the 27% range, which is still very respectable.
There are Still Potential Allergens Inside
Many of the foods in this line use chicken and eggs, both of which are common food triggers for sensitive mutts.
It’s not reasonable to expect a completely allergen-free kibble at this price point, but you should be aware of potential issues before you buy it all the same.
A Quick Look at Purina Beyond Grain-Free Dog Food
Purina has a fairly good track record when it comes to recalls, and their Beyond Grain-Free line has never been affected (although their regular Beyond line has). Still, there are two incidents in the past decade that are worth mentioning.
The first happened in 2013 when the company recalled its regular Beyond foods due to suspicion of possible Salmonella contamination. Only one tainted bag was found, and no dogs were harmed as a result of eating the food.
In March 2016, several of their wet foods were recalled over concerns that the level of vitamins inside didn’t match what was on the labels. The food was safe to eat, and there were no issues reported.
Reviews of the 3 Best Purina Beyond Grain-Free Dog Food Recipes
There are several tantalizing options in the Beyond Grain-Free line, and we took a closer look at three of our favorites below:
1. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural High Protein Northwest (Hake & Lentil)
- One (1) 13 lb. Bag - Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, High Protein Dry Dog Food, Pacific Northwest...
- Made with real, regionally sourced Pacific Northwest hake as the #1 ingredient
Unless you live close to the water and are a capable fisherman, your dog might never have eaten hake before. That’s a shame, as this whitefish is extremely healthy; it’s chock-full of omega fatty acids and is a good source of protein to boot. Then again, if your dog has never eaten it before, they might not want to start now. Many dogs turn their noses up at this food, especially since the lentils are fairly unusual, too.
If you can convince your pooch to give it a try, though, they’ll enjoy a high protein (30%) food that’s packed with important nutrients like glucosamine, taurine, vitamin A, and more. You’ll find grain-free starches like cassava root flour in place of the wheat and corn you’d see in lower-quality foods, and these foods will help your dog stay full without packing on the pounds.
Purina does use a fair amount of plant protein to up the totals, but at this price point, that’s hardly worth getting worked up over.
2. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural (Chicken & Egg)
- One (1) 13 lb. Bag - Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food, Grain Free White Meat Chicken &...
- High protein dry dog food with real white meat chicken raised without steroids* as the number 1...
This is part of their basic Grain-Free recipe, whereas the hake and lentil formula above is part of their High Protein line. As a result, it has a bit less protein (27% compared to 30%), but it still boasts a respectable amount for a food in this price range.
You won’t find any fillers or animal by-products on this ingredients list, but you will see nutritious foods like chicken meal, beef fat, and pea fiber. Each of those brings a different array of nutrients to the table, giving your dog a well-balanced meal. We’d prefer not to see dried egg product listed on the package, as many dogs have trouble processing eggs, but that’s hardly a deal-breaker. The salt content is higher than we’d like, too, but again that’s not a huge deal.
Overall, this food provides a solid dose of essential vitamins and minerals, and it does so at a relatively budget-friendly price.
3. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural (Beef & Egg)
Your dog is a lucky pup indeed if he gets steak and eggs at every meal. While we dinged the hake and lentil formula above for being unusual, it would be strange if your pooch turned his nose up at this. It has the same amount of protein as the chicken and egg formula we looked at, and it also has a good amount of fiber, likely from all the peas and lentils.
There’s quite a bit of glucosamine and omega fatty acids in here, thanks to the beef fat and chicken meal, making this a good choice for larger pups.
This food has the same problems that many of the other recipes in this line do, namely the fact that it uses potentially troublesome ingredients like dried egg product and plant protein. We’d also prefer to see more meat toward the top of the ingredients list, but that would likely drive the price up, too.
These are more quibbles than outright criticisms, though, and this is one of the best budget foods you’ll find anywhere.
What Other Users Are Saying
Purina Beyond Grain-Free needs to be graded on a bit of a curve. If you stack it up next to high-end grain-free foods, it will compare poorly, as it simply doesn’t have enough animal protein inside to match the luxury brands. However, it’s also a great deal cheaper than they are, making it an excellent choice for health-conscious dog owners on a budget.
We can’t say that this is one of the best foods on the market on an apples-to-apples basis, but it’s certainly one of the best budget brands you’ll find anywhere. Your dog certainly won’t be able to tell how much money you saved from the taste, anyway.