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Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Review HEP

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict
We give Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Dog owners across the world recognize Purina as one of the major pet food brands. With many formulas, Purina caters to dogs and cats of all breeds, ages, and health conditions. Not only does it have its own lines of dog food — like the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct — but it also has many child companies that all take pride in providing dogs with balanced nutrition.

While it’s not always the cheapest option, Purina is a favorite for its wide distribution and availability. You can find it in most, if not all, pet stores and supermarkets, which makes it easy to add to your weekly grocery shopping.

With the vast variety of formulas under the Nestlé-Purina name, it’s difficult to know which will be the best for your dog. To help you get started, here’s our review of Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food.

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At a Glance: The Best Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack
  • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Two flavors
  • Second place
    Purina ONE Natural True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison Dog Food Purina ONE Natural True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison Dog Food
  • High in protein
  • Affordable
  • Promotes heart, muscle, and joint health
  • Third place
    Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Real Beef & Salmon Dry Dog Food Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Real Beef & Salmon Dry Dog Food
  • High-protein formula
  • Glucosamine supports healthy joints
  • Made with real beef
  • Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Classic Ground Dog Food Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Classic Ground Dog Food
  • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts Dog Food Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts Dog Food
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
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    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Reviewed

    Originally started as a farm animal feed manufacturer, Purina was founded by William H. Danforth, George Robinson, and William Andrews in 1894 as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company. While the name changed to Ralston Purina in 1902, the brand didn’t start delving into pet food until 1926.

    When the original animal feed business was sold by Ralston in 1986, Purina began focusing solely on pet food and has since become a leading manufacturer, with its own product lines and child companies. Ralston Purina was acquired by Nestlé in 2001 to become Nestlé-Purina, which it’s still known as today.

    Who Makes Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct and Where Is It Produced?

    As the biggest pet food manufacturer in the world, Nestlé-Purina owns several facilities across the U.S.A., where it produces its pet food. Purina ONE, a brand recommended by veterinarians, manufactures the SmartBlend True Instincts dog food in U.S.-based facilities.

    All the formulas are held to high standards due to the strict health and safety regulations in the U.S.A. and meet AAFCO standards for canine nutrition.

    Which Type of Dog Is Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Best Suited For?

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food isn’t always one of the most affordable options, but it is convenient, benefiting from the wide distribution offered by both Nestlé and Purina. With its wide availability, you can find it in most supermarkets that you might frequent for groceries.

    The formula is designed to support dogs of all ages and breeds, with a careful balance of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to further boost their health. A few of the recipes are also high in protein to provide extra support for highly active dogs.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of adult dogs that don’t suffer from food allergies. You can choose between grain-inclusive or grain-free recipes, but many of the available options do include chicken, beef, or both, which are proteins that some dogs are allergic to.

    Puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with health conditions might also do better on a diet tailored to their individual dietary needs. For example, if you recently adopted a new puppy, they’ll do best on a dedicated puppy formula, like Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food.

    labrador retriever eating dog food from a bowl
    Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Depending on the recipe that you choose, the cost of the Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct formulas can vary. This is due to the ingredients listed in each recipe and the form that the food takes. Purina ONE doesn’t always use the highest quality ingredients, but it does meet all nutritional requirements for dogs, which makes it a favorite brand among dog owners.

    Artificial Ingredients

    One of the more questionable ingredients is the artificial additives that Purina ONE uses in a few of the recipes. Liver flavor and caramel color are often used to entice dogs to eat and make the food look more appealing. While the artificial flavoring makes up for how the cooking process removes most of the natural flavors, the coloring is more for our sake rather than for our dog’s. It’s a way to make dog food look more attractive.

    Grain Free or Grain Inclusive

    The SmartBlend True Instinct formula has both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes. This way, you can tailor the recipes to your dog’s dietary needs. The grain-free formulas enable owners to avoid triggering their dogs’ grain allergies. However, most dogs with food allergies are allergic to proteins — like chicken or beef — rather than grains.

    You should discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your veterinarian to properly determine whether a grain-free diet is a good choice for them. If your dog does have food allergies, they might do better on a carefully selected limited-ingredient diet rather than a grain-free one. You also need to consider the ongoing investigation into the link between dilated cardiomyopathy and grain-free diets.

    labrador dog eating
    Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

    Protein Source

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food might not be one of the most affordable options, but there are recipes under the label that are friendlier on the budget. This is due to the primary protein source in the ingredient list. Several of the SmartBlend recipes use corn gluten meal and soy flour to boost the protein content of the formula without upping the price of production.

    However, both corn gluten meal and soy flour don’t contain as much nutritional value as real meat — despite the high protein content of both — and are usually considered to be filler ingredients.

    Real Meat

    Although the SmartBlend formulas don’t always contain real meat as the first ingredient, meat is still usually one of the first five ingredients. Depending on the recipe that you choose, the meat content can be beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, venison, or bison, among other options.

    Certain meats can set off allergies in some dogs. Don’t automatically assume a different recipe will be more suitable; a beef recipe may also contain chicken broth, for example. Always remember to check the ingredient list.

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    A Quick Look at Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food

    Pros
    • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
    • Wet and dry food options
    • Easy to find in pet stores, supermarkets, and online
    • Uses natural ingredients
    • Recommended by veterinarians
    Cons
    • Purina has had two past recalls
    • Contains artificial ingredients

    Recall History

    Although Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food products haven’t been recalled, Purina has issued voluntary recalls for a few of its other brands in the past. But since Purina pet food has been around since 1926, the limited number of recalls shows how much it values quality.

    The first recall was for Purina ONE Beyond in August 2013. A few of the 3.5-pound bags were recalled due to possible salmonella contamination, though only one bag was contaminated. Nestlé-Purina also recalled a few of the Beneful and Purina Pro Plan wet foods in March 2016. This was a precaution due to inadequate nutritional content in the formulas, which could affect dogs eating the meals for several weeks.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food Recipes

    As one of the most popular brands of dog food available, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct has several recipes for its lines of both wet and dry food. Here is an overview of three favorites among dog owners.

    1. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack Canned Dog Food

    Variety packs are ideal for stocking up on dog food without boring your dog with the same flavor for every meal. The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack contains two flavors — chicken and duck, and turkey and venison. It’s available in packs of six or 12 to suit multi-dog households. Made in the U.S.A., the formula is nutritionally balanced for adult dogs.

    Unlike dry food that can be stored for longer, canned food has a short shelf-life when opened and needs to be kept refrigerated. Some dog owners have also found that the cans that they ordered arrived damaged.

    Pros
    • Two flavors
    • Pack of six or 12
    • Nutritionally balanced for adult dogs
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Leftovers need to be kept refrigerated
    • Some cans arrive damaged

    2. Purina ONE Natural True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison High Protein Dry Dog Food

    Purina One Natural True Instinct with Real Turkey and Venison

    Formulated for adult dogs, the Purina ONE Natural True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison High Protein Dry Dog Food focuses on promoting heart, muscle, and joint health. The high protein content works to support active breeds of all sizes and combined with omega oils, boosts their coat health. Available in 15-, 27.5-, and 36-pound bags, it’s one of the more affordable kibble options available in the SmartBlend True Instinct line.

    This recipe does contain chicken and beef and might be unsuitable for dogs with allergies. Some owners have also mentioned that the bags were ripped open or the contents moldy.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • 15-, 27.5-, and 36-pound bags
    • Affordable
    • Promotes heart, muscle, and joint health
    • Contains omega oils
    Cons
    • Some bags arrive torn open or moldy
    • Contains chicken and beef

    3. Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Real Beef & Salmon Dry Dog Food

    Purina ONE Natural High Protein True Instinct with Real Beef & Salmon Dry Dog Food

    The Purina ONE Natural True Instinct Real Beef & Salmon Dry Dog Food is formulated to support the lifestyle and energy requirements of active dogs. Using the same careful mixture of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins as the other SmartBlend recipes, the high protein content of this recipe promotes heart and muscle health. Glucosamine is also added to further support your dog’s joint health.

    Made with real beef, the kibble is sold in 15- or 27.5-pound bags to suit dogs of all sizes. The larger bags are more expensive but do last longer in multi-dog households. If your dog is allergic to protein from beef or chicken, this recipe contains both and might not be the right choice.

    Pros
    • 15- or 27.5-pound bags
    • Made with real beef
    • High-protein formula to promote heart health
    • Glucosamine supports healthy joints
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Beef and chicken are potential allergens

    What Other Users Are Saying

    • Chewy — “I believe that Purina One pet food (dry and canned) is a good choice for my pets at an affordable price.”
    • Influenster — “When you open the bag you can smell the freshness.”
    • Amazon — If you want to hear what other dog owners think about Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food, Amazon reviews are a great place to start. Check some out here.

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    Conclusion

    Nestlé-Purina is one of the most well-known brands of dog food on the market. It has its own line of products and various child companies with their own lines. The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct dog food is one of the many formulas under the Purina ONE label and is tailored to support a healthy diet for adult dogs.

    Backed by over 90 years of experience, it’s one of the most easily accessible dog food brands for many pet owners due to Nestlé’s and Purina’s worldwide distribution. You can find it in your neighborhood supermarket or local pet store, which makes it a good choice for adding to your grocery list.

    With a rating of 4.5 stars, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instincts dog food is one of our favorite brands. We hope that this overview of the pros, cons, and recall history have helped you decide whether it’s the right brand for you.

    See Also: Purina One Lamb and Rice Dog Food Review

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