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Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Purina Pro Plan SPORT dog food a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

NOTE: There’s a large disparity in quality between the regular SPORT foods and their grain-free recipe, which would be rated much higher on its own. We will cover this in more detail below.


Even non-dog owners are familiar with the Purina brand. The company is over 100 years old, and it started out producing food for farm animals. In 1926, they started to make food for domestic animals as well, and ever since then, they’ve been one of the biggest pet companies in the world.

In 2001, they were acquired by Nestle, which merged them with their Friskies PetCare Company to create the second-largest pet food company in the world, trailing only Mars Petcare, the manufacturer of Pedigree and Whiskas.

Purina’s food is made in several plants in the United States, and they have factories in Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Missouri, and more.

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At a Glance: The Best Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Grain-Free Chicken) Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Grain-Free Chicken)
  • High in protein and good fat
  • No cheap ingredients
  • Uses cassava root flour instead of corn or wheat
  • Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Salmon) Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Salmon)
  • Filled with omega fatty acids
  • Just as much fat and protein as the grain-free option
  • Good for brain development
  • Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Active 27/17 (Chicken) Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Active 27/17 (Chicken)
  • Corn- and wheat-free
  • Lots of glucosamine inside
  • Has healthy foods like sweet potatoes and carrots
  • Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Beef) Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Beef)
  • Made with real beef
  • Supports metabolism and lean muscles
  • Supports joint health and mobility
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    Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food Reviewed

    Who makes Purina Pro Plan SPORT and Where is it Produced?

    Purina Pro Plan SPORT is made by Nestle Purina PetCare. The company makes a wide range of food and treats for dogs, cats, and other animals. Most of their food is made in the United States in one of the company’s many food-processing plants.

    Which Types of Dogs is Purina Pro Plan SPORT Best Suited For?

    As you might have guessed from the word “SPORT” in the title, this food is designed for active pups. It has quite a bit of protein to build lean muscles, but it’s also high in calories, so your dog will need to be a go-getter to keep the pounds off.

    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Any dog struggling with their weight will likely find this food too calorie-dense. That’s especially true given that the kibble is packed with filler grains like wheat and corn, which are full of empty calories.

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    Discussion of the Primary IngredientsDivider-Dog bone- New

    Calorie Breakdown:

    ** We’ve chosen Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line in this review **

    The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal, and that’s about as good of a start as you can have. The lean chicken is an excellent source of protein, while the chicken meal is packed with essential nutrients that aren’t found in lean cuts of meat.

    Next is cassava root flour. You may not be familiar with this ingredient, but it’s similar to tapioca. It’s a low-glycemic carbohydrate, and it will give your dog long-lasting energy without increasing their blood sugar too high. It’s a great alternative to flour made from wheat.

    Dried egg product is up next, and it gets a mixed review from us. On the one hand, it’s a great way to boost the fiber content in the food, but on the other, many dogs have problems processing eggs. If your dog can handle it, it shouldn’t affect them.

    Other ingredients we like include beef fat, fish oil, canola meal, and dried beet pulp, all of which provide essential vitamins and minerals (most notably omega fatty acids and fiber).

    Purina Pro Plan SPORT is Designed for Active Dogs

    Have you ever seen the diets that elite athletes like Olympic swimmers eat? You’ll be amazed at how many calories they put away, and for good reason: they need every bit of energy they can get to perform at their athletic peak.

    Now, if you eat like an Olympic swimmer but sit around watching TV all day, you’re going to have a problem. The same goes for your dog. If you want to feed your dog high-calorie food, be sure they get plenty of exercise to prevent weight gain.

    This Food is High in Protein and Fat

    Piggybacking off our previous point, this food is high in protein and fat, which is good if your dog is energetic. Fat and protein give your pup long-lasting, slow-burning energy, rather than the short bursts you’d get from a carb-heavy diet.

    Of course, if you don’t put that energy to use, it’ll just get stored in the belly.

    This is one of Purina’s Pricier Foods

    Most of Purina’s foods are budget-friendly, and they can afford to charge less because they pack their products with cheap ingredients like filler grains. Purina Pro Plan SPORT’s grain-free formula doesn’t include inexpensive fillers, and as a result, you’ll end up paying more for it than you might be accustomed to.

    If you’re looking for a compromise, the non-grain-free SPORT recipes are a bit cheaper. We feel it’s worth the extra few bucks to go grain-free.

    A Quick Look at Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food

    • High in protein and fat
    • Designed for active dogs
    • Packed with joint-healthy nutrients
    • Very high in calories
    • Too rich for sedentary animals
    • Non-grain-free recipes use inferior ingredients

    Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food Recall History

    Purina Pro Plan SPORT has never had any foods in its line recalled, but the Purina brand has dealt with two incidents in the past decade.

    In August 2013, the company recalled its Purina One Beyond line due to fears that the kibble had become infected with salmonella. Only one contaminated bag was found, and no injuries or deaths were reported.

    Three years later, they recalled their Beneful and Pro Plan wet foods due to concerns that they didn’t have the listed number of vitamins and minerals. The food wasn’t considered dangerous, and no animals were affected.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food Recipes

    There are several recipes in the SPORT line, each of which has different ingredients and nutrient levels. We picked three of the most popular and took an in-depth look at each:

    1. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Grain-Free Chicken) 

    Purina 17048 Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food

    This food is somewhat out of place in the SPORT line, and it stands out among nearly all of Purina’s foods. Unlike many of the other SPORT recipes, this one doesn’t use cheap ingredients like filler grains.

    Instead, it relies on cassava root flour to fill out the kibble and provide carbs. This flour is much healthier than whole wheat or corn meal, two common ingredients found in other Purina foods. Also, it’s packed with omega fatty acids and high in protein, which we love.

    If we had to complain about anything, it would be the relatively high amount of salt inside and the fact that many dogs have trouble digesting dried egg products. Beyond that, Purina Sport Formula Performance is an excellent food.

    • High in protein and good fat
    • No cheap ingredients
    • Uses cassava root flour instead of corn or wheat
    • More salt than we’d like
    • Some dogs will have issues with dried egg product

    2. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Performance 30/20 (Salmon)

    Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dry Dog Food

    While the salmon formula is an above-average kibble, it’s not in the same class as the grain-free option above. With ingredients like salmon, fish meal, and fish oil, your dog will get plenty of omega-fatty acids from this food. Also, there’s just as much fiber and fat as in the grain-free formula, so active dogs should get all the fuel they need.

    However, there are several ingredients that aren’t in the grain-free formula. You’ll find lots of corn, poultry by-product meal, and animal fat. There’s also less fiber and just as much salt.

    We wouldn’t have nearly as much of an issue with this food if they didn’t make the vastly superior grain-free option. It’s hard to imagine why they saw fit to put these two foods in the same product line.

    • Filled with omega fatty acids
    • Good for brain development
    • Just as much fat and protein as the grain-free option
    • Lots of disgusting ingredients
    • Packed with empty calories
    • Less fiber than the other food

    3. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Active 27/17 (Chicken)

    Purina Pro Plan Sport, Energy & Vitality Support, High Protein Dry Dog Food

    As you might expect from their chicken formula, the first ingredient is…turkey. This is just the start of the confusing issues we had with this food. That’s not to say it’s bad because it’s not. It ditches the corn and wheat for barley, which is a much healthier option. While it doesn’t have the same animal by-products as the salmon formula, they’re still there.

    The chicken flavor comes from chicken meal, which has many essential nutrients like glucosamine. They also add a bit of plant fiber, likely to compensate for the reduced amount of animal protein they use. This kibble still has less protein and fat than the two formulas above.

    There are a few other healthy foods mixed in, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. Again, it is a healthy recipe we can recommend; it’s just hard to figure out how it’s related to the other foods in the product line.

    • Corn- and wheat-free
    • Lots of glucosamine inside
    • Has healthy foods like sweet potatoes and carrots
    • Still uses questionable animal products
    • Less fat and protein than the foods above

    What Other Users Are Saying About Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dog Food

    • HerePup – “It promises real meat ingredients, veterinarian-recommended diets, and no artificial colors or flavors. Fortunately, it delivers on all these points, and more.”
    • Dog Food Guru — “Dogs who eat Pro Plan do very well.”
    • Chewy – As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.

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    Purina’s Pro Plan SPORT line is one of the more confusing product lines we’ve come across. The foods vary wildly in terms of quality, and it’s hard to give a blanket assessment as a result. Some of them (like the grain-free formula) are excellent, while others use far too many suspect ingredients for our liking.

    Under the circumstances, the best we can do is urge you to examine each recipe individually before buying. If you don’t see anything questionable in the ingredients list, you likely have excellent food on your hands. If the kibble’s full of corn and wheat, you have what is, at best, an above-average food.

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