The Good: Mitzie liked it, Very nutritious, Some dental benefits
The Bad: Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Mitzie enjoyed the Purina Pro Plan Natural Lamb & Rice Shredded Blend as an occasional treat, even when her owners found it cost-prohibitive for daily feedings!
As many of my loyal readers know, my wife's beloved geriatric cocker spaniel, Mitzie, died back in February. It was a pretty crushing blow for my wife; she had Mitzie for fifteen years, which is pretty significant for a woman who wasn't quite twenty-three when Mitzie died. Mitzie had a surprisingly good life, despite us not being by any means rich. On our thrifty budget, one of my wife's tactics to keep our animals happy was to get freebies from various pet companies (she was a pet product reviewer for awhile!). One of the pouches that she got for Mitzie's enjoyment was Purina Pro Plan Natural Lamb & Rice Shredded Blend. While my wife has been working on training our new dog, a vibrant Siberian Husky, Myah, I have been slowly cleaning out what Mitzie left behind and making sure that the last of Mitzie's opinions are recorded (she was a wonderfully opinionated cocker spaniel!).
Mitzie, being a dog who was frequently subjected to culinary creations as a taste tester, was an ideal tester because she always had a full bowl of food she liked, so she wasn't easily seduced simply by something smelling new to her. By the time she came to live with me, she was a surprisingly discriminating dog, though one of the last days of her life we snapped a picture of her standing in a pizza box eating the last greasy bits of cheese off the cardboard. Mitzie's reaction to the Purina Pro Plan Natural Lamb & Rice Shredded Blend was not neutral, but it was not one of a strong preference. Mitzie had had the Chicken & Rice Shredded Blend (reviewed here!) and when we put the two side-by-side, she went for the Chicken before the lamb every time. That said, she did enjoy the Lamb & Rice and she would eat it over her regular food.
Purina Pro Plan Natural Lamb & Rice Shredded Blend is a dog food formulated for adult dogs and the serving sizes on the package vary from dogs three to twelve pounds up to dogs over a hundred pounds. Mitzie's serving size was 2 1/4 - 3 cups, which is very expensive when one considers that the thirty-five pound bag has perhaps a month worth of servings at that rate. This is a comparatively expensive Purina dog food and is designed more to be an alternative to Science Diet than, for example, Old Roy. For a mid to high end dog food, this is very good.
The Natural Lamb & Rice Shredded Blend food comes with two types of pieces in each bag, mixed about evenly. There are the triangular hard bits, which are about 5/8" on each side and 3/16" thick. These hard, molded pieces are uniform and are excellent for the dog's dental health. Because they are crunchy, they help scrape plaque and tartar off the dog's teeth, helping to freshen the canine's breath. Mitzie's teeth were kept in perfect health from treats and foods like this one. The nicely molded firm pieces were always the second choice for Mitzie, though.
The other component to the Pro Plan food is the blobs of softer, shredded meat. This is what Mitzie went for first, picking around the solid formed pieces to eat up as much as possible. The blobs are soft, lighter colored chunks that are best analogized to dried tuna. The flaky, wadded meat is dry, but soft. This does not seem to promote dental health in dogs, but does seem to stimulate their tastebuds! Myah went for the soft when we gave her the few lingering pieces of this food we had saved, so clearly the shredded portion is the taste winner for dogs.
Despite the expense, it is easy to see why dog lovers would want to feed their dogs this. First, it does not smell bad at all. Usually, when I open a bag of dog food, I have to keep myself from gagging. But the Purina Pro Blend Lamb & Rice has a surprisingly neutral scent to it, which is a nice touch and transfers to the dog. Mitzie's breath was never bad after eating this particular dog food. Second, this is a pretty nutritious dog food. The guaranteed analysis of it indicates that it has a minimum of 26% crude protein and 16% crude fat, but no more than 3% crude fiber and 12% moisture. With 1% calcium, this is a decent dog food for bone and joint health for adult dogs.
As well, those who are concerned about what goes into their pets will be pleased by how close to natural this dog food is. The main ingredients are lamb, brewers rice and corn gluten meal. While the last half of the ingredient list is a chemistry riddle I can barely read, the primary ingredients are all recognizable and several are even human friendly! My point is that Purina Pro Blend Lamb & Rice dog food is one of the healthier alternatives for dogs and it is backed by a guarantee.
In the end, Purina Pro Blend Lamb & Rice is a nice treat and with the expense of it, I would recommend using it as a food supplement - mixing it in with your dog's less expensive food over the course of, say, a year - as opposed to a regular dog food. Doing so doesn't indicate you love your dog less, it indicates you are realistic about what is affordable and healthy for your dog, just like you are for you. That said, both Mitzie and Myah have enjoyed the limited doses they were exposed to and I suspect there are few dogs who would not thrill to this food.
For other dog foods or snacks, please visit my reviews (with Mitzie's help!) of:
Puppy Kong Stuff'n
Bacon Booda Bones
For other dog products, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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