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According to the Purina website, Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food is “crafted with great care, attention to detail and inspiration from [the] executive chef”. The website suggests that this dog food formula, and the other flavors available, was designed with input from animal behaviorists and nutritional experts. If this were true, one might expect the resulting product to be of high-quality, made from nutritious ingredients with limited artificial fillers and additives. A quick review of the ingredients list for this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food, however, reveals that not only are there few high-quality ingredients but several questionable ingredients as well. Though this product is marketed in a way that suggests it is a high-quality dog food, evaluation of the ingredients list points toward the opposite conclusion. If you are looking for a high-quality source of nutrition for your pet, this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food may not be the right choice. Before you purchase this brand of dog food you would be wise to consider the ingredients used to make this dog food and how they impact the total nutritional value of the product.
Beef, soybean meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), brewers rice, soy protein concentrate, corn gluten meal, ground yellow corn, glycerin, poultry by-product meal, ground wheat, animal digest, pearled barley, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, salt, grilled sirloin steak flavor, dried green beans, dried potatoes, sulfur, Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, added color (Red 40, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6), niacin, wheat flour, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, Vitamin D-3 supplement, folic acid, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), biotin, sodium selenite.
Explanation of Top 5 Ingredients
The top 5 ingredients included in Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food are: beef, soybean meal, soy flour, animal fat, and brewer’s rice. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Beef – Beef is a fresh meat that adds to the protein content of this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food formula. One thing to be wary of with fresh meats like beef, however, is that they contain up to 80% water which means that, once the product is cooked, the weight will be much less than the original. As long as there are other high-quality sources of protein on the ingredients list, however, this is usually not a problem. Unfortunately, the only other animal-based protein source listed on the ingredients list for this product is poultry by-product meal. It is also important to note that beef is one of the top food allergens affecting dogs. If your dog is not allergic to beef, however, this may not be a problem.
Soybean Meal – Soybean meal is the byproduct of soybean oil production and it can be considered of moderate nutritional value. This product contains up to 48% protein, but it is important to note that plant-based proteins are less biologically valuable for your dog than animal-based proteins. You should also know that some dog food manufacturers use high-protein plant ingredients to boost the protein content of their products without adding more meat. The fact that this ingredient is listed second for this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food formula, along with the fact that there is only one whole source of protein listed, suggests that this may be the case.
Soy Flour – Soy flour is another byproduct of soybean processing and it too can only be considered a moderately valuable source of nutrition for your pet. Like soybean meal, soybean flour is high in protein but it is a plant-based source of protein so it is less biologically valuable for your dog than animal-based proteins. This ingredient can also be used to boost the protein content of dog food products without adding more meat.
Animal Fat – Fats are one of the most highly concentrated sources of energy for your dog so they play an important role in his diet. Animal fats are more biologically valuable for your dog than plant-based fats and they may be a high-quality ingredient as long as you know where they come from. Unfortunately, the fats in this recipe are not named (such as chicken fat or turkey fat) – the generic term “animal fat” could be used to describe a number of low-quality fats. These fats could come from anywhere including road kill, diseased cattle, spoiled supermarket meat, etc. For these reasons, the generic “animal fat” is not considered a high-quality ingredient.
Brewer’s Rice – Brewer’s rice is the byproduct of milling rice – it consists of the parts of the rice grains that are leftover when the healthy outer hulls are removed. Carbohydrates like this can only be considered moderately valuable for your pet because dogs only need a certain amount of dietary fiber in their diet. Aside from the dietary fiber and the calories it provides for energy, brewer’s rice provides relatively little nutritional value for your dog.
Other Notable Ingredients
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: soy protein concentrate, corn gluten meal, corn, poultry by-product meal, ground wheat, animal digest, wheat flour, artificial coloring, and menadione. Soy protein concentrate consists of the leftover material after the water-soluble carbohydrate has been removed from the soybean during processing. This product contains up to 80% protein but because it is derived from plant-based sources rather than animal-based sources it is less biologically valuable for your dog. Pet food manufacturers often use ingredients like this to boost the protein content of their products without actually adding more meat.
Another questionable ingredient included in this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food formula is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal consists of the rubbery residue that is leftover after the starchy carbohydrate has been removed from the kernels. This ingredient is another plant-based source of protein so it can be expected to provide less nutritional value for your dog than an animal-based source. Ground yellow corn is little more than an inexpensive filler ingredient, as is ground wheat and wheat flour. Both of these ingredients are common food allergens for dogs as well.
Poultry by-product meal is the dried, rendered product made from slaughterhouse waste. This product can include things like organs, undeveloped eggs, and beaks but it does not contain any real meat. The only good thing about this ingredient is that meat meals have up to 300% more protein than fresh meats, though they are lower in quality than named sources like chicken meal. Another questionable ingredient is animal digest – this is a mixture of animal by-products that is sprayed on the dried food to improve its taste for dogs. Artificial coloring is also added but it is designed to make the product more appealing to consumers, not dogs, which leaves you to wonder whether it is really necessary. The final questionable ingredient listed is menadione, a type of vitamin K. This ingredient has been linked to allergies, liver toxicity, and problems with red blood cell breakdown.
In addition to containing several questionable ingredients, this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food also lacks certain valuable ingredients. Probiotics, for example, are absent from the ingredients list. Probiotics help to support healthy gut flora which helps to support healthy digestion. It is also important to note that while this formula does contain mineral supplements, they are not chelated. Chelated minerals are those that have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are commonly found in low-quality dog foods.
Overall, this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food provides below-average nutritional value for your dog. While this product does have a whole source of animal protein listed first on the ingredients list, it is only one of two animal-based protein sources and it is a common food allergen. Within the first five ingredients on the list there are three plant-based ingredients which only provide your dog with moderate nutritional value, at best. There are also a number of questionable ingredients such as inexpensive fillers and low-quality supplements which may do more harm for your dog than good. Overall, this Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food is not recommended.
This Purina Chef Michael’s Dog Food receives a paw rating of 1 out of 5 stars. While this formula does contain beef as the first ingredient, it is the only whole source of animal protein listed. It is also important to note that this formula contains several by-products and inexpensive fillers which do not provide your dog with good nutritional value. If you are looking for a high-quality source of nutrition for your dog, you would do well to look elsewhere.