Comparing Purina Pro vs. Purina ONE as the potential food for your pup, but aren’t sure what the differences are? We look at both types of food from Purina and walk through what’s different but what’s similar and what you can expect if you choose this food for your dog.
You’ll find that because Purina is the manufacturer, there are many similarities between each food. But at the core, the nutritional content is very different. You’ll find that each formula has different protein, fat, and caloric content, which is important when picking a food for your dog.
Many people have successfully transitioned their pups to grain-free food, which is important to think through because neither of these brands has a grain-free offering. You are better off sticking with other brands we’ve compared, like Acana vs. Orijen or Blue Buffalo and Nutro. With that being said, Purina has a very good reputation for dog food, and below we look at each so you can determine which is best.
At a Glance: Purina ONE vs. Purina Pro Plan
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Purina Brand History
Purina is currently owned by Nestle, and they are a huge global company headquartered in St Louis, Missouri. They produce multiple lines of pet food products, not just these two that we are comparing. The sprawling campus has 16 buildings over 50 acres which include a dedicated four-story research facility.
Founder William H. Danforth entered the farm animal feed business by founding the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company with other partners in 1894. 8 years later, the name of the company is changed to Ralston Purina, and soon after, they expand into the pet food arena after acquiring several smaller companies. They set their focus on researching and developing tasty pet food that is full of nutrition for animals.
Through the years, Purina created many firsts, including pet food made with a then-new technology called ‘extrusion’, which is now widely known as kibble, specific puppy formulas that address the specific needs of puppies. Products in the Purina ONE line use natural ingredients and were the first line of natural pet foods. In 1986 Purina developed ‘Pro Plan,’ which was the first dry food to use real meat as the number 1 ingredient. Purina also conducted a groundbreaking 14-year study to understand the dietary needs of dogs as they age, which lead to the creation of hypo-allergenic products.
The Purina ethos is simple and unchanged, ‘responsibly sourced, expertly prepared and nutritionally essential.’ They list every single ingredient that is put into all of their pet food recipes and explain exactly why they include it.
|Purina Pro||Purina One|
|Well balanced||Great value
|Large flavor selection||Limited choice of flavors|
|Science backed recipes||Higher fat content than needed|
|Uses meat by-products||Uses meat by-products|
Nutritional Value Comparison
The food choices we make for our pooches dictate what nutrients, vitamins, and minerals their bodies get and, ultimately, what state their health is. There is a common misconception that dogs need only meat and protein to get what they need because that’s all a wild dog would eat. Whilst domesticated dogs are loosely related to wolves in their DNA, their digestive system and metabolism have adapted through the years. Therefore, they require a wider range of ingredients and nutrition in order to be at their healthiest, which is where kibbles come in.
The table below compares the average nutritional components of Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan’s size-specific most popular food:
The three major components of food products that are measured as nutritional content are protein, fat, and fiber. These are the most important for a healthy balanced diet for good reason, so let’s just recap their importance in your pup’s diet.
In this category, it is evenly matched across the board with a good amount of protein in each, all above the industry-recommended standard. The only difference is the Purina Pro Plan small breed kibble adds a tad more protein by only 1%. Both list real meat as the first ingredient, but the second is a meat by-product for both brands. With that being said, Purina Pro is one of our favorite foods for smaller breeds like the Yorkie or the Shih-Tzu, due to that added protein.
Meat by-products are somewhat controversial as a food source, made from grinding rendered parts of poultry carcasses, and can contain beaks, bones, and offal. Whilst not necessarily harmful for your pet, they are not the purest of ingredients, and there is a growing number of pet owners that object to these by-products being present in dog food. They are often used to boost the protein content within. However, all the above products are highly rated online, having produced good results for their pups, so don’t let this put you off them.
Protein supplies our pups with amino acids, and these are critical for energy, cellular regeneration, muscle production and repair, and healthy hair, skin, and ligaments. The required amount of protein must be provided through their regular feeding routine as they cannot produce these naturally. This is the reason why poor-quality food can lead to the deterioration of your pooch’s health, simply because nutritional deficiencies cause an abundance of health problems.
This component is also evenly matched in each size-specific food. It is no surprise that both Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan have similar nutritional breakdowns for their size-specific recipes, as their research into what constitutes a healthy balance for your pooch has led them to these well-matched numbers.
Fat is an essential part of all dogs’ diets as it delivers a host of benefits, such as a strong body and healthy blood pressure, enables the delivery of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as adding a punch to the taste.
The advised protein-to-fat ratio and is advised at 2:1. So the ratio in this food is somewhat on the higher side of the AAFCO guidelines. Your pup’s metabolism needs to gain the nutrients from the protein before heading to the fat for extra energy, and food with too much fat will mean your dog will absorb more energy from the fat and fewer nutrients from the protein leading to them gaining weight, so this could be a concern for inactive pooches.
Again, across the board, there is only a 1% difference on the medium-sized products for fiber, so there is no clear winner here either.
Fiber is an essential ingredient to aid digestion and keep your pooch’s stools firm and their bowel movements regular. A lack of fiber in his diet can lead to constipation and sometimes problems with their anal glands, so your vet may recommend foods like these to help clear it up. Fiber also aids in the absorption of nutrients whilst the food is in the gut, so it is an all-around essential part of a healthy diet. The levels in these products are well within industry-recommended standards.
When it comes to nutritional content, Purina Pro is the winner here. This food line has better nutrient values and a wide variety of formulas for your pup. If you can handle the increase in cost, your dog’s health may thank you for it later in life.
As dog owners, there has come a time in most of our lives when our pooches have turned their noses up at their food. Well, like humans, dogs can sometimes become bored with the same food for every meal of every day. Luckily most foods come in a variety of flavors, and whilst the ingredients will be slightly different, you can transition him slowly to offer him a variety of flavors if he becomes bored with his food.
Purina ONE’s standard flavor is Chicken, peas, and corn, and the alternatives are Lamb and rice or Chicken and rice. Their dietary-specific kibbles for puppies, seniors, and sensitive dogs offer a Salmon and rice flavor or Salmon and Tuna with added peas and carrots.
The standard flavor of Purina Pro Plan’s range is Chicken, rice, and corn, but there are also other flavors for sensitive pooches, puppies, and seniors, such as Lamb and rice, Salmon and rice, and Chicken and egg recipes.
Having a wide variety of flavors can make a difference, and some flavors are specifically designed to resolve issues like bad breath.
Purina Pro has a better flavor lineup. They have multiple flavors that will allow you to test different options for your dog so they can find the perfect food. Again, there’s a cost component here, but there are more options with the Pro food line, so we have to give them the win in this category.
The battle between what is affordable and what is high quality still rages on with most owners. There have been many reports or studies that have found that certain brands exaggerate or even purposely mislead consumers claiming to have the next best recipe, the best proteins, and sometimes containing miraculous healing ingredients.
So, the question is, what brand should we trust, and how do we know if we are buying the right food for the right price? Both Purina ranges meet the required standards set by AAFCO, but are they good value for money?
On a pound-for-pound comparison, it is a mixed bag with some kibbles coming out cheaper for Purina ONE and others cheaper for Purina Pro Plan. Across the board, it appears to be very similar in cost per calorie too. There is a slight anomaly with the Purina ONE small breed kibble, but I believe this is because it is only offered in a small 6lb bag rather than a 30lb+. Usually, the bigger the bag, the better the price, so if you are a small breed owner and like to buy in bulk, Pro Plan might be a better option for you.
Purina ONE wins in the cost category. They are lower-cost dog food and don’t have as many high-quality ingredients as the Pro Plan formulas. If budget is your primary concern, Purina ONE is a great option compared to other lower-cost brands like Pedigree or Iams.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main difference between Purina’s product lines?
Essentially, not a lot. They both provide various recipes for life stages and health requirements, and they both produce good quality products that have been popular with pet owners for many years. The only real difference is that Purina Pro Plan has a larger range of health-specific recipes.
Which product line is the tastiest?
Now, this is a tough one. Both are very highly recommended by Purina. According to the reviews, dogs love both just as much, so the simple answer is that it’s really budget-dependent.
Which product line is a better value?
All Purina kibbles are made with science research-backed recipes, they both offer very good value for money, and as our cost comparison shows, they also draw on the price.
Both foods within this brand have an incredible reputation. They are still firm favorites for pet owners across the globe. Their caliber and dedication to research and expanding their range of products for all pets are clear to see.
Not only are the recipes tasty for your pooch, but they are also well-balanced. Like American Journey, they are great value for the money. This comparison is probably the closest you will see between two product lines, but that is no surprise given that they are produced by the same company and their scientists, so all in all, there is no clear winner.
If we had to choose one line, then Purina Pro Plan has the largest range offering, so we would crown them on that basis. However, whichever brand you decide on, you can be sure that both you and your pooch would be happy with their kibbles.
April 23, 2023 at 12:27 pm
The internet rumor that byproducts are somehow bad is unfounded. Those random parts have nutritional value too. Raw feeders (and let's be honest--that's the ONLY ideal diet for your dog) seek out those types of components for their nutritional value.
I also don't agree that dogs are only loosely related to wolves. Their DNA is 99% identical. That's hardly a weak relationship. Dogs can be cured of diabetes (or at least given significantly less insulin) by putting them on a raw diet with no carbs. They are carnivores--everything about their teeth and GI tract supports this. Yes, they can and will eat carbs, along with everything else (socks, paper...) if given the opportunity. That doesn't mean it's good for them.
At the same time, "grain-free" dog food isn't the same as raw. It just isn't.
April 8, 2023 at 12:03 pm
I'm curious as to how you obtained the prices per lb for the food. I can't find anyone within 50¢ of these alleged rates. Generally they are closer to $2 a lb, not $1 and some change.
April 10, 2023 at 11:45 am
That table was from when this article was first written, before the pandemic and resulting inflation. We removed the table but yes, it is closer to $2 per pound, as you mentioned. Thanks for letting us know so we could make this update. Take care.
April 7, 2023 at 1:28 pm
I have been feeding my 4 dogs Purina smart blend lamb and rice since birth. I have noticed in the last 3-4 months, they have had serious issues with gas and it’s horrible smelling. I have eliminated all other possibilities and therefore it has to be the dog food. Any idea why this is happening? It’s truly nauseating.
April 3, 2023 at 12:03 pm
Since we got our 3 dogs, I started all of them on PPP Lamb & Rice Puppy. I changed them over when adult to PPP Lamb & Rice Shredded for small breed, but that went out of stock due to production problems 😡.
That was gone for some time so I switched to PPP L&R adult. They did not like it. Then the shredded small breed came back. I bought 1 34lb bag, then it went out of stock AGAIN. I am so tired of having to transition them. Now they're finishing a bag of PPP L&Oatmeal. This causes them gas and bad breath. When that is gone I'm starting them on Purina One Lamb & Rice Blended for small adults.
I SURE HOPE IT IMPROVES THEIR HABITS AND CALM MY NERVES ABOUT THIS.
Having to change their food all the time is not fun. I think Purina could do better.
I wish you didn't have a problem with the PPP L&R Shredded for Small Breed.
They loved this.
March 27, 2023 at 9:15 am
This information was extremely useful. Thanks. Diane and pugsley
March 2, 2023 at 7:39 am
Good article. One thing though, Purina (or more specifically, Robinson-Danforth Commission Company) was founded in 1894 not 1984.
March 2, 2023 at 3:16 pm
Dave, you are correct. Thanks for flagging this mistake with the #'s switched. We updated the info to match the founding year.
November 6, 2022 at 11:04 pm
Based on your analysis of the cost/Kcal it seems there is no cost saving in using Purina One over Pro Plan. Using Purina One you have to provide more food. Correct?
November 7, 2022 at 12:14 pm
Jan it depends on where you buy and what size bag, however with either line typically getting larger quantities is more cost savings.
August 30, 2022 at 12:26 pm
Incredibly helpful comparison between Purina Pro Plan and Purina One. TY
July 16, 2022 at 7:34 pm
Thank you for the information between pro plan and Purina one.I am using science diet and my dog will not eat it very well so I am going to switch to pro plan thank you also do you make treats that is good for your dog containing maybe like pro plan info would be greatly appreciated
May 24, 2022 at 11:56 am
I find it very annoying that you make a "negative comment" about Pro Plan not having any grain free options. I hope you understand the foods that you listed as grain-free options have some of the highest food related DCO percentages (Acana vs. Orijen, or Blue Buffalo and Nutro).
April 16, 2022 at 10:38 am
Pro Plan and One both do have grain-free options now and, while correlation specifically between DA-DCM has not been expressly hashed out as of yet, this brand's GF choices would be far safer options than Acana, Orijen, Blue Buffalo, etc. due to the qualifications of the formulators and degree of research behind the products.
April 15, 2022 at 9:38 pm
I have a new Lab puppy who was started on Pro Plan. Are they close enough in content to change back & forth and not cause her GI upset?
April 18, 2022 at 12:03 pm
You should talk through this with your vet.
March 4, 2022 at 4:54 pm
If you have a small breed dog or loveable mutt please stay away from grain free!!! Two different vets and a cardiologist told me that studies are showing that it leads to a heart disease. We, as humans, are trying to place our dogs on diets similar to ours. This is not smart. They are not human!!! They should not be on a diet similar to ours in any way. The fact that most dogs get diarrhea when they eat human food should be the huge clue!!!
February 8, 2022 at 12:58 pm
Curious why no breakdown beyond big 3? Was curious about various vitamins, omega oils and such.
I do note that in one paragraph the content switches without explanation or intuitive connection: “…amount of PROTEIN must be provided through their regular feeding routine as they cannot produce these naturally. This is the reason why poor-quality food can lead to the deterioration of your pooch’s health, simply because VITAMIN deficiencies cause an abundance of health problems…”
No big deal but not very helpful to the investigations I was making.
January 27, 2022 at 11:08 am
My almost 1 year old, large breed puppy, has been on Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice since day one.
2 months ago, she refused to eat it (after I just bought a new bag). I add wet food to it and she’ll eat it.
We went out of town and I forgot her food. I purchased a bag of Purina One lamb and rice at the grocery store and she loves it. It looks the same to me. I’d rather she eat Pro Plan. Can you tell me why she prefers this one? Is there something different between the two?
January 17, 2022 at 6:37 pm
If I'm reading correctly it looks like there are more calories per cup in the Purina Pro, yet another place says that Purina One has a higher fat content than needed. I guess I equate fat to calories. So, this seems a little disjointed. What am I missing here? I've always given our labs Purina One, but I'm thinking I'd like to switch to Purina Pro, but concerned about possible extra calories in it vs. Purina One?
January 24, 2022 at 12:31 pm
Hi Sue, your best bet is likely to reach out to Purina and discuss which would be a better choice for your dog. Since the company sells both of the brands you are considering, there should be no bias to recommend one vs the other. Another option would be to ask your vet, but we bet the company would know more current details about each of these product lines.
January 9, 2022 at 3:28 pm
Does purina pro plan have corn in it?
January 10, 2022 at 2:54 pm
The grain-free recipes do not include corn. The others may so be sure to read the ingredient list to check.
January 2, 2022 at 10:56 am
Why didn’t you talk about he calories when doing the comparison of the two?
January 3, 2022 at 1:13 pm
We cover as much as we can but since this data point can be found easily on the package and retailer sites where it is sold, we focus on the less data-driven elements of the foods.
November 20, 2021 at 8:14 am
I'm trying to find out if there are any differences between Purina pro plan savor soft and Purina pro plan complete essentials soft. I have been feeding my 11 yr old 8lb llapsopoo the same for years but it seems to be getting harder and harder to get the same cans of food all the time.
( Savor vs. Complete essentials) he eats a combination of purina dry and wet food mix.
October 28, 2021 at 7:55 pm
Hi there! I rescued an Old English Sheepdog two years ago (he was 3), and although I’ve tried various “high end” foods, his original owners had him on fairly generic stuff and it just didn’t agree with him. I’m had him on Purina One ever since, and other than soft stools, it seems to be working well. It would be nice to see him more “solid”, but I’m afraid that a richer food (Pro Plan) might take him in the other direction. Thoughts?
October 2, 2021 at 1:07 pm
Very helpful article! I have a 5 year old Great Dane who tends to be a picky eater. Any recommendations between Purina One or Pro Plan?
October 4, 2021 at 9:54 am
Your Great Dane sounds like they're living the life with a wonderful pet parent like you! It's always best to consult with your vet about your dog's diet. At a glance (and knowing very little about your dog), I'd recommend considering Purina Pro over Purina Once because it has more flavor selections, so you may be able to find an option that your dog likes more easily. Purina One has a higher fat content than what's needed for most dogs, so this could impact your dog's health negatively (something to discuss with your vet). Purina One is less expensive than Purina Pro, most likely because the Pro formula uses higher quality ingredients than the One formula. Both are excellent options, it just depends on what your dog's needs and your preferences are.
September 25, 2021 at 10:12 am
Very helpful. Due to serious health issues, I almost had to put my 8-year-old Lab down. I learned I could have a blood test done for allergies and thankfully did that. She is allergic to 38 different things--many of them are in the highly specialized dog foods I was using to try get her healthy. I started making her food myself and she immediately improved. I have 5 other large dogs and I needed a good food for them. After trial and error, I have settled on Purina Pro Plan and look forward to seeing the results. I wanted to know the difference between the Pro and One. Now I do and feel good about my choice. Thank you for great information.
Apiffany Gaither Billings
September 26, 2021 at 9:15 pm
We are happy to hear that you found the article helpful and found a good choice for your dogs. Good luck and please keep us updated!
September 12, 2021 at 11:23 am
Thank you for this article. I have two yorkies 10, 8 with very sensitive stomachs. One yorkie is on a prescription food from the Vet and I had a hard time finding what worked for my 8 year old. Finally PURINA PRO plan 7+ canned chicken and rice, And Pro Plan kibble for sensitive skin and stomach works absolutely perfect!! She had loose stools for months and this corrected every issue she had. And they both LOVE the kibble and are doing great!
August 6, 2021 at 9:46 pm
If you have adopted a mutt and you don’t know the parentage how do choose between large and small breed? I do know the mom is currently 35 lbs. my puppy’s paws a are little on the large size and has the coloring of a black lab. Any ideas?
August 9, 2021 at 6:19 pm
Hi Sandra! 35 pounds would be a medium-sized dog. Medium-sized pups are good to eat an "all-around" formula for adult dogs, and you can just feed your pup by their weight. Good luck!
Janice D McCollam
June 30, 2021 at 1:52 pm
Hi, thank you for this article. It is very helpful. I am a fan of Purina and have fed a few different products from them, Pro Plan, Purina One, and Purina Beyond. While I like all 3, I'm going to stick with Purina One because of the availability of the food and also the price point.
My dogs love it, too. You can literally find Purina One anywhere. Whereas the other two can only be found at a pet store or online.
July 1, 2021 at 2:16 am
Hi Janice! Thanks for stopping by to comment, and we appreciate you sharing your experience with the brands! We agree, Purina One is great!
June 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Thank you for your analysis. I have a 3 month old golden retriever puppy who is on Purina One Large Breed Puppy food and doing great. He loves the food and jumps up and down in joy when he is getting ready to eat from his bowl! Lol.
June 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm
Thanks for sharing your experience with the brand, Lorri!
June 6, 2021 at 11:35 am
My breeder suggested Purina One for my dog from day one. I decided to look into what I believed was a better quality dog food thinking Purina was low quality. After switching my female Golden-doodle to a more expensive posh dog food she became itchy and not interested in eating.
Most recently my dog had a bout of gastroenteritis and after nursing her back to health on a bland diet of chicken and rice I went back to Purina One. She’s excited about eating, more energetic, less itchy, and has very regular bowel movements! I’m sold on Purina One!
June 7, 2021 at 5:13 pm
Thanks for the comment and for sharing your experience, Jackie!
April 17, 2021 at 2:22 pm
Please consider changing this content. Grain free is not a recommended diet. Veterinary research shows there is a link to heart problems and grain free foods. The only pets that should be on a grain free diet are those that have been shown to have a grain allergy diagnosed by a veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist.
April 17, 2021 at 2:35 pm
Hi Ali! Thanks for stopping by to comment. Actually, the study you are referring to was done in 2018 and 2019. A study done later in 2020 shows no link between the two. Many dogs (including one of our own) does well on a grain-free diet because she has a sensitive stomach. Here's a link to the less publicized FDA study later in 2020 that counters their original study.
Of course, this was less publicized because there's no shock value, but it's worth reading. With that being said, dog diets are a personal choice, and every dog is different. I appreciate you sharing your opinion and thanks for stopping by the site!
March 27, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Ive always been a fan of Purina. I have watched as all the high end brands roll out in over the years. My first dog I had from 1970 until 1987 and I believe he was fed Purina Dog Chow his whole life. I was a kid so it wasn’t my decision at the time. He was a GSD and always healthy. Now I feed my dogs Purina one Turkey and Venison. Both are very healthy at 10 years old and I don’t think I will switch. I do vary the flavors although they definitely prefer the mentioned one.
March 28, 2021 at 3:21 pm
Hi Tom! Thanks for stopping by to comment! We appreciate your insights and experiences with the brand. We've had good success with Purina Pro as well.
February 26, 2021 at 4:00 am
Great article! There are so many options to choose from and this sifted through the information quite nicely.
February 26, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Glad it helped you, Kathy! Appreciate you stopping by to comment!
October 28, 2020 at 12:03 am
As I love all my dogs I have fed most of them Purina one as I've learned of it. I have heard Purina Pro plan was better, yet my last three dogs have had very long lives on Purina One.
My cattle dog made over 17, my present ole girl just turned 18, am my dear lab was 19 years 7 months when she passed. That has to say something for Purina One. And Purina foods in general. My present puppy a golden retriever will also be eating Purina.
October 29, 2020 at 3:36 am
Thanks for stopping by and sharing James! We love Purina Pro, our Mastiffs eat the giant breed formula. Glad you've had success with Purina One!