Pure Pet Food - Dog Food Review

Pure Pet Food - Dog Food Review

Pure Pet food logo

Pure Pet Food is a UK company based in Yorkshire. They offer a subscription-based service, delivering food that is tailor-made to your dog's needs. They pride themselves on producing air-dried food with all-natural, human-grade ingredients with an emphasis on health and wellbeing for your canine friend.

There are also a number of food toppers, mixers, and treats available to buy separately. Whilst the company currently focuses mainly on dogs, there are two complete diets aimed at our feline companions as well. However, the option to tailor the food to individual cats is currently not available.

Today we'll be looking at Pure's dog food service. The diet appears to get good reviews on the flavour front, but how does it measure up nutritionally? In this article, we will look closely at this fresh dog food company and see if they live up to their claims.

Pure Pet Food: Who Makes It?

Pure Pet Food was founded in 2013 by two friends, Mathew Cockroft and Daniel Valdur Eha. Whilst neither founder has a background in nutrition or veterinary medicine, the company has expanded and now employs around 10 people. They aim to create the healthiest convenience food on the market using only fresh ingredients.

Pure Pet Food's recipes are created and checked by their 'pet advisory panel', which includes nutritionists, veterinary surgeons, and clinical animal behaviourists. Whilst none of this team is board-certified or has a PhD (as recommended by the WSAVA), the two nutritionists appear to have plenty of experience, with one working in pet food regulation here, in the EU, and across the pond in the US!

Food Safety & Quality Control

Pure Pet Food is conscientious about the ingredients they use. Their website states that they only use human-grade ingredients, but it's important to understand that this can be a misleading phrase — all pet food manufactured in the UK uses meat that is fit for human consumption. However, they do use meat from higher-welfare farms. Additionally, they also buy exclusively from GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) suppliers, although it's worth understanding that this is a basic certification that doesn't provide any information about the welfare of farmed animals.

Pure Pet Food only use meat from higher-welfare farms (no battery farming or single cages) in the UK and Europe, and all their ingredients are fully traceable.

Pure Pet Food's ingredients are thoroughly tested by third-party labs for bacterial and fungal contamination before they reach their production plant. Once there, they have strict measures in place to ensure food safety. Lastly, they test some finished diets every month to check there's no food-bourne bacteria present (particularly Salmonella and E.coli) to reduce the risk of your pooch getting ill from their food, or passing these nasty bacteria to your family. Since bacterial contamination is one of the major risks of raw food, this regular testing is important to help feed raw and lightly-cooked food safely. The testing is done by an external lab that specialises in pet food. The lab also checks the nutritional content to make sure that it's still complete and balanced.

Air-Dried Food: What's In It?

Pure Pet Food is a lightly-processed, natural pet food that claims to have many nutritional benefits. The diet is classified as a fresh, cooked food rather than a raw diet. The food is made using a unique air-drying process that involves passing hot air over food at a temperature between 40ºC and 80ºC. It is thought this preserves more nutrients. This acts as a natural form of preservation and dehydrates the food into a powder form. The process of air-drying gently cooks the food to reduce the bacterial load of meat. The diet contains no artificial additives or ingredients.

Pure Pet Food, as supplied for Labrador Lewis.
Pure Pet Food, as supplied for Labrador Lewis.
The supplied measuring cups make it quick and easy to correctly rehydrate the food at home.
The supplied measuring cups make it quick and easy to correctly rehydrate the food at home.
at www.purepetfood.com

The food is delivered in powder form and is reconstituted with water before serving to your dog. Once reconstituted, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

The food is tailor-made to the needs of your dog. Pet parents complete a simple questionnaire detailing the age, breed, and weight of their dog and this provides a variety of personalised recipes from which to choose.

Protein

Pure Pet Food is available in five flavour options, each with a different protein source: Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Beef, or Salmon. All of these are good-quality protein sources, which means they contain most (or all!) of the amino acids that are essential for dogs. The addition of organ meat such as liver brings essential nutrients including iron, and Vitamins A, B6, and B12.

Ingredients: Beef (24%), Beef Liver (5%), Brown Rice, Potato, Peas, Coconut, Carrot, Linseed, Minerals, Vegetable Stock, Apple, Cabbage, Prebiotic Chicory Extract (0.1%), Omega 3 from algae (0.5%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Marigold Extract.

Gauranteed Analysis: Protein 10%, Fat 4.1%, Crude Fibre 0.7%, Ash 3%, Moisture 63%.

Dry Matter Basis:

Protein 27%
Fat 11%
Fibre 2%
Ash 8.1%
Carbohydrate 51.9%

Ingredients: Chicken (26%), Brown Rice, Potato, Peas, Chicken Liver (5%), Carrot, Minerals, Apple, Linseed, Chicken Stock, Cabbage, Prebiotic Chicory Extract (0.1%), Omega 3 from algae (0.5%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Marigold Extract.

Gauranteed Analysis: Protein 9%, Fat 5.2%, Crude Fibre 0.7%, Ash 2.6%, Moisture 63%.

Dry Matter Basis:

Protein 24.5%
Fat 14%
Fibre 2%
Ash 7%
Carbohydrate 52.5%

Ingredients: Salmon (24%), Brown Rice, Potato, Peas, Coconut, Carrot, Linseed, Minerals, Vegetable Stock, Apple, Cabbage, Prebiotic Chicory Extract (0.1%), Omega 3 from algae (0.5%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Marigold Extract.

Gauranteed Analysis: Protein 8.9%, Fat 3.7%, Crude Fibre 0.9%, Ash 3.2%, Moisture 63%.

Dry Matter Basis:

Protein 24%
Fat 10%
Fibre 2.5%
Ash 8.7%
Carbohydrate 54.8%

Ingredients: Turkey (22%), Brown Rice, Potato, Peas, Sweet Potato, Beef Liver (5%), Carrot, Minerals, Vegetable Stock, Apple, Linseed, Cabbage, Prebiotic Chicory Extract (0.1%), Omega 3 from algae (0.5%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Marigold Extract.

Gauranteed Analysis: Protein 8.1%, Fat 4.4%, Crude Fibre 0.7%, Ash 2.6%, Moisture 63%.

Dry Matter Basis:

Protein 22%
Fat 12%
Fibre 2%
Ash 7%
Carbohydrate 57%

Ingredients: Duck (26%), Potato, Brown Rice, Peas, Beef Liver (5%), Carrot, Minerals, Vegetable Stock, Apple, Linseed, Cabbage, Prebiotic Chicory Extract (0.1%), Omega 3 from algae (0.5%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Marigold Extract.

Gauranteed Analysis: Protein 8.5%, Fat 5.5%, Crude Fibre 0.7%, Ash 3%, Moisture 63%.

Dry Matter Basis:

Protein 23%
Fat 15%
Fibre 2%
Ash 8.2%
Carbohydrate 51.8%

Only the chicken and beef options are single-protein diets, the others contain beef liver. This is important if you are considering a food trial with a single protein source due to food allergies, especially as beef is one of the most common food allergies in dogs.

All of the diets for adult dogs have between 22% and 28% protein on a dry-matter basis, with the grain-free diets being higher in protein. Your dog's recommendations will vary depending on their lifestage, with puppies getting diets with a higher protein content.

Fat

The fat content of Pure Pet Food varies depending on the recipe, but sits at 10-15% on a dry-matter basis. The diets are formulated with linseed and coconut, which provide natural plant-based fats. These are a good source of essential fatty acids and act as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins in the gut. It also enhances the palatability of the food and ensures adequate caloric density.

The food is quick to prepare, and - we're sure Lewis will agree - delicious!
The food is quick to prepare, and - we're sure Lewis will agree - delicious!

As one might expect, the salmon and turkey recipes have a lower fat content, at around 10-12%. Although this is within the recommended range, it's too high for certain illnesses that require a low-fat diet, such as pancreatitis.

Carbohydrates

Most of the Pure Pet Food recipes contain brown rice, potato, sweet potato, and other vegetables as a carbohydrate source. The food can be formulated without rice for dogs with grain allergies. These recipes have a higher meat content and carbohydrates are gained from additional potato, pea protein, and vegetables. However, grain allergies - especially to rice - are very rare in dogs, and diets with high amounts of peas and other legumes have been implicated in the outbreak of food-related heart disease. Therefore, it may be best to avoid these grain-free options unless your dog has a rice allergy diagnosed by an internal medicine specialist or a dermatologist.

Fruit and Vegetables

Most formulations of Pure Pet Food contain a mixture of potato, sweet potato, peas, carrot, cabbage, and apple. The air-drying process aims to ensure maximum nutritional benefit from these ingredients. Despite the fruit and vegetable content of these diets, the fibre content is relatively low at 2-2.5%, which is fairly low for dog food. Whilst this isn't necessarily a problem, it might be too low for dogs with fibre-responsive diarrhoea or problems with their anal glands.

Other Ingredients

As one would expect, the ingredient list of Pure Pet Food is relatively short being free from additives, artificial colours, and flavourings. This re-enforces the company's goal to use only fresh, whole foods. The diets contain Omega-3 sourced from algae; this plays multiple essential roles in the body, including supporting joint health and maintaining healthy skin and fur.

Most of the diets contain chondroitin and glucosamine to help support joint health, and chicory root as a prebiotic to promote good bacteria in your dog's gut. The company also uses marigold extract for immune support, although there is limited scientific evidence for this benefit.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are also listed, which are essential nutrients for our canine companions and help to ensure the diet is complete and balanced despite its limited ingredients.

at www.purepetfood.com

Environmental Impact

Pure Pet Food comes in 100% recyclable packaging, and the company even offers to take back used pouches for recycling if they cannot be recycled at home. Whilst recycling is commendable, the packaging is not plastic-free nor is it made from recycled materials initially, so there's still room to improve!

Pure Pet Food is shipped in a dehydrated format, which reduces the size of the product and removes the need for refrigeration. This dramatically reduces its carbon footprint compared to diets that are shipped with higher water content.

Most of the diets include plant-based Omega-3 supplements, which are extracted from algae. This is considered to be more sustainable and has a lower environmental impact compared to fish oils.

Unlike some of their competitors, Pure Pet Food does buy ingredients from further afield than the UK. However, the fact that the finished food is dehydrated means it is lighter and thus easier to ship.

Using human-grade ingredients is marketed as one of the main benefits of this product. However, there are known environmental benefits of using animal by-products in the pet food industry as it reduces food waste and the carbon footprint of meat production. A good-quality, balanced diet can still be formulated using these by-products that are not wanted for human consumption and ensures more of an animal carcass is used after slaughter.

Ordering, Delivery, & Price

Pure Pet Food is based on a subscription service. Following completion of the company's initial questionnaire, you'll be recommended specific recipes for your dog. When you begin the questionnaire, you will need to enter details about your pet including any allergies, health issues, food preferences, body type, breed, diet, weight, and activity level. They then calculate how much food your dog needs and arrange to make regular deliveries each month. The plan can be amended, rescheduled, or cancelled at any time.

The Pure pet food questionnaire on www.purepetfood.com.
The Pure pet food questionnaire on www.purepetfood.com.

The website and ordering system is easy to use. You can customise your subscription to fit your dog's needs, such as omitting an ingredient you know doesn't agree with them.

Price

The price of Pure Pet Food varies greatly depending on your dog's size and calorie requirements. It is at the higher end of the pet food market in terms of cost, especially compared to more traditional kibble-based diets. However, it compares favourably to other fresh and raw diets. The cost to feed a 30kg Labrador averages around £3.10 per day, whereas a 10kg Cavapoo is around £1.70 per day.

By using this link, you can claim a 50% discount on your first delivery.

at www.purepetfood.com

Delivery

Unlike many competitor products, Pure Pet Food doesn't have any special requirements for delivery or storage such as refrigeration, due to the fact it's carefully dehydrated before transport. This is useful as it means you don't have to wait at home for deliveries in order to keep them cold. It also frees up valuable fridge and freezer storage space!

Pure Pet Food have an excellent TrustPilot rating, which shows their high levels of customer satisfaction.
Pure Pet Food have an excellent TrustPilot rating, which shows their high levels of customer satisfaction.

Delivery of the subscription food is free, while purchasing treats or single items incurs a standard delivery charge.

Feeding Guidelines

Pure Pet Food delivers food with specific portion guidelines, so there is no need to worry about how much to feed your dog. During the initial questionnaire, you are asked whether your dog is underweight or overweight, how much exercise they have on a typical day, and how many treats they get. The amount of food per portion is then adjusted accordingly.

This approach has obvious benefits in ensuring that our canine friends get all the calories they need to lead an active life, but also helps prevent unwanted weight gain that can lead to health problems. However, it does rely on you being honest about your dog's fitness. The good news is that you can easily adjust your order. So, if you notice your companion is carrying a few extra pounds, or you realise he gets more treats than you previously thought, then it is easy to adjust his or her portion.

Lewis tucks into his beef dinner from Pure Pet Food.
Lewis tucks into his beef dinner from Pure Pet Food.

Pure Pet Food can be used in different life stages for dogs, with diets tailored to puppies, growth stages, and senior dogs. The recipes are altered to provide different protein levels and nutrients that are essential for these different life stages.

As with all changes to a dog's diet, I recommended adjusting your dog's food slowly over a week or two to avoid stomach upsets. It seems Pure Pet Food appreciate the importance of doing so, because they provide a 'transition' pack for new members to slowly change their dog's food over 7-10 days.

Pros and Cons of Pure Pet Food

Pros

  • A complete, balanced diet providing adequate protein and fat levels
  • Diets can be tailored to all life stages including puppies and adult dogs
  • Some of the diet options have a single protein source, which may be suitable for certain protein-exclusion diet trials and for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to other animal protein sources
  • Easily customisable diets to adjust portions based on the weight, activity level, and feeding habits of your dog

Cons

  • These diets are low in fibre; this may not suit all dogs and may trigger digestive upset in some dogs and may not be suitable for some dogs with existing digestive problems such as colitis or constipation
  • The questionnaire to customise your dog's diet lists an array of health problems – however, the diets are not specifically designed to manage the complex nutritional needs of many of these health concerns, e.g. diabetes
  • Expensive feeding option when compared to commercially available dry and tinned foods
Delivery day: Lewis's Turkey and Beef have arrived!
Delivery day: Lewis's Turkey and Beef have arrived!

Final Thoughts

Pure Pet Food is a growing company that already appears to be very popular with customers. They seem genuinely passionate about creating nutritionally-balanced recipes using fresh, good-quality ingredients. The diets can be tailored to different ages, weights, and calorie requirements. As always, care should be taken when considering the nutritional requirements for specific illnesses and diseases in dogs. Despite being able to select various ailments on the initial customer questionnaire, this does not appear to dramatically change the nutritional formulation of the diet.

It is advisable to seek veterinary advice before changing your dog's diet if they have been diagnosed with a specific illness or disease. Pure Pet Food encourages its customers to contact them for advice on their dog's specific dietary needs, which is a commendable feature of this UK-based company.

at www.purepetfood.com

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