Pure Balance is Walmart’s premiere brand of dog food.

This may give some folks a little pause…after all…Walmart is not always known for great quality.

Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here

However, we did the research on this brand and have found it to be well formulated and responsibly manufactured. It gets high marks for taste too – even picky pooches love it!

We will start with a brief overview of this product to provide you the most critical information in a hurry - An action packed pure balance dog food review.

Read on! 

For more detailed information, a full review of each product in the line, and some alternative products to consider.

Want to see how the Pure Balance shapes up against one of its biggest competitors. Check out our reviews below:

Zignature Dog Food
Heart To Tail Dog Food

Pure Balance Dog Food in a Nutshell

The Pure Balance Dog Food

Nutritional Value

Ingredient S​​​​ourcing



Sensitive Stomachs

Variety of Flavors


There is a strong commitment to balanced nutrition with Pure Balance brand of kibble. Real meat is the number one ingredient for the entire Pure Balance line. Problematic cheap fillers corn, wheat and soy do not appear on any ingredient list.

But that ain't all!

Good veggies and fruits along with brown rice (in non-grain free varieties) and potatoes are used to boost fiber and provide complex carbohydrates.

And the cherry on top...

Pure Balance ingredients are sourced in the USA, and it is manufactured domestically as well.

We do wish that the brand was a little more forthcoming with the specifics of their ingredient sourcing as well as making the full ingredient list available online for all of their products.

Pure Balance is a great brand for both palatability and formulas designed for sensitive stomachs or food allergies. No grain formulas, and brown rice formulas are both supportive of digestive health.

Small downside...

Although there are grain free options among this line, there are not enough life stage and size options to choose from.

There is one small breed formula, but nothing specifically for puppies, large breeds or seniors. We dropped the rating for variety to reflect this.


The price of this kibble is mixed. The small breed formula, in particular, is pretty pricey. However, if you are able to buy the larger bags, the per pound price is comparable to other high-end feed.

We have to give Pure Balance a full 5/5 for reputation. The parent company that manufactures this food is called Ainsworth, which has been in business for over 75 years.

Very few problems and a long track record makes Pure Balance quite a reputable company despite the brand itself being somewhat new.

"Need! More! Food!"

Things to Consider Before Buying Pure Balance Dog Food

Below we will take a point by point look at this line of feed, including details that might help you make a decision for your canine companion. We will investigate upsides and downsides of the Pure Balance  brand, followed by a product by product review.


  • Real Meat

    The first ingredient in every variety of Pure Balance is real meat or poultry, one of the most important indicators of quality feed.

  • No Chicken By-Products
    In recent years, pet lovers have become more educated about ingredients. One of the not-so-great ingredients are animal by products. These ingredients often contain things like hoof, hair, organs and in some cases even manure that are cooked and processed before being added to feed.

    The problem with these ingredients (besides: EW!) is that they are very cheap, and not well regulated. They can be used to boost the protein level of feed despite the fact that processing of these by products can destroy nutritional content.

    These are non-human grade ingredients and avoiding them is a sign of a manufacturer that is more concerned with producing quality food than profit.

  • Grain Free
    Not all of the Pure Balance varieties are grain free, however, a few special formulas are, and we will be sure to point them out in our review. Grain Free dog food can be helpful for pets with sensitive stomachs, allergies to certain grains, or gluten intolerance. We appreciate that the Pure Balance line includes grain free options for those dogs that benefit from them.
  • Corn, Soy and Wheat Free
    All of the products made by Pure Balance are corn, soy and wheat free. There are two main reasons why this is a sign of quality feed. First, these are the cheapest fillers on the market. They are used to bind dry commercial food together, but add little nutritional value.

    Secondly, they are among the top potential allergens in the carbohydrate family. By using potatoes as the main binder instead, this brand avoids ingredients more likely to be associated with food sensitivities.
  • No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives
    Natural nutrition is best for your pet, and Pure Balance avoids the artificial ingredients. The nutrition is from natural sources and the addition of chelated vitamins and minerals for optimum absorption.
  • Manufactured In the USA
    Pure Balance feed is manufactured in the USA by Ainsworth, a family owned company for over 5 generations. In that time they have had a strong record for food safety.

    One recall worth noting was in 2015 when five varieties of Rachel Ray™ Nutrish® Cat Food were voluntarily recalled for elevated levels of vitamin D. Given the long history of this company, this remains a strong safety record.


  • Some Varieties are Pricey
    Although this is a high-end dog food with nutritional balance front and center, the price averages between $1.60 per pound to $5.40 a pound, depending on the size bag you get. For better prices, get a larger bag for sure, and if necessary, freeze half of the bag to keep it fresh. The smaller bags are really quite expensive per pound
  • Low Variety
    This is a relatively new brand of dog food despite having a manufacturer that has been in business for over 75 years. The brand is still expanding, but as of yet we don’t see enough variety. We would like to see more options for specific life stages, breed sizes, and food sensitivities.

Pure Balance Dog Food Review

Grain Free Small Breed Chicken & Garden Vegetables

  • Crude Protein (min) – 26.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) – 15.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) – 5.0%
  • Moisture (max) – 10.0%
  • Omega 6 fatty acid (min) – 3.0%
  • Omega 3 fatty acid (min) – 0.50%

This is a formula that is designed for the special dietary needs of small breeds.

Real chicken is the first ingredient, and chicken meal is the second. Turkey is another ingredient in this recipe.

This is a grain free formula, however, beware there are egg products in this recipe. Ground peas and flaxseed are the primary sources of dietary fiber.

Grain Free Wild & Free Bison, Pea & Venison Recipe

  • Crude Protein (min) – 30.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) – 12.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) – 5.0%
  • Moisture (max) – 10.0%
  • Omega 6 fatty acid (min) – 3.0%
  • Omega 3 fatty acid (min) – 0.20%

This recipe is designed to boost the immune system. Real Bison is the number one ingredient, and peas add to the digestive system support of this formula.

This is a very tasty blend so expect picky eaters to take to it! It is also very high in protein, great for doggie athletes!

Pure Balance Grain Free Formula

  • Crude Protein (min) – 24.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) – 15.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) – 5.0%
  • Moisture (max) – 10.0%
  • Omega 6 fatty acid (min) – 3.0%
  • Omega 3 fatty acid (min) – 0.50%

This grain free formula is a good option for dogs who are sensitive to grains and love the taste of salmon which many picky eaters do. It is also formulated to promote muscle, digestion, heart, and coat health.

Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

  • Crude Protein (min) – 27.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) – 15.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) – 5.0%
  • Moisture (max) – 10.0%
  • Omega 6 fatty acid (min) – 3.0%
  • Omega 3 fatty acid (min) – 0.35%

Formulated especially for healthy vision and heart health, this is a very palatable formula for adult dogs. Of course, real chicken is the first ingredient.

Remember that there are no chicken by-products in any of the Pure Balance dog food formulas.

Dried peas, carrots, flaxseed and cranberry add whole food nutrition to this recipe as well. It does contain beet pulp which is a somewhat controversial ingredient, although most consider it a good source of fiber.

Pure Balance Variety Pack, Beef & Chicken Canned Food

  • Crude Protein (min) – 8.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) – 4.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) – 1.5%
  • Moisture (max) – 82.0%

This variety pack is a great way to try the canned food options from Pure Balance. Made with the same high-quality ingredients and attention to balanced nutrition, this is another solid choice in dog food.

If you are looking for something special to give your dog as a treat, this will fit the bill!

These formulas include plenty of vegetables for whole food nutrition, as well as brown rice for digestive support.

Alternatives to Pure Balance Dog Food

We want to provide our readers with comparable options to the dog foods that we review. Below you will find some other feed that may fit your needs better.

We paid special attention to offering you some more high-end kibble with life stages and sizes represented.

In addition, we have provided a few grain free options if you are looking for something for your sensitive eater.

Zignature Duck Formula Dog Food

If you happen to have a dog with food allergies or sensitivities, your veterinarian may have recommended a limited ingredient diet to do an elimination trial. If that is the case, the Zignature line is definitely one to check out. 

Because of their commitment to limited ingredients, it may be a better choice than the Pure Balance line for elimination diets.

Be sure to check out our complete review of the Zignature line here.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

If your vet has recommended a high fiber diet to help with your dog’s weight or digestion, consider this excellent product by Wellness. 

It contains a full 12.0% of fiber from whole grain sources. Chicken is the number one ingredient and it is chock full of superfoods like flaxseed, spinach, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, kale and apples.

If you want to learn more about high fiber dog foods, be sure to check out our full review and informational article here.

BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Small Breed Dog Food

We are not crazy about the higher price of the small breed formula offered by Pure Balance.

So, we wanted to offer our readers this reasonably priced alternative that is also a high-quality food with a great reputation.

Deboned chicken is the first ingredient. There are no poultry by-products used. There is no corn, wheat or soy used either. This is a great choice for a quality feed formulated just for the special needs of your small breed dog.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

We were disappointed to learn that Pure Balance does not offer any formulas for large breed dogs. Those that love the large and giant breeds know, they have very specific nutritional needs.

This large breed puppy formula from Purina is a good alternative if you have a young giant.

This is a very reasonably priced food, something that people with big eaters appreciate. In addition, the longstanding reputation of Purina speaks for itself. Have it auto-delivered to save even more!

Pure Balance Dog Food: The Final Verdict

Overall this is a solid choice in a higher end dog food that uses quality ingredients, domestic manufacturing, and thought out formulas. We hope to see more variety in the future, specifically large breed, puppy and senior diets.

Pricing is reasonable unless you are looking for your small breed dog. If that is the case, consider one of the alternatives offered above for a better price.

Although Walmart does not always bring quality to mind, the parent company that manufactures this dog food has a long and strong reputation.

This is a brand you can trust for solid nutrition and a consistent product that will provide a balanced diet for your canine companion!

Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer

Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.

For more info on Sharon click here

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