Ralston Purina started as a horse and mule feed business in 1894. The company has gone through a long history of acquisitions and divestments, buying many pet food corporations along the way to become a global pet product business now made up of North American Pet Foods, Pet Products International and Golden Products.

It produces a number of dog foods and cat foods, including well-known names such as Alpo, Dog Chow, Top Choice, Friskies, Tender Vittles, Fancy Feast and cat box filler.

Purina has so many different formulas that it’s mind boggling. For dogs, they manufacture Purina Dog Chow, Purina Beneful, Purina ALPO, Purina brand Kibbles and Chunks, which are considered very low quality food. They also have some middle scale food such as Purina ONE, Purina Moist & Meaty and a higher end scale such as Purina HiPro and Purina Pro Plan.

The list of cat food is just as plentiful.

Purina formulas are great for finicky eaters. Why? They are full of added flavors that appeal to their taste buds, but the chemical preservatives can cause serious problems to your pet’s health.

Their formulas are full of by-products and fillers. For example, Purina Beneful contains ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, and corn gluten, which are non-meat parts of animals and poor sources of protein that are difficult to digest. It also contains artificial dyes, which many vets believe are linked to health problems.

A recent addition to their line is Pro Plan, dry food and biscuits for dogs of all life stages and dry and canned food for cats of all life stages. There is also an extra-care formula for both cats and dogs. This line is free of artificial preservatives and coloring and lists “real” meat as the first ingredient. This MAY BE one you can trust.

On a good note, Purina is involved in various programs. Since 1984, the Purina Pets for People Program has donated more than $16 million dollars to participating humane shelters and matched more than 150,000 shelter pets with owners. They also have a Senior Adoption Program and The Adoption Kit Program.

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