Frequently Asked Questions
How do you ensure the quality of your dog and cat food?
We maintain a strict code of standards for buying, storing and processing ingredients used in our pet foods. These standards are among the strictest in the pet food industry.
Do you test your dog and cat food for aflatoxins?
Yes. We have a meticulous quality assurance program for every incoming load of dog and cat food ingredients. We have ingredient specialists at each of our North American Purina pet food manufacturing facilities who are trained to sample and analyze incoming grain. Our grain testing program helps ensure only high-quality grains are used in our products. This testing is part of our comprehensive food safety and HACCP programs We maintain a strict code of standards for buying, storing and processing ingredients used in Purina pet foods, including grains. Every supplier of ingredients for Purina pet food must meet stringent standards for ingredient specification, product safety, sanitation and good manufacturing practices. Our quality assurance standards are among the strictest in the pet food industry.
Where is your Dog and Cat food manufactured?
99% of Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in our own facilities in the U.S.
Why does your Dog and Cat food contain colors?
Although dogs and cats are unable to distinguish color, we know that most pet owners consider the product’s appearance when purchasing food for their pet. Artificial coloring is added to maintain a more desirable and consistent appearance. All colorings used in our pet foods are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Where are your ingredients sourced from? Are they sourced from China?
The vast majority of ingredients used in Purina brand products are sourced from the United States. As with other food companies, we do source a limited amount of ingredients from China. These ingredients, which are primarily essential nutrients, such as taurine and B vitamins, are not commonly available in the USA or other countries in the quantities we need.
Why use corn in dog and cat food? Is corn a filler?
“Filler” may be defined as feed ingredients for pet food with little or no nutritional value. Every ingredient in our formulas has a valuable function and plays a part in providing an excellent source of nutrition to your pet. When properly cooked, corn provides a highly digestible source of carbohydrate, essential fatty acids and protein, and thus, is not considered filler. Corn also has among the highest level of natural antioxidants of any grains. Purina only uses the same grades of corn traditionally used in human food products.
Does your Dog and Cat food contain GMO grains?
It is likely that our pet food contains GMO grains because genetically modified grain and grain products constitute a significant portion of the supply of grain available throughout the U.S. for both human and pet foods. U.S. grain handling and distribution practices result in a co-mingling of supply, which results in a loss of identity preservation.The FDA recognizes the safety and equivalence of products derived from U.S.-approved varieties of genetically modified grain, so there is no reason to exclude it from the general supply. In addition, the FDA does not require products containing GMO grains to bear additional labeling.What is propylene glycol? Is it similar to antifreeze?Each product is formulated with the correct balance of ingredients, each with a specific purpose. We use propylene glycol to help keep semi-moist kibbles in Dog & Cat food soft and moist. Propylene glycol is quite different from ethylene glycol, the anti-freeze used in automobiles. Propylene glycol is approved as a food additive in human food and in feed for animals, except cats, in the U.S. and Canada. Ethylene glycol — not propylene glycol — is the active compound in most automobile radiator anti-freeze solutions, and is toxic to animals and humans when ingested. Propylene glycol has a different molecular structure, giving it different properties and allowing it to be used safely in animal feed, except for cats, as well as in human foods, such as cake mixes, salad dressings, soft drinks, popcorn, food coloring, fat-free ice cream and sour cream. Propylene glycol can be used as a non-toxic anti-freeze, just as salt can be used as an "anti-freeze." The differences in the molecular make-up of propylene glycol and ethylene glycol have significantly different impacts on health and safety for humans and pets. Propylene glycol is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Why do you use by-products in Dog and Cat food?
By-products are defined as the co-product of a primary product and are usually portions of the animal not always consumed by people in the U.S. By-products are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. By-products in pet foods that meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines come from clean animal parts other than meat, such as the liver, kidney and other organs. Purina purchases all by-products from USDA-inspected plants. They must meet stringent criteria for nutrient content, production and quality assurance.
Why do you use chicken by-product or poultry meal in Dog and Cat food?
Poultry meal (including chicken by-product meal) is a rich source of many of the nutrients your pet needs in a complete and balanced diet. Poultry by-products can provide a rich source of protein and healthy fats in addition to essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, poultry by-product meal can contain between 60% and 70% protein. The nutritious poultry by-products we use in our pet foods are high-quality ingredients.
What is animal digest?
Animal digest is often considered a substandard pet food ingredient. In some cases, this is because the word "digest" is mistakenly thought to describe the contents of the digestive tract. The word "digest" in "animal digest" refers to the digestive process used in production, not the ingredients.The process starts with animal protein such as muscle and soft tissue supplied by USDA-inspected facilities.These ingredients are processed in order to break them down, similar to the process of digestion in the body. The resulting digest is a liquid, but can also be made into a paste or powder.Animal digest is a high-quality ingredient that provides an excellent source of protein and enhances the palatability of Dog & Cat foods.
Why don’t you utilize a natural source of Vitamin K instead of menadione?
The basic story about the dangers of Menadione has emerged at various times during the past decades as something of an urban legend in the pet food industry and are not research-based. In fact, numerous research studies and nutritional textbooks have identified Menadione as a safe and effective means of providing the important nutrient Vitamin K to Dogs & Cats. Menadione has been commonly used in pet foods for approximately 25 years with no documented negative health effects. Menadione is a stable source of the essential nutrient vitamin K. Vitamin K provides the following nutritional benefits: it is required for the synthesis of a number of body proteins, most notably the proteins responsible for normal blood clotting.