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Beneful Dog Food Review 2020: The Good & The Bad Revealed!


The Beneful dog food brand was first introduced in 2001 and the brand has continued to grow and expand in the years since. A dog food-only brand, Beneful offers an assortment of dry food and wet food options as well as an assortment of treats.

According to a company spokesperson, the name Beneful means “full of goodness” but the company has recently come under fire in a 2015 class action lawsuit regarding the use of propylene glycol and mycotoxins as potentially poisonous (even deadly) ingredients in Beneful products.

In 2016, Beneful released a collection of new and updated recipes made with real beef or chicken as the number-1 ingredient with no added sugar in response to consumer feedback. Overall, however, Beneful is still a mid-quality brand at best if you take the time to review the information provided on their pet food labels.

Who Makes Beneful?

The Beneful brand of dog food is produced and manufactured by Purina. The Purina family of brands is overseen by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company, originally the Ralston Purina company. Ralson Purina was acquired by Nestle in 2001 and merged with the Friskies PetCare Company.

Today, Nestle Purina PetCare is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and it is the second-largest pet food manufacturer in the world and the largest in the United States.

Is Beneful Made in the United States?

Beneful’s products are all made in Purina-owned facilities located throughout the United States with ingredients that meet or exceed federal and state requirements.

According to the FAQ section of the Beneful website, Beneful is produced in cities including Flagstaff, AR; Fairburn, GA; and Davenport, IA. Beneful also has on-site quality assurance labs in each manufacturing facility to monitor and enforce quality and safety protocols.

Beneful Dog Food Brand Reviews 2020

Beneful recently updated some of their recipes to include real beef, chicken, or salmon. While the information on the Beneful website might lead you to believe that these are used as main ingredients in the updated recipes, that is sadly not the case for most formulas.

Beneful relies heavily on by-products and unnamed sources for most of their proteins and they make heavy use of corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well. You will also find that most Beneful products include the use of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

1. Beneful Originals with Real Salmon Dry

This Beneful Originals with Real Salmon Dry Food recipe is part of the Originals line of products which means that is made with simple ingredients, featuring real salmon as the primary protein.

This formula features salmon as the main source of protein and it is blended to perfection with whole grains and fresh vegetables to ensure 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs. Not only is this recipe loaded with great ingredients, but it is also full of natural flavor that your dog will love. It is also worth noting that this recipe has recently been updated and approved as of 2016 in keeping with Beneful’s new commitment to quality proteins.

Although Beneful promises that real salmon is the main source of protein in this recipe, they do not promise that it is the first ingredient. In fact, the first ingredient in this Beneful Originals with Real Salmon Dry Food recipe is whole grain corn.

While this is in fact a whole-grain ingredient, it is not an ingredient that most dogs find easy to digest. Corn is actually one of the most common food allergies for dogs so there is a very real risk that this formula could trigger food allergies or sensitivities in your dog.

It is also important to note that corn-based ingredients offer very limited nutritional value for dogs because they are primarily carnivorous animals.

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Another thing that might surprise you about this recipe is the fact that salmon is not even the first source of protein – chicken by-product meal is the second ingredient on the list and therefore the protein that is used in the highest quantity.

Salmon doesn’t actually appear on the list until the eighth slot, following behind numerous plant-based proteins including corn gluten meal and soybean meal. The fact that this product is marketed as a salmon-based recipe is very deceiving – it is very unlikely that salmon is included in any significant quantity in this recipe.

The main source of protein isn’t even a quality, whole meat – it is a by-product meal. The total protein content of this recipe is 23% which meets your dog’s minimum requirements but is still a little low, especially when you consider that most of that protein comes from plant-based sources.

In addition to being heavy in plant-based proteins, this recipe also includes a lot of grains – including corn, wheat, and soy products which are hard for dogs to digest and common food allergens.

Whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, and corn gluten meal can all be hard for dogs to digest – the only digestible grain used here is rice. It is good to see that fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes and dried carrots and green beans are used, but they are unlikely to be included in any significant quantity.

The fats used in this recipe are also fairly low quality – beef tallow is a cheap fat used in pet food that offers little nutritional value. You should also note that this Beneful Originals with Real Salmon Dry Food recipe includes a number of synthetic supplements as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

This Beneful Originals with Real Salmon Dry Food recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adult dogs.

2. Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice

This Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice recipe is described as a “savory blend with real ingredients you can see”. It comes in 10-ounce tubs with a stay-fresh lid so you can divide it into multiple portions.

As part of the Chopped Blends product line, this recipe features chicken, vegetables, and rice in a moist, flavorful meal. In terms of quality, there is definitely room for improvement but it is a little bit better than most of Beneful’s dry food recipes.

The first ingredient in this Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice recipe is water which is necessary for processing. The first real ingredient is chicken – surprisingly not a by-product.

Chicken is a high-quality source of protein for dogs so it is definitely a good thing to see it included in this recipe. Things go quickly downhill, however, with wheat gluten appearing as the next ingredient.

This is likely included as a supplementary source of protein but, because it is a plant-based protein (and a wheat-based ingredient) it offers limited nutritional value for dogs and it has the potential to trigger food allergies or sensitivities.

After the wheat gluten comes carrots and peas as supplementary sources of carbohydrate and dietary fiber as well as liver for extra protein and fat. Meat by-products come next which add some additional protein but, because it comes from an unnamed source (and a by-product at that), it is difficult to say whether it contributes to the quality of this product.

This recipe includes corn starch, wild rice, and rice as the primary carbohydrates which aren’t necessarily bad but there is also soy flour which could also trigger food allergies. The rest of the ingredients listed primarily consist of artificial additives and synthetic supplements.

This Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth of puppies and maintenance of adult dogs.

This Beneful Chopped Blends with Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice recipe is a step up from most of Beneful’s dry dog food products, but it too offers limited nutritional value and questionable quality.

The only good thing about this recipe is the fact that chicken is the main ingredient and the primary source of protein. It is somewhat negated, however, by the inclusion of multiple by-products, artificial additives, and potential allergens. This product could certainly be worse but it only offers moderate nutritional value at best.

Where Does Beneful Get Their Ingredients?

Beneful does not provide any specific information about their ingredients except to say that they meet or exceed federal and state requirements. The FAQ section of the Beneful website does provide some information about AAFCO and how Beneful products meet the standards for “complete and balanced” nutritional adequacy according to AAFCO nutrient profiles.

Just because a product meets the minimum nutritional requirements set forth by AAFCO isn’t necessarily a guarantee of quality, however – you will find detailed information about the quality of Beneful products below.

Beneful Dog Food Review 2020: The Good & The Bad Revealed! 1

Beneful Dog Food Recall History List:

According to the FAQ section of the Beneful website, Beneful’s products are held to the gold standard for quality control and safety protocols. Purina conducts as many as 30,000 quality checks in a typical 24 hours of production, taking steps to ensure the safety of their products. Even so, the Beneful brand has been affected by one recall in recent history – here are the details of that recall:

  • In March 2016, the Purina Company issued a voluntary recall for Beneful wet dog food tubs having a “Best By” date between June 2020 and August 2020 with the first four digits of the production code ranging from 5363 to 6054 for two products: Beneful Prepared Meals (all varieties) and Beneful Chopped Blends (all varieties) because they may not contain the recommended level of vitamins and minerals.

Now you can read the full report as well as all of the complaints filed with the FDA here.

Compare Prices on Beneful:

The Beneful brand of dog food is affordably priced, a fact that many dog owners love. You have to remember, however, that low-priced dog foods are often low-quality. Beneful’s products come in a range of flavors and recipes which vary in quality, so be sure to do your research before choosing a product.

The price for a small 3.5-pound bag of Beneful dry dog food ranges from about $6 to $8, depending on the recipe and a larger 31-pound bag ranges from $24 to $71. You can purchase 10-ounce tubs of Beneful wet dog food in cases of 8 for $15 to $30 which gives you an average price of around $2.25 per tub.

You can also find 12-packs of Beneful wet dog food in 3-ounce cans for about $10 or 3-packs for around $4.

What Kind of Dog Food Does Beneful Offer?

Beneful currently offers a wide variety of different product choices including dry dog food, wet dog food, and dog treats. The original lineup of Beneful products was released in 2001 and the Beneful Healthy Harvest product line was added in June of 2005 – it was the first of Beneful’s products to feature soy as the primary source of protein, rather than meat.

Beneful’s line of Prepared Meals was released in March of 2006 featuring eight flavors of resealable foods. The newest line of Beneful products features real beef or chicken as the number-1 ingredient with the exception of the salmon recipe.

Beneful Dry Products

beneful dog food

The Beneful brand currently offers five product lines of dry dog foods made with three primary ingredients – beef, chicken, or salmon. The Originals line of dry food features simple recipes made with chicken, salmon or beef as the first ingredient.

The Healthy Weight line of products features reduced-calorie formulas and the Playful Life product line is accented with whole grains and fresh vegetables. The Incredibites line of products features smaller kibble sizes and stay-fresh packaging and the Healthy Puppy line is supplemented with nutrients puppies need to grow up strong and healthy.

Here is a list of the dry food recipes Beneful has to offer:

Dry Recipes:

  • Originals with Real Beef
  • Originals with Real Chicken
  • Originals with Real Salmon
  • Healthy Weight with Real Chicken
  • Healthy Puppy with Real Chicken
  • Playful Life with Real Beef & Egg
  • Incredibites with Real Beef
  • Incredibites with Real Chicken

Beneful Canned Products

In addition to an assortment of dry food products, Beneful also offers a wide variety of wet food options. Beneful’s wet dog food products are divided amongst four product lines – Incredibites, Chopped Blends, Medleys, and Prepared Meals.

All of Beneful’s wet food products are made with chicken, beef, or salmon as the primary proteins and supplemented with whole grains and fresh veggies. The Chopped Blends and Prepared Meals lines of products come in 10-ounce tubs rather than cans while the Incredibites and Medleys lines come in 3-ounce cans. Here is a list of the wet food recipes Beneful has to offer:

Incredibites Wet Food Recipes:

  • With Beef, Tomatoes, Carrots and Wild Rice
  • With Chicken, Tomatoes, Carrots and Wild Rice
  • With Salmon, Tomatoes, Carrots and Wild Rice

Chopped Blends Wet Food Recipes:

  • With Beef, Carrots, Peas and Barley
  • With Chicken, Carrots, Peas and Wild Rice
  • With Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice and Spinach
  • With Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice and Spinach
  • With Chicken, Liver, Peas, Brown Rice and Sweet Potatoes
  • With Lamb, Brown Rice, Carrots, Tomatoes and Spinach

beneful dog food

Medleys Wet Food Recipes:

  • Tuscan Style Medley with Beef, Carrots, Rice and Spinach
  • Romana Style Medley with Chicken, Carrots, Pasta and Spinach
  • Mediterranean Style Medley with Lamb, Tomatoes, Brown Rice and Spinach

Prepared Meals Wet Food Recipes:

  • Beef Stew with Peas, Carrots, Rice and Barley
  • Chicken Stew with Rice, Carrots, Peas and Barley
  • Simmered Beef Entrée with Carrots, Barley, Wild Rice and Spinach
  • Simmered Chicken Medley with Green Beans, Carrots and Wild Rice
  • Beef & Chicken Medley with Green Beans, Carrots and Wild Rice
  • Roasted Chicken Recipe with Pasta, Carrots and Spinach
  • Roasted Turkey Medley with Corn, Wild Rice, Peas and Barley
  • Savory Rice & Lamb Stew with Peas and Carrots

Is beneful a good dog food brand?

Unfortunately, however, for Beneful Dog Food, the customer ratings have not been great, and the brand is ranked at a mere 2-stars. Some customers have also complained that the food has made their pets sick. In March 2016, Beneful Dog Food had to recall its Beneful Prepared Meals, 10 oz.

Is Beneful dry dog food safe?

While Beneful has been proven to be safe for dogs, it is still important to do your own research and make your own justifications! Beneful Purina Dog Food has been around for many years and will continue to be around and serve pet owners as a budget-friendly and safe dog food choice.

Is there antifreeze in Beneful dog food?

Beneful dry dog foods contain an ingredient toxic to animals, propylene glycol, a chemical used in automobile antifreeze. On Purina's website, the company notes that propylene glycol is an FDA-approved food additive that's used in human food products.

Which is better Purina One or Beneful?

According to our average data, Beneful typically provides less protein than Purina One. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. For wet dog foods, Beneful and Purina One provide roughly the same amount of protein.

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