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Beneful Dog Food Review

Dog Food Nutrition April 30, 2020

Beneful Dog Food Review

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Beneful dog food is made by Nestle Purina PetCare, a subsidiary of Nestle. Beneful is a top-selling brand for Nestle Purina but the food has been criticized through the years. There have also been several class action lawsuits brought against Purina concerning Beneful, though they were ultimately dismissed.

Are you wondering if Beneful dog food would be a good choice for your dog? We can give you the scoop on Beneful dog food with our unbiased review.

Beneful Dog Food – Top 5 Recipes Reviewed

Brand Score

Beneful Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • All Beneful dry dog food recipes have real meat as the first ingredient
  • Dry foods have no artificial flavors and no added sugars
  • All Beneful wet/canned dog foods have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and are made with real meat.
Cons
  • Beneful has been criticized in the past for using artificial colors/dyes and propylene glycol in their foods, though they have made changes to the recipes to respond to some of the criticism
  • Beneful has faced several class action lawsuits claiming that their foods were harmful to dogs. The lawsuits were thrown out but some people still question Beneful’s quality
Pros
  • All Beneful dry dog food recipes have real meat as the first ingredient
  • Dry foods have no artificial flavors and no added sugars
  • All Beneful wet/canned dog foods have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and are made with real meat.
Cons
  • Beneful has been criticized in the past for using artificial colors/dyes and propylene glycol in their foods, though they have made changes to the recipes to respond to some of the criticism
  • Beneful has faced several class action lawsuits claiming that their foods were harmful to dogs. The lawsuits were thrown out but some people still question Beneful’s quality
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve examined Beneful dog foods closely and graded the brand according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

About Beneful

Beneful is one of Nestle Purina’s best-selling dog food brands. It was first introduced in 2001.

According to Purina, more than 14 million dogs eat the food annually, based on Nielsen marketing numbers. Other dog food brands made by Nestle Purina include Purina Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, and Purina ONE.

Nestle S.A. is headquarterd in Switzerland and makes a wide variety of foods and beverages. It is the largest food corporation in the world and Nestle Purina PetCare is one of the biggest pet food manufacturers (first in North America, second in Europe).

Beneful has been the subject of several class action lawsuits which were later dismissed. In the 2015 lawsuit, which claimed that the death of one dog and the sickness of others were due to the dog food, the judge ruled that the plaintiff did not prove that Beneful caused the dog’s death.

The dog’s death was discovered to have been caused by a heart tumor. Many of the plaintiffs in the class action suit withdrew from the litigation before the case went to trial.

According to Beneful dog food, they made changes in their recipes based on customer feedback. New formulations were introduced in 2016 .

The changes made meat the first ingredient, removed added sugar, and removed propylene glycol – the ingredient which had been controversial for some consumers though it is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Propylene glycol is chemically related to ethylene glycol (found in anti-freeze) but it is not the same thing.

Propylene glycol is a food additive that acts as a thickener and which absorbs moisture. It is also used in some foods (including human foods) to change the texture of the food.

Propylene glycol was used in Beneful to make some of the kibble pieces chewy, which dogs seem to like. Beneful no longer contains propylene glycol.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Beneful is manufactured by Nestle Purina, which makes its own pet food in its own facilities. Purina has at least21 manufacturing plants in the United States.

Purina has a good reputation for quality control. According to an interview with Purina executives, in a typical 24-hour production Purina conducts 30,000 quality checks involving ingredient/packaging, receiving, processing, and packing.

Purina gives some information (with pictures) about ingredients here. We also found this information:

The vast majority of ingredients used in Purina brand products are sourced from the United States. As with other food companies, Purina does source a limited amount of ingredients from China. These ingredients, which are primarily essential nutrients, such as taurine and B vitamins.)

Nestle Purina PetCare has headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

Recall History

Beneful had a recall in March 2016 when the company discovered that some 10-ounce tubs of wet dog food might not contain the necessary level of vitamins and minerals. These products were produced in one production line at one Purina facility.

Purina issued a voluntary recall for the wet dog food. This is the only recall we found that relates to Beneful.

What kinds of dog food does Beneful offer?

Beneful currently offers dry dog food, canned/wet dog food, soft foods, food for puppies, food for small breeds, limited ingredient foods, food for senior dogs, healthy weight dog food, and dog treats. The brand includes more than a dozen dog foods (wet, soft, dry) and treats/snacks for dogs.

Both grain free and grain-inclusive foods are available. Popular Beneful products include the new Beneful Superfood Blend, Beneful Healthy Weight, Beneful Originals, Beneful IncrediBites canned food, Beneful Medleys canned food, to name just a few.

Beneful: Top Five Recipes Reviewed

We’re taking a look at five of the top-selling Beneful dog foods as found on Chewy.com so you can have a good idea what some of these different formulas are like.

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 8% Min
  • Fiber – 9% Max
  • Moisture – 14% Max

Ingredients:

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food is the bestselling Beneful dog food on Chewy.com. Real chicken is the first ingredient. If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, this food has 10 percent fewer calories than Purina Beneful Originals.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Hulls, Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Glycerin, Egg And Chicken Flavor, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Oat Meal, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, Dried Green Beans, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Iron Oxide (Color)vitamins and minerals …

Weight control dog foods sometimes contain questionable fibers. This might account for the soybean hulls as the fifth ingredient in this food. They are supposed to be filling for your pet so he won’t feel hungry between meals.

According to the dry matter basis (DMB), this food has 29.1 percent protein, 9.3 percent fat, and 10.5 percent fiber. This formula has an estimated 46 percent carbohydrates. It has 310 kcal/cup. This food is low in fat and very high in fiber.

Our rating for this food is 3.5.

Purina Beneful Superfood Blend With Salmon Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 24% Min
  • Fat – 14% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 12% Max

Ingredients:

Purina Beneful Superfood Blend With Salmon Dry Dog Food features salmon as the first ingredient. This food contains ingredients that are popular for humans as “superfood” such as chia seeds, cranberries, and kale. It has no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or poultry by-product meal.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Salmon, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Canola Meal, Chia Seeds, Cranberries, Natural Liver Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Soybean Oil, Dried Kale, vitamins and minerals …

This food has 27.3 percent protein and 15.9 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 5.7 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 43.2 percent, DMB. It contains 366 kcal per cup.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Real Beef Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 13.5% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture – 14% Max

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Real Beef Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for small dogs and supports their higher metabolism. The kibble pieces in this food are also very small to make them easy for small dogs to chew. The kibble pieces are both soft and crunchy.

You can take a look at the ingredients:

Beef, Whole Grain Corn, Barley, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Rice, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Glycerin, Egg And Chicken Flavor, Oat Meal, Poultry And Pork Digest, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Iron Oxide (Color)vitamins and minerals …

Some people will object to “digest” such as poultry and pork digest in the food but it is identified and not generic. Purina says that they use it for the taste.

Soybean meal is an issue for some people since it is a plant-based protein. It’s also been suggested that soy causes various problems for dogs ranging from mimicking estrogen to blocking the absorption of important nutrients.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 31.4 percent protein, 15.7 percent fat, 4.7 percent fiber, 40.1 percent carbohydrates, and 366 kcal per cup.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purina Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew with Peas, Carrots, Rice & Barley Wet Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 11% Min
  • Fat – 2% Min
  • Fiber – 1.5% Max
  • Moisture – 78% Max

Ingredients:

Purina Beneful Prepared Meals Beef Stew with Peas, Carrots, Rice & Barley Wet Dog Food is one of Beneful’s most popular wet foods. This formula has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Beef Broth, Beef, Wheat Gluten, Liver, Meat By-Products, Corn Starch-Modified, Peas, Carrots, Rice, Barley, Salt, Soy Flourvitamins and minerals …

This stew comes in a 10-ounce tub so you can feed it to your dog as a complete meal or use it as a topper or his dry food. The tub has a resealable lid.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 50 percent protein, 9.1 percent fat, 6.8 percent fiber, 20.5 percent carbohydrates, and 271 kcal per 10-ounce tub.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purina Beneful Grain Free with Real Farm-Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 24% Min
  • Fat – 13% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 12% Max

Ingredients:

Purina Beneful Grain Free with Real Farm-Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food includes chicken as the first ingredient. This grain free food contains no grain, wheat, or glutens but it does contain several soybean ingredients.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Chicken, Pea Starch, Cassava Root Flour, Chicken Meal, Soybean Germ MealSoybean Meal, Canola Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Dried Beet Pulp, Poultry And Pork DigestSoybean Oil, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Blueberries, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, vitamins and minerals … Iron Oxide (Color), Garlic Oil

Pea starch is the second ingredient. If you are concerned about nutritional dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), it’s best if pea products are kept to a minimum or not used at all.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 27.3 percent protein, 14.8 percent fat, 5.7 percent fiber, 44.2 percent carbohydrates, and 349 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 3 out of 5 stars.

How much does Beneful Dog Food cost?

Beneful is moderately priced. It costs a little more than some other grocery store brands but it is less expensive than most premium dog food brands.

What do customers think of Beneful Dog Food?

Many customers like Beneful and report that their dogs are in good health eating the food. However, there are many negative reviews for Beneful online. Most of these reviews probably date from several years ago and may not refer to Beneful’s current recipes.

Overall, is Beneful Dog Food a good choice?

Beneful is one of the better dog foods available at supermarkets. It doesn’t compare to some of the foods you can find at pet stores and online, but if you’re looking for a good budget dog food or you’re in a rush and need to pick up some dog food at the store, Beneful would be a brand to consider.

Where is Beneful Dog Food sold?

You can buy Beneful dog foods from Chewy.com and other online retailers. Beneful is also sold in grocery stores.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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