Smiling woman and her dog

Food for Thought:
Our Nutrition Philosophy

We believe pets and people are better together, and it's this belief that has driven us to push pet nutrition forward for over 80 years. It's what inspires our team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists to develop industry-leading pet foods, and to make those products accessible for more pets everywhere.

We've seen firsthand how proper feeding can help extend a dog's healthy years. That's why we're on a mission to raise the standards for pet nutrition over the next 80 years. The first step? Helping pet owners know just what that involves.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the nutrition philosophy that guides everything we do.

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We Don't Meet Standards
We Surpass Them
Bowl of dog food on wooden floor
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We Don't Meet Standards,
We Surpass Them

Did you know that pet food formulation is subjected to stricter standards than most human food? That's because pet food makes up the entirety of a pet's diet, so it has to deliver all of the nutrients they need. That's why pet foods so often use the phrase "complete and balanced."

Every pet food needs to meet federal (FDA) and state regulatory standards before they get anywhere near your pet's bowl. Pet food companies can volunteer to follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials' (AAFCO) guidelines, which encourage pet food companies to conduct feeding trials to make sure that their foods result in positive outcomes for real pets.

At Purina, we see industry standards as just a starting place. Not only do all our products meet these standards, but most of them go beyond the requirements to provide optimal nourishment for pets. That’s because we take pride in making sure our foods truly help pets thrive.

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The Quality is in the Details
Child playing fetch with their dog
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The Quality is in the Details

We know what it's like to obsess over your pet's nutrition and to wonder what kind of quality assurance goes into making sure a pet food is ready for a pet to eat. After all, most of us have pets of our own. That's why we work hard to ensure that our products are safe for pets.

We've spent the last 80 years building our trusted reputation, and we go the extra mile to make sure it stays that way for the next hundred years. To us, no detail is worth overlooking when it comes to taking care of pets.

Here's a crash course in everything we do to make sure our products live up to the highest of standards.

Dog food
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Ingredient Sourcing

Every supplier of our ingredients must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices. This is no small task, as our standards are always rising due to our ongoing research and development of industry-leading quality assurance practices.

Ingredient Testing

All of our North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. We're also expanding our use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance. This helps us make sure that the ingredients we start with are exactly what we ordered, and live up to our high standards.

Ingredient Tracking & Control

99% of all our pet food products are made in our own plants. Our trained associates carefully monitor to ensure all our products live up to our high quality control standards. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.

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More Delicious + More Digestible
= Nutrition That Does More
Closeup of adult cat
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More Delicious + More Digestible = Nutrition That Does More

It's our goal to make products that your pet wants to eat, and to make sure they’re easily digestible. That's because we know that industry-leading nutrition is pointless if pets don't enjoy eating it, and even more pointless if it’s hard to digest and can’t go to work in your pet. If a cat turns her nose up at our food, or a dog finds it uncomfortable on his system, we go straight back to the drawing board. It's this standard that has driven us to become the best-in-class pet food company when it comes to nutrition that does more.

Closeup on bowl of wet cat food
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Signs Your Pet Is Thriving

  • Your pet eats eagerly
  • Your pet has a healthy level of energy
  • Your pet has a shiny coat, smooth skin and bright eyes
  • Your pet has clean, strong teeth and fresh breath
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We Do Our Homework
A woman hugging her cat
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We Do Our Homework

Did you know we're a global leader in pet nutrition research? From finding out what drives obesity to studying the effects of new trends and discoveries in human nutrition, we've got it covered. That's because we don't want to follow the industry - we want to push it ahead. It's all part of our mission to enrich the lives of pets, and enable them to live long, healthy lives.

With our eighty years of experience in this industry, conducting research is nothing new for us.

Table of assorted Purina products
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Going Beyond the Label

We like the labels on our foods. That's because we know our pet food is full of nutrients, and that all our ingredients come from high-quality sources. But we also believe that a label needs to reflect results, not just a nice product formulation.

That's why we develop our foods around the outcomes we see in real pets, from a shiny coat to healthy energy, and even to a better life. It's our mission to study how our products affect pets over the course of their entire lives, so we can know that our labels aren't just nice to read, they stand for real results.

Life-Long Learnings

In our groundbreaking Life-Span Study, we discovered that a lifetime of proper feeding could extend a dog's healthy years. You can be assured that our feeding guidelines take this into account, and our recommended portions are optimized for a long, healthy life. Learn more about our Life-Span Study

Woman working with a puppy
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One of Our Innovation Hubs

At our state-of-the-art research facility in Missouri, we have more than 100 associates, including researchers, nutritionists, behaviorists and veterinarians, hard at work on tomorrow's discoveries. From studying more efficient ways to make our foods to understanding how nutrition can support health to examining how different ingredients could better the lives of pets overall, there's no limit to what they're focusing their lenses on.

Mark Roos
"The discoveries at our Pet Care Center lead to nutritional benefits that have a positive impact on the health and welfare of dogs and cats throughout the world."
- Mark Roos Director of Global Nutrition and Technical Communications

A Culture of Discovery

Innovation drives everything we do at our Pet Care Center, where our feeding studies help to develop a better understanding of the natural preferences, nutritional needs and behaviors of dogs and cats. Our trained and caring staff treat our dogs and cats with respect and affection, because most of us are pet owners, too.

At Purina, our passion for pets is helping dogs and cats stay happy and healthy throughout their long, healthy lives.

Learn more about the culture of discovery at our innovative pet care center

Study Partners

When it comes to gaining a comprehensive knowledge of discoveries that can improve pets' lives, we think it's important to go beyond your own walls. That's why we partner with research organizations, from universities to health care foundations, and fund their most innovative research.

Here Are Just a Few of the 28 Research Universities We Partner with:

  • Cornell University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Texas A&M University
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of California, Davis

Study Partners

Read about work we funded for The Canine Health Foundation, which gives dogs and even children a second chance at sight.

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We Don't Study
Ingredients in a Vacuum
Background with dog food
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We Don't Study Ingredients in a Vacuum

We think the best ingredients are ones that aren't just good solo players, but excellent team players as well. That's because ingredients can often enhance one another's performance. A smarter nutrient blend is going to be more digestible and effective for a pet than a single ingredient. That's why we don't formulate our pet food on an ingredient by ingredient basis, but

instead measure how different formulations affect a pet's overall health. This is how we've maximized the benefits of ingredients like whole grains, including corn, which have been shown by long-term studies to provide a strong complement to vegetables and protein sources like meat, fish, and soy, while also promoting digestive health.

We think the best ingredients are ones that aren't just good solo players, but excellent team players as well. That's because ingredients can often enhance one another's performance. A smarter nutrient blend is going to be more digestible and effective for a pet than a single ingredient.

That's why we don't formulate our pet food on an ingredient by ingredient basis, but instead measure how different formulations affect a pet's overall health. This is how we've maximized the benefits of ingredients like whole grains, including corn, which have been shown by long-term studies to provide a strong complement to vegetables and protein sources like meat, fish, and soy, while also promoting digestive health.

Man taking his dog for a walk
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Putting Trends to the Test

People are always looking for the keys to unlocking their healthiest selves, and we're inspired by that.

Oftentimes trends are signals of advancement in our understanding of nutrition, but sometimes they're just, well, passing fads. That's why we closely study human food trends to gain a holistic understanding of their nutritional impacts, and examine whether they're beneficial for a dog or cat's unique nutritional needs. If the numbers aren't there, we keep that fad far from our foods.

Trends: The Good and the Fad

The Good

Omega-3 and Omega 6- Fatty Acids. These are important components of the diet and have a variety of functions, including promoting healthy skin and coat, supporting immune function and regulating inflammation.

The Fad

A belief is spreading that corn-free diets are beneficial for dogs. Our team of researchers, including nutrition experts and veterinarians, can't find any evidence that this is true. In fact, they believe that just the opposite is true.

Learn more about the Power of Grain
New Study Supports Grain for Dogs

Closeup photo of adult cat
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Feeding Your Pet's True Nature

The reality is, in nature, cats and dogs go beyond meat to acquire all of their essential nutrients, consuming certain plants as well as what we might call byproducts from the prey they hunt. If they didn't, they would suffer from malnutrition. Our products reflect pets' natural instincts for acquiring the nutrients they need, while using only byproducts made from sources
approved for human consumption.

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All Pets Should Have
Access to Complete Nutrition
Man with his dogs in a field
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All Pets Should Have Access to Complete Nutrition

What's the point of making better pet food if more pets don't get to eat it? We believe game-changing nutrition should be available for pets everywhere. That's why we offer a wide range of products that allows pet owners to choose a food that's right for their pet. We want every pet owner to feel confident that their pet food meets or exceeds state and federal regulatory standards - but we also want every pet owner to feel confident they've made the right choice.

That Means Shelter Pets Too

We're equally passionate about pets that are still waiting for loving homes. That's why in 2011 we donated Purina pet food to over 1800 shelters and rescues.

LEARN ABOUT OUR PET WELFARE EFFORTS