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Purina ONE vs. Purina Pro Plan: What’s The Difference?


Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 7 min read | 52 Comments

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Comparing Purina Pro vs. Purina ONE as the potential food for your pup, but aren’t sure what the differences are? We look at both types of food from Purina and walk through what’s different but what’s similar and what you can expect if you choose this food for your dog.

You’ll find that because Purina is the manufacturer, there are many similarities between each food. But at the core, the nutritional content is very different. You’ll find that each formula has different protein, fat, and caloric content, which is important when picking a food for your dog.

Many people have successfully transitioned their pups to grain-free food, which is important to think through because neither of these brands has a grain-free offering.  You are better off sticking with other brands we’ve compared, like Acana vs. Orijen or Blue Buffalo and Nutro.  With that being said, Purina has a very good reputation for dog food, and below we look at each so you can determine which is best. 

At a Glance: Purina ONE vs. Purina Pro Plan

Purina One Adult Food
Our Rating

Best Overall

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Sensitive Stomach
Our Rating

Budget Pick

Purina One Formula

Our Rating

Sensitive Stomachs

Purina Pro Sensitive Stomach

Purina Brand History


Purina is currently owned by Nestle, and they are a huge global company headquartered in St Louis, Missouri. They produce multiple lines of pet food products, not just these two that we are comparing. The sprawling campus has 16 buildings over 50 acres which include a dedicated four-story research facility.

Founder William H. Danforth entered the farm animal feed business by founding the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company with other partners in 1894. 8 years later, the name of the company is changed to Ralston Purina, and soon after, they expand into the pet food arena after acquiring several smaller companies. They set their focus on researching and developing tasty pet food that is full of nutrition for animals.

Through the years, Purina created many firsts, including pet food made with a then-new technology called ‘extrusion,’ which is now widely known as kibble, specific puppy formulas that address the specific needs of puppies. Products in the Purina ONE line use natural ingredients and were the first line of natural pet foods. In 1986 Purina developed ‘Pro Plan,’ which was the first dry food to use real meat as the number 1 ingredient. Purina also conducted a groundbreaking 14-year study to understand the dietary needs of dogs as they age, which lead to the creation of hypo-allergenic products.

The Purina ethos is simple and unchanged, ‘responsibly sourced, expertly prepared and nutritionally essential.’ They list every single ingredient that is put into all of their pet food recipes and explain exactly why they include it.

Overall Comparison

Purina ProPurina One
Well balancedGreat value
Large flavor selectionLimited choice of flavors
Science backed recipesHigher fat content than needed
Uses meat by-productsUses meat by-products

Nutritional Value Comparison

The food choices we make for our pooches dictate what nutrients, vitamins, and minerals their bodies get and, ultimately, what state their health is. There is a common misconception that dogs need only meat and protein to get what they need because that’s all a wild dog would eat. While domesticated dogs are loosely related to wolves in their DNA, their digestive system and metabolism have adapted through the years. Therefore, they require a wider range of ingredients and nutrition in order to be at their healthiest, which is where kibbles come in.

The table below compares the average nutritional components of Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan’s size-specific most popular food:

Pro Plan Small Breed
Purina One Small Breed
Pro Plan Medium Breed
Purina One Medium Breed
Pro Plan Large Breed
Purina One Large Breed

The three major components of food products that are measured as nutritional content are protein, fat, and fiber. These are the most important for a healthy balanced diet for good reason, so let’s just recap their importance in your pup’s diet.

Protein Content

In this category, it is evenly matched across the board with a good amount of protein in each, all above the industry-recommended standard. The only difference is the Purina Pro Plan small breed kibble adds a tad more protein. Both list real meat as the first ingredient, but one of the other top ingredients is a meat by-product for both brands.  With that being said, Purina Pro is one of our favorite foods for smaller breeds like the Yorkie or the Shih-Tzu, due to that added protein.

Meat by-products are somewhat controversial as a food source, made from grinding rendered parts of poultry carcasses, and can contain beaks, bones, and offal. Although not necessarily harmful for your pet, they are not the purest of ingredients, and there is a growing number of pet owners that object to these by-products being present in dog food. They are often used to boost the protein content within. However, all the above products are highly rated online, having produced good results for their pups, so don’t let this put you off them.

Protein supplies our pups with amino acids, and these are critical for energy, cellular regeneration, muscle production and repair, and healthy hair, skin, and ligaments. The required amount of protein must be provided through their regular feeding routine as they cannot produce these naturally. This is the reason why poor-quality food can lead to the deterioration of your pooch’s health, simply because nutritional deficiencies cause an abundance of health problems.

Fat Content

This component is also evenly matched in each size-specific food. It is no surprise that both Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan have similar nutritional breakdowns for their size-specific recipes, as their research into what constitutes a healthy balance for your pooch has led them to these well-matched numbers.

Fat is an essential part of all dogs’ diets as it delivers a host of benefits, such as a strong body and healthy blood pressure, enables the delivery of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as adding a punch to the taste.

The advised protein-to-fat ratio and is advised at 2:1. So the ratio in this food is somewhat on the higher side of the AAFCO guidelines. Your pup’s metabolism needs to gain the nutrients from the protein before heading to the fat for extra energy, and food with too much fat will mean your dog will absorb more energy from the fat and fewer nutrients from the protein leading to them gaining weight, so this could be a concern for inactive pooches.

Fiber Content

Again, across the board, there is only a slight difference on the medium-sized products for fiber, so there is no clear winner here either.

Fiber is an essential ingredient to aid digestion and keep your pooch’s stools firm and their bowel movements regular. A lack of fiber in his diet can lead to constipation and sometimes problems with their anal glands, so your vet may recommend foods like these to help clear it up.  Fiber also aids in the absorption of nutrients when the food is in the gut, so it is an all-around essential part of a healthy diet. The levels in these products are well within industry-recommended standards.


When it comes to nutritional content, Purina Pro is the winner here. This food line has better nutrient values and a wide variety of formulas for your pup. If you can handle the increase in cost, your dog’s health may thank you for it later in life.


As dog owners, there has come a time in most of our lives when our pooches have turned their noses up at their food. Well, like humans, dogs can sometimes become bored with the same food for every meal of every day. Luckily most foods come in a variety of flavors, and the ingredients will be slightly different, you can transition him slowly to offer him a variety of flavors if he becomes bored with his food.

Purina ONE’s standard flavor is Chicken, peas, and corn, and the alternatives are Lamb and rice or Chicken and rice. Their dietary-specific kibbles for puppies, seniors, and sensitive dogs offer a Salmon and rice flavor or Salmon and Tuna with added peas and carrots.

The standard flavor of Purina Pro Plan’s range is Chicken, rice, and corn, but there are also other flavors for sensitive pooches, puppies, and seniors, such as Lamb and rice, Salmon and rice, and Chicken and egg recipes.

Having a wide variety of flavors can make a difference, and some flavors are specifically designed to resolve issues like bad breath.


Purina Pro has a better flavor lineup. They have multiple flavors that will allow you to test different options for your dog so they can find the perfect food. Again, there’s a cost component here, but there are more options with the Pro food line, so we have to give them the win in this category.


The battle between what is affordable and what is high quality still rages on with most owners. There have been many reports or studies that have found that certain brands exaggerate or even purposely mislead consumers claiming to have the next best recipe, the best proteins, and sometimes containing miraculous healing ingredients.

So, the question is, what brand should we trust, and how do we know if we are buying the right food for the right price? Both Purina ranges meet the required standards set by AAFCO, but are they good value for money?

On a pound-for-pound comparison, it is a mixed bag with some kibbles coming out cheaper for Purina ONE and others cheaper for Purina Pro Plan. Across the board, it appears to be very similar in cost per calorie too. There is a slight anomaly with the Purina ONE small breed kibble, but I believe this is because it is only offered in a small 6lb bag rather than a 30lb+. Usually, the bigger the bag, the better the price, so if you are a small breed owner and like to buy in bulk, Pro Plan might be a better option for you.


Purina ONE wins in the cost category. They are lower-cost dog food and don’t have as many high-quality ingredients as the Pro Plan formulas. If budget is your primary concern, Purina ONE is a great option compared to other lower-cost brands like Pedigree or Iams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between Purina’s product lines?

Essentially, not a lot. They both provide various recipes for life stages and health requirements, and they both produce good quality products that have been popular with pet owners for many years. The only real difference is that Purina Pro Plan has a larger range of health-specific recipes.

Which product line is the tastiest?

Now, this is a tough one. Both are very highly recommended by Purina. According to the reviews, dogs love both just as much, so the simple answer is that it’s really budget-dependent.

Which product line is a better value?

All Purina kibbles are made with science research-backed recipes, they both offer very good value for money, and as our cost comparison shows, they also draw on the price.

Final Thoughts

Both foods within this brand have an incredible reputation. They are still firm favorites for pet owners across the globe. Their caliber and dedication to research and expanding their range of products for all pets are clear to see.

Not only are the recipes tasty for your pooch, but they are also well-balanced. Like American Journey, they are great value for the money. This comparison is probably the closest you will see between two product lines, but that is no surprise given that they are produced by the same company and their scientists, so all in all, there is no clear winner.

If we had to choose one line, then Purina Pro Plan has the largest range offering, so we would crown them on that basis. However, whichever brand you decide on, you can be sure that both you and your pooch would be happy with their kibbles.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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