Purina Bella is a unique brand for small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas. This food is low-calorie, low-carb, and above average for protein and fat. Here’s the downside: it’s not the healthiest dog food you can find. We believe you can find food with better ingredients in the same price range. Even so, there are some things we like about this food that we want to share with you today, so let’s start chatting about the pros and cons of Purina Bella dog food.
At a Glance: The Best Purina Bella Dog Food Recipes:
|Our Favorite||Purina Bella Lamb, Peas, & Sweet Potato Pâté||
|Purina Bella Chicken & Smoked Bacon Flavors Dog Food||
|Purina Bella Chicken, Carrot, & Potato Meal Topper||
|Purina Bella Natural Bites Chicken & Turkey||
|Purina Bella Natural Bites with Real Chicken & Beef||
Purina Bella Dog Food Reviewed
Who Makes Purina Bella Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?
Purina Bella is a sub-brand of the pet food giant, Purina. Purina has several locations across the United States and even outside the country. However, Purina isn’t independently owned. Nestle, the mega food and drink processing company, has the upper hand with Purina.
Most of Purina’s dog food and ingredients come from within the country, although a few ingredients are outsourced. It’s hard to say where Purina manufactures Bella food, but Purina states it’s within the US.
Which Type of Dog Is Purina Bella Dog Food Best Suited For?
This food is tailored for small dog breeds only. It won’t have the proper amount of nutrition and calories for medium and large dog breeds.
Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?
We recommend Health Extension small breed wet food cups if you want something cheap and easy to feed your dog. The first ingredient in all recipes is real meat, and they have a higher calorie count. Most of Health Extension’s recipes contain fish oil and more veggies and are affordable.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Time for the meat of the discussion—the ingredients. The ingredients are usually a make-or-break for pet owners. We want our pets to be healthy, starting with what we feed them. In Purina Bella recipes, there are some good ingredients, but there are also some controversial ingredients.
We should begin by pointing out that most of the “bad” ingredients are in the dry food. For example, the dry food contains corn, wheat, and soy. The wet food is much better in regard to quality.
Not all recipes have many vegetables, but some are present in the food. They also contain meat by-products and a few ingredients that help make the gravy more gelatinous. There’s also some concern with the minerals not digesting properly. With all of that said, all recipes are free from artificial ingredients. The wet food has real meat as its first ingredient, and one formula even contains liver, an excellent source of protein and minerals.
Let’s look at each of these elements more closely so you can decide if it’s something to feed your little pooch.
Corn, Wheat, & Soy
Corn, wheat, and soy are highly controversial in the pet food industry. Some owners don’t mind it being in their pet’s food, and others avoid it at all costs.
So, why are these ingredients controversial? Corn, wheat, and soy are usually highly processed GMO crops. Although they provide some nutrition for pets, they’re usually used as primary ingredients in lower-quality dog foods instead of using meat and vegetables as the primary ingredients. Other pet owners may avoid these ingredients because their dogs may be allergic to them.
We always encourage pet owners to be health advocates for their own pets. If you don’t mind these ingredients, then keep reading! If you avoid these ingredients, this food won’t be a good choice.
A meat by-product is the non-rendered part of an animal that humans normally wouldn’t eat. This includes the liver, brain, spleen, lung, kidney, bone, etc. This does not include bones, teeth, horns, hooves, feathers, beaks, and hair. Despite many beliefs, these parts must be clean in animal food.
These foods may not be suitable or ideal for human consumption, but animals are more than willing to consume them. In fact, many animals do in the wild.
The difference between by-product and fresh organ meat is that by-product is a mix of several animal parts. Fresh organ meat is what it says it is—fresh organ meat. It isn’t mixed with anything else.
Carrageenan, Guar Gum, & Locust Bean Gum
These ingredients help make the gravy in wet food (and sometimes dry food) more gelatinous. The nutritional characteristics vary but are usually high in carbohydrates and fiber.
Since dogs are omnivores, it’s a good idea to offer food with fresh vegetables. You’ll see carrot, green bean, sweet potato, and potato in most recipes. There are no other vegetables in their recipes, but at least there are some! This will provide balanced nutrition in your dog’s diet.
Carrot is the most prominent vegetable and an excellent source of vitamin A, fiber, and natural sugar.
Next, we have green beans, a great source of protein, calcium, iron, fiber, and several vitamins.
Sweet potatoes and potatoes are found in many dog food recipes. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, B6, and C and are low-fat. Both have a ton of fiber, helping your dog stay full.
Although there aren’t many veggies, the present ones have a lot to offer.
Sadly, this food contains no probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help balance the gut microbiome and ultimately help the body fight illness.
The gut plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health of your body, and probiotics can help improve its function. This doesn’t mean that the gut can do its job independently, but probiotics can certainly help.
Minerals Aren’t Chelated
We all need minerals for our bodies to function correctly, including your dog. Some minerals are hard to digest without the help of other minerals, so it’s a good idea to know if the minerals in your dog’s food are chelated.
Chelated minerals are bound to chelating agents or organic compounds such as amino acids to help the body absorb these minerals. This is especially important for dog foods enriched with vitamins and minerals. You can identify chelated minerals by their name on the ingredients label. For example:
The downside to chelated minerals is it increases the cost of dog food. It looks like the minerals in Purina Bella food aren’t chelated, so some (not all) may be difficult to absorb.
A Quick Look at Purina Bella Dog Food
The Purina Bella sub-brand hasn’t had any recalls, but Purina is familiar with recalls involving their other brands. In the past four years, Purina has had four recalls.
Purina voluntarily recalled their cattle and wildlife feed in October 2021 due to elevated urea levels in the feed. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily affect domestic animals.
However, in 2020, Purina recalled their rabbit and turkey feed because of elevated calcium levels. In 2019, Purina recalled their wet cat food Muse for the potential of rubber pieces found in the food. Finally, in 2018, Purina’s lamb chow received a recall because of elevated copper levels.
Reviews of the 3 Best Purina Bella Dog Food Recipes
1. Purina Bella Lamb, Peas, & Sweet Potato Pâté
The Purina Bella Lamb, Peas, and Sweet Potato recipe is the best-selling recipe of the brand. The first two ingredients are water and chicken, followed by chicken by-product, fresh lamb, and fresh chicken liver. It has 7% protein and 3.5% fat and is packed with vitamins, although some may be challenging to absorb.
Overall, most dogs love this recipe. However, some dogs can’t get past how gelatinous it is.
2. Purina Bella True Delights Chicken, Carrot, & Potato Meal Topper
The Purina Bella True Delights meal topper is a favorite amongst buyers and dogs. This meal topper is simple. There are only six ingredients, and two of them are thickening agents. It’s also very low calorie, containing only 23 kcal/cup. So, you can’t use this as an entire meal.
There’s 10% protein and 0.5% fat, so there is no need to worry about feeding your little dog something fatty. This meal topper is also grain-free for those that choose the grain-free route. Ultimately, this meal topper is a great choice for picky eaters.
3. Purina Bella Natural Bites Chicken & Turkey
This Purina Bella Natural Bites Chicken and Turkey recipe is the most popular dry food option. This recipe has 26% protein and 15.5% fat, higher than most dog foods. Other dog foods usually hover around the 325–350 calorie range. This food has 358, slightly higher than average, but not enough for us to consider it a high-calorie food.
The only real meats this recipe contains are chicken and turkey, further down the ingredient list. Most of the protein comes from soy meal, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, and canola meal.
The other downside to this food is finding it. This food was discontinued in many pet food stores, so you can only order it on the Purina website now.
What Other Users Are Saying
Here’s what other people are saying about Purina Bella small dog breed food.
So, is this good food for small dog breeds? We believe there are good elements to this food. We like that one of the recipes contains liver and that all the food is higher-than-average protein. We also like how affordable it is and the absence of artificial ingredients.
We don’t like the lack of muscular meat in these recipes. Much of the protein comes from by-products and grains. We don’t believe these ingredients are harmful, but it would be nice to have a high-protein food with more animal-based protein.
Above all, we give this food 3.5 stars. It’s not the best food, but it’s not the worst. It’s affordable dog food with decent ingredients.