What goes into Purina Petfood

Man spending time with his dog
Here at PURINA, creating carefully balanced meals to keep your pets happy and healthy is what’s been making us tick for over 85 years now. 
Our dedicated team is comprised of nutritionists, animal behaviourists, veterinary professionals and food scientists, all working to create food for pets that supports and maintains their health and wellbeing. Our aim is simple: to make pets everywhere the happiest and healthiest they can be. 
The ingredients we choose are one of the most important parts of the work that we do. We use animal-based raw materials (such as chicken, beef, lamb and fish), vegetables, cereals, and vitamins to create tasty and nutritious recipes. The food they eat is a huge part of how our pets grow and develop – we don’t leave anything to chance. Read on to discover more about specific ingredients in the PURINA range of pet foods.

Meat and animal derivatives

Animal based raw materials (such as chicken, beef, lamb) are generally good sources of protein, essential fatty acids, iron and some B group vitamins. They taste great to pets and are easy for them to digest.
The term “meat and meat derivatives” simply means an animal-based ingredient, and PURINA only uses ingredients that come from animals which have been veterinary-inspected and passed as fit for human consumption. This means PURINA pet food contains animal-based raw materials from the same animals we eat, such as beef, lamb, poultry and pork.

Fish and fish derivatives

Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein, and this is why we use it in many of our PURINA pet food recipes. Proteins are the building blocks of the body, essential for growth and repair. Proteins help release energy and form muscle, skin, hair, antibodies and hormones.
Fish muscle contains iodine. Because bones are frequently ground when preparing the fish, a good source of calcium and phosphorus is also provided. The flesh of oily fish contains vitamins A & D and omega 3 – great for making fur coats everywhere healthy and glossy. 


Vegetables are often combined with sources of protein in many of our PURINA pet foods. Vegetables provide a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Soya beans provide a source of protein and energy, omega 6, vitamin B, fibre and minerals.

Other additives

Additives also include flavours, preservatives, antioxidants and colours. Additives play important roles in helping to provide appealing and tasty food, and also to give your pet a safe and nutritionally balanced diet. We only use small amounts of additives that are safe and legally permitted in line with strict EU legislation for pet food. Additives used can also be found in our own foods.
Preservatives are an example of a type of additive. They can be artificial or natural, but either way, they work by preventing the spoilage of food ingredients e.g. fats turning bad. They are critical to maintaining good quality, safe and palatable pet food.
Antioxidants are another example of an additive. They have been shown to play an important role in the long-term health and wellbeing of pets. In some cases, we may add antioxidants e.g. vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium to our pet food to help promote good health and neutralise free radicals. 
Colours are only used in our products in small amounts. The colours and all other additives that we use are carefully regulated by a number of authorities (The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) together with the European Commission) and are permitted for use in cat, dog and human food in all EU member states. All PURINA products comply with the strict EU legislation for pet food to ensure they are safe and nutritionally balanced.


Good sources of carbohydrates in pet foods are usually cereal-based. Cereals such as corn (maize), rice, wheat or barley are included in many PURINA pet foods because they provide an important source of energy, a proportion of protein and other nutrients including some B vitamins. Certain fibres, for example rice bran, can also have additional beneficial effects helping to support the health of the digestive tract.


Fats are an essential part of pet diets and an important source of energy, providing more than twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates. Fats also improve the taste and digestibility of pet food.
Essential fatty acids are important for your pet’s overall health, such as a glossy coat and good skin, healthy joints, a healthy immune system, reproduction and helping to remove waste from the body. 
We often worry about ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ fats in our own diets but, unlike humans, it is generally considered in veterinary medicine that cats and dogs are not at the same risk of clogged arteries. 
All the ingredients in PURINA pet food, including the fat content, are carefully tailored to give your pet the correct amount depending on his or her individual life stage or lifestyle. This means the exact amount of fat in each of our products varies. A PURINA puppy food, for example, has a higher fat content than an adult dog food product, while senior and weight controlled diets are lower in fat.


Sodium is one of the essential dietary minerals required by cats and dogs. Salt in the form of sodium chloride plays an important role in helping the nervous system to work effectively. The correct balance of certain minerals called electrolytes (e.g. sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) are also closely tied to supporting water balance to stop the body having too little (and becoming dehydrated), or too much water. The amount of sodium in PURINA pet food is only present at safe levels and is part of a 100% complete and balanced diet. 


Sugars include sucrose (from cane or sugar beet), fructose and glucose, all of which are natural products present in human foods like fruits and vegetables. Sugar, like protein, is a source of energy. However, it does not represent a major ingredient in the pet food industry. Check the label (always in descending order) and in case you see “sugars” declared, it will be towards the end.