Purina Pro Plan Vs. Diamond Naturals: Which Dog Food Is Better?

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Dog owners need to carefully pick what kind of food they feed their canine friends because many brands do not provide high-quality food. Two brands that you may be curious about are Purina Pro Plan and Diamond Naturals. While they’re both solid choices, it’s not uncommon for dog owners to wonder which brand makes better dog food.

Purina Pro Plan is a better dog food than Diamond Naturals because it uses higher quality ingredients (especially the meat), has more protein and fiber contents, offers more customization options, and has a less sketchy recall history. Purina also offers My Plan, a feature Diamond Naturals lacks.

Let’s take a closer look at these brands and discuss what makes Purina Pro Plan the better overall choice for dog food. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the similarities between these brands to how their most popular offerings stack up against each other. Let’s get started.

If you are interested in checking out these two dog foods? You can find them by clicking here:
Purina Pro Plan and Diamond Naturals (on Amazon.com)

Purina Pro Plan Vs. Diamond Naturals: Basic Similarities 

Purina Pro Plan dog food has over eighty formulas that you can choose from. These formulas vary based on your dog’s size and lifestyle, so you can personalize which food you provide your dog for the best results.

If you aren’t sure which food is right for your dog, you can use the Purina My Plan feature to get an expert’s help. They offer wet and dry dog food varieties made with real meat. 

Similarly, Diamond Naturals offers various wet and dry dog food formulas that change based on your dog’s size and age. Both brands offer the option of personalizing the formulas according to your specific dog and its needs.

Purina Pro Plan: Pros & Cons

Here’s a table summarizing the pros and cons of Purina Pro Plan dog food:

Recommended by over 400 vets and scientists.Lower in calcium.
High-quality ingredients, especially the meats. Meat is the number one ingredient.  Corn is one of the main ingredients in some of the formulas, which can cause digestive issues for some breeds, especially large breeds.
Protein-rich. Purina Pro Plan is not recall-free. 
Suitable for dogs of all ages and breeds. Some formulas give dogs bad breath. 
Dogs like the taste. 
High in vitamins and minerals, including fish oil.
Dogs experience fewer rashes and itching. 

Purina has been manufacturing dog food for over one hundred years, so they have the benefit of experience on their side. They were also the first company to start using real meat as the number one ingredient in their dog foods. 

Purina Pro Plan has dog food for dogs of all ages and for every kind of breed. They offer dog food for adult dogs, puppies, and senior dogs, and some foods are suitable for all life stages. 

The personalization factor goes further: there are several different product lines that are all included under the banner of Purina Pro Plan. These include Development Puppy, Essentials, Specialized, Sport, Senior, Savor, Savory Meals, Focus, and Bright Mind.

The most popular of these are:

  • Bright Mind. This formula is best for senior dogs because it keeps the mind sharp and healthy. 
  • Focus. This line is primarily for dogs with specialized needs, such as dogs that struggle with obesity. 
  • Savor. This formula is best for small dogs because the live probiotics in the food support the immune health of smaller dogs. 
  • Sport. This line is best for highly active dogs because the grain-free formula supports joint health and mobility. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular Purina Pro Plan foods: 

Most Popular Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs: Purina Pro Plan Adult 

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With Probiotics for Dogs, Shredded Blend Beef & Rice Formula - 47 lb. Bag

This line features several different flavors and types, including:

  • Giant Breed 
  • Small Breed
  • Toy Breed
  • Weight Management 
  • Sensitive Skin and Stomach, Salmon and Rice 
  • Sensitive Skin and Stomach, Lamb and Oatmeal 
  • Adult Shredded Blend Lamb and Rice 
  • Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice 
  • Adult Shredded Blend Salmon and Rice 
  • Adult Shredded Blend Beef and Rice 

The Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice, is particularly of interest. Its main ingredients are: 

  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Whole grain wheat
  • Poultry by-product meal
  • Soybean meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Whole grain corn
  • Dried egg
  • Fish meal
  • Natural flavor
  • Soybean oil. 

These are relatively uncontroversial ingredients. However, the third most popular ingredient, wheat, isn’t ideal because wheat does not have a lot of nutritional value for dogs. 

The most recommended Purina Pro Plan recipes are:

  • Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice
  • Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Lamb and Rice. 

Diamond Naturals Pros & Cons 

Here’s a table summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of Diamond Naturals dog food:

Pros Cons
Lots of security and testing to ensure their ingredients are high-quality.Not a recall-free company.
High-quality food for a lower price. Whole meat isn’t the number one ingredient in all recipes.
Many of the recipes use a lot of rice, which is a good source of carbs and protein.Some recipes have natural flavor and salt, which is not good for dogs.
Lots of different ingredients, including berries, fruits, and vegetables. A large percentage of protein comes from non-meat sources.
Some of their bag sizes aren’t very practical (for example, they only sell large dog breed food in small bags). 

Diamond has been around since 1970, so they don’t have as much experience as Purina. Still, they have been in the dog food game for a long time. 

Diamond prides itself on its superfood ingredients that go beyond the ingredients you typically find in dog foods, such as kale, chia seeds, pumpkin, oranges, spinach, carrots, and blueberries. These ingredients provide dogs with the antioxidants and other nutrients they need to be happy and healthy. 

The dry dog food formulas are enhanced with probiotics, which can be particularly helpful for digestive and immune systems in smaller dogs. The formulas also have glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, which help your dog’s joints and cartilage. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular foods from Diamond Naturals: 

Most Popular Dog Food for All Life Stages: Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula

Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, 40 lb

The main ingredients in this formula are as follows: 

  • Chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Brown rice
  • Pearled barley
  • White rice
  • Dried yeast
  • Chicken fat
  • Egg product
  • Dried beet pulp
  • Natural flavor
  • Flaxseed
  • Salmon oil
  • Kale
  • chia seed
  • Pumpkin
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Quinoa
  • Kelp
  • Coconut
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Papaya
  • Salt.

This is one of the better dog foods from Diamond Naturals because chicken is the number one ingredient. Also, this food features a variety of superfoods that aren’t found in Purina Pro Plan foods. However, the presence of salt is problematic, and most of the protein comes from non-meat sources. 

Another negative to this dog food is that the size selection is limited. You can only get bags in a six-ounce size or a forty-pound size.

Here are the most popular foods from Diamond Naturals:

  • Beef Meal and Rice Dry Dog Food
  • Chicken and Rice Dry Dog Food
  • Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Chicken Dinner Wet Dog Food. 

Purina Pro Plan Vs. Diamond Naturals: A Closer Look at the Ingredients

The ingredients list might not mean a lot to you if you don’t know what’s good or bad for your dog. But as it turns out, not everything included in formulas from both brands is good for your furry friend.

Let’s discuss some popular dog food ingredients and their health value一or lack thereof一for your canine companion: 

  • Chicken. Chicken is a great source of protein for your dog, so seeing chicken or chicken meal as one of the main ingredients in dog food is a good sign. Chicken poses a risk for Salmonella if it is not cooked well enough, though, and both Purina Pro Plan and Diamond Natural have had recalls in their past due to suspected Salmonella. 
  • Whole grain brown rice. Brown rice has nutrients and minerals that are good for dogs, and it is definitely better than white rice.
  • Whole wheat and other grains. Whole grains contain omega-three fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients and carbs that dogs need. However, some dogs have grain intolerances, so you should note how your dog responds to eating food with a high grain content. Fortunately, both Purina Pro Plan and Diamond Natural offer grain-free food choices. 
  • Soy and soybean meal. Soy is a high-quality plant protein, and dogs are omnivores designed to get nutrients from both plants and animals. So soy and soybean meal are not bad ingredients in dog food despite what some people think. In fact, soy is good for dogs who frequently get bladder stones.
  • Corn. Corn is not toxic to dogs and contains important antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E. However, it should not be one of the main ingredients in dog food because too much of it can cause weight gain, diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping.  
  • Eggs. Eggs are safe for dogs to eat, and they are a rich protein source with healthy amounts of vitamins B2 and B12. 
  • Kale. Kale is nutrient-rich and full of vitamins K, A, and C, so kale can help your dog’s blood and muscle health and boost their energy. 

Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid when purchasing dog food, you can make a knowledgeable decision about which dog food is best for you and your pup.

Purina Pro Plan Vs. Diamond: Recall History  

Both companies have recalls in their history. Let’s take a look at these recalls so you can be fully aware of the risks before you give your beloved dog this food.

The following table outlines this information: 

Company Recall 
PurinaMarch 10, 2016.
The company recalled some Purina Pro Plan wet dog food because it didn’t have enough vitamins and minerals 
Purina August 30, 2013.
Purina voluntarily recalled 3.5-pound bags of Purina One Beyond due to possible Salmonella bacteria 
Diamond May 2012 
Diamond recalled Diamond Naturals foods because they tested positive for Salmonella 
Diamond December 2005 
Over 100 dogs died as a result of Diamond pet food, which was thought to be contaminated with aflatoxin

These recalls don’t mean that these companies are not to be trusted, but it is nice to be in the know about these things before you make a dog food decision.

If you are looking for a dog food brand that hasn’t been recalled, you can always opt for the likes of:

  • The Farmer’s Dog Food
  • Open Farm
  • Pet Plate Dog Food
  • Ollie Dog Food
  • Nom Nom Dog Food. 

Purina Pro Plan Vs. Diamond Naturals: The Verdict 

Both of these dog food brands offer high-quality dog foods, but Purina Pro Plan is the better choice because its ingredients are superior, and they have more options for dogs with special needs.

Here are some reasons why Purina Pro Plan is a better choice for your dog than Diamond Naturals: 

  • Purina Pro Plan guarantees that whole meat is their number one ingredient. Meat is the number one ingredient of most of Diamond Natural’s dog foods, but not all. Most of the Diamond Natural dog foods that feature lamb use lamb meal instead of whole lamb. 
  • Diamond Naturals has a sketchier recall history. Both companies have only had two recent recalls, but Diamond Naturals’ recalls are more concerning. One of Purina Pro Plan’s recalls was simply because the food didn’t contain enough ingredients, whereas one of Diamond Naturals’ recalls was because their food caused the death of more than 100 dogs. 
  • Purina Pro Plan has more crude protein than Diamond Natural. Dogs need twenty-two amino acids to live a happy and healthy life, and they synthesize twelve of these acids naturally. For the other ten, they need to have enough protein, and Diamond provides less protein than Purina Pro Plan in dry food by roughly 4.44%. The difference is not as extreme in wet foods. 
  • Purina Pro Plan provides more fiber than Diamond Natural. This difference here is less extreme than the gap in protein content but still notable. 
  • Purina Pro Plan has more specialized and customizable options than Diamond Natural. Diamond has a wide range of dog foods as well, but it doesn’t compare to how specific Purina Pro Plan gets. If your dog has a specific issue, such as weight, or it is struggling with aging, sensitive skin, or some other problem, Purina Pro Plan probably has a food that can help alleviate that issue. 
  • People who use Purina Pro Plan report that their dog’s skin improved. Purina Pro Plan foods can help dogs with their skin issues, so if your dog suffers from rashes and itching, Purina can help reduce their pain. 
  • Purina Pro Plan offers My Plan. If you don’t know which food is perfect for your pooch, you can use Purina Pro Plan’s “My Plan” feature. With this program, you answer questions about your dog and its health, behavior, and lifestyle, and experts at Purina Pro Plan recommend the best food and how much to feed your pet. 

The one area where Diamond is superior to Purina Pro Plan is in price: Diamond dog food averages $1.89 per pound, whereas Purina Pro Plan is a steeper $3.84 per pound. However, it is worth paying more for a superior brand and better food for your dog when it comes to your beloved dog. 

It is also worth noting that you’re still not overpaying for your dog food for the high-quality ingredients Purina Pro Plan foods contain. Purina is still affordable compared to other similar brands despite using real whole meats in all of its recipes.

Final Thoughts 

Both Purina Pro Plan and Diamond Naturals are high-quality dog foods that provide some opportunities for specialization. However, Purina Pro Plan consistently has better ingredients than Diamond Naturals, and they offer more options for your dog’s specific needs. 

And while the Purina Pro Plan is priced slightly higher, it’s still affordable. For this reason, I recommend Purina Pro Plan over Diamond Naturals.