Food allergies and medical issues that require specific diets are all too common in dogs. I can’t help but feel frustrated when one of my dogs develops recurring ear infections, repeated indigestion, flaky, itchy skin, and other signs of food intolerance – especially when I’m already feeding them an expensive, high-quality diet.
I could spend thousands at the vet trying to diagnose exactly what my dog is allergic to. Or, I can try a high-quality limited ingredient food to try to isolate what food my dog has trouble with. In this article, Pure Vita Dog Food: An In-Depth Review, I’ll help you decide whether Pure Vita is the right limited-ingredient food brand for your dog.
Things to consider before buying a limited-ingredient food
If you are in the market for a limited-ingredient diet for your dog, the chances are very good that your dog is experiencing a health concern that requires a specialized diet, such as allergies. Choosing the right food can save you thousands in vet bills so it is worth carefully considering your options before making a decision. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Single-ingredient protein sources
Just because a bag of food is labeled “duck” or “turkey” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have other kinds of meat such as chicken or beef. You need to find a food that uses a single-ingredient animal protein source, which means that it only has one kind of meat in it. An exception may be made for supplements such as fish oil used in the food.
Most dogs that have food allergies are allergic to a meat protein. In order to isolate which meat is causing the allergy, you need novel meat protein that your dog has never eaten before. You want to choose a brand that not only offers single-ingredient protein sources but also offers meats that you don’t usually find.
Most dogs do just fine on diets containing grain. In fact, many dogs suffer when fed grain-free diets. Not all grain is created equal. Grain such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley, flax-seed, and alfalfa are much easier for your dog to digest and less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others, like wheat or corn.
Choose a diet that offers digestible grains and avoids corn and wheat.
Pure Vita Dog Food: An In-Depth Review
Pure Vita dog food is an extremely high-quality option that focuses on limited-protein-source, grain-free diets. The vast majority of dogs that suffer from a dietary allergy are responding to a specific protein, usually chicken or beef. Many other dogs suffer from an allergy to grain, usually wheat.
Pura Vita offers novel proteins that your dog probably hasn’t tried before, including very unique protein options such as kangaroo and venison. These options are paired with healthy grains such as oatmeal, which are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. You’ll also find them in recipes that don’t use grains at all. Pure Vita offers a range of wet and dry foods including food designed for small breeds.
- Limited-protein diets offering novel proteins like kangaroo and venison
- Meat and meat meal are the first ingredients in every recipe
- Packed with multiple sources of probiotics so your dog can fully digest what they eat
- Offers healthy grain options and grain-free options
- Provide formulas in both dry kibble and wet food
- Does not offer recipes for specific needs such as weight-loss or old-age diets
- The high-quality dog food is not one of your cheaper options
- Don’t offer as many options in diets containing grain as their grain-free choices
Trusted family company
For 50 years, Pure Vita has been providing healthy pet food to dogs. During this time, they have perfected a range of formulas including dry kibble, canned food, grain-free recipes, and organically-sourced ingredient choices.
This company produces consistent products at a trustworthy manufacturing facility. Their state-of-the-art equipment formulates dog foods for sound nutrition. The manufacturing plant in Perham, Minnesota, produces only high-quality pet food.
Tuffy’s, Tuffy’s Gold, Nutrisource, Natural Planet Organics, and Pura Vita are all branded products produced at this facility. The factory and warehouse are thoroughly cleaned and regularly inspected by the American Institute of Baking. Each truck is also inspected for cleanliness before products are loaded.
Products are made to order, which means that you get the freshest food available every time. High-quality packaging preserves palatability and freshness. You can trust that every bag is identical every time, guaranteed with the listed levels of fat, protein, fiber, and moisture.
Pure Vita prides themselves on excellent customer service. Ingredients are tested upon arrival while they are still fresh and raw to be certain that they meet Pure Vita’s stringent specifications for high quality as well as proper levels of protein, ash, and moisture.
Pure Vita offers recipes that have limited ingredients such as a single source of protein so that you can easily isolate what is giving your dog digestive trouble or causing allergies. This way, you can avoid feeding your dog what bothers them without paying for expensive allergy testing or veterinary visits.
Chicken and brown rice
Do you want to feed your dog a high-quality food that gives them the protein they need without loading them down with fat? Pure Vita’s chicken and brown rice recipe is an excellent choice for dogs that need great quality protein to build muscle when you don’t want them to pack on the pounds. This food is 24% crude protein but only 13% crude fat, so your dog gets muscle-building protein without extra fat.
Whole chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. This means that the extensive amount of protein in this diet comes from chicken. These ingredients are followed by brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, high-quality grains that are easy for your dog to digest and a great source of fiber.
Plenty of fiber will keep your dog feeling full so they won’t mind waiting between meal times but won’t gain weight either. Ingredients like cherries, apricots, and cranberries mean that this recipe is packed full of healthy antioxidants so your dog will have a stronger immune system.
Not just one type of probiotic, but five sources of probiotic from fermentation products are used, so your dog will be able to digest every ounce of nutrition that they eat.
Duck and oatmeal
Chicken and beef are two of the most common allergens for our household dogs. Therefore, if your dog is suffering from a food allergy, it is a good idea to try an alternative protein. Many people assume that their dogs are allergic to grain and opt for grain-free options, but in fact, grain allergies are less common in dogs than protein allergies.
This duck recipe gives you the same balance of protein to fat as the chicken recipe so your dog won’t gain any more weight for having a limited-ingredient diet. There is 24% crude protein and 13% crude fat.
This limited-ingredient duck recipe offers your dog great nutrition with a limited and novel protein so that you can identify whether your dog may be allergic to chicken or beef. Duck is the first ingredient in this recipe, followed by duck meal, so you know that the protein is coming from meat. These ingredients are followed by oatmeal, barley, and peas, all of which are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Oatmeal and barley are exceptionally easily digestible grains – great for dogs that have been suffering digestive upset.
These ingredients are followed by sunflower oil and flax-seed, which help your dog develop a sleek and shiny coat. This will come as a relief after the flaking and dry skin caused by allergies. Salmon oil is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Apricots, cherries, and cranberries provide your dog with excellent antibiotics to increase their immunity. This formula is also packed with multiple forms of probiotics so your dog gets the most of what they eat.
This recipe also comes in small bites so your little dog will be able to handle the kibble easily.
Salmon and potato
Do you want to provide your dog with a specific protein diet that also gives them glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and Omega 3 and 6 to benefit their skin? Pure Vita’s salmon and potato diet may be just what you’re looking for. Salmon and salmon meal are the first two ingredients, giving your dog a powerful dose of joint and skin health as well as avoiding common allergens.
The protein is followed by potato, oatmeal, barley, and peas. These ingredients offer an important blend of vitamins and minerals as well as provide additional protein and fiber. Sunflower oil and flax-seed will do even more to give your dog a glowing coat.
This diet is formulated with lots of probiotics to help your dog digest everything they eat as well as berries for antioxidants. This recipe also offers a balance of 24% protein and 13% fat, which is ideal for maintaining a healthy dog without gaining weight.
Grain-free, limited-protein options
Most dogs are allergic to protein, not grain, but some dogs will be intolerant of grain, especially wheat. A grain-free option gives your dog the nutrition they need while saving them from eating grains that make them feel bad. If your dog is sensitive to certain proteins and particular grains, you will love these limited-ingredient options that control both protein and grain.
Usually, when you want to offer your dog a protein they haven’t had before in order to determine if they may be allergic to proteins, you choose something like duck or turkey. You may also eliminate grains in case these are what have been contributing to your dog’s negative reaction.
Pura Vita offers wonderful duck and turkey options, each with animal protein as the first two ingredients and followed by highly digestible beans, lentils, and vegetables in place of grain.
However, where Pure Vita really shines is in their truly novel proteins. You probably don’t eat kangaroo or venison very often, and your dog doesn’t either. This means that by choosing the venison or kangaroo option, you give your dog a truly novel protein. In both cases, animal protein is the first two ingredients, followed by lentils, garbanzo beans, sunflower meal, and sunflower oil.
The only other animal products that you can expect to find in these limited-ingredient diets are salmon oil in order to give your dog plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin. This means that you can offer your dog an excellent, high-quality, easily digestible diet using proteins they’ve never tried before.
Pure Vita offers protein choices in normal meat like chicken, pork, and beef; less common proteins like salmon, turkey, and duck; and very novel proteins like kangaroo and venison. Several of these recipes, including turkey and salmon, also come in small bites for your little dog.
These foods vary more in nutritional content than the grain options. For instance, you can choose a high-protein and relatively high-fat option like the venison, which offers 26% protein and 15% fat. If your dog needs more fat and lower protein, consider the salmon recipe with 24% protein and 16% fat. If your dog needs both a boost of protein and plenty of fat to keep them going, the beef and lentils recipe offers 28% protein and 16% fat.
Wet or dry choices
Usually, kibble is recommended for most dogs because it aids in dental health. Furthermore, kibble is easier for most people to use and store. That said, when dogs aren’t feeling as well, have dental issues, or just need a little something to spice up their daily meal, wet food options are nice to have.
Pure Vita offers wet formulas in beef, chicken, pork, salmon, and turkey. Each is formulated with the same high-quality ingredients as the dry food, although you can expect the protein and fat ratios to vary somewhat. Wet foods vary between 10% and 12% protein, and 4.5% and 9% fat.
It is important to keep the fat content in mind if you want to choose a nonfattening option to spice up your dog’s food. The chicken recipe has 9% fat with 10% protein, while the beef recipe has 11% protein and 6.5% fat. Contrast that to the pork recipe, which offers 12% protein and only 4.5% fat.
What people say about Pure Vita
People love this food, and they seem to believe that their dogs do as well. Dogs with sensitive stomachs and dogs that have turned their nose up at other foods gobble up this recipe without digestive upset.
People remarked that it seems to offer a more balanced energy level, resulting in calmer dogs than some other limited-ingredient options provide. The biggest concern is around the price, as this food isn’t cheap, but most people seem to believe that the cost is worth it.
Alternatives to Pure Vita
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
Here is a natural, limited-ingredient, grain-free diet that is another wonderful choice for dogs that need a specific source of protein. This salmon and menhaden fish meal-based diet offers plenty of essential amino acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.
Sweet potato is used in place of grain, offering a highly digestible source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that actually help your dog digest their food better.
- Tends to be slightly more affordable than Pure Vita
- Sweet potato is the first ingredient, not meat
- Does not contain as many probiotics as Pure Vita, so dogs may not digest as thoroughly
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult
Hill’s is recommended by veterinarians and even sold in veterinary clinics throughout the United States. Their recipes are not only formulated to meet nutritional standards but have been strenuously tested to ensure that they can do what they say they can do. This formula contains plenty of prebiotic fiber to help your dog digest their food fully, and the diet is formulated for high digestibility.
- Brewers rice, not meat, is the first ingredient
- This limited-ingredient diet relies on chicken, which tends to be a common allergen
- Recommended by veterinarians and sold in veterinary offices
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
Blue Buffalo is a well-known name in quality pet food. The Blue Basics Limited line is designed to eliminate the most common allergens that dogs suffer from. This recipe is formulated without chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, or soy, which eliminates all of the most common allergens for dogs.
Instead, this food relies on salmon as the sole animal protein source. A significant quantity of salmon means there’s plenty of Omega 3 and 6 to improve your dog’s skin, coat, and heart. Peas and pumpkin make this ingredient very easy for your dog to digest. While this food is far from cheap, it may be less expensive than other options that you are considering.
- Eliminates all common sources of allergens from the recipe
- Contains Blue Exclusive LifeSource bits, which contain a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants selected by holistic veterinarians
- Slightly less expensive, on average, than Pure Vita
If you are looking for extremely healthy food for your dog that relies on novel protein and offers both healthy grain and grain-free options, made by a long-standing company that you can trust, Pure Vita may be just what you are looking for. This company offers a wide range of high-quality foods perfect for dogs that need special-ingredient diets due to allergies or some other reason.
This food isn’t cheap, but it can save you thousands on vet bills.