Purina Pro Plan is a very well marketed food, giving every impression of being a scientifically formulated, healthy and highly nutritious dog food. But is it really one of the best dog foods for a large breed puppy?
This particular mix is for 'robust' breeds, meaning less athletic and energetic breeds such as Newfoundlands, St Bernards, etc. It is designed to offer a lower calorie intake reducing the likelihood that your puppy will become overweight.
Unfortunately, Purina Pro Plan lacks high quality ingredients. The first listed ingredient is chicken at 17%, which is a low proportion for the only meat source. Purina do not state if this is dried chicken or not. If it's not, then it will be bulked out with water, further lowering the proportion of decent nutrition provided by the chicken.
Wheat is the second listed ingredient. This is a concern. Wheat is closely linked with dietary problems in dogs, as it does not form part of their natural diet and they simply are not designed to digest it. Wheat can trigger allergic reactions. It is a staple of low quality dog foods, as it is a cheap filler to bulk them out.
Other disappointments on the ingredients list includes maize - another grain with similar issues to wheat, wheat fibre, and 'digest' - an animal derivative formed via very inorganic processing.
You won't find any of the joint supplements (glucosamine, chrondroitin, MSM) in Purina Pro Plan that you might expect in a mix tailored for large breed puppies. However, Purina have kept the calcium level low at 1.3% which is good for controlled skeletal development. There are certainly better foods for large breed puppies, such as the rather expensive Orijen, but also better choices at the same price point, like Arden Grange