We have the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food up for review today. Like you can probably guess, this is a prescription dog diet. It belongs to Purina’s Veterinary Diets product line and is particularly targeted at dogs with food sensitivities.
This product is pretty popular among vets and dog owners. Purina products are, generally, quite affordable. However, this product is a little more expensive than the regular Purina dog diets you find – about three times more. However, this is somewhat expected considering the fact that this is a prescription food.
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food is a vegetarian dog diet and comes with simple proteins from a single source as well as single source carbohydrates. It, therefore, has little to no level of allergens. This is supposed to help minimize the risk of an adverse reaction in your growing pup or adult dog.
Purina says this product is good enough for dogs with food allergic gastroenteritis or dermatitis, food intolerance, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease. How true is that? Well, in our review, we intend to go through each of the ingredients in this product to check if this is something to feed your ailing dog with. Hopefully, at the end, you’re able to make an informed decision.
Upfront, though, we must say that we are not huge supporters of a vegetarian diet for dogs as dogs require meat proteins to grow healthy and strong.
If you want to, you can check out this comprehensive article on vegetarian dog food. It contains a lot of information about a vegetarian diet and whether or not it is worth considering.
Who Is The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food For?
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food is a prescription dog food. This is the first thing to note about the product. This means that you have to get authorization from your veterinary doctor before you can check out with this product whether from a brick and mortar store or online.
This diet is also recommended for dogs with food allergic gastroenteritis or dermatitis. Dogs with gastrointestinal ailments such as food intolerance, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease are also a part of Purina’s target consumers for this product as well.
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food is also recommended for dogs of all sizes from small to medium to large breeds.
Furthermore, it’s a vegetarian diet for dog parents who don’t like to feed their dog a meat diet (not really advised though). It’s also meant for adult dogs only and not puppies.
Ingredients In The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
There is a lot of controversy over whether or not dogs should be fed corn. There are those (mostly from the pet food industry) who say that corn is nutritional hence the reason it is used in dog food. Some dog owners have, consequently, parroted this without finding out for themselves if this is true or not.
Well, the truth is that corn is not as nutritional as it is touted to be. In truth, it does not cause a high rate of allergenic reactions as other grains are known to do. In fact, except your dog is particularly allergic to corn, there is no reason corn should cause any problem in their diet.
However, one of the real reasons corn is so common in dog foods is because of its affordability and not its nutritional factor as pet food brands would like you to believe. The same goes for other corn derivatives like cornstarch.
Cornstarch is a great binding agent so it holds other ingredients in the dog food together which gives the food a more substantial feel. It also makes the food easier to serve as well. In cheap, low-quality dog food, cornstarch is used to stretch the more expensive ingredients a mile while increasing the mass of the food itself.
Now, while cornstarch provides energy, being high in calories, it does not contain either protein or fat which is what dogs need more.
As a filler or thickener, it is not a huge problem for dogs as long as the pup in question isn’t allergic to it. But then again, with continued feeding, it is not completely far-fetched to think that your dog could develop allergies to this ingredient later in life.
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate
Hydrolyzing certain food ingredients is a common way in which pet food makers disguise known allergens in order to prevent the triggering of an allergic reaction in a dog.
As you know, hydrolysis simply refers to a breakdown of a substance by the introduction of water. So, the idea behind this is to completely disintegrate the offending allergen so that when it enters into the body, the immune system no longer recognizes it and, as such, cannot trigger a reaction.
The main challenge with this particular ingredient is that the food being hydrolyzed is soy. Initially, soy used to be quite popular as a healthy ingredient with its low cholesterol levels and fantastic support which it gives to vital organs like the heart.
However, these days, most of the soy available is genetically modified which causes a lot of scientists to worry. Soy is known to contain some plant estrogens which are known to disrupt the normal function of the endocrine system.
Also, soy is known to contain phytates. Phytates are terrible for dogs as they tamper with the regular way in which the body absorbs minerals.
Dogs with dermatitis, whether from food sensitivities or not, can experience a little relief from the consumption of vegetable oil. Even the topical application of vegetable oil relieves itching in dogs suffering dermatitis.
The reason for this therapeutic property of vegetable oil is because it contains omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to keep your dog’s coat and fur all shiny from the inside out while also reducing itching.
Excessive intake of vegetable oil does have its risks, though. For instance, it could lead to diarrhea and dehydration. This, however, is not a risk with most dog foods like the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food.
Dicalcium phosphate does get us worried because it’s another ingredient that gets the science community worried.
Dicalcium phosphate is a known filler and binder for other ingredients in dog food. Pet food makers claim to include it in their dog food as a means to supplement the food with calcium. It is also supposed to aid the control of the formation of tartar in a dog’s dentition.
So, does dicalcium phosphate actually do all these? Yes, it does. However, it does pose serious risks to the overall health of dogs which gets us worried.
In the first place, this substance does not dissolve in water. That’s a really worrisome characteristic. Also, dicalcium phosphate has been known to cause the calcification of soft tissue to the extent of even triggering the formation of kidney stones.
We can only wonder why it would be included in a prescription dog diet.
Now, the argument usually is that when consumed in small quantities, dicalcium phosphate isn’t so dangerous. In fact, it is pretty harmless if consumed in limited quantities per time. However, if consumption levels increase, there is a risk. We, on the other hand would rather it wasn’t even added at all, in the first place.
Senior dogs are even more at risk because they don’t digest dicalcium phosphate well. Dogs on medication are also another group at risk with dicalcium phosphate as some drugs tend to interact with calcium.
Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil
Hydrogenation is a process that involves the addition of hydrogen to oil in a bid to both cut cost and also to increase shelf life. Usually, full hydrogenation of oil is not dangerous for the consumer. However, in this case, the oil is only partially hydrogenated which leads to the production of trans fat.
Trans fat is quite dangerous for you and your dog as it causes an increase in bad cholesterol while reducing the good kind.
Now, another thing that bothers us about this ingredient is that the oil being hydrogenated is canola oil. Rapeseed is unsafe for consumption and sometimes, canola oil is made from genetically modified rapeseed. And to make it worse, Tbhq which is used to preserve the oil isn’t safe for consumption either.
This naturally-occurring substance can act as a source of potassium in the diet.
Yet another problematic ingredient. The cellulose used to make dog food is usually taken from pine trees. So, from pine trees, the cellulose makes the journey to the pulping mills. Yes, the same pulping mills from which paper is produced. And, of course, that’s enough to worry anyone.
On its own, powdered cellulose contains a really high level of insoluble fiber. That’s already two insoluble ingredients in this product already. For a prescription product, that’s worrisome, and just like soy, it tampers with your dog’s ability to digest and absorb minerals.
Now, while some nutritionists believe that powdered cellulose isn’t totally terrible, other schools of thought do not agree. In fact, if used in excessive amounts, powdered cellulose could cause the consumer to pass large volumes of stool at a time.
True, powdered cellulose does not contain any calorie which is why it is added to light dog foods and treats to increase bulk, nonetheless, it’s still quite dicey. So, we rather you just avoid the ingredient altogether.
Corn oil is wonderful for treating itchy skin and dry coat. It helps to moisturize your dog’s coat from the inside out, keeping it all shiny and bouncy.
Corn oil is a wonderful source of polyunsaturated fat as well as linoleic acid which are important for your dog’s coat and even his overall health.
Safflower and flaxseed oils are generally better oils for dogs than corn oil. But then again corn oil isn’t so bad, as long as your pooch isn’t allergic to it.
Guar gum is used as a thickening agent in the making of pet food. Thankfully, it’s safe and healthy. Plus, it’s really good at what it does. It’s got superior linking abilities which is the reason it is effective for binding ingredients together.
In fact, guar gum comes with the best consistency and thickest viscosity which makes it the best thickening agent in the industry.
The fiber that guar gum produces is completely soluble in water which is why, unlike powdered cellulose, it aids the digestion of amino acids in dogs.
Pros Of The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
1. This is a prescription diet specifically made for dogs with food allergic gastroenteritis and dermatitis. It’s also made for dogs with colitis, food intolerance, pancreatitis, etc.
2. Also, this diet works for all kinds of dogs, from the small breeds to the medium and the large sized breeds.
3. Seems to be popular among vets and dog parents.
Cons Of The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
1. There are a number of ingredients in this dog diet which are known to be unsafe for consumption. It definitely is of concern to us that these ingredients are in the meal, especially since this is supposed to require the authorization of a vet to purchase.
2. There is no single meat protein in this diet – another challenge for us seeing as plant proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids needed for your dog to grow healthy and strong.
Alternatives To The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
Wet Prescription Dog Food Variety – The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Canned Dog Food
If you’d prefer a wet dog food variety, you could try the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food. It’s more affordable and comes in a case of 12 13-ounce cans.
Non-Vegetarian Prescription Dog Food Variety – The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Dry Dog Food
This non-vegetarian recipe contains meat which forms an excellent source of essential amino acids in the diet. It’s a kibble formula and is about the same price as our featured product.
Non-Prescription Formula – The Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
If you want something else besides a prescription formula or recipe, you might want to check out the Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food. It’s quite affordable at about half the price of our featured product.
Quick Comparison Table
Wet Prescription Food Variety
Non-Vegetarian Prescription Food Variety
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Canned Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
|Cornstarch, Hydrolized Soy Protein Isolate, Vegetable Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil Preserved with Tbhq, Powdered Cellulose, Corn Oil, Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum.||Meat by-products, Water Sufficient for Processing, Barley, Rice, Liver, Chicken, Soy Protein Isolate, Glycerin, Medium-chain Triglyceride Vegetable Oil, Guar Gum, Inulin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride.||Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Meal, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols (Form of Vitamin E), Coconut Oil, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Bran, Animal Digest, Potassium Chloride.||Salmon, Barley, Ground Rice, Canola Meal, Oat Meal, Fish Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salmon Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Chicory Root Inulin, Salt, Fish Oil.|
|Kibble||Wet Dog Food||Kibble||Kibble|
|6-pound, 16.5-pound, and 25-pound bags available||A case of 12 13.4-ounce cans.||6-pound, 18-pound, and 32-pound bags.||5-pound, 16-pound, 30-pound, and 41-pound bags.|
|Small breeds, medium breeds, and large breeds with food sensitivities.||Adult dogs with food sensitivities.||Adult dogs and growing puppies with food sensitivities.||Adult dogs with food sensitivities.|
What Do Customers Have To Say About The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food
A consistent comment by many customers was the price of this food. At nearly a hundred bucks, a number of dog owners found this pretty expensive. Nonetheless, it seemed to work for most dogs, even though it appeared some dogs do not like the taste of the food, at all.
A number of customers were also worried about the presence of cornstarch in the formula. Still, the product got really high ratings and recommendations from dog owners and vet doctors.
We feel that the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food is below average by our standards. But many dog owners and vet doctors seem to love the product even though it contains some known products considered unsafe for humans and pets.
We would say to tread with caution if you eventually decide to get this product. It’s not the best quality there is.