When Vicky was pregnant and then lactating her eight cute little puppies a couple of years ago, the vet told us she needed a very rich, high quality food to cover her increased nutritional needs and the brand that he recommended was Purina Pro Plan. We therefore switched over to this premium brand for a few months but, purely down to financial reasons, switched back to the normal, cheaper, supermarket brand a bit later. It is certainly good stuff but it does have the price tag to match.
When I was contacted by Purina and asked if I'd like to try out their Pro Plan dog food, I didn't hesitate for a second. As I mentioned on my Purina Pro Plan UK Roadshow blogpost (here), they are currently running a 5 point promise challenge, asking dog owners to trial Pro Plan for 4 weeks and then assess the results. Purina are confident that owners will see a difference in their dog’s appetite, appearance, digestion, energy and overall health and the challenge offers consumers their money back if they are not satisfied with the results after the 4 weeks.
Well, that sounds like the perfect basis for my review ! If you want to join in, you need to head to the challenge webpage, register your dog and fill in your score card. Once you've signed up, as well as offering you your money back if you're not fully satisfied, they say : "Throughout the trial we'll post a daily tip or reminder to chart your progress so be sure to log in to your My PRO PLAN page regularly."
The five promises are :
1. …..proven results based on breakthrough science
There are a large range of different dog foods available depending on your dog's needs, several of which offer health benefits, for example :
"Puppy OPTISTART®: With colostrum PROVEN to both help support immune response and help balance intestinal microflora for better intestinal health.
Adult PRO BIFIDUS: Increases bifidobacteria for a better gut microflora balance for a healthier digestive tract and stool quality.
Senior ANTI AGE: PROVEN to enhance alertness and mental sharpness.
We just used the standard adult dog food so no scientific claims to prove for us.
2. …..great taste and enjoyment due to high quality meat or fish, as the main ingredient
They explain : "PRO PLAN® is highly palatable and your dog will enjoy it, promoted by selected pieces of Chicken, Lamb or Salmon as the main ingredient, carefully steam cooked with a special propriety method and the high quality of all our ingredients." Well, this is certainly true but both Vicky and Didou are canine dustbins and would eat just about anything - as in fact they frequently do when we're out and about on walks!
3. …..the high digestibility of our carefully selected ingredients will help your dog absorb the correct amount of nutrients
They say : "PRO PLAN® will help your dog absorb the correct amount of all the nutrients aided by the high digestibility of carefully selected ingredients. Combined with the appropriate feeding amounts for your dog, PRO PLAN® will help maintain an ideal body condition (slim & in good shape) - an important sign of good health." I have to say, their poo looks better, smells less (I don't go around sniffing their poo but sometimes, when the wind's in the wrong direction, you get a whiff whether you want to or not !) and they've stopped farting, which has to be a good thing !
4. …..to help your dog maintain robust health and boundless vitality due to more essential amino acids and functional nutrients
They promise : "PRO PLAN® will help your dog to be full of health,energy and boundless vitality, which will also be reflected in his eyes. This is because PRO PLAN® is nutritionally complete and balanced, and contains more essential amino acids and functional nutrients than ordinary pet food." Well, they are both extremely energetic at the moment, play-fighting and running around the house and - um, let's just say they're full of the joys of spring ! *nudge nudge wink wink* ! - but whether this is down to the change in food or season, I don't know !
5. …..Pro Plan contains specific Omega 6&3 fatty acids and extra micronutrients to help support skin and coat health
The blurb says : "PRO PLAN® can help your dog's coat shine with health, reflecting his excellent physical condition due to super-premium complete and balanced nutrition. PRO PLAN® contains specific Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids and extra micronutrients to help support skin and coat health." I have definitely noticed an improvement here - Vicky in particular sometimes has patches of red flaky skin that look like eczema and that you can see through her fur and that's all cleared up - but again, no idea if that's down to the change in diet or weather.
If you score fewer than 9 points after following the rules (exclusively feeding Pro Plan for four weeks, choosing the right product, your dog being fit and healthy to begin with, ...) then they will refund your purchase (up to a maximum of £48.68 RRP for 14kg + postage fees). For a company to offer that much of a refund, they have to be pretty certain of the quality of their product ! Just be warned, you need to send back the receipt, your printed score card and also the empty pack in order to qualify for a refund.
But, if Vicky and Didou are anything to go by, you will be impressed by your dog's health and general well-being after the trial. Even better news is that you can buy Pro Plan at special roadshow prices (£5 instead of £17.61 if you go along to the roadshow !) so now's the time to stock up !
I can't guarantee that we'll keep buying Pro Plan forever because it does work out much more expensive but, if the dogs are under the weather or if they need extra nutrition at some point, it's great to know that there is a food out there specifically tailored to getting them back on their feet (or paws !) and that just four weeks can make such a great difference.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £17.61 for 3kg
for more information : http://www.proplan-plan.co.uk/
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