The Purina Beyond Simple Dog Food Review: Tested 2023
In today’s Beyond Simple dog food review, our team of experts tried this kibble and wet dog food to access how it measures up to our review criteria.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.
Here’s what you need to know:
Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Purina Beyond Simply Dog Food Review
Purina Beyond - 3 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Chicken dry dog food recipe: Chicken, chicken meal, whole barley, oats, rice, poultry oil, pea protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, liver flavour, dried carrots. Chicken and sweet potato wet food: Turkey, chicken, turkey broth, liver, sweet potatoes, inulin, MINERALS [potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite], guar gum, salt, carrageenan, choline chloride, VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin A supplement, folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7)].
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Grained kibble, wet dog food.
- Recipe Range: Chicken, lamb, beef and turkey.
- Suitable For: Adult dogs from 1 year of age.
- Cost: $$
- Australian Owned: No (made in the US).
Update 2023: Unfortunately, in early 2023 Purina discontinued their Beyond Simple dog food kibble . As of the writing of this article, coming across Beyond Simple dry dog food is almost impossible save for a few discount retailers. The “plain” Beyond wet dog food is still available though!
As dog food experts, we tried two recipes from Purina’s Beyond line: one dry dog food and one wet food, both with chicken. Then, we compared these results with our top-rated dog foods to figure out if feeding Beyond Simple to your pup is worth it.
Our three taster dogs seemed to like the food ok. The pickiest of them didn’t finish his bowl, but the other two were happy campers and licked their bowls clean. The wet food was more popular among our testers, which is to be expected.
There are a couple flavouring agents (which all processed dog foods have) such as “liver flavour” and chicken broth, so the positive reaction from our dogs is understandable. These recipes weren’t as well-received as Petzyo in my household, but I won’t hold it against them. These are tasty enough, so I’m giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.
Both the kibble and the wet dog food have a fairly standard composition when it comes to the balance between protein, fats and carbs. Although carbs are not disclosed in any of the recipes, it’s obvious that the kibble is more carb-heavy from looking at the recipe.
The chicken kibble has chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients, followed by barley, oats and rice. Beyond wet dog food is definitely lower in starches: the first FOUR ingredients are meats, followed by sweet potato as the main carb.
For the price, the composition of the kibble is better than most: the slight carb imbalance is easily fixed with a homemade meaty topper. I just added some cut up innards and boiled chicken meat on top of my dog’s bowls, to ensure they were getting a balanced meal.
Beyond Simple gets 3 out of 5 in this category.
Protein content 3/5
From an ingredient standpoint, this brand does a good job: both the kibble and wet food recipes have meats as the first and second ingredients. These recipes fulfil AAFCO’s guidelines for feeding adult dogs, and go slightly above (for example, the kibble has around 23% crude protein).
The carb-to-protein ratio is a bit skewed, particularly in the kibble recipe. However, we wouldn’t say this is a major downside: adding a meaty topper should be enough to round up your dog’s bowl.
Overall, this food is not as protein-rich as Petzyo and Ziwi Peak dog food (our top picks), but it’s reasonable for the price.
These recipes live up to their “simple” slogan: additives are kept to a minimum. The dry kibble has pea protein, carrots and liver flavour as extras, and that’s it. The canned dog food has a few more ingredients: gelling agents (guar gum and carrageenan) plus inulin (fibre). Other than that, both ingredient lists are fairly streamlined.
In the last few decades, carrageenan has been somewhat surrounded by controversy: high levels of carrageenan in the body has been linked with toxicity and diminished gut health . However, a 2018 study carried out at the Israel Institute of Technology showcased that the actual research on carrageenan toxicity is weak, and approved levels of the compound are considered safe for humans . Carrageenan consumption in dogs has barely been tackled, and further studies are needed to determine whether this preservative and gelling agent could pose problems in the long term .
While we wouldn’t automatically discard food brands that use carrageenan, if you’re worried about this issue, then avoiding Beyond Simple wet dog food is the best option.
We’re taking off two stars because the recipes could have added some nice extras such as more fruit and veg, or anti-inflammatory foods like curcuma. However, for the low price point, the composition and disclosure of additives are good enough.
Therefore, we are taking 2 stars off for this category.
This brand does ok in the variety department. As mentioned above, the dry kibble is being discontinued so finding different recipes is virtually impossible. The wet food, on the other hand, has numerous options based on several proteins (chicken, beef and lamb) and “sides” (sweet potato, spinach, carrot…). Considering the availability of wet food recipes, we’re giving this brand 4 out of 5.
Both the kibble and the canned dog food were fairly affordable, particularly considering the price. Its affordability is one of the best features of these recipes, so we’re giving Beyond Simple 5 out of 5 in this category.
Do not buy if…
While this is a great option for many pups, keep looking if you:
This is a great option if you’re looking for a meat-based food for your dog at a reasonable price. The dry dog food is slightly higher in carbs than we’d like, but this is understandable considering the price point. The wet food is ok as well: we like that the gelling agents are disclosed and it has a fairly good composition.
All in all, Beyond is a good choice to keep the budget in check, as long as you add some extra protein toppers.
- Schlomit et al. (2018). “Revisiting the carrageenan controversy: do we really understand the digestive fate and safety of carrageenan in our foods?”. Food & Function, issue 3, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7FO01721A
- Karr-Lilienthal et al. (2010). “Selected Gelling Agents in Canned Dog Food Affect Nutrient Digestibilities and Fecal Characteristics of Ileal Cannulated Dogs”. Archives of Animal Nutrition, 56(2) 2002, pp141-153. https://doi.org/10.1080/00039420214184
- “Beyond Dog And Cat Food Frequently Asked Questions”. Purina. Retrieved August 7, 2023. https://www.purina.com/beyond/faq