Walmart Launches Store-Brand Premium Dog Food

Walmart, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discount giant, jumped into the premium pet food market today with its own brand, Pure Balance.

Walmart, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discount giant, jumped into the premium pet food market today with its own brand, Pure Balance.

Available exclusively in more than 2,900 Walmart stores, the retailer’s first ultrapremium dry dog food contains a blend of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and is free of soy, wheat, corn, artificial colors, preservatives and chicken byproducts.

“Our customers told us they wanted to be able to feed their dogs a dry food made with pure ingredients without having to make a special trip to the pet store,” said Jody Pinson, vice president of pets at Walmart. “We listened and are excited to offer Pure Balance…at a price our customers can afford.”

The new offering wasn’t cause for alarm with B.C. Henschen, co-owner of Platinum Paws, a holistic pet store and grooming salon in Carmel, Ind. A Walmart store is two miles away.

“In our store, education remains the most important thing to assist in selling pet food,” he said. “If a formula looks great, with no fillers, byproducts and such, but has a price that is far lower than the average food of comparable quality, then where are they saving the money–quality, sourcing of ingredients, manufacturing, safety?”

Pure Balance comes in two varieties: Chicken & Brown Rice and Lamb & Brown Rice.

The chicken recipe is offered in 5-, 15- and 30-pound bags priced at $6.78, $16.60 and $31.88, respectively. The lamb recipe is available in the same sizes and retails for $8.47, $21.47 and $39.88.

Walmart, which stated it sells enough dog food each year to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 2,050 times, did not identify the manufacturer of Pure Balance.

A second pet store owner took the Walmart news in stride, too.

“I think this move will be more threatening to the big-box pet supply retailers like Petco and Petsmart than it will to the independent retailers who offer better formulations,” said Michelle McConnell, co-owner of Amy’s Natural Pet Pantry in Osprey, Fla.

“Most independent retailers, like ourselves, have far superior customer service skills and product knowledge than anyone on the Walmart sales floor will possess,” she added.

Phoenix-based Petsmart, one of the nation’s largest pet retailers, declined to comment.


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21 thoughts on “Walmart Launches Store-Brand Premium Dog Food

  1. This is fantastic dog food! My dogs have been on it for almost a year now. They stopped throwing up bile, their stools are CONSISTENTLY firm and perfectly shaped. I highly recommend it and I have had dogs for more than 30 years now.

  2. Fed my dog this for nearly 3 years. He liked it and seemed to do fine. Then he developed liver problems. He stopped eating and got weak. A couple if days later he had kidney failure and died. Since found several other cases of dogs becoming very ill or dying after using this food for a while.

    1. Add this to your list of dying dogs….my dog has eaten this brand good for 2 years. She loved it….BUT she is currently in kidney failure & is dying. I am devastated!
      So…please please do not feed your animals this brand. Wal Mart does not reveal who manufactures PURE BALANCE. My question is WHY?
      My best friend is suffering & dying . We need to get this off the market ASAP!

      1. Your dog’s kidney failure wasn’t likely to do with the dog food, but rather something genetic, or something he got into.

        Pure Balance has never had a recall, and is 4/5 start food.

        I’m sorry to hear what he’s going through, but I just wanted to let you know that it wasn’t likely the food that caused it.

      2. Ainsworth manufactures it. If you think it was Pure Balance, do some research to find out if more dogs who ate it have kidney failure. You could file a lawsuit if there is a pattern. I began feeding the salmon variety when Nutro ceased making a salmon variety. No problems. Now, researchers are speculating non-grain foods are linked to heart problems, so I’ve added Rachael Rays’ Just 6 to their food. It contains gluten-free grains. One of my 6 dogs has a gluten intolerance. What did you feed your dog prior to Pure Balance? Purina has had 3 class action lawsuits in recent years; possibly more. I can only remember 2 now. Look online. I think one is linked to kidney failure. Beneful and Alpo. Seems like 4 lawsuits in all. It’s easy to find the information online.

    2. Celia,
      I realize I’m replying to your post quite late, however, I am having some concerns about this brand also. I am on the first bag of the grain free bison and venison. My German Shepherd mix is itching terribly. He does have yeast problems, but he was not itching this bad when I had him on the Just 6 by Rachel Ray. So I was wondering if your dog had some itching problems before he got his liver problems.

  3. I’ve been feeding our lab this product for 4 years. She loves it. Her coat shines, no more upset stomach and itchy skin. She does not eat as much as she did with other foods. This is a great product and every vet visit my vet comments on how healthy she is.

    1. Hello, which recipe are you feeding? I have a German Shepherd with itchy skin and I am considering the salmon, but I just wanted to know which one you were having success with.

  4. My pets have happier and healthier ever since we switched a few years ago. Now my biggest problem is that our Walmart in our town is not carrying the one our cats eat. They are barely carrying any now. This has been the best product for my pets by far and as with a lot of things they are not having it in stock. Very disappointed.

    1. Check WM on line and have it shipped to your home.
      I have 30# bags of Lamb and Rice Dog Food sent to my home as it’s out of stock at our local store very often due to its popularity!

  5. I have a 5 year old GSD with EPI (more info at
    She can only eat foods that are corn, wheat, and soy free; and are Lamb/Rice based for sensitive stomachs.
    After trying numerous high $$ foods that she couldn’t digest and caused itching we discovered Pure Balance Lamb & Rice @ WM.
    She loves the taste and she can digest and metabolize it well.
    No more yellow, smelly, ‘cow paddy’ style poops! She has firm stools and is holding her weight well! She went from 67#s to 106#s in less than 3 months!
    Her coat looks fabulous, with no itching; and her energy level is back to normal!
    We will continue to purchase Pure Balance Lamb and Rice as long as she lives!!!
    It would be handy if the bags came in 40-50# weight as we wouldn’t have to drive 52 miles round trip to buy it as often!
    Thanks WM for a quality food at a reasonable price!

  6. Hello, I just started my German Shepherd mix on the bison, venison New Balance. And he has started itching terribly. He has had some past chronic yeast issues. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this?

  7. I think they stopped lamb and brown rice because I can’t find it.they have lamb and fava bean recipe now.has anyone tried it.why would they discontinue the other if your dogs are on it

  8. Walmart is discontinuing ALL Pure Balance foods. Cat and Dog. My pets LOVED this food, not trying to find something they will eat and can keep down.

  9. I love this dog food. With a dog with allergies it was hard to find affordable food with no grain in it. Now I’m in need of a canned food, do you make Pure Balance in canned food?

  10. I have a 5 year old miniature Schnauzer, he has eaten the different varieties of the grain free,and he is perfectly healthy. No itching or scratching. I have a kitten that is also eating this brand in grain free. I’ve recently switched out dog to the grain and poultry free. He seems to love it.