For more than 125 years, Purina has been creating high-quality, innovative pet foods that change lives. The brand was the first to develop extrusion technology to create “kibble”, which provided shelf-stable, great-tasting dog food that could last in pantries across America. Later, Purina would debut another first: Purina Pro Plan, the first commercial dog food with real meat as the number one ingredient. Now adopted as the nutrition of choice for professional dog breeders, handlers, and enthusiasts, Purina Pro Plan has established a legacy of excellence in both the sporting and show worlds.
1894 - Robinson-Danforth was founded, as a balanced food production company for animals, becoming the first company in the world to offer such products.
1926 - 1950s
1926-1950s - Purina Dog Chow is the company’s only pet food. It is sold exclusively through Purina dealership feed stores to farmers, hunters, breeders and kennel operators. During this time, Purina sponsors some notable canine competitors and events, laying the foundation for future support in the community.
1957 - Purina Dog Chow, a new formula and kibble, is introduced in grocery stores nationwide. The company continues to promote Purina Dog Chow to dog professionals through dog shows, field trials, veterinary meetings, kennel industry meetings, and dog club meetings.
1972 - 1985
1972 - Ralston Purina introduces Purina High Protein brand dog food. It is developed specially to provide the “extra energy hardworking dogs need.” This brand is marketed for working dogs like herders and farm dogs, hunting dogs, and sporting dogs.
1981 - Purina High Protein is restaged as Hi Pro, and serves as the prototype for what would eventually evolve to Pro Plan Performance formulas.
Pro Plan Performance dog food formula is introduced and becomes a flagship brand for Purina’s efforts to advance its adoption and trust with enthusiasts and influentials, including breeders, veterinarians, and participants in sporting and show competition.
Pro Plan begins to amplify partnerships with Pheasants Forever and Ruffed Grouse Society, organizations with a shared passion for dog sports and conservation.
As Pro Plan Performance Formulas grow in popularity, Pro Plan launches the first Pro Plan sporting dog-specific campaigns featuring top trainers and competitors in the sporting dog world.
Purina Pro Plan launches a new advertising campaign in 7 top sporting dog publications. The ads highlight that Purina Pro Plan is the nutrition of choice for the top-ranked dogs in 10 major sporting dog segments. This elevation of winning dogs becomes a thread in Pro Plan campaigns that continues to this day.
Purina introduces Purina Pro Plan Sport, a range of products that targets consumers who exercise with their dogs. The Sport lineup is designed to promote endurance and strength and includes Pro Plan Performance Formula, Pro Plan Active Formula, and Pro Plan Advanced Formula. This is the first time the brand has offered multiple formulas for canine competitors and highly active dogs.
Building on the brand’s many long-standing relationships in the field, Pro Plan begins to elevate the partnership with the conservation and sporting organization, Ducks Unlimited.
2021 - Present
2021 - Pro Plan Sport formulas continue to gain momentum, prompting an expansion of the line to include formulas with novel proteins including Beef & Bison, Salmon & Cod, and Turkey, Duck & Quail. The packaging for these formulas also highlights that Pro Plan is a “Proud Partner of Ducks Unlimited.”
2022 - Pro Plan Sport debuts new, lifestage-specific formulas for puppies, large breed puppies, and adults age 7+. This expansion ensures active dogs can get the fine-tuned nutrition they need for a lifetime of age-appropriate strength and stamina.
Pro Plan proudly fuels 92 of the top 100 show dogs with high-quality nutrition that helps them perform at their best.
Purina Pro Plan is proud to have fueled 15 of the last 16 Best In Show winners, including the 2022 Westminster Best In Show champion, Trumpet the Bloodhound.
* Dog News Magazine Top 100 Dogs based on AKC All-Breed Competition and RBIS through 12/31/21. The handlers or owners of these champions may have received Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.
† The handlers or owners of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.
For more than 25 years, Purina® Pro Plan® has given incredible canine athletes the platform to showcase their amazing abilities in exciting events like dock diving, flying disc, agility and more!
Opening Doors to the Enthusiast Community
The first outdoor dog show is hosted at Purina Farms, kicking off a new era in which breeders, kennel clubs, and sporting dog enthusiasts have a place to call their own. Over time, the staff at Purina Farms will acquire the equipment and knowledge to support additional events and begin building permanent courses for performance sport competitions such as herding, lure coursing, agility, and earthdog trials.
The Purina Event Center opens at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri. The 84,000-square-foot center serves as a host to local, regional, and national dog shows, competitions, and sporting dog events.