Grain-inclusive food versus grain-free food is a hot topic at the moment. With all the debate, how do you know which type of food is correct for your dog?
Just because a grain-free diet is your own diet preference, that doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog too. Many people look for organic, raw, and grain-free kibble, which can be great for those dogs that may have a sensitivity to grain and require a grain-free diet, but there are many out there that can benefit from a grain-rich diet.
Grains are not harmful if your dog doesn’t have grain allergies. Healthy grains can provide a wholesome and rich diet that your dog will love. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best dog food with grain for your pet.
Best Dog Food With Grain in 2021
|Purina Pro Plan Savor|
|Nutro Max Adult|
|Purina One Smartblend|
Best for Special Needs
|Victor Purpose Nutra Pro|
Best for Digestion
|Solid Gold Wolf King|
1. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Dog Food — Best Balanced Diet Formula
With advanced nutrition recipes, the Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Dog Food uses rice, real salmon, turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef as its main ingredient. Creating crunchy food that has a great texture and taste, these nuggets are easily digested helping to promote good nutrient absorption. Also rich in antioxidants, Purina Pro Plan will help to support your dog’s immune health by using natural prebiotics and live probiotics that will support digestive health.
Featuring balanced nutrition and lots of flavors, Purina Pro Plan uses ingredients that are chosen carefully for a functional or nutritional purpose. Using 23 essential minerals and vitamins, this dog food will support your dog’s overall wellness and health. With an optimal protein-to-fat ratio, Purina Pro Plan will help to promote the ideal body condition for your dog using real meat as the important building blocks of her protein needs.
This nutritional wet dog food provides a 100 percent balanced and complete diet for an adult dog and her immune system. Plus, the Purina Pro Plan also uses Omega-6 fatty acids that will help to promote your dog’s healthy coat and skin.
2. Nutro Max Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Value Dog Food
Perfect for regular sized or large breed dogs, this 25-pound bag of Nutro Max Adult Dry Dog Food includes no preservatives, colors, artificial flavors, soy protein, wheat, corn, and no chicken by-product meal. Made here in the U.S., every recipe created by Nutro Max uses the best ingredients that they can find from around the world.
Tailored to fit a dog no matter what his age, Nutro Max is the correct food for puppies, adults, and seniors. Each recipe that is made by for a Nutro Max Dry Dog Food is created with non-GMO ingredients that are both real and recognizable. Plus, this is great-tasting food that they will want to eat and look forward to.
Featuring farm-raised chicken, Nutro Max Adult Dry Dog Food is all-natural and includes brown rice, minerals, and vitamins that help to provide a balanced and complete meal. Using the savory taste of whole grains and real chicken, this nutritious meal is not only great tasting, but also a great source of fiber for your dog.
3. Purina One SmartBlend Adult Dog Food — Best Overall Dog food
Providing targeted nutrition, Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dog Food will support your pet’s specific needs no matter is she is a senior dogs, small dogs, or hunting dogs. Using nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, this dog food will support the health of any breed dog including labs, Dalmatians, boxers, Australian Shepherd, or a Pitbull. Available in both dry and wet food, you can choose from several types including classic ground varieties, tender cuts in gravy, and crunchy kibble.
With Purina One’s specialized line, you get a formula designed to promote healthy weight, healthy digestion, and sensitive stomachs. Creating protein-rich meals, Purina ONE uses rice, real fish, meat, and poultry to help your dog to maintain strong muscles with food that she will love. It also does not include fillers and is 100 percent nutritious.
Using a high amount of protein, Purina ONE SmartBlend helps your dog retain strong muscles while Omega fatty acids support her coat and skin. SmartBlend is also high in antioxidants, which will help her support a healthy immune system.
4. Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Special Needs
Ideal for dogs with high to moderate activity levels, Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense dog food that is not lower protein, but is low in carbohydrates. This food is specifically made for dogs that have high physical demands, pregnant or lactating female dogs, and growing puppies. Plus, this dog food is made using gluten-free grains.
Nutra Pro for Dogs was created to meet the levels of nutrition that were established by AAFCO to include nutrient profiles for every life stage, which includes the growth of large breed dogs, small breeds, and older dogs. Containing Vitamin E, Selenium, and Zinc, this dog food is fortified with amino acids, proteins, essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. This is also a great choice for dogs that have allergies to certain meat proteins. with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and amino acids
5. Wolf King Dry Adult Dog Food — Best Dog food for Digestion
Using whole grains, healthy fats, deboned bison, and a special mix of 20 superfoods, Wolf King Dry Adult Dog Food was created to help maintain and rebuild your pet’s muscles while supporting coat and skin health as well as digestion. Made for large breed adult dogs, Wolf King uses a natural lean protein as its main ingredient combining it with whole grains and healthy fats. It also features whole superfoods including the pulp, skin, rind, and juice that help your dog flourish.
Using patented protection, Wolf King features probiotics that support your dog’s digestive and immune systems along with coat and skin health, plus it also helps your pet fight disease and ensures she has a balanced digestive system. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help to give your dog proper development and support heart and cognitive health. By taking a holistic approach, Wolf King also supports gut health, which can impact your dog’s entire digestive system.
Featuring non-GMO whole grains like pearled barley and brown rice, Wolf King Dry Adult Dog Food is a great source of minerals, fiber and B vitamins. With these whole grains, Solid Gold works to maintain and build your pet’s muscles. Made in USA, Wolf King uses single-source meat that is sustainable sourced from Australia, North America, and Europe.
Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food
These homemade meals promote kidney health and are concocted with all human-grade ingredients. Nine types of dehydrated vegetables, calcium-toting crushed eggshells, and six organic grains add to vitamin and mineral values, creating a nutrient dense meal for overall improved health.
It’s important to note this mix only provides the base to ensure your dog is getting necessary nutrients. You add your choice of raw meat after rehydrating the dry food with hot water. As long as you’re also choosing quality meat, these meals can improve digestion, coat shine, itchy skin, energy, and overly pungent stools.
It seems like the debate will never end when it comes to understanding the needs of grains in a dog’s diet. Unless your dog has an allergy, there is no evidence that says a dog should exclusively eat either a grain-inclusive diet or a grain-free diet. Grains are beneficial for dogs and since a dog is not completely a carnivore, while they may have once been, evolution has helped them to develop the ability to digest several categories of food like grains, vegetables, and fruits.
The reason some people think grains are bad for their dog is based in the idea that dogs should eat like mostly protein like animal in the wild do. Since dogs have now become domesticated, it is possible for them to take advantage of the benefits that a diet with variety can provide.
And, when it comes to grains, it’s not the ingredients that are causing the problem. It is due more to the quality of the grains that we give our dogs to eat as well as how many carbohydrates are present in that grain-inclusive food. Always keep in mind that the carbohydrates should never be more than the fat and protein that are also in the food blend. Ideally, your dog’s diet needs to be high protein while containing a moderate level of fat and low in carbohydrates.
Why Can Grains Be Dangerous for Dogs?
The idea that grains are dangerous to dogs is really a myth that veterinarians do not support. If your dog is not allergic to grains, then it is not dangerous. A true food allergy is not that common in a dog, and typically the allergy is based on an ingredient other than grain. In fact, grains are really a healthy way of consuming essential nutrients that will give you many health benefits.
Some dog owners tend to prefer to feed their dog a grain-free diet when there aren’t real allergy symptoms that exist. This is a personal choice that each dog owner makes, but does not indicate that a grain-inclusive diet is dangerous.
Can a Grain-Free Diet Be Dangerous?
Dogs have been eating all types of grains for years before the trend suddenly turned to grain-free, so calling it dangerous is not accurate. Grain-free food also has its issues since it relies on alternatives to grains that include some unknown elements whose risks may not be known.
When an animal is allergic to grain, it makes sense to give your pet a grain-free diet. Many people these days are opting for a grain-free diet and have not seen any allergy symptoms present in their dog. Plus, dog food manufacturers are marketing the health benefits of a grain-free diet that human receives not knowing if the animals are receiving the same benefits. Loving pet parents soon fall victim to the marketing not understanding that the nutritional needs of humans and animals are very different.
Many people don’t consider that they might be depriving their pet of nutrients that their dog needs for her overall wellbeing when feeding her a grain-free diet.
Basically, if your dog has an allergy, a grain-free option is the best choice.
Here are two reasons when it is fine to feed your dog a grain-free diet:
- Allergies – many dogs thrive when eating grains with no digestion issues while there are some dogs that can be allergic to it even with a little grain in it. Keep in mind that it is more common to have an allergy to a protein than it is to a grain. So, make sure you are watching the symptoms carefully to know which allergy you are dealing with.
- Gas and Digestion – while a dog may not be allergic to the grain in the food, those dogs that have a weak digestive system can find it hard to process food that has grain in it. You will find that some dogs suffer from a lot of gas and stomach issues when they eat a grain-inclusive diet, especially from wet food. If you see this happening with your dog, try switching her to a grain-free diet and see if there is a difference.
Benefits of a Grain-Inclusive Diet for Dogs
While a dog can synthesize glucose for energy simply from protein and fat, that doesn’t mean she won’t benefit from also having grain in her diet. Having grain in your dog’s diet is a good thin and here are just a few reasons why:
- Fiber is a requirement for your dog’s ability to regulate her digestive system, so it serves a purpose to help and get rid of toxins that are found in your dog’s body.
- Your dog will consume a lot of minerals and vitamins that are important for her when eats whole grains.
- When your dog eats grains like oats and wheat, she will consume soluble fiber which can help her to steady glucose levels, enhance nutrient absorption, and control cholesterol.
- You can also lessen how many calories are in your dog’s diet while still making her feel like she is full. That doesn’t happen with other types of proteins.
- Your dog can also get a lot of energy from healthy carbohydrates, which can help if you suffer from kidney disease, pancreatitis, liver disease, or intestinal bowel disease.
- And, if your dog needs to eat a diet that is protein-reduced or low-fat, a grain-inclusive diet will be a great choice for your dog.
Finding the Best Dog food
Your dog’s level of activity level is an important factor when determining what type of dog food you should buy. Very active dog like therapy dogs and police dogs, will need more calories and protein that a dog would that has a typical activity level. Since they burn off more calories than they are taking in, an increase in fat and protein will help these dogs do what they need to.
In comparison, dogs that aren’t very active will need to take in less calories, fats, and carbs since they aren’t required to use a high amount of energy. Plus, when dogs don’t have a high activity level, they can start to gain weight, which could cause them serious problems later on.
Make sure to consider how much activity your dog gets when you purchase food so you can decide whether she need more nutrients or less. And, if you do plan to increase or decrease her activity level, you can make adjustments to her diet.
Dogs that are injured or have chronic illnesses require a specialized diet, which your veterinarian should recommend. Important to healing, nutrients are important dietary aids to a dog. Certain nutrients like Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids helps dogs that chronic eczema, since they help to promote coat and skin health.
If you have an underweight or anemic dog, you will want food that helps her retain strength and gain weight. Choosing a diet that can help to fill those needs will help her take in the nutrients she needs more of or is lacking.
Your dog’s age will also determine the type of food she should eat as well as the quantity. Puppies will need a diet with tons of carbs, fats, and calories that will allow them to gain weight and preserve their vitality and health. If your puppy is sick, she will need food with extra nutritional supplements that will allow her to make it past her puppy years successfully.
An adult dog will need a maintenance diet, which will allow them to keep their caloric and energy levels at the same state allowing them to stay healthy. An older dog will need food that doesn’t irritate her digestive system while keeping her healthy, so she stays strong through her old age.
As we have discussed food intolerances and allergies aren’t uncommon in a dog. A minor inconvenience to a dog parent, allergies and food intolerance can be worked around so that your dog can still receive the correct amount of nutrition despite any stomach issues.
Using an elimination diet, you can discover what the dietary issue is so that you can switch foods until you find the substance that is causing your dog problems. Make sure to monitor your pet closely since she can’t tell you what is wrong. This will allow you to figure out what the issue is so that you can find the correct type of food to give her the nutrition she needs without a reaction.
What is the best dry dog foods?
Finding the best grain-inclusive kibble can be difficult with the wide variety of dog food options on the market including soft dog food, dry dog food, freeze-dried, or a raw topper. Your best bet is to read the labels and avoid dog food with animal by-products, processed grains, and GMOs. You also want to look for:
Dog food that has a formula that is balanced with high protein and follows the recommended nutrient profile and includes fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The quality of the formula is indicated by the correct ratios and balanced concentration.
Life stage and lifestyle also plays an important part in the decision since her needs can vary depending on your dog’s age. If you dog has special needs and you want to continue with a grain-inclusive diet, educate yourself completely on your dog’s special needs or allergies. Take the time to know everything you need to about your dog’s special needs and allergies to help make the correct decision when it comes to dog food.
Ideally, you will want the dog food recipe to include:
- No anonymous meat
- Moderate carb levels
- No toxic preservatives
- Solid fat-to-protein ratio
- Limited plant-based protein
- Above-average meat content
Make sure to read Amazon rated reviews, Consumer Reports reviews, and talk to your veterinarian. If you have a dog with joint issues, breathing problems, Taurine deficiency, seizures, arthritis, liver cancer, or diabetes, you will definitely need to be careful when making any diet changes.
What is the best dog food recommended by vets?
The most common vet recommended dog food brands include:
- Hill’s Science Diet
- ROYAL CANIN
- Purina Pro
The specific nutrition that your dog needs will be based on her coat and skin condition, weight, age, size, and breed as well as medical history and overall health. Make sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure that you understand your dog’s specific health needs. Your vet will be able to give you some recommended dog food brands that should meet your dog’s requirements the best.
What dog foods contain grains?
There are many dog foods on the market that contain grain. Here are a few brands that you can check out:
- Nature’s Logic
- Blue Buffalo Life
- Purina One
- VICTOR Hi-Pro
- Wolf King
- Nutro Max
- Purina Pro
- Lams ProActive
Is it really healthier for a dog to eat grain-free?
It all depends on the types of grain that you feed your dog. As long as you dog is not allergic to grains or even to one specific grain, a grain inclusive diet may not be harmful. Grains are thought of as a good source for nutrients when they are offered in a wholesome and non-processed form.
Are grains good in dog food?
When just talking about grains in general, they are a very good source of nutrients that canines need to grow and thrive. It all depends on what is nutritionally appropriate for your specific dog. Whether you are choosing canned or dried food, it is important to find the correct grains that will ensure that you dog gets the most energy and nutrition that they deserve. When you find the correct formula, then a grain-inclusive diet is considered a healthy way to feed your dog.
Despite the bad press recently, grains are not harmful to your dog and are completely safe to have in her diet. As long as your dog doesn’t suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, choosing healthy grains will give your dog a complete and rich diet that she will love to eat.
The Final Word
While grain-free dog food is certainly popular, this trend ignores the benefits your dog can obtain from eating a dog food with grain. As long as your dog is happy and healthy, there is no reason she can’t enjoy the benefits as a grain-inclusive diet as well.