Choosing the Best Grain-Inclusive Dog Food Brands for Your Furry Friend

Grain-inclusive dog food brands have become increasingly popular in recent years, but how do you know which one is right for your furry friend? In this article, we'll explore the benefits of grain-inclusive dog food and recommend some of the best brands on the market.

Why Choose Grain-Inclusive Dog Food?

Grain-free dog food used to be the go-to choice for pet owners, but recent research has shown that grain-inclusive dog food can be just as nutritious. Here's why:

Provides Essential Nutrients

Grain-inclusive dog food provides essential nutrients that your furry friend needs to stay healthy and energized. Unlike grain-free dog food, which may lack important vitamins and minerals, grain-inclusive options use a variety of grains such as rice, barley, and oats to create a well-rounded diet. These grains are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which are essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeping your dog feeling full and satisfied. Additionally, many grain-inclusive dog food brands also include high-quality protein sources like chicken, salmon, and lamb to support muscle growth and development. By providing a balanced mix of complex carbs, healthy fiber, and vitamins and minerals, grain-inclusive dog food can help keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and full of vitality for years to come.

Good for Digestive Health

Grain-inclusive dog food is great for digestive health for a few reasons. Firstly, grains such as brown rice and barley are excellent sources of fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient for dogs as it helps to regulate their bowel movements and keep their digestive system functioning properly. Secondly, grain-inclusive dog food is less likely to cause food allergies or sensitivities. Because grains are a common source of protein, dogs who eat grain-free food may be missing out on important nutrients and may be more prone to developing allergies. Lastly, adding grains to your dog's diet can help to promote a healthy gut microbiome. The variety of nutrients present in grain-inclusive dog food can feed the good bacteria in your dog's gut, which can improve their overall digestive health.

May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

According to some studies, grain-inclusive dog food may reduce the risk of heart disease in our furry friends. The inclusion of whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa can contribute to lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart health. Additionally, some grain-inclusive dog food brands incorporate ingredients like flaxseed, which contains fatty acids that help promote healthy cardiovascular function. By incorporating these beneficial grains into their diet, our furry companions can enjoy a balanced and nutritious diet that may aid in preventing potential health issues down the line.

Top Grain-Inclusive Dog Food Brands

There are many different grain-inclusive dog food brands on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Here are some of our top picks:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

One of our top picks for a grain-inclusive dog food brand is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. This brand features high-quality ingredients like real meat as its first ingredient, followed by wholesome whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Additionally, it contains fewer by-product meals and fillers than other brands, helping to ensure a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your furry friend. Another benefit of this brand is that it offers a variety of different flavors and formulations, allowing you to choose the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients for your dog's specific needs. Overall, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with a nutritious and well-balanced diet.

Merrick Classic with Brown Rice and Chicken

When it comes to top-notch grain-inclusive dog food, Merrick Classic with Brown Rice and Chicken is a brand that pet owners can trust. This premium dog food is packed with protein-rich chicken and supplemented with brown rice to provide your furry companion with all the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Merrick Classic prides itself on using only high-quality ingredients that are sourced locally, ensuring that your dog gets the best quality food possible. Plus, with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, Merrick Classic is sure to please even the most discerning pet owners who want only the best for their furry friends.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula is a top pick for many pet parents seeking a high-quality grain-inclusive dog food. This particular formula is specially designed for dogs with sensitivities and contains easily digestible ingredients such as salmon and rice. Additionally, it boasts a variety of vitamins and minerals to support your furry friend's overall health and wellbeing. With this trusted brand, you can feel confident that your dog is getting a nutritionally balanced meal that will help them thrive.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin is a top-of-the-line grain-inclusive dog food brand that is specifically designed to address the dietary needs of dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. This premium dog food consists of a clinically proven blend of antioxidants and vitamins C and E, which work together to promote optimal digestive health and strengthen your dog's natural immune system. Additionally, Hill's Science Diet is crafted with high-quality protein sources such as chicken and grain-inclusive carbohydrates to support healthy digestion, leading to less bloating or constipation. It's an excellent option for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with the best nutrition possible.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials

One of our top picks for grain-inclusive dog food is Nutro Wholesome Essentials. This brand offers a variety of dry dog food options that are made with healthy whole grains like brown rice and barley. Nutro Wholesome Essentials also includes high-quality protein sources like chicken, lamb, and salmon, which are essential for keeping your furry friend's muscles strong and healthy. Additionally, this brand stands out for its commitment to using only natural ingredients and avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a great choice for pet owners who are looking for a nutritious option that will support their dog's overall health and well-being.

What to Look for in a Grain-Inclusive Dog Food Brand

Not all grain-inclusive dog food brands are created equal. Here are some things to look for when choosing a brand:

Protein Content

When it comes to selecting the best grain-inclusive dog food brand, the protein content is crucial. Look for brands that have a high-quality source of protein listed as the first ingredient, such as lamb, beef, or chicken. Dogs require protein to build and maintain muscle mass, provide energy, and support their immune system. Additionally, the protein source should be named rather than generic such as "meat" or "poultry." This ensures that the protein is not derived from unspecified parts of the animal. Brands that also include added protein sources like fish or eggs can be beneficial for dogs who need even more protein in their diet. Ultimately, selecting a brand with an ample protein content is essential for your furry friend's overall health and wellness.

Quality of Ingredients

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a grain-inclusive dog food brand is the quality of its ingredients. Look for brands that use high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, beef, or fish, as their first ingredient. Avoid brands that use vague terms, like "meat meal," as this can be a catch-all for less desirable sources of protein. Additionally, seek out brands that include a variety of fruits and vegetables in their recipes to provide necessary vitamins and minerals. It's also important to check for any artificial preservatives or fillers and opt for brands that use natural preservatives instead. By paying attention to the quality of ingredients, you can ensure that your furry friend is getting the nutrition they need to live a healthy and happy life.

Grain Type

When evaluating a grain-inclusive dog food brand, one essential consideration is the type of grains used. High-quality brands will often incorporate various grains, such as brown rice, barley, and quinoa. These ingredients can provide your furry friend with a variety of essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, some brands may use lower-quality grains, such as wheat gluten or cornmeal, which can be less digestible and may trigger allergy symptoms in some dogs. As a pet owner, it's essential to take the time to read the ingredient list carefully and choose a brand that prioritizes nutritious grains that support your pup's overall health.

Additives and Preservatives

When selecting a grain-inclusive dog food brand for your furry companion, it's important to take additives and preservatives into consideration. Some brands use artificial additives and preservatives to increase the food's shelf life, but these can be harmful to your pet's health. Look for brands that utilize natural preservatives, such as antioxidants, instead. Additionally, some brands may use excessive amounts of preservatives, which can also be detrimental to your dog's overall well-being. Keep your pet's best interests at heart by carefully examining the ingredients label and selecting a brand that avoids harmful additives and preservatives.


Price is often a significant factor when selecting dog food. While you don't want to sacrifice quality for saving a few dollars, there are options available that won't break the bank. Look for brands that offer a reasonable price point without compromising on ingredients or nutritional value. Additionally, consider purchasing in bulk as many brands offer discounts for larger orders. Keep in mind that while a higher price tag may suggest better quality, it's not always the case. Don't be afraid to compare prices and ingredients between brands to find the best value for your furry friend.

Common Misconceptions About Grain-Inclusive Dog Food

There are several common misconceptions about grain-inclusive dog food. Here are a few:

Grains are Bad for Dogs

One common misconception when it comes to grain-inclusive dog food is that grains are bad for dogs. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, grains such as rice and oats provide important nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber, and protein that help your furry friend maintain a healthy digestive system. Of course, it's important to choose grains that are easy for dogs to digest, and to avoid those that may cause allergies or sensitivities. So, rather than avoiding grains altogether, focus on finding a high-quality, balanced dog food that incorporates healthy grains and other essential nutrients to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Grain-Free is Always Better

It's a popular belief among some pet owners that grain-free dog food is healthier than grain-inclusive options. However, this isn't necessarily true. Firstly, dogs are omnivores and can digest grains as part of their diet. In fact, grains are a good source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber for dogs. Additionally, many grain-free dog foods swap out grains for other carbohydrate sources, such as potatoes or sweet potatoes. While these can be beneficial in moderation, too much of any single ingredient can upset a dog's digestive system. Ultimately, the best diet for your furry friend depends on their individual needs and preferences. It's always important to consult with your veterinarian before making any significant dietary changes.

Grain-Inclusive is Only for Dogs with Allergies

One common misconception about grain-inclusive dog food is that it is intended only for dogs with allergies. While grain-free dog food may be recommended for dogs with certain allergies or intolerances, grain-inclusive dog food can provide many benefits for all dogs. High-quality grains can be a great source of nutrients, including carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, most dogs are capable of digesting and utilizing grains in their diet without any issues. Grain-inclusive dog food can also provide a more balanced and complete diet for dogs, as it offers a wider range of ingredients and nutrients. So, don't be fooled into thinking that grain-inclusive dog food is only for dogs with allergies – it may be the perfect choice for your furry friend!


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