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The 10 Best Dog Foods With Grain

Many modern pet owners prefer grain-free dog food because not only has grain-free dog food become popular recently, but owners are concerned that regular grain may induce weight gain. They further claim that these grains are not a natural part of the dog's diet.

While this is true to some extent, dogs are omnivores (as opposed to cats, which are strict carnivores), which means their digestive tract can consume items other than meat, such as grain. Many grain-inclusive meals include essential elements such as vitamins and minerals for optimal health. The trick is to look for high-quality meals, which we can assist you with.

Continue reading as we examine many popular grain-containing products to see which ones are healthy. We'll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can see how they differ, and BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has even included a brief buyer's guide for the best dog foods with grain, so you know what to look for if you continue to browse.

Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Best Grain-Free Dog Food

Why Would I Feed Grain to My Dog?

As previously stated, dogs are omnivores with digestive systems capable of breaking down a wide range of foods, including grains, so there is no reason to restrict your pet’s diet to meat-only options.

Many grains are abundant in minerals such as calcium, which helps develop strong bones, and vitamins, which support your immune system. Grains can also assist to supply fiber, which controls moisture in the digestive system and reduces the frequency of constipation and diarrhea.

What Grains Are Beneficial to My Dog?

When shopping for a grain-free dog food, we recommend reading the ingredients list. Choose a brand that has one of the following grains towards the top of the ingredient list and avoid products that utilize maize or soy instead. Corn and soy digest fast, causing weight gain.

  • Whole grain
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Rice, brown
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Rye

What Are the Other Ingredients Important?

Protein Content of Dog Food

One of the most crucial things to look for in a new dog food is actual meat as the first component, such as chicken, turkey, or beef.

It will guarantee that your pet receives an adequate supply of high-quality protein, which I will utilize for energy and to develop strong muscle. Protein-rich foods also tend to keep your pet feeling fuller for longer than maize and soy-based foods.

Omega Fat Content of Dog Food

Omega fats are essential for all ages of pets. These critical facts are necessary for a puppy’s brain and eye development, and they help your dog keep a lustrous coat and healthy skin throughout his life. The Omega fats can help reduce inflammation as your dog matures, making a dog with arthritis feel more comfortable.

Prebiotics in Dog Food

Prebiotics and probiotics assist regulate your dog’s digestive tract, lowering the frequency of constipation and diarrhea. According to some experts, a stronger digestive system leads to a stronger immune system.

Most probiotic brands will specify it on the label, as will certain prebiotic brands, but any brand that contains genuine fruits and vegetables will be beneficial as a prebiotic.


When it comes to grain-free dog food, we strongly suggest our top recommendation for the best overall. The first component of Nom Nom Turkey Fare dog food is turkey, and it also contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, as well as omega fats.

Although the pricing might be a little high, its straightforward subscription service guarantees that you always have enough dog food on hand. Another wise decision is our recommendation for the greatest value.

Purina ONE Smart Blend Adult Dog Food also has chicken as the first component, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables that give critical vitamins and minerals, as well as prebiotics and fiber. This brand is also widely available at most grocery stores and pet retailers.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes our evaluations and guide assist you in finding the best dog foods with grain.


Best Value: Adult Purina ONE SmartBlend Dog Food

  • Wheat is a whole grain.
  • 16.5 pounds in total weight

Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dog Food leads the field as the finest grain-free dog food for the money. Its first ingredient is chicken, which is high in glucosamine, which helps create strong muscles. It contains dry veggies such as carrots and peas that can assist offer critical nutrients, as well as various B vitamins to help your pet keep active.

Purina ONE SmartBlend is reasonably priced, and our pets seem to enjoy the taste. However, it contains maize and soy components, which might cause your pet to gain weight.


  • The first component is chicken.
  • Genuine fruits and veggies
  • Glucosamine


  • There is plenty of corn.


Skin & Stomach Hill’s Science Diet

  • Grain: Barley
  • Package Weight: 30 Pounds

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food is our grain-free premium choice dog food. It starts with chicken, so you know your pet is getting a high-quality protein, and Hill’s employs a particular easy-to-digest recipe that won’t irritate your pet’s sensitive digestive system.

It includes omega fats that create a lustrous coat and is high in prebiotic fiber. They also supplement the food with extra vitamins and minerals to maintain your pet’s wellness.

We liked the ingredients and had no issue getting our pets to eat it, although it’s lower in protein (20%) than many of the other brands, so you may want to supplement it with some real meat treats.


  • The first component is chicken.
  • Formula that is easily digested
  • Vitamins and minerals have been added.


  • Protein content is lower.


Best for Puppies: Nutrish Chicken & Rice by Rachael Ray

  • Brown rice (grain)
  • 14 pound package size

Recipe for Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Real Chicken & Brown Rice is our selection for the finest grain-free dog food. Its first component is chicken, and it contains plenty of actual fruits and vegetables, like carrots, peas, and brown rice.

Fishmeal contains necessary omega fats, which are particularly important for developing puppies since they aid in brain and eye development.

Rachael Ray Nutrish is a great brand, however it comes in a little bag. We understand that this food is intended for pups, but we could have fed it for a longer period of time if the bag had been a bit larger and didn’t run out so soon.


  • The first component is chicken.
  • Genuine fruits and veggies
  • Omega-3 fatty acids


  • a little bag


Adult Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection

  • Brown rice, barley, and oatmeal
  • Package Weight: 150 g

Formula Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Dog Food is another excellent grain-free dog food. Its first component is chicken, so it gives lots of high-quality protein, which is a key building block for strong muscle, as well as energy.

It also contains a lot of nutritious grains, including as rice, barley, and oats, as well as genuine fruits and vegetables, which helps ensure your pet receives enough calcium and other critical vitamins and minerals, rich omega fats, and antioxidants.

The only complaint we have about the Blue Buffalo Life Protection package’s ingredient list is that some of our dogs didn’t like it and would refuse to eat it until we offered them something else.


  • The first component is chicken.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Several vitamins and minerals


  • Some dogs dislike it.


Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food with Shredded Chicken & Rice

  • Grain: Rice, whole grain wheat
  • Package Weight: 35 lbs.

Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food comes in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one to fit any dog.

The first component should be chicken, so you know your pet is receiving lots of high-quality protein. It should also contain fish oil, which contains omega fats that make your dog’s hair shine.

Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded has a lot of maize and additives, which can lead to weight gain, and some dogs may sort through it, choosing out the meaty pieces and leaving the kibble behind.


  • There are several sizes available.
  • The first component is chicken.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • a variety of textures


  • Ingredients derived from corn
  • Some dogs sort through it


Natural Choice Nutro Adult Small Breed Chicken & Rice

  • Barley, brewer’s rice, and oatmeal
  • 14 pound package size

The first component in Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is chicken. It also contains actual fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, peas, tomato, and others.

These components include critical vitamins and minerals, as well as prebiotics, which help nourish your dog’s beneficial gut flora, allowing it to digest food more efficiently. Furthermore, omega fats keep your dog’s coat glossy.

The negative to Nutro Natural Choice is that the box is relatively little, and even a small dog will rapidly consume it. We’ve also discovered that some dogs dislike it and will refuse to eat it until they can receive another type of food.


  • The first component is chicken.
  • Genuine fruits and veggies
  • Omega-3 fatty acids


  • a compact packaging
  • Some dogs dislike it.


Small Puppy Dry Dog Food by Royal Canin

  • Brown rice (grain)
  • 13 pound package size

The final brand on our list is Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food. It’s another puppy food with a lot of fish oil, so it’s high in good Omega fats, which are essential for a developing puppy. It also has an easy-to-digest formula, so it shouldn’t cause diarrhea or constipation, which may be severe problems for these little dogs.

The disadvantage of Royal Canin is that it contains no genuine meat and instead relies on chicken by-products for protein. It also contains a lot of maize, which can lead to weight gain, and diets heavy in corn tend to make the dog hungrier sooner.


  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Simple to understand


  • There are no actual meats, only chicken byproducts.
  • a plenty of corn

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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