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10 Best Dog Food with Grains: Rich Options for Your Dog!

Grain-based dog food has become more popular in recent years. As new diets and more research and information become available, we learn how to better care for our pets and new food formulas hit the market.

Stick with any of the formulas on our shortlist today, and you’ll be able to buy with your eyes open and a clear idea of where the food stands and falls. To make your life easier, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff with today’s showcase of the 10 best dog food with grains on the market.

With that said, it’s time to get right down to business. Enjoy our 10 grain-inclusive dog food reviews, and we hope one of these delicious formulas is the right choice for your furry companion.

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
01-Victor-Dog-Food-Classic Best For Overall Health: Victor Dog Food Classic This food will boost your dog’s immune system and support health with this nutrient-rich formula. Check Price
02-Blue-Buffalo-Life-Protection-Formula- Best For Multiple Dogs: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula This Life Protection formula is a versatile food ideal for all breeds and all life stages. Check Price
03-IAMS-Minichunks-Adult-Dry-Dog-Food- Best For Growing Dogs: IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food The formula is fiber-rich and includes a blend of prebiotics that will soothe digestion for your dog and keep his gut health balanced. Check Price
04-Whole-Earth-Farms-Dry-Dog-Food Best For More Energy: Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food This food contains plenty of vitamins and minerals in the right balance, so you’re delivering everything your dog needs to be healthy and strong. Check Price
05-Merrick-Classic-Healthy-Grains-Dry-Dog-Food Best For Senior Dogs: Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Ideal for all breeds and all life stages, this comes in 4 great flavors and works well for multi-dog households. The supplements included in the kibble are especially helpful for your senior dog’s bone and joint health. Check Price
06-Taste-of-the-Wild-Roasted-Bison- Best For Active Dogs: Taste Of The Wild Roasted Bison While Taste of the Wild is famous for their enduringly popular grain-free dog foods, this ancient grains formula is also very well-received by pet owners worldwide. Check Price

How We Choose the Best Dog Foods with Grains

Dog food in a bowl
While some dogs are sensitive to grains, others can benefit from the nutrients that various grains provide.

To find dog foods that are grain-inclusive, we sourced out to popular name brands and looked deeper into the ingredients to ensure the overall health benefits for each different dry dog food. 

We went to brands such as Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, Eagle Pack, and others that have high reviews with years of experience, and knowledge. When we looked for grain-inclusive dog foods, we noticed that they are not all created equal. 

That’s why we took the time to look for the following elements in dog food with grains:

  • Higher than average meat content
  • Safe ratio of fat/protein
  • Limited protein from plant-based sources
  • Moderate carb content
  • No anonymous meats
  • No toxic preservatives

With this in mind, we took the time to read the ingredients list for each different package of dry dog food.

We found different packages that fit the needs of different dogs such as higher in protein, more nutritious with superfoods, or containing a higher content of vegetables and fruits. 

We also searched for dry dog food that is suitable for different sizes, breeds, and life stages. This is so that while your pup grows and goes through the different stages of life it can have a suitable diet. 

Our research turned up 17 dog foods with grains that we felt were worthy of testing with our pups. It takes a long time to test dog foods, but in the end, we narrowed down our top picks to 10 of the best, and we included 3 honorable mentions. 

Read More: How to Soften Dog Food. If your senior or puppy has trouble with hard kibble, softening their food can make mealtime easier. Learn more.

Best Dog Food with Grains Reviewed

1. Best for Overall Health: Victor Dog Food Classic

Victor Dog Food Classic

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price4/5

Brand: Victor | Type: Dry | Best for: Active dogs | Designed for: All life stages | First 3 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat

What We Liked

  • Boosts overall health
  • Rich in fatty acids
  • Cost-effective for those on a budget

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sometimes product is damaged during shipping
  • Chicken fat may be hard for some dogs to digest

First in line, our overall favorite dog food with grains comes from Victor with their Classic formula. This food is designed for active dogs of all life stages, making it a great choice for multi-dog families. 

We liked that 88% of the protein in this formula comes from meat sources, so you’ll be giving your dog all the energy they will need and supporting their lean muscle growth during all life stages.

Easy for your dog to digest, you’ll give your dog’s immune system some reinforcement with this nutrient-rich formula. The food is boosted with prebiotics and probiotics for enhanced digestion and GI health.

The food is also rich in fatty acids, so your furry companions’ skin and coat will be in peak condition. Tasty, reasonably cost-effective, and coming from a brand you can rely on, this is a strong contender for the best dog food with grains. 

Our dogs love this food, and we think that yours will too.

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2. Best for Multiple Dogs: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula 

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 4/5
Price4/5

Brand: Blue Buffalo | Type: Dry with LifeSource Bits | Best for: All breeds | Designed for: All life stages | First 3 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice 

What We Liked

  • Nutrient dense with added nutrition in the LifeSource bits
  • Versatile food with well-balanced ingredients
  • Uses real chicken

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not all dogs will eat the LifeSource Bits

Blue Buffalo is a legend in the dog food space with many formulas to suit all breeds and special requirements. 

This Life Protection formula is a versatile food ideal for all breeds and life stages. This is a smart choice if you have several dogs at home and don’t want multiple bags of different food for all your dogs.

With real chicken as the primary ingredient, you’ll ensure that your fluffy companion gets all the protein needed to support lean muscle growth and fill him with the needed energy.

We liked that the carb content is tailored for adult dogs without overreaching. Food that’s too rich in carbohydrates can lead to canine weight gain, but this formula is well-balanced.

Not all grains are good, so Blue Buffalo makes proper use of brown rice. Your pup will also benefit from blueberries, cranberries, sweet potato, and flaxseed. You’ll be giving your dog nutrient-dense food that provides all his needs with no cheap filler or bulking agents.

The LifeSource Bits mixed in with the kibble are studded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Our dogs gobble them up, but some dogs don’t.

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3. Best for Growing Dogs: IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food 

IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food 

Product Ratings

Type4/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price5/5

Brand: IAMS | Type: Vet recommended mini chunks | Best for: All breeds | Designed for: All life stages | First 3 ingredients: Lamb, brewer’s rice, chicken by-product meal

What We Liked

  • Vet recommended brand and formula
  • Abundance of fatty acids for healthy organs and joints
  • Fiber-rich formula to help with efficient digestion

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not all dogs like the mini chunks texture

IAMS serves up pocketbook-friendly dog food with grains that don’t compromise on taste or quality. How does this food stack up? This is a dry formula that comes in mini chunks that are vet-backed and guaranteed to pump your pup full of nutrients.

Real prime lamb is the first ingredient, and this gives your dog all the protein he needs for energy and muscle growth. The formula is fiber-rich and includes a blend of prebiotics that will soothe digestion for your dog and keep his gut health balanced.

The abundance of fatty acids should give your pup’s skin and coat all the nutrients they need to flourish. As an added kicker, IAMS threw in the Checkup Challenge. If you invest in two bags of this food for your furball, Iams will cover the cost of your dog’s annual vet visit!

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4. Best for More Energy: Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price3/5

Brand: Whole Earth Farms | Type: Dry | Best for: All life stages | Designed for: All breeds | First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal

What We Liked

  • Rich in healthy grains
  • No soy content
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

What We Didn’t Like

  • A bit pricey compared to others we tried

Whole Earth Farms dog food certainly isn’t cheap, but you’ll be ensuring all your furball’s nutritional needs are met. Protein is derived from real chicken and whitefish, so you’ll be loading your dog up with energy and supporting his lean muscle development without piling on the pounds.

Equally as important as the ingredients in dog food are the things the manufacturer leaves out. There is no corn, wheat, soy, or byproducts in this food. 

Beyond this, there are no artificial colors or preservatives, so you get an all-natural extravaganza, even if it’s not the cheapest dog food with grains. This food also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals in the right balance, and it’s easy to get dogs to eat it because they agree it’s delicious.

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5. Best for Senior Dogs: Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 4/5
Price4/5

Brand: Merrick | Type: Dry | Best for: All life stages | Designed for: All breeds | First 3 ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, brown rice 

What We Liked

  • Great for multi-dog breed homes
  • Real deboned beef
  • Good for aging dogs

What We Didn’t Like

  • Packaging has some problems

Merrick is a trusted household name in dog food, and they’ve been producing all-natural and nutrient-dense foods for decades.

There are several flavors available, with beef being particularly popular. The real deboned beef is the first ingredient and means your dog will be getting all the protein he needs from a premium source. 

We like that it’s formulated for all breeds and all life stages, making it a great choice for multi-dog households.

If your dog is aging, the high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine in this formula will help improve his joint mobility and maintain strong bones and eyesight. 

This brown rice recipe contains ancient grains and also plenty of fatty acids so your dog will be pumped full of nutrients without compromising skin or coat health.

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6. Best for Active Dogs: Taste of the Wild Roasted Bison 

Taste of the Wild Roasted Bison 

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price4/5

Brand: Taste of the Wild | Type: Dry | Best for: All breeds | Designed for: All life stages | First 3 ingredients: Duck, duck meal, chicken meal

What We Liked

  • High in protein for lean muscle development
  • Rich in fatty acids
  • Available for all life stages

What We Didn’t Like

  • Poor packaging that can tear open during shipping

Taste of the Wild delivers as promised by closely replicating your dog’s natural diet with this dry food containing ancient grains. 

This food is a protein powerhouse. Brimming with 32% protein content, the food makes a great choice for active dogs of all breeds and life stages. Duck is the first ingredient, so you know your pet’s protein comes from a top-notch source.

Probiotics and prebiotics are blended into this kibble to promote proper digestive health and soothe the stomach. Antioxidants help to deliver a boost to your pup’s immune system.

Your dog needs healthy fatty acids for soft skin and a shiny coat. The omega-3s and omega-6s in this formula meet those needs head-on. With all this nutrition, you won’t find any cheap fillers in this formula, and there are no artificial colors or flavors either.

While Taste of the Wild is famous for its enduringly popular grain-free dog foods, this ancient grains formula is also well-received by pet owners worldwide. 

We tested it with our dogs, and they agree it’s delicious. We love that it’s healthy and we can see a marked improvement in energy and coat health when we use this brand.

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7. Best for Muscle Growth: Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price4/5

Brand: Eagle Pack | Type: Dry | Best for: All breeds | Designed for: Adult dogs | First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice 

What We Liked

  • Well balanced formula with protein and grains
  • High in vitamins and minerals
  • Helps to prevent arthritis through good nutrition

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can be pricey compared to some other brands

Suitable for all breeds and all life stages, this dry dog food is designed to support whole-body health, and you should discover your dog finds it delicious, too. This brand has been producing first-class dog food for decades, so you’re buying into a great deal of experience.

The all-natural formula is packed with antioxidants to strengthen your pup’s immune system. 

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids give senior dogs and growing dogs the nutrients they need to keep coats shiny and healthy, while glucosamine is ideal for joint health. This is especially valuable as a means of preventing your dog from getting arthritis. 

Levels of protein, carbs, and fats are perfectly balanced to give your dog the lean muscle growth he needs without causing him to put on weight and become overweight or obese. 

While we aren’t crazy about the pork meal and think the source of protein could be improved, this is great grain-based dog food, and our dogs gobble it up.

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8. Best for Large Breeds: Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price3/5

Brand: Purina Pro Plan | Type: Dry | Best for: Large breeds over 50 pounds | Designed for: Adult dogs | First 3 ingredients: Chicken, cracked barley, brown rice 

What We Liked

  • Perfect for large breeds
  • Real chicken as the source of protein
  • Filled with fatty acids

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very dry formula which may need to be moistened a little for some dogs

Owners of large and giant breeds need to consider breed-specific foods or dog food designed for beefier pups. You can rely on Purina to come through with the goods, and this Focus formula is available in either wet or dry form. 

This is the dry version, so read on if you want some kibble that is perfect for huge canines.

The protein content is high, so your larger breed’s muscle growth is properly supported, without the food being too high in calories or fat. Protein is derived from real chicken, the first ingredient here.

You will get fatty acids, and these are perfect for promoting skin and coat health in your dog. This food is also loaded with glucosamine and EPA, ideal for encouraging smooth joint mobility and keen eyesight as your dog ages.

The food is designed for all ages of bigger breeds, so you have versatile and highly effective dog food with grains here, even if you need to dig deep for the privilege of buying a bag.

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9. Best for Small Breeds: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Formula 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Formula 

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price3/5

Brand: Blue Buffalo | Type: Dry formula with LifeSource Bits | Best for: Small breeds with high energy | Designed for: Adult dogs | First 3 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice

What We Liked

  • LifeSource Bits deliver added nutrition
  • Protein comes from real chicken
  • No artificial flavoring

What We Didn’t Like

  • LifeSource Bits can be unappetizing for some dogs

Next in line is another entry from the inimitable Blue Buffalo. The LifeSource Bits in this food tends to polarize opinion, with some dogs loving them and some leaving them in the bowl. These pieces are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

This formula is specifically designed for small breeds. You always need to keep a close eye on weight management with little dogs, and by investing in this food, you’ll have the confidence of providing your small pet everything they need.

We liked that the protein comes from the real deboned chicken that’s listed as the first ingredient here. This is ideal for smaller dogs with high energy requirements. You’ll be fueling your pet without giving it too many calories and risking obesity.

There are no chicken by-product meals, preservatives, wheat, artificial flavors, soy, or corn, so this kibble eliminates all those things your dog doesn’t want or need while serving him up with a taste sensation that’s dense in nutrients.

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10. Best for Digestive Health: DIAMOND NATURALS Premium Formulas 

m Formulas 

Product Ratings

Type5/5
Overall Ingredient 5/5
Price4/5

Brand: Diamond Naturals | Type: Dry | Best for: All life stages | Designed for: All breeds | First 3 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, ground white rice

What We Liked

  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • All natural ingredients

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can cause stomach issues

Diamond Naturals dry dog food contains healthy grains from grain sorghum and rice along with beef meal and a powerful range of vitamins and minerals. 

This food is designed to work well with all breeds and life stages. If you have several dogs at home, buying multipurpose food is convenient if all your dogs like it, and with this formula, they all benefit from added antioxidants.

The formula includes proprietary prebiotics that will flourish in your dog’s intestines and improve digestion. Premium, all-natural ingredients avoid all the bad elements of cheap dog food. You’ll get no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, corn, wheat, or preservatives.

The fatty acids in this food promote skin and coat health, but some dogs may experience skin issues due to food allergies. We tested the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods to find the best foods for sensitive dogs. If you suspect allergies are the cause of your dog’s problems, be sure to check it out!

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.   

Comparison Chart

ProductsVictor DogBlue Buffalo Life ProtectionIAMSWhole Earth FarmsMerrick ClassicTaste of the WildEagle PackPurina Pro PlanBlue Buffalo Life Protection 2.0Diamond Naturals
Price4/54/55/53/54/54/54/53/53/54/5
Overall Ingredient Rating5/54/55/55/54/55/55/55/55/55/5
Overall rating5/55/55/54/55/55/55/54/54/55/5

The Winner

For us, the winner is the Victor Dog Food Classic. It promotes the best overall health and is formulated for all breeds, all sizes, and all ages of dogs. All around, it ensures a healthier lifestyle for our furry companions. With it being cost-effective, and rich in all of the right nutrients, it quickly became our favorite. 

READ MORE: Best Dog Water Fountains. We tried the best dog water fountains for small and big dogs… here’s what we found!

Honorable Mentions

We tested a few other dog food formulas, and not all of them were worthy of mentioning. However, we feel these three deserve an honorable mention and may be worthy of your further investigation. 

1. Farmina Natural Dry Dog Food – Considered for Natural Sources

Farmina’s Natural and Delicious dog food line is designed to promote whole-body health for your furry companion. With 60% of the ingredients being sourced from real animals to ensure a protein-rich feast, and with the 3 main ingredients including:

  • Boneless chicken
  • Dehydrated chicken
  • Whole spelt grain
  • Oats, fruits, veggies, and minerals

While this is an impressive formula, our dogs went nuts over the Taste of the Wild Roasted Bison, so it made our top picks instead.

2. NUTRO ULTRA Dry Dog Food – Considered for Toy Breeds

If you happen to be the owner of a small breed or a toy breed, Nutro Ultra dry dog food is well worth considering. It is formulated especially for tiny mouths and tiny dog protein requirements with the main 3 ingredients being:

  • Chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Whole brown rice

We love this formula for very small breed dogs, and it is better priced than the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula we liked for small breeds, but our tiny dogs preferred the Blue Buffalo kibble, including the LifeSource bits.

3. Canidae Dog Food for All Life Stages – Considered for Skin and Coat Health

This dry dog food comes from the popular brand of Canidae. This formula has been recommended by veterinarians and is ideal for all life stages and breeds with the main 3 ingredients being:

  • Chicken meal
  • White rice
  • Brown rice

This well-balanced and nutritious dog food is filled with antioxidants and fatty acids, but for the overall formula we felt better about Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food and our dogs responded well to it.

Conclusion

If you came to BarkVA questioning whether grain-inclusive dog foods are worth considering, we hope we cleared that up for you. If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, grain-free dog food is likely the best option. In most other cases, the best dog food with grains can be a holistic dietary solution.

Many vets now recommend grain-inclusive food. As a pet owner, the choice and the responsibility is yours. Schedule an appointment with your vet and get their advice concerning the most appropriate diet for your furry friend. 

All of the grain-inclusive foods we reviewed today contain healthy grains, and the formulas are balanced, protein-rich, and packed with vitamins and minerals. 

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