The 18 Best Dog Food with Grains


Over recent years, grain-free dog food has flooded the market.

Why is this?

At least partly, human interest in grain-free diets – keto and paleo being the most popular examples – means that many pet owners have pursued this same approach for their dog’s diet.

Is this always a smart move, though?

Certainly not always, no.

For any dogs with a grain allergy, these foods with grains are an obvious no-no. Dogs with allergies who eat grains risk chronic inflammation of the skin and intestinal tract.

Many food intolerances and allergies in dogs are caused by proteins rather than grains, so it may not always be necessary to grain-free with sensitive dogs, although it’s usually the best option.

When you’re looking for grain-inclusive dog foods, they are not all created equal. You should look out 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

One of the primary selling points of many grain-free dog foods is the elevated quality of the ingredients used. They often use real foods, and the first ingredient is often a prime source of protein like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, or salmon.

Unfortunately, not all grain-inclusive foods for your dog will hold up to this high standard. To make your life easier, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff with today’s showcase of the 18 best dog food with grains on the market.

While it can be challenging to find grain-inclusive dog foods that don’t rely on starchy fillers, cheap bulking agents, or GMO ingredients, there are plenty of good options out there. 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.

By giving your dog a balanced diet in the right portions, you should keep him within a healthy weight limit. Obesity in dogs can lead to a range of health conditions, and a great diet is the first thing you can do to keep him fit and healthy. The other, of course, is ensuring he gets enough exercise for his age and breed.

With that said, it’s time to get right down to business. Enjoy our grain-inclusive dog food reviews and we hope one of these delicious formulas makes the right choice for your furball. is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

The 18 Best Dog Food with Grains

1. Our #1 Pick: Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry, vet-backed formula
  • Design: Puppies and adults
  • First 3 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat
  • Best for: For active dogs of all life stages
  • Price: $$

First in line and 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, so makes a neat choice for multi-dog families. 88% of the protein in this formula comes from meat sources, so you’ll be giving your dog all the energy he needs and supporting his lean muscle growth.

The protein-dense food is ideal for growing puppies, nursing or pregnant females. While it’s suitable for all life stages, avoid this food for the growth stage of dogs weighing 70 pounds and above.

Easy for your dog to digest, you’ll help strengthen Rover’s immune system and boost his overall health with this nutrient-rich formula. The food is laced with both prebiotics and probiotics.

The food is also rich in fatty acids, so your furball’s 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. See how your hound enjoys it.

2. Wellness Natural Complete Health Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula with lamb and barley
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal
  • Best for: For adult dogs of all breeds
  • Price: $$

Wellness is a highly reputable brand with decades of experience supplying pet owners with highly effective and balanced dog food. How does this dry formula with grains stand and fall, then?

The formula is packed with healthy grains as well as a high proportion of premium proteins.

Leading off with lamb as the first ingredient, this food is capable of supporting whole body health in your dog. As long as he doesn’t have sensitivities or allergies, you should find he wolfs this food down while becoming fitter and stronger. If your dog does have sensitivities, Wellness offers the Complete Health line in grain-free form, too.

Loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, you’ll ensure Fido’s skin is soft while his coat gleams. Antioxidants perform the same role as they do when we eat them: they’ll bolster your dog’s immune system to prevent the damage inflicted by free radicals.

All the ingredients are assembled at a facility in the United States delivering your dog everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t.

3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula


  • Type: Dry formula with LifeSource Bits
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

Blue Buffalo is a legend in the dog food space with a huge variety of formulas to suit all breeds and special requirements. This Life Protection formula is a versatile food ideal for all breeds and all life stages. This makes the dry food a smart choice if you have several dogs at home and you don’t want multiple bags of different food.

With real chicken as the primary ingredient, you’ll ensure Rover gets all the protein he needs to support lean muscle growth and to fill him with energy.

Carb content is tailored to meet the needs of adult dogs without going over the top. Food that’s too rich in carbohydrates can lead to canine weight gain.

Not all grains are good, and Blue Buffalo makes use of brown rice. Your pup will also benefit from blueberries, cranberries, sweet potato, and flaxseed. You’ll be giving him a nutrient-dense food here providing 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. Not all dogs seem keen on these bits according to user reviews, but hopefully Rover will lap them up while packing his body with goodness.

4. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry ancient grains formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Duck, duck meal, chicken meal
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

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

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’ll ensure Fido’s protein comes from a top-notch source, too.

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

Your dog needs healthy fatty acids for a soft skin and shiny coat. The omega-3s and omega-6s in this formula meet those needs head-on.

As well as 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 are famous for their enduringly popular grain-free dog foods, this ancient grains formula is also very well-received by pet owners worldwide. See if it takes your furball’s fancy.

5. Iams Mini Chunks


  • Type: Vet-recommended mini chunks
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Lamb, brewer’s rice, chicken by-product meal
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $

Iams serves up a pocket-friendly dog food with grains that doesn’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 pooch full of nutrients.

Real prime lamb is the first ingredient, and this gives your dog all the protein he needs for his energy and muscle growth requirements.

The formula is fiber-rich and included a blend of prebiotics that will smoothen 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 throw 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. Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

6. Nutro Ultra Small and Toy Breed Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry superfoods formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice
  • Best for: For all breeds
  • Price: $$

Do you have a small breed or a toy breed? If so, you’ll need to tailor their diet accordingly. The easy option is to leave it to Nutro with this Ultra formula designed for that purpose.

Serve Rover up with protein from three sources:               chicken, salmon, and lamb. This powerful combination ensures he gets the quantity and quality of protein he needs for lean muscle growth without putting on fat. Remember, even fractional weight gain in small breeds can easily lead to obesity.

Aside from the high protein content, you’ll also be treating your dog to a potent blend of 15 superfoods giving him all the nutrients he needs for whole-body health.

The kibble is thoughtfully designed so small dogs will have no trouble picking it up or chewing it.

There is no chicken by-product meal in this stuff, and there is corn, soy, or wheat. You won’t get any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives either.

Nutro dog food is not especially cheap, but you’ll be offering your dog one of the best dog food with grains here, and we’re pretty confident he will devour every morsel.

7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula


  • Type: Dry formula with LifeSource Bits
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice
  • Best for: For small breeds with high energy requirements
  • Price: $$$

Next in line is another entry from the inimitable Blue Buffalo.

The LifeSource Bits in this food tends to polarize opinion. Some disgruntled owners report being unable to interest their dogs in these hunks added to the kibble. Others extoll their virtues. Recommended by veterinarians, 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 dinky dog everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t.

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 pooch without giving him too many calories and risking obesity.

There are no chicken by-product meals, no corn, no wheat, and no soy either. With no artificial flavors or preservatives, you’ll be eliminating all those things your dog doesn’t want or need while serving him up with a taste sensation that’s dense in nutrients.

If you’ve been confused when searching for the best dog food with grains for small breeds, we can’t recommend this formula strongly enough.

8. Purina PRO Plan Focus Large and Giant Breed Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: Adult large breed dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken, cracked barley, brown rice
  • Best for: For large breeds over 50 pounds
  • Price: $$$

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 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, though, 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 as your dog ages.

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

9. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula with vitamins and minerals
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

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. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote vibrant skin and coat health, while the 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.

Overall, while the source of protein could be improved, this is one of the best dog food with grains on the market, so why not give it a try with your furball?

10. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula with ancient grains
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Buffalo, pork, chicken meal
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

Taste of the Wild dog food is designed to remind your furball of the food his ancestors would have eaten. In this case, the first ingredient is real buffalo, so you’ll be giving Rover a taste-sensation that’s also rich in protein.

This ancient grains formula is ideal for most dogs of all breeds and life stages. The usual caveat applies, though: dogs with allergies or sensitivities would likely benefit from grain-free dog food.

Assuming your dog has no sensitivities, the healthy grains, fruits, and veggies in this formula complement the 32% protein content and meat-feast perfectly.

Fido’s digestion is well-supported with this food. The formula is packed with fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics.

The company is family-owned and based in the United States, allowing you to buy with complete confidence and the knowledge you’ll be delivering your dog all the nutrients he needs.

11. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula with healthy grains
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, brown rice
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

Dog food with grains is not usually the wisest option if your dog has allergies or sensitivities, but in most other cases, food with grains is well-tolerated and highly nutritious.

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

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

Ideal for all breeds and all life stages, this makes a neat fit for multi-dog households.

If your dog is aging, the high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine in this formula should help improve his joint mobility.

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.

12. Whole Earth Farms Health Grains Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry formula with grains
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$$

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 Rover up with energy and supporting his lean muscle developing without causing him to pile on the pounds.

Equally as important as the ingredients in a dog food is what the manufacturer leaves out. There is no corn, wheat, or soy here getting things off to a strong start. There are no poultry by-products either, not something you want to be feeding Fido. Beyond this, there are no artificial colors or preservatives queering the formula, 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, so you’re delivering everything your furball needs across the board.

13. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs


  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, ground white rice
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

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 a multipurpose food is convenient if all your dogs happen to like it.

The formula includes proprietary prebiotics that will flourish in your furball’s stomach and improve digestion.

Premium, all-natural ingredients avoid all the bad elements of cheap dog food. You’ll get no fillers, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. There is no corn or wheat in this stuff either.

This food is rich in antioxidants so ideal for strengthening your pup’s immune system and preventing premature aging. The fatty acids promote skin and coat health, so you’ll be pumping Rover full of nutrients that come through in his overall health.

14. Canidae Dog Food for All Life Stages


  • Type: Dry, vet-backed formula
  • Design: Adult, puppies, and seniors
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$

Canidae is a legendary brand in the dog food space with decades of deep experience producing the very best dog food with grains.

This formula comes backed by veterinarians, so you know you’re putting Fido in safe hands.

Ideal for all life stages and breeds, this effective and multipurpose food is a good choice if you have several dogs at home and you’re looking to simplify feeding.

The high levels of good fatty acids will come through in the quality of your dog’s skin and coat.

Overall immune system health is supported through the antioxidants laced into this stuff.

The manufacturer pride themselves on including no cheap fillers and by-products. You can invest in large bags of this food knowing you’ll be giving your fur baby all the goodness he needs and none of the cheap additives he doesn’t.

While we would like to see a superior source of protein, this is a balanced and nutritious dry dog food with grains that’s well worth popping on your shortlist.

15. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe


  • Type: Dry organic formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Free range chicken, organic barley, potatoes
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$$

Next up is a dry dog food with a unique selling point: it’s made from entirely human-grade ingredients. While this food isn’t cheap, if you want to give your furball the same caliber of food you’d enjoy yourself, it’s worth every cent.

The formula is made from real whole foods. Free range chicken is the first ingredient and responsible for delivering protein from a premium source. This will support your dog’s lean muscle growth without causing him to put on fat.

Organic oats and barley along with banana and potatoes are all dehydrated. Add some warm water and watch this food come alive – if you can do so before your pooch wolfs it down!

There are no GMO ingredients in this stuff. There’s no corn, no wheat, and no soy. Beyond this, you get no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

This food makes a good fit for puppies and adult dogs, so it’s a versatile and extremely effective natural approach to dog food with grains.

16. Annamaet Original Extra Formula Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry, vet-backed formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, sorghum
  • Best for: For active breeds
  • Price: $$

Annamaet Extra is a vet-recommended formula that’s ideal if your dog is doesn’t have allergies or sensitivities to grains.

This company is family-owned and family-run, and they have been in business for over 30 years providing pet owners with balanced nutrition for their furballs.

The GMO-free, holistic ingredients support whole body health in your pup without resorting to any cheap or unnatural additives and fillers.

Chelated minerals are absorbed more efficiently by your dog’s system.

L-carnitine ensures your dog’s system better processes and utilizes fat so he’ll stay trim, lean, and in perfect health.

If you don’t mind paying for the privilege, this is one of the best dog food with grains up for grabs, so why not give your fur baby a treat?

17. Farmina Natural Dry Dog Food


  • Type: Dry, vet-backed formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, whole spelt
  • Best for: For medium and large breeds
  • Price: $$

As we near the end of our search for the best dog food with grains, Farmina’s Natural and Delicious line is designed to promote whole-body health in your hound.

This formula is designed for medium-sized breeds or large breeds. If you have a larger and more active dog, this nutrient-dense food is ideal for his purposes.

60% of the ingredients are sourced from real animals for a protein-rich feast with boneless chicken as the first ingredient. Oats, fruits, veggies, vitamins, and minerals complete a comprehensive formula that’s designed to deliver balanced nutrition in a lip-smackingly tasty form.

If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, this is not the best option for you. As well as the grains in this formula, there is also a lengthy list of ingredients. For dogs with sensitivities, limited ingredient diets work more effectively.

If you have several large dogs at home, bumper packs of this dog food with grains means you can save money without shortchanging Rover. What’s not to love?

18. Nature’s Logic Dog Food


  • Type: Dry, vet-backed formula
  • Design: Adult dogs
  • First 3 ingredients: Lamb meal, millet, beef fat
  • Best for: For all breeds and life stages
  • Price: $$$

As we reach the end of our collection of the best dog food with grains, Nature’s Logic hits a home run as usual with this dry formula that comes vet-recommended.

Suitable for dogs of all ages and breeds, this versatile food is a smart bet for multi-pet households looking to streamline feeding time.

This formula is Canine Chicken Meal Feast and it should have Rover licking his bowl clean. Protein comes from multiple sources, ideal for the purposes of rotation.

The ingredients are all completely natural with no reliance on synthetic minerals and vitamins, something that certainly can’t be said for all dog food.

As with all dog food, what’s not included is just as important as what’s in the stuff. Here, you’ll be giving your dog no wheat, corn, soy, or rice. There is no potato in this food either, and there are no peas or lentils. Give Fido a protein-dense and completely organic food that will have him eagerly waiting for mealtimes.


1) Are grains a dietary requirement for my dog?

They are not, no. This means you’re in completely safe hands whether you opt for grain-free or grain-inclusive dog food. Although dogs don’t strictly need grains, they are capable of digesting most grains, so you shouldn’t run into any problems.

2) What benefits are delivered by grains in dog food?
Grains are a great source of fiber and this helps to keep your furball’s stools healthy and regular. Whole grains contain an array of vitamins and minerals beneficial to your dog. As an added bonus, the majority of grain-free dog foods are quiet expensive. Although grain-inclusive food might not be a giveaway, it’s generally a more cost-effective option.

3) What are some of the bad grains I should avoid when comparing dog food?

All common fillers are by-products are bad news. From the hulls of rice, oats, and peanuts to powdered cellulose and fermentation waste, there are plenty of cheap fillers many manufacturers throw in. None of these ingredients offer any nutritional benefit.

4) Which grains are best for dogs?

Rice, oats, rye, barley, whole wheat, quinoa, and millet are all great grains for dogs.

5) When does grain-free dog food make the right choice?

If your dog has a grain allergy, he’ll need grain-free food. Dogs with excessive gas may also benefit from a grain-free dog food.

6) Why have vets suddenly started recommending dog food with grains?

The FDA recently discovered a correlation between grain-free dog food and DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy). While it’s not clear how this are correlated, the current advice from vets mirrors this better safe than sorry approach. We’ll keep you updated with developments in this area.

7) I was told that grains are nothing but filler. Is this true?

No, but this is a fairly common misconception. Grain-free dog foods often contain legumes or starches like tapioca or potato as carbohydrate sources. These don’t contain much by the way of nutrients, and they are not as healthy an option as whole grains. While many proponents of grain-free dog food claim it’s a more natural diet, wolves didn’t get on the end of any potatoes or legumes, so it’s not completely authentic either.

8) Can my dog safely digest grains?

Absolutely. Domesticated dogs have evolved over the years, and they are capable of tolerating a diet rich in starch if needed.

9) Is a grain-free diet for my dog healthier?

There is currently no evidence supporting the claims that grain-free diets for dogs offer superior nutrition. Grain-free diets can certainly provide your dog with a balanced diet and all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals he needs, but grain-free diets are more of a marketing concept than a legitimately stronger alternative to grain-inclusive dog foods.

10) Can grain-inclusive dog food cause allergies?

It is possible a dog could have a grain allergy, but it’s not the most common allergy. In dogs, adverse reactions are most common with beef, dairy, chicken, and wheat.

11) Is it safe to feed my dog a grain-free diet?

The jury is still out here. A 2019 FDA update points out an association between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. A cause and effect relationship has not yet been established. That said, the FDA is not currently advising any changes to diet in dog based on these findings. Many vets, though, have heeded the warning and they are starting to suggest more pet owners experiment with a grain-inclusive diet.

12) How can I switch to a grain-inclusive dog food for my furball?

You should do so gradually, over the course of ten days. Start with 3 days mixing 25% new food with 75% old food. For the next few days, give him a 50/50 mix of old and new food. Increase the ratio so it’s 25% old food and 75% new food before giving Fido all-new food after ten days.


Well, if you pitched up here today at BarkVA questioning whether grain-inclusive dog foods are worth considering, we should have 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 viable and 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 his advice concerning the most appropriate diet for your furball.

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

We hope you found what you were looking for today and we’d urge you to bookmark our blog before you head off. We bring you fresh content most days on all aspects of pet ownership so be sure to come back soon!

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