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With so many different types of dog food available, dog parents have a lot of questions about grain-free dog food vs dog food with grain, and which type is best for their dog. Just like us, dogs are individuals: what’s best for one dog might not be best for another. This article will explain the reasons why some dog parents choose to feed grain-inclusive or grain-free dog food, so you can decide with your vet what type of food is best for your unique pup!

grain-free fed samoyed

Grain-Free Dog Food

Grain-free dog food is made without wheat, oats, rice, corn or any other type of grain. Types of grain-free dog food include frozen and freeze-dried raw dog food, grain-free kibble, grain-free wet dog food, and grain-free mixers, toppers and treats.

Why choose grain-free dog food?

Grain-free dog food is a great choice for dogs who are allergic or sensitive to certain proteins found in grains. For dogs with a grain intolerance, switching to a grain-free diet can provide relief for symptoms like digestive issues (gas and diarrhea), allergies, itchy skin and excessive shedding.

A unique benefit of premium grain-free dog food is that a higher percentage of the ingredients can be fully digested. Many dog parents who switch to a grain-free raw dog food diet notice that their dog’s stools become smaller, firmer and less frequent.

Why you should choose your grain-free dog food thoughtfully

Some brands of grain-free dog food replace grains with cheap, high-protein, starchy ingredients. Stella & Chewy’s does not include potatoes or other high starch ingredients in our grain-free dog food recipes.

Different types of grain-free dog food

Stella & Chewy’s offers many different types of high-quality grain-free dog food with complete and balanced nutrition:

We also offer grain-free meal mixers, toppers and treats that dogs go wild for!

grain-inclusive fed husky

Dog Food With Grains

Grain inclusive dog food refers to any dog food recipe made with grain or grain-derived ingredients, though the quality of the grains can vary widely between brands. 

Why choose grain-inclusive dog food?

High quality grains can be a great source of energy and nutrition for dogs, so unless your dog has a sensitivity to grain proteins (or your vet recommends a grain-free diet) there’s no need to avoid it. Dog food with grains is a popular choice among pet parents and often costs less than grain-free dog food.

What grains are best in dog food?

Pet parents who choose a grain-inclusive diet for their dog should look for dog food with wholesome, high-quality grains like oatmeal, pearled barley, quinoa, brown rice, sorghum and millet.

Grains to avoid in dog food

Wheat and corn aren’t as nutrient dense as the grains listed above, and are among the most common food allergens for dogs (as are soy and grain by-products, which should also be avoided). Common grain by-products include bran, germ, hull, middlings and meal (as in corn gluten meal).

Types of grain-inclusive dog food

Stella & Chewy’s offers several wholesome grain-inclusive dog food recipes that provide complete nutrition without fillers, by-products or artificial ingredients:

Wholesome Grains Stella’s Essentials

High-protein kibble made with responsibly-sourced animal proteins and ancient grains. All varieties have glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain hip and joint function. 

Wholesome Grains Raw Coated Baked Kibble

Kibble made withwholesome grains, gently oven baked and coated in freeze-dried raw. Choose from eight different options including recipes formulated for small breeds, and puppy food.

Wholesome Grains Raw Blend Baked Kibble

Kibble made withwholesome grains, gently oven baked and coated in freeze-dried raw, with pieces of freeze-dried raw animal proteins mixed in. Choose from a red meat blend or cage-free poultry blend.

Wholesome Grains SuperBlends Raw Coated

Superfood-powered kibble made with wholesome grains, superfoods, bone broth and probiotics, coated in freeze-dried raw.

Wholesome Grains SuperBlends Raw Blend

Superfood-powered kibble made with wholesome grains, superfoods, bone broth and probiotics, coated in freeze-dried raw with pieces of freeze-dried raw animal proteins mixed in.

Wholesome Grains Wild Red Raw Coated

Nutrient-dense kibble using “whole prey” ingredients—muscle meat, organ meats and cartilage—along with wholesome grains coated in freeze-dried raw. Four different recipes including one for puppies.

Training treats with wholesome grains

Our Crav’n Bac’n Bites are made with responsibly-sourced animal proteins and wholesome grains. Perfect for training and rewarding at only 3 calories per treat!

Samoyed with grain-free and grain-inclusive food

Should You Feed Your Dog Food With or Without Grain?

Choosing a grain-free or grain-inclusive diet is a decision each pet parent should make after considering what’s best for their dog. Grains can be a great source of nutrition and energy for dogs, but some dog parents feel it’s best to feed grain-free raw dog food or grain-free wet dog food that more closely mirrors a dog’s ancestral diet.

What matters most is that the grain-free or grain-inclusive dog food meets AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition across all life stages. Our food is made in the USA with the world’s finest and safest ingredients, and always free from artificial preservatives, flavors and colors.

Explore these resources to inform your decision between dog food with grain and grain-free dog food:

We also offer a pet food finder to help you zero in on the right recipe!

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