Is Gravy Train healthy for dogs? A Comprehensive Guide

Which Gravy Train Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

Gravy Train canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Gravy Train product line includes the 5 canned dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with Chicken Chunks 1.5 M
Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with T-Bone Flavor Chunks 1.5 M
Gravy Train Meaty Ground Dinner with Beef and Bacon 2.5 M
Gravy Train Ground Dinner with Chicken 3 M
Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks 1.5 M

Gravy Train Ground Dinner with Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient ContentProtein =

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken, poultry-by-product, soybean meal, ground corn, calcium carbonate, onion extract, choline chloride, garlic extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Protein =

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 4% NA
Dry Matter Basis 36% 18% 37%
Calorie Weighted Basis 31% 38% 32%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is poultry by-product, or slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single species item (like chicken by-products).

The fourth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The next ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Gravy Train product.

With 3 notable exceptions

First, we find onion and garlic extracts, which are controversial items. Although many favor garlic for its claimed health benefits, in rare cases, onion and garlic have been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs .

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Based on its ingredients alone, Gravy Train canned dog food looks like a below-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Review Summary Our Final Verdict

We give Gravy Train Dog Food a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Gravy Train is an American-based pet food company founded in 1959. According to the brand, its products contain top-quality ingredients and are made using the best food formula.

But is this information factual, or is it a slippery marketing gimmick?

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalling canned dog food1 from the brand citing pentobarbital contamination, you probably have plenty of unanswered questions.

Here is everything you need to know about Gravy Train dog food, including its recalls, pros, and cons.

Does Gravy Train give dogs diarrhea?

Foods that have a high fat content — butter, gravy, turkey drippings, bacon, potatoes, dressing, stuffing — can cause gastrointestinal distress in your dog. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite, and they usually don’t show up immediately.

The gravies that we enjoy are not good for our dogs because they are far too salty. Here, instead, is a gravy that is perfect for dogs—meaty, rich, delicious, and with some good antioxidants, so it’s healthy as well. Organ meat in the form of liver gives it a vitamin E boost, too.

✅ How To Use Gravy Train Beefy Classic Dog Food Review

According to Smucker, the amounts of pentobarbital found in their product “…do not pose a threat to pet safety.” … preliminary evaluation of the testing results of Gravy Train samples indicates that the low level of pentobarbital present in the withdrawn products is unlikely to pose a health risk to pets.