Gravy train dog food

Young black puppy eating a bowl of foodIn the United States, Gravy Train Dog Food is an inexpensive dog food sold in grocery stores. The food was originally created by the General Foods company and its Gaines dog foods. It has the distinction of being the first food to create its own gravy when you add warm water to the kibble. The gravy makes the food taste better to dogs. Today Gravy Train belongs to Del Monte Foods after its sale in 2002. Gravy Train’s slogan is “The Gravy Taste Dogs Can’t Wait To Finish.”

Food Analysis of Ingredients

Gravy Train contains the following ingredients:

Corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, animal fat, animal digest, salt, cellulose gum, caramel color, potassium chloride, bone phosphate, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), dried beef stock, red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 2, BHA (preservative), tocopherols (preservative), citric acid (preservative)

Better dog foods generally contain two to three named meat protein sources in the first five ingredients. Gravy Train does not have any named meat protein sources in the first five ingredients. The first ingredient is corn, meaning that, by weight, it is the number one ingredient in this dog food and it is being used as a cheaper source of protein. Dogs can get protein from corn and vegetable sources but it does not have the biodigestibility of meat protein. Your dog is only able to digest about 50 percent of the protein in the corn, compared to 92 percent of the protein in fish. The rest of the corn passes through your dog as waste for you to scoop up when he poops. Dogs that are fed a diet that is high in corn and vegetable matter will produce more poop. They can have skin and coat problems because they are not getting adequate nutrition or the amino acids they need.

Soybean meal, the second ingredient in Gravy Train, is another plant protein and, like corn, it is often used as a cheaper source of protein instead of using meat protein. It has many of the same drawbacks as using corn and it can cause stomach and digestive problems, including gas. Excessive use of soy in foods has been linked to an increase of estrogen in the body which can be connected to certain cancers.

Beef and bone meal is not a named meat protein source. Instead, according to AAFCO, the organization which oversees pet food labeling, it is the product that is rendered from beef tissues. It is a by-product from beef parts that are not considered fit for human consumption. It is not meat.

Animal digest, according to the AAFCO definition, is “material that results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue…” This is not a good source of protein for a pet.

Many of the remaining ingredients in Gravy Train have been added to make up for the lack of quality protein and other quality ingredients in the food.

Guaranteed Analysis

Gravy Train provides the following Guaranteed Analysis of its food:

Crude Protein not less than 21.0% Crude Fat not less than 8.0% Crude Fiber not more than 4.0% Moisture not more than 10.0%

The crude protein percentage is in the medium range, though the ingredients for Gravy Train show that the sources of protein in the food are not desirable and your dog may not be able to digest them well. The crude fat in the food is on the low side.


Gravy Train is an inexpensive food for dogs and it does not contain good nutrition. The protein sources in the food are not desirable for your dog. This food is not recommended.



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