Gravy Train Dog Food Review (Canned)

Gravy Train Wet Dog Food

Gravy Train Dog Food Review

Rating:

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 1.5 M
Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with T-Bone Flavor 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 1.5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

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.


Gravy Train Ground Dinner with Chicken

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 37%

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%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%18%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%38%32%
Protein = 31% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 32%

Ingredient Analysis

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”.1

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.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

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 dogs2.

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.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

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.

Our Rating of Gravy Train Dog Food

Gravy Train is a grain-inclusive canned dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed meats and meat by-products as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Has Gravy Train Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Gravy Train.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Gravy Train Reviews

The following Gravy Train dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)

11/20/2020 Last Update