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November 9, 2022

Benefits of Grain-Free and Grain-Inclusive Dog Food Recipes

  • Grain-Free
  • Grain-Inclusive
  • Dog Food
  • Dog Health
Small brown Pomeranian dog sitting on kitchen counter beside GO! SOLUTIONS kibble bags

With so many premium dog food options available it can be hard to know how to choose the right one for your dog. One of the most common questions from dog owners is whether to go with a grain-free or grain-inclusive formula – which is best for your dog?


Let’s start off by going over some of the most commonly used grains in pet food.

These grains include:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Millet

Grains are an important source of complex carbohydrates – more slowly digested compared to simple carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are not considered essential nutrients, they play a critical role in your pet’s body. Carbohydrates are a highly digestible, readily available energy source.

Grains in particular are a good source of:

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

You can find grains included in all of our Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Care and Go! Solutions Digestion + Gut Health recipes for dogs.

GO! DIGESTION + GUT HEALTH dog food bag on kitchen counter with grains


Now, what about grain-free recipes? Grain-free are not carb-free and not the same as gluten-free recipes. Many grain-free pet foods are higher in protein than their grain-inclusive counterparts.

Grain-free doesn't always mean reduced carbohydrates - often, but not always. All foods contain a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein – decreasing the amount of carbohydrates in food will increase fat, protein, or both.

For example, our Go! Solutions Carnivore recipes are our lowest carbohydrate recipes formulated to be grain-free and have up to 97% of protein from premium-quality animal sources.

When a food doesn’t contain grains, it will use non-grain carbohydrates sources such as:

  • Tapioca
  • Potatoes
  • Or pulse ingredients like lentils, peas, or chickpeas

Some pets have food sensitivities and may be intolerant to one or more specific grains. For these pets Go! Solutions Sensitivities Limited Ingredient recipes may be a good option.

In Conclusion

So, to grain or not to grain? Overall, there is no “right” choice – only the best choice for you and your dog. Both grain-free and grain-inclusive ingredients offer many health benefits and can be used to make a safe, healthy, balanced, and complete diet. The most important consideration in choosing a high-quality dog food is that it provides complete and balanced nutrition and is the best fit for your dog.


Natalie Asaro

Natalie Asaro

Nutrition Manager

Natalie received both her BSc in Honors Biological Science and MSc in Companion Animal Nutrition from the University of Guelph.

Theresa Lantz

Theresa Lantz

Companion Animal Nutritionist

Theresa received both her BSc in Companion Animal Health and MSc in Animal Science from the University of Alberta.

Michele Dixon

Michele Dixon

Health and Nutrition Specialist

Michele studied animal nutrition through Colorado State University and the Companion Animal Sciences Institute. Involved in animals and nutrition for over 25 years, Michele had the pleasure of receiving a High in Trial with her first Borzoi Yascha at an early age.