Gravy Train Dog Food Reviews (Ratings, Recalls, Ingredients!)
About the Company
Gravy Train began selling its dog food in 1959 and became the first, and only, dog food brand to create its own gravy by adding a bit of water. Today, Gravy Train remains the only dog food brand of its kind.
Gravy Train expanded its product line in 2005 to include meaty snacks for an all-around dog food variety.
Gravy Train, a Big Heart Pet brand, aims to give your dog a unique, tasty eating experience every time he eats. From Dog Train’s crunchy kibble to its saucy gravy, your dog is sure to enjoy its meaty aroma and taste.
It seems, however, that the massive recall that happened in 2018 has had some negative influence since it's almost impossible to find the Gravy Train dog food online and in stores. For this reason we also present the best alternatives to Gravy Train dog food.
As far as lower-end, cheaper brands of dog food go, Gravy Train is average in its variety, ingredients, and nutrients. It’s packed with good vitamins, like Vitamins A, E, D3, and B12, and has a good amount of protein for your dog. Most of the ingredients are things you recognize, like corn, soybean, and animal fat.
Where Gravy Train’s mark lowers is in its artificial ingredients, like food dyes, meat flavor, and the BHA preservative that is a known carcinogen. It also has corn and soybean meal listed as the first two ingredients. Depending on who you ask, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They do provide protein, but they aren’t really the best protein for dogs.
It seems that dogs prefer the flavor of Gravy Train over other brands, according to reviews from a few websites, perhaps because of the yummy gravy addition! But, I don’t see enough variety in this brand. I realize that it is a value brand, but having a few more dry dog food varieties would appeal to more dogs and owners, especially varieties for young and old dogs.
Gravy Train dog food certainly is unique. Its one-of-a-kind formula is the only one that makes its own gravy by adding a little bit of water to your dog’s bowl. Although this doesn’t provide any extra nutritional value, it can definitely win over some picky eaters. The gravy makes it almost like a mix of wet and dry food, without making the food mushy.
Gravy Train has been around for almost 60 years, which means it must be doing something right! Along with its wet and dry dog foods, Gravy Train introduced dog treats in 2005 to expand its brand, giving dog owners a bit more variety with the brand. And, with no recall history in the past two years, it’s a good sign of quality control.
This dog food has a fairly good balance of ingredients, with its nutrients closely meeting AAFCO standards for dog nutrition. Gravy Train is cheaper than many other brands, but it’s free from a plethora of chemicals and preservatives that cheaper brands tend to add.
Although its nutrients are on the mark, Gravy Train does add in some artificial coloring and flavoring, preservatives, and corn and soybean as protein. These are consistent with the ingredients of many cheaper brands of dog food, but that doesn’t make it okay.
There is also not as much variety as some other brands as far as products go. Gravy Train has more wet food varieties than dry food, and no difference in variety for puppies and adult dogs.
Another reason I’m on the fence about Gravy Train is its surprising lack of information about the company on its own website. For a company that has been around since the 1950s, I’d expect a good amount of information on its history, its manufacturing process, and where it originated. Instead, it has just a few sentences on its history and the company, which is a little worrisome.
Gravy Train Dog Food Ingredients
The Gravy Train Beefy Classic Guaranteed Analysis is as follows:
- Crude Protein (min) 17%
- Crude Fat (min) 8%
- Crude Fiber (max) 4%
- Moisture (max) 10%
- Calcium: (MIN) 0.6%
- Phosphorus: (MIN) 0.5%
- Potassium: (MIN) 0.6%
- Sodium: (MIN) 0.25%
- Chloride: (MIN) 0.4%
- Zinc: (MIN) 110 mg/kg
The nutrients in Gravy Train Beefy Classic dry dog food are pretty close to the required nutrient analysis of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile. Protein, however, is a bit lower than the minimum of 18%.
Gravy Train dog food ingredients include dyes Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 5 and 6, which have been known to cause hypersensitivity and cancer in humans. It also contains BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), a preservative on the list of Known Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxicants of California Proposition 65. Gravy Train’s first two listed ingredients are corn and soybean meal. These have been known to cause allergic reactions and digestive issues in dogs.
Overall, Gravy Train meets nutrient standards, but its ingredients leave a lot of room for improvement. I’d prefer to see more meat ingredients for protein rather than corn and soybean. And, definitely less artificial flavoring and food dyes.
Gravy Train Dog Food Recall History
There was a massive Gravy Train Dog Food recall in 2018 when euthanasia drugs were find in bunch of The J.M. Smucker Company Inc. dog foods, such as Gravy Train, Kibbles ’N Bits, etc. Dog food was recalled after pentobarbital, used to euthanize animals, was found in it. Dog that ended up eating the contaminated food experienced seizures, skin bumps and sadly, some had died.
This obviously was some bad effect on the Gravy Train Dog Food since it's almost impossible to buy it now.
Alternatives to Gravy Train: Dry Food
Alternatives to Gravy Train: Canned Food
Gravy Train dog food has a taste that’s almost unbeatable for a dog’s palate. The added gravy makes this dog food unique compared to others on the market. Gravy Train offers four varieties of dry dog food and nine varieties of wet dog food. All of them have raving taste reviews by dog owners (based on their dogs’ opinions, of course!).
The ingredients in Gravy Train are worrisome. Because it has corn and soybean meal as the main proteins, your dog could be missing out on some valuable meat-based protein and might suffer from side effects, like allergies and digestive problems. And due to the addition of artificial colors and flavors and the preservative, BHA, this dog food may not have the nutritional benefits you seek for your pooch.
But, if you’re looking for a value brand with good nutrients and a beloved taste, Gravy Train is a good choice. Gravy Train is available in both stores and online.