Is Gravy Train Good for Dogs
Is Gravy Train Good for Dogs? (Vet Reviewed Guide)
Since 1959, the Gravy Train dog food range has made a unique entry into the pet food industry. The company bypassed the traditional dry dog food manufacturing by adding a built-in gravy mix. But, is Gravy Train good for dogs despite their bad reputation in the past?
There are thousands of dog food brands currently available in the market. Fulfilling your dog’s nutritional requirements demands a steady supply of balanced ingredients. Unfortunately, Gravy Train is acceptable but not an ideal and balanced food for your dog to start with.
The user reviews and the nutritional analysis of Gravy Train dog food is not up to the mark as expected. In the past, Gravy Train dog foods were known to have some questionable ingredients. Keep reading below to learn more about why Gravy Train is not an ideal food for your pooch.
Historical Background of Gravy Train Dog Food
J.M Smucker Company has been manufacturing Gravy Train dog foods in the USA since 2015. The brand was first introduced by General Foods in 1959. The J.M Smucker Company invested and bought the dog food brand in 2015 and supervised the manufacturing of Gravy Train.
The product range of Gravy Train was first introduced in 1959 as a warm and hydrated dog food range. All of the products are made by considering the hydration status of only kibble diet dogs.
Since the manufacturing of Gravy Train, the brand has been popular among dog owners due to its popularity and uniqueness. Gravy Train suits well with several dog breeds and the owners really like the gravy-based caned formulations, treats, and dry foods.
The Gravy Train dry foods are made to work well with the gravies. For that reason, the majority of its food range just needs lukewarm water to be added. The result is in the form of a wet-kibble food ideal for dogs that have low separate water intake.
Controversial Recall History of Gravy Train
The goal of Gravy Train relies on making a healthy and palatable dog food range that is loved by every dog breed. The food brand encountered a severe setback due to the presence of questionable ingredients back in February 2018.
At that time, the FDA recalled the Gravy Train’s canned food range due to the presence of pentobarbital, a drug used as premedication in anesthesia. The pentobarbital is also widely used to give humane euthanasia to animals.
Following the discovery of this drug in the Gravy Train wet food, the FDA issued an order to recall the entire canned food range of Gravy Train. It was hypothesized that the prolonged use of Gravy Train dog foods results in high and lethal exposures of pentobarbital in pets.
The J.M Smucker company was ordered to recall several canned chunk foods including beef, chicken, and lamb flavors. Additionally, some beef and chicken stripe treats were also found to contain the residues of phenobarbital in them.
The beef canned foods and excessive fat percentages also make Gravy Train an inferior food. Certain dogs have experienced nutritional imbalances and allergies because of the ingredients.
Is Gravy Train Dog Food Bad for Dogs?
Since the presence of controversial ingredients and recalls, Gravy Train Foods caught a bad reputation among dog owners. The company issued its statement regarding the emerging issue and has been working to eliminate such problems in future products.
According to nutritional analysts and veterinarians, Gravy Train dog foods are considered average-quality food. The product range by Gravy Train doesn’t contain the ingredients and nutrients in a balanced ratio thus making the Gravy Train, an inferior quality food.
However, it has been observed that the dogs like their gravy mixes and treats despite their size and breed. The gravy-based foods by Gravy Train provide enough moisture in the regular diet and prevent hydration issues.
Despite the questionable foods that have been recalled, other product ranges such as dry foods and treats are still popular. Let’s get a better understanding of Gravy Train dog foods by looking at some unexpected ingredients in Gravy Train’s nutritional profile.
Abnormal Beef Percentage
If you look at the Gravy Train’s product range, the majority of it comes with beef flavor. Dogs find beef extremely palatable and therefore, eat up anything with a beef aroma. Gravy Train make use of this taste psychology and introduced most of its products in beef flavors.
This is where things contradict the natural health of dogs. Not all dogs have a digestive system that can digest the red meat protein. These dogs are prone to gastric disturbances and upset stomachs after consuming prolonged beef-flavored foods and treats.
BHA Preservatives & Artificial Colors
To make foods appetizing and palatable, artificial colors are regularly used in human and pet foods. Gravy Train dog foods contain a significant number of artificial flavors that are not approved by the FDA.
Similarly, the use of preservatives is as bad as the artificial colors in the case of canned dog foods. Excessive exposure of the digestive system to preservatives makes it sensitive and causes diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease in dogs.
A well-known and controversial preservative is Butylated Hydroxy anisole (BHA). Several researches conducted by the Oncology Research Institutes suggest the cancer-inducing abilities of BHA in rodents.
Apart from the past presence of Pentobarbital, BHA is another reason of why the Gravy Train dog foods are considered inferior. Like the abnormal concentrations of other ingredients in the Gravy Train, BHA is also present in the Gravy Train in questionable amounts.
Unknown Meat Meal Sources
Meat meals are a great source of protein, oils, and fats when used from a good quality source. In all the products of Gravy Train, meat meals are used to boost the protein and fat content. The actual source of these meat meals is still undisclosed meaning they can pose health issues in dogs and cats.
Nutritional Profile of Gravy Train Dog Food
Gravy Train enlists several dry dog foods and treats in their product catalog. Despite being highly palatable and delicious, the products do have some contraindicated ingredients in abnormal ratios.
Gravy Train’s Heart Classic Chicken
The nutritional profile of this dog food by Gravy Train has high corn and soybean and corn concentrations. Looking at the ingredients, I am not sure if your pooch with a sensitive stomach can tolerate it or not.
Through analysis, the Gravy Train’s Heart Classic Chicken is found to be unsuitable for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities. There are a variety of by-products added to this food to increase its palatability, especially the meat by-products from slaughterhouse waste.
Therefore, veterinarians recommend not to use this formula for too long in dogs with known food allergies. Additionally, meat and bone meals contain abnormal fat and protein percentages that can disturb the body's functions after prolonged use.
Gravy Train’s Beefy Classic
Another popular product is the Gravy Train’s Beefy Classic with plant-based protein sources. The ratio of corn and soybean is also high in this product as it is proven to cause ill effects in dogs of all ages.
The soybean and meat meals used in this product are thought to be of inferior quality. Therefore, it provides an unbalanced mix of nutrients leading to allergies, swelling, and abnormal protein balance in the body.
Not to mention the added artificial beef flavors to increase the palatability of this food. If food doesn’t come from healthy and high-quality sources, such artificial flavors and preservatives are added to increase palatability.
Gravy Train introduced a unique approach to increasing the moisture content of dog foods through gravy mixes. Due to the unbalanced nutrient ratio and past recalls, Gravy Train may not be the best food for your beloved pooch.
In my opinion, you can use the Gravy Train dog food products in a limited amount. However, if your puppy is in the developing stage, there are other good alternative dog food brands you can try. The dry foods are well tolerated by dogs instead of canned ones and have good affordability and palatability.