Grain in dog food is a hot topic and, naturally, misconceptions have surrounded the topic. One common misconception suggests that dogs can’t digest grain. The reality, however, is that while dogs may have a harder time digesting uncooked grains, properly cooked grains in dog food can be highly digestible. In fact, research has shown that grains like corn actually help the digestion of other nutrients in your dog’s food.

Genetic proof

One argument against dogs eating grains is that the ancestors of our canine companions did not eat grains. But  researchers have found a genetic difference between dogs and wolves that allows dogs to easily digest starch, a carbohydrate fraction found in grains. So even though your dog may have some traits in common with a wolf, the ability to digest grains is one key difference, making it safe for dogs to consume dog food with grain ingredients on a daily basis.

Allergies and intolerances

You might be wondering, “Aren’t some dogs allergic to grains?” The truth is, less than 1% of dogs are sensitive to grains, and true food allergies are caused by an immune system reaction to certain proteins in the diet. This is why the most common food allergies in dogs come from other protein sources, like beef or dairy.

The nutritional benefits of grains for your dog

Because of Purina’s decades of nutrition research, we know that diets containing grains provide excellent nutrition. Grains are carbohydrates, which are an important source of energy. Plus, they also provide your dog’s diet with fiber to promote digestion and other nutrients, like linoleic acid, which helps support skin and coat health.


Shouldn't you have the choice to feed grain-free dog food or not? We think so. Just Right by Purina offers grain and grain-free dog food options that offer 100% complete and balanced nutrition no matter what you choose.

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