If you’re considering switching your dog to a grain-free diet, here are the top ten grain free dog foods on the market today.
CC image “The last flowers before winter” via Franco Vannini on Flickr – thx Franco!
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Jump directly to current pricing & more information about the top ten grain free dog foods:
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets (wet)
- Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
- Canidae Grain Free Pure
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Recipe
- AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Formula
- Merrick Grain Free Recipe
- Taste of the Wild (adult)
- Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural
- Taste of the Wild (puppy)
Have you been considering switching your dog to a grain-free diet? Gluten-free and grain-free diets have become quite popular among us humans and many people swear by their healthfulness. Perhaps, you have already made the switch yourself.
Your dog, however, can’t go that route on all its own, so it’s up to you to decide for him or her. You might be thinking that since dogs are carnivores, a grain-free diet just makes sense – it’s a no-brainer!Thinking about a grain-free diet for your dog? Here are the top 10 grain free dog foods. Click To Tweet
Before deciding to help your four-legged pal to make the switch, however, there are some points you need to consider. Let’s have a quick look at a few of them:
Is grain-free really a more natural choice?
Grain-free doesn’t mean the dog food is all meat!
Rather, it may be substituting another source of carbohydrate such as potatoes or yams for the usual grains. Plus, there are often fruit and vegetable ingredients added to bump up the nutrient value of your pet’s meal.
So, while going grain-free doesn’t mean your bag of dog food will simply contain a side of beef, it also doesn’t mean your canine pal will have to forego a rounded and healthy diet either.
Does grain-free mean lower carbohydrates?
Those replacement carbohydrates I mentioned earlier won’t automatically reduce the carbohydrate content. In fact, many grain-free dog foods tip the carbohydrate scale at or above the level of their grain-containing counterparts.
If lower carb count is what you are after for your dog, then try out foods specifically labelled for that.
Is grain-free best for food allergies?
Believe it or not, there is no real scientific evidence to back a grain-free diet as best for dogs with food allergies.
What the studies do show is that beef (yes, beef!) and dairy are the most likely culprits. Corn, however, ranks way down on the allergen list.
You will need to diligently check for the exact cause of your pet’s allergy. It might help to try different types of dog food (remembering of course to take introduction of a new food slowly).
So, why go grain-free?
Many dogs actually thrive on grain-free food, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t on food that contains grain. Your pet simply needs you to select the type of food that will provide the balanced nutrition it needs and if a grain-free diet can do that, then by all means go for it!
Top Ten Grain Free Dog Foods
If you need some help here is my list of the top ten best grain-free dog foods out there. I have sampled a few of them (or rather my four dogs have!) and I hope I can give you some good advice to guide your own selection.
The first one is the only canned variety on my list, so I thought I would just lead off with it.
I have actually used this for one of my dogs (K.C.) when she developed a sensitive stomach condition. My other dogs (Chico, Lightning and Thunder) went crazy for the smell, but I kept them on their regular food since I figured K.C.’s condition was temporary, which it was.
(By the way, if you’re wondering about the names – my kids named all of the dogs and there is a good story behind one, but that’s for a different post!)
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food comes as a 12-13-ounce can and has 8 flavors to hold your pet’s interest.
Chicken, duck, fish, venison and buffalo being the ones with potato the others have rice.
This food contains no artificial colors or flavors and no preservatives and each can aims to limit how many ingredients your dog is served.
The cost for these cans is just over $20 each, and they do come in dry food varieties if that is more to your pet’s liking.
What I really like about them is that they are suitable for any size, age and breed of dog, which adds to their overall convenience factor.
Peas, potatoes and dried ground potatoes take up carbohydrate responsibilities in this grain-free food. It also packs deboned turkey, turkey meal and chicken meal as protein sources.
A 26-pound bag costs just under $60 and you can get it in 6 other formulas, although the prices will vary.
The formulas include puppy, small breed, large breed and reduced fat formula if you are after food targeted to your special canine pet. They also come in wet varieties to give you more options and to suit your particular preferences.
They are all grain-free of course, so any one can fit into your dog’s grain-free diet.
This great dog food comes to you from a near twenty-year-old family owned company. They only offer grain-free products, so I guess it’s safe to say they are pretty good at it.
They keep the recipes simple and offer variety, which in the case of this particular food includes bison, duck, salmon and lamb, with a fresh chicken formula meant just for puppies.
Sweet potatoes, peas, lentils and chickpeas provide the carbohydrates needed.
The meat, however, is always the first and main ingredient and the simple recipe means your dog with a sensitive stomach is well taken care of. A little over $50 gets you a 24-pound bag and you can rest assure that with this option nutrition won’t be lacking.
The 7 variations of this dog food help to make your grain-free selection a little less daunting.
All the formulas are geared toward adult dogs, plus there are a few large breed types to choose from as well. There is also one that contains less fat to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
Around $43 for a 24-pound bag is what you’ll be asked to pay for this food where deboned chicken, chicken meal, tapioca starch, potatoes and peas are first five ingredients to help satisfy your dog’s appetite.
Peas are the first ingredient listed on this food – just to give you a heads-up if meatiness is what you are really after.
The “Avo” refers to avocados. The formula is meant to enhance health from the inside out, giving your dog a great looking coat in the process, with the help of the antioxidants the avocado provides.
The 24-pound bag featured here is just over $50 and I think it’s worth a try even though it only comes in two flavors, this one and Red Meat Meal and Potatoes. The company has been around since 1947 and its brand carries these grain-free foods in wet and dry varieties.
If you like the Merrick brand, then you are not short of grain-free options to try for your dog.
This particular type comes in 9 flavors and the meat is always first up on the ingredients list! Your dog gets its choice of chicken, turkey and venison plus 5 others along with the buffalo featured here. The rabbit and venison use chickpeas while the other flavors rely on sweet potato for carbohydrate content.
The 25-pound bag costs just about $54 and comes with the company’s promise of high-quality proteins and healthy fats. It’s also loaded with lots of fruits and vegetables to give it a great nutrient profile.
The fact that it is made in the USA at the company’s own facility helps to guarantee the quality of the product.
Here’s the first of two Taste Of The Wild Dog Foods to make our list.
This particular one is meant for dogs of any age and has 6 meat variations for you to choose from for your pet. A popular choice of many dog owners, the brand offers only grain-free options and adds fruit, vegetables and probiotics for optimal health.
You can fetch home the 30-pound bag for just over $44 knowing that bison, venison, lamb meal and chicken meal are the first four ingredients.
Customer reviews I came across are largely on the positive side for this brand. If you decide to give it a try, why not report back here in the comments about your experience?.
Just about $20 will get you the 12.5-pound bag of this food from the long-standing Purina brand.
The company offers this grain-free combination out of its battery of dog food options, with many other grain-free products in its line up, including wet options, as well as treats.
Chicken, chicken by-product meal and cassava root flour lead off the ingredients list on this food.
They are followed by quite a few essential nutrients to ensure health and energy for your dog. The result is a dry and crunchy kibble that many dog owners swear by in their product reviews.
Active adult dogs are the target of this product, so if you’ve got a loveable example at home, you could consider giving this food a try.
Quality at a good price (regardless of the celebrity endorsement many of us are wary of) – that’s what Nutrish gives.
Along with the absence of grain there also isn’t any poultry by-product meal in this food. It is marketed as natural with no artificial preservatives or flavors, but has vitamins and minerals added for a nutrient boost.
The ingredients list on this dog food is actually quite impressive and well worth the just under $42 per bag charge. The Zero Grain line for dogs has other options you can try, plus if you have a cat, they’ve got that covered too!
Here’s that second Taste Of The Wild Dog Food I mentioned earlier, this one being specifically formulated for the little guys in your life.
It comes in just two flavors: Pacific Stream and High Prairie, but I doubt the limited choice will bother your puppies. If you’ve ever seen how puppies eat you’ll understand what I mean – they don’t stop to taste!
You pay almost $50 for a 30-pound bag and know your puppies are getting the nutrients they need to grow healthy. Puppy owners had lots of praise for this product in the reviews I checked and I can certainly add some of my own to that.
I used this for my last insatiable litter and was rewarded with a happy, healthy brunch right through.
Grain-free can be a pretty tasty experience for your dog.
Just remember that grain-free does not mean all meat and neither does it mean low carbs or low calories. Quite often though it can translate into needed comfort for sensitive stomachs and relief from allergies.
Discuss the decision to go grain-free with your vet and read some of the useful information available right here on DogFood.co (check the menu).
If you’ve been using grain-free products, then I’d love to hear what you think.
What do I have on my list that you wouldn’t have on yours and what do you think I left out?