The Best Grain Free Dog Food of the Year

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bowl of the best grain free dog food

In recent years, there has been a big movement towards gluten-free and grain-free diets. Paleo diets, Keto diets, and Banting diets are all the rage. Some people swear by them. But, what of our canine companions? Can dogs benefit from grain-free diets? If so, what are the best grain free dog food options available?

Why Grain Free Dog Food is Great for Doggos

Picture your pup’s ancestors. Do you see a pack of wolves peacefully grazing in a beautiful meadow? Probably not!! Our canine’s ancestors hunted. They caught raw, protein dense meals. Dogs may have evolved a great deal on the outside. However, their inner workings are still very similar to what they were generations ago.

Dogs have a very limited ability to metabolize cereal grains and complex carbohydrates. A diet rich in grains can cause inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, leaky gut, and obesity.

The Best Grain Free Dog Food Brands: Our Top Picks

So, you have done a bit of research on grain-free food for dogs. Consequently, you have decided that is time to change over to a new, grain-free dog food. How do you know which is the best grain free dog food for your pet? We’re here to help!

Victor Grain Free Dog Food

For doggos with grain-based food sensitivities, the Victor Yukon River Salmon and Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food is a super option! The main ingredients in this tasty recipe are menhaden fish meal, peas, chicken fat, garbanzo bean, dehydrated salmon, and sweet potatoes.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
VICTOR Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food$58.95
Give your canine companion the nutrition he needs with the taste he loves by pouring him a bowlful of VICTOR Select Grain Free Yukon River Canine Recipe! This dry dog food recipe is crafted in the USA with premium-quality, fish-based protein sources like menhaden fish meal and dehydrated salmon. It’s also completely free of common food allergens like grains, which means it’s especially paw-fect for sensitive sidekicks with allergies.

This high-quality dog food is completely grain free and suitable for both small dogs and large breed dogs. Dog owners should not fail to take the delicious taste of this food into consideration!

various healthiest dog food ingredients

Merrick Grain Free Dog Food

Another one of the best grain free dry dog food brands on offer is Merrick Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato. The first five main ingredients listed in this wholesome recipe are deboned duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, and peas. For healthy skin and shiny coats, Merrick foods include good levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Merrick 12 LB Dry Dog Food, Duck & Sweet Potato Formula, Grain Free Dog Food$49.26
Merrick Grain Free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe The Best Dog Ever Deserves Merrick. Dogs thrive on quality protein and healthy fats. That is why Merrick Grain Free Real Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food provides balanced nutrition with real whole foods sourced from local farmers. This natural, grain-free formula dog food is ideal for all life stages and all breeds of dogs with a focus on naturally nutrient rich ingredients to support overall health. Deboned buffalo is the first ingredient and helps comprise the 70% of meat and fish sourced ingredients that help build and maintain lean, healthy muscle tissue with high quality protein, support healthy skin and coat with omega fatty acids and support joint health with glucosamine.

Purina Grain-Free Dog Food 

The Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain-Free Purina Dry Dog Food contains plenty of protein for a healthy, active lifestyle. Say yes to added vitamins and minerals. Say no to poultry by-product meal, wheat, soy, corn, and artificial flavors.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food$32.94
100% complete and balanced diet with real chicken and sweet potato specifically formulated to support a healthy, active lifestyle for your loving pal. Plenty of protein to help support strong muscles and a healthy, active lifestyle for your loving pal, plus added vitamin and minerals for overall health. Grain-free recipe filled with antioxidants from four sources to help support your dog's healthy immune system. Made without corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors or preservatives, making this a great meal for a dog with sensitivities. Proudly produced in Purina-owned U.S. facilities to ensure safe, quality food, so you can feel good about serving your pal a healthy meal.

Diamond Grain-Free Dog Food

If your pooch has skin sensitivity issues; hotspots, dermatitis, itchiness, chances are that they have a food allergy. The Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula could be the answer to your pet’s skin problems. The number one ingredient in this hypoallergenic food is wild-caught salmon.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food$36.99
Give your sensitive pooch the complete, holistic nutrition he craves with the Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Great for dogs that may have food-related skin sensitivities, this hypoallergenic kibble packs plenty of protein from wild-caught salmon as the first ingredient, and whole-food fruits and veggies like lentils, peas, pumpkin, blueberries and papaya. Plus, it’s loaded with guaranteed probiotics for optimal nutrition and digestive support for dogs of all sizes and ages. When you feed this formula, your dog is getting the balanced nutrition he needs to look and feel his best, with the rich salmon flavor he’ll love, bowl after bowl.

Other ingredients include fish meal, potatoes, lentils, peas, pea flour, fava beans, etc. A good dose of fruits and vegetables is included to create a complete and balanced pet food.

Other Top-Rated Pet Food Brands Worth Mentioning!

There are loads of pet food products out there. It can be super overwhelming to have to sift through them all to find the one that is right for your canine companion. Pet parents only want the best for their pups. And, each pup is unique. So, you need to find the right recipe that will suit your doggo’s needs the best!

4Health Dog Food

The 4Health Special Care Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with sensitive digestive systems. All-natural dog food ingredients include potatoes, egg product, potato protein, tomato pomace, and chicken fat. This food contains no additives or fillers. Likewise, there is no corn, wheat, or soy in this pet food.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
4health Special Care Sensitive Stomach Formula for Adult Dogs$44.85
Zero Additives Zero Fillers = Genuine Love Full Nutrition for Sensitive Stomachs If your dog is prone to stomach aches, perhaps it is time to change their diet. This formula contains all natural ingredients that nourish you dog without irritating their digestive system. By sourcing the best local produce, utilizing superior water purification processes and thoroughly testing our formulas, TSC guarantee excellent quality food for your pets. About This Formula 4health Special Care Sensitive Stomach is a premium quality dry dog food that offers your pet a complete and balanced diet at an affordable price. Developed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with sensitive stomachs, this delicious grain-free recipe contains all natural ingredients to keep your dog a playful and active part of the family.

Blue Dog Food

pug with bowl of grain-free dog food

When it comes to dog food recipes, “less is more”. Fewer additives, artificial preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors are more healthy. The Blue Buffalo Basics Limited is a grain-free, natural dry dog food for adult dogs. This limited ingredient dry dog food cites deboned lamb as its first ingredient. Next on this list are potatoes, pea starch, peas, and lamb meal. The simplicity of this recipe helps to minimize food allergies in dogs.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food$66.99
Blue Basics Grain-Free Lamb & Potato Recipe is a limited-ingredient diet formulated to minimize food sensitivities some dogs experience, while maximizing the nutritional value they receive. And because it's Blue, it's made with only the finest natural ingredients:

Canidae Dog Food

When changing your dog’s diet, you should take all the things that they consume into account. You can’t go to the effort of finding the best grain free dog food and then feed a grain-rich pup treat! The Canidae Grain Free Pure Chewy Treats will help to keep you going in grain-free gear! These tasty dog treats are made with sweet potatoes and duck, and not much else! Keeping it simple so that your doggo can enjoy yum treats without the bad stuff.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Sweet Potato & Duck Chewy Dog Treats$7.59
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Sweet Potato & Duck Chewy Dog Treats were created so that you can reward your canine companion with a healthy treat that tastes great. Made with just a short list of ingredients that are easy to recognize, including the exotic addition of sweet potato and duck, there’s no room for corn, wheat, soy or fillers. And with only 3 calories per treat plus a chewy, soft-baked texture that dogs love, it’s a healthy treat anytime—especially when training.

The Best Grain Free Dog Food for Skin Allergies

As with humans, different dogs can be allergic to different things. In many cases, dog food allergies are caused by the inclusion of too many grains in their diet. These allergies can present in different ways. For instance, itchiness, flaky skin, skin inflammation, and even atopic dermatitis. So, what is the best grain free dog food for a dog with sensitive skin? One that contains absolutely no wheat, soy, or corn.

A Look at the Grain Free Dog Food Heart Disease Scare 

Between the 1st of January 2014 and April 30, 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received over 500 reports of dilated cardiac myopathy (DCM). Dilated cardiac myopathy is a condition in which the dog’s heart has a reduced ability to pump blood. As a result, congestive heart failure can occur.

The potential link between these cases was that all the pets were regularly fed mostly grain-free pet foods. The foods that come into question all contain potatoes, or legumes such as lentils and peas. The FDA is currently investigating the link between DCM and these grain-free pet foods.

Why Not Try Some Homemade Dog Food Recipes: Grain Free and More!

Homemade dog food can be valuable to your doggo in numerous ways. Certainly, if your pooch suffers from gut sensitivity or skin issues, know that with processing, food loses integrity and nutritional value. Processed food is also more likely to contain additives and preservatives. Pet parents who prepare their pets’ food themselves can be sure to use fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables.

cute puppy with bowl of the best dog foods and vegetables

All Fido Needs is a Nutritionally Balanced Meal!

Take care when choosing between home-made dog food recipes. Further, keep in mind that your dog needs adequate amounts of the following ingredients:

  • Protein – in the form of chicken, lamb, cooked eggs, beef, turkey, or fish.
  • Fat – from oils and meat.
  • Carbohydrates – including rice, corn, potatoes, or beans.
  • Minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K.

The portion size and nutrient balance of the meals that you make will depend on your pet’s weight, age, activity levels, and health. Always make sure that your pet has access to fresh water throughout the day.

The great thing about making your own dog food is that you can tailor the recipes to your dog’s dietary needs!

Common Questions About Grain Free Dog Food

Which dogs should eat grain-free dog food?

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