Published on: 03/20/2020, updated on: 10/12/2021

The Best Grain-Free Dog Food — Dry and Wet Options

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Grain-free dog foods are increasingly becoming popular, and they have been the number one choice of many pet owners over the years.

Dog food brands have noticed this trend and they have added a few grain-free options to their collections. Some brands have even switched to making completely grain-free diets.

This means there is a wide range of options to choose from, which can make the process of choosing the best option a bit difficult.

In this article, we will review some of the best grain-free dog food in the market. We will also walk you through a comprehensive guide on how to pick the best option for your puppy, adult, or senior dog.

Without wasting more time, let us head straight to our top picks.

Our top pick is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This dog food is free of grains, gluten, and other common dog allergens. It is loaded with healthy veggies and fruits, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and a blend of probiotics for a healthy digestive system.

The Best Grain-Free Dog Foods Are:

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie — Best Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is undoubtedly the best grain-free dog food in the market because this brand really understands what an allergy-friendly dog food means.

This food contains high-quality protein from high novel sources. The top five ingredients of this diet are buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas.

Peas and sweet potatoes are the grain substitutes, and they are great and highly digestible carbs. This food is super rich in protein, as it contains other protein sources such as roasted venison, roasted bison, beef, ocean fish meal, pea protein, and potato protein.

It is loaded with fresh veggies and fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and tomatoes. In addition to being grain-free, this dog food is also free of other common allergens such as corn, soy, and wheat.

It is not artificially colored, flavored, or preserved. This food contains plenty of anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants. It also contains adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

This food supports a healthy digestive system, thanks to its blend of probiotics and prebiotics.  It is ideal for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and it is made in the United States.

The protein content of this food is 32 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 18 percent. It features a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent with a caloric content of 370 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Gluten-free, grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Multiple protein sources
  • Free of allergen ingredients
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • A blend for probiotics for a healthy digestive system

Cons

  • No glucosamine and chondroitin
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 30 lb bag

2. Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health Adult

Wellness Grain Free Complete Health Adult

The next on our list is the Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health Adult Lamb & Lamb Meal Recipe. This food contains novel protein sources with high-quality, easily digestible ingredients. It also features great carb sources in the place of grains. The top five ingredients of this food are lamb, lamb meal, potatoes, peas, and dried ground potatoes.

This food contains chicken fat and flaxseed, which are both great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential in the diet of a dog, as they help with optimal brain function, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. It also contains carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries to provide your pup with essential antioxidants for a healthy immune system.

This food is enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine to support healthy joints, bones, and mobility. It also features a blend of probiotics to help regulate the digestive tract of your dog. This diet is also free of corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, all of which could trigger allergies.

It also supports healthy digestion and ideal body weight. It is made in the United States and it is ideal for dogs of all breeds and sizes. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 12 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 5.5 percent with a caloric content of 422 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Great protein sources
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Highly digestible
  • Supports healthy joints and bones
  • Sufficient in omega fatty acids

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive

3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain Free Dry Dog Food 2

This is one of the best grain-free dog food out there. Taste of the Wild took this food up a notch, as it comes with high-quality, novel proteins. The top five ingredients of this food are salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas. It comprises 17 percent lamb by weight, 17 percent lamb meals, and 3 percent roasted lamb.

It also contains smoked salmon, salmon meal, and plenty of vegetables and fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and tomatoes.

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It contains adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to boost healthy skin and coat, with added fiber from sweet potatoes to boost the digestive health of your dog. This formula is ideal for dogs of all life stages, this means your dog can start eating it right from puppyhood.

It also contains dried chicory root to enhance the gut health of your dog. This food features a moderate level of calories, which is great for healthy weight management. The antioxidants in this diet also help to promote a healthy immune system. This food is free of grains, wheat, corn, soy, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

To crown it all, this food comes at a pocket-friendly rate. The protein content of this diet is 25 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 15 percent. It has a maximum crude fiber of 3 percent with a caloric content of 360 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • All life stages
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Ideal for all life stages
  • Great balance of ingredients
  • Supports a healthy digestive system

Cons

  • The kibbles might be a bit large for small puppies.

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food 1

Blue is another highly trusted brand in the pet food market. This Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free formula is one of the best dog food this brand has made, and it is the number one choice of many dog owners.

This food comes with Blue’s LifeSource Bits, which is a powerful blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support a healthy oxidative balance, immune system, and life stage requirements.

The top five ingredients of this diet are deboned salmon, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, and menhaden fish meals. The chicken meal in this diet is a great source of glucosamine, which is a very important supplement as it supports healthy joints.

This food is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, and chicken fat, to boost the skin and coat health of your dog.

It also contains plenty of fruits and veggies to provide your pup with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. This dog food is ideal for sensitive dogs, as it is completely free of grains, corn, soy, wheat, and other artificial ingredients.

While it does not contain chondroitin, it comes with adequate levels of phosphorus and calcium to support strong bones and mobility.

The protein content of this food is 34 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 15 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 6 percent with a caloric content of 415 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • High-protein, grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Packed with novel proteins
  • Contains Blue’s LifeSource Bits
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Great carb sources

Cons

  • It does not contain chondroitin
Blue Buffalo Wilderness for Dogs | Chewy

5. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe — Best Grain-Free Dog Food for the Money

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Pork Beef Lamb Recipe 1

If you are looking for the best grain-free dog food that will not leave a hole in your pocket, then you should consider the Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe. This food comes with great protein sources and high-quality ingredients. The top five ingredients of this diet are pork meal, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, and pea protein.

Other great protein sources in this food include pork, beef, and lamb. This food also contains flaxseed, sunflower oil, pork fat, and salmon oil for sufficient omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to leave your pup with a shiny coat and healthy skin. This food contains several animal-based ingredients to provide your dog with animal-based proteins and the great meaty taste dogs love.

This food is free of several types of additives that could trigger some allergic reactions in your dog. It is fortified with all-natural ingredients and supplements such as the four different probiotic strains. This dog food is ideal for dogs of all life stages, making it suitable for puppies, adults, seniors, and even pregnant and lactating females.

It is made in the United States with the highest quality standards. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 14 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 3.5 percent with a caloric content of 348 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • All life stages
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, No wheat, no corn, no soy

Pros

  • High-quality protein sources
  • Omega fatty acids from great sources
  • Fortified with four probiotics
  • Highly digestible carbs

Cons

  • It contains pork meal instead of a whole protein as the number one ingredient

6. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Sky Duck & Turkey Formula — Best Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Sky Duck Turkey Formula

If you are looking for the best grain-free canned dog food, then the CANIDAE Grain-Free Pure Sky Duck & Turkey Formula is one of the best options you have. This food is formulated for dogs with allergies or food intolerance. This is a high-protein diet that does not contain unnecessary ingredients that may upset the tummy of your dog.

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The top five ingredients of this diet are duck, duck broth, turkey broth, turkey, and turkey liver. It is a limited ingredient diet with two great protein sources.

Turkey is even considered a novel protein, and it is a great alternative to chicken. Excluding the minerals, vitamins, and a couple of natural preservatives, this food comprises only six key ingredients.

It contains peas, which is a great alternative to grains. It also contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from sunflower and salmon for added taste and healthy skin and coat. The ingredients are highly digestible and they are gentle on the digestive system. It is simmered in broth for a great taste and flavor that your pup cannot resist.

This wet dog food is ideal for dogs of all breeds and sizes. It is also suitable for all life stages: puppies, adults, and senior dogs. The protein content is 9 percent while the minimum crude fat is 7 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 1 percent with a caloric content of 389 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Wet Food
  • All life stages
  • All breed sizes
  • Gluten-free, grain-free, no corn, limited ingredient diet, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Ideal for dogs with allergies and food intolerance
  • Novel protein
  • Limited ingredients
  • High-quality, highly digestible ingredients

Cons

  • The fat content is a bit high
  • It lacks probiotics

7. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free — Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Small Breeds

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Dry Dog Food 1

If you have a small breed dog that is allergic to grains, then the Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe is the right food for your dog. Many pet owners often think that small breed dogs do not need as many calories as large breeds.

However, that is not true. Small dogs have fast metabolisms. While they may need a lower calorie content, they need a higher concentration of calories per pound of body weight, which is where this dog food comes into play.

The top five ingredients of this diet are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Other great protein sources in this food are salmon meal and chicken liver. It contains sufficient amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from natural sources including chicken fat, sunflower oil, salmon oil, and flaxseed.

This food also contains adequate levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to boost the mobility, joint, and bone health of your dog. It contains blueberries, apples, and other fruits and veggies, which are great sources of antioxidants to boost the digestive and immune health of your dog.

It is completely free of grains and gluten, with no trace of corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. This food contains DHA and a blend of probiotics and prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion.

It is formulated for adult small breed dogs. The protein content of this food is 38 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 17 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 3.5 percent with a caloric content of 413 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Small, extra small, and toy breeds
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Available in different flavors
  • Fresh and highly digestible ingredients
  • High-quality protein sources
  • A blend of probiotics and prebiotics

Cons

  • The protein content might be too much for some dogs, especially those with kidney and liver issues.
Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food | 2018

8. American Journey Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

American Journey Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

This grain-free formula is one of the best grain-free dog food for puppies in the market. Rather than grains, this dog food contains sweet potato, which is a great alternative and a highly digestible carb.

It also comes at a pocket-friendly price while providing your puppy with all the nutrition it needs. The top five ingredients of this diet are deboned lamb, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and chickpeas.

Other notable ingredients include sweet potatoes, chicken fat, dried beet pulp, menhaden fish meal, flaxseed, and salmon. This food contains natural sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and DHA to support optimal brain and eye development, healthy skin, and shiny coat.

The animal proteins in the diet also provide your puppy with enough amino acids to build strong, healthy muscles. It is fortified with chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.

This food also contains a blend of probiotics to support a healthy digestive system. It is enriched with healthy fruits and veggies to provide your pup with natural sources of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

The sweet potatoes and chickpeas in the diet will provide your pup with all the energy it needs for its daily activity. It is free of grain, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

This food is ideal for puppies of all breeds and sizes. The protein content is 30 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 12 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 5 percent with a caloric content of 380 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat

9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Puppy

The CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg is one of the best grain-free dog food for puppies with sensitive stomach and skin. If your puppy has food sensitivity or intolerance, then this is one of the best dog food options you have.

This food contains high-quality ingredients including chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, potatoes, dried whole egg, chicken fat, with plenty of minerals and vitamins.

It contains highly digestible carbs, which help to provide your puppy with a sufficient amount of energy. This is a limited ingredient diet that consists of only 9 simple ingredients. The formula is completely grain-free, with no trace of corn, wheat, soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

It contains CANIDAE’s HealthPLUS blend of antioxidants, probiotics, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to support a healthy digestive system, shinier coat, and healthier skin. The formulation of this food ensures a nutritionally balanced and complete diet for your puppy. It is made at CANIDAE’s Texas facility and it is ideal for puppies of all breeds and sizes.

The food contains an impressive 30 percent protein with a minimum crude fat content of 12 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 4 percent while the caloric content is a whopping 520 kilocalories.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • All breed sizes
  • Limited ingredient diet, no grain, no gluten, no corn, no wheat, no soy, sensitive digestion

Pros

  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Fortified with a blend of probiotics
  • Supports a healthy coat and skin
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey
Canidae Pure Grain-free Dog Food | Chewy

Best Grain-Free Dog Food Buying Guide

Looking for a dog food that is free of grains is not enough; you still need to make sure that the food contains high-quality ingredients to meet the nutritional needs of your dog.

In your search for the best grain-free dog food, here are some other vital things you need to look for:

Whole Protein As The Number One Ingredient

When looking for a grain-free diet for your dog, it is crucial that you pick an option with high-quality protein as the number one ingredient. It is also great if the second and third ingredients are high-quality protein sources.

While known meat by-products and known meat meals are great protein sources, it is great if the dog food contains whole protein as one of the top ingredients.

Probiotics

You should try dog foods that contain probiotics, as they are very important in the diet of a dog. Probiotics are highly beneficial bacteria, as they support healthy and more efficient digestion. These good bacteria can prevent your pup from having stomach disorder, diarrhea, and excessive farting.

Many premium quality dry dog foods are coated with probiotics, but you can hardly find them in wet foods. You can also decide to opt for standalone probiotic supplements if you find a great diet for your dog without probiotics.

Additives

You should stay away from dog foods with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as they can trigger allergic reactions in your dog.

They are also an unnecessary addition to dog foods, as they add very little or no nutritional value to the food. As such, you should make sure that the food contains only premium ingredients, with no trace of artificial ingredients.

Dogs do not care about the color of their food, which makes artificial colors totally irrelevant. The best grain-free dog foods come with naturally occurring preservatives from vitamins and tocopherols, as dog foods need preservatives for reasonable shelf life.

Vegetables and Fruits

The best dog foods contain plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The best sources of these elements are veggies and fruits. Healthy veggies and fruits are rich in antioxidants.

These substances protect your pup against the damage caused by free radicals. They also provide your pup with a healthy immune system and boost overall health.

As such, you want to make sure that the dog food contains plenty of fruits and veggies, so your dog will not lack the essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants it needs.

Some vital fruits and veggies you should look for include pomegranate, blueberries, spinach, blackberries, cranberries, carrots, raspberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, and parsley.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are also very important in the diet of a dog. These fatty acids help to promote healthy skin and provide your pup with a glossy coat.

They also help to reduce inflammation in dogs. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids support optimal brain and eye development, especially in puppies.

When choosing a diet for your dog, you should ensure the food contains sufficient amounts of omega fatty acids from natural sources such as chicken fat, flaxseed, salmon oil, plant oils, and fish meal.

Conclusion

If your dog is allergic to grains, it is perfectly okay to feed it with grain-free dog foods. However, while looking for the best grain-free diet for your dog, you should not forget to pay attention to other vital nutrients that your pup needs.

In this article are some of the best grain-free dog food out there, and we considered a wide range of things before coming up with this list.

From the products reviewed, the clear winner is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie because it is free of grains, and it contains high-quality ingredients, including novel proteins. It is rich in omega fatty acids and it contains probiotics to support digestion.

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