Best Grain Free Dog Foods

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Grain free dog foods have become a favorite for those wishing to more closely mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet… and to lessen the risk of food allergies.

Grains for Dog FoodAnd it’s easy to see why…

Compared to the typical kibble or canned food, the best grain free recipes contain more meat based protein as well as easy-to-digest animal fats.

And usually fewer carbohydrates, too.

Not only are grains like corn and wheat a frequent cause of canine allergies1 they can also be more difficult for a dog to digest.

Why Grains Can Be
More Difficult to Digest

That’s because many plant-eating animals (known as herbivores) possess one powerful weapon many carnivores (like dogs) usually lack…

Salivary amylase.

Amylase is a special enzyme most herbivores and omnivores (like us humans) produce in their saliva. It’s needed to begin the break down of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars…

Before they enter the stomach.

Now, dogs also produce amylase. But the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract… in the small intestine.

Because a carnivore’s saliva is mostly amylase-free, carbohydrates can be more difficult for a dog to digest.

What actually does make corn and other grains more digestible for a dog is the cooking process itself.

Why Kibbles Can Be Grain Free
But Never Carbohydrate Free

Compared to canned dog foods, kibbles cannot be made with just meat. That’s because the process used for making kibble requires a notable amount of carbohydrates to create a dough-like binder to hold everything together.

Since there can be no corn, wheat, barley, rice (or any other cereal grains, for that matter), novel carbohydrates must be used in their place to make grain-free kibbles possible.

And vegetables (like potatoes) appear to be the most common source of carbohydrates found in non-grain recipes.

The Bottom Line

Supporters of grain-free dog foods claim these products provide at least two important benefits

So, how can you find a quality grain-free dog food?

How We Selected the Best

If you’re looking for a quality grain free dog food, we’ve prepared two lists… one for dry dog foods and the other for wet.

To be selected, these products must meet two basic requirements.

First, they must have been rated at least four stars or five stars by the Advisor.

And lastly, the recipes (of course) must be grain free.

Best Grain Free Dog Foods

Choose a link below to access our lists of the best grain free dog foods…

Footnotes

  1. White, S., Update on food allergy in the dog and cat, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Vancouver, 2001
  • Dori

    I love Coton de Tulear’s. My friend has one and yes, absolutely, when she cuts him down in his Summer cut they look like twins. How funny. Glad you found THK and us.

  • Dori

    Yes. Sorry, I realize I said simply human. It is SimpleHuman. They really make good products. Expensive yes, but, darn they last forever. I’ll have to leave them in my will to someone. As I said, I’ve had the Bergan one for more years and physical moves than I can remember and still looks brand new.

  • Michelle

    My Rocky is a Coton de Tulear. When I cut his hair shorter, he looks like your Katie. Anyway, that Bob guy is a nut job. I’m thrilled to have found The Honest Kitchen, and I will recommend it to everyone I meet.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom
  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I have two that i bought from my local pet boutique. They are clear but they have a very tight fitting lid. I keep them in the hall closet with the door shut so it’s always nice and dark in there. I don’t dump the kibble in the containers. I keep it in the bag closed with a clip.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks, that’s another good idea.

  • Dori

    He’s not spewing facts. I honestly don’t know what his deal is but he is most definitely not spewing facts or he just thinks we’re all a bit infantile and don’t do our own due diligence into the foods we feed. He’s got some issues. I don’t know what they are and they certainly aren’t my problem or yours. I suggest we avoid him and start treating him like a troll. I think he’s gotten enough time on this site and a lot longer time and “benefit of the doubt” than a lot of other trolls that we have afforded them the time. I am no longer responding to him enough if I have to bite my tongue bloody.

  • theBCnut

    You can use any good quality container if you are putting it in the pantry with the lights out and door closed. Or you can put the container in a brown paper sack.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! Are you talking about SimpleHuman? I can’t find Simply Human. I will probably get the Bergan one, because it is way cheaper as you said and also available on Chewy.

  • DogFoodie

    Actually, Bob, The Honest Kitchen provided a pledge of quality and origin and an organic statement to Susan Thixton years ago. You can view both statements here: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/new-pledges/.

    Scroll down to The Honest Kitchen.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m trying to understand why he feels this way, but I don’t even know if he is talking about THK or just kind of spewing “facts”. I don’t doubt the quality of feeding THK and I worry more about the kibble I feed then THK.

  • Dori

    The one I use is made by a company named Simply Human. You can find it at stores like The Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Amazon, of course. What doesn’t Amazon carry. I like it anyway because it’s big enough for me to put lots of other foods in their original bags and boxes too and it’s metal and airtight.

    The other one that I also have is by a company called Bergan. It’s soft plastic, also airtight, and a solid blue color. (I’ve had that one for years and still looks like new). Also much less expensive than the Simply Human one.

  • Dori

    Since you’re the one with this issue why don’t you ask them? We trust them, you don’t! It’s as simple as that. Why do you keep going with this issue. Feed what you’d like to your dogs and we all will feel free to feed what we would like to ours. What’s the big deal here with you about THK? Do you work for Diamond? Is that why you’re trying to dissuade anyone from feeding any other foods? Or are you just amusing yourself at our expense? I bet that’s what it is. You’re trying to see how many people you can get riled up. I won’t take the bait any more. Have a nice evening. :-)

  • Dori

    Most everyone but Bob K feels as you do. They are an extremely trustworthy company.

  • Dori

    That’s why you must thoroughly research the company of the food you are buying. Choose companies that have some control over where they get their ingredients. Choose companies that have control over their quality control. Choose companies that do not outsource to various canning and processing companies. Lord Bob, there are many many ways to research foods and their ingredients and where they get their ingredients and whether they are synthetic or not, is there any GMO in the product. I could go on and on and on. OH, I already have. The fact that of all the foods on the market you choose to feed Diamond products leads me to believe that we are different type of animal guardians. Just as I would not feed myself any old thing off a shelf I would not do that with my dogs either. Is the food I feed my girls top of the line in quality and company and ingredients, and not just because I read it here or on any other blog? I research it all. Yes, absolutely. I would do no less for myself and my husband so why would I do that with them. I’m done with this particular conversation with you. Once again, have a lovely day, or is it evening now? :-)

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I understand this is your opinion, but I am wondering if you have anything against THK. In my opinion they are an extremely trustworthy company.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! The container I currently have is see-through, can you recommend a good non-see-though one?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    That’s cool! I also try to avoid shopping at big box stores as much as possible. I will NEVER shop at a store that gets animals from puppy mills, which most stores that sell pets do. Pet Smart and PetCo offer dog adoptions instead of selling dogs in my area, but have heard of a lot of people have gotten small animals from there that are sick, and I don’t know where they get their small animals, so I like to play it safe.

  • Bob K

    Ask them for proof of ingredients source of origin – I bet they will not supply it.

  • Bob K

    So if the ingredient is purchased from Canada – Where does Canada get it from? Mexico, China? I highly doubt they can provide that level of details and tracking and do not require that from their suppliers.

  • Bob K

    Its simple – 1.) Some people thing the US food supply is very safe – it isn’t. 2.) Also many people believe that because they buy ingredients ingredients or kibbles in the US that all the ingredients are farmed in the US – another fallacy. Companies repackage and bulk break all the time and thy also buy from multiple suppliers depending on price and availability. What country makes 90% of the worlds penicillin and 50% of the worlds aspirin? as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E.

  • Dori

    WELL!!!!! That says it all doesn’t it???
    Jeesh!

  • Dori

    No, it’s not too long if you take some of the food out and keep it sealed in a container that is not see through (just the amount of food you think you’ll use up in maybe a month. The rest of the food keep tightly sealed in a dark container (again…not see through) that is put in a cool place like a pantry or something like that where you stash the rest of the food. The object is to not let any light or heat get to the food. Keep the food in it’s original bag and box. That helps keep the light out. Only ever take out enough to use up in no more than a month. The rest will last you a long time. Certainly it will stay just fine for more than three months. That’s what I do and I’ve never had an issue with THK when I store it that way. I feed rotation diet so 10 lbs lasts me a good long time. You could always rotate THK for one meal of the day and feed whatever else you feed for the other. I buy the 10 lb. box to save some of the cost. It gets a bit costly buying the 4 lb. boxes especially when I know I’ll be using it long term for the dogs.

  • Dori

    My local pet store that does the buy 10 (food) get 11th one free gives you a card that they punch every time you buy food. When you have the 10th stamp, next bag is free. You don’t have to buy all at the same time. It’s just when your card has been stamped ten times. Then you start over again. Keeps you buying locally and also smart marketing because you are also sure to show up at their store again. Their prices are also competitive to all the other local pet food stores around me. I don’t shop at the big box type stores because I don’t feed any of the foods they sell but mostly it’s because I don’t support stores that sell dogs and cats.

  • Dori

    Definitely have noticed that and most of the time I just ignore his replies and posts but for this reason this one just bugged me and felt the need to say something.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Well said!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Funny you posted that! I noticed that yesterday, lol.