Best Grain Free Dog Foods

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What’s the Best
Grain-Free Dog Food?

As a rule, the best grain free dog foods typically contain more protein than their grain-based counterparts.

However…

Not all grain-free dog foods are created equal.

Truth is…

Many are made with ingredients that can negatively affect the nutrient balance of the finished product.

Why Some Grain-Free Brands
Are Better Than Others

The 2 most common ingredients used to replace the corn, rice and other cereal grains found in conventional dog foods include…

  • Potatoes (white or sweet)
  • Legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, etc.)

Although both are acceptable grain substitutes…

Legumes provide an extra benefit

They’re naturally rich in protein.

Which (of course) is a good thing.

However…

Unlike animal protein…

Plant-based protein ingredients (like legumes) tend to be deficient in some essential amino acids.

Which can disturb the delicate nutrient balance of any dog food.

And…

Why we recommend grain-free brands where meat remains the dominant source of protein in their recipes.

The Dog Food Advisor’s
Top-Rated Grain-Free Brands

The following list includes The Dog Food Advisor’s safest and most recommended grain-free dog food brands.

Each boasts above-average amounts of meat-based protein

And sensible amounts of vegetable protein.

In addition, the ingredients list of every selection contains…

  1. No cancer-causing chemical preservatives
  2. No anonymous meat ingredients
  3. No high risk coloring agents
  4. No generic animal fat
  5. Above-average meat content
  6. Favorable fat-to-protein ratio
  7. Modest carbohydrate content

Best Grain-Free Dog Foods
December 2018

Here are the top 25 best grain-free dog food brands for December 2018:

Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Great Plains Formula Dry Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Great Plains Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Bison meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca, dried egg
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 36%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Acana Heritage Grain-Free Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food

Acana Heritage Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Acana Heritage Red Meat Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned beef, deboned pork, beef meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 40%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Nulo Freestyle Salmon and Peas Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Nulo Freestyle Salmon and Peas Recipe
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, whole peas, sweet potato
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Merrick Grain-Free Real Duck with Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Merrick Grain-Free Real Duck and Sweet Potato
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 43%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 30%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


I and Love and You Nude Super Food Dry Dog Food Red Meat Medley Grain-Free

I and Love and You Nude Super Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: I and Love and You Nude Super Food Red Meat Medley
  • First 5 ingredients: Pork, lamb meal, herring meal, dried yellow peas, garbanzo beans
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 38%, a fat level of 17% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Weruva Canned Wet Grain-Free Dog Food

Weruva Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Weruva Bed and Breakfast with Chicken, Egg, and Pumpkin
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, water sufficient for processing, egg, pumpkin, sweet potato
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 60%, a fat level of 12% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 20%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Wild Boar Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 17% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 43%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Wellness Core Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Wellness Core Large Breed Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, peas
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 38%, a fat level of 13% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Zignature Trout and Salmon Formula Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Zignature Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Trout, salmon meal, peas, chickpeas, pea flour
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 16% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 43%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Nutro Ultra Grain Free Lamb, Chickpea, and Tomato Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Lamb, Chickpea, and Tomato
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned lamb, lamb meal, pork meal, chickpeas, dried potatoes
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 42%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Instinct Original with Real Duck Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Instinct Original Dry Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Instinct Original with Real Duck
  • First 5 ingredients: Duck, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, chicken eggs
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 42%, a fat level of 22% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 29%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Farmina Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Chicken Formula Dry Dog Food

Farmina Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Farmina Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Chicken Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Fresh free range boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, potato, chicken fat, dried whole eggs
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 41%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 32%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Holistic Select Grain Free Turkey and Lentils Dry Dog Food

Holistic Select Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Holistic Select Grain-Free Turkey and Lentils
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, peas, lentils, chickpeas
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 16% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Grain-Free Salmon Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Salmon
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, tapioca starch
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 16% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Annamaet Grain-Free Manitok Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food

Annamaet Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Annamaet Grain-free Manitok Red Meat Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned lamb, lamb meal, lentils, field peas, herring meal
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Canidae Grain-Free Pure Fields Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Canidae Grain-Free Pure Fields Small Breed Adult
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, menhaden fish meal, peas, lentils, potatoes
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 13% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 45%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Horizon Legacy Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Horizon Legacy Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Horizon Legacy Adult Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, pea, pea starch, turkey meal
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 38%, a fat level of 17% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Wet Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Whole Earth Farms Chicken and Turkey
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, turkey, chicken liver, peas
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 43%, a fat level of 27% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 22%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy Super Premium Dog Food

Victor Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Victor Grain-Free Active Dog and Puppy
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, sweet potato, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Solid Gold Barking at the Moon with Beef, Eggs, and Peas
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, ocean fish meal, pea protein, potatoes, dried eggs
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 46%, a fat level of 22% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 24%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Orijen Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Orijen Original Recipe
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, atlantic flounder, whole eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 43%, a fat level of 21% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 28%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Wild Frontier by Nutro with Beef and Wild Boar Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Wild Frontier Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: Wild Frontier with Beef and Wild Boar
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, split peas, pork meal, chicken meal, dried potatoes
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 39%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken and Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nutrisca Grain-Free Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, chickpeas, chicken fat
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 36%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Wet Canned Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • Example: Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Chicken and Venison
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, vegetable broth, sweet potato, chicken fat, venison
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 61%, a fat level of 11% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 20%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food Turkey Recipe

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog food

Rating: ★★★★★

  • Example: The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Turkey Recipe
  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, spinach, carrots
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis of our example recipe reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


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