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Best Grain-Free Dog Foods

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: May 14, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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The best grain-free dog foods typically contain more protein than those made with grain.

But many are made with grain-substitutes that can upset the nutrient balance of the finished food. That’s because the 2 most common ingredients used to replace the corn, rice and other cereal grains found in other dog foods include…

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

Although both are suitable grain substitutes… legumes are also rich in protein… which is a good thing.

Yet unlike meat-based protein… plant protein can be deficient in certain essential amino acids.

Which is why we recommend the 10 grain-free foods below… where meat remains the dominant source of protein… in each formula.

The Dog Food Advisor - Editor's choice

Best Grain-Free Dog Foods May 2024

Here are The Dog Food Advisor's best grain-free dog food brands for May 2024.

  • 1. We Feed Raw Turkey Patty

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    Turkey Patties is one of 6 raw frozen recipes analyzed in our review of the We Feed Raw product line.

    This We Feed Raw recipe obtains the better part of its animal protein from turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 49% protein, 25% fat and 18% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

    Read our review of the full We Feed Raw Dog Food (Raw Frozen) range here

    Main Ingredients Turkey tails, turkey gizzards, turkey wings, turkey liver, wfr vitamin + mineral mix
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 49%
    AAFCO Standards All Life Stages

    Sample buyer review...

    "Our family has been using We Feed Raw for years and we will continue to do so because we love it! Our dogs are healthier and happier on raw. Plus, with WFR, we know they are getting top-notch food without imbalances. Amazing company! Could not be happier!"

    Read more buyer reviews at WeFeedRaw.com
  • 2. Wellness Core Grain-Free Kibble

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    Wellness Core Ocean Formula is one of 12 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Core product line.

    This Wellness formula derives most of its meat protein from fish and fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 17% fat and 38% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

    An exceptional protein-rich option.

    Read our review of the full Wellness Core Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Whitefish, herring meal, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, peas
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 38%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog absolutely loves this food! She’s not really a fussy eater, and she’s never “rushed” to eat her food, but from the moment I put this food in her bowl, she started eating it right away! She seems very excited at meal time! I think I’ve found her “furever” food!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 3. The Farmer's Dog

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    The Farmer’s Dog Chicken recipe is one of four foods included in our review of the The Farmer’s Dog Fresh product line.

    This recipe derives the bulk of it protein from fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 46% protein, 34% fat and 12% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.

    An exceptional dog food made with human-grade ingredients. Worthy of its slightly higher price. The food is naturally moist and contains no feed-grade ingredients.

    Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full The Farmer’s Dog Food (Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, brussels sprouts, chicken liver, bok‐choy cabbage, broccoli
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 46%
    AAFCO Standards All life stages
    Best For All dogs and puppies
  • 4. The Pets Table

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    The Pets Table Chicken Casserole with Green Beans recipe is one of three fresh formulas included in our review of The Pets Table product line.

    This recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 48% protein, 34% fat and 10% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 71%.

    This food selection of human-grade food, is grain-free and made fresh with no preservatives or fillers.

    Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full The Pets Table Dog Food (Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, chickpeas, chicken liver, carrots, green beans
    Type Grain-free & fresh
    Protein Percentage 71%
    AAFCO Standards All life stages
    Best For Adults and puppies

    Sample buyer review...

    "Food is packaged and delivered conveniently to me - not to mention fresh and healthy for my growing boy. Portion control is a plus!"

    Read more buyer reviews at The Pets Table
  • 5. Dr. Marty

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    Dr. Marty Nature’s Blend Essential Wellness recipe is one of six formulas included in our review of Dr. Marty freeze-dried product line.

    This recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 39.4% protein, 28.7% fat and 23.9% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 73%.

    Dr. Marty’s freeze-dried product range offers multiple sources of good quality meat and fish protein and is free from artificial preservatives and fillers. 

    Enthusiastically recommended.

    Read our review of the full Dr. Marty Dog Food (Freeze-Dried Raw) range here

    Main Ingredients Turkey, beef, salmon, duck, beef liver
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 39.4%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs & senior dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "Annie absolutely DEVOURS this food and licks the bowl clean when she is finished"

    Read more buyer reviews at Dr. Marty
  • 6. Raised Right Dog Food

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    Raised Right Beef is one of 11 fresh recipes included in our review of the Raised Right product line.

    Raised Right Beef derives the lions share of its animal protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 61% protein, 24% fat and 8% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 39%.

    One of the best fresh, human-grade dog foods on the market. Unusually wide recipe selection can be a major plus… especially for picky eaters. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full Raised Right Dog Food (Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients Beef, beef heart, carrots, beef liver, cranberries
    Type Grain-free (carrots, cranberries)
    Protein Percentage 61%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult dogs only
  • 7. American Journey Grain-Free

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    American Journey Beef and Sweet Potato is one of 17 dry recipes included in our review of the American Journey product line.

    This American Journey formula derives most of its meat protein from beef and chicken and turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 16% fat and 41% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

    We also note the inclusion of salmon oil, which is rich in healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. The formula also contains both “pre” and probiotics to support optimal digestion. Highly recommended, especially when you consider the budget pricing.

    Read our review of the full American Journey Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned beef, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chickpeas
    Type Puppy, large breed, senior, healthy weight
    Protein Percentage 36%

    Sample buyer review...

    "This is my go to dry food. I have a very picky dog. When we first adopted him he would not eat anything. He went for 2 days and did not eat anything! A friend recommended this and he ate a little bit. Over the next week he ate a little more each day. Now it is his daily food and I use other American Journey flavors and mix the two every now and then just for variety."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 8. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food

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    Taste of the Wild High Prairie is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild product line.

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie derives most of its meat protein from buffalo, lamb meal and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    A superior choice for your dog. Heartily recommended.

    Read our review of the full Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 36%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My fur babies love it, I bought the bag before I finished off their other food and they would inspect the bag. As soon as I cut it open and fed them, they won’t touch their other food. They know which is which and they prefer Taste of the Wild over all their food. Glad they're happy."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 9. Orijen Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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    Orijen Six Fish is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Orijen product line.

    Orijen Six Fish derives the bulk of its animal protein from whole Atlantic mackerel and herring, as well as monkfish and redfish. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 21% fat and 28% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

    A solid grain-free product line. Enthusiastically recommended.

    See all 9 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Orijen Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Whole Atlantic mackerel, whole Atlantic herring, monkfish, Acadian redfish, flounder
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 43%

    Sample buyer review...

    "I have always fed my German Shepherds Orijen, so when my boyfriend and I got an 11mo German Shepherd I went straight for this food again. It is the best food on the market! My dogs have always had wonderful coats and teeth with this food. The 6 fish even helps with the shedding. Our dog is protection trained and is in training for competitions so he need a high protein food to keep up with him and this brand does the trick. I love this food!!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 10. Dr. Tim’s Grain-Free Dog Food

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    Dr. Tim’s Salmon Meal and Pork is one of 3 dry recipes included in our review of the Dr. Tim’s product line.

    Dr. Tim’s Salmon and Pork RPM derives the majority of its animal protein from salmon and pork meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    A quality, grain-free brand. Readily recommended.

    See all 3 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Salmon meal, pork meal, dried white potatoes, dried field peas, tapioca
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 36%

    Sample buyer review...

    "We have tried everything on the market. Our oldest female had really awful skin allergies. Then we were talking to a friend of our's that recommended this food to us. We researched it and found out it would be great for our girl and her skin allergies PLUS we have sporting retrievers that needed a good food for the protein/energy and carbs. This food has been wonderful for it all. We have raised several young dogs on this food and they did really well on it too. I cannot say enough good things about this food and what it has done for our dogs. We have 4 Labradors, an Aussie, and a small rescue dog. They all love this food! Thank you Dr. Tim's!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 11. Canidae Grain-Free Pure

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    Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Lamb and Pea Recipe is one of 10 dry recipes included in our review of the Canidae Pure product line.

    Canidae Pure Real Lamb and Pea Recipe derives the majority of its animal protein from lamb and poultry meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    A superb selection free of grains.

    Read our review of the full Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 36%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog has always been a picky eater even when she was little. Because of that, she wasn't in her proper weight category for her age and breed. I decided to make a switch to a higher quality brand of dog food than what I was feeding. This specific dog food ranks 4.5 / 5 on a popular dog food rating site. It has really good ingredients and actually costs less than most other dog food brand with the same ones. My dog absolutely loves this food. I have never seen her more excited to eat (other than for cheese or boiled chicken)."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 12. The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain-Free

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    The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Chicken is one of 8 dehydrated recipes analyzed in our review of the Honest Kitchen product line.

    This Honest Kitchen formula derives most of its meat protein from dehydrated chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

    Made with genuine human-grade (not feed-grade) ingredients. Nutritionally complete and balanced for all breed sizes.

    After adding warm water, the product rehydrates to four times its packaged weight. So, a 10-pound box yields forty pounds of dog food. Contains no preservatives, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat or soy. Enthusiastically recommended.

    Read our review of the full Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food (Dehydrated) range here

    Main Ingredients Dehydrated chicken, organic flaxseed, dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated sweet potatoes, dried apples
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 26%

    Sample buyer review...

    "I switched my dogs from a kibble to rehydrated food. They don't have poop problems anymore, but most of all, they are not scratching as much. They LOVE it, may have to eventually switch off chicken, as it is known for some food allergies. My 3 small dogs absolutely love it and so far, no $150 per month for allergy shots.. so its worth the costs.."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 13. Ollie Fresh Grain-Free Turkey Recipe

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    Ollie Fresh Turkey is one of 4 wet recipes included in our review of the Ollie product line.

    This Ollie formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh turkey and turkey organ meat. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 39% protein, 25% fat and 28% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

    The company designs each custom feeding plan based on your dog’s age, weight, activity level and other feeding factors… and then recommends a measured portion size, based on the number of calories needed to keep your dog at ideal weight.

    The fresh, customized diet is delivered to you on a flexible schedule. It should be stored in your freezer… and then thawed (as needed) in your refrigerator.

    An exceptional, grain-free option… ideal for those who want to feed a scientifically balanced diet that’s as close to homemade as you can get… yet without all the tedious work. Not cheap. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full Ollie Dog Food (Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients Turkey thigh, pumpkin, turkey liver, turkey heart, carrot
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 39%

    Sample buyer review...

    "Our 10 year old GSD had skin issues & was refusing to eat his dry food. We made the switch to Ollie & the changes have been amazing. Dexter is no longer scratching all the time and he looks forward to his breakfast & dinner every day. He's also perkier and runs around like a puppy. We are so happy with Ollie!!"

    Read more buyer reviews at MyOllie.com
  • 14. Merrick Grain-Free

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    Merrick Grain-Free Real Salmon with Sweet Potato is one of 12 dry recipes included in our review of the Merrick Grain-Free product line.

    Merrick Grain-Free Real Salmon with Sweet Potato derives the bulk of its animal protein from salmon and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 16% fat and 40% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

    A great option with multiple formulas. A top grain-free pick.

    See all 12 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Merrick Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned salmon, salmon meal, whitefish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 36%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My Goldendoodle wasn’t really eating his other new food that I transitioned him to from puppy to adult ... read great things about Merrick and gave it a shot. My pup loves it and eats it all."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 15. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free

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    Nulo Freestyle Adult Salmon and Peas is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Nulo Freestyle product line.

    Nulo Freestyle Adult Salmon and Peas derives the bulk of its meat protein from salmon, turkey meal and menhaden fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 18% fat and 41% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

    Enthusiastically recommended.

    See all 9 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free Dog Food (Canned) range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, whole peas, sweet potato
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 33%

    Sample buyer review...

    "I’m a big fan of Nulo food for my four babies. Compared to other foods in the same price range it rates high. It’s nevef had a recall and it’s an award winning food. My babies love it. The kibble is small for their small mouths and they clean up every bite. No grains and all wholesome ingredients make this a winner..."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 16. Weruva Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

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    Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin is one of 14 wet recipes included in our review of the Weruva product line.

    This particular food derives most of its animal protein from chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 64% protein, 10% fat and 18% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 15%.

    An exceptional, grain-free wet dog food.

    See all 14 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Weruva Dog Food (Canned) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken broth, pumpkin, carrot, green pea
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 64%

    Sample buyer review...

    "We recently switched wet food because our pup was having digestive issues and the nutritionist recommended removing grain. This was definitely the perfect choice. It looks like real people food, it smells delicious and our dog loves it. Two big thumbs up!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

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