Best Grain Free Dry Dog Foods

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What’s the Best
Grain-Free Dry Dog Food?

In general, the best grain free dry dog foods contain more protein than their grain-based counterparts.

However…

Many are made using ingredients that can disturb the delicate nutrient balance of the finished product.

Why Some Dry Grain-Free
Foods Are Better Than Others

Grain-free dry dog foods typically use either potatoes or legumes (like peas, beans, lentils and soybeans) to replace the cereal grains found in conventional recipes.

Keep in mind…

Both make acceptable grain substitutes.

But unlike potatoes…

Legumes provide an added benefit.

They’re naturally rich in protein.

Which (of course) is a good thing.

Unless

The total portion of legumes dominates the meat content of the recipe.

Which is not good.

That’s because…

Plant-based protein ingredients tend to be deficient in certain essential amino acids.

Which can upset the delicate nutrient balance of the food.

And…

Why we recommend grain-free dog foods where meat remains the primary source of protein in the recipe.

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

The list below includes our safest and most recommended dry grain-free dog food brands.

Each contains above-average amounts of meat-based protein

And reasonable 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 Dry Dog Foods
December 2018

Here are the top 20 best grain free dry dog food brands for December 2018.

Acana Heritage Grain-Free Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food

Acana Heritage Grain-Free 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.


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 Grain-Free 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 Grain-Free 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 Grain-Free 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 Dry 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 Grain-Free Dry 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.


Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy Super Premium Dog Food

Victor Grain-Free Dry 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 Grain-Free 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 Dry 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 Vital Prey Grain-Free 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.


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