What is Grain-Free Dog Food?

What is Grain-Free Dog Food?

What is Grain-Free Dog Food?
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What is Grain-Free Dog Food?The veterinarian confirmed our dog had a grain allergy and we began to look at all the different grain-free dog foods. But is grain free dog food better than ordinary dog food? Or is it just hype? We got the facts after checking the nutrition labels on the top dog food brands. We were happy to discover grain-free dog food options usually contain more wholesome and limited ingredients like meat, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

What is grain-free dog food?

Best no-grain dog food has one-word-named ingredients like ‘meat’ or ‘fish’ as the first ingredient. Limited ingredients like ‘real fish’, ‘beef’, or other whole protein sources feature first on an ingredient list.

Next we prioritized a high-quality whole animal protein meat source as the first ingredient and nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates like vegetables instead of grains. We were careful not to swap grains with a different high-starch carbohydrate like potatoes that don’t provide much nutrition. Some had healthier grains like wholesome brown rice, oats or quinoa.

What is Grain-Free Dog Food?What is the best grain-free dog food?

The best grain-free dog foods have limited ingredient whole food protein sources like chicken or fish and not just ‘meat-meal’ which only provides secondary levels of protein.

Grain-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. Dogs need complex carbohydrates for energy but not empty starchy carbs with minimal nutritional value. Look for healthy sources like vegetables.

Protein packs more calories than other nutrients, so high-protein diets can lead to weight gain for dogs leading to a host of health issues, including a shorter life span. Factor in your dog’s age and lifestyle when choosing a high-protein food. Dogs can also be allergic to certain type of protein. If your dog has signs of allergy such as dry skin or upset stomach, consider the protein source first.

Of course, we avoided ones with unhealthy additives, dyes, artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors. No wheat, corn, soy and added fillers like sugar and sauces or gravies which can have ‘spray-on’ chemicals.

Check the brand’s history with recalls. Brand should be either free of recalls, or address any food safety scares quickly and adequately.

Top Grain-Free Dog Foods – Dry

  • Annamaet
  • AvoDerm
  • Blackwood
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Boreal
  • Brothers
  • Canidae
  • Carna4
  • Castor+Pollux
  • Earthborn
  • Evanger’s
  • EVO
  • Farmina
  • Fromm
  • Grandma Mae’s
  • Halo Spot
  • Health Extension
  • Hi-Tek Naturals
  • Horizon Amicus
  • Merrick
  • Natural Balance
  • Nature’s Variety
  • Nulo FreeStyle
  • Nutrisca
  • Nutro Max
  • Open Farm
  • Orijen
  • Pure Vita
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Zignature Dog Food

Top Grain-Free Dog Foods – Wet

  • Avoderm
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Canidae
  • Cocolicious
  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Evo 95
  • Halo Spot
  • Holistic Select
  • Hounds+Gatos
  • I and Love and You
  • Lotus
  • Merrick
  • Natural Balance
  • Nature’s Recipe
  • Nature’s Instinct
  • Newman’s Own
  • Nulo
  • Nutrisca
  • Party Animal
  • Precise Holistic
  • Purina Beyond
  • Steve’s Real
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Victor
  • Wellness


What is Grain-Free Dog Food?Pay attention to your dog

When switching to any new food, watch for specific cues to decide if it’s the right fit. See if your dog likes the food, has great hair and skin, regular bowel movements, and an appropriate body weight, then you know it’s a good food. If your dog doesn’t exhibit some or all of these criteria, then it’s time to talk to your vet about switching foods.

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will reply within a day or two.

What is Grain-Free Dog Food?
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