Best Grain Free Dog Food 2018 – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

During past years grain free diets gained huge popularity amongst people, so it is no wonder that many dog owners want to feed their pets with grain free dog food. This trend is currently so popular in dog food industry that the variety of food choices can be overwhelming.

Most people choose to transition their pooch into a new diet because they are lead to believe that dogs can’t digest grains. This common misbelief stems from the fact that wolfs, as the ancestors of today’s domesticated dogs didn’t eat grains.

As much as this is true, dogs evolved and are considered omnivore animals, which means they can eat both animal and plant-based nutrients. But some dogs can become allergic or have troubles digesting some sorts of grains and can benefit from eating grain free food.

If this is the case, your dog still needs to have a complete and balanced nutrition and not all available formulas are able to provide that.

We did an extensive research on this subject and compiled a list of best grain free dog food in 2018 in order to make your search for your pooches new diet that much easier.

NameImageBest ForMain IngredientLife StageSizePrice
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
Food sensitivities,
digestive problems
ChickenSenior4, 12 and 24 pound bags
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food Salmon or Turkey
Food sensitivitiesSalmonPuppy, Adult4, 12 and 23 pound bags
AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food
AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food
Skin and coat problemsTurkeyAdult12.5 oz
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
Digestive problems, skin and coatChicken MealAll life stages4, 12 and 25 pound bags
ZiwiPeak Air Dried Dog Cousin
ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Cuisine
Digestive problems, healthy skin and coatBeefAll life stages1, 2.2, 5.5, 8.8 and 11 pound bags
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Small breeds, sensitive stomachDeboned TurkeyAdult4 and 12 pound bag
NUTRO MAX Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
NUTRO MAX Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Healthy digestion, skin and coat problemsChickenAdult4 and 25 lb bags
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
Healthy digestion, skin and coat problemsChickenAll life stages5, 14 and 28 lb bags
Taste Of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
For easy digestion

SalmonPuppy5, 5, 30 pound bags
BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food
BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food
Sensitive stomach, strong bones and teethChickenAdult4.5, 11 and 24 Lb bags

Now that you know what are the traits of grain free food we will proceed with the review part of our buyer’s guide. Here you will find high-quality grain free dog foods for the money you are able to spend.

Top 10 best grain free dog foods

1. CANIDAE Grain free PURE Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE made this limited ingredient no grain formula to suit the needs of dogs who are suffering from food sensitivities. This is one of the best senior dog food grain free formulas at this price range, made specially to suit the needs of older dogs.
The main ingredient of this senior formula is Chicken, followed by Chicken meal and Turkey meal. These are all acceptable meat proteins that make a 28% of crude protein required for a healthy muscle tissue.

Sweet potatoes, Chickpeas, Peas, and Potatoes are all easily digestible carbohydrates in this dog food grain free formula. With a maximum of 5% crude fibers, your dog will not experience any allergies or stomach issues caused by grains.

Chicken fat is included to keep your senior pooch full of energy and is the main source of fat in this formula. With a minimum of 10% crude fat, your dog’s coat will be healthy and shiny and all his skin problems will be the thing of the past.
This is a well-balanced senior formula that contains all the necessary vitamins like A, B12, and D3 in order to maintain a strong immune system. All the required minerals are also included to improve the health state of your dog.

Pros
  • Easy to digest
  • Designed for older dogs
  • Good for food sensitivities
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause bad breath

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food Salmon or Turkey

This an appropriate formula of grain free dog food for sensitive stomach since its main ingredient is salmon which is a novel protein. Zero grain line consists of different flavors and besides salmon you can choose chicken, beef and turkey.

The main ingredient is easily digestible real Salmon, which is followed by Chicken Meal and Menhaden Fish Meal for the variety of meaty flavors. With a minimum of 26% crude protein, this is a well-suited formula for puppies and adult dogs.

Easily digestible Sweet potatoes, Dried peas, and Tapioca are the main sources of fibers and will not cause stomach sensitivities. With a maximum of 5% of crude fibers, this is a healthy zero grain choice for dogs who have problems with food and skin allergies.

Whole Flaxseed and Chicken fat are responsible for maintaining your pooches coat healthy and shiny and to help speed the skin recovery after rashes and constant scratching. With 14% crude fat your dog will have all the energy he needs and a soft and radiant coat.
Beet pulp is the natural source of prebiotics and this formula is equipped with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. This makes Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Zero Grain formula well-balanced and suitable for daily feeding.

Pros
  • Salmon as the main ingredient
  • Contains prebiotics
  • For sensitive stomachs
  • For healthy skin and coat
  • Natural ingredients
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Pieces are too big for some dogs

3. AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food

AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food

AvoDerm made this grain free canned dog food with premium ingredients and extremely healthy avocado fruit. Revolving Menu Recipes were created to help you bring some diversity in your dog’s diet.

The main ingredient in this canned version of food is Turkey, followed by Turkey Broth and Turkey liver. With 8.5% of crude protein, with a variety of meaty flavors, this is a formula suitable for dogs of different sizes.

Easily digestible Carrots and Peas are the main sources of carbohydrates that are full of healthy vitamins and fibers suitable for stomach problems. They provide a maximum of 2% of crude fibers, that won’t cause allergies or gastrointestinal problems.

The main source of fat is Flaxseed followed by Avocado oil that is extremely healthy and not commonly used in dog food formulas. 5% of crude fats will keep your dog’s coat and skin in good shape and recover it from red spots and damages from scratching.
This a complete and balanced food filled with healthy and fresh ingredients that contain all essential vitamins and minerals. With Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.

Pros
  • Easy to digest
  • Avocado oil for healthy skin
  • Suitable dogs of all sizes
  • Wet grain free option
  • High quality ingredients
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Strong smell

4. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

This brand makes premium quality but at the same time affordable grain free dog food that comes in a variety of different flavors. This formula is suitable for all life stages which makes it a convenient choice for multi-dog households.
The main ingredient is Chicken Meal that is a high source of protein suitable for puppies, adult or senior dogs. A 26% of crude protein will be beneficial for your dog’s muscle tissues.

Dried potatoes and Peas are easily digestable sources of fiber that will keep your dog’s belly full without making him gain weight. With 4.5% of crude fiber, this is an easily digestible dry dog food suitable for dogs with grain allergies and sensitive stomachs.
The main source of fat is Chicken fat that attests for 13% of crude fat. Fat is the main source of energy but also an ingredient that will repair and maintain the state of your dog’s coat and skin.

Whole Earth Farms created this formula to contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals required for a strong immune system and general health. Without any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and by-products this is a well-balanced and cheap grain free dog food brand that don’t make compromises when it comes to ingredients.

Pros
  • For all life stages
  • Variety of flavors
  • For sensitive stomach
  • Made in the U.S
  • For all breeds
  • Easy to digest
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Larger sized kibble

5. ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Cuisine

ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Cuisine

ZiwiPeak makes premium quality dog food from New Zealand’s human grade and local ingredients. This brand uses a modern way to preserve meat, air drying it to eliminate bacteria while keeping all the necessary nutrients in the ingredient.

They contain several different flavors of no grain formulas, and in this, the main ingredient is Beef, followed by Beef liver, Beef kidney, and Beef heart. They provide a minimum of 36% of crude protein making this easily digestible formula a protein powerhouse suitable for all breeds and all life stages.

You will not find any grains nor potatoes in this formula which makes it a suitable choice for grain free dog food for skin allergies since it only contains dry kelp. With only 2% of crude fibers, this nutritious food is suitable for dogs with food sensitivities and gastrointestinal problems.

This is a limited ingredient zero grain formula that is reinforced with Chondroitin and Glucosamine to support joint health. Since this is a protein-rich formula it contains higher levels of kilocalories compared to other grain free formulas and you should stick to recommended daily amounts labeled on the package.

Vitamins like E, B1, and D3 are present to make sure that your dog has a strong immune system and that he stays healthy. With all the essential minerals this is a well-balanced grain free diet made from extremely healthy and high-quality ingredients.

Pros
  • High in protein
  • Premium ingredients
  • Easy to digest
  • For food allergies
  • No grains and potatoes
Cons
  • To hard to chew
  • Can cause loose stools

6. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness is one of the best dog food brands and it is no wonder that this formula is one of the best rated grain free dog foods. This brand always uses high-quality ingredients and they try to cater the needs of all dogs.

The main ingredient in one of the best small breed dog food is Deboned Turkey followed by Turkey Meal and Chicken Meal. They make not less than 36% of crude protein which makes this, as all other CORE formulas, a protein high dog food.

Potatoes, Peas and Ground dried potatoes are the main sources of fiber that are free of grains and suitable for food sensitivities and allergies. This formula contains 5% of crude fiber that will keep your pooches belly full without causing diarrhea.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat that attests for not less than 15% of crude fat in this formula. This is a great source of energy but will also help your dog’s skin to recover and maintain it healthy.

CORE for small breeds is full of healthy ingredients like spinach the source of magnesium and iron, and Flaxseed that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids to maintain skin and coat is pristine condition.

The variety of vegetables and fruits like broccoli, carrots, apples, and blueberries are sources of all the necessary vitamins. With plenty minerals, this is a high-quality ingredient dog food suitable for daily feeding.

Pros
  • Easy to digest
  • For small breeds
  • Good for skin and coat
  • High in protein
Cons
  • Some dogs experienced diarrhea

7. NUTRO MAX Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

NUTRO MAX Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

NUTRO developed this formula in order to help dogs with sensitive stomachs and food intolerances to some grains. This brand uses only high-quality ingredients in order to provide your dog with all the necessary nutrients.

The main ingredient is Chicken Meal followed by Lamb Meal and Chicken for a variety of tasty meaty flavors. They make 22% of crude protein in order to keep your dog’s muscles toned.

Since this is a no grains food it contains only easily digestible Dried potatoes and Chickpeas. They make a maximum of 3.5% of crude fibers that are easy to digest and won’t cause any allergic reactions.

The main source of fat is Chicken Fat that will help with skin rashes caused by allergies and will maintain your dog’s coat shiny. With a minimum of 14% of crude fats, you can be sure that your dog will have plenty of energy for his daily activities.

In order to keep your dog healthy and his immune system strong NUTRO included vitamins E, B2, B1, B6, B12, and D3 amongst others. Minerals like zinc and calcium are included in order to make this a well-balanced dog formula.

Beside this chicken flavored mini chunks formula, NUTRO also has chicken, lamb and salmon grain-free formulas to fulfill the appetites of picky eaters.

Pros
  • Easy to digest
  • High in protein
  • For sensitive stomach
  • Good for food intolerance
  • Keeps skin and coat healthy
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause constipation

8. Diamond Naturals Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals made this formula from premium quality ingredients for all life stages as a grain free large breed dog food. With four formulas, you will easily find the taste that your dog will enjoy.

The main ingredient in this dog formula is Chicken, followed by Chicken meal as great sources of proteins. This food contains a minimum of 24% crude proteins in order to keep your dog’s muscles in perfect condition.

Sweet potatoes and Peas are easily digestible carbohydrates that won’t cause any gastrointestinal upset or allergies and will at the same time keep your dog’s belly full. With a maximum of 5% of crude fibers, this formula will be easy to digest and won’t cause vomiting or diarrhea.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat, followed by Flaxseed and Fish oil that are excellent for skin and coat repair. This formula contains a minimum of 14% of crude fat that will provide enough energy and keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and shiny.

Tomatoes, cranberries, and blueberries are all sources of vitamins that will keep your dog healthy and his immune system strong to prevent diseases. All the necessary minerals are included in order to maintain the health of your large dog.

Diamond also included probiotics for a healthier gastrointestinal system and better digestion. Without any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives this is a premium quality food made from fresh ingredients.

Pros
  • Easy to digest
  • For food allergies
  • For large breeds
  • All life stages
  • Contains probiotics
Cons
  • Smells bad
  • Some dogs don’t like it

9. Taste Of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

This brand creates their food formulas in order to mimic dogs ancestral diet, and considering the quality this is the best priced grain free dog food. Taste Of The Wild has many different flavored formulas that are always made from novel protein.
Pacific Puppy grain free formula’s main ingredient is Salmon followed by Fish meal for the tasty fishy flavor some dogs love. This formula is made from a minimum of 27% of crude proteins to fulfill all the nutritional needs of puppies.

Easily digestible Sweet potatoes, Peas, and Potatoes are the main sources of fiber in this no grain food. With a maximum of 5% of crude fibers, this is a perfect formula for allergies and puppies with food sensitivities.

The main source of fat is Canola oil, followed by Salmon oil for great looking skin and coat. With a minimum of 15% of crude fats, this food will give enough energy for your still growing puppy.
Tomatoes, Blueberries, and Raspberries give enough vitamins to create a strong immune system and keep your still growing puppy healthy. All the necessary minerals are included for a optimal health and development.

Dried chicory root is added to the mixture to help with digestion and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. All these nutrients make this formula a great choice for still developing puppies who have stomach sensitivities or tendencies for food allergies.

Pros
  • High in protein
  • For puppies
  • Easily digestible
  • For food allergies
  • Salmon as the main ingredient
Cons
  • Can cause vomiting

10. BLUE Wilderness Adult Grain Free Dry Dog Food

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food

This brand makes their protein rich formulas to be similar to wolfs diet, and this one is zero grain for dogs with food sensitivities. This is a premium quality food made with fresh and high-end ingredients.

This formula for adult dogs is made from Deboned Chicken as number one ingredient, followed by Chicken meal for a protein-rich grain free formula. With a minimum of 34% crude proteins, your dog will get plenty of energy from fresh ingredients for an optimal muscle tissue.

Peas and Potatoes are healthy carbohydrates that are easy to digest and won’t cause any allergies and stomach upset. This formula contains a maximum 6% of crude fiber which is plenty to keep your dog’s tummy full of healthy ingredients.

Flaxseed is the main source of fat in this formula and also a source of Omega 6 fatty acids to maintain and repair your dog’s skin and coat. This dry food contains a minimum 15% of crude fat and will give your pooch enough energy to keep him active during the day.

This brand makes their food formulas with LifeSource Bits that have a precise amount of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support the immune system. These are mixed with regular kibble to provide the ultimate use of all healthy nutrients every dog needs.

Proteins and fats from this formula will provide your dog with healthy muscle tissue and plenty energy for an active life. And high-quality ingredients are there to provide all the necessary easily digestible nutrients.

Pros

 

  • High in protein
  • Contains LifeSource Bits
  • For allergies
  • Easily digestible fibers
  • For skin and coat health
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Some dogs had diarrhea

Conclusion

Pet stores are full of no grains dog formulas but not all of them will provide your dog with all the nutrients he needs for healthy and happy life. Our list of best grain free dog food in 2018 contains only high-quality brands at different price ranges to suit everyone’s needs.

And although dogs can digest grains, some dogs have allergies or digestive problems when they eat them so it is important to make a switch to a zero grain option.

We advise you to take your dog to the vet if you notice any signs of allergies in order to determine if it’s caused by grains or some other food ingredient.

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