Pets

Top 15 Best Grain-Free Dog Food Brands

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

Grain-free diets for dogs have been on the market for years now. While grains aren’t the number one thing on the list of pet allergies, they are in the top five, which means that some dogs might need to cut out things like corn and wheat in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Whether you just want your pet to eat healthier or your veterinarian has recommended you feed him or her a grain-free diet, there are some grain-free dog foods that are better than others. In creating this list, we referred often to Dog Food Advisor to ensure that these were at least above-average options. Four of the top ten recipes on their best dog foods list appear here on our list. To read about the rest of their top ten best, take a look at our list of the best dry dog food brands, which includes even more grain-free options.

We also have a list of the top ten best natural dog treats for between meals and training. Of course, if you really want to be sure what goes into your dog’s food, you can always try out our top five best homemade dog food recipes.

Here are the top 15 best grain-free dog foods for you to consider.


1. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Taste of the Wild)

There is a distinct reason why Taste of the Wild is a number one choice in many pet households. Their foods are absolutely grain-free and contain probiotics, which are good for your dog’s stomach, skin and coat. Their food is also packed with natural meats and lots of vegetables for a well balanced diet. If you are looking for a dog food with all natural ingredients, including fruits and vegetables, this is a great choice for your dog. Taste of the Wild offers both dry and wet options in many flavors, from Bison and Roasted Venison to Wild Boar.

Price: $48.99 for a 30-pound bag

Buy Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Bison & Venison variety):

  • Bison
  • Venison
  • Lamb meal
  • Chicken meal
  • Egg product
  • Sweet potatoes

Browse all flavors of Taste of the Wild here.

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2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Blue Buffalo)

Blue Buffalo is a name you’ve probably heard on the TV. They air many commercials about their great grain-free pet foods. Blue Buffalo understands that your pet is part of your family and you want to feed them well and keep them around for a long time. The company was founded specifically as a response to large, so-called “supermarket” brands. It’s widely enjoyed by many dogs.

Price: $55.09 for a 24-pound bag

Buy Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Duck variety):

  • Deboned duck
  • Chicken meal
  • Potato starch
  • Turkey meal
  • Peas
  • Chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid)

Browse all flavors of Blue Buffalo Wilderness here.

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3. Fromm Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Fromm)

FROMM is made in the U.S.A., in two manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin. They work hard to put out food that is both safe and healthy for your pets. This stuff is pretty pricey, but if top shelf ingredients are important, it could be a good choice for your dog. The reason for the higher price is that they create their food in smaller batches to have more control over quality from shipment to shipment. It’s a complete food for dogs of all ages made as close to by hand as possible as this level.

Price: $81.40 for a 26-pound bag

Buy Fromm grain-free dog food here.


First Six Ingredients (Game Bird variety):

  • Duck
  • Duck meal
  • Peas
  • Turkey
  • Potatoes
  • Pea protein

Browse all flavors of Fromm here.

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4. Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Nutrish)

Rachel Ray was once just a staple of the human kitchen, teaching watchers how to make creative and wonderful dishes for themselves. Then, Ray, a lover of dogs, had her name and face put on pet food. Although it comes with the stigma of celebrity endorsement, a quick look at the ingredients legitimizes the product. Nutrish uses many of the same ingredients you find in the higher-end grain-free dog foods, but with an easier to swallow price tag.

Price: $41.98 for a 28-pound bag

Buy Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Turkey/Potato variety):

  • Turkey
  • Turkey meal
  • Dried peas
  • Tapioca starch
  • Whole dry potatoes
  • Poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

Browse all flavors of Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain here.

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5. Wellness Core Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Wellness)

Like most other dog food brands, Wellness offers a variety of flavors, as well as dry and wet options. Wellness also offers grain-free snacks for your dog. This helps ensure your pet gets the proper nutrition he or she needs and you don’t have to worry about ingredients even when you just want to give them a little something extra.

Price: $59.98 for a 26-pound bag

Buy Wellness Core Grain-Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Original variety):

  • Deboned turkey
  • Turkey meal
  • Chicken meal
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Dried ground potatoes

Browse all flavors of Wellness Core here.

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6. Canidae Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Canidae)

Canidae got their beginning as a family-owned company, and they still are. For almost two decades they have been doing what they can to make the best pet food possible. One of the amazing things about Canidae pet foods is that they are all grain-free. It’s part of the charm of this company. You know when you buy their dog food you are giving them something that has been created with care.

Price: $51.99 for a 24-pound bag

Buy Canidae grain-free dog food here.


First Six Ingredients (Bison variety):

  • Bison
  • Lamb meal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Canola oil

Browse all flavors of Canidae Grain-Free here.

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7. Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Merrick)

Merrick offers a plethora of options when it comes to foods for your dog. One of their best lines is the Merrick Grain-Free, offering great flavors that include whole meats, vegetables and more. Merrick prides themselves in offering a healthy food for dogs, which includes always ensuring that meat is the first ingredient. Their food is made in their own facility and 100% made in the U.S.A.

Price: $56.48 for a 25-pound bag

Buy Merrick grain-free foods here.


First Six Ingredients (Real Buffalo + Sweet Potato variety):

  • Deboned buffalo
  • Chicken meal
  • Turkey meal
  • Sweet potato
  • Peas
  • Potato

Browse all flavors of Merrick Grain-Free here.

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8. Avoderm Grain-Free Dog Food

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(AvoDerm)

AvoDrem gets its name from the secret ingredient, avocados, and the fact that it is created to not just give your dog overall health, but also a healthy coat. AvoDerm has limited options when it comes to grain-free foods, so if you have a picky eater this might not be the best choice. They do carry wet and dry, but only two flavor options. Still, if you’ve tried the others and your dog hasn’t been excited by them, this is available as an option for grain-free eating.

Price: $42.99 for a 24-pound bag

Buy AvoDerm Grain-Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Salmon meal and potato variety):

  • Peas
  • Salmon meal
  • Potatoes
  • Pea flour
  • Canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
  • Tomato pomace

Browse all flavors of Avoderm Grain-Free here.

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9. Zignature Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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(Zignature)

Zignature focuses on allergy-free formulas. Since some dogs can have trouble even with chicken, their foods avoid it, as well as corn, wheat, soy, and potatoes (to which my dog is allergic, for example). They add in supplements for vitamins and antioxidants to help support your dog’s health. Beyond this, they limit the ingredients to more closely mirror the diet of wild animals. If you want to get really wild, Zignature has a kangaroo formula, too.

Price: $52.99 for a 27-pound bag

Buy Zignature Grain Free Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Trout and salmon meal variety):

  • Trout
  • Salmon meal
  • Peas
  • Pea flour
  • Pea protein
  • Flaxseed

Browse all flavors of Zignature Grain Free here.

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10. Natural Balance Grain-Free Dog Food

grain-free dog food, best dog food brands, healthy dog food, best grain-free dog food

(Natural Balance)

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, while like Nutrish is attached to a celebrity name, is another great choice for pet parents looking for healthy grain-free options for their dogs. Natural Balance takes pride in making sure that they offer a healthy food for pets, and they have wet, dry and even treats available.

Price: $53.99 for a 26-pound bag

Buy Natural Balance Grain-Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Sweet Potato & Chicken variety):

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chicken meal
  • Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
  • Chicken
  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Natural flavor

Browse all flavors of Natural Balance Grain-Free here.

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11. SportDogFood Elite Grain Free Dog Food

(SportDogFood)

(SportDogFood)

The recipe for this food was created when one of the company’s owner’s dogs got sick, went on medication, and stopped eating. When looking for a a food without grains and full of easily absorbed nutrients, she found that the only options on the market were to expensive. She then set out to create the food she needed. The process for making this food is slightly different than most dog foods, in that they use low heat baking, resulting in porous kibble that is then soaked in fish oil and added to the other ingredients, which are only freeze dried. This approach leads to nutrients that are more readily absorbed by your dog, according to the company. They recommend a longer transition process from the old food, but the time spent may be worth because users report feeding less overall because their dogs were full quicker.

Price: $47.49 for a 30-pound bag

Buy the SportDogFood Elite Grain Free Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Beef variety):

  • Beef meal
  • Yams
  • Freeze dried sweet potato
  • Freeze dried beef liver
  • Freeze dried pumpkin
  • Freeze dried red clover sprouts

Browse all flavors of SportDogFood Elite here.

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12. Under the Sun Grain Free Dry Dog Food

(Under the Sun)

(Under the Sun)

Virtually all of the items on this list include potatoes. They’re a relatively healthy product that is commonly used as the replacement for grains in dog foods without them. For the most part, this is an okay ingredient and many dogs tolerate it very well. If you have a dog like mine who is allergic to potatoes, it can be difficult to find a food without grain that also avoids potatoes. Under the Sun is put out by the same company that makes Canidae, which also appears on this list. They set out specifically to create a grain-free and potato free dog food at the same price point as many grain-free foods. Price-wise, it’s certainly competitive with any of the other foods on this list. There’s a somewhat higher proportion of legumes in this recipe, which again is there to offset grains and potatoes. This shouldn’t be a concern for most dogs, so consider this a very solid option at this price.

Price: $49.99 for a 25-pound bag

Buy the Under the Sun Grain Free Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Chicken variety):

  • Chicken meal
  • Green peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Yellow peas
  • Chicken fat
  • Chicken

Browse all flavors of Under the Sun here.

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13. Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

(Earthborn Holistic)

(Earthborn Holistic)

Earthborn Holistic focuses squarely on providing a high proportion of protein, as evidenced by the fact that four of the top six ingredients are proteins. The whitefish meal provides a good balance of Omega-3s which contribute to joint health. As an ancillary benefit, the company is also dedicated to environmental concerns, producing their food and packaging in North America, using renewable resources, and reducing packaging whenever possible. If you care about the Earth as much as you care about your dog, this brand might have a bit more appeal.

Price: $64.99 for a 28-pound bag

Buy the Earthborn Holistic here.


First Six Ingredients (Primitive Natural variety):

  • Turkey meal
  • Chicken meal
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
  • Whitefish meal
  • Dried egg product

Browse all flavors of Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food here.

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14. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Dry Dog Food

(Castor & Pollux)

(Castor & Pollux)

The key to this Castor & Pollux product is right in the name: organic ingredients. It’s relatively rare to find a dog food bothering to source primarily organic products, so if this is a concern for you, consider this option. Chicken is the first ingredient, and later on in the list there is organic coconut oil, which is potentially helpful in treating canine cognitive and skin disorders. Where other brands might use fish oil (which, for the record, is still beneficial), this one throws in something specifically to address dog-specific issues as your pet ages.

Price: $55.72 for a 22-pound bag

Buy the Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Chicken & Potato variety):

  • Organic chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Organic peas
  • Organic tapioca
  • Organic pea protein
  • Potato protein

Browse all flavors of Castor & Pollux Organix here.

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15. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

(Holistic Select)

(Holistic Select)

When determining the value of a dog food, determining the specific type of protein ingredients is important. Holistic Select names salmon, anchovy, and sardines in their Anchovy & Salmon variety, giving you a good idea of what exactly you’re feeding your dog. The common and safe grain replacement of potato is especially present here, but this food still gets high marks as an all-around, complete-nutrition dog food. Like many of the other options on this list, this one also includes nutrients that are easy to digest and absorb, making this an excellent feed.

Price: $53.98 for a 26-pound bag (7 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Anchovy & Salmon variety):

  • Salmon
  • Anchovy & sardine meal
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Dried ground potatoes
  • Canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

Browse all flavors of Holistic Select Natural here.

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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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35 comments

      • I’ve done EXTENSIVE research on this subject, and yes, Wellness is a superior product to Blue Buffalo. It also, of course, depends on your pet’s individual factors. I have a small dog- they require more calories, higher fat and protein, etc. There are allergies to look for. Some are to chicken, some are to beef…. there is also grain free to consider.

  1. There are plenty of toys coming out and the trend is growing. Currently we use Bustercubes, treat balls, fozen yogurt in a Kong and dog puzzles. Most local pet stores are carrying more stock and there is plenty available online. They are typically sold under interactive dog toys.

  2. Hello, you should check your prices even though approximate Blue Buffalo never ever saw a price of $72.00 for a 12 pound bag!!!
    ALSO BLUE BUFFALO is now the #1 seller ND the gold standard of dog food nationally !!
    Finally, How can you rank a food as #1 when it doesn’t even have the glucosamin/chondroitin for joints, or the combination of cranberry/ pumpkin to dissolve urinary crystals, or tumescent for the liver!!!!

    • My vet told me this is awful food to feed your pet. It has too much protein and is causing pancreatic problems as well as kidney problems. Currently looking for a new grain free food.

      • Lol it is not awful. Look at the ingredients and so many great reviews. Foods like pedigree, purina, science diet are awful low quality cheap filler foods. Did your vet recommend hills science diet like many vets do? Those are not good vets.

    • How many bags are returned to pet store because of their dogs refuse to eat it? Analogous to youtube hits, 15 min video and you exit out after 15 seconds it is still a positive for a video but not accurate

    • I feed my Schnauzer BB for about 9 years. Blue Buffalo had recalled about 2 years ago. Plastic particles were found in the food. I switched to Wellness grain free. BB lost my trust.

  3. I have been wanting to find some really healthy dog food for my new puppy, but I’m not sure what to look for. They all just seem the same to me. That being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight about this and sharing with me what some of the best grain-free dog food brands are. I’ll be sure to check this out! Thanks for the help.

  4. Be aware that sudden and large changes in a dog’s diet by choosing a new type of dog food can cause digestive problems, please complete major changes in your dog’s diet gradually by mixing some of the old dog food with the new. It is particularly important to introduce puppies to a new type of dog food gradually, as puppies can develop allergies if your puppy’s diet suddenly changed.

  5. I think Halo is a great dog food, why isn’t the dry – grain free listed in the top 10- this company as never had any recalls

  6. I used to feed my dog Zignature Salmon and Trout and I called the company and recently found out the sodium intake is 2%. That is VERY high and bad for a dogs heart. I recently switched to Acana Wild Atlantic and the sodium intake is .50% that’s a big difference!!

  7. With eight dogs and a limited budget, grain-free foods at $2/lb.+ are out of the question. Three of our dogs have allergies, so we have been feeding them Diamond Naturals beef meal & rice formula ($33 for 40 lbs.) with no problems. The skin issues with two dogs completely cleared up, and the third’s ear infections are nearly gone. However, with her eating the grain that our horses slobber on the ground (not to mention their manure), feeding her a completely grain-free diet is impossible. Diamond is an affordable alternative that cuts out the three worst offenders – wheat, corn, and soy.

  8. Be aware that sudden and large changes in a dog’s diet by choosing a new type of dog food can cause digestive problems, please complete major changes in your dog’s diet gradually by mixing some of the old dog food with the new. It is particularly important to introduce puppies to a new type of dog food gradually, as puppies can develop allergies if your puppy’s diet suddenly changed.

  9. Victor ultra-pro 42. Great value. Highest protein out of anything on this list. Grain-free. victor food Has never been recalled.

  10. how can I fairly compare a dog food my dog didn’t have any real allergies other than to preservatives which gave her cancer my next dog I want to make sure she doesn’t get food that has acid in it that are synthetic that are causing cancer. I’d like to compare a life’s abundance to these other holistic forms to see how it ranks up

  11. Anyone know anything about Supreme Source? We’re trying that on our German Shepherd, she seems to like it. But seems hungry and thirsty a lot. What could that mean?

    • Hunger and thirst, if your dog is older and overweight could mean diabetes. Might ought to have your dog checked out.

    • I have a 13 year old Shepherd/Husky mix. My Buddy has allergies all his life . He was just diagnosed with Cushing Disease which comes with older dogs, but thirst and heavy panting even when the temperature is cold out is a symptom, also a pot belly. I have been decreasing his snack & food intake over the past year and still his weight kept increasing.Earthborn Holistic is a Good nutritious product his stool is solid and he doesn’t go as often. Nina have him checked by a vet

  12. Hello. I currently have 4 dogs and feeding them Fromm. When feeding 4 dogs, it tends to be very expensive every month. What is a close enough natural food to replace? I would like to keep the ingredients the same but the cost down. Suggestions?

  13. I have an 1 1/2 y/o male Akita and I’m so confused about dog food I have him on the Merrick and that’s fine but I see they have been bought out and he has really loose poops and like water at the end. Has almost always ended like a big mud pie. Can anyone help. Had him on Diamond but don’t want a food with recalls, he is my baby.