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Best Grain Free Dog Foods for 2020

For some dog owners, the grain-free way of life is the only diet that will ever be good enough for their prized pooch.

Grain-free dog food has, therefore, become an incredibly popular choice of mutt meal over the last few years and reflects our own choices to follow low-carb and gluten-free diets.

However, despite their popularity, science shows that dogs need a mix of all the key food groups to live a healthy lifestyle.

It’s therefore vital that if choosing a grain-free diet for your dog, you make sure your buying nosh of the highest-quality.

Grain-free diets need to contain ingredients and nutrients that suitably replace the health benefits lost by removing grains, ensuring your pup is not missing out on total nourishment!

To help you pick a suitable grain-free choice, we’ve analysed a whole host of options, putting together a definitive list which boasts the best in grain-free, nutritional substitutes!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Harringtons Grain Free Wet Mixed Dog Food Pack
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Green-lipped mussels for rich omega fats
    • Green tea for antioxidants
    • 1x Chicken, 1x Turkey, 1x Duck, 1x Salmon
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    James Wellbeloved Grain Free Adult Turkey & Veg Dry Food
    • Contains taurine for heart health
    • Natural chicory inulin for a healthy gut
    • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat
    • 1.5 Kg or 10 Kg options
    Check Price
    Barking Heads Wet Dog Food For Puppies
    • 85% chicken with veg and herbs
    • Natural ingredients, free from artificial products
    • 10 pouches in a pack
    • Puppy feeding guide on every pack!
    Check Price

    The Top 10 Best Grain Free Dog Foods Reviewed

    1.
    Harringtons Grain Free Wet Mixed Dog Food Pack

    Harrington’s dry doggy bags are already well known to be one of the UK’s best options for a hypoallergenic hound meal, but did you know they also make fantastic wet food versions of their recipe too?

    Grain-free and good for your dog, Harrington’s have packed their dishes with unique ingredients that make them vastly different from other dog foods.

    These concoctions include green-lipped mussels, which are a fantastic natural source of omega fats, glucosamine and chondroitin. These nutrients are vital for strong joints and a shiny, glossy coat, and that’s just the start where Harrington’s natural goodness is concerned!

    Rosehips provide vitamin C, green tea promotes antioxidants and chicory extract helps restore your pup’s healthy gut flora!

    Does it really get any more nutritious than that?!

    Features

    • No artificial ingredients
    • Green-lipped mussels for rich omega fats
    • Green tea for antioxidants
    • 1x Chicken, 1x Turkey, 1x Duck, 1x Salmon

    Specifications

    • Weight: 6.4 Kg
    • Dimensions: 29.2 x 27.2 x 15.8 cm

    2.
    Pooch & Mutt Health & Digestion Complete Dry Dog Food

    Specifically designed for dogs with sensitive digestive systems, Pooch & Mutt’s ‘Health & Digestion’ pack is a premium, grain-free and complete dry dog food.

    It’s one of the few grain-free dishes to utilise salmon as it’s primary protein punch, as fish is actually known to digest better than meat! This is then paired with sweet potato and parsley, which act as digestion aiding fibre and a natural deodoriser. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and there is plenty of other extra ingredients at work to ensure your canine’s colon remains relatively untroubled!

    Pooch & Mutt’s formula also boasts gut-boosting probiotics and prebiotics as well as charcoal and psyllium to absorb nasty smelling gases and promote firm stools! And it’s key feature is the inclusion of the unique supplement Nutra-bionic, which provides digestive help, aids the skin and coat, reduces stool odour and supports urinal tract health.

    What more do you want?!

    Features

    • Helps pups with poor digestion
    • 2 Kg or 10 Kg packs
    • Salmon & sweet potato flavour
    • Joint Care, Slim & Sender and Calming options available

    Specifications

    • Weight: 10 Kg
    • Dimensions: 66 x 44.4 x 6 cm

    3.
    James Wellbeloved Grain Free Adult Turkey & Veg Dry Food

    If you’re after a kibble that’s comfy on your doggy’s stomach, there’s few as carefully crafted as James Wellbeloved’s hypoallergenic mutt meals.

    By taking a handful of ingredients from nature, one strong source of animal protein and then combining with vegetables, vitamins and minerals, James Wellbeloved have created a near-perfect combination!

    Specially formulated for delicate dogs, this recipe is free from cereals and utilises natural chicory inulin to maintain your hound’s happy gut flora. With a yummy turkey flavour, it’s also a tasty treat for your dog while still providing a host of different health benefits!

    The uniquely constructed kibble contains a concoction of coat culturing omega oils and a blend of taurine, glucosamine and chondroitin to elevate heart health and protect joint function.

    It’s fair to say then that you’ll struggle to find a better-beloved banquet for your four-legged friend.

    Features

    • Contains taurine for heart health
    • Natural chicory inulin for a healthy gut
    • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat
    • 1.5 Kg or 10 Kg options

    Specifications

    • Weight: 10 Kg
    • Dimensions: 66.8 x 38.1 x 15 cm

    4.
    Vet’s Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food

    Grain and poultry free, Vet’s Kitchen’s Adult Sensitive dog food also contains no gluten and boasts a pork-only protein source.

    This may seem an unusual meat choice for canines, and in truth, that’s because it is! But by using such a novel source of protein, Vet’s Kitchen believes this can prevent conditions caused by adverse reactions to certain, more commonly used foods.

    The recipe also includes sweet potato to promote a low glycemic index and the natural prebiotic Chicory to maintain a healthy gut. Like all of Vet’s Kitchen’s products, this sensitive stomach food is also hypoallergenic, being free from wheat, beef and soya, with no artificial colours or flavours.

    Features

    • Pork and Potato flavour
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    • Omega oils for a healthy coat

    Specifications

    • Weight: 2.2 Kg
    • Dimensions: 32.8 x 23.6 x 8.6 cm

    5.
    Wellness CORE Original Grain Free Dry Dog Food

    A self-described protein-powerhouse, Wellness CORE’s dog food is one of the few recipes to promise a hypoallergenic, grain-free meal whilst also promising to soothe pup’s with sensitive skin!

    An all-natural dry dog food, Wellness CORE uses fresh meat or fish as it’s main ingredient, with a guaranteed protein punch of 37% in each kibble. This is due to the company focusing on creating meals that provide a higher protein level, with fewer carbohydrates and moderate fat content, replicating the kind of balanced diet a dog in the wild would naturally survive on.

    Free from wheat, gluten, eggs and artificial ingredients it’s unlikely to irritate even the most sensitive of pups, and with added full-fat linseeds and salmon oil, it gives a major boost to dogs suffering from dull and dry skin.

    Features

    • Hypoallergenic food with omega oils
    • Turkey and Chicken Flavour
    • 1.8 Kg or 10 Kg bags
    • Senior, Fish and Low-Fat options

    Specifications

    • Weight: 10 Kg
    • Dimensions: 62 x 37 x 12 cm

    6.
    Forthglade 100% Natural Grain Free Meat Variety Pack

    Protein should be the key ingredient in any healthy hound’s diet, but so many protein-rich dog foods annoyingly come mixed with stodgy rice mixes.

    But that’s not the case with Forthglade’s natural wet dog food, who design all their recipes with allergy-prone pups in mind.

    This mega-muscle version of their famous foodstuff contains an incredible 90% pure meat and is free of all junk, fillers, preservatives and even any added sugars! This makes it one of the highest sources of pooch protein on the market, with the added bonus of being completely grain-free! Although with that much meat going on, it’s hardly a surprise!

    Although Forthglade’s recipe also includes vitamins and minerals to contribute to your dog’s growth and wellbeing, we recommend serving with a high-quality mixer to ensure your dog keeps a nutritionally balanced diet!

    Features

    • 90% meat for high-protein diets
    • Gently steamed to retain nutrients
    • No sugar or artificial ingredients
    • Chicken, Turkey or Salmon Flavour

    Specifications

    • Weight: 4.8 Kg
    • Dimensions: 15 x 20 x 25 cm

    7.
    BUTCHER’s Wet Dog Food Trays Grain Free Traditional Recipes

    Sourcing all of their ingredients purely from British and Irish farms, BUTCHER’s dog food is some of the most nourishing and 100% balanced nosh available for your prized pooch.

    Grain and gluten-free, their doggy dinners are also free of all nasties preservatives, for a wholesome bowlful you can be proud to plate up for your puppy pal!

    In this mega-pack of mutt meals, BUTCHER’s offer protein-rich dishes stuffed full of vitamin-packed vegetables, beneficial herbs and omega oils, so you can ensure your canine is dining out on all the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

    It helps bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘as fit as a butcher’s dog’!

    Features

    • Grain-free with garden veg
    • Lamb, Turkey and Beef selections
    • No artificial ingredients
    • 24 or 36 pack options

    Specifications

    • Weight: 24 x 150 g
    • Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.5 x 10.6 cm

    8.
    Naturo Adult Grain Free Dog Food Poultry Variety Pack

    Naturo is one of the most recognisable dog food brands when it comes to providing all-natural and nutritious ingredients.

    And this poultry variety pack is no different, combining the four key food groups to create a high-quality grain-free meal for your mutt.

    Essential proteins packed full of amino acids help muscle growth and repair and are then mixed with highly digestible vegetables to deliver energy and dietary fibre. These canine cans are also packed with Vitamins A, D and E as well as added calcium to support the teeth and bones.

    It’s ideal for sickly pups with digestive issues or lots of allergies, and with a variety of duck, chicken and turkey options, there’s a flavour here for even the fussiest of four-legged friends!

    Features

    • Fresh and locally sourced ingredients
    • No colours or preservatives
    • Chicken, Duck and Turkey flavours
    • 6 x 400 g grain-free dinners

    Specifications

    • Weight: 6 x 400 g
    • Dimensions: 26.2 x 15.8 x 10.8 cm

    9.
    Wainwright’s Adult Complete Wet Dog Food Mixed Variety Trays

    A so-called dog’s best friend, Wainwright’s wet dog food is certainly a fantastic way to provide your pup with a fibrous, nutritious dinner.

    Perfect for pooch’s with food intolerances, Wainwright refuses to use any ingredients known to upset doggy stomachs and also concoct dishes free of wheat and mixed proteins.

    This variety box contains three tempting flavours, including turkey, lamb and duck, for a high-protein package that also supports a dog’s immune system with added minerals!

    Bigger dogs of 25-45kg can eat up to three trays of Wainwrights per day, while small dogs under 5kg shouldn’t eat more than half a tray to prevent weight gain.

    Features

    • Free from wheat and mixed meat proteins
    • Suitable for dogs with food intolerances
    • Lamb, Duck and Turkey flavours
    • Minerals to support a dog’s immune system

    Specifications

    • Weight: 24 x 395 g
    • Dimensions: 38 x 29 x 16.5cm

    10.
    Barking Heads Wet Dog Food For Puppies

    Grain-free options for poor digesting puppies are hard to come by, but this Puppy Days wet dog food formula from Barking Heads has been specially concocted to suit all your growing furball’s needs!

    A delicious grain-free recipe with added vitamins and minerals, Barking Head’s wet food is slow-cooked to paw-fection, for a great taste that’s choc-full of nutrients. Using 85% free-run chicken, this bowl lickingly good grub is then blended with vegetables and herbs for a balanced, health-boosting meal for your growing growler.

    With an in-depth puppy feeding guide on every pack, you can also ensure your little tail-wagger get’s the right amount of nosh, every time!

    Features

    • 85% chicken with veg and herbs
    • Natural ingredients, free from artificial products
    • 10 pouches in a pack
    • Puppy feeding guide on every pack!

    Specifications

    • Weight: 10 x 300 g
    • Dimensions: 3 x 13 x 18.3 cm

    Buying Guide

    Why Choose Grain-Free Dog Food

    Feeding your dog a grain-free diet is not actually essential for their health, however many owners still find it preferable to normal dog food.

    Their popularity is most likely down to owners trying to replicate their own diets on their dogs, by removing things that they think are bad or have an intolerance to.

    Champions of the grain-free diet claim that dogs ancestors did not eat grains in their natural diets and so that they are not a necessary source of nutrition. However, pups have evolved since those dark, doggy days, and domestic hounds are more than capable of digesting such carbohydrates. There’s even evidence to suggest such grains can even aid in the process of digestion!

    It is also commonly thought that they are the best choice for canines with food allergies, however, it’s fairly uncommon for a pup to be allergic to grains and it actually occurs in less than 1% of dogs.

    Such allergies do exist though, and grain-free food’s focus on containing fewer additives and allergy-inducing ingredients means they are often still a brilliantly healthy option for dogs.

    And although they don’t actually help a dog’s digestion by not containing grains, they are often packed with a bounty of other digestive aiding ingredients and healthy gut boosters.

    It’s added ingredients, therefore, do have a lot of benefits in terms of helping gut health, joint health or coat repair, but ultimately switching your dog to a grain-free diet is not vital.

    The decision to switch is down to you though, and you may find your pup even prefers these meals over any other option.

    We do recommend consulting with your vet before switching to a grain-free diet though as your veterinarian will be able to tell you whether it’s the best dietary decision for your dog based on their age, health and other unique factors!

    Features To Look Out For

    High in Protein

    The principal ingredient of almost any dog food is protein as it is easily digested and is obviously the best food group for muscle growth and repair!

    You should also be aware that certain animal meats are actually the most common form of dietary allergies, and so it can often be a good idea to go for ‘novel’ rarely used meats which have the best chance of being hypoallergenic for you mutt

    Carbohydrate Source

    Although many owners don’t want to give their dog grains due to allergies or sensitive stomachs, these forms of carbohydrate actually provide plenty of health benefits and do aid in doggy digestion. It’s therefore recommended to choose a grain-free option with a suitable carb substitute, so your pup is still getting plenty of fibre!

    Omega Oils

    Grains also tend to be a good source of fatty acids and so you will often see good-quality grain-free products containing fish oils and linseeds to ensure your dog is still getting their fill!

    Prebiotics/Probiotics

    These encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut, aiding digestion

    Joint Care (Glucosamine & Chondroitin)

    These ingredients help boost cartilage in the joints and strengthen bones

    Vitamins & Minerals

    Grains contain a lot of natural minerals such as iron, magnesium and selenium, so try and make sure your dog food contains vegetables which can do the same job.

    Free of artificial ingredients

    If you’re going to the trouble of making sure your dog’s food is free from grains, why would you pick a dog food full of artificial and unnatural ingredients?!

    Price

    The price of dog food can be expensive and is usually the biggest annual cost when it comes to owning a canine. If you own a large dog, this can be a real problem, as your pup will eat a higher quantity at a faster rate! You, therefore, need to be aware of how much your willing to spend and how much your dog eats per day!

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How can I tell if a dog food is grain-free?

    As so many dog foods feature hypoallergenic features and are free from this, that and the other, it can be easy to get confused by what grain-free actually means.

    When seeing things like no wheat, it’s natural to assume that the product is grain-free, however, this is not always the case.

    If a dog food contains any of the following in its ingredients, it’s not free of grains:

    • Wheat
    • Corn
    • Barley
    • Soy
    • Oats
    • Rye
    • Rice

    You will still see plenty of dog food’s described as being wheat-free that still contain rice for example!

    Is grain-free the same as gluten-free?

    No! If your pup has a gluten allergy and needs gluten-free food, you don’t always have to buy a grain-free option.

    Gluten is a protein found in specific types of grains such as barley, wheat and rye. But gluten does not appear in things like rice.

    Essentially, grain-free food is always gluten-free, but many gluten-free options will still use grains.

    Are grain-free dog foods safe?

    99% of the dogs that are on grain-free diets don’t reap any more health benefits than they would with standard dog food, however, it is currently unclear whether they could actually be doing more harm than good.

    Millions of dogs eat grain-free diets and have no problems, however, some scientists are beginning to claim they may not be so healthy.

    Late last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating a possible link between some grain-free dog food brands and cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).  Between 2014 and 2019, the FDA received 560 reports of the heart disease, of which 91% of the dogs were on a grain-free diet. However, this is an early and preliminary link from a very small pool and so there still needs to be a lot more research conducted before an accurate conclusion can be made.

    If you’re worried, it’s best to talk to your vet about the best diet options for your pup, and perhaps avoid grain-free diets until more is known.