Little puppy, big appetite!
What was once a tiny, little fur ball snuggled up with his siblings in a basket is now a rambunctious, playful pup that you can barely keep up with, especially when it comes to meal times.
On our list below, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top grain-free puppy foods for those of you interested in this type kibble.
Before you decide on a grain-free diet, there are a few things you should be aware of, which is exactly what we’ll be helping you with in our guide.
Read first and then decide whether or not it’s the right diet for your pup!
Where to Start
During your initial search for the best grain free puppy food, you’ll want to narrow down the choices by taking the following things into consideration:
- Breed Size. Make sure you get a food that is appropriate for the breed. Not only will this make a difference in the size of the kibble, but also in the nutritional proportions. What you feed your Yorkie isn’t going to be sufficient enough for a Saint Bernard!
- Quality. We’ve skipped over the cheap, grocery store brands for you in order to show you the real dog food brands.
The ones in our table below are made with quality ingredients and are trusted by many, many dog owners, and we feel that they’re worth the higher price tag in order to ensure your puppy’s health.
Top 6 Grain Free Puppy Foods Overview
|1. Victor Dog Food Grain-Free Active Dog and Puppy Beef Meal and Sweet Potato||5 lbs.||$$||4.7|
|2. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppy||5 lbs.||$$$$||4.6|
|3. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food||4 lbs.||$$||4.6|
|4. Fromm Heartland Gold Grain Free Puppy||4 lbs.||$$$||4.6|
|5. Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food||5.5 lbs.||$$$||4.5|
|6. Wellness TruFood Baked Blends Natural Grain Free Dry Raw Dog Food||3 lbs.||$||4.5|
Things to Remember as You Shop
Many have jumped on the “grain-free is the way to be” bandwagon when it comes to pet food, and while there are certainly many positive reasons for eliminating grain from your dog’s diet, there are also a few things you need to know when it comes to no-grain foods:
- Carbs. “No-grain” doesn’t necessarily mean “low carb.”
Usually, the substitute fillers used in place of grains are either potatoes or pumpkin.
Potatoes are richer in sugary starches, so be careful with foods that contain them or your puppy might fatten up rather quickly.
Pumpkin (or butternut squash) are probably the best substitutes when it comes to replacing grains in dog food.
- Higher Protein. Usually no-grain formulas have a higher amount of protein, so you’ll need to look at the percentages as you shop. This will vary based on the breed size, so you’ll have a bit of homework to do when it comes to finding out the proper protein percentage for the dog breed or size of dog you have.
Excessive amounts of protein and carbs in their puppy years can have negative impacts on their growth.
- Allergies. While it’s true that grains are the root cause to many allergic problems (skin-related problems, especially), that doesn’t mean that your puppy won’t develop allergies to other ingredients in their food.Certain meats can also be the cause of their allergies, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your puppy during food brand switches.
3 Best Grain Free Puppy Food Reviews
Victor Active makes this grain-free puppy food that uses sweet potato in place of grains.
Dog owners who have researched plenty of dog food labels are quite pleased with what they find on this one:
In terms of stool quality and coat, owners are pleased.
As you’ll notice from the label, this is an “active” dog recipe, meaning that it has a higher quantity of protein that is needed by active working dogs. The crude protein minimum is 33% and the crude fat minimum is 16%, meaning that if you have a couch potato pup who stays indoors most days, this probably isn’t the right choice for you.
If Victor didn’t sound like the right match for your puppy, then have a look at Taste of the Wild.
This is grain-free but has a slightly lower quantity of protein (crude protein minimum is only 28% vs. the 33% of the previous recipe). This makes it great for most puppies and their feeding guidelines start at puppies weighing 3-5 pounds.
Here are the ingredients:
Again, sweet potatoes are the main source of carbs and it also has a bit of potato fiber in there.
This is probably one of the best grain free puppy food brand choices in terms of price and quality. If you don’t want to spring for the Victor or the Fromm (number 4 on our list) then this is a great alternative.
Merrick is yet another alternative grain-free formula for puppies with 28% crude protein minimum and a 12% crude fat minimum. Similar to the previous food but with a lower percentage of fat (Taste of the Wild was at 17% crude fat minimum).
While this recipe is lower in fat, the filler is mainly potatoes, which means a higher amount of carbs and sugary starches. A formula like this would be good for the “in-between” pup that doesn’t stay indoors all day but that isn’t out exercising or performing numerous activities throughout the day.
Here are the ingredients so you have a better idea of what’s inside:
Overall, this is a good grain-free option for many pups. Give it a try to see if it they tolerate it well, and if they don’t, we have a few other alternatives on our list above to help you find the right one!