Best Grain-free Dog Food*

The best grain-free dog food can depend on your dog's unique needs but should generally be wholesome and nutritious. Read on to discover more about Petco's best-selling grain-free food before you browse our entire selection of grain-free dog food.


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Learn More About Grain-free Dog Food

This type of food does not use the whole grains that are commonly found in most dog foods. Specifically, grain-free food lacks wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, rye and soy. Dog food without grain typically makes up for its lack of whole grains by using alternate ingredients that can provide similar nutritional value.

Grain-free and gluten-free are not always the same thing. For instance, dog food may be labeled gluten-free but still contain a grain like rice. Similarly, a grain-free food often eliminates the most common forms of gluten—whole grains—but may have some hidden sources of gluten in other ingredients.

If your dog can't tolerate gluten, grain-free foods may still contain ingredients that can aggravate their food sensitivity. Luckily, most natural grain-free dog food will have clearly labeled ingredients on the container that can help you identify elements that accommodate your pup's gluten intolerance.

Grains are not typically used as useless fillers. Instead, grains contain carbohydrates that can provide your dogs the energy they need to remain active and energetic throughout the day. When dog food manufacturers remove whole grains from their formula, they usually replace grain-based carbs with other nutrient-rich ingredients.

Some common replacements for carbohydrates normally provided by grains can include:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Peas

Thanks to these substitutes, dog food without grain can contain just as many carbs as regular dog food. In some cases, the carb count may even be higher in an attempt to provide extra energy to larger canines.

Grains also provide necessary protein for your dogs that should be replaced. If your pooch requires a high-protein dog food, it's recommended that the grain-free option you choose contain a substantial amount of meat or other protein-rich ingredients. Whole proteins can be commonly found in chicken, beef, fish, duck and eggs.

There is no one best grain-free puppy food or dog food. Ultimately, you and your vet will decide what type of food serves your pup's needs. Some common reasons a vet might recommend a dog food without grain include weight management issues, digestive problems and food sensitivities.

If your dog is experiencing issues with traditional food, providing a grain-free lifestyle might make a difference. Try and make sure that the recipe you choose replaces grains with other nutritious carbs and protein sources. For maximum nutrition benefits, proteins should be listed among the top five ingredients.

Is your natural grain-free dog food as good as it looks in advertisements? Just because dog food is absent of grains or gluten doesn't mean it doesn't contain fillers or insubstantial ingredients. Look out for the following elements that often provide no nutritional value:

  • Corn syrup
  • BHA
  • Artificial colors
  • White flour
  • Sugar alcohol
  • Vegetable oil
  • Meal by-product
  • Rendered fats

At Petco, we offer some of the leading grain-free dog food brands, including our list of best-selling dog food without grain. You can find these foods at your neighborhood Petco Pet Care Center or online.

*Based on sales data.