6 of the best grain-free dog foods

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  • Why might you decide it’s best to feed grain-free dog food? Grain-free has become increasingly popular in recent years, with some marketing suggesting it has health benefits, but the jury is out on whether a grain-free diet is really preferable for canines. A bit like gluten-free and dairy-free for humans, many people have jumped on the bandwagon in believing it must be healthier, although the benefits are not exactly clear in specific cases.

    Grain-free means that the food is free from grains such as wheat, soy, corn, rice, oats and barley. Instead, grain-free food usually contains other sources of carbohydrate, such as sweet potato or peas. Dogs, being omnivores, are able to digest carbohydrates, and the benefits of whole grains are that they provide important nutrients that your dog needs. If the grains are heavily processed, however, much of the nutritional benefit is lost. Therefore, if you are including grains in your dog’s diet, make sure they are a whole and unprocessed as possible.

    Benefits of grain-free dog food

    One reason for feeding a grain-free diet to your dog is if you’re looking for a suitable dog food for allergies. It is believed that grain allergies only affects 1% of dogs. Another benefit of grain-free diets is that they tend to be lower in carbs, which is handy if your dog is prone to putting on weight, has diabetes or inflammation. And there are some dogs who simply seem to look and feel better on a diet involving complex carbs such as sweet potato, which can be easier on the digestion. Like most food, grain-free is available in wet or dry, depending on which you and your dog prefer.

    Be aware that studies have also shown potential health risks of feeding a grain-free, legume-rich diet, so consult your vet or a canine nutritionist before making any big switches.

    The best grain-free dog food

    Pero Super Sensitive Grain Free dog food

    Pero Super Sensitive Grain Free

    Flavour: Ocean fish/tapioca | Carbohydrate source: Tapioca | Form: Kibble | Size: 2kg or 12kg | RRP: £13.49 for 2kg |

    This recipe is designed for dogs who suffer from Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (however not all dogs that have this condition thrive on a grain-free diet specifically). Tapioca, a highly digestible carbohydrate, is known to help dogs with digestive issues to cope with a full meal without an upset stomach, and this kibble is very popular with owners of dogs with sensitive tummies.

    It contains more than 30% white fish, plus natural herbs, prebiotics and probiotics, ginger, ginseng and much more.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk

    The hunger wolf dog food

    The Hunger of the Wolf Grain Free

    Flavour: Salmon/potato | Carbohydrate source: Potato | Form: Kibble | Size: 3kg or 14kg | RRP: £14.92 (3kg) |

    A hypoallergenic and grain-free formula made with high-quality animal protein (26% salmon) is designed for dogs with sensitive digestion or those with food allergies or skin complaints. It is free from gluten, soya, artificial preservatives and chemical dyes.

    Anti-oxidant herbal extracts slow down cell damage; contains probiotics and prebiotics.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk 

    Forthglade Grain-Free dog food

    Forthglade Grain-Free

    Flavour: Chicken, turkey, chicken/liver, salmon, sardine, turkey, duck or lamb | Carbohydrate source: Sweet potato or butternut squash | Form: Wet | Size: 24 150g; 12 395g or 18 395g | RRP: From £17.99 |

    A complete and balanced meal, free from junk, fillers, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, this grain-free recipe is formulated to be easily digestible. It is made with 75% poultry, and proves very popular with dogs’ palates as well as sensitive tummies.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, forthglade.com, viovet.co.uk or petsathome.com

    Lily’s Kitchen Natural Grain Free dog food

    Lily’s Kitchen Natural Grain Free

    Flavour: Sunday lunch, fish pie, wild campfire stew, coronation chicken or British breakfast | Carbohydrate source: Potato | Form: Wet | Size: 6 trays of 150g or 6/12 tins of 400g | RRP: £9.60 (6 x 150g) |

    Made with freshly prepared meat, vegetables, fruit and herbs, with no added sugar or fillers such as wheat, corn or soya. Gentle on the stomach and smells like real food. Made with proper meat, such as chicken, venison, pheasant, herring and salmon (no meat meal, bone meal or rendered meat).

    Botanicals include golden rod, rosehips, marigold petals, milk thistle, dandelion and burdock root.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, lilyskitchen.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or zooplus.co.uk

    Coya freeze dried raw dog food

    Coya Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

    Flavour: Pork, beef, turkey, fish or chicken | Carbohydrate source: Sweet potato | Form: Pellet | Size: 750g| RRP: £34.99 |

    A single-protein, grain-free recipe made from human-grade meat. It is freeze-dried so that no vitamins and minerals are lost during the cooking process.

    The recipe is 80% meat and 20% fruit and veg, making for a high-protein meal. Fruit and vegetables include sweet potato, carrot, pea, apple and pear, selected during their season.

    Like feeding raw, but without the mess – the water has been removed, so you can just feed without needing to defrost, while preserving the nutritional profile.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, jollyes.co.uk, petsandfriends.co.uk or petsathome.com

    Wellness Core dog food

    Wellness Core Adult Ocean Dry Dog Food

    Flavour: Salmon/tuna | Carbohydrate source: Potato | Form: Kibble | Size: 1.8kg or 10kg | RRP: £14.24 (1.8kg) |

    This fish recipe is formulated to support a healthy skin and shiny coat, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids. The pure fish formula is good for sensitive stomachs, while the prebiotic fibre and probiotics support the digestive system. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate for mobility.

    This is a high-protein, low-carb, fish-rich meal. It contains low levels of grain-free carbs, including potato, fruit and vegetables, such as blueberries, cranberries, carrots, apples and spinach. No cereals, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs or artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, petsandfriends.co.uk or petsathome.com

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