The 17 Best Grain Free Puppy Foods

This (updated) guide reviews all of the best grain free puppy foods available.

I have curated these gems of high-quality grain free foods for your puppy after several weeks of research, ingredient analysis, customer reviews, to name a few. (Here is my full 40 point inspection checklist)

After you’ve gone through the products below, I highly recommend you to check out this guide where I explain how to properly switch your dog food in 7 days.

Let’s dive right in…

The Best Grain Free Puppy Foods – My Top 5 Picks

1. Taste of the Wild — High Prairie  Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 17%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Egg Product, 5. Pea Protein
  • Antioxidants
  • 80,000,000 CFU/lb Microorganisms

Give your puppy a protein-packed treat made from high-quality buffalo and bison meat. Taste of the Wild grain-free formula is full of good carbs to keep your puppies energetic and active all day. What makes a definite choice for my babies is the amount of healthy bacteria to improve their digestion. Top it all with a healthy blend of antioxidants to improve your puppy’s immune system. Overall, a perfectly healthy grain-free option for all breeds. Taste of the wild is among the best overall and also among the best grain free puppy foods available.

Buy on Chewy

 

2. American Journey — Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Chickpeas
  • Grain-free, Gluten-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

With deboned lamb as the first ingredient, American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe is a great option for lean muscle development of your four-legged friend. Aside from a healthy amount of quality proteins, this one has a good percentage of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your puppy will also get the essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids with every meal. In short, your pup will look good, feel good, and act well. The American journey is one of the most reputable brands and this dog food is among the best grain free puppy food options available.

Buy on Chewy

 

3. Blue Buffalo — Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,3180 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Wet
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Broth, 3. Turkey, 4. Beef Liver, 5. Potatoes
  • Gluten-free
  • Vitamin B1 and B2

Blue Wilderness is kind of my personal favorite brands for my pups because I want them to grow strong and agile like their ancestors and the wilder cousins, the wolves. It seems fitting to feed them the kind of meal they are historically used to. This canned food promises a diet of the wolf and it delivers. You get a high amount of protein-rich meat and enough healthy cars to keep the dog active and agile. Since real beef is the main ingredient, your pups will come running for their food the moment you open the can.

Buy on Chewy

 

4. CANIDAE —  PURE Puppy Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Peas, 5. Potatoes
  • Grain-free, Gluten-free
  • Limited Ingredients

If you are looking for a grain-free diet for your sensitive puppy, you need a limited edition recipe that doesn’t compromise of nutrients. With a can of CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe, you get a healthy amount of lean protein from chicken and other essential nutrients from just eight more ingredients. While it is a gluten-free formula, you still get a blend of whole foods like peas and lentils to fulfill your little pup’s daily nutritional requirements. That’s not all, there is a good amount of probiotics to improve digestion for your sensitive baby.

Buy on Chewy

 

5. Purina Pro Plan — Focus Puppy Classic Turkey Entree Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,263 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 10%, Fat (min.) 7%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture (max.) 76%
  • Form: Wet
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey, 2. Liver, 3. Meat By-Products, 4. Beef, 5. Chicken
  • High moisture content
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

If your puppy isn’t fond of dry food, then Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Classic Turkey Entree is one of the best grain-free wet recipes you can find. It is high in moisture content, which makes it suitable for pups who do not drink as much water as they should. However, you get a lot more than moisture with this can. You get quality proteins needed for healthy muscles. You also get a good amount of Omega-6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and better cognitive development. It is, indeed, a great option of smart and strong puppies.

Buy on Chewy

 

Grain-Free Puppy Foods FAQs

Is Grain-free Diet Good for Puppies? 

Grain-free puppy diet is great for pets with sensitive stomachs as it does not include common allergens such as corn, rice, and wheat. While people assume that grain-free lacks carb, quality grain-free puppy foods have higher quality carb sources such as peas, apples. and potatoes. Puppies on a grain-free diet get more protein and better carbs so they stay more active and energetic, with lower risks of allergies.

What Does Grain-Free Diet Mean?

Grain-free diet means a diet that doesn’t contain any grain at all. This includes wheat, rice, barley, soy, corn, and most sources of gluten. However, a gluten-free diet is not necessary grain-free. Puppies with gluten intolerance can eat grains such as oat as they do not contain gluten. However, puppies with grain allergy cannot digest any grain regardless of gluten content.

Why Should I Choose Grain-Free Diet for My Puppy?

A grain-free diet is usually preferred for puppies with grain allergy. However, it is generally good for sensitive tummies. Ancestral canine diet doesn’t involve grains and that is one reason grain-free is usually preferred for all puppies. Moreover, grains such as corn and wheat are often used as fillers and have little nutritional value for puppies.

Are There Any Risks of Grain-Free Diet for Puppies? 

While many people debate that dogs shouldn’t be deprived of grains, there are no known risks of keeping your canine friend off grains. As a matter of fact, grain-free will keep them free of tummy troubles such as indigestion and flatulence. If your puppy is getting enough proteins, fiber, and carbs from other sources, it will do well without grains.

What To Look for in Grain-Free Puppy Food? 

Always choose a grain-free puppy food that has natural ingredients that can offer balanced nutrition. Since there is no grain, look for other healthier sources of carbohydrates such as peas, potatoes, and lentils. There should be a high percentage of quality proteins, preferably from lean sources.

 

More Grain Free Puppy Food Options…

6. Merrick — Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,400 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Potatoes,
  • Grain-free
  • Added DHA

There are very few recipes that can deliver on their promise of complete physical and mental development for your pup.  Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Formula is one of those recipes and highly recommended for breeds with higher nutritional needs. You get lean protein from deboned chicken and a plethora of essential vitamins from fruits and vegetables. I like the fact that it has additional DHA to maintain good cognitive growth in puppies. My puppies simply love the way it smells and would come wagging their tails the moment I pour it out on the bowl. So, highly recommended for the picky ones.

 

7. Blue Buffalo — Wilderness  Chicken Recipe Grain-Free for Large Breed Puppy

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Large and giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,555 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 35%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Tapioca Starch
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
  • High protein

Big breeds have more than normal nutritional needs. They need a higher dose of quality proteins, and that is exactly what you get Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe. A grain-free meal full of proteins and loaded with nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. It is a perfect mal for muscular and athletic breeds. While it enhances physical growth, it also improves brain and vision development in growing pups. Peas and sweet potatoes add the much-needed carbs to keep the energy levels high even for the most active babies.

 

8. VICTOR — Grain-Free Active Dog & Puppy Formula  Puppy Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult, Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,614 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 33%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 3.8%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Sweet Potato, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Grain-free
  • Fortified formula

If your puppy has a sensitive tummy that gets upset too easily, even by some proteins, bring home a bag of VICTOR Purpose Grain Free Active Dog & Puppy Dry Dog Food. It is a wholesome meal with carefully selected protein sources such as premium quality beef and pork. The formula is further fortified with higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It isn’t just a puppy meal; it is a complete meal for dogs with higher nutritional needs such as athletic ones or lactating females. Overall, a power-packedmeal for puppies with tummy troubles.

 

9. Blue Buffalo — Freedom  Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, extra small, and toy breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,758 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Turkey Meal
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Blue Buffalo Freedom is a delicious and nutritional meal option for small and tiny breeds. It is exclusively created for sensitive tummies, with no gluten and grains. It is also free of common allergens. Even the proteins in these kibbles are sourced from quality chicken and turkey meat as its least likely to cause any trouble for the little tummies. What I love about Freedom is that it is full of DHA and ARA, which means it can ensure better cognitive and visual development in smaller and toy breeds. Plus, it must be delicious because even my pickiest pup doesn’t seem to have enough of it.

 

10. Merrick — Backcountry Raw Infused  Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,488 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry, Freeze-dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes,  4. Potatoes,  5. Peas
  • Omega- fatty acids
  • Ancestral diet

Did you know that the ancestral diet of your canine buddy was actually grain-free? It was also full of quality proteins and numerous nutrients from fruits and vegetable sources.  Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe Grain-Free takes clues from nature and gives your puppy all the required essentials in every meal. You get quality proteins from multiple meat sources including freeze-dried poultry and deboned chicken. Your pup will also get a good amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, each meal contains an essential level of carbs to keep your puppy active all day. Since it contains fatty acids from salmon, there is a visible difference in the shine and quality of coat.

 

11. Castor & Pollux — Organix Grain-Free Organic Puppy  Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,619 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas
  • Superfoods
  • Organic formula

If you, like me, prefer organic formulas for puppies, bring home a bag of Organix. This is one of the few organic recipes that don’t compromise on the nutritional value. Your little one gets a balanced meal every time. It contains quality protein sourced from free-range chicken. There is a blend of healthy ingredients such as flaxseeds, alfalfa, and blueberries that act as powerful antioxidants. Your puppy gets a high dose of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a formula suitable for all breeds and even the most sensitive tummies.

 

12. Wellness — CORE Grain-Free  Deboned Chicken Recipe Large Breed Puppy Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Large and giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 387 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 35%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 5.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Dried Ground Potatoes, Turkey Meal
  • Grain-free
  • No By-products

A safe and tummy-friendly option for a large breed, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Deboned Chicken Recipe contains just the right amount of quality proteins. With deboned chicken as the first ingredient, this is a tasty option that will entice even the pickiest of puppies. With each bowl, your pup will get a high dose of nutrients needed for optimal muscle development and better brain function in growing puppies. Even if your puppy doesn’t have an appetite essential for its breed, rest assured for it will hit all the growth milestone without fail.

 

13. Solid Gold — Love At First Bark Chicken, Potato & Apple Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,655 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Potatoes, 5. Chicken Fat
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Superfoods

I am just as big of a Solid Gold fan as my puppies, and we all have our reasons. The pups love the way it smells and taste and would come wagging their tails the moment I take it out. I like the way they market their products and also the ingredient list that guarantees a balances nutrition for all the breeds. Aside from quality protein sources, this particular formula has the essential carbs that keep their energy levels high. It is good for their bone strength, brain development, and their coat. Since the recipe has zero fillers, it is the safest for my sensitive puppies.

 

14. Nulo Freestyle Limited — Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dog Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult, Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,712 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 5.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Chickpea Flour, 5. Canola Oil
  • Specially formulated probiotics
  • Limited Ingredient Diet

If your pup prefers fish over poultry, Nulo Freestyle Limited+ recipe is the best you can find. Unlike most options, this one has deboned salmon as the main ingredient, followed by a salmon meal. Plus, you get additional benefits of Canola oil that enriches the meal with nutrients essential for a healthy coat and skin. Since it is a limited ingredient recipe, it is easy on the tummy. Speaking of tummy there is a special blend of probiotics, GanedenBC30, to keep their guts healthy. The fish first recipe has a savory flavor and the smell alone will make sure your picky puppy doesn’t miss a meal.

 

15. Holistic – Select Adult & Puppy Health Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Recipe Grain-Puppy Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,585 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Anchovy and Sardine Meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas,  5. Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Grain-free
  • 107,000,000 CFU/lb min microorganisms

For my pups, I prefer formulas that contain fiber from fruits and vegetable in addition to quality meat proteins. Holistic’s grain-free recipe is a special fish-based recipe that provides your puppies with a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients and some more. What makes it perfect for my puppies is a good amount of healthy probiotics and digestive enzymes to support healthy digestion. There is enough natural fiber to ensure optimal absorption of all the nutrients in this bag. Your puppy will be visibly healthier and gleefully active.

 

16. Authority – Chicken & Pea Grain-Free Formula Puppy Dry Food

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,580 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 29%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Dried Peas, 4. Flaxseed Meal, 5. Potato Starch
  • Ora-Shield System for healthier teeth
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids

If chicken is your puppy’s favorite source of protein, then you need to give them Authority. Authority’s grain-free chicken and pea recipe are exclusively created for the sensitive tummies. it is a mild formula but packed with all the nutrients your puppy needs in its growing years. It has flaxseeds that not only support digestion but offer numerous health benefits as well. Another thing I love about this puppy food is the exclusive Ora-Shield System that supports good oral health. It contains a healthy blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

 

17. Nutro – Puppy Grain-Free Tender Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,010 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 9.5%, Fat (min.) 3%, Fiber (max.) 1%, Moisture (max.) 82%
  • Form: Wet
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Pork Broth, 3. Chicken Broth, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Chicken Liver
  • No by-products
  • High moisture content

Nutro Tender Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe is a drool-worthy, delicious meal for the puppies who prefer wet food. Every can is a meal full of balanced nutritional value. The protein comes from quality lean sources such as actual chicken, not the by-products. Chicken bites are cooked in a savory broth. I personally recommend wet food for puppies who don’t drink much water. It will keep them from dehydration. Overall, this is a balanced meal cooked to perfection. It is free of GMOs, grains, and fillers that usually cause tummy problems.

What’s next?

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