Grain-Free Diet for Dogs

Are you looking to find the best diet for your dog? Maybe you have tried certain diets but they either caused your dog to develop health issues or worsened conditions they already had. This is normal. With so many diets out there for dogs, there are often trials and errors that need to take place to get it right. If you have not yet tried a grain-free diet for your dog, this might be something that you want to check into. A canine grain-free diet could be the right choice or your dog. It could provide your dog with the nutrition they need to be healthy. 

If you are interested in getting the best nutrition for your dog, there are many things to learn. First of all, you already probably treat your dog like they are part of your family, as you should. You know that you want to keep them as healthy as possible, just like you want for the rest of your family. With this being said, you want to make sure that you pay attention to any allergies that your dog might have and any health concerns that might affect the diet that you choose for them. 

Grains could provide your dog with some of the nutrients that they need to have in their diet. However, many professionals have found that feeding dogs grain-free is actually better for them. There are certain grains that your dog could benefit from the most. 

Common Grains That Are Put Into Dog Food

Before you go looking for a canine grain-free diet, you might need to know what the common grains are that companies put into dog food. Some of these grains include the following:

  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Rice 
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Wheat

You might have heard of the grains mentioned here today. Some of them, you may even have in your own diet. Barley is often called a superfood for the benefits that it provides. It has a lot of fiber in it. Oats are beneficial for heart health. Even with these benefits, though, grains might not be the best for your dog. If your dog’s veterinarian has noted that you should be feeding grain-free dog food to your dog, then you will want to ensure that your dog avoids grains. 

Whole Grains and Dogs

There are some benefits of whole grains for dogs. Some of these include offering your dog nutrients that are easily digestible such as Vitamin E, linoleic acid, and protein. These things are essential to a dog’s health. However, it is essential that you make sure your dog gets the food that is best for them. Your dog’s health history might suggest that you should be feeding grain-free dog food. This might be the option that is best for their diet. You should speak with the veterinarian to see whether your dog’s food should have grains in it or not. Some dogs just can’t tolerate grains. 


Does your dog need to have food that is carb-free? If so, it is important to know that a canine grain-free diet doesn’t necessarily mean that the diet is carb-free, as well. Many veterinarians find that dog owners are feeding their dogs grain-free food, assuming that it also has no carbs. To replace the grain that would normally be put into the dog food, many dog food companies will then put in peas, quinoa, lentils, sweet potatoes, and/or potatoes. Some dog food companies will put enough carbohydrates in the dog food to make up for the amount of grain that was taken out. This means that there could be an excess of carbohydrates in your dog’s food. If you are going to look for grain-free dog food, be sure that the carbohydrate levels are what you would like them to be. 

Grain Allergies

There are many veterinary nutritionists who have studied the effects that certain ingredients have on dogs. Some dogs have food allergies to various ingredients such as wheat, corn, and soy, but that isn’t as common as other allergies. Some of the most common allergies that dogs have include dairy and beef. There are some environmental allergies that your dog might have, as well. These might include grass, pollens, fleas, molds, and trees. 

With this being said, it is possible that your dog could be allergic to grains. If you suspect that this could be the case for your dog, it is recommended that you get them an allergy test. This will determine whether your dog should be eating grains. 

If it does come back that your dog has allergies to anything, including grains, you can work with a veterinarian to come up with a diet that works. If grains are one of the things that your dog is allergic to, the veterinarian can help you come up with a canine grain-free diet. It might take some trials and errors to determine exactly what works for your dog. Adjusting a dog’s diet isn’t always easy. Most of the time, ingredients need to be slowly introduced or taken away. 

Best Grain-Free Dog Foods 

If your dog does happen to be allergic to grains, you will want to start looking for grain-free dog food as soon as possible. You will need to create them a diet that doesn’t include grains, yet still meets all of their nutritional needs. There are numerous high-quality dog foods that are grain-free. The veterinarian might have some excellent recommendations on which grain-free dog food is going to be best for your dog. 

Some of the best and most highly recommended grain-free dog foods on the market today include the following:

  • Nulo Freestyle 
  • Wellness Core (Kibble)
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Instinct Raw Boost (Dry)
  • Orijen (Dry)
  • Farmina (Dry)
  • Canidae (Pure)

While you don’t necessarily have to choose one of these grain-free dog food options, this helps you to see what choices are available. You can take a look at each of these options to see what ingredients are put into grain-free dog food. 

High-Quality Dog Food

If you have found out that your dog is allergic to grains, you will still want to make sure they are getting the highest quality dog food on the market. You will want to make sure the food they are eating is healthy and meets all of their nutritional needs. When you are picking out grain-free dog food, you should talk with the veterinarian to see what they recommend. Based on your dog’s health history, current health issues (if there are any), weight, age, and other factors, the veterinarian will be able to help you choose the highest quality dog food. After the veterinarian makes their recommendations, you can research those dog food options to see which one you believe is best for your dog. By following these tips, you can feel at ease, knowing you have chosen high-quality dog food for your dog’s nutritional needs. 


There are numerous things that dogs need in their diet. Some dogs will do fine when eating grains. However, there are some dogs that are going to be allergic to grains. If this is the case for your dog, they might have a mild to severe reaction to grains. If you suspect or know that your dog is allergic to grains, you should start by speaking to a veterinarian. They can do an exam on your dog and an allergy test if one hasn’t already been done. From there, the veterinarian will be able to recommend specific grain-free dog foods that might be best for your dog. 

It can be tough to start a canine grain-free diet. Your dog will need some time to get used to the changes that you are making in their diet. As long as your dog doesn’t have severe reactions to grain, you might have to wean them off from grain, in order to allow their system time to adjust without it. This is something the veterinarian can help you to plan for.

Is a grain-free diet good for dogs?

It is important that dogs have all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need to live the best life they can. With this being said, there are some dogs that don’t have a problem eating grains, while others will be allergic to or have a reaction to grains. If this is the case for your dog, then a grain-free diet could be best for your dog.

Can dogs have grain-free food?

If your dog has an allergy or a reaction to grains, then yes, they can have grain-free dog food. However, it is important to make sure that your dog is still getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need to ensure they have energy and to ensure they can live a healthy lifestyle.

Is grain-free bad for dogs?

There are some dogs who do need to have grains in their diet to provide them with enough energy to sustain a healthy lifestyle. However, that does not necessarily mean that a grain-free diet is bad for dogs. As long as you continue to make sure your dog has the things they need in their diet and you consult with a veterinarian, they should be fine.

 Check out our blog and follow me on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date!

Related Posts

Written by Leo Roux

Leave a comment