The 12 Best Grain-Free Dog Foods In Canada
Grain-free diets have recently become popular in the pet business, but are they safe or even necessary?
Most veterinarians will only recommend a grain-free diet for their pet if a grain allergy or sensitivity has been confirmed.The fact is that the majority of dogs and cats are allergic to the protein source in their diet rather than grains.
If your veterinarian has prescribed a grain-free food for your dog, you're undoubtedly feeling overwhelmed by the variety of alternatives available. There are so many different brands, meals, and keywords to choose from that it may feel virtually impossible. We're here to assist and remove some of the guesswork out of the equation.
Continue reading to see our list of the best grain-free dog foods in Canada. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) reviews will help you learn about your options and find the best food for your dog.
Guide to Choosing the Best Grain-Free Dog Food in Canada
Now that you’ve learned about some of the top grain-free dog meals available in Canada, you must select which one is right for your dog. Continue reading to learn all you need to know before making a purchase.
Is a Grain-Free Diet Required?
Grain-free meals for dogs are actually only suggested if your dog has been medically diagnosed with a grain allergy or intolerance. You and your veterinarian can put your dog on an elimination diet to see whether the grains are causing an allergic response.
Grain-free diets are not suited for dogs that do not have a grain intolerance or allergy. This is especially important given that the FDA is looking at a possible link between grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
DCM is a condition that frequently has a hereditary component, however the FDA has been receiving reports of diet-related cases of the disease since 2014. DCM is normally a degenerative illness with short survival durations, however statistics show that dogs with diet-associated DCM can improve their echocardiograms and have considerably longer life times with a diet adjustment and medical intervention.
The problem with DCM isn’t limited to grain-free diets. BEG diets in general appear to be contributing to the problem. BEG stands for Boutique food with Exotic ingredients, many of which are branded Gluten-free.
The items used to substitute grains in grain-free meals, such as lentils or chickpeas, or other commonly found ingredients in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, might be the link between BEG and DCM.
What Qualities Should I Look for in Grain-Free Dog Food?
When buying for dog food, it’s critical to understand what makes an excellent product. As we developed our list of the finest grain-free dog food, we considered a number of variables. The elements we examined in generating our list above are shown below.
As the first ingredient, use whole protein.
Real, full protein should be the primary component in any dog food, whether grain-free or not.
Animal-based proteins are essential for your dog’s health since they supply the amino acids he need. Many dog meals include plant protein sources like potatoes or peas to supplement the animal protein.
Examine the ingredient list to see how many plant and animal protein sources are in the formulae. If there are more plant protein sources, the diet may not be as high in protein as you believe, and your dog may be lacking in important amino acids.
It is crucial to remember that sometimes the first component in wet dog food is water or broth. This is not a problem as long as an actual protein supply follows.
There are no artificial colors or preservatives.
Because your dog doesn’t care what color his food is, artificial coloring is unnecessary. Many artificial colors have been related to behavioral disorders and cancer, so why jeopardize your dog’s health simply to make his food look less brown?
Preservatives keep your dog’s food fresher for longer. The two most widely utilized artificial preservatives in dog kibble are butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene. Both have been connected to possible health problems.
Instead, dog food producers can employ natural preservatives in the development of their formulas. This includes natural substances such as vitamin E or plant extracts. These preservatives will not keep your dog’s food as fresh as chemical preservatives, but because they are natural, they will be healthier for your dog’s health.
Don’t skimp on fat.
Unlike humans, dogs get their energy from fat rather than carbs. Dogs, on the other hand, require all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) to survive. According to research, the ideal macronutrient content of a healthy dog’s diet should be 30% protein, 63% fat, and 7% carbs.
Fat is really vital in the health of your dog.
Active dogs require fat to power their muscles and supply the energy they require for their level of activity. Fat can also help your dog feel satisfied after meals, lowering its risk of obesity. Fat also aids your dog’s absorption and digestion of fat-soluble vitamins.
Food: Wet vs. Dry
Should you give your dog wet or dry food? This is an excellent question that many pet owners struggle with. The answer isn’t as straightforward as “Yes” or “No.”
It makes no difference what food you give your dog. Because some dogs are fussy and prefer one over the other, we included terrific grain-free alternatives in both wet and dry formats in our list.
A high-quality dog food, whether canned or kibble, will give your pet the full nutrients he or she requires to grow and flourish.
Having said that, each sort of food has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Wet food is very appealing to dogs due to its inherent sensory properties. It’s softer, moister, and more fragrant than dry food. However, dogs must consume more wet food per gram to obtain the same number of calories as kibble, making it significantly more expensive.
Dry food has an extremely extended shelf life, saving you money and trips to the pet store. Kibble may also improve your dog’s oral health, according to research. Dry food, on the other hand, is less perceptible and might be difficult for senior dogs or those with tooth loss to ingest.
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Because of its high protein level and whole-food components, Instinct Raw Boost is the finest overall grain-free dog food in Canada. Purina Beyond’s wet food is the greatest value and is packed with real, recognizable, and pronounceable ingredients. Because of its high-quality meats and immune system support, Taste of the Wild is our top option for dog owners with an unrestricted budget.
Merrick’s Lil’ Plates is an excellent choice for pups since it is easily digestible and simply portioned. Finally, Acana’s Wild Atlantic Recipe won our Vet’s Choice award for its fresh and raw ingredients, as well as its unique composition, which makes it suitable for dogs of all ages.
BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes our evaluations and guide assist you in finding the best grain-free dog foods in Canada.
- Chicken, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat, and tapioca are the main ingredients.
- 37.0% protein content
- 20.5% fat content
- 508 calories per cup
Instinct Raw Boost is a high-quality dog food that mixes all-natural freeze-dried raw bits with high-protein kibble to produce the best grain-free dog food in Canada for your pup. This meal has been designed to suit the nutritional requirements of all dogs, regardless of breed, size, or age.
This recipe’s first component is actual cage-free chicken, which provides your dog with a substantial supply of high-quality animal protein to build strong and lean muscles. To keep your dog interested in his meal, the raw bits are 100% raw and filled with genuine meat.
The recipe contains no wheat, maize, artificial colors, or preservatives. It contains probiotics to help your dog’s delicate digestive system and omega-fatty acids to improve the health of its skin and hair. Carrots, apples, cranberries, and blueberries are among the antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits on the list.
- Contains cage-free chicken.
- Protein-rich recipe
- Excellent for dogs of all ages
- Probiotics help with gut health.
- a lot of calories
- Water buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas are the main ingredients.
- Protein percentage: 32.0%
- 18.0% fat content
- 422 calories per cup
This exceptionally high-protein dish from Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a terrific option for dog owners who don’t have a limit when it comes to feeding their pets. While this meal is on the pricey side, it contains a high protein content that will supply your dog with the digestible energy it requires to keep active.
The dish includes veggies, beans, and fruits to help your dog stay healthy. It’s prepared with pasture-raised bison and venison, giving it a roasted flavor that most dogs adore. This recipe, like the majority of Taste of the Wild’s offerings, contains K9 Strain Probiotics to help your dog’s digestive and immune systems.
- Vegetable and fruit antioxidants
- Probiotics are beneficial to the immune system.
- Simple to understand
- Protein content is really high.
- High fat content
- Deboned chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, and deboned turkey are the main ingredients.
- 8.5% protein content
- 3.5% fat content
- 96 calories per serving
If your puppy requires a grain-free diet, Merrick’s Lil’ Plates are an excellent choice. Their Pint-Sized puppy formula is intended to suit the nutritional requirements of tiny breed puppies. This set includes 12 pre-portioned easy-open trays that eliminate the guesswork from portion proportions.
The key component in the dish is deboned chicken, which will help your puppy build and maintain the muscular structures it requires as it grows into maturity. The gravy contains delicious bits of genuine chicken that provide moisture and taste to your dog’s food.
This recipe contains vegetables and fruits like as apples and red peppers to increase nutritional levels and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and coat.
- Meals that are pre-portioned
- The first component is genuine meat.
- Simple to understand
- Specifically designed for little breeds
- Can aid in the development of muscular mass
- If there are leftovers, they are difficult to store.
- The formula is a touch runny.
- Whole mackerel, whole herring, whole redfish, silver hake, and mackerel meal are the main ingredients.
- Protein percentage: 33.0%
- 17.0% fat content
- 392 calories per cup
Our Vet’s Choice award goes to Acana’s Regionals Wild Atlantic dry dog food as the finest grain-free dog food in Canada. This kibble is produced with both fresh and raw ingredients to mimic your dog’s natural diet.
It has no artificial colors or preservatives and is strong in protein, with the first five components all being protein sources. This dish is packed with nutrients from entire vegetables, fruits, and botanicals like as collard greens, pumpkin, pears, and apples to provide your dog more nutrition and fiber.
The kibble is coated with freeze-dried cod liver to attract your dog to consume it and keep them coming back for more at mealtime. This recipe was designed to match the AAFCO nutritional profile for all life stages.
- Protein content is really high.
- Ingredients that are fresh and uncooked
- It is suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages.
- There are no artificial colors or preservatives.
- High cost
- Turkey broth, turkey, duck, turkey liver, egg whites are the main ingredients.
- 8.0% protein content
- 4.0% fat content
- 320 calories per can
Wellness Complete’s Turkey & Duck Stew is a protein-rich grain-free food designed to provide your dog a delightful supper full of chunks and tender pieces of meat. The high-quality protein is naturally lean, providing energy as well as muscular assistance.
This mixture is made with natural ingredients and includes vitamins and minerals to help your dog’s hair and skin. Cranberries are one of the essential ingredients in this recipe, and they give your dog with a high level of antioxidants.
Cranberries can improve your dog’s immune system while also preventing hazardous germs from growing in his urinary tract.
- The recipe’s thick gravy is appealing.
- There are no artificial colors or preservatives.
- Natural ingredients carefully chosen
- Promotes urinary tract health
- Some batches may be too liquid.
- Chicken, processing water, potato starch, sunflower seed oil, dicalcium phosphate are the main ingredients.
- 10% protein content
- 1.4% fat content
- Calories per can: 104
This 12-can variety pack is an excellent way to introduce your dog to the many various tastes available from Weruva. Each 5.5-ounce can has a distinct taste, and all except one (Marbella Paella) are carrageenan-free (a natural resource additive that can sometimes cause adverse side effects2).
Weruva’s canned food is not only grain- and carrageenan-free, but also MSG- and preservative-free. All the canned formulas in this variety pack are formulated with your carnivorous dog in mind so they provide a hefty source of protein and minimal carbohydrates.
Each dish has extra vitamins and minerals to give your dog with a full and balanced diet.
- Recipes without carrageenan
- The variety pack is ideal for experimenting with different tastes.
- There are no preservatives.
- Protein sources of high grade
- Pricing might be erratic.
- The major component in not all of the 12 dishes is meat.
- Lamb tripe, lamb, lamb heart, lamb liver, and lamb lung are the main ingredients.
- Protein percentage: 36.0%
- Fat percentage: 32.0%
- 295 calories per level scoop
Tripe & Lamb by Ziwi Peak is a high-protein, nutrient-dense meal that contains 96% meat, organs, bone, and green mussels. The New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels are unique to the nation and are high in glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial to your dog’s joint health and movement.
This food may be provided as a meal on its own or as a topping to your dog’s favorite grain-free wet food. Every protein source in this formula is either free-range or wild-caught, ensuring that it is supplied ethically and sustainably.
- There are no hormones or antibiotics used in the production of meat.
- High protein content
- Excellent as a dinner or as a topping
- Ethical and long-term
- Food can become crumbly.
- Beef, pork meal, sweet potato, potato, and pig fat are the main ingredients.
- 26.0% protein content
- 19.0% fat content
- 400 calories per cup
This grain- and legume-free Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red red meat dish is loaded with meat from three non-poultry animal sources: beef, hog, and lamb. This recipe contains complete prey elements such as muscle and organ meat as well as cartilage.
The formula is ideal for dogs of all ages since it is easy to digest and without extraneous fillers. The mix contains natural fiber sources and has been enriched with many vitamins and minerals to assist your dog’s overall well-being.
Taurine is incorporated to help your dog’s heart health, while omega-fatty acids help its skin and hair.
It is crucial to note that this formula fulfills AAFCO nutrition guidelines for dogs at all life stages, with the exception of giant breeds who weigh 70 pounds or more in adults.
- Excellent for dogs that are allergic to poultry.
- Whole prey components are similar to the ancient diet.
- Ingredients derived from nature
- There are no fillers.
- There aren’t many freeze-dried parts.
- Does not provide the nutritional needs of big dogs.
- Turkey, chicken, chicken broth, water, and chicken liver are the main ingredients.
- 7.5% protein content
- 5.0% fat content
- 375 calories per can
Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight recipe is made with high-quality ingredients, including turkey and chicken as core components. This formula is devoid of chicken by-product meals, maize, wheat, and soy, as well as artificial flavors and preservatives.
This recipe contains L-carnitine, an amino acid that can help your dog lose weight, as well as flax seeds for better digestion. Whole, fresh potatoes are incorporated in the recipe to give an easily digestible carbohydrate as well as vitamins B and C. This wet food may be fed alone or combined with your dog’s favorite dry kibble.
- There are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Protein sources of high grade
- Encourages a healthy weight
- Promotes intestinal health
- The formula may be watery.
- Strong odor
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