Since discussing grain-free food, you may be wondering which products are best for your canine friend. Here I have reviewed best cheapest grain-free dog food brands and looked for the ingredients in the food and the pros and cons of each product.
Best Cheapest Grain-Free Dog Food in 2021
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free|
|Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free|
|Nature's Recipe Grain Free|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain Free|
|Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain|
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free — Best Food for Allergies
Blue Buffalo is a well-known dog food company and one of the benefits of this food is that real meat is the first ingredient namely chicken. This food also contains antioxidants called Life Source Bits. This is a blend made especially for Blue Buffalo that has vitamins and minerals that supports immune health. This brand is also formulated to be highly digestible.
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free — Most Proteins Packed
Taste of the Wild uses more unique proteins than other dog foods: venison and bison. The reason is that these proteins are more similar to what wolves would eat Taste of the Wild uses locally sourced ingredients to make their food, 32% of the food is made up of protein!
3. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free — Most Fiber Rich Dog Food
This food uses salmon as its number one ingredient The ingredients include sweet potato and pumpkin which are good sources of fiber for dogs and are easier to digest There are no added flavors or coloring.
4. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free – Most Natural Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms is a dog food that does not contain chicken. Many dogs are sensitive or allergic to chicken, and this food uses pork, beef, and lamb instead. The ingredients used in this food are healthy for a dog’s immune and digestive system such as peas and sweet potato.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain — Most Affordable Dog Food
Rachel Ray is a well-known celebrity chef with a love for dogs, especially her dog Isaboo. She created her own line of dog food with all natural ingredients. This food uses farm-raised salmon as its number one ingredient Peas and sweet potatoes are the ingredients used for carbohydrates.
Why Does My Dog Need Grain Free Dog Food?
You may have seen grain-free dog food on the shelves or heard of grain free foods through television, the Internet and magazines. What is grain free food? Grain free food is dog food that does not contain common grain ingredients such a barely, wheat or corn. Since dogs evolved from wolves, the majority of their diet should be meat-based. Grain-free food arose from consumers concerns about how grains might be harmful to their dog since gluten allergies have come to the forefront in humans.
Grain-Free Food: What is It?
Grain-free dog food was developed when dogs with allergies showed sensitivity to many of the most commonly used grains in dog food: corn, barely, and wheat. Wolves in the wild would not encounter these products, so most consumers wanted a food without grain especially for dogs with gluten allergies and sensitive stomachs. Grain-free food does contain carbohydrates. The deference is that these foods use easily digestible carbs such as sweet potatoes, peas, and pumpkin. Most grain-free dog foods use high quality protein such as beef, lamb, chicken, salmon, or venison.
Many grain-free food contain protein that is more easily digestible (many dogs cannot digest chicken) such as salmon, turkey, or venison. Many types of grain-free foods are made by smaller companies which produce less dog food, but the food that is produced is of a higher quality.
What to Know Before Switching to a Grain-Free Diet
If your dog has allergies or a highly sensitive stomach, then grain-free may be the right food. Many dog breeds are known to have “leaky gut” syndrome. This is where the dog has digestion difficulties that can lead to gas or skin problems. Some breeds effected are Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Dalmatians, Schnauzers, and Cocker Spaniels among other breeds.
One of the most pressing questions is will grain-free food give my dog heart disease? This question arose after a veterinary publication showed that some grain-free foods contributed to heart disease in some dog breeds like Golden Retrievers. Is this true? One reason is that some dog food manufacturers did not include enough protein leading to turbine deficiency in dogs’.
The most important aspect is to be sure a grain-free food does not contain a large amount of legumes and has a high protein content. Dog owners who are concerned about the taurine content can add protein to their dog’s kibble such as beef or lamb. Veterinarians also suggest using sardines, scallops, or clams. Dog owners should consult with their veterinarian before they make a switch to a grain-free food to be sure its right for their dog. Dog owners should also understand a switch in food must occur gradually. The owner would use half the old food and half the new food for two weeks and then gradually phase out the old food with the new food. Switching to one new food suddenly can cause gastric upset in dogs.
What to Look For in the Best Affordable Grain-Free Food
One of the most important things owners need to look for is the ingredients used in the dog food. Protein should make up the highest portion of the dog food, and dog owners will want to avoid dog food that says meat meal instead of just the meat. Grain-free diets should also avoid the use of legumes as the primary substitute for grain such as peas and potatoes. Although many grain-free dog foods do have these ingredients they should not make up the bulk of the food. Owners should also take note of their dog’s life stage: puppy, adult and senior. The owner needs to select a food based on the dog’s needs. A puppy will need much food to generate muscle growth than a senior dog. A dog that is used for sports or a female dog that is pregnant are also special diet concerns.
What is the Cheapest Grain-Free Food
A dog owner should be careful when looking at food as some foods that are grain-free might not actually be grain free. However, the best grain free food is that that fits within the owner’s budget Owners must also consider that some grain-free foods may not be available in supermarkets and must be either ordered online or at specialty pet stores. For the dog owner looking to find a grain-free food available in many grocery stores. Rachel Ray’s line of dog food is an affordable source. Taste of the Wild is a bit more pricey but contains quality ingredients and is a protein-rich food. Taste of the Wild can be found at most specialty pet stores.
Why Is It Important to Pick the Best Grain Free Food
A dog’s health is the primary concern when looking at the best food for you dog. If a owner does not choose carefully dogs can suffer from allergies, dietary issues, ear infections, and even heart issues. A quality grain-free food will keep a dog around the same weight The dog should neither be too skinny or too fat but their ideal weight (this can vary a bit). A dog that is on the right diet will have a shiny and soft coat bright eyes, and have energy. They will not seem lethargic. Some gas is unavoidable, but the dog should not have excessive gas or extremely foul smelling gas. If this happens, the food is not right for your dog.
Food should also be chosen with your dog’s breed in mind. Some dogs are more prone to health issues such as Labs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds,. and Boxers. Before switching to a grain-free diet the owner should consult with their veterinarian to be sure the switch is healthy and to see whether the dog needs any supplements (such as protein) to keep the dog healthy. A dog that is used for hunting, dock diving, or other high energy sports will need a different type of food than a companion dog.
Understanding Dilated Cardiomyopathy In Dogs
What is dilated cardiomyopathy? This is a common condition in many dogs where the muscles of the heart will weaken and the muscles of the heart begin to become thin. The dog’s heart will become enlarged and makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. DCM is often genetic. Some dogs breeds are more susceptible such as Golden Retrievers, Labs, Irish Wolfhounds, and Saint Bernards. The disease tends to show up in middle-aged or senior dogs. There is a link between taurine and DCM, especially among Golden Retrievers. Many dogs with DCM had low taurine levels.
Obesity is one problem that can contribute to DCM. Some breeds are more prone to obesity including Labs and Golden Retrievers. Free feeding is not recommended as it is difficult to monitor a dog’s food intake. One way to help avoid DCM is to keep a dog at an ideal weight The more fat a dog has the harder the heart has to work to pump blood into the body. Golden Retrievers are genetically prone to taurine deficiency and should be carefully monitored. This can be avoided by choosing a protein-rich food or supplementing the existing dog food with proteins such as scallops or clams.
What symptoms will a dog show? There are several symptoms including lethargy, coughing, breathing difficulties, and collapsing. A vet will diagnose DCM through blood tests, x-rays, and taurine testing levels.
What Kind of Carbohydrates are Grain Free?
As stated above, diets high in legumes and starches have a higher incidence in DCM. Some of the best carbs for dogs focus on natural fruits and vegetables. Apples, watermelon, and bananas are excellent sources of vitamins and fiber. Pumpkin is also a good option for many dogs because it helps with digestive health. Vegetables are another choice in cart, healthy dog foods. Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans are good alternatives to peas and sweet potatoes.
Grain-free foods strive to avoid common ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest the most common being corn or wheat Much of the grain produced for dog food is genetically modified, and many owners want to avoid this when feeding their dogs. Soy is another ingredient common in many dog foods but absent in most grain-free dog foods.
What are the Benefits of a Grain-Free Diet?
One of the biggest benefits is that grain-free diets tend to help dogs that have allergies or digestive issues. Skin issues are a common issue in many dogs such as Golden Retrievers or West Highland Terriers, and grain-free food does help relieve these kinds of allergies. Grain-free food gives a dog energy because the content does not digest as quickly as traditional dog food. Because grain-free contains fewer easily digestible carbs, a dog’s blood sugar level remains more consistent. Thus, grain-free food may be a good option for dogs with diabetes. Although a owner with a diabetic dog may consider grain-free diets, he or she needs to be aware of the types of carbs in the food. Potatoes in general are one carb that can make a dog’s blood sugar spike, so these grain-free foods are best to avoid in diabetic dogs.
Grain-free food also helps with a dog’s dental health. Many carbs will cause plaque and tartar to build up on a dog’s teeth. This can lead to periodontal disease, which is common among most dogs over age three. Periodontal disease is where bacteria develop in a dog’s mouth leading to tartar build-up. These harmful bacteria can travel in the bloodstream to other parts of a dog’s body including the heart and kidneys. The bacteria can eventually get underneath a dog’s gums and cause root recession. This can lead to teeth having to be extracted. Less buildup is evident with grain-free dog food, although the owner should still brush their dog’s teeth every couple of days.
Grain-free foods are easier for dogs to digest and cause less gas than other foods. Some flat-nosed breeds are more disposed to be gassy (they take in more air when they eat) and grain-free food may be a good option. It also helps a dog to have less waste and more compact stools. A dog’s digestive system can have difficult with complex grains such as wheat or corn but the carbs used in grain-free diets are easier to break down and digest This also allows for a slower digestive time which allows a dog to feel full for a longer period of time.
Dog owners should also look for food that is made in the U.S.A. Food manufactured in China or other countries may not have the same nutritional standards and health practices as those mandated in the U.S.A. Dog food products made in China have been recalled for poisoning dogs. Dog food made in the U.S. must meet minimum guidelines for consumption. The AAFCO (The American Association of American Feed Control Officials) is an association responsible for examining pet food and making sure it means standards. Any grain-free dog food should be approved by AAFCO
What is the most inexpensive grain-free food?
The brands that tend to be the least expensive will be from larger companies that are found in most supermarkets. Foods such as Blue Buffalo and Rachel Ray are two examples of this. Many big name brand dog food companies such as Purina and lams have grain-free lines that are affordable.
What is the healthiest and cheapest grain-free dog food?
Purina Beyond Grain-Free is one of the most inexpensive and healthier food options, although Rachel Ray has grain-free food that is of a similar price and has good ingredients.
What is the least inexpensive dry dog food?
Purina Beyond Grain-Free or Rachel Ray Zero
What ingredients go into the best cheap grain-free food?
The first ingredient will always be a high quality protein (such as turkey). This dog food also contains essential amino acids in the form of flaxseed and has carbs in the form of potatoes and peas.
What is the best grain-free puppy food?
Nature’s Recipe and Rachel Ray’s line of dog food have options for puppies and are found in supermarkets. Taste of the Wild has superior quality, but is more expensive and more difficult to find.
Can I make my own dog food?
I would not recommend this as it can be difficult to balance the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to keep a dog healthy. Dog food companies have researchers available and veterinary experts. Homemade diets can lack calcium, taurine, or other nutrients dogs need.
Grain-Free Food: Yes or No?
A grain-free food can be a good diet for certain types of dogs. Those with skin allergies and digestive issues will benefit the most from these types of diets. Some dogs, especially those with obesity problems, may also benefit from grain-free diets. The dog owner should carefully research any potential food to be sure of its ingredients and whether it fits the dog’s needs and life stage. Grain-free dog foods can be more expensive at many tend to be made by smaller companies, however, there are name brand companies that do make grain-free food.
Dog owners also need to keep their dog’s breed in mind as certain dog breeds have genetic problems such as Golden Retrievers, Labs, and Cocker Spaniels. Their taurine levels need to be monitored closely. Many flat-nosed breed can benefit from easily digestible ingredients in grain-free foods as these dogs are more prone to have gas by gulping down air when they eat Dog owners may need to supplement the dog’s food with protein such as clams or scallops.
A dog owner should look for general signs of good health in their dog including shiny and soft coat, bright eyes, sufficient energy level, and normal stool level. Dogs should not have loose stools or excessive gas. Grain-free food can have benefits including less dental disease, more natural carbs for dogs, and are easier to digest
Dog owners should not try to make their own homemade dog food as they may not be balanced and contain all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to keep a dog healthy. Dog food manufactures have the benefit of testing and nutritional experts to keep a dog’s diet balanced and to keep the food high-quality.
If dog owners are aware of all the potential cons and pros of the food, then grain-free food may be a good diet for their dog. Many owners see healthy changes in their dog including a higher energy level, healthy skin and coat and less stool volume.