Here is my detailed guide to the best potato free dog food in 2021.
With the spread of grain-free diets, potatoes have also become increasingly popular in the dog food industry. Although this plant contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber, there are
more valuable carbohydrate sources. Also, some dogs are sensitive to potatoes and cannot digest them properly.
Whatever your reason for eliminating this plant from your puppy’s diet, you’ll find the best potato-free products in this article.
My favorite is the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe. But my list also includes dog food specifically for small breeds, seniors, and puppies.
I also write about the pros and cons of potatoes in dog food. So if you are interested in detail on the topic, be sure to read on.
What are the best Potato Free Dog Foods?
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe
- American Journey All Life Stages Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley
- ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner
- Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
- Zignature Zssential Multi-Protein Formula
- CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Recipe
- Earthborn Holistic Venture Alaska Pollock Meal & Pumpkin
- VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula
Best potato free dog food
Potatoes are a fairly common ingredient in the dog food industry. So I had to take some time to find the best recipes for you. Below you can see my reviews of the top 10 potato-free dog foods.
Merrick has a lot of good-quality food. The recipe just reviewed does not contain potatoes. Instead, it is full of healthy carbohydrate sources. Examples are brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and quinoa.
These are all grains that are easily digestible and contain vitamins and minerals. Besides, they have a significant dietary fiber content, which has a good effect on digestion.
The first ingredient in the product and its main source of protein is Deboned Chicken. It is easily digestible meat that contains all the essential amino acids for your dog.
Additional protein sources include Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, and Salmon Meal. In addition to meat, meals contain other parts of the animal, such as cartilage.
For this reason, they can be considered as excellent sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds play an important role in the healthy functioning of the joints.
The product contains several sources of fat. Chicken Fat, Salmon Meal, Flaxseed, and Sunflower Oil provide adequate balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content.
These fatty acids promote the health of dogs’ brains, skin, and coats. Also, they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, the ingredients include added minerals, vitamins, and probiotics. By choosing a Merrick product, you can be sure that you are buying wholesome, balanced, and healthy food for your dog.
If you are looking for a potato-free recipe for dogs of all sizes and stages of life, be sure to consider the American Journey product. This company was founded not too long ago and is owned by Chewy. On the other hand, it makes great products from quality ingredients.
The recipe just reviewed contains sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. It is an excellent digestible carbohydrate source with a better nutritional value than potatoes. Contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Other carbohydrate sources are Peas and Chickpeas. They are well digestible and rich in legumes. Fiber is not an essential nutrient for dogs, but it is necessary for proper digestion.
The main protein sources of the product are Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal. Lamb is very well-digestible meat and rarely causes sensitization or allergies in dogs.
Meals are excellent sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. That way, you don’t have to worry about the integrity of your dog’s joints.
The main sources of fat are Chicken Meal, Salmon Oil, and Flaxseed. Each of these contains many useful fatty acids that are very important for the health of the eyes, brain, skin, and coat. Plus, Chicken Fat makes the food very tasty.
There is no complaint about the vitamin and mineral content of the recipe. This is because the ingredients include fresh fruits (e.g., blueberries) and vegetables (e.g., Carrots).
Together with the added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, these ensure that your dog’s immune system is working perfectly.
I recommend this product to those whose small breed dog is on a potato-free diet. Of course, larger dogs can eat it, but kibble size is formulated specifically for small dogs.
Taste of the Wild recipes usually gives what the brand name refers to. The manufacturer tries to imitate dogs’ ancient diet with some simple sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It succeeds as this company is top-rated in the pet food industry.
Instead of potatoes, the main carbs are Garbanzo Beans, Peas, and Lentils. These legumes contain plenty of fiber to support proper digestion. Also, their vitamin and mineral content is adequate.
The main source of protein is Venison, which is called a novel protein. Many dog owners love it because it rarely causes sensitivity or intolerance in dogs.
Another source of protein is Lamb Meal, which is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. This way, the joints of your small breed dog will also be supported. And Egg Product is an animal resource with excellent biological value.
Canola Oil and Ocean Fish Meal are perfectly balanced sources of omega fatty acids. They also make this dog food delicious. And fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as added probiotics, support your pooch’s immune system.
If you want to feed your dog a biologically appropriate diet, be sure to follow Orijen’s recipe. This dish consists of 85% animal ingredients. The remaining 15% are healthy carbohydrates, fat sources, vegetables, and prebiotics.
Carbohydrate sources include legumes such as Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Whole Green Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, and Whole Chickpeas. These are very nutritious and high-fiber options for a potato-free diet.
The main protein sources are Deboned Chicken and Deboned Turkey, which are not only tasty but easily digestible and nutritious meats.
Also, there are, for example, Flounder, Eggs, and Whole Atlantic Mackerel, and Herring. Fish contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which has a good effect on the skin and coat of dogs and the health of the overalls.
But it’s not just real meats in the recipe. The internal organs of different poultry (Heart, Liver, Cartilage, etc.) contain many valuable amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Cartilage is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which has been shown to have a good effect on joint health.
This all gives the product a 38% total protein content, which is quite impressive. Animal sources also contain fats (Fish Oil), but there are also fat sources added to the ingredients. For example, Chicken Fat or Pollock Oil. They are also precious sources of omega fatty acids.
The kibbles are coated with the freeze-dried liver. Thanks to this, you can be sure that your dog will get a nutritious and healthy diet and a tasty diet without potatoes.
This Blue Buffalo wet food is ideal for adult dogs of all sizes. It does not contain wheat, corn, and soy, so that pooches can consume it with sensitive stomachs.
No potatoes in it; the carbs are given by Carrots, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Barley, and Oatmeal. These sources have an excellent effect on digestion, are rich in fiber, and provide important vitamins and minerals.
The main source of protein is chicken, which is high-quality meat. Together with Chicken Broth, they give the product a perfect taste. And Chicken Liver contains plenty of essential fatty acids as well as other useful micronutrients.
Ingredients include added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals to make your entire diet even healthier. Highly recommended product!
This member of my list is a Nutro product developed specifically for senior dogs. Older dogs have a slower metabolism, which means they need fewer calories.
Also, in their case, special attention should be paid to the health of the joints. Therefore, the product made for them must contain the right amount of glucosamine.
For Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food, these two things are true, as it has a calorie content of 316 kcal/cup, and Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, and Lamb Meal also contain adequate amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Another major protein source is Chicken, which supplies your old pooch with all the important amino acids.
The recipe is potato-free, with carbohydrate sources like Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, or Oatmeal. They are very healthy whole grains, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Chicken Fat, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed, and Fish Oil are very healthy sources of fat. They contain many omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which is also of paramount importance for elderly dogs.
And because of the added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals, you can be sure that your senior canine gets all the nutrients it needs for a healthy immune system to function.
The Zignature potato-free recipe was developed for adult dogs and puppies. As with other premium dog foods, no harmful fillers or artificial additives occur here. Let’s look at the ingredients:
There are several high-quality sources of protein: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Salmon, Lamb Meal, Duck Meal. These are all meats that are easy to digest, lean, and contain all the vital amino acids to build and maintain muscle.
Also, meals are pretty good sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is good for joint health.
Instead of potatoes, we find sources of carbs like Chickpeas, Peas, and their flour forms. These legumes contain a lot of fiber, which has a good effect on the digestive system. Their vitamin and mineral content is also much higher than that of potatoes.
The product also contains added fat in the form of Flaxseed and Salmon Oil. Both are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote dogs’ coats and skin, so it’s good to have them in a diet.
The recipe also contains added vitamins, minerals, amino acids (Taurine), making it balanced and healthy.
Limited ingredient diets are suitable for dogs that have a sensitive stomach. Due to the few ingredients, it is possible to filter out protein or carbohydrate sources that can cause digestive problems. This Canidae product is designed for adult dogs of all sizes.
The main source of protein is Chicken, which is an easily digestible nutritious meat. This is followed by Chicken Meal, which supports dogs’ joints thanks to its glucosamine and chondroitin content.
Instead of potatoes, we find Lentils, Peas, and Garbanzo Beans, which are fantastic sources of carbs. They are low glycemic yet contain a lot of fiber and other useful nutrients.
Chicken Fat and Flaxseed are the main sources of fat. Both are healthy and nutritious, and flaxseed balances the omega-3 fatty acid content of the diet. This is very beneficial for the skin and coat of dogs.
In addition to the benefits mentioned so far, the recipe contains many added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. This assures us that our dog’s immune system will function perfectly.
This product also contains limited ingredients, so if your dog has a sensitive stomach, be sure to consider it.
It does not contain any harmful or questionable ingredients. No wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, or colorants.
There is only one source of protein in it, namely the Alaska Pollock Meal. It is a fish with excellent meat that is even significant in omega-3 content. This has a good effect on the brain’s health, skin, coat, and dogs’ overall health.
Sunflower Oil and Flaxseed balance omega fatty acids.
The recipe does not contain potatoes. Instead, carbohydrates are provided by Pumpkin and Tapioca. They are great digestible carbohydrates, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The product already contains vitamins, probiotics, and minerals. Thanks to this, you can establish the health of your dog’s immune system with this diet.
The last member of my list is a Victor product that is extremely nutritious yet high in protein and fat. Therefore, it is ideal for growing dogs and the very active, such as sporting dogs or hunting dogs.
Protein sources are practically just meals: Beef Meal, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal, and Menhaden Fish Meal. They provide your dog with amino acids and glucosamine, and chondroitin, which support the joints.
The carbohydrate sources are Sorghum and Millet. Both are grains that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to keep potatoes out of your dog’s diet, these are excellent alternatives.
The product also contains Chicken Fat, various fiber sources, added vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and probiotics. Together, they make this Victor recipe a properly balanced food.
Are Potatoes Good For Dogs?
The question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Potatoes have advantageous and less advantageous properties.
This plant contains a lot of fiber, which is an essential nutrient for healthy digestion.
Potatoes also contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Of course, some other plants and meats contain more of these valuable nutrients. But I think potatoes can be considered an acceptable source of nutrients in these respects.
It is also worth mentioning that they are low in sugar and low in carbohydrates compared to their weight. Potatoes also have a protein content, and many manufacturers put potato protein in their products.
I don’t think I will reveal a huge novelty by saying that this type of protein can’t be utilized properly by dogs. Dogs are biologically closer to eating meat. This means that the best sources of protein for them are meats and other animal foods.
Potato starch is also an ingredient that many manufacturers put in their products. It is a very well-utilized source of energy. However, it does not contain any other useful nutrients, so it is devoid of everything that makes it possible to view potatoes positively.
The truth is that manufacturers put potato starch and potato protein as cheap fillers in dog food. This will ensure that a particular product’s protein or caloric content is more advantageous in the guaranteed analysis.
Regarding potatoes, I should also mention solanine. It is a glycoalkaloid that is toxic to both dogs and humans.
Many such compounds in potatoes can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. By cooking or frying, the solanine content of potatoes is significantly reduced.
And then why do I mention it here anyway? Many dog owners prefer a raw food diet for dogs. There is nothing wrong with this if the diet is properly thought out. However, the raw diet should not include raw potatoes.
In summary, Potatoes are a moderately nutritious source of carbohydrates whose by-products (potato protein or potato starch) are worth avoiding in dog food. This is because they do not add anything to the nutrient content of the product.
By the way, potatoes are not a very common allergen in dogs, but they can be sometimes. In this case, you should clearly avoid this ingredient from your pooch diet.
What about sweet potatoes for dogs?
Sweet potatoes can be considered as healthier and more nutritious alternatives than white potatoes.
They contain more dietary fiber, which, while not essential for dogs, nonetheless contributes to digestive health.
Also, sweet potatoes contain several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. These vitamins have a positive effect on the immune system and the health of the skin and coat.
Because of the benefits listed above, more and more commercial dog foods contain sweet potatoes instead of white fries.
Potatoes and canine heart disease
The FDA has received many reports of a disease called canine dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a condition that can cause heart enlargement and even heart failure.
This heart disease has occurred quite often in some breeds. Such breeds include Labrador Retriever, Shih Tzu, Bulldog, and Miniature Schnauzer.
Reports have, in many cases, linked this to potatoes. That’s why the FDA has been investigating the matter since June 2018.
Of all the grain-free carbohydrate sources, potatoes have become the most suspect because it is primarily used to replace grains in dogs’ diets.
The truth is that the investigation has been going on ever since. However, so far, it has not been possible to clearly confirm whether there is any correlation between the above disease and the grain-free diet (or potatoes).
I personally do not consider it necessary to avoid grains. If your dog is not allergic to them, you can safely buy food that contains these carbohydrate sources. And instead of potatoes, I find sweet potatoes safer.
What are The Best Alternatives to Potatoes in Dog Food?
We discussed the pros and cons of potatoes in a dog’s diet. However, let’s look at some possible healthy options to replace this plant in your dog’s food.
Some people do not recommend grains in the diet of dogs. This is because many dogs are sensitive or allergic to these carbohydrate sources.
I think if that’s not the case with your dog, you have no reason to buy grain-free food for him. This is especially true when a canine is allergic to potatoes or legumes. In such a case, it is certainly inevitable to consider a grain-inclusive diet.
However, it’s important to know, which carbohydrate source you should prefer. Be sure to avoid wheat and corn. These are cheap fillers without proper nutritional value. Besides, in many cases, they are also allergens.
Instead, choose a dog food that contains oats or brown rice. Not only are they highly digestible, but they also contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Legumes are included as an ingredient in a great many high-quality dog foods. This is no wonder, as they have a lot of positive qualities.
They contain a lot of fiber, which has an excellent effect on digestion. They also have a high protein content and contain essential amino acids for many dogs.
They also contain vitamins and minerals such as manganese, vitamin K, and vitamin B1.
Also, due to their high fiber content, their glycemic index is also low. This is good news for diabetic or overweight dogs.
The most common legumes found in dog food are peas, lentils, and chickpeas. But kidney beans and mung beans also occur in the products of some brands.
If you’re looking for potato-free dog food, you’re almost certain to get some legumes. If you can, avoid by-products (pea protein) made from them. Strive for whole legumes because they have the highest nutritional value.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain a lot of starch. But tapioca is also a rich source of this nutrient. Therefore, this root vegetable can be found in some products.
Its nutrient content is similar to that of potatoes. In addition, it is an excellent source of iron and calcium.
Avoid dog foods that are high in by-products, such as tapioca starch. This is because starch only adds calories to food, not nutrients. Find a product that contains whole sweet potatoes or whole tapioca.
Pumpkin is a valuable source of nutrients. It contains a lot of fiber, which is good news for dogs who have diarrhea or constipation. It also contains many vitamins and weights. Squashes are similar to pumpkins (butternut squash, acorn squash).
Frequently asked questions
You are sure to have questions about this topic. That is why I have compiled the section below.
Are grain-free diets good for dogs?
Dilated cardiomyopathy has been reported in many dogs in recent years. The FDA has launched an investigation into the matter. Many experts suspect that grain-free diets are responsible for the diseases. However, this has not been confirmed to date. I personally think that if your dog isn’t allergic to grains, you don’t have to switch to a grain-free diet.
Which is better for dogs, rice or potatoes?
Both carbohydrate sources contain nutrients that are useful for dogs. Brown rice is better than white rice. And prefer sweet potatoes over white fries.
Why are potatoes bad for dogs?
If your dog is not sensitive, boiled or fried potatoes should not be a problem. However, never feed your dog raw potatoes. This is because it contains solanine, which can cause various digestive and stomach problems. By cooking or baking, much of the solanine disappears.
My final choice
Potatoes are not necessarily an ingredient to avoid in a dog’s diet. However, there are better carbohydrate sources with better nutritional value. The products in my article had such carbohydrate sources.
My favorite of these is the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe. Brown rice contains many fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it one of the best sources of nutrients.
But the ingredients also include barley, oatmeal, and quinoa, which have similarly high nutritional values.
If you are looking for grain-inclusive potato-free dog food, be sure to consider this Merrick product.