Best Grain-Free Dog Food UK 2021

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helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 21 April 2021

Have you considered a grain-free diet for your canine companion?

British dog owners have started to take pet nutrition extremely seriously over the past decade or so with a lot of information available online about pet health.

You may be accustomed to feeding your dog regular store-bought pet food without really thinking about what ingredients are used in the recipe.

If you have a dog with a food intolerance or a sensitive stomach, you may be thinking about upgrading to high-quality dog food cooked with care.

You may be surprised to learn that food allergies are responsible for approximately 10% of all allergies in dogs. Furthermore, wheat allergies make up 13% of all food allergies.

Grain is also a potential contributor to obesity in dogs. Vet Compass report that between 35%-59% of dogs in the UK are overweight or obese.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best grain-free dog food for British dogs who are looking to avoid grain in their daily diet.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. The content of our articles does not constitute veterinary advice. It’s always best to speak with your vet or a certified pet nutritionist before making any changes to your pet's diet or feeding routine.

Best Grain-Free Dog Food UK 2021

Rating Summary Website
Butternut Box Butternut Box • Rip-and-serve • Six recipes • Human grade Buy Now
Pure Pure • Air-dried food • Backed by vets • Customised Buy Now
Scrumbles Poppy's Picnic • Hypoallergenic • Wet food • Slippery elm Buy Now
Barking Heads Barking Heads • Dry food • Wet food • Sweet potato Buy Now
Different Dog Different Dog • Homecooked • Recipe variety • Eco-friendly Buy Now

What Are Grains?

Grains and cereals are commonplace in the diets of humans – and dogs. They include foods such as wheat, barley, corn, bran, oats and rice.

Healthline offer the following definition of grains:

Cereal grains (or simply grains) are small, hard and edible dry seeds that grow on grass-like plants called cereals. They are a staple food in most countries, and provide more food energy worldwide than any other food group, by far.

Grains can be an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You’ll probably be familiar with the term gluten-free. Amongst the human population, gluten-free diets have become more common as food companies cater to people with an intolerance to gluten.

Let’s take a look at how Petmd defines gluten on their website:

Gluten is simply the word that describes the protein portion of a carbohydrate. It is found in grains like wheat, rye and barley, but not in rice, oats, potatoes, and some other carbohydrate sources.

Just like humans, some dogs will eat a gluten-free diet to manage allergies or intolerances.

What Is Grain-Free Dog Food?

Golden Retriever Dog in wheat field (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever Dog in wheat field (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Grain-free dog food has become increasingly common over the past few years.

As the phrase suggests, grain-free dog food doesn’t contain any grains such as corn, wheat, rye and more.

Dog food companies who provide grain-free dog food will use meat, vegetables and other food sources rich in protein such as lentils.

Wheat and cereal food intolerances tend to be more common than wheat and cereal allergies.

However, some breeds such as Border Terriers, Irish Red Setters, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and Siberian Huskies can have an inherited allergy to wheat.

If you’ve noticed that your dog struggles with poor appetite, vomiting, farting, diarrhea, weight loss or skin problems, you could try a gluten-free diet to see if you notice a difference.

Things To Consider About Grain-Free Dog Food

There are some pros and cons where grain-free dog food is concerned.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. Our articles and the products featured in them are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems for you and/or your pet. It's always best to consult your vet regarding any health issues your pet may have.

• Reduce allergy and intolerance problems – As we’ve already touched upon, grains are a food source that can trigger allergies or intolerances.

• Tackle obesity – The carbohydrates in grain can be converted to fat because your dog is taking on more energy than they can burn off.

• Easy to digest – Grain-free diets are easier to digest so you’ll have less upset tummies.

• Don’t cause spike in blood sugar – Grain-free recipes tend to use complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index to avoid spikes in blood sugar

• Premium price – Grain-free dog food can cost more than traditional dog food given these companies use high-quality ingredients in their recipes.

• May not be suitable for all dogs – Depending on your dog’s age or other food intolerances, a grain-free diet may not be the best fit for your canine companion. You should speak to your vet for advice and guidance.

Best Grain-Free Dog Food UK – Our Pick

So, now we’ve examined some of the key things to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of grain-free dog food, it’s time to take a look at our pick of five of the best options on the market in the UK at the moment.

1) Butternut Box

Website: butternutbox.com

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper with his Butternut Box delivery (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper with his Butternut Box recipes (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

All of Butternut Box’s recipes are grain free.

Butternut Box’s team of nutritionists decided against including grains in their recipes.

The fresh dog food company use 60% meat along with fresh vegetables, botanicals and omega oils from seeds to create their tasty meals.

In particular, Butternut Box underline the important role lentils play in their range of recipes, proving a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and soluble fibre.

Butternut Box explain that their freshly prepared ingredients are gently cooked, perfectly portion and easy to digest. They promise British dog owners won’t find any nasties in their dog’s food.

The Pros

• 6 grain-free recipes (chicken, turkey, pork, fish, lamb and beef)
• Tailored to your dog’s needs
• Pre-portioned pouches
• Eco-friendly approach
• Superb customer service
• 4.9 star average rating on Trustpilot

Our readers can get 50% of their first two Butternut Box orders here

The Cons

• Premium Price
• Can only order from their website

Our Verdict

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper with his Butternut Box delivery (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper with his Butternut Box delivery (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

My two Alaskan Klee Kai are obsessed with Butternut Box’s meals.

They’ve gone from being picky eaters with sensitive tummies to food-motivated dogs who gobble down their meals.

I even had to introduce a feeding mat to slow them down!

It’s great that you can see the high quality ingredients in the meals, there’s no dog-food odor and Butternut Box have an environmentally-friendly approach to their business.

You can get 50% off your first and second Butternut Box order by clicking here

2) Pure Pet Food

Website: purepetfood.com

Alaskan Klee Kai with their Pure Pet Food (Photo: www.hellobark.com)

Alaskan Klee Kai with their Pure Pet Food (Photo: www.hellobark.com)

Pure Pet Food provide dry dog food with a twist. They use an air-dried method which ensures the ingredients are gently cooked to retain all their nutritional goodness.

Dog owners will need to add a drop of water to Pure’s air-dried food before mixing it together to create their pup’s meals.

Pure Pet Food don’t use any grains in their recipes so they’re a good option for British pet parents looking for grain-free dog food.

Their website explains that their air-dried dog food are a good option for canines with a sensitive stomachs because their recipes are grain-free.

The Pros

• Eight grain-free recipes (chicken, turkey, duck, fish and beef)
• Vegetarian mixer
• Customised to meet your dog’s needs
• High quality ingredients
• Convenient storage
• 4.9 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot

The Cons

• Costs more than store-bought dry food
• Can only order from Pure’s website
• Requires some preparation

Our Verdict

Alaskan Klee Kai with Pure Pet Food (Photo: www.hellobark.com)

Alaskan Klee Kai with Pure Pet Food (Photo: www.hellobark.com)

I was sent some Pure samples to try and their air-dried food proved a hit with my dogs.

While I prefer to feed my mini huskies fresh dog food, I can see why Pure would be a good option for British dog owners who prefer to stick with dry food.

Pure is a great alternative to kibble, using high quality ingredients that are carefully cooked.

With no grains in their recipes, Pure could be a good option for dogs with sensitive tummies.

3) Scrumbles

Website: www.scrumbles.co.uk

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper enjoyed Scrumbles (Photo: helloBARK!)

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper enjoyed Scrumbles (Photo: helloBARK!)

Scrumbles offer a range of dog food options that will be more familiar to British pet parents than fresh dog meals and air-dried dry food.

However, they’ve still got a hypoallergenic slant to their recipes.

Scrumbles have created some grain-free wet food options for dogs who require a grain-free diet.

Their website explains that their wet-food options include gut-friendly ingredients that don’t use common allergens such as gluten and grain. Scrumbles use slippery elm to help soothe tummies and support digestive health.

The Pros

• Three grain-free wet food options (salmon, turkey and chicken)
• Slippery elm to aid digestive health
• Kibble format
• Hypoallergenic qualities
• 4.6 stars on Trustpilot

The Cons

• No dry food grain-free options
• Not customised to your dog’s specific needs

Our Verdict

Scrumbles Softies (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Scrumbles Softies (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

For dog owners in the UK who prefer a wet dog food format, Scrumbles have three options to cater to canines who may benefit from hypoallergenic nosh.

While their dry food range isn’t grain free, their wet food range gets glowing five-star reviews on their website.

If you’ve got a dog who has struggled with some digestive issues, it could be worth trying Scrumbles with your vet’s backing.

4) Barking Heads

Website: www.barkingheads.co.uk

Mara the Golden Retriever with Barking Heads (Photo: hellobark.com)

Mara the Golden Retriever with Barking Heads (Photo: hellobark.com)

Barking Heads are a well-known dog food brand in the UK who have a range of dry food and wet food options for British dog owners searching for grain-free dog food.

Barking Heads offer ten grain-free wet food options and five grain-free dry food recipes.

They’ve got unrivaled versatility when it comes to the number of different options to cater to dogs who like their kibble or pups who prefer wet food without grain.

Barking Heads write on their website that they use sweet potato as an alternative to rice in their grain-free recipes.

The Pros

• 10 grain-free wet food recipes – chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, lamb
• 5 grain-free dry food recipes – duck, turkey, fish, salmon
• Senior dog and puppy recipes

The Cons

• No customization

Our Verdict

Alaskan Klee Kai with Barking Heads' Plant-Powered Pooches (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai with Barking Heads’ Plant-Powered Pooches (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Barking Heads are a well-established dog food company in the UK.

Most dog owners will probably be aware of their dry food and wet food as a premium dog food choice at local supermarkets.

However, they do cater to dogs who require grain-free diets.

You could even combine their dry and wet food together to ensure your picky eater has lots of variety in terms of flavour and textures.

5) Different Dog

Website: www.differentdog.com

Alaskan Klee Kai with Different Dog (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai with Different Dog (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)Alaskan Klee Kai with Different Dog (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Different Dog are a premium fresh dog food company who offer grain-free dog food to British canines.

Their website explains that their food is low allergen and grain free.

Different Dog use natural, single protein to cater to dogs who suffer with allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.

Their range of recipes contain at least 60% fresh meat, season fruit and vegetables, herbs, quality oils, superfoods, vitamins and minerals.

The Pros

• 10 Grain-free recipes – beef, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey
• Constantly evolving recipes
• High-quality ingredients
• Smells like real food
• Eco-friendly approach

Exclusive discount for our readers – you can get 10% off your first Different Dog order when you enter HELLOBARKCC10 at check out.

The Cons

• Expensive
• Can only order from their website
• Takes up a lot of freezer space

Our Verdict

Alaskan Klee Kai with Different Dog (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai with Different Dog (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Different Dog provide high-quality fresh dog meals that will almost certainly satisfy even the pickiest eater.

All their recipes are grain free and Different Dog regularly update the recipes on their menu.

Different Dog provide premium dog food so you’ll have to pay a premium price, while their containers aren’t the most economical in terms of freezer space.

But if you’ve got the budget and a big freezer, Different Dog won’t disappoint.

Our readers can get 10% off their first Different Dog order when you enter HELLOBARKCC10 at the checkout.

Anything Else To Consider?

If you’re worried that your dog may be suffering with a food allergy or a food intolerance, you may find it useful to purchase a dog food allergy or dog food intolerance test.

It goes without saying you should speak to your vet to learn more about food allergies and intolerance.

Your vet can also help with advice and guidance if you believe a grain-free diet is the right choice for your dog.

In Conclusion – Wrapping Up

We’ve reached the end of our article looking at the best grain-free dog food options in the UK.

There are a lot of options for British dog owners, whether you want fresh dog meals, air-dried food, kibble or wet food.

My top pick is Butternut Box for pet parents who are looking for a grain-free option.

They’ve got six grain-free recipes that can be tailored to meet your dog’s specific needs. Your dog’s meals will be stored in pre-portioned meal pouches that are easy to store in the freezer thanks to their square-shaped packaging.

While your dog can benefit from tailored grain-free fresh dog food, Butternut Box represent value for money so your dog can enjoy real food at a real good price.

However, for dog owners who prefer air-dried dog food, kibble, wet dog food or premium fresh meals, all the dog food companies in this article can cater to your needs.

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