Edited by: Mike Powell
There’s a big craze right now for dog foods containing vegetables instead of grains, which is great and generally quite healthy for your dog. Potatoes, however, can be a problem veggie that do more harm than good to your pup’s stomach. Not all dogs will react badly to potatoes, but it’s one of the more common food intolerances and if you aren’t sure about your pet’s tummy, it may be a good idea to avoid them altogether.
When choosing to feed your dog a potato-free dog food, you’ll need to make sure they’re still getting great, healthy carb sources in the form of other vegetables and fruits. You should also make sure that no potato by-product sneaks in there, such as potato protein or potato starch. Apart from that, a great food should contain high-quality animal protein sources and fat sources in addition to the healthy carbohydrates.
We’ve listed the best potato-free dog food on the market at the moment, and you’ll find something for every dog here. No matter your pup’s breed, age, activity level, or size, if you’re thinking of switching to a potato-free dog food, check out the list and decide what you (and your pooch) would prefer.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Featured Recommendations
2 10 Best Potato-Free Dog Food
- 2.1 1. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 2.2 2. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- 2.3 3. Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe
- 2.4 4. Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food
- 2.5 5. Taste Of The Wild Grain-Free High-Protein Small Breed Recipe
- 2.6 6. Orijen Dry Dog Food
- 2.7 7. Merrick Dry Dog Food With Healthy Grains
- 2.8 8. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
- 2.9 9. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food
- 2.10 10. Canidae Pure Real Chicken Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
- 3 Testing Protocal & Criteria Used For Evaluation
4 Questions & Answers
- 4.1 Are potatoes a nutritious dog food ingredient?
- 4.2 Are potatoes linked to heart disease in dogs?
- 4.3 Are sweet potatoes in the same boat?
- 4.4 How do I know if the dog food I currently buy contains potatoes?
- 4.5 What are the best ingredients to replace potatoes in dog food?
- 4.6 What’s the best way to change my dog’s diet to potato-free dog food?
10 Best Potato-Free Dog Food
1. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
Best Potato-Free Dog Food For Puppies: With near-perfect protein and fat numbers for pups
You won’t find a better potato-free puppy food on the market right now than this one. Packed with superior-quality ingredients, with near-perfect protein and fat numbers for growing pups, and other puppy-specific additions, this food is both highly nutritious and quite affordable in comparison to others, and your pup will get everything he needs in this kibble.
Formulated For Growing Puppies
Puppies need a decently high protein count, as well as a fairly high fat content in a food. Both of these are perfectly adequate in this food, and there are also some additions that are greatly beneficial for developing puppies, no matter what size or breed.
A puppy food is not a great quality food unless it contains DHA, which this one does. This is necessary for helping a little dog’s eyes and brain to develop properly and healthily, and is an essential thing to see on a label for puppy food. Glucosamine and chondroitin is also fantastic in a puppy food, regardless of whether the pup is a small or large breed. The calcium/phosphorus ratio is also great to grow strong, sturdy bones.
Real meat kicks off the ingredient list, followed by a few meat meals that contribute quite significantly to the protein count of 30%. Peas, chickpeas, sweet potato, blueberries and carrots bring healthy carbs, antioxidants, and plenty of vitamins and minerals to the mix. The fat sources are super, with chicken fat, flaxseed, and salmon oil. Your pup will grow happily and healthily eating this food, and you won’t be breaking the bank either.
2. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Premium Option: Biologically appropriate
Acana and Orijen dog foods are made by the same company, and both of them show a superior quality to many dog foods out there. They are created to mirror the diet of a wild dog, as our domesticated pets originated from that kind of diet in the wild. This particular range is limited ingredient and filled to the brim with healthy, nutritious ingredients. There are a few different flavours, none of which include grains, potatoes, or poultry products.
Single Source Protein
Each flavour uses a single source of protein, although they may come in various forms. For example, the duck and pear flavour makes use of deboned duck, duck meal, duck liver, and duck cartilage to make up the high protein count (31%). This is great as it leaves no chance of your pup reacting badly to an ingredient that can’t really be identified. Should your dog have a bad reaction to one of the foods, there are a few other flavours they can try that will give them just as much nutritious value.
Suitable For All Dogs, All Ages, All Sizes
The ingredients are of fantastic quality, and being limited ingredient, minus grains, poultry, and potato means that there is little to no chance of this disrupting your pet’s digestive system. The Omega fatty acid levels, DHA and EPA, and dose of glucosamine make this a great option for your dog no matter their breed, size, age, or activity level.
3. Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe
Best Low Protein: Ideal for dogs who need to be on a low-protein diet
If your dog has been recommended a low-protein diet, a potato-free food is a good idea to limit any further possible food-related problems. This food contains grains but is perfectly healthy, and also uses great quality animal proteins and fruits and vegetables. These provide all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants a pup may need, and at a great price, meaning this food is suitable for dogs on a low-protein diet and owners on a budget.
Perfect Nutrient Values For Dogs On A Low Protein Diet
With 23% protein, this one’s on the lower end of the spectrum but is perfect for dogs who need less. The best thing about it is that the fat content is still decent, at 13%, meaning that your pooch will still be able to get a decent amount of expendable energy from burning that fat and won’t necessarily need as much protein.
L-Carnitine and Glucosamine
The other numbers are just as good, including the addition of L-carnitine, which is very health-promoting. Glucosamine and chondroitin are always good to see, as are high Omega fatty acid levels.
4. Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food
Best Value For Money: Very affordable
This food from Victor may not contain real meat, but it’s high in protein and fat and very digestible. It contains a select few gluten-free grains, such as sorghum and millet, which are easy to digest and provide good energy. There are no fruits or vegetables added on top of this, which is not necessary considering the nutrients but is noticeable.
Meat Meal Benefits
Although this food doesn’t contain real meat, there are various meat meals high on the ingredient list. Meat meal is quite easy to digest, which is advantageous, and is almost 4 times higher in protein than actual meat, which makes it easy to get a great protein count for fewer calories.
Menhaden fish meal is also not only a great source of protein, but it adds a good bit of DHA, which is more commonly found in foods aimed at puppies but is a perfectly good thing to have in a general food aimed at any life stage. One thing to be aware of is that it also contains blood meal, which is an animal by-product. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, as long as it comes from a decent source, if you aren’t keen on your pup eating a biologically-appropriate type diet, then you may want to reconsider this one (although it is a great source of protein and nutrients).
Great Quality Ingredients For Less Money
This food comes in the biggest bag we’ve seen (50 pounds), and it will cost you just over a dollar per pound. You can also buy a 40 pound, 15 pound, or 5 pound bag, but why go small when you can go big for such a great cost?
The ingredient list on this food is good enough to make the list of best potato-free dog food, and the superior price is what puts it in our best value for money spot. If you’re looking for something high-quality, high-protein, high-fat, and potato-free, that’s not going to cost you a fortune, this is the one to go for.
5. Taste Of The Wild Grain-Free High-Protein Small Breed Recipe
Best For Small Breeds: Specially formulated for small breed dogs
This high-protein, high-fat, potato-free recipe is geared towards small breed dogs. Its protein and fat content are both right in the perfect area for little pups with lots of energy, and the ingredient list is filled with quality animal proteins and dense carbs that avoid both potato and sweet potato. If you want to start feeding your small breed pooch a potato-free dog food, this one would be a super option.
Great Numbers For Active Little Dogs
32% protein coming from one real meat source and a few meat meal sources is a pretty good number for healthy, average sized small breeds. 18% fat is also a fantastic count as this will be absorbed quickly and outputted as active energy. The Omega fatty acid levels are great, which helps keep your little one’s coat and skin healthy and hydrated and also assists in digestion.
Potato-Free Carb Sources
This food not only avoids potato in any form, but also leaves sweet potato out of the equation. The carbs it does contain include garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils, as well as tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries, which bring a nice splash of antioxidants.
Other carb sources include pea flour and pea protein, which are the pea-related equivalents of potato flour and potato protein, which are lesser-quality by-product ingredients. While these have nothing to do with potatoes, they’re still considered to be of lesser quality and nutritional value than the whole food products, This isn’t necessarily a problem in this case, though, as there are great carb sources up near the top of the ingredient list.
6. Orijen Dry Dog Food
Best For Active Dogs: Packed with wholesome ingredients
Orijen dog food is packed with high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients, and as such has been named the best option for active dogs. The ingredient list is long, but everything on it has nutritional value. No matter the flavour, these foods contain multiple animal protein sources and a stack of healthy fruits and vegetables. There is no hint of potato in any form, and they also steer clear of sweet potato, which is great because even though sweet potato is a decent ingredient, this food proves that other vegetables can be even more nutritious and packed with health benefits.
Great Numbers for Active Dogs
The Original flavour contains a whopping 38% protein, which is fantastic for active dogs who will be getting plenty of exercise. That protein comes from a variety of sources – chicken, turkey, flounder, and mackerel in this particular recipe. Orijen is a biologically appropriate food that uses muscle meat, fat, organ meat, and bone in their recipes, so don’t be alarmed if you spot a meaty ingredient that sounds like it shouldn’t be there. Heart meat, liver, and cartilage are all normal and high-protein ingredients that are great for energetic, hungry pets.
18% fat is also a great count as it will be metabolized into energy to fuel your pup’s activity. This comes from premium sources and, in addition to the carbs on the list, is greatly beneficial to your pet’s diet.
This is a potato-free dog food and, unlike many others, also avoids sweet potato as a carb source. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, though, as the list of carbohydrates present in this food is quite something. Lentils (red and green), peas, chickpeas, a variety of beans, pumpkin, butternut squash, and various other vegetables and fruits make this a super nutrient-dense food that your dog will only benefit from.
7. Merrick Dry Dog Food With Healthy Grains
Best With Grains: High in protein and fat
Most of Merrick’s foods do contain potatoes, but this one is focused on healthy grains in order to be a lower glycemic option. It comes in chicken or beef flavours, with the beef containing no poultry ingredients whatsoever in order to cater for pups who may be sensitive to poultry. The grains are high-quality, and include brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and quinoa. Quinoa is technically not a grain, but experts are not sure in which category to place it. The fact remains, though, that it’s super healthy and easy for your pooch to digest, so if your pet is okay with grains, this food gets a thumbs-up.
High-Quality Ingredient List
As with all premium dog foods, this one features real meat first on the ingredient list. It also contains a few different meat meals, which accounts for the high protein content (30%). Another super thing about this food is that grains aren’t the only carbohydrates on the list – carrots, apples, and blueberries find their way onto it too, and add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The fat content sits around 15%, and is made up of chicken fat (pork fat in the case of the beef flavour), and flaxseed oil.
The chicken recipe features some of the highest Omega-3 and -6 fatty acid level we’ve seen, which would be super for dogs suffering from any kind of skin or fur allergy. The beef recipe contains about half of what the chicken does, but the numbers are still great.
There’s also a significant amount of glucosamine and chondroitin, which makes this a fantastic food for all types of dogs – large or giant breeds who need extra joint support, small breeds who are susceptible to joint dislocation, seniors who need a bit of a strength boost, or puppies who are still growing (although, we would recommend something containing DHA for puppies).
8. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
Best Potato-Free Dog Food For Seniors: Formulated for senior dogs
This food is great to accommodate dogs as they age, become less active, and burn fewer calories during their day. The ingredient list is pretty good, and makes use of healthy, easily digestible grains to provide energy, with some dehydrated vegetables coming in lower down the list. There are a few meat meals included which is also great for digestibility, especially in the case of seniors whose tummies may be getting fussier.
Nutrient Counts Great For Seniors
While some senior foods may keep the protein count up above 30, this one comes in at 26%. 30 and upwards is not a problem for older pooches who are still highly active, but for those who are slowing down a little, this number is much more satisfactory.
11% fat is also great, as seniors who have reduced activity levels will be burning fewer calories and therefore need less fat to convert to energy. These numbers are pretty great for the average senior dog, and if you do feel that he needs more protein, a high-protein snack a couple of times a day would be a great supplement.
Additions To Keep Seniors Strong
DHA is always a welcome addition to a senior food, as it helps keep your older guy or girl’s brain sharp. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids assist in keeping your senior’s coat and skin smooth and hydrated as they age, and glucosamine and chondroitin keep their joints as strong as possible as they get older.
9. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food
Best Potato-Free Wet Food: Good moisture content
Having a go-to wet food is always a good idea. It may be that your pup is a fussy eater and sometimes needs some motivation to eat. Maybe you need to get their calories up, or simply give them a bit of a meaty treat during the day. This canned food from Blue Buffalo contains great wholesome ingredients, and packs quite a bit of nutritious stuff into one can.
Various High-Quality Flavours
One of the great things about this canned food is that it’s available in quite a few different flavours – beef, chicken, lamb, turkey meatloaf, and fish & sweet potato. While this isn’t unusual in itself, the awesome thing about it is that not one of the flavours contains potato. This is a good thing, as often various flavours of the same food contain different ingredients and pet parents can be deceived into thinking each one is the same. In the case of this wet food, though, you can be assured that whichever flavour you choose, you’ll be getting the same quality, and no potato products.
Great Supplement To A High-Protein Kibble
One of the disadvantages of wet dog food is that it’s high calorie but low protein, which means that it’s not usually recommended to be used as your pup’s only food. Dogs need kibble, not only for the high protein and fat content, but also because it’s good for their dental health.
A good quality canned food can be super helpful to add calories without adding too much protein. This food contains 421 calories per can, with 8% protein and 6% fat, so it’s really not optimal levels for a full meal. It can be used as a kibble topper, to entice fussy pups to eat their kibble, or as a treat. Be aware though, that too much wet food in a pet’s diet can contribute to bad breath!
10. Canidae Pure Real Chicken Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
Best Limited Ingredient: Less chances of food allergies and intolerances
Especially for dogs who suffer from food allergies and intolerances and have sensitive stomachs, limited ingredient diets are a great way to keep your pup from being exposed to too many possible food allergens. This recipe contains no potato or sweet potato, and uses a good amount of chelated minerals to assist in digestion. For dogs who have been suggested a limited ingredient diet by their vets, this is a super option.
Pay Attention to The Labels
Even though all of the flavours in this range are limited ingredient, some of them do contain potatoes. The recipe we’re reviewing here, chicken, has no potato, and neither do the wild boar and the lamb, goat & venison recipes. The others, though (salmon, lamb, duck, and chicken for seniors, puppies, and healthy weight management) DO contain potatoes – so be careful not to inadvertently choose one that contains it and be unpleasantly surprised later.
Every Canidae recipe begins with real meat, which is a good sign of a high-quality food. None of them contain grains, and the carbohydrate sources are mostly legumes, although some recipes contain sweet potatoes. This particular recipe, though, has neither potato nor sweet potato in it. Chicken fat and flaxseed provide great fat for your pet to ingest and use as energy, and there are plenty of added vitamins and minerals that make this a great option for pets who need a limited ingredient diet.
There are no grains at all, no artificial or chemical ingredients, and nothing that could be questionable. Probiotics are added after the cooking process, which is great as this means they retain all of their potency and don’t get cooked away. With 32% protein and 16% fat, these numbers are great considering the fewer ingredients, so you can be sure your fluff will be getting a great meal out of this.
Testing Protocal & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria 1 – Free From Potato or Related Ingredients
This is obviously the most important point when reviewing these foods – we want them to have no potato on that ingredient list, and nothing else that is a sneaky by-product, such as potato protein.
Every item we’ve reviewed here should have a high score on this particular criteria, as we will not be including any foods that contain potato-related ingredients. Don’t worry if you see sweet potatoes on the list – they are quite different in terms of nutrition and are quite an acceptable substitute for potatoes in a dog food.
Criteria 2 – Contains Healthy Carbs
Potato is added to dog food as a carbohydrate source, especially in grain-free foods. Reviewing foods that contain no potato means that we need to make sure the food still contains great carbs.
Grains are acceptable as long as they’re the good kind – oatmeal, barley, millet, and rice. Wheat, corn, and soy are considered low-quality fillers, so we’ve avoided foods containing those. Ideally, you want the food you choose to still contain plenty of fruits and vegetables to give your pup sustained energy throughout their day.
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic carb source, and are slow-burning so they provide energy for prolonged periods of time. Other vegetables, apart from the obvious ones that dogs shouldn’t be eating, also contribute to the healthy carb count. We’ve made sure to only review foods that contain premium, healthy carbohydrate sources.
Criteria 3 – Contains Healthy Fats
Don’t be fooled into thinking that carbs are the main energy source in a dog food. Fat is super easily metabolized and is a very underrated energy source, especially for very active dogs.
As with any other ingredient, the sources need to be high-quality and all-natural in order for your pup to reap the benefits. Things like identified animal fat, fish oil, canola oil, and flaxseed add really good fats to your dog’s diet.
We’ve checked that each food on this list contains great sources of fat that your pooch can use for energy in addition to the good carbs in their food. These foods all have identified, proven-healthy fat sources that will do good things for your pet.
Criteria 4 – No Artificial Ingredients
Choosing a potato-free dog food is great and all, but if you’re feeding your pet something that is only borderline real food, you aren’t helping their health at all anyway.
Many foods contain artificial colours, artificial flavours, and artificial preservatives. These chemicals can wreak havoc on a dog’s immune system, as they’re not meant to be absorbed by the body and have no place in a dog food. The addition of these things is quite pointless, as they not only contain nothing of nutritional value, but your dog also doesn’t particularly care what colour his food is or if the flavour is better than the last one!
We’ve reviewed dog foods that are naturally preserved and use natural colours and flavours. Natural preservatives include citric acid and mixed tocopherols, and we’ve made sure that there are no chemical additives to enhance flavour or colour.
Criteria 5 – Affordability
Pups pick up on our moods so easily, and if you’re stressing about how much your pet’s food costs, they’ll be able to feel that stress.
This criteria has been selected to benefit both the fluff and the human, because a happy human makes a happier pup! A quality dog food doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, many of these foods are quite affordable in the long run, as long as you’re feeding your pooch the right amount.
Of course, there will always be some that are more expensive than others, and although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering their quality, we’ve committed to bringing you honest info about the prices of these foods so you can make the best decision for both yourself and your pet.
Questions & Answers
Are potatoes a nutritious dog food ingredient?
Although potatoes are a fantastic source of fiber and provide some vitamins and minerals, they don’t really offer much by way of nutrition.
Potatoes are quite a dense vegetable and so may be helpful in terms of filling your dog up, but when it comes to contributing nutrients to your dog’s diet, they aren’t high up on the healthy vegetables list. That’s not to say that they’re unhealthy, but there are plenty of other veggies that are far better options to add value to your pet’s diet.
Potato by-products, such as potato protein and potato starch, are considered to be lower quality fillers, as they provide even less nutrition than whole potatoes. While not all dogs will react badly to potato, there are some that are intolerant to it and struggle to digest it. Based on these two facts, that it has little nutritious value and can be hard to digest, we can consider potatoes to be a far less nutritious ingredient than other vegetables.
Another reason potatoes are considered to be not the best ingredient for dogs is that they contain something called solanine, which is poisonous and can be reduced by cooking, but still has the potential to cause health problems.
In 2018, the FDA began looking into claims that grain-free dog food was contributing to a disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. The disease causes an enlarged heart and can lead to a variety of problems, and eventually lead to death.
The reason this has been flagged as having a possible link to grain-free dog food is that the disease has been showing up in dogs that are not genetically predisposed to it. In trying to figure out why this large range of pets have suddenly begun developing the condition, grain-free food has come into the spotlight and the finger has been pointed at potatoes, which was the first ingredient to replace grains in such foods.
Although there has been an in-depth investigation, which is still ongoing, no significant links have been found yet. Regardless of whether there is a link, though, the fact that potatoes are a common food intolerance in dogs is the main reason we’re looking at potato-free dog foods today.
Are sweet potatoes in the same boat?
Sweet potatoes are considered to be a better alternative than normal potatoes. They contain higher amounts of fiber and vitamins and minerals than normal potatoes, and are a little more easily digested.
Sweet potatoes are beginning to replace potatoes in many dog foods, and are considered a dense, slow-burning carbohydrate that provides sustained energy for your pup throughout the day between meals. While they are not that different to normal potatoes, they are definitely considered the better option of the two.
Another pro to sweet potatoes is that they don’t contain solanine, which automatically makes them a safer bet than normal potatoes.
How do I know if the dog food I currently buy contains potatoes?
The simplest way to figure this out is to check the ingredient list. While it’s often up near the top as the main carb source, if you don’t spot it there keep looking – there are often more fruits and veggies lower down the list.
Be aware that there may be potato by-products on the list too. Potato protein and potato starch are two common ones, so if you spot these on the list, stay away. If it’s not on the list, you’re safe to feed the food to your dog knowing that it’s considered potato-free.
What are the best ingredients to replace potatoes in dog food?
There are various ingredients that can take the place of potatoes in a dog food and provide just as much, if not more, nutrition. Sweet potatoes are the most common alternative to potatoes, but there are a few other veggies that serve the same purpose.
Legumes are common additions to dog foods and are quite healthy, nutrition packed ingredients. They include things like lentils, chickpeas, peas, and various kinds of beans. They’re higher in protein than other vegetables and also have a nice dose of fiber in them.
Squashes are another one often seen on dog food labels. Pumpkin is the most commonly used, and provides fiber and vitamins and minerals. Less common ones are butternut squash and acorn squash.
Grains are the other carbohydrate source that are often present in foods instead of potatoes. While we recommend staying away from wheat, corn, and soy, foods that contains rice, barley, millet, or oatmeal are considered far healthier and easier to digest.
The best ingredients for your dog will really depend on the individual, though. If your pup doesn’t tolerate grains well, then it’s best to go for veggies. If your pooch has a tough tummy and deals with grains fine, then you can go for something containing good grains without having to worry.
What’s the best way to change my dog’s diet to potato-free dog food?
If you’re keen to switch your pet over to a potato-free diet, the first step is choosing which food on this list would suit your pooch best. Once you’ve chosen your food, you should transition your pet over to it slowly, while mixing it with their current food.
Even if your dog has a tough stomach, transitioning between foods is always a good idea. Simply begin by adding some of the new kibble to your pup’s current food. After a few days of this, up the amount of new food you’re adding to about half the kibble in the bowl.
After another few days, have three quarters of the kibble being the new food and the last quarter the old food. As long as your dog is tolerating the food well, you can then replace all their old food with the new kibble.