This is our review of the best potato free dog foods in 2021.
Potatoes have increased in popularity as a dog food ingredient with the rise of new grain-free formulas.
This starchy vegetable is often used as an alternative source of digestible carbohydrates. But, potatoes do not have many other significant nutritional benefits.
Some dogs can also suffer from a potato allergy. And recent heart health concerns linked to grain-free dog foods caused some owners to consider excluding potatoes from their pup’s diet.
I’m a former vet tech who researched the best potato free dog foods, so you don’t have to. And I found that Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Lamb Recipe is the best dog food without potatoes.
But every dog has unique dietary needs. So I’ve also reviewed the top potato-free dog food formulas in every category.
Let’s get started.
Our Best Potato Free Dog Food
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Lamb Recipe Dog Food (Best Overall Potato Free Dog Food)
- Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food for Puppies)
- Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food For Seniors)
- Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Dog Food (Best Budget Potato Free Dog Food)
- Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dog Food (Best Premium Potato Free Dog Food)
- Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Food (Best Potato Free Wet Dog Food)
- Solid Gold Wee Bit Small Breed Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food for Small Breeds)
- Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food for Large Breeds)
- Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food for Sensitivities)
- Earthborn Holistic Weight Control Dog Food (Best Potato Free Dog Food for Weight Control)
10 Best Potato Free Dog Foods Reviewed
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
- Key Feature: Moderate protein potato-free formula with whole-grain ingredients
- Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 390 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Pea-Free
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Overall
This dog food formula is an excellent choice for a wide variety of pups. It features a moderate 23% protein content from deboned lamb, a nutritious red meat commonly fed to dogs with food allergies.
Salmon meal, flaxseed, and chia seed, contain omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat. In addition to potatoes, this pet food also excludes corn, wheat, and soy. These ingredients are common allergens that can adversely impact skin health.
The recipe uses whole-grain ingredients like quinoa that are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals. Grains boast a higher nutrient content than potatoes. 
This grain-inclusive, potato-free formula also features added taurine and is ideal for dogs with heart health risks. Taurine is an amino acid that helps reduce blood pressure to enhance cardiovascular function.
Additional glucosamine and chondroitin helps protect healthy cartilage in dogs with joint conditions. 
Dog owners often notice an increase in the overall well-being of their pups on this diet. However, the kibble may be too small for giant dog breeds.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Starch, Chicken Fat, Whitefish Meal
- Key Feature: Potato-free dog food with concentrated nutrition for puppies
- Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
- Life Stage: Growth
- Best for: Puppies
This dog food is one of the few potato-free formulas available that is suitable for puppies. Growing dogs have specific nutritional needs. And if their diet has any deficiencies or imbalances, young pups can grow up with chronic health conditions.
A high 28% crude protein content comes from chicken meal. Adequate protein levels help support muscle development in puppies. Peas replace potatoes as a source of digestible carbohydrates in this grain-free dog food.
Whitefish meal contributes to the high 18% fat content in this dog food. Fat is an excellent source of energy for active young dogs. High amounts of DHA and other omega fatty acids help ensure healthy brain and eye development. 
Fruits and vegetables are easy to digest and compatible with your little friend’s tummy. Whole feed ingredients are excellent nutrient-rich sources of bioavailable vitamins and minerals.
The best dog foods for puppies prioritize proper levels of calcium and phosphorus. This pet food features adequate levels of these essential minerals to support healthy skeletal development.
Owners report ideal energy levels and shiny coats in puppies fed this formula. However, you may want to consider grain-inclusive alternatives if your puppy is also pea-sensitive.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
- Key Feature: Comprehensive nutritional support without potatoes for seniors
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 11% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 316 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
- Life Stage: Senior
- Best for: Seniors
A holistic formula with a low caloric content and joint support is ideal for senior dogs with potato-free diets.
Three lean animal protein sources provide a 26% crude protein content. The real meat ingredients in this dog food include chicken, lamb, and salmon.
High-quality protein sources ensure that your older dog gets the amino acids he needs to prevent muscle loss. But a low fat and caloric content help prevent weight gain as aging dogs become less active.
Whole grain ingredients provide concentrated nutrition, easily digestible carbohydrates, and extra fiber. Fiber is not a primary source of energy for dogs. But it acts as a prebiotic to nourish good gut bacteria and regulate older digestive systems. 
Elderly dogs of all breeds frequently suffer from joint discomfort. The chicken meal found on the ingredient list is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These chondroprotective ingredients help manage osteoarthritis in senior pups.
Oldies also often suffer from food sensitivities. If your dog is allergic to potatoes, he may also react to other ingredients. This formula excludes wheat, soy, and corn. Most senior pet parents recommend this dog food for sensitive older pups.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: Affordable formula with six simple ingredients
- Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 321 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Gluten-Free, Pea Free
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Budget
This limited ingredient formula provides complete, balanced nutrition from only six ingredients.
Lamb meal is the first ingredient and primary source of protein. Other budget formulas often use by-products and cheaper alternatives to real meat as the first ingredient.
The 20% protein content meets the AAFCO nutrient profiles for dogs without contributing excess protein to weight gain. This lower protein formula could be an excellent choice for sedentary or overweight pups. 
Dogs with food allergies will benefit from a recipe that excludes potatoes and common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.
Brown rice and beet pulp serve as alternative sources of carbohydrates and fiber. And fortification with added vitamins and minerals ensures that this limited ingredient diet provides balanced nutrition.
Pet parents often experience better results supporting their dog’s overall health with this budget formula compared to premium dog foods. But some dog owners had difficulty feeding this formula to picky eaters.
- First 5 Ingredients: Duck Meal, Millet, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat, Salmon Meal
- Key Feature: High protein duck and salmon meal formula
- Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 9% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 417 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: High Protein, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Pea-Free, Natural
- Life Stage: All Life Stages
- Best for: Premium
This dog food’s exceptionally high 38% protein content comes from several premium animal proteins like duck, turkey, and salmon. The high protein and caloric content is ideal for active dogs or breeds with larger muscle mass.
The second ingredient, millet, is a premium cereal grain. This grain provides digestible carbohydrates without including common allergens like corn and wheat in the recipe. Millet is also lower in sugar than white potatoes or peas. 
Minimally processed foods like kelp, spinach, and blueberries provide concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals. So your pup can still get the nutritional support he needs in a smaller serving.
These formulas do not include any chemically synthesized ingredients. Artificial additives have a low bioavailability and can cause reactions in sensitive dogs.
95% of dog owners who feed this product recommend it. And some have even noticed that this formula helped regulate healthy bowel movements.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Peas, Chickpeas, Lamb Meal
- Key Feature: Wet dog food for picky pups with potato sensitivities
- Guaranteed Analysis: 9.5% Crude Protein, 5.5% Crude Fat, 1.2% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 417 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Low Glycemic, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Chicken Free
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Wet Dog Food
This premium brand of limited-ingredient dog food formulas offers a potato-free wet dog food ideal for picky pups. Lamb and peas are the primary ingredients in this simple but tasty recipe.
The high moisture content of wet foods lower the crude percentages of other macronutrients. But this canned food offers a high-protein diet based on lamb products like lamb liver and lamb meal.
The inclusion of organ meats in canned formulas boosts the vitamin and mineral concentrations to help balance a limited recipe. This animal protein is an excellent source of vitamin B6, phosphorus, and vitamin A. 
Peas act as the sole source of digestible carbohydrates. Dogs with potato sensitivities may also react negatively to other allergens like corn or wheat. Chickpeas are an ideal replacement for potatoes because they are also high in fiber.
Pet parents recommend this wet food for picky eaters. Most reviews share that their fussy pups prefer the moist texture and aroma to dry dog food alternatives.
- First 5 Ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Peas, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: Grain-inclusive formula with high energy levels for small dogs
- Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 420 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Small Breeds
Many grain-free formulas that omit potatoes do not provide adequate digestible carbohydrates for the fast metabolisms of toy breeds.
This potato-free dry dog food uses healthy whole-grain ingredients to offer optimal nutrition for your tiniest furry friends.
A high 28% protein content from bison and ocean fish meal is critical for ensuring that toy breeds consume enough essential amino acids in a small serving size. Ocean fish meal also contributes omega-3 fatty acids to the high 18% fat content.
This fat content acts as a source of energy for small breeds with active metabolisms. But toy dogs also need to eat sources of digestible carbohydrates, like potatoes.
This recipe uses whole grains like brown rice and pearled barley to replenish blood sugar in small pups instead of potatoes. Toy breeds are susceptible to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, if their diet does not contain enough glucose. 
Toy breed owners prefer this kibble because of the small pieces. Some little mouths can’t handle the larger kibble sizes of general formulas.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal, Oats, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: Potato-free formula that supports heart health in giant breeds
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 453 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free, Gluten Free
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Large Breeds
This potato-free formula provides additional dietary support for large breeds. It also features specific ingredients to promote heart health. Dogs who need diets without potatoes may have a predisposition for heart problems.
Chicken meal is the first ingredient. This lean energy source contributes to a 24% crude protein and 14% fat content. These protein and fat levels are ideal for large breeds with slower metabolisms who still need adequate protein for their increased muscle mass.
Controlled fat and calorie content is also vital for weight management. Excess pounds on big bodies can place a lot of stress on joints. The glucosamine in this recipe helps manage joint conditions that large breeds often face.
This grain-inclusive formula is a good alternative for owners worried about the heart health concerns associated with grain-free recipes based on potatoes.
Many pet owners switch to this formula from a grain-free diet on the recommendation of their vet.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Lamb, Tapioca, Peas, Canola Oil
- Key Feature: Best limited ingredient diet without white or sweet potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 21.5% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 447 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Chicken-Free, Raw
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Dogs with Sensitivities
Pups with potato sensitivities often experience reactions to other allergens. This limited-ingredient formula eliminates other common allergens and provides complete nutrition from a simple recipe.
Lamb acts as the single source of animal protein, contributing to a 24% protein content. A single protein source helps limit exposure to multiple potential allergens.
An exceptionally high 21.5% fat content helps combat the skin conditions often associated with allergic reactions. Omega-6 fatty acids from canola oil encourage natural oils to keep your pup’s skin and coat healthy. 
In addition to eliminating potatoes, this grain-free recipe also excludes dairy, eggs, chicken, and fish.
Pet owners who feed this diet have noticed improvements in their dogs’ overall health with sensitive skin and stomachs.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace
- Key Feature: Low fat potato-free diet for overweight dogs
- Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 9% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 325 kcal/cup
- Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Weight Control
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Weight Management
Many dry dog food formulas that exclude potatoes have a high fat and calorie content that is not suitable for overweight dogs.
This Weight Control dog food has unique features that encourage weight loss in dogs struggling with obesity while still providing enough nutrients.
Chicken meal is a concentrated source of the recipe’s 25% protein content. A 7% fat content is notably low, which decreases the energy provided by this diet food.
Dog food with too many calories can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of several health conditions.
Despite the low-fat content, flaxseed contributes enough healthy omega-3 fatty acids to support coat health. These healthy fats also help reduce inflammation, working with glucosamine to help manage joint pain. Overweight dogs have an increased risk of developing arthritis. 
A high 9% crude fiber content from pea fiber helps keep your pup full without increasing calories or fat.
The L-Carnitine included in this recipe helps maintain lean muscle mass and burn off extra fat. Most dogs successfully lose weight on this formula after their owners switch them off a high-calorie diet.
Potato Free Dog Food Buying Guide
If you want to feed your dog a potato-free diet, you will have to keep an eye out for specific ingredients.
But before you start examining food labels, you should first talk to your veterinarian to determine if eliminating this ingredient may benefit your four-legged friend.
Potatoes in Dog Food
Potatoes do have some nutritional benefits for dogs. But sometimes, eliminating them can help improve the overall health of your pup.
Nutritional Value of Potatoes
Potatoes are a popular replacement for grains in grain-free pet foods. They are an excellent source of digestible carbohydrates. Unlike some grains, they are also high in dietary fiber and low in sugar.
This vegetable is also rich in several vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are good sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, B6, and plant protein. But dogs can better absorb meat protein from animal sources.
Plus, several other dog food ingredients contain the same nutrients.
Are Potatoes Bad For Dogs?
Although potatoes are generally safe for most dogs, some pet owners have concerns about feeding this veggie.
Some raw potatoes may contain solanine. This is a poison commonly found in nightshade plants, but poison levels drop significantly after cooking. 
Interestingly, sweet potatoes do not contain solanine. So you do not need to worry about this poison if your dog food only uses this type of potato.
Most pet foods use cooked potatoes, so this concern is relatively minor in commercial dog foods. But you should never feed your pup raw potato as a treat like some other fruits and vegetables.
Some dogs suffer from potato allergies. Food allergies can cause bothersome skin reactions that can decrease your dog’s quality of life. And eliminating the allergen from your dog’s diet is the only way to manage the problem.
In 2018, the FDA began investigating reports about the link between specific grain-free dog food formulas and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, or DCM. Most of these dog foods used significant amounts of potatoes or sweet potatoes as alternative sources of carbohydrates. 
Although research is ongoing, you may want to feed a potato-free diet if your dog is predisposed to developing a heart condition like DCM.
How To Identify Potatoes On Dog Food Labels
If you want to feed the best dog foods without potatoes, you’ll need to check your dog’s diet for any potato-based items on the ingredient list. Here are some popular pet food ingredients that come from potatoes.
If your dog’s food uses the actual vegetable, dog food brands will list the ingredient as whole or ground potatoes. There are also different types of potatoes. White potatoes and sweet potatoes are the most common variety found in dog food.
Potato by-products can cause the same adverse effects as whole potatoes. Protein starch is commonly used in grain-free diets to increase carbohydrates.
This ingredient forms by extracting refined starch from whole potatoes. Root starches can sometimes act as prebiotics for gut bacteria to ferment.
Potato protein production occurs after separating the starch from ground potatoes. This ingredient can increase the protein content of dry dog food, but meat protein is more digestible for dogs.
Are Sweet Potatoes the Same?
A sweet potato can still cause adverse reactions in dogs with potato sensitives. But this vegetable is generally preferable to other types of potatoes. Unlike raw white potatoes, a sweet potato does not contain solanine.
Sweet potatoes are also a better source of sustained energy from slow-burning carbohydrates. Higher amounts of fiber and vitamins highlight the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes.
Look for these high-quality potato alternatives when selecting the best dog foods without this starchy vegetable.
Legumes are also common in grain-free dog food. Popular types include peas, chickpeas, and lentils.
These ingredients have a higher protein content than potatoes. But they have similar amounts of fiber and specific vitamins.
Just like potatoes, legumes often replace grains because of their low glycemic index. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates for dogs with diabetes. My diabetic dog’s food uses peas instead of other carbohydrates to help control her blood sugar levels.
Potatoes are frequent alternatives to grains in grain-free formulas. Potatoes provide digestible carbohydrates without extra sugar.
Some dogs may have grain or gluten sensitivities. But grain-inclusive formulas that exclude potatoes may help protect heart health.
If you chose a grain-inclusive diet for your dog, choose a recipe that uses whole-grain ingredients. Whole grains have a higher mineral content than refined grains.
Pumpkin is a relatively rare but surprisingly healthy dog food ingredient. Its high fiber content helps regulate the digestive systems of pups with constipation or diarrhea.
Like potatoes, pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A. They also contain high levels of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Pumpkins are in some limited ingredient diets that may help manage allergies in sensitive dogs.
Squashes like butternut squash and acorn squash are close relatives to pumpkins. They have similar nutrient profiles. Squash is even rarer than pumpkin and most frequently found in elimination diets that use novel ingredients.
Eliminating potatoes from your dog’s diet may help manage food allergies and promote heart health.
This best dog food without potatoes is Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Lamb Recipe. This grain-inclusive formula also excludes other common allergens, features heart-healthy ingredients, and is suitable for a wide variety of dogs.
Potatoes provide a low-sugar, high-fiber source of digestible carbohydrates. But several alternative ingredients can offer the same benefits.
If you want to include potatoes in your dog’s diet, select a pet food that uses sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. A sweet potato has a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.
Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if a dog food without potatoes is the best option for your furry best friend.