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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020

If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, you don’t necessarily need to shell out a small fortune on fancy hypoallergenic dog food – the solution may be as simple as switching to a new protein source. For a lean source of complete animal protein, consider venison as an option.

Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional benefits of venison and to receive our recommendations for three top-rated brands of venison dog food.Venison is becoming more and more common in pet foods so it is not always going to be the right choice.

But if your dog can’t tolerate some of the most common proteins like chicken or beef, making the switch to venison might be the right choice.

Most Affordable
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 1
Merrick Grain-Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 2
  • Contain leading levels of high quality proteins
  • Contains of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
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Best Overall
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 3
Go! Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 4
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Features venison as a single source of protein with 6 key ingredients
  • Gluten and potato-free recipe with omega oils
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Most Popular
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 5
Zignature Venison Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 2
  • Grain-free, limited ingredient formula
  • Made from farm-raised Venison from New Zealand
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Look for a product that lists venison or venison meal as the first ingredient and, ideally, as the sole source of protein – you should also make sure it includes a digestible carbohydrate that won’t upset your dog’s stomach.

If you’re looking for a venison dog food, consider one of our top choices.

The Top 10 Recommended Venison Dog Food Brands

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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 7
Go! Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Features venison as a single source of protein with 6 key ingredients
  • Gluten and potato-free recipe with omega oils
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 8
Merrick Grain-Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe
  • Contain leading levels of high quality proteins
  • Contains of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
  • Includes real, whole foods like sweet potatoes, peas, apples, blueberries and contain zero preservatives, fillers, corn, wheat, soy or gluten
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 9
Zignature Venison Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-free, limited ingredient formula
  • Made from farm-raised Venison from New Zealand
  • This recipe is ideal for pups with sensitivities and picky eaters
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 10
American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe
  • Has a single animal protein source
  • Contains nourishing omega fatty acids to nurture your dog’s skin and coat
  • Has high-quality animal proteins
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 11
Merrick Backcountry Big Game Recipe
  • Crafted with real deboned lamb
  • A grain-free diet for furry sidekicks with food sensitivities
  • Packed with glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy hips and joints
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 12
Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
  • Boosted nutrition with high-protein kibble + freeze-dried raw
  • Grass-fed venison is the first ingredient
  • Never contains any grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 13
Solid Gold Buck Wild Venison
  • Gluten and grain-free
  • Supports gut health with prebiotics and 90 million probiotics per pound of food
  • Contains natural superfoods like carrots, pumpkins and blueberries
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 14
Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
  • A grain-free recipe with limited carbohydrates and no artificial flavors or colors
  • High-quality nutrition aids in good overall health
  • Formulated to provide high-quality nutrition for all breeds
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 15
Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Open Range Recipe
  • Nutrient-dense recipe with 30% high-quality protein
  • Real U.S. farm-raised beef is always the #1 ingredient
  • Combined with protein-rich venison, lamb, and essential nutrients
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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 16
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner
  • Meat-rich, grain-free formula
  • Inspired by the diet of the wolves of the Alaskan wilderness
  • With wild salmon, venison, halibut and crab meal
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Here are some reviews for three of our top choices of venison dog food.

  1. Petcurean Go! Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe for Dogs
  2. Merrick Grain-Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe
  3. Zignature Venison Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food
  4. American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Venison
  5. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Big Game Recipe with Lamb, Wild Boar & Venison
  6. Instinct by Nature's Variety Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Venison
  7. Solid Gold Buck Wild Venison, Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Grain-Free Adult
  8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Venison Formula
  9. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Grain-Free Natural Open Range Recipe with Beef, Venison & Lamb
  10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner with Wild Salmon, Venison & Halibut

1. Petcurean Go! Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : De-Boned Venison, Venison Meal, Tapioca, Peas, Pea Flour

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10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 17
The Petcurean Go! Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe for Dogs is a great product if your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities. It features premium quality venison as the main ingredient and as the solitary meat protein used in the recipe.

Petcurean pet food company offers four different brands of dog food, the newest of which is their Gather line of products made with organic and sustainably produced ingredients. The NOW line of products features all-natural recipes and the Summit brand includes simple but wholesome recipes for complete health.

The Go! line of products features three different formulas designed for dogs with special dietary needs. The Fit + Free line features maximum meat proteins with zero gluten or grains for optimal energy and fitness.

The Daily Defense product line features recipes designed for preventive care and the Sensitivity + Shine line is made for dogs with food sensitivities and other dietary needs. This lineup includes four Limited Ingredient Diet recipes made with premium proteins like venison.

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The Petcurean Go! Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe for Dogs is a great product if your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities. It features premium quality venison as the main ingredient and as the solitary meat protein used in the recipe.

This formula contains zero grains, gluten, or potatoes, relying instead on digestible carbohydrates like tapioca, peas, lentils, and chickpeas for carbohydrate energy and dietary fiber. This recipe provides a blend of omega oils for healthy skin and coat as well as plenty of antioxidants for a strong immune system.

This formula features chelated minerals for optimal nutrient uptake and synthetic vitamin supplements for nutritional balance. You’ll also be glad to know that it is completely free from by-products as well as corn, wheat, and soy ingredients.

2. Merrick Grain-Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Venison, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Pork Meal, Chickpeas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 18
This company offers their customers a five star promise which guarantees locally grown ingredients, real whole foods, company-owned kitchens, balanced nutrition, and health you can see.

The Merrick Pet Care company follows the tagline, “Whole health made right,” so you can count on the fact that all of their products offer high-quality nutrition. This company offers their customers a five star promise which guarantees locally grown ingredients, real whole foods, company-owned kitchens, balanced nutrition, and health you can see.

Simply put, Merrick is dedicated to developing some of the best dog food products that money can buy. Merrick offers five different product lines to ensure that there is a product for every dog and every need. The Backcountry line features grain-free, protein-rich recipes with freeze-dried pieces and the Backcountry Raw line consists only of those freeze-dried pieces.

The Limited Ingredient Diet lineup is designed with a single source of animal protein and the Classic line features real deboned meat, poultry, or fish with ancient whole grains.

The Merrick Grain-Free Real Venison & Chickpeas Recipe belongs to Merrick’s grain-free product line which also features real deboned meats, fish, and poultry as the primary ingredient. This particular recipe lists four different sources of protein within the top five ingredients for a total of 36% protein.

This formula relies on chickpeas as the main source of digestible carbohydrate with peas and tapioca as supplementary carbs. Chicken fat is the main source of fat which is both highly nutritious and biologically valuable for your dog.

You’ll also find several fresh fruits and vegetables on the list which provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for key nutrients. This recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals and dried fermentation products to ensure digestibility and nutritional balance.

3. Zignature Venison Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food

First 5 Ingredients : Venison, Venison Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Chickpeas Flour

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 19
If you’re looking for a high-quality dog food that features venison as the primary protein, consider this recipe. This formula contains high quality ingredients that work together to provide for your dog’s nutritional needs in a healthy, hypoallergenic way.

This right here, Zignature Venison Formula is a high-quality dog food. Its nutrient profile is beyond any ordinary pet food products out in the market.

It has a range of quality ingredients and limits its meat ingredient to Venison. Furthermore, it also contains legumes which are considered to be a source (high quality) of carbohydrates. Plus, it also has fiber content which promotes healthy digestion.

If you’re looking for a high-quality dog food that features venison as the primary protein, consider this recipe. This formula contains high quality ingredients that work together to provide for your dog’s nutritional needs in a healthy, hypoallergenic way.

This formula is designed for adult canines which also contains omega 6 fatty acids which will aid in developing your pet's skin and coat health. This formula is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption as well, and it is grain-free.

Venison is an excellent source of lean protein for dogs, especially for dogs that can’t tolerate more traditional protein options. Whether you are looking for a limited ingredient diet or just an alternative protein source, any of our top three recommendations listed above would be a good option for your dog.

4. American Journey L.I.D. Venison & Sweet Potato Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Venison, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Pea Protein, Venison Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 20
Savory real deboned venison will greet your pup with every bite, giving your pet a protein-rich diet, with protein making up 22% of the meal. And because it’s venison, the meat is much lower on fat and cholesterol than other protein sources.

Dog parents who are grain-free enthusiasts will love the venison version of American Journey’s Limited Ingredient dog food. Savory real deboned venison will greet your pup with every bite, giving your pet a protein-rich diet, with protein making up 22% of the meal.

And because it’s venison, the meat is much lower on fat and cholesterol than other protein sources. The sweet potato, meanwhile, acts as an energy booster for your dog.

The brand didn’t just stop at protein. American Journey also added nourishing ingredients such as omega fatty acids for healthy coat and skin, calcium for strong bones, zinc for thyroid and immune function, Vitamin E for healthy muscles, and a whole lot more nutrients and minerals for a complete and balanced diet.

This recipe is made to be as healthy as possible with no grain or by-product ingredients. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors to cause food sensitivities, either.

5. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Big Game Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 21
Merrick’s Backcountry Raw Infused Big Game Recipe mimics this ancestral canine diet by offering pure freeze-dried pieces of raw deboned lamb that your fur baby will love. Lamb has a distinct taste that even fussy eaters love, and this combination with wild boar and venison offers doggies a flavor-packed, tasty dish.

In the Great Outdoors, undomesticated dogs lived and thrived on a protein-rich diet made of wild game. Merrick’s Backcountry Raw Infused Big Game Recipe mimics this ancestral canine diet by offering pure freeze-dried pieces of raw deboned lamb that your fur baby will love.

With a minimum crude protein of 38%, this meal provides optimum nutrition for healthy skin and hair, tissue and muscle repair, and the development of antibodies. 

Lamb has a distinct taste that even fussy eaters love, and this combination with wild boar and venison offers doggies a flavor-packed, tasty dish. The meat-based recipe also includes a healthy amount of Omega fatty acids for a beautiful coat and healthy skin, chondroitin for cartilage and joint tissue nourishment, glucosamine for increased joint mobility, and a host of other essential vitamins and minerals.

Made through Merrick’s High-Pressure Processing system, this dog food strictly adheres to FDA guidelines. It also contains no grains, by-products, or artificial flavorings.

6. Instinct by Nature's Variety Raw Boost Recipe with Real Venison

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 22
The pure nutrition of raw meat, freeze-dried to preserve all the goodness inside is offered by Instinct’s Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Venison. The flavor is further enhanced with salmon and herring meal and real bites of lamb providing a yummier taste.

The pure nutrition of raw meat, freeze-dried to preserve all the goodness inside is offered by Instinct’s Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Venison. Grass-fed venison delivers a rich and earthy taste that even finicky doggos will enjoy.

The flavor is further enhanced with salmon and herring meal and real bites of lamb that not only provide a yummier taste but are also excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. 

Containing a minimum of 35% crude protein, each serving will provide your pet with all the nutrients he needs for a healthy immune system and proper cell maintenance and repair. The high omega fatty acids (3 and 6) found in the recipe strengthens a dog’s coat and skin health, immune function, and growth. Zinc, selenium, and Vitamins A, E, and C have also been added into the mix for a complete balanced diet.

This recipe contains no grain, soy, potato, by-product meal, or artificial colors and preservatives, which makes for a truly healthy doggy food. 

7. Solid Gold Buck Wild Venison, Potato & Pumpkin Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 23
Packed with millions of probiotics, every bite of this yummy recipe aids in your dog’s proper digestion and reduced likelihood of urinary tract infection and allergic reactions. Pasture-raised venison is the number 1 ingredient in this food.

Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs need holistic food that’s not just grain- or gluten-free but tasty as well. The Wild Venison, Potato & Pumpkin recipe from Solid Gold offers doggies an excellent source of complete nutrition that’s easy on the tummy.

Packed with millions of probiotics, every bite of this yummy recipe aids in your dog’s proper digestion and reduced likelihood of urinary tract infection and allergic reactions.

Pasture-raised venison is the number 1 ingredient in this food. Leaner than beef and with less calories than chicken, venison is a healthy protein source. Containing 23% of minimum crude protein, it has enough to support proper muscle growth and repair, brain function, and hormone production.

Aside from protein, the recipe contains DHA for neural development; Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health; taurine for proper heart function; and Vitamins E and C as antioxidants.

A holistic pet food, this product by Solid Gold Buck is also crafted with other superfoods such as carrots, blueberries, and pumpkins for a wholly nutritious blend.

8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Venison Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Venison, Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Canola Oil

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 24
Premium ingredients and a chock full of essential nutrients wrapped up in one flavorful package best describes Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredients Diet Formula. Because it’s venison, the meat is leaner and contains less saturated fat than other meat sources.

Premium ingredients and a chock full of essential nutrients wrapped up in one flavorful package best describes Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredients Diet Formula. This food offers a tasty grain-free and healthy alternative for pets, with venison as the single source of animal protein.

Because it’s venison, the meat is leaner and contains less saturated fat than other meat sources. At a 20% minimum protein content, this formulation supports a luxurious coat, healthy skin, and strong muscles.

The sweet potato provides the energy boost the body needs in the form of carbohydrates. As a soluble fiber, it’s easily digested and aids in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system.

Other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Vitamin A, biotin, calcium, folic acid, manganese, and taurine complete the wholly nutritious blend.
This recipe contains no artificial colors or flavors.

9. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Open Range Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Chicken Meal, Dried Peas, Whole Dried Potatoes, Pea Flour

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 25
Brimming with pure meaty goodness, Rachael Ray’s Natural Open Range dog food formula combines three flavorful protein-rich animal sources into one hearty fare. Aside from meat protein, the formula also includes chicken fat, menhaden fishmeal, and flaxseed as sources for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Brimming with pure meaty goodness, Rachael Ray’s Natural Open Range dog food formula combines three flavorful protein-rich animal sources into one hearty fare. It’s a nutrient-dense recipe that contains a minimum 30% of crude protein from “red meat” sources: farm-raised beef, venison, and lamb. 

Aside from meat protein, the formula also includes chicken fat, menhaden fishmeal, and flaxseed as sources for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (healthy coat and skin); dried peas as a source of Vitamin A (optimal function of muscles and nerves); and sweet potatoes to get carbohydrates (fuel). There’s also calcium, manganese, Vitamin E, iron, choline, and much more.

This recipe uses no poultry by-product meal, gluten, grains, and fillers. There are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, either.

10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Tapioca Starch, Pea Protein, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 26
It’s especially formulated by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians to bring a nutritionally balanced and complete meal to dogs. A precise blend of omega fatty acids and DHA, complex carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals round up the tasty and nourishing food.

A unique blend mimicking an Alaskan mountain wolf’s diet, this Denali Dinner recipe by Blue Buffalo gives domesticated canines a tantalizing taste of the Alaskan frontier. It’s especially formulated by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians to bring a nutritionally balanced and complete meal to dogs.

Consisting of deboned wild salmon, venison, and halibut, this recipe brings dogs a tasty meal consisting of at least 30% crude protein. This macronutrient is responsible for building and repairing tissues and supporting healthy skin and hair.

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A precise blend of omega fatty acids and DHA (for shiny coats and healthy skin), complex carbohydrates (for energy), and essential vitamins and minerals (for strong bones, teeth, and overall optimal health) round up the tasty and nourishing food.

Crafted using the brand’s LifeSource Bits system, the blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are “cold-formed” for longer-lasting potency. This formula uses no soy, wheat, corn, grain, or chicken/poultry by-product meals.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Venison?

Venison is the name for the red meat that comes from deer. Though often considered a novel protein, venison is actually very common in the United States so it can’t really be called an exotic protein. Compared to popular commercially raised meats like beef, pork, and lamb, venison is a lean mean.

Also, because it isn’t commercially grown, it usually doesn’t contain growth hormones or antibiotics. Because venison is a type of animal protein, it is technically possible for your dog to develop an allergy, but many dogs tolerate venison well – this makes it a popular protein for use in Limited Ingredient Diets as well as formulas designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
10 Best (Healthiest) Venison Dog Foods in 2020 27
In terms of its nutrition, venison contains about 150 calories for a 3.5-ounce portion (about 100 grams). A portion this size contains just 2.4 grams of fat, compared to about 205 calories and 10 grams of fat for a same-size portion of top beef loin. It is also worth noting that less than half of the fat in venison is saturated fat.

Unchanged: In regard to protein content, a 3.5-ounce serving of venison contains nearly 30 grams of protein, and lean protein at that. Venison is also rich in iron, niacin, riboflavin, and B vitamins – it also has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid than beef. If you’re looking for a lean, nutrient-rich, and novel protein for your dog, venison is a great option to consider.

Is venison meal good for dogs?

Yes. They are free-range, grass-fed and never given any hormones, antibiotics, or GMO feed. Venison is high in protein and iron yet low in fat. It is also rich in nutrients like vitamins B12 and B6, riboflavin and niacin.

Where does venison for dog food come from?

Venison is the general term for deer meat. Most of the venison that is used in European pet foods comes from New Zealand but due to a global shortage, the price of venison has shot up over the last few years making it one of the most expensive meat options found in dog foods.

Is venison dog food good for dogs with allergies?

Grain-free dog foods are always gluten-free. Instead of opting for a common protein like beef or chicken that may be causing irritation in a dog with food allergies, a novel diet may be centered around a less-common protein like venison, duck or salmon.

Is venison good for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

If you do want to try feeding your dog something different, I recommend either a novel protein diet (e.g., duck and potato or venison and pea) or a highly digestible diet. Some varieties are only available through veterinarians and benefit from tighter quality-control measures than do over-the-counter foods.

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