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Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine

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Mary Nielsen

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Venison Dog Food

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 for dogs and to receive our recommendations for top-rated brands. Venison is a novel protein and is becoming more and more common in pet food companies 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.

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 furry pet’s stomach.

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

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Our Recommended Venison Dog Food Brands

1. Petcurean Go! Limited Ingredient Venison Recipe

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 1

First 5 ingredients:

De-Boned Venison, Venison Meal, Tapioca, Peas, Pea Flour

Protein: 22.0% min

Fat: 12.0% min

Fiber: 4.5% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Adult, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Petcurean offers a diverse range of dog food brands to meet various dietary needs. Their newest line, Gather, is made with organic and sustainably produced ingredients, while the NOW brand features all-natural recipes.

The Summit brand includes simple, wholesome recipes aimed at promoting complete health. The Go! brand stands out with its three specialized formulas.

The Fit + Free line provides maximum meat proteins without gluten or grains for optimal energy and fitness. The Daily Defense line focuses on preventive care, and the Sensitivity + Shine line caters to dogs with food sensitivities, offering four Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) recipes featuring premium proteins such as venison (deer meat).

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Among these, their venison dry dog food is particularly notable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. 

This formula features high-quality venison as the primary and only meat protein, eliminating grains, gluten, and potatoes in favor of digestible carbohydrates like tapioca, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

It includes a blend of omega oils for healthy skin and coat, plenty of antioxidants for a robust immune system, chelated minerals for optimal nutrient uptake, and synthetic vitamins to ensure nutritional balance.

Importantly, this recipe is free from by-products, corn, wheat, and soy, making it a safe and nutritious choice for sensitive dogs.

Pros

Single protein source

Created by pet nutrition experts

Made from only 6 primary ingredients

Free from gluten, potato and grains

Highly suitable for pets with sensitivities

Cons

Expensive

Still caused tummy upset to some

2. Zignature Venison LID Formula

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 2

First 5 ingredients:

Venison, Venison Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Chickpea Flour

Protein: 28.0% min

Fat: 13.5% min

Fiber: 5.0% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Puppy – Adult, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

This right here is a high-quality venison recipe. 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 premium dry kibble 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 from Zignature 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 LID or just an alternative protein source, any of our recommendations listed here would be a good option for your dog. 

Pros

Filled with probiotics

Limited ingredient formula

Low in cholesterol and fat

Very nice option for red meat lovers

Ideal for pets who are allergic to other meats

Cons

Not a hit among picky pups

Caused some tummy issues

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

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 3

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Venison, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Venison Meal

Protein: 22.0% min

Fat: 12.0% min

Fiber: 6.0% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

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. The company 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 meal fit for all life stages.

This grain-free venison dog food 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.

Pros

Food for all life stages

Single animal protein source

Zero corn, soy or wheat

Made with limited ingredients

Rich in DHA, antioxidants and Omegas

Cons

Contains peas and pea protein

Distinct peppery smell

4. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Big Game Recipe

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 4

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Protein: 34.0% min

Fat: 17.0% min

Fiber: 3.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

In the great outdoors, undomesticated dogs lived and thrived on a protein-rich diet made of wild game. This 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.

This food with venison 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.

Pros

With freeze-dried raw pieces

Natural, grain free formula

Rich in Omega fatty acids

Made with limited ingredients

Filled with glucosamine and chondroitin

Cons

Caused gassiness

Sometimes missing the raw infused bits

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

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 5

First 5 ingredients:

Venison, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas

Protein: 23.0% min

Fat: 12.0% min

Fiber: 4.0% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs need holistic food that’s not just grain- or gluten-free but tasty as well. This venison-based food 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 is also crafted with other superfoods such as carrots, blueberries, and pumpkins for a wholly nutritious blend.

Pros

Grain and gluten free

Great for dogs' gut health

With 90M living probiotics per pound

Contains whole superfood ingredients

Made by America’s first holistic pet food since 1974

Cons

Not for picky eaters

Contains peas and pea fiber (potential allergen)

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

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 6

First 5 ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes, Venison, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Potato Protein

Protein: 20.0% min

Fat: 10.0% min

Fiber: 5.0% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Adult, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Premium ingredients and a chock full of essential nutrients wrapped up in one flavorful package best describes this formula from Natural Balance. 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.

Pros

Savory recipe

Grain free sources of fiber

Uses limited number of ingredients

Filled with Omegas and Taurine

Supports dog's overall health and well-being

Cons

Poor packaging

Kibble sizes for new batch different from old ones

7. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Open Range Recipe

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 7

First 5 ingredients:

Beef, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Natural Pork Flavor, Tapioca

Protein: 30.0% min

Fat: 15.0% min

Fiber: 5.0% max

Moisture: 10.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

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.

Pros

30% high quality protein

Made from 3 novel protein sources

Pre-portioned and packaged conveniently

Free from fillers, grains and gluten

Portion of proceeds helps animals in need

Cons

Big kibble size

Some find it too greasy

8. ZIWI Peak Venison Recipe 

Our 8 Best Venison Dog Food Brands: Exploring Top-tier Cuisine 8

First 5 ingredients:

Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas

Protein: 10.0% min

Fat: 4.0% min

Fiber: 2.0% max

Moisture: 78.0% max

Food Type: Wet, Pâté

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Ziwi Peak brings the natural, healthy ingredients of New Zealand to your beloved pet's bowl. Each can is packed with natural ingredients and nutrients to support skin, coat, joints, digestion, and more.

This wet dog food features 91% free-range, grass-fed New Zealand venison, including organs, bones, cold-washed venison tripe, and freshly caught green mussels.

Combined with kelp and chickpeas, this natural pâté is free from gums, corn, sugars, potatoes, rendered meats, artificial binders, and hormones. Venison is an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs, aiding digestion and alleviating symptoms of IBS and IBD.

As a unique single-protein food, this venison wet food is perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This canned food is also ideal as a topper or a complete meal for picky eaters. 

Pros

All natural New Zealand ingredients

Single-protein formula

Natural binding ingredient-chickpeas

Green tripe, NZ green mussels and kelp added

No fillers, grains, sugars or artificial binders, meats, hormones

Cons

Pricey

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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 meat.

Venison offers several nutritional benefits:

  1. High-Quality Protein: Venison is an excellent source of high quality protein, essential for muscle development, tissue repair, and overall growth.
  2. Low in Fat: It is leaner than many other meats, making it a good option for dogs that need a low-fat diet to maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Rich in Essential Amino Acids: These amino acids are crucial for various bodily functions, including immune response, hormone production, and enzyme activity.
  4. Low Allergenicity: As a novel protein, venison is less likely to cause allergic reactions, making it suitable for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.
  5. High in Iron: Iron is vital for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
  6. Rich in B Vitamins: It contains B vitamins, such as B12 and B6, which support energy metabolism, brain function, and red blood cell production.
  7. Contains Zinc and Phosphorus: Zinc supports immune function, skin health, and wound healing, while phosphorus is important for strong bones and teeth.
  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Venison can provide omega-3 fatty acids, which support skin and coat health, reduce inflammation, and promote cardiovascular health.
  9. Low in Cholesterol: Venison is relatively low in cholesterol compared to other meats, contributing to heart health.
  10. Promotes Digestive Health: Venison is easy to digest and can be beneficial for dogs with digestive issues or sensitive stomachs.

Final Say

Venison dog food is an advantageous protein choice that can significantly support the health of your canine companion. As a lean meat rich in essential nutrients, venison provides high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals while being low in fat and cholesterol. 

This makes it suitable for dogs and puppies, including those who are overweight or have sensitive stomachs. The nutritional benefits of venison align with the standards established by the AAFCO dog nutrient profiles, ensuring that it meets the dietary needs for a balanced and complete diet. By choosing a naturally lean meat such as this, you can help ensure your pet's overall health and vitality.

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