Best 16 Ingredients for Dog Foods

Dog food ingredients should be healthy and natural. Below is a short list of healthy, grain free dog food ingredients that can be included in a grain free dog food diet. Each ingredient provides specific benefits to your dog's health.

There are more ingredients that could be included here, but these are some of our favorite ingredients that provide balanced and complete nutrition. This list can be a guide for making your own homemade dog food, or provide help when looking for a healthy grain free commercial dog food.


Alfalfa is an antioxidant superfood ingredient. Loaded with vitamins C, B2, B5, folic acid, valuable minerals, and phytochemicals, alfalfa contributes to strong bones and a healthy heart. Alfalfa is also known for its role in preventing cancer. Dogs naturally love alfalfa and is wonderful addition to healthy dog food ingredients.


A high-quality protein ingredient, beef helps promote healthy cell functions through the body and its an ingredient that dogs naturally love. Key nutrients in beef are selenium, iron, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Beef should be USDA quality and is one of the more important dog food ingredients.


Cabbage is one of the ingredients that contains powerful anticancer compounds known as glucosinolates, and contains loads of phytochemicals that sustain long-term health. This low-calorie food is an excellent dog food ingredient that enriches your dog's diet with potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and manganese.


An excellent source of fiber and carotenes, carrots carry antioxidant properties that contribute to healthy eye function and skin health, as well as protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. The vast benefits of carrots make this vegetable one of the more important ingredients in your dog's diet.


Celery is known for its cancer prevention properties and for supporting cardiovascular health—celery is great for dogs. Packed with vitamin C, fiber, potassium, folic acid, and B vitamins, it's the perfect component to a grain-free diet.


One of the often overlooked healthy dog food ingredients, cranberry is perfect for controlling appetite with all the makings of adding a sweet kick to your dog's meal. Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants and highly effective at support urinary health and preventing kidney stones. Many natural dog treats contain cranberry for this reason.


Eggs are loaded with nutrition and high-quality protein, which gives them the highest biological value ingredient for dog diets. Vitamin K supports bone health and inhibits fungal growth, while natural B vitamins and choline strengthen blood and cell membranes.


Flax is a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Plant fiber compounds bind together to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and aid in healthy skin and coat. Flax is common among healthy dog food ingredients.

Ginger Root

Ginger promotes good digestion and overall intestinal health in dogs.


Kelp is an excellent source of iodine, a super food, which is important to proper thyroid function and excellent for dogs. Kelp is also a good source of iron, calcium, and amino acids—an ideal grain free dog food ingredient.


Papaya provides a delicious digestive aid to your dog's meal. Papaya is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its role is protecting against chronic diarrhea.


Parsley is an excellent energy source ingredient as well as a source of dietary fiber and vitamins. Anti-cancer properties and intestinal support make parsley a key ingredient for grain free dog food.


The ingredient, pumpkin, is widely known in pet health for protecting against both diarrhea and constipation—an excellent grain free ingredient. Pack with vitamins and minerals, not only will your dog love the taste, but the wide range of health benefits will have your dog feeling great!


Rosemary is an ingredient that has incredible antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary also stimulates the immune system, increases circulation and improves digestion.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is another tasty, nutrient-rich, fiber-rich ingredient that is nutritious for dogs.


Turkey is a well-known low-fat protein ingredient. Turkey contains tryptophan which supports healthy sleep and rest which, in turn, promotes great overall health.