4 Best Venison Dog Food Brands

best venison dog food

Why Venison?

Venison is a great source of premium quality protein for your dog. Owners who want a venison dog food are often looking for an alternative to the standard chicken, pork, beef, and lamb formulas, which some dogs are allergic to.

Choosing A Dog Food Formula

When choosing the perfect dog food for your dog, consider these factors:

Allergies. Some dogs have allergies to certain grains or certain meats. Some signs that your dog could be allergic to the dog food: rashes, itching, paw biting, poor coat quality, excessive licking, nausea, gas, vomiting.

Behavioral Changes. Is your dog less active than usual? Is their temperament off? These may be signs that your current dog food isn’t working for your dog.

Taste Buds. Believe it or not, some dogs are just picky eaters! Dogs may prefer certain tastes and dog food formulas over others simply because they enjoy the taste of one formula more.

Age. Some dog food formulas are designed for puppies, while others are designer for adult dogs, and even senior dogs.

Venison Dog Food Quick Rating

Venison Dog Food Our Rating Price
Taste Of The Wild Hi Prairie $$
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct $
Nutro Natural Choice With Venison $$
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost $$$$
Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison   $$$

Our Top Picks:

For value, we suggest Taste of the Wild.

For best quality, go with Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost.

For detailed reviews of these venison dog foods, continue reading.

5 Best Venison Dog Foods

Here’s our run down of the five best venison dog food brands. We chose these brands based on their popularity, combined with ratings from other 3rd party dog food review sites.

1. Taste Of The Wild Hi Prairie With Roasted Bison & Venison

dog food with venison

Price: $$
Our Rating:

  • Real Roasted Meats. The Taste of the Wild’s Hi Prairie dog food is made with real roasted bison and venison, supplemented with fruits and vegetables.
  • Grain Free? Yes
  • Digestible Protein + Antioxidants. This dog food is packed with highly digestible protein (it has above-average protein and fat levels compared to other dog food).
  • Meat is Primary Ingredient. This venison dog food mix’s first four ingredients involve meat, with no grain or bad carb ingredients. It has below-average carbohydrates, containing healthier complex carbs and protein instead.

Pros: This dog food has above-average protein and fat content compared to typical dog foods. Many owners love it – especially for dogs who are allergic to corn or other meats. Many also note that it’s quite affordable considering the high-quality and focus on meat.

Cons: This venison dog food was part of Diamond’s 2012 recall for potential salmonella contamination. While this was several years ago and is no longer is an issue, it’s still something to consider, as some owners are uncomfortable buying dog food from a company with a past history of recalls.

We suggest signing up for a dog food recall alert service just to make sure you’re the first to know if another similar situation arises again.

See Full Taste of the Wild Ingredient List
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweat potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

2. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

venison dog food

Price: $
Our Rating:

  • Real Turkey and Venison. Purina ONE SmartBlend is made with real turkey and venison, with turkey as the #1 ingredient.
  • Gain-Free? No
  • Natural Source of Glucosamine. This dog food contains natural sources of glucosamine, which supports healthy joints.
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids. This dog food’s Omega-6 fatty acid profile helps your dog develop healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • For Adult Dogs. This venison dog food formula is designed specifically for adult dogs.
  • Sizes. Available in 3.8 lb / 7.4 lb / 15 lb / 27.5 lb bags.

Pros: While it does contain grain, at 30% protein (and with meat as the primary ingredients) it does have a better macronutrient profile than the majority of dog foods and has never been recalled (plus it’s manufactured in the USA). Owners note it’s a decent quality dog food at a reasonable price. 

Cons: It doesn’t have the best ingredient list, with corn, soybean meal, wheat, and other less-than-ideal ingredients. Still, while it may not be the ultimate health dog food, it’s a solid enough choice that should be safe for many dogs.

See Full Purina One SmartBlend Ingredient List
Insert Content HereTurkey, Corn Gluten Meal, Soy Flour, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Poultry By-Product Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Whole Wheat, Whole Corn, Soybean Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Germ Meal, Venison, Glycerin, Oat Meal, Animal Digest Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Vitamin E Supplement, Sulfur, Zinc Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Garlic Oil, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite. C-4174.

3. Nutro Natural Choice With Venison 

venison dry dog food

Price: $$
Our Rating:

  • Ideal for Sensitive Stomachs. This venison dog food has limited ingredients, making it a great choice for dogs with sensitive systems.
  • New Zealand Venison. This New Zealand venison provides a unique and high-quality source of protein that may be preferable for dogs who don’t enjoy or process other protein sources well.
  • Grain-Free? No
  • Better Skin Guarantee. With patented levels of Omega-6 fatty acid, zinc, and B vitamins, this dog food is guaranteed to improve your dog’s skin and coat, or else you’ll get your money back.
  • Whole Gain Oatmeal. This dog food’s whole grain oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, making it easier to digest.
  • Dogs Ages 1-7. Recommended for dogs age 1-7.
  • Also Comes in Seafood and Chicken. This dog food also comes in a seafood and chicken version.
  • Sizes. Comes in 5lb / 15lb / 30lb bags

Pros: Many owners note that dogs who have sensitive stomachs enjoyed the Nutro Natural Choice formula. Owners note their dogs are finally gas-free!

Cons: Not grain free – whole brown rice is a major ingredient.

4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dog Food

venison dog food brands

Price: $$$$
Our Rating:

  • Freeze-Dried Raw Meat. This venison dog food comes with freeze-dried raw meat pieces, providing excellent taste and added nutrition matching what your dog would normally eat in the wild.
  • Gain-Free? Yes. Nature Variety’s Instinct Raw venison dog food is grain-free, ensuring that your dog gets quality nutrition and protein.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. This dog food’s Omega-6 and Omega-6 fatty acids will help your dog maintain healthy skin and coat.
  • Several Choices. Available in a Venison & Lamb mix / Beef & Lamb / Chicken / Duck & Turkey / Lamb & Salmon.
  • Sizes. Available in 4.1 lb / 12.3 lb / 23.5 lb packs

Pros: Many owners note that this venison dog food worked well for dogs with food allergies and also helped with digestive troubles. This dog food is made in the USA, and in the ingredient list you’ll note that the first several primary ingredients consist of meat. This dog food also contains many fewer controversial ingredients than other dog foods, making it a top tier, very high-quality and healthy dog food.

Cons: Some find that the amount of raw meat is very inconsistent – some bags are packed with it, while others have much less.

See the Full Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Ingredient List
 Venison, Turkey Meal, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Salmon Meal, Lamb Meal, Tapioca, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Freeze Dried Lamb, Natural Flavor, Montmorillonite Clay, Carrots, Salt, Apples, Freeze Dried Lamb Liver, Freeze Dried Lamb Kidney, Pumpkinseeds, Cranberries, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Kelp, Broccoli, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Dried Chicory Root, Blueberries.

5. Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dry Dog Food

venison dog food for allergies

Price: $$$
Our Rating:

  • Limited Ingredients. This Natural Balance dog food contains a limited number of protein and carbohydrate sources, making the food easier to digest.
  • Grain-Free? Yes
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6. This venison dog food contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid profiles.
  • Sweet Potatoes. This venison and sweet potatoes formula allows sweet potatoes to serve as the main carbohydrate. Sweet potato is a premium, quality carb that is easier to digest and rich in potassium, compared to other lesser carbs (like corn, grain, etc.)
  • Sizes: Available in 4.5 lb / 13 lb / 26 lb bags

Pros: Grain-free, and a good source of protein.

Cons: While initially this dog food has received solid praise from owners, Natural Balance has recently been bought out by DelMonte. Ingredients are now being sourced from China and some owners even report their dogs becoming sick.

We DO NOT RECOMMEND purchasing this dog food until the sourcing situation has changed. We’re listing it here under our review so that when people see it online, they will know that the formula has recently changed and that our current rating does not reflect the current existing product.

See the Full Natural Balance LID Ingredient List

Sweet Potatoes, Venison, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Canola Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potato Fiber, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Note: This dog food was reviewed with information from 3rd party dog food review sites like Dog Food Advisor. We did NOT try this dog food ourselves – we are providing a report based on outside sources and 3rd party reviews.

Do you have any recommendations for the best venison dog foods? Share your top picks in the comments!

For more tips on doggy dinner time, check out our post on the best food dispensing dog toys (to slow down hungry eaters).

One Response

  1. Alisa skates November 21, 2016 Reply

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