10 Best Legume Free Dog Foods: No Peas, lentils or Potatoes

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the most popular legume free dog food is, then we recommend Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food as the best one.

If you’re a dog owner like I am, chances are you keep up to date with news related to dogs. The FDA recently published a statement related to food containing peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes. They stated that DCM in dogs or canine dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart problem) in dogs may be connected to dog foods that contain legumes. Therefore, you may want to consider a legume or pea free dog food.

However, more recent research claims that there isn’t enough information to confirm a link between DCM in dogs and legumes. So, there’s no need to panic, but if you still want to be cautious, here are 10 of the best dog foods without legumes. Most of them are also made without peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes.

In this article, we’re going to review the following legume free dog foods

6 more popular dog foods without legumes we are going to review

Most Popular Dog Food Without Legumes

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food

The family-owned Diamond Pet Foods produces food for both dogs and cats. Their Adult Dog Beef Meal and Brown Rice Formula is produced with real beef and it’s made without peas and legumes. Many consider this food to be the best dog food without peas or legumes. This formula contains vitamin E, selenium, omega-6, omega-3 fatty acids. The inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin to assist the bone health of a canine is something I really appreciate as I watch my dogs grow older. This product is strengthened with superfoods with ingredients such as kale, pumpkin, and blueberries.  Also, the product contains K9 Strain Probiotics.  You will find no wheat, corn or soy in this dog food.

Pros:

  • It’s produced with real beef.
  • It’s a dog Food without peas or other legumes
  • It contains vitamins and nutrients. For example omega fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, superfoods, and K9 Strain Probiotics.
  • It doesn’t contain any wheat, corn, or soy.

Cons:

  • Some users complained about mold in the food due to busted bags
  • It may not be suitable for dogs with very sensitive stomachs

>> Check price on Amazon <<


Best Value Dog Food Without Legumes

Victor Classic Hi Pro Plus

The Victor Super Premium Pet Food company, based in Texas, produces both canine and feline recipes. Their Victor Classic Hi Pro Plus dog food is made with high-quality chicken, beef, pork, and fish meals. The dog food is excellent for any pup who needs a high level of protein, such as puppies or pregnant dogs. This Victor version is fortified with minerals, vitamins, protein, amino acids, and omega fatty acids. So, it will keep your dog’s skin and coat feeling soft and shiny. This legume free dog food by Victor also includes ingredients to help with digestion. 

Pros: 

  • It’s produced with high-quality beef, chicken, fish, and pork.
  •  It includes a high-level of protein.
  •  It’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, protein, omega fatty acids, and amino acids.
  •  It helps with digestion.

Cons

  • Some users complained that their dogs got upset stomachs and diarrhea.
  • Some dogs are not crazy about the taste.

>> Check price on amazon <<


Best Dry Dog Food Without Legumes

Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food

Nestlé Purina PetCare, formerly known as The Ralston Purina company, is a major producer of various pet foods. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula is a dry dog food that contains high levels of protein. I really appreciate that the prominent ingredient in the dog food is real chicken. To break it down, the formula contains 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat, designed to a dog’s metabolic needs and to support a dog’s lean muscle. It contains amino acids. It also contains eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA (EPA is a type of Omega 3 that helps with inflammation, along with skin and coat) as well as glucosamine. This is a dog food that is for all life stages but is especially good for senior dogs. Despite all these benefits, this adult dry dog food still has some filler items and by-products, so be sure to look at the ingredients closely.

Pros:

  • It contains high levels of protein.
  •  It contains real chicken.
  • It helps a dog’s metabolic system and maintains their lean muscle.
  • It contains EPA and glucosamine.
  • It’s a dog food without peas and legumes

Cons:

  • It’s designed more for senior dogs, but other dogs can eat it.
  • Some users complained that the food caused an allergic reaction.
  • It contains by-products and fillers.

>> Check Price on amazon <<


Best Canned Legume free Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Wet Dog Food

Merrick, a pet food company that works with trusted farmers and that has existed since 1988, produces food for both dogs and cats. The Merrick Grain Free Real deboned Beef, Lamb, and Buffalo wet dog food, contains 96 percent beef, lamb, and buffalo along with vitamins and minerals. There are no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or by-products in the dog food. One thing you will find about the Merrick brand is that the cans produced are pull-tab for easy opening and easy serving. That’s a feature that could really save me time. Merrick dog foods contain not only real meats but whole foods such as potatoes and blueberries. They also contain nutrients such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This grain free diet is good for all ages and all breeds. 

Pros:

  • Merrick works with trusted farmers.
  • The product contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or by-products.
  • It contains 96 percent beef, lamb, and buffalo.
  • It contains vitamins and minerals including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • It’s good for all ages and all breeds.
  • It’s a grain free dog food without peas

Con:

  • Some customers complained of dented cans upon arrival.

>> Check price on Amazon <<


6 More Popular Dog Foods Without Legumes

Ziwi Peak Air-dried Dog Food

Ziwi Peak Air-dried Dog Food

The New Zealand company ZIWI Peak, founded in 2004, uses only free-range, grass-fed animals, from local farms, for their dog’s consumables.  ZIWI Peak uses an air dried dog food method to preserve their foods without artificial fillers. I find this method very interesting, and I’m glad that’s it’s natural and not artificial. ZIWI’s recipes are made of 96 percent meat, organs, and bones.  It also includes superfoods such as organic kelp and green mussels.  There are no added hormones or antibiotics. The consistency of the recipe allows you to feed your pup less and reduce the volume of your dog’s stools. It’s designed to help with allergies, improved digestion, joint health, and more. It’s also designed for all ages and all breeds, and it closely resembles your canine’s ancestral diet. 

Pros:

  • It uses a modern method of air-drying that naturally preserves the recipe.
  • Made with 96 percent meat, organs, and bones.
  • It includes superfoods such as organic kelp.
  • It has no added hormones or antibiotics.
  • It helps with allergies, digestion, joint health, and more.
  • It’s designed for all ages and breeds.

Cons:  

  • It’s expensive.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Wellness Natural Dog Food

Wellness is a pet food company that’s roots began in 1990.  It’s grain-free food designed to be a mixer and topper and is made with 95 percent real turkey. It’s like grain free chicken canned dog food, but turkey is often tastier and less likely to cause allergies. I find mixers and toppers to be great as a way to add variety to the food I give my pets. They can often add extra nutrition that kibble might not have as well. The Wellness brand also contains real vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and a high degree of protein. It also does not contain artificial colors or preservatives. This is a product that is designed to be used as a mixer or topper but can also be used as a full meal.

Pros:

  • It’s grain free.
  • It contains 95 percent real turkey
  • It contains real vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and lots of protein.
  • It has no artificial colors or preservatives.

Con:

  • The company says it can be used as a full meal, but it is designed to be a mixer or a topper.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<


Nutro Ultra Dog Food

The Nutro Company, headquartered in Tennessee, produces dog and cat food.  The company produces a  “SuperFood Plate” that contains a trio of chicken, lamb, and salmon. Nutro Company’s dog food includes high-quality protein and a blend of 15 superfoods such as coconut, kale, and blueberries. The Nutro Ultra adult dog food contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. This recipe has the ideal amount of protein and fat for your furry friend, with minimal filler items. It is a medley of not only high-quality meats but also fruits and vegetables. 

Pros:

  • It contains a trio of chicken, lamb, and salmon.
  • It contains a large amount of high-quality protein.
  • It contains 15 superfoods including kale, coconut, blueberries, and more.
  • It doesn’t contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Con:

  • Some users complained that their dogs got sick after eating the product.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Alkaline Holistic Dog Food

Founded in 1996, Canine Caviar’s focus is to provide natural holistic alkaline based foods. I like that this pea free dog food has a focus on alkaline-based, which helps to reduce diseases. The goal is to mimic the kinds of foods wolves or wild dogs eat. A further goal with the canine food is to limit the ingredients to benefit a dog’s digestive system. The formula contains one protein – chicken – and one complex carbohydrate – pearl millet. The formula is free of gluten, wheat, tapioca, potatoes, eggs, soy, corn, dairy, and GMOs.  It contains no additives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. So, many consider it the healthiest and best dog food without legumes or potatoes.

Pros:

  • It’s natural and holistic.
  • It’s alkaline based.
  • It mimics the kind of food wolfs and wild dogs eat.
  • It benefits a dog’s digestive system
  • It contains no gluten, wheat, GMOs, etc.
  • It contains no additives, or artificial colors and flavors.

Con:

  • It’s expensive.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Large Breed Bites Dry Dog Food with Grains

Natural Balance is a pet food company created by actor Dick Van Patten in 1989 and currently owned by J.M. Smucker Company. I think it’s cool that an actor, who is obviously also a canine lover, created this brand. Natural Balance is designed to minimize the number of ingredients dogs are exposed to. This makes it an excellent choice, and one of the best dog foods without common allergens. It is also designed for dogs to eat slower and chew correctly, ultimately aiding in digestion. The product also supports clean teeth and healthy gums. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and of course, no legumes or potatoes.  

Pros:

  • It includes minimal ingredients.
  • It’s great for canines with allergies and sensitivities.
  • It’s designed for dogs to chew correctly and eat slower.
  • It’s designed to promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • It contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Con:

  • Some customers claim the ingredients have changed.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Health Extension Original Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Health Extension, a family-owned business for three generations, has a mission to provide nourishing pet consumables. This chicken and brown rice recipe does not include wheat, corn, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or any other fillers. It is a blend that includes not only vitamins and minerals, but also antioxidants. These include things like organic apple cider vinegar, flaxseed, turmeric, and pure coconut oil. The Chicken and Brown Rice recipe includes organically raised chicken and digestible brown rice.  Natural probiotics are included for digestion. 

Pros:

  • It does not include things like wheat and corn.
  • It does not include artificial colors, flavors, fillers, or preservatives.
  • It includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • It includes organically raised chicken and digestible brown rice.

Con: 

  • Some customers complained that their dogs got loose stools.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Legume Free Dog Food Summary

Now that you know which brands don’t have any peas and legumes in them, let’s take a closer look at what legumes mean for pet consumables. A lot of dog foods are made without peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes, but that might not be necessary. As it turns out, they’re not always unhealthy.

What are Legumes?

Legumes refer to any food in the legume family, which mostly consists of peas and beans. Some of the most common legumes are peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, and fava beans. Most grain free diets use some legumes as a substitute for grains. Since grains are often filler ingredients and common allergies for dogs, lots of dry dog food brands offer grain free options.

What are the Benefits of Legumes in Dog Food?

Most peas, lentils, legumes, and similar ingredients are highly nutritious for dogs when given in proper portions. They’re packed with protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. It’s okay to have some legumes in dog food, as long as they don’t overpower the more important ingredients like meat.

Some vitamins and minerals you’ll find in legumes include B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and natural antioxidants. Thus, peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes aren’t unhealthy for dogs in general, but they can be if they’re used too much.

What are the Risk of Legumes in Dog Food?

Even though peas, lentils, legumes and other similar items have been used in grain free diets for a long time, an FDA alert sent panic among animal lovers. The FDA investigation compiled research of the number of DCM cases in dogs. They noted how many dogs with DCM were also on a grain free diet. They suggested that the legumes in grain free dog food were leading to canine heart disease. It might sound frightening, but there’s no need to panic before looking over all the research.

Without considering the FDA’s investigation, there are still some concerns with legumes just like there are for grains. Grains and legumes can be beneficial for dogs in small amounts. Yet, many dry dog food brands pack as many of these filler ingredients into formulas as possible. Too many peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes could take away from the real animal protein in your dog’s food. So, ingredient portions are just as important as the ingredients themselves.

Are Grain Free Diets Dangerous?

No, grain free diets are not dangerous. If you’re worried about this FDA investigation, then it might be a good idea to proceed with caution. Yet, further studies about this topic have concluded that there is no definitive link between DCM and legumes.

After all, the FDA investigation only focused on reporting the number of DCM cases of dogs that were also eating grain free food. There was no real study conducted and they never focused on a control group to test other potential causes. Ironically, many of the veterinarians sharing the information on this investigation were also vets that partnered with and sold pet foods with grains. So, it is difficult to draw a conclusion until there’s more unbiased research and reports completed.

Benefits of Grains in Dog Food

Grains are classified as carbs, and they’re included in dog food mostly to provide energy. Some common grains in kibble brands are barley, corn, brown rice, oats, and wheat. They can provide numerous beneficial nutrients for your furry friend, including omega fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. These healthy items can sometimes be missed in grain free dog diets. They can also be rich in fiber and protein.

In addition to the health benefits, grains in your canine’s meals are also affordable and convenient. There are more grain-filled options that grain free dog meals. Grain free formulas are often considered “specialized,” making them more expensive. They’re also more commonly sold at boutique pet supply stores while foods with grains are often found at big chain stores and convenience stores. So, it’s easy to find a product with grain in it without worrying about breaking the bank. Of course, you’ll still want to examine the ingredients though to ensure that you’re getting a healthy formula.

Risks of Grains in Dog Food

As mentioned before, the biggest risk of grains is allergies. Sometimes, it can be difficult to narrow down which specific grains your pup is allergic to, which is why grain free dog foods are the easiest for sensitive canines. Brown rice and other grains are often the highest ranking ingredients in grain-filled foods, which could be dangerous for a canine with allergies.

Grains can also be difficult for some pets to digest. Dogs don’t need many carbs in their diets, so too many grains could cause an upset stomach, especially if your dog is eating them every day. So, make sure the grain portions in your dog’s diet aren’t too overwhelming for them. Unfortunately, some brands contain more grains than meat without you even realizing.

Finally, not all grains are good quality. Even if you’re looking for the best dog food without peas and legumes, you shouldn’t just settle for any product with grains in it. Oftentimes, grains in pet products are cheap fillers that are easier for pet companies to use. So, formulas that use too many grains won’t be healthy for your pup. Look for recipes that only include a limited selection of ingredients to ensure that your dog is only getting what they truly need, and none of what they don’t

Is Grain or Grain Free Better?

There’s no “better” option when it comes to grain and grain free food. It all comes down to what your pup needs. As a dog parent, it’s up to you to make an educated decision about your dog’s diet. Many families prefer pet foods without peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes, but those options might not be best for every canine.

Of course, if your furry friend has grain allergies or sensitivities, grain free is the safest option for them, but if not, there’s no reason to omit grains from your dog’s diet. Even with the unclear information from the FDA, some dog owners still choose to be cautious, and that’s okay! Then, others prefer to keep feeding their dog grain free options, and that’s fine too. It’s up to you to decide what is best for your individual dog.

What Type of Food Should Your Dog Eat?

The most important part of deciding what your canine should eat is by looking at the ingredients on the food. Sadly, most of the pet industry is focused on profit rather than animal wellbeing, so that’s why you’ll see plenty of kibble brands packed with cheap fillers. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect diet.

Meat is Key

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and animals, but animal protein is the key part of every dog’s diet. A dog’s ancestral diet once contained 56% protein, but most adult dry dog food products today only have 18% to 32%. So, look for diets with lots of meat in it, ideally for the first two or three ingredients. Also, make sure it’s real animal protein and not by-products or unspecific meat like “poultry.”

Rethink the Ingredient Order

A lot of brands brag about having meat as the first ingredient, but in reality, that isn’t a huge accomplishment. Ingredients are listed on the bag in order of weight before being cooked. Since animal protein has a lot of moisture in it, a lot of its weight gets cooked out in the process of making the kibble. So, after being cooked, meat might no longer be the highest ingredient, and grains and legumes could take the top spot.

It might sound unusual, but sometimes meat meals are a better source of protein. Meat meals have up to 300% more protein than fresh meat. Just make sure that the meat meal labels the specific meat, like “chicken meal,” rather than just saying “meat meal.” You should know exactly what kind of animal protein your furry friend is eating.

Beware of Ingredient Splitting

Companies find a lot of loopholes to trick you into buying unhealthy dog foods. Ingredient splitting is a manipulative process of splitting up one ingredient into smaller categories.

For example, if corn is one of the highest ranking ingredients on the label, the company might split it up into “corn meal” and “corn flour” on the ingredient list. Your pup would be eating much more corn than you realize. Possibly even more corn than animal protein! Plus, if all the legumes were added together in some dog foods, they would likely rank higher than the meat too.

Look for Beneficial Ingredients

Animal protein isn’t the only beneficial ingredient in pet food. Most formulas also include items that can help multiple areas of your dog’s health. For example, omega fatty acids are common in dog food. Omega fatty acids can keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Also, glucosamine and chondroitin are beneficial for canine joints.

Just because a dog food has these ingredients doesn’t make it healthy though. Like all ingredients, vitamins and minerals should be portioned properly. So, if you feel like your pup isn’t getting enough of these items in their food, you can find a food topper or supplements for them.

Avoid Allergens

Sadly, a lot of common ingredients in kibble are also common allergens for dogs. Grains, potatoes, chicken, and beef could all cause your canine to have an allergic reaction. If you know your dog is allergic to something common, be sure to look extra closely at the ingredient labels. And remember, dogs can develop new allergies as they get older too.

Oftentimes, limited ingredient formulas are the best choices for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. They only include what your dog really needs, which means no unnecessary fillers. Of course, still be sure to check the ingredients before buying it.

Consider Higher End Options

Kibble isn’t the only type of diet your dog can have. Wet, fresh, raw, and homemade meals are all possibilities too. Oftentimes, these recipes include less filler ingredients, meaning legumes or potatoes are not a problem anymore.

Sure, non-kibble consumables are a bit more expensive, but they’re often worth it for your dog’s health. A homemade diet is the easiest way to know what’s going into your dog’s stomach, but just make sure you know how to portion it correctly.

Top 3 Questions and answers about legume free dog food

If you’re determined to give your dog foods without peas, lentils, and other legumes, then it might seem overwhelming. There are so many options and so many recommendations. Here’s a break down for choosing legume free canine diets.

1. What Are Legumes and Why Are They Bad for Dogs?

Legumes are in the Leguminosae family. They are plants that produce pods that contain seeds inside. Examples of this kind of food are beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, alfalfa, and more. When it comes to human consumption, legumes are nutritious and a good source of protein.

The same cannot be said for canine consumption. Many dog foods today are grain-free, which sounds great. However, when the grain is eliminated, alternative ingredients are added for carbohydrates. Often legumes are used to fill this role. In this video by veterinarian Dr. Alex Avery, he discusses the FDA’s theory and how legumes are connected. 

However, legumes aren’t all bad. Dog owners often think it’s a fight between grains and legumes when that’s not the real issue for pet food. Both legumes and grains have benefits for dogs, but neither of them should make up the majority of your dog’s diet. In fact, dogs don’t really need any carbs in their diet at all. So, instead of avoiding grains or legumes altogether, focus more on finding a dog food brand that’s packed with real meat as the first few ingredients.

2. How Do I Choose the Best Dog Food That Does Not Have Legumes?

Thankfully, not all dog foods that are grain free contain legumes.  As you see with the 10 pet products I’ve reviewed, there are great dog foods that do not contain legumes. How do you choose these kinds of dog foods?

  • The very first thing you should do is to check the label of any consumable you purchase.  Ensure that it does not contain legumes. Most pet food contains protein like chicken or beef, for example. These should be the primary ingredients. Make sure that they are 100 percent real, so no by-products or vague meat items.
  • Look for added ingredients that are helpful for dogs, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, omega fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals.
  • Also look for foods that are considered “superfoods” such as blueberries, carrots, and kale.
  • Make sure the dog food doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, fillers, or preservatives.

3. What’s the Best Way to Use This Kind of Dog Food?

The best way to use this kind of dog food is to follow the directions on the bags or cans.  Failure to do that can cause your dog to have stomach problems and to gain unnecessary weight.  For example, if you eat too much of something, no matter how good it is for your body, the result will probably not be good.  The same can be said for your dog.  

If the label, or if your veterinarian, says that you should only give your dog ½ cup in the morning and a ½ cup in the evening, you need to stick to that advice.  If you are requested to ease your dog into the diet through a transitioning process, you need to do that. 

However, some dog food brands will list the recommended serving size higher than it needs to be as a way to get you to buy more of the brand. After all, you wouldn’t trust a fast food restaurant to tell you how much to eat, would you? So, if your dog seems to be gaining weight while exercising and eating the proper servings, you might need to feed them a little less.

Keeping your dog hydrated is important. Always provide plenty of fresh water along with the dog food when feeding your dog. Replace your dog’s water at least once a day to ensure that it stays clean and free of unhealthy bacteria.

Final Thoughts

The 10 dog foods that I’ve reviewed are all good choices for people who want to find a canine diet without peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes. I especially like the dog foods made with meat that is free ranged and that contains organic foods. I’m also drawn to the dog foods that don’t contain a paragraph of ingredients. Less is more, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

The most popular one I’ve reviewed is Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food. Basically, what I want for my own life is what I want for my dogs – a healthy diet.

Just remember that a lot of the investigation on grain free dog food is not certain. So, be responsible and make a decision that’s best for your dog. Also, it can’t hurt to keep an eye out for updates on the FDA investigations just to be safe.

More Tips on Dog foods, check out the following articles

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Peter Schoeman