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The 12 Best Dog Foods Without Legumes, Peas & Lentils

You may be shocked to learn that a significant proportion of grain-free dog diets contain beans, peas, and lentils. The addition of these components is mostly for their fiber content, as the absence of grains necessitates another source of soluble fiber, most often peas. In addition to being sources of calories and protein, legumes, peas, and lentils are regularly incorporated to grain-free dishes.

The FDA is conducting an inquiry to see if grain-free dog meals including peas, beans, potatoes, and lentils are linked to heart disease. This is the reason why many dog owners avoid giving their pets food containing these chemicals.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) have compiled this list of in-depth evaluations of the best dog foods without legumes, peas & lentils, as well as a comprehensive buyer's guide, to assist you in selecting the finest possible dog food for your beloved pet. Here are some dog foods without peas that your pet will enjoy.


Iams ProActive Health Dry Dog Food for Adult Small Breeds

Iams ProActive Adult dry dog food is the most cost-effective option for dogs without beans, peas, and lentils. The food’s first component is farm-raised chicken, and its 27% crude protein level will give your dog with the high-quality meat-based protein he needs to flourish.

It is packed with powerful antioxidants for optimal immune support and flaxseeds for healthy skin and coat. In addition to vitamins E, A, and D3, the diet also includes calcium (1,1 %) and phosphorus (0,85 %).

This meal is primarily created for tiny adult dog breeds, thus the kibble size may be insufficient for larger dog breeds. Some customers claim that the meal gave their dogs gas, bloating, and loose feces, which prevents this product from holding the top spot.


  • Contains chicken produced on a farm.
  • Contains antioxidants to boost the immune system and digestion
  • Sources of omega-6 fatty acids found in nature
  • Includes the vitamins E, A, and D3
  • Inexpensive


  • Small kibble size
  • Possible gas and bloating


American Natural Premium Dry Puppy Food

American Natural Premium dry dog food is devoid of lentils, legumes, and peas, making it an ideal choice if you’re seeking for a premium-quality, legume- and pea-free diet for your puppy.

The food is created for the optimal nutritional absorption that growing pups require, with a crude protein content of 27% derived mostly from deboned chicken and chicken meals of the highest quality.

The included fish meal and fish oils will provide your developing puppy with the necessary omega fatty acids, while the DHA will help in brain and eye development.

The meal provides calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone growth, probiotics for digestive health and immunological support, and other vitamins and minerals for overall health. Additionally, it has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Due to this food’s intense fish aroma, picky eaters may certainly turn their noses up at it. Aside from that, we could not really find fault with this cuisine, and its exorbitant price is what prevents it from placing in the top two.


  • Contains chicken as the primary component.
  • Included fish flour and fish oils as a source of omega fatty acids
  • DHA is essential for brain development
  • Contains both calcium and phosphorus
  • Extra probiotics
  • Absent of synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives.


  • Due to the fish aroma, it may not appeal to finicky diners.
  • Expensive


Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food by VICTOR

VICTOR’s Hi-Pro Plus Formula dry dog chow is another excellent option devoid of beans, peas, and lentils. The food is produced with high-quality beef, chicken, and pig meals and contains 88% meat-based protein to provide your dog with a premium protein source that assists in the growth and maintenance of muscular tissue.

It is suitable for all life phases, including pups and nursing females, and is specially created to offer high-activity dogs the continuous energy they require. The meal contains gluten-free grains like sorghum and millet, as well as vitamins E and D3, minerals including manganese and calcium, and vital fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Consider that this meal has a somewhat high crude fat content, around 20%, which might lead to gastrointestinal troubles in some dogs, such as gas and bloat. Additionally, the dish has a distinct odor that might cause poor breath.


  • 88% of the protein in the diet comes from animal products
  • Ideal for all phases of life
  • Designed for high-performance dogs
  • Contains gluten-free grains
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 necessary fatty acids are present.


  • High-fat content may lead to digestive problems.
  • Pungent scent


Nature’s Logic Canine Dry Food for All Life Stages

The first component of Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is chicken meal, and the total protein level is 36%, ensuring that your dog receives all the protein necessary for building and maintaining muscular mass.

After cooking, probiotics and digestive enzymes are added to preserve their efficacy in assisting your dog’s digestive health, and the kibble is coated with these enzymes to promote appropriate absorption.

The cuisine comprises minimally processed ingredients such as blueberries and dried kelp, which are rich in antioxidants, spinach, which is rich in vitamins A and C, and iron, manganese, and cranberries, which enhance immune function. In addition, dog food contains no maize, wheat, rice, or soy.

Some dogs may experience diarrhea or loose stools due to the high protein level, so be cautious to introduce the food gradually. Several customers claim that the meal gives their dogs gas and bloat, and it is rather costly.


  • 36% protein concentration
  • Probiotics and digestive enzymes were added.
  • Contains natural antioxidant sources
  • Vitamins A and C-rich
  • It is rich in iron and manganese.
  • Without corn, wheat, or soy


  • Comparatively costly
  • This may result in loose stools
  • Possible gas and bloating


Merrick Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Merrick’s grain-free wet dog food contains 96% meat, the majority of which is USDA-inspected deboned chicken. The meal contains salmon oil and flaxseed to ensure that your dog receives the omega fatty acids necessary for good skin and hair, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc, which are needed for bone and dental health.

All of the components are of good quality and come from reputable farms, and the food is appropriate for pups, adults, and senior dogs. In addition, this wet meal does not include any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or by-products.

Several customers have reported that the texture of this dish has become watery and nearly soup-like after the recipe was recently altered. It may be necessary to combine this meal with dry kibble, as the moisture of this diet might induce loose stools and runny stomachs.


  • Made from 96% meat
  • Contains boneless chicken
  • Omega essential fatty acids from natural origin
  • Includes vital minerals
  • Absent of synthetic flavors, colors, preservatives, and by-products.


  • Wet and runny consistency
  • May result in loose stools
  • Not recommended as a daily staple


Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food

The Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food contains 96% fresh meat, including organs and bones, and 100% single-source, free-range, grass-fed beef. The meal also contains green mussels from New Zealand, which are an excellent source of chondroitin and glucosamine that promote joint health in dogs.

It also includes significant concentrations of taurine, which is extremely excellent for cardiovascular health as a whole. Ziwi Peak utilizes a delicate, two-stage drying process that naturally preserves the ingredients and eliminates any dangerous microorganisms.

The meal is high in protein (38%) and is 95% digestible, providing more nutritious calories so that you may give your dog less than with regular dry feeds, which typically contain “filler” items. In addition, the air-drying process eliminates the need for additives, sugars, fillers, and grains.

According to many customers, this meal is dry and has bits that do not rehydrate. According to reports, the meal also molds easily; thus, you must keep it in an airtight container. This cuisine is also rather costly.


  • Including 96% fresh beef
  • Contains 100% single-source, grass-fed, free-range beef
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains high taurine concentrations
  • Naturally air-dried


  • The dog food is dry.
  • Molds quickly
  • Expensive


Farmina N&D Ancestral Dry Dog Food for Adults

This N&D Ancestral dry dog food from Farmina contains chicken as the first ingredient to provide your dog with the superior protein it needs to thrive. The diet contains sixty percent animal components, thirty percent crude protein, twenty percent organic spelt and oats, and twenty percent fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.

The low glycemic mix helps prevent sugar surges in your dog, and the natural omega fatty acids will promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. The additional blueberries and pomegranates are an excellent sources of antioxidants that aid in the fight against free radicals, and the food contains no animal by-products or meat.

Several customers stated that this food gave their dogs diarrhea and that it has an offensive odor that deterred selective eaters. Additionally, some owners reported that their dogs gained weight while eating this food, and the kibble is too large for small breeds.


  • Contains authentic chicken
  • Low glycemic index
  • Contains naturally occurring omega fatty acids
  • Blueberries and pomegranates are natural sources of antioxidants.
  • Free of animal products and byproducts


  • May result in diarrhea
  • Possible to cause weight gain
  • Large kibble is unsuitable for little breeds.


Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages

Canine Caviar’s limited-ingredient dry food is formulated for all life phases, from puppyhood to old age. The food’s first component is actual, dried chicken, and its crude protein concentration is 27%.

The chicken is the sole source of protein and is hormone- and antibiotic-free, while the millet is the only source of carbohydrates and is free of dangerous pesticides. The cuisine is devoid of artificial preservatives, by-products, GMO ingredients, and glutens and contains probiotics, prebiotics, papaya, and yucca to promote digestive and intestinal health.

Several buyers stated that this meal caused diarrhea in their dogs, and other finicky eaters did not love the flavor. Additionally, the kibble is rather tiny, and bigger dogs may consume it too rapidly.


  • Contains chicken as the only source of protein.
  • Made for all phases of life
  • Hormone-, pesticide-, and antibiotic-free.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics present for digestive health
  • Free of additives, by-products, and GMO components.


  • Causes diarrhea or loose stools in certain dogs
  • Picky eaters might not consume it.
  • Miniature kibble


Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food includes the ideal combination of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and spinach, and lean proteins derived from farm-raised chicken, fish, and grass-fed lamb.

In addition, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin derived from natural sources to preserve healthy joints, as well as salmon and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat.

It is supplemented with vital vitamins and minerals, such as taurine, to promote optimal cardiovascular health. Additionally, it does not include any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Although the meal is intended for big breeds, the tiny size of the kibble may lead to rapid eating or choking in larger dogs. Several customers complain that the food causes their dogs to vomit and have loose feces, and the food molds quickly. Additionally, it is rather pricey.


  • Three distinct sources of protein
  • Includes foods and vegetables high in antioxidants
  • Contains a natural glucosamine and chondroitin source.
  • Supplemented with vital vitamins and minerals
  • Absent of synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives.


  • Miniature kibble
  • Some dogs may have vomiting and loose stools.
  • Molds quickly
  • Expensive


Natural Selection Adult Health Dry Dog Food

The adult dry dog food from Holistic Select is created with chicken meal, nutritious brown rice, and oats, and has 25% crude protein. The meal is developed with a special digestive health support system that combines active probiotics, nutritious fiber, and digestive enzymes to help your dog maintain optimal digestive health.

The inclusion of nutritious whole grains will offer your dog additional energy, while the natural fiber will assist with digestion. The diet contains natural antioxidant sources, such as blueberries and pomegranates, for cellular health, as well as living bacteria for a healthy digestive biome.

Customers have reported that this food gave their dogs terrible bloat and gas, and that fussy eater refused to consume it. Additionally, the kibble contains sharp edges that might potentially harm your dog, and the kibble size is excessively large for smaller breeds.


  • Composed of chicken meal and brown rice
  • Active probiotics and digestive enzymes are present.
  • Contains nutritious whole grains
  • Contains natural antioxidant sources
  • Includes viable microorganisms


  • Possible gas and bloating
  • Picky eaters might not like it.
  • Kibble has pointed edges.
  • Large kibble size

Buyer's Guide

In recent years, there has been a significant trend among dog owners toward grain-free meals, and there is a great deal of disagreement around this topic. Grain-free meals have several benefits for dogs, particularly those with weight problems, dietary allergies, and digestive concerns.

Carbohydrate content is the primary driver of the trend toward grain-free meals. While your dog requires carbs for energy, excessive amounts can lead to obesity, digestive troubles, and even a lack of energy.

Your dog’s primary sources of energy should be proteins and fats derived from meat, as these meals give nearly twice as much energy as carbs. Naturally, grain-free does not always equal carbohydrate-free, which is where peas, legumes, and lentils come in.

Why should you avoid beans, peas, and lentils?

Typically, legumes, peas, lentils, and potatoes are used in place of grains as a source of energy and fiber in grain-free dishes. Peas are an excellent source of soluble fiber and can help maintain your dog’s digestive health. These carbs are also a good source of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals that may be advantageous for your dog.

Recent research has identified a relationship between legumes, peas, and lentils and a disease known as canine dilated cardiomyopathy. This is the primary issue with these carbs (CDM). The disorder is characterized by an enlarged heart and a decrease in the heart’s capacity to pump blood efficiently.

There may be a correlation between your dog’s nutrition and the start of the condition, according to researchers. Despite the absence of a definite relationship and the genetic roots of CDM, there is substantial evidence that nutrition may be a potential cause.

Researchers hypothesize that this is occurring because beans, peas, and lentils contain a chemical that inhibits your dog’s ability to metabolize taurine. The data reveal a recent spike in CDM in dogs that are not generally affected by the illness, prompting researchers to suspect that nutrition may be to blame.

Often, commercial meals containing these components have enough protein content, although this protein typically derives from plant-based sources. Animal-sourced protein is necessary for dogs to have sufficient taurine, and the issue may be the substitution of plant-based protein for animal-sourced protein.

Why do dogs require taurine?

Taurine is a unique amino acid found in meat and fish that helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Generally, dogs acquire sufficient taurine through endogenous mechanisms, which means that their body can produce it; however, if their diet inhibits the synthesis of this vitamin, issues like CDM can develop.

Diets containing an acceptable quantity of animal-based protein should provide your dog with an adequate taurine intake; however, the meals should be cooked as little as possible and should preferably be raw or air-dried.

Overcooking animal proteins can cause taurine to degrade, making it more difficult to absorb, and this heat damage will diminish the critical nutrient’s availability.

Essential are proteins derived from animals

Dogs are primarily omnivores, but they require the essential amino acids supplied by animal sources. Despite the fact that some dog owners say their dogs are healthy on vegetarian diets, the simple reality is that dogs require the essential amino acids provided by animal sources.

In addition to red meat, organ meat, bones, poultry, and fish, eggs are also a source of protein. Obviously, too much protein may also be detrimental, since it can quickly lead to obesity and other problems, and it is always ideal to strike a balance.

Some grain-free meals that contain beans, peas, and lentils may not supply your dog with the vital animal proteins they need to survive, and may even be the cause of problems such as chronic wasting disease (CDM).

While this is not yet confirmed, it may be prudent to err on the side of caution for the time being, especially given the new findings that some grains in dog food are not the detrimental element that was originally believed.


Iams ProActive Adult dry dog food is the most cost-effective option for dogs without beans, peas, and lentils. With farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient and a total crude protein level of 27%, you can be confident that your dog is receiving the necessary animal-based protein at a very reasonable price.

Today, there are so many meals that include beans, peas, and lentils that it might be difficult to select the best dog foods without legumes, peas & lentils. Hopefully, BestForPets (bestforpets.org)’s in-depth evaluations have made it easier for you to provide your dog with the nutritious food they need.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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