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The 10 Best Legume-Free Dog Foods

Food sensitivities can make it challenging to buy dog food, especially if your dog is sensitive to popular components such as beans. While there are some advantages to including beans in your dog's diet, there are also reasons why you should avoid doing so. When looking for legume-free dog food, the most important aspects to consider are allergies and the danger of heart disease, which is currently being researched.

You would think that avoiding legumes is as simple as not purchasing grain-free formulae, but beans are also commonly used in grain-inclusive recipes. Here are the BestForPets (bestforpets.org) reviews of the best legume-free dog foods options to help you narrow down your search and steer you in the correct path. We hope that these evaluations will assist you in determining which brand is best for your dog.

Buyer's Guide: Selecting the Best Legume-Free Dog Food

Why Do Legumes Appear in Dog Food?

Many dog meals use beans as components to give fiber and carbs without increasing the cost of manufacture or the finished product. Pea protein is used in certain recipes to complement the animal protein in the formula, while legumes are used as thickening agents in others.

The numerous advantages are what make beans a popular ingredient. Legumes are most typically seen in grain-free diets that lack the fiber and carbs found in grains. However, beans are also included in many grain-free formulations.

The Dangers of Legumes

Despite their numerous advantages, legumes do have a few hazards that make many dog owners apprehensive of purchasing dog meals that include them. Some dogs are allergic to particular components, such as beans, and eating them repeatedly might cause skin problems and stomach discomfort.

The most serious difficulties, however, arise from grain-free diets. The American Veterinary Medical Association discovered that the dogs most afflicted were consuming grain-free food with a high legume content during the FDA inquiry into the relationship between grain-free dog food and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Nobody knows if the legumes are to blame or whether dogs are missing out on other essential nutrients in legume-heavy, grain-free diets. Heart disease has also not afflicted all dogs that consume grain-free diet.

Are Legume-Free Diets Beneficial to Your Dog?

It is up to you and your dog to choose whether avoiding legumes is the best option. Legumes provide various health advantages for dogs when consumed in moderation and as an addition to a balanced diet. However, if your dog has dietary allergies, it is advisable to avoid the item to keep him healthy.

Personal preference also plays a role in your selection. If you’re not comfortable giving your dog legume-inclusive formulations, especially grain-free versions, there are lots of other ingredients with equal advantages to consider.

When looking for dog food, natural nutrients from fruits and vegetables, as well as protein from real meat, are ideal to consider. Pumpkin, for example, is well-known for being simple to digest, especially for sensitive stomachs, and for being a good source of fiber.

How to Select the Best Dog Food

Whether it contains legumes or not, selecting the best dog food can be a difficult task. Even if you choose to exclude items like beans or some animal proteins, there are a few methods to ensure your dog gets the nutrition they require.

Health Issues

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a dog food is if it supports certain health conditions that your dog may have. If your dog has unique health issues, prescriptions, weight-loss programs, or sensitive-digestion formulas are all options to explore.

Food sensitivities must also be considered. In principle, choosing a legume-free dog food is a smart idea, but if your dog is sensitive to the chicken in the new recipe, they will still have problems with it. Before making your final decision, consider all of the components in the recipe.

Stage of Life

The majority of dog food is general and intended for dogs of all ages and kinds. This is ideal if you have many pets at home who are all at different phases of life. These general formulae, however, have the disadvantage of not being tailored to a certain breed of dog. Puppies, for example, benefit greatly from the nutrients included in puppy-specific formulations.

With a recipe tailored to your dog’s age and breed, they’ll get the nutrients they need to be healthy.

Recommendation from a Veterinarian

When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about your alternatives. They will be able to assist you in diagnosing food allergies and directing you to dog food products that are dependable and safe for your dog.

While you should still conduct your own research, receiving advise from your veterinarian or their personal opinion on a meal you’ve picked will help put your mind at ease when it comes to feeding your dog.


BestForPets (bestforpets.org) looked at the best legume-free dog foods in these evaluations, including ACANA, which employs natural ingredients to create a balanced diet. The low-cost Rachael Ray Nutrish is ideal for owners looking for bargain, while the high-end Zignature Select Cuts is a possibility if you don’t mind extending your budget.

ORIJEN Amazing Grains is created to help the growth of big breed pups on more specialized diets. Finally, Nom Nom’s Turkey Fare is our veterinarian’s recommendation for optimal nutrition and a balanced diet.


Best Overall: Wholesome Grains Dry Food + ACANA Singles

  • Deboned duck, duck meal, oat groats, and whole sorghum are the main components.
  • 27.00% protein content
  • 17.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,370

The ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food is our finest overall legume-free dog food.

It has a single animal protein source — either duck or lamb — as a limited-ingredient formula to prevent common food allergies, making it a smart alternative if your dog is sensitive to particular substances. It’s also packaged in a resealable bag to keep it fresh for a longer period of time.

To make it a healthier, high-quality alternative for your dog, the recipe depends on authentic, nutritional components that are free of artificial additives. ACANA contains fiber from butternut squash and pumpkin, in addition to protein, to aid good digestion.

While this mixture is available in 4- or 22.5-pound bags, both are on the pricey side because to the emphasis on natural ingredients and nutritious nourishment.


  • Single source of beef protein
  • Excellent for dogs with dietary sensitivity.
  • Fiber is found in butternut squash and pumpkin.
  • There are no artificial additives.
  • Reusable bag


  • Expensive


Best Value: Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Food with Limited Ingredients

  • Lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice, and dried beet pulp are the main components.
  • 20.00% protein content
  • 13.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,430

Finding nutritious, affordable, high-quality dog food can be a fruitless endeavor, especially if you want a natural formula and avoid undesired components.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is made with six ingredients and a carefully balanced combination of vitamins and minerals to improve your dog’s health.

It is made in the United States of America and contains actual lamb as the first component, avoiding typical animal protein sensitivities. It’s appropriate for multi-dog households and is the finest legume-free dog food for the money, with three bag sizes available.

A few dog owners have reported that this dog chow has a strong, disagreeable odor.


  • The first component is real lamb.
  • Vitamins and minerals are essential for general health.
  • Made in America
  • There are no artificial additives.


  • Some pet owners are put off by the odor.


Premium Choice: Dry Dog Food Zignature Select Cuts

  • Trout, salmon meal, oats, and millet are the main components.
  • 28.00% protein content
  • Fat content: 15%
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,672

Fish-based protein dog food formulae are one approach to avoid common food allergies, and the Zignature Select Cuts Dry Dog Food recipe includes wild-caught salmon and trout.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most costly dog diets on this list, the formula emphasizes natural, locally produced, GMO-free ingredients. Each recipe is created in the United States to ensure that the cooking procedure meets regulatory health and safety requirements.

Zignature Select Cuts is made largely of genuine fish, but it also contains grains, which give natural fiber to help your dog’s digestive health. The antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral mix also maintains your dog healthy.

While there aren’t many components in this recipe, some dogs have reported gastric distress after consuming it. Some finicky eaters may detest the fishy flavor as well.


  • Salmon and trout from the wild
  • Natural fiber to help with digestion
  • GMO-free ingredients
  • Made in America


  • Some dogs have had stomach discomfort as a result of this product.
  • Some canines loathe the taste of fish.


Best for Puppies: ORIJEN Incredible Grains Puppy LargeDry Food

  • Chicken, whole herring, whole mackerel, and chicken liver are the main components.
  • 38.00% protein content
  • 16.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,860

ORIJEN Amazing Grains Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is committed to meeting the nutritional needs of large breed pups and employs nutrient-rich ingredients to promote your new puppy’s health.

Natural DHA and EPA, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber, are included in the mix to help with immunity, digestion, eye development, cognitive function, and skin and coat health. The first five components are all animal protein, ensuring that the recipe contains sufficient of high-quality protein.

High-quality dog food is typically pricey, and this alternative isn’t the most budget-friendly. However, ORIJEN is a fantastic choice if you don’t have a budget or don’t mind spending extra to guarantee that your new puppy gets proper nourishment.

Because of the ingredients, it smells strongly of fish, and some finicky dogs may reject the flavor.


  • The first five components are all animal protein.
  • Designed for huge breed puppies
  • DHA and EPA from natural sources
  • Prebiotics and probiotics are beneficial to gut health.


  • Expensive
  • It has a distinct fishy odor.


CANIDAE PURE Dry Food With Wholesome Grains

  • Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, and barley are the main components.
  • 25.00% protein content
  • 14.50% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,642

The CANIDAE PURE With Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food is a fantastic alternative for dogs with food sensitivities because it is made with nine components as well as vitamins and minerals. It contains omega fatty acids to enhance skin and coat health and utilizes fish to avoid allergies to chicken or beef.

The other components also contribute to your dog’s general well-being. Antioxidants defend the immune system, while probiotics support gastrointestinal health. The added glucosamine and chondroitin improve the condition of your dog’s joints, allowing them to stay active for longer.

Although the 4-pound bags are inexpensive, their tiny size means they won’t last long in multi-dog households or for larger breeds. This recipe also contains canola oil, which may make some dog owners apprehensive of using it.


  • Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to the skin and coat.
  • There are no artificial components.
  • Ingredients are limited for dogs with food sensitivity.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help to maintain joint health.


  • Canola oil is present.
  • A 4-pound sack is insufficient for big breeds.


Dry Dog Food Merrick Classic Healthy Grains

  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, and barley are the main components.
  • 26.00% protein content
  • 16.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,711

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food is excellent for families with several dogs because it is available in four bag sizes and is tailored for all dog breeds.

The mixture includes omega oils, glucosamine, and chondroitin to help your dog’s joints, skin, and coat. It’s created with genuine chicken, fiber veggies, and grains to help with digestion.

Although Merrick contains vitamins and minerals to help your dog’s general health, some dogs are allergic to chicken, and their immune system may overreact to the main component.

Some owners reported that their dogs had diarrhea after consuming this food, while pickier dogs refused to consume it owing to the strong odor.


  • Digestive fiber from natural sources
  • Omega oils, glucosamine, and chondroitin are all beneficial to general health.
  • Suitable for homes with many dogs
  • Made with genuine chicken.


  • Chicken causes allergies in certain dogs.
  • Fussy dogs may detest the odor.
  • Some dogs experienced diarrhea as a result of this.


Wild Red Stella & Chewy’s

  • The main components are beef, pig, pork meal, and barely.
  • 36.00% protein content
  • 16.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,789

Wild Red Raw Blend by Stella & Chewy Kibble Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe is made with natural ingredients to offer dogs with nutritious food. The recipe delivers a high-protein meal for adult dogs by utilizing complete prey items such as muscles, organs, and cartilage.

To increase the amount of natural nutrients in the dish, real vegetables such as pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, and spinach are utilized. The additional fiber also promotes digestive health.

This recipe also contains freeze-dried, raw beef pieces for added flavor, however some bags may contain more chunks than others. Some pet owners dislike the scent of this dog food, while others have reported that their pets experienced diarrhea while on this diet.


  • Fibrous foods are good for your intestines.
  • Ingredients for whole prey
  • Protein derived from animals
  • There are no artificial additives.


  • Some proprietors loathe the odor.
  • Some dogs experienced diarrhea as a result of this.
  • The number of freeze-dried pieces varies by package.


Dry Dog Food VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula

  • Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, and pork meal are the main components.
  • 30.00% protein content
  • 20.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,815

Highly energetic dogs require a diet that can keep up with their energy demands. The VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food is designed for energetic breeds of all ages to provide the nutrition they require to continue doing their tasks.

It incorporates actual beef protein and nutrient-dense veggies to create a healthy, balanced diet. The VPRO Blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports immunological and digestive health.

Several owners have stated that the scent of this food is revolting and that their dogs would not eat it. This formula also contains a variety of animal protein sources, which may cause allergic responses in dogs that are sensitive to specific substances.


  • Designed for extremely active breeds
  • Ingredients high in nutrients
  • Dogs of various ages can use it.
  • VPRO Blend improves digestive and immune system health.


  • The taste is disliked by finicky dogs.
  • Food has a strong, disagreeable odor.
  • Some pets may experience allergic responses.


Dry Dog Food Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream

  • Salmon, salmon meal, ocean fish meal, grain sorghum are the main components.
  • 30.00% protein content
  • Fat content: 15%
  • Calories per kilogram: 3,640

The Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Dry Dog Food is packed in protein to help maintain bones, joints, and muscular mass. The formula contains natural omega-fatty acids that support skin and coat health, as well as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that boost immunological health.

The product also contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics, which help to maintain a healthy gut flora and improve digestion.

Although this recipe has no artificial ingredients, it does contain canola oil, which many dog owners choose not to feed to their dogs. The high protein level has been linked to stomach distress in dogs that are unfamiliar with the diet, and some bags come torn.


  • The first component is salmon.
  • Natural omega oils to improve the condition of your skin and coat
  • Vegetables high in antioxidants boost immunity.
  • Probiotics from the K9 Strain


  • Canola oil is present.
  • Some dogs experienced intestinal difficulties as a result of this.
  • Some bags arrive torn open.


Grain-Free Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food

  • Chicken, salmon broth, whitefish, and chicken liver are the main components.
  • 10% protein content
  • 6.00% fat content
  • Calories per kilogram: 1,261

The Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is made in the United States of America using natural ingredients to ensure that it satisfies high health and safety requirements. It is intended for adult dogs and pups and may be fed alone or combined with kibble.

Wellness CORE incorporates fruits and vegetables, in addition to genuine meat and fish, to enhance lean muscle mass, immunological wellness, and skin and coat health.

While the dish does contain fish, chicken is listed as the first ingredient, making this choice unsuitable for dogs with chicken sensitivity. To keep open cans fresh, store them in the refrigerator. Some dogs have also had diarrhea as a result of this product.


  • Natural components encourage a nutritious diet.
  • Made in America
  • Can be used alone or in combination with kibble.
  • Increases lean muscular mass


  • Allergies might be triggered by the presence of chicken.
  • Some dogs have experienced diarrhea as a result of this.
  • Leftovers must be refrigerated.

Author Image

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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