Best Dog Food Without Peas And Legumes Feature Image

What’s The Best Legume Free Dog Food? Reviews & Buyer’s 2020 Guide

Best Dog Food Without Peas And Legumes Feature Image

Nutritionists agree that a plant-based diet is very healthy for us humans. Plant foods such as lentils, peas, and legumes provide a lot of protein and other essential nutrients. Unfortunately, plant-based diets are not as healthy for dogs. If you have basic knowledge of canine nutrition, then you already know that the most important nutrient is protein.

You probably also know that dogs require meat instead of plants. Plant protein sources such as lentils and peas in dog food can increase plant proteins, but not in the form that your dog can effectively process. Pet food manufacturers, especially those producing the best dog foods grain free formulas, don’t reveal this information on the product label.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the role of legumes, peas, and lentils in pet food as well as the possible issues they can cause. Additionally, we’ll talk about the factors you should consider when choosing the best dog food without peas or lentils and review some of our best picks.

If you’re short on time, we’ve highlighted the key features and advantages of the top recommendations in our review of the dog foods without peas to help you make an informed decision. 

These legume-free dog foods are great options for your dog since they include the correct amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.




Editor's Choice is Diamond Naturals

1. Diamond Naturals, Beef Meal & Rice Formula

  • Very affordable and high-quality food for its price
  • Excludes all legumes and includes healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Provides omega 3 fatty acids
  • Relatively low in caloric content and moderate in fat and protein
  • Ideal for active dog breeds
Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 LID

2. Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Diet, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

  • Contains six natural, premium quality ingredients
  • No gluten, wheat, soy or corn
  • Contains healthy and nutritious whole grains
  • Comes in two different flavors
  • Made in the USA
Nutro Ultra Adult

3. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Uses three different kinds of protein: salmon and chicken
  • Low fat content
  • Includes superfoods such as coconut, kale, and blueberries
  • Contains no glutens, corn, wheat, soy or chicken byproducts
  • Contains no artificial fillers, colors, or flavors

Our 10 Best Legume Free Dog Foods

Your dog deserves the best food that you can constantly afford. However, you should always check the ingredients to ensure there’s nothing that could harm your pet with legume allergies. Here are our recommendations for the best dog foods without peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes to get you started:

1. Diamond Naturals, Beef Meal & Rice Formula

Editor's Choice is Diamond Naturals

Available at a reasonable price and meeting all of your legume-free expectations, this grain-free dog food without peas is a no-brainer choice. The food contains no peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes, making it a good choice for pet owners looking for the best legume-free dry dog food.

Instead, it contains a few good grains, antioxidant-packed fruits, and healthy vegetables as well as natural beef as its main source of protein. Apart from these ingredients, the combination of super foods and probiotics add to the nutritional value of the food.

The fruits and vegetables chosen for this formula from Diamond Naturals will help your pooch stay healthy and happy thanks to its high amounts of vitamins. These include kale, broccoli, coconut, and blueberries, which work to support your dog’s immune system.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help to keep your pup’s skin and fur in tiptop condition. This probiotic formula doesn’t contain peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes. It contains no corn, wheat or fillers. This formula also excludes artificial colors and flavors.


  • The healthy ingredients used in this grain-free formula are sourced from reliable suppliers and are of premium quality
  • Uses animal protein sources
  • Contains fruit and vegetables
  • Contains probiotics to boost digestion
  • Contains no corn, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, fillers or preservatives
  • Provides omega fatty acids


  • The portions can be quite large for some dogs
  • Quite expensive

2. Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Diet, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 LID

If you use Rachael Ray Nutrish’s recipes while cooking food for your loved ones, then you can definitely trust their Nutrish Just 6 Ingredient Diet to meet your expectations as well. As its name suggests, this high quality recipe contains just six ingredients, as well as essential minerals.

Poultry fat is also included in order to provide omega fatty acids for maintaining skin and coat health as well as a sweet taste. The main ingredients are natural and wholesome, and the recipe doesn’t contain corn, soy, or wheat. There are also no artificial flavors, colors, fillers, or meat byproducts.

The lamb meal helps to provide amino acids and vitamin B, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to help improve joint health. The brown rice present provides fiber and carbohydrates to increase energy levels while the beet pulp provides healthy prebiotics.


  • Ideal for pups with digestive problems
  • For pups with food allergies and stomach sensitivities
  • Ideal for weight management in dogs
  • Available at a reasonable price


  • Can cause bad dog breath, because of the food’s smell

3. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Adult

Primarily, the ingredients in Nutro’s Ultra adult dog food include Chicken, Salmon, and Grains. Together with its chondroitin and glucosamine benefits, it is also formulated with Omega fatty acids. Additionally, this free grain dog food contains plenty of superfood ingredients, including spinach and chia seed, which all help to support your dog’s immune system.

This dry dog food, otherwise referred to as the ‘Superfood Blend’, offers the perfect blend of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy oils, fruits, and vegetables. This combination of high quality ingredients is specifically formulated for full-grown dogs.

The mix of three sources of protein from both holistic and natural elements offers the finest levels of amino acids for your pooch, ensuring a wonderful taste and the development of stronger muscles. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and uses human grade ingredients to ensure enhanced quality and safety.


  • Uses premium quality protein sources
  • Low fat and high fiber content
  • No artificial colors, flavors or additives
  • Available at a reasonable price


  • Kibbles are very easy to eat up, which can lead to overfeeding

4. Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus

Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus

The Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food is rich in nutrients and contains 88-percent meat protein sources, including high-quality meat meal, fish meal, chicken meal, and pork meal, which make it ideal for dogs of all ages.

From puppies to mature dogs, including pregnant and nursing females, the mix of natural and balanced ingredients ensures sustained energy for dogs of all breeds and sizes.

This dry food comes in 50, 40, 15, and 5lb bags, which allows you to purchase a brand that is ideal for the age, size, and activity level of your dog. It is formulated from gluten-free grains and is enriched with amino acids, protein, and essential fatty acids which allow for healthy digestion and ensure a stronger immune system.


  • The abundance of animal ingredients ensures high protein content (88%)
  • Great for sport dogs and active pups
  • Nutrient-rich diet for both small and large breed dogs
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals and fatty acids for a well-balanced diet


  • The packaging was recently changed
  • Switching to this new food should be done carefully

5. Farmina N&D Ocean - Cod, Spelt, Oats & Orange Recipe

Farmina N&D Ocean

If your dog has a food allergy or a sensitive tummy, you should be very careful when choosing food for him. Choose food that has been formulated with a limited number of premium-quality, easily digestible ingredients that don’t include whatever is causing your pup’s allergic reactions.

Farmina N&D Ocean – Cod, Spelt, and Oats & Orange formula is definitely one of the options you should consider for dog foods without peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes as it has also been specifically formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This is because its primary ingredient and protein source is fresh, wild-caught cod.

It also uses highly digestive grains such as oats and spelt with dried fruits and veggies adding to its overall nutritional value. It also includes fiber to ensure easy digestion and chelated minerals to promote nutrient absorption.

Generally, this dog food formula contains 92-percent protein from natural, premium quality animal sources and it’s a low-glycemic, low-carb recipe that increases digestibility while maintaining your pup’s blood sugar levels at a healthy level.


  • The first ingredient is animal protein
  • Contains low fiber and limited carbohydrates
  • A low glycemic formulation designed for dogs suffering from high blood pressure
  • Does not contain peas, lentils and other by products


  • It has a strong smell

6. Holistic Select Adult Health, Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

Holistic Select Adult Health

The Holistic Select Adult Health Recipe is made to support a healthy digestive system, thanks to healthy fiber, digestive enzymes, and active probiotic combining to produce a wonderful recipe for your dog.

This grain free dog food without legumes and potatoes is designed to provide the perfect combination of whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal with nutritious vegetables and fruits such as papaya and pumpkin, to provide natural fiber and energy.

It also provides cellulase, protease, and alpha amylase which aid in breaking down starch, cellulose, and proteins. There are also superfoods like oranges, blueberries, and pomegranates, which are rich in antioxidants.


  • Ideal for pups with digestive issues
  • Improves the dog's coat and skin
  • Ideal for picky eaters
  • Great for pups with allergies


  • Unsuitable for canines with colitis issues
  • Can give pets gas

7. Health Extension, Original Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Health Extension

Manufactured in the USA by a family-owned company in a human grade facility, this recipe combines just a few premium-quality ingredients. The main ingredients used include chicken pieces, chicken meal, and chicken fat. Brown rice is preferred to ordinary white rice because it helps to promote a canine’s health.

Other notable ingredients include lamb meal, fish meal, and oatmeal. Since this formula contains so many ingredients, it may not be ideal for these pups that require simple foods for health reasons.


  • Made in the USA
  • Provides omega-6 fatty acids
  • Includes brown rice for added health benefits
  • Added minerals and vitamins


  • Long list of ingredients

8. Ziwi Peak Gently Air-Dried, Venison Recipe

Ziwi Peak Gently Air-Dried

For those canines that are intolerant to peas, lentils, legume, or potato, this dry dog food is a great choice since it mainly comprises meat. For that reason, it has little to no grains, fruits, or vegetables in it.

Since the meat is air-dried, it retains all of its nutrients, including protein and fat. This dog food is available in small-sized bags (1lb, 2.2lb, 5.5lb, and 8.8lb) so you’ll be able to choose one that suits your dog’s size and activity levels.


  • Air-dried dog food
  • Consists of mainly animal proteins
  • No fillers, colors or preservatives
  • Nutrient dense dog food
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes


  • Portion sizes may be difficult to master
  • High fat content

9. Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Formula

Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance

This sport dog food is highly recommended by veterinarians and is designed to enhance the strength and endurance of your dog. It contains 30% protein sourced from authentic chicken for packing on muscle mass.

It also contains 20% fat, which is converted to energy. The remaining part of the food includes minerals and amino acids. This formula without legumes and potatoes is a great choice for dogs of all life stages as it features glucosamine to support joint health and mobility.

With a sport dog food that is specifically made to improve the metabolism of oxygen, endurance during physical activity is improved. With omega 6 and 3 fatty acids, your dog’s health is enhanced with each and every bite.

The Purina Pro Plan is also growing in popularity among pet parents since its ingredient list features only naturally sourced items with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Animal protein is the number one ingredient, as well as a carbohydrate source like brown rice.


  • Boosts stamina for canine athletes and working dogs
  • High protein content for building muscle mass
  • Promotes the metabolism of oxygen
  • Has glucosamine to boost joint health
  • Ideal for both small and large breed puppies


  • The switch to a high protein diet can lead to digestive problems for some dogs
  • Quite expensive

10. Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken Canned Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken Wet Food

The Merrick Grain-Free Canned Food contains few vegetables and is also free from peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes. This dog food grain free formula comes in four different flavors (Buffalo Lamb + Real Beef, Real Chicken, Real Duck, and Real Beef) so you will surely find one that your dog will love.

The large number of meat sources used in this dog food free of legumes and potatoes will help to ensure your pup is getting a reasonable amount of protein and fat. Since it has a shortlist of ingredients, it is free from allergens and can be a great choice for those dogs with skin allergies and food sensitivities.

Notable ingredients include gums and minerals. Since the Merrick grain free dog food without peas is wet canned food, it comes at a higher price than similar products on the pet food market.


  • The first ingredient is deboned chicken
  • A great source of high quality protein
  • Suitable for pups with digestive issues and skin issues
  • Legume- and gluten-free dog food
  • Enriched with vitamins, minerals, and amino fatty acids


  • It has a strong smell
  • Grain-free description might be confusing

Different types of peas and lentils

What Are Legumes in Dog’s Food?

Legumes are commonly found in pet food and include ingredients such as peas, lentils, and beans. Manufacturers typically use them as an alternative to grains, like wheat, in grain-free dog foods.

Despite the misconception that legumes are mainly used in pet foods as fillers, they are actually rich in protein, carbs, and fiber, nutrients that are beneficial to your furry friend and contribute to their overall well-being.

Any problem with legumes or peas occurs when they are used in large amounts in the grain-free dog foods. Apart from the benefits that we’ve already mentioned, legumes and peas also contain vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and antioxidants.

Are Legumes Bad For Dogs?

Legumes are a staple in many commercially produced foods, particularly grain free dog foods. This legume family of veggies includes peas, lentils, and beans. Dog food companies typically add legumes and potatoes to commercially prepared dog foods to add to the amount of protein present This trend is very prevalent in the pet food industry.

Legumes have been subjected to an investigation by the FDA following increased cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in canines eating dog foods containing high amounts of potatoes or legumes [1].

Check the ingredients list to see if these ingredients are included and where they are placed on the list. Puppy food ingredients are itemized in descending order based on their weight in the food.

If they are placed at the top of the list, avoid feeding more legumes to your dog. These foods are bad for dogs because they often contain carcinogens/toxins and are hard to digest. If you are concerned about any problem ingredients or the amount of legumes included, it is best to consider another brand.

When adding these legumes to your dog’s regular diets, it’s recommended to start by soaking them overnight before cooking them without any kind of seasoning.

Variety of omega fatty meal brands for different dog breeds

Important Features to Consider

Now that you know some of the best legume-free dog food options to consider, you need to remember that you should always check the ingredients list of every product you want to purchase. Not all meals that are marketed as legume-free are actually safe for your pet to consume.

Here are some important features to consider when shopping for the best legume-free dog food for your canine companion.

4 Alternative Ingredients

If you’re concerned about the relationship between pet foods, and peas, lentils and legumes, and heart diseases, here are some alternative ingredients that you can use to balance your pet’s diet.

1. Chickpeas

These are rich in protein and they also provide dietary fiber, manganese, iron, copper, and vitamin B9. Since these are legumes, however, you should avoid them if you’re already worried about your pet’s heart health.

2. Pumpkin

Squash like pumpkins are a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and essential minerals. Search for a product that includes acorn squash, butternut squash, or pumpkin rather than potatoes.

3. Whole Grains

While many dog owners prefer to buy dog food that is completely formulated grain free, whole grains are generally healthier than commercially processed foods containing grains. Search for limited ingredient diets that contain brown rice, millet, or whole oats.

4. Tapioca

While it is not very common in the USA, tapioca is very popular in other parts of the world, including South America. This ingredient contains high levels of complex carbs and various other nutrients. Just make sure the listed ingredient is tapioca and not its byproducts.

Nutrient Analysis of Meals for Your Dog

A Complete and Balanced Nutritional Meal

Check the product for an AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy statement to ensure the food is designed to meet your pup’s nutritional requirements. While this statement is not a guarantee for quality, you want to check the ingredients list to ensure the food you want to buy is safe for your pup.

Other Beneficial Supplements

All canines require a certain balance of minerals and vitamins in their diet, so most commercially prepared dog foods contain artificial supplements. It’s important to note here that chelated minerals are strongly recommended since they bind to protein molecules to boost nutrient absorption.

As you can see, these factors apply to a broad array of dog foods without peas, lentils, legumes, potatoes, or grains. Provided your pup’s overall nutritional requirements are met, you can select from a wide range of dog foods without peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes.

If you are not sure which is the best pea free dog food brand for your dog, simply choose one of the 10 dog food products that we’ve reviewed above.

Our suggestion of dog meals

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Peas Bad For Dogs?

Yes, peas are bad for dogs because they contain harmful substances such as phytoestrogens, oxalates, phytates, and lectins. Phytoestrogens can lead to fertility issues whereas oxalates, phytates, and lectins can cause digestion issues and reduce a dog’s ability to absorb essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and zinc. 

As we’ve already mentioned, these foods are also believed to elevate the risks involved although there isn’t enough evidence yet. DCM is a type of heart condition characterized by an enlarged heart. As the dog’s heart becomes bigger it doesn’t beat as usual, which hinders circulation to and from the heart. 

Symptoms of DCM in dogs include fainting, loss of appetite, coughing, and lethargy. DCM is a life-threatening condition that should be treated as soon as possible to avoid fatal consequences.

Other ingredients that have been linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy include peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, potato, sweet potato, and legume seeds.

Does grain free food cause heart problems in dogs?

Well, this question definitely requires further investigation and discussion with your vet especially because of the recent controversy surrounding grain free foods. It is extremely hard to find the correct answer since there is a lot of conflicting information available out there nowadays.

However, we can safely say that we’ve seen this correlation time and again, as have many veterinary cardiologists. There are numerous factors involved and some dog food brands may pose a much greater risk than others.

One of the best ways to lower your pup’s risk of heart problems is to give your pooch foods containing natural ingredients made by a reputable company that is known for providing high quality dog food formulas. Talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s food diet to ensure there are no problems now and/or in the future.

What Is Boutique Dog Food?

Boutique dog food is a grain-free dog food that is formulated with plant-based ingredients such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

Can Dogs Eat Legumes?

Yes, dogs can eat legumes, but this again depends on the chosen varieties. Although these are a good source of protein and fiber, they should not be made a replacement for protein from animal sources. Additionally, they should not be fed in large amounts.

Dog lovers should avoid pea by-products such as pea protein, pea fiber, and pea flour as well as legume ingredients like fava beans, baked beans, canned beans, and refried beans.


Now that you know the dog foods without peas in the market and have a good understanding of peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes in dog food, you can now go ahead and make your purchase.

If you do decide that food without peas and legumes is a good option for your dogs, you have the recommendations above to get you started. Make sure to choose one of the brands recommended above and if in doubt, consult your vet.

Editor's Choice is Diamond Naturals

Editor's Choice

Diamond Naturals, Beef Meal & Rice Formula

  • Very affordable and high-quality food for its price
  • Excludes all legumes and includes healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Provides omega 3 fatty acids
  • Relatively low in caloric content and moderate in fat and protein
  • Ideal for active dog breeds