The Best Organic Dog Food in 2021
- Our Top 6 List
- 1. Wellness Core Natural Dry Original Food
- 2. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Food
- 3. Organix Small Breed Recipe
- 4. Castor & Pollux Organix
- 5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium
- 6. Purina Beyond Wild Turkey & Lentil Dry Organic Food
- Verdict & Review
- Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food
- Buying Guide
Dogs and humans have a long and wonderful history together that began with domestication, a process made easier by using food to gain the trust of wild canines. With that knowledge, it’s clear that quality nutrition is one of the most basic and yet vital ways we can provide the best lives for our dogs. With the variety of different diets available for your canine companion, it can seem daunting to decide what food will be best for your pup.
Quality ingredients are the key to a long and healthy lifespan for your furry family members. Organic dog foods include ingredients that are sourced in a way that helps preserve the ecosystem while not allowing for the use of synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, or irradiation. Choosing a food that utilizes organic ingredients is a great way to be certain that your dog is not ingesting pesticides, unnecessary preservatives, or hidden antibiotics.
Our Top 6 List
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1. Wellness Core Natural Dry Original Food
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Getting to the core of canine nutritional needs and their wild nature is easy with Wellness Core natural grain-free dry formulas. Though Wellness Core is not specifically labeled as organic, this food is made from 100% natural ingredients selected with the philosophy that the dogs we love today came from the wild dogs our ancestors domesticated. Shouldn’t they be fed a protein-rich diet composed primarily of meat, if that is what their wild ancestors ate?
They absolutely should—and Wellness Core natural grain-free formulas provide this with a variety of flavors that are crafted in the United States utilizing carefully selected ingredients from around the globe. Free of GMOs and made from all natural ingredients, this food provides peace of mind in knowing that you have given your canine companion a diet you know is safe and created with their health in mind. Wellness Core formulas are completely grain-free, made with absolutely no corn, wheat, soy, or even meat by-products.
Providing dogs with protein-rich proper nutrition is easy when the first ingredients listed are real meat and vegetables, and Wellness Core grain-free diets are fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics. Available in a variety of formulas with different life stages and sizes in mind, there is a great grain-free and natural option for every dog in your life.
- Crafted from 100% natural and grain-free ingredients for a protein-dense diet with carefully balanced protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels
- The original formula is an enticing deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal recipe
- Provides a minimum of 34% protein for optimal muscle performance
- Omega fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed enhance skin and coat health
- Fortified for overall health with vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics
2. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Food
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Proudly proclaimed on the front of the bag, the first ingredient in any Merrick grain-free dry formula is deboned meat, poultry, or fish. Your dog will love the energy they feel and the taste of this protein-dense food meant to build and maintain lean muscle and a healthy body. This diet is full of real, recognizable whole foods, including peas, apples, blueberries, and sweet potatoes, for optimal nutrition without hidden fillers, grain products, or artificial colors or preservatives.
Merrick grain-free dry formulas are fortified for optimal health and provide benefits on multiple levels. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are added to promote healthy skin and a shiny, full coat of fur. Your dog will thank you for the added chondroitin and glucosamine as they age with healthy hips, elbows, and other joints that work just as well as if they are still a puppy!
Each formula is specifically designed with different breeds and their needs in mind, and there is a grain-free formula out there for pups of any type. Puppy formulas, adult formulas, and even senior formulas and a diet meant for dogs who need help keeping weight on are all available and offer great nutrition. With this nutrient-packed and protein-rich diet, Merrick is so confident that your dog will love and thrive on their diets that they will always stand behind a need to return the product if there is any reason you are dissatisfied with it—the quality is that good!
- The first 5 ingredients in every formula are proudly displayed on the front of the bag and include real meat and vegetables
- Completely grain-free, containing no corn, soy, or wheat products
- Available in 9 incredible flavors your dog will love: chicken, duck, turkey, salmon, lamb, Texas beef, venison, buffalo, and rabbit
3. Organix Small Breed Recipe
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Your small breed dog may seem a far cry from the wild wolf ancestors they came from, but that does not mean their diet should suffer for it! The Castor & Pollux Organix small breed dry formula is designed specifically with petite pups in mind, providing a grain-free diet with USDA-certified organic chicken as the first ingredient in a kibble size that small adult dogs can happily munch on. Created in the United States in an Organically Certified Kitchen, you can rest assured that your dog will have a diet of the highest quality.
Organix small breed dry food is created without any synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides, added growth hormones or antibiotics, and artificial preservatives and colors. Organix foods are tested prior to production at the ingredient level, during the production process, and afterwards as a finished diet to ensure top-notch nutrition is being provided. This grain-free recipe is void of corn, soy, and all wheat products, and your dog will thank you for giving them the nutrition they crave.
The benefits of Organix organic diets are endless. Many dogs will have improved digestive health and a reduction in allergy systems, as the organic vegetables added to this diet provide optimal fiber levels to maintain a healthy digestive tract and the farm-raised beef is lacking in artificial additives that irritate allergies. Organic flaxseed, coconut oil, and Omega-3 fatty acids are added to maintain a healthy coat.
- Fortified with prebiotics and probiotics for optimal digestive health
- Free of artificial preservatives, colorings, or flavorings
- Crafted in an Organically Certified kitchen and guaranteed to be grain-free and natural
- Free of chemical pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones
4. Castor & Pollux Organix
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There is no question of quality in this USDA certified organic, free-range Organix canned food, and it is guaranteed to contain no GMOs for the more strict pet parents. Castor & Pollux as a manufacturer feels that organic diets created with carefully selected ingredients sourced from the United States results in healthier dogs with decrease symptoms of allergies, better overall health, and ideal digestive health. The ingredients utilized in this diet are real and recognizable—so real, in fact, that a layer of fat often forms on the top of the can, signifying the inclusion of real, natural foods reminiscent of leftover Sunday roast dinners.
This diet is completely free of the ingredients your dog does not like, such as chemical pesticides or added growth hormones. The creators of Organix canned food believe that the ingredients used in your dog’s diet should be of the same quality as the ingredients in your own diet, including real meat, brown rice, vegetables, and superfoods, such as blueberries, organix flaxseed, and coconut flour. The first ingredient of every formula is always real meat, and each can is free of meat by-products.
Boasted as America’s #1 organic dog food company, Organix promotes formulas created from a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients. No other company can compete with the quality of organic ingredients chosen for their formulas, and Organix is the only pet food line that only offers natural and organic diets.
- Cooked in a USDA certified organic kitchen with natural, organic ingredients
- Completely free of chemical pesticides, artificial preservatives, and added hormones and antibiotics
- Available in 4 fantastic poultry-based formulas: chicken and brown rice, chicken and potatoes, turkey and vegetables, and turkey, carrots, and potatoes
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium
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The simple and wholesome recipes of Rachael Ray’s kitchen are easily recognized in the Nutrish Super Premium dry formula for dogs. This formula was created with the love of all dogs in mind, providing complete and balanced nutrition to dogs in all stages of life from puppies to geriatrics and meeting the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials necessary to be labeled for all life stages. The adjusted feeding amounts necessary as a dog ages and changes are easily found on the label for convenience.
Your dog will love you for providing a delicious and nutritious diet with real meat as the first two ingredients, and you will appeal to the primitive nature of your dog’s ancestry with this natural diet created from quality ingredients sourced from the United States. Beef raised on a farm is the first ingredient, followed by peas, carrots, and gentle brown rice. High-quality proteins are mixed with vegetables, essential vitamins and minerals, and prebiotics that help create a peaceful inner biome for your dog, resulting in a healthy gastrointestinal system.
An additional advantage to feeding Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Super Premium is that a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Rachael Ray Foundation, an organization that helps animals in need in addition to Yum-o!-Aligned organizations. These organizations include Feeding America, the No Kid Hungry Foundation, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and many more.
- Fortified with prebiotics for optimal gastrointestinal health and healthy digestion
- Available in two amazing formulas: real beef and brown rice, or turkey, venison, and brown rice
- Free of artificial preservatives, colorings, or flavors to ensure your dog only receives quality ingredients
6. Purina Beyond Wild Turkey & Lentil Dry Organic Food
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Give your dog a true taste of their wild nature with this nutritious formula rich in quality protein. A trusted pet food producer since 1894, Purina now presents a line of grain-free diets made with quality ingredients that are beyond the standards of what has previously been used. Purina Beyond Wild grain-free offers completely balanced nutrition for adult dogs while helping build the lean muscle needed for the activities your dog loves, such as hiking or swimming.
Created solely in the United States and made in a Purina-owned facility and undergoing more than 680 tests to ensure the safety and high quality of each batch, this is a diet you can feel comfortable feeding your canine companion. Pet nutritionists have crafted this diet with specifically chosen natural ingredients to provide a diet that is safe and consistent. Formulated without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, Purina Beyond grain-free diets contain no corn, wheat, or soy.
With farm-raised turkey as the first ingredient and bits of freeze-dried chicken throughout, Purina Beyond Wild provides 31% protein for maintaining healthy muscle mass. Mixing the textures of hard kibble and soft freeze-dried chicken bits provides variety that appeals to your pup with each meal. The ingredients used in this food are easily recognizable and real, leaving the guesswork out of it so you know that you are providing your dog with the best nutrition you can.
- Formulated with United States farm-raised turkey and chicken to ensure the quality your dog deserves
- Also available in a turkey, liver, and duck formula, as well as a beef, liver, and lamb formula
- Contains 31% protein for lean muscle mass
- Rich in nutrient-dense ingredients purposefully chosen by pet nutritionists
Verdict & Review
Though all of the foods listed here provide quality nutrition and health for dogs, your canine companion is sure to thrive on a diet designed for their needs as carnivores descended from wild wolves with Wellness Core natural dry formula. Containing only premium ingredients and carefully formulated to avoid any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavorings, this food is guaranteed to please your pup while giving you comfort in knowing they are well fed. You are bound to hear from friends and strangers alike how great your dog looks when they eat this food!
As pet owners, we love it for the quality and the comfort in knowing we are providing the best diet we can to help our dogs live their best lives. Our dogs have spoken too, and it is a resounding “Woof!” of happiness from pups of all ages, breeds, and sizes!
The term organic has many uses in the food world, and many pet owners who feed their families organic produce and meat will choose to feed their dogs a similar diet. Much like evaluating foods you choose to eat yourself, it is important to read the ingredients thoroughly on organic dog foods, as organic does not necessarily mean more nutritious. Organic sugars and fruits can be hidden in many foods, and while some fruits are beneficial, such as super foods like blueberries, not all sweets are created equal.
There are many key factors to consider when shopping for an organic or natural diet for your canine companion. The quality of ingredients, balance of nutrition, and safety and certifications should all be considered when deciding on a food to feed. These factors are what differentiates an okay food from an amazing food, and we all want our dogs to have the best available to them.
- Understanding the labels is key in evaluating diets. To be labeled organic, a dog food must meet certain specifications that are set by the USDA. If a pet food is promoted as organic, it contains at least 70% organic ingredients, and if it is at least 95% organic, it can be advertised with the USDA certified organic label.
- Real and recognizable ingredients provide peace of mind. It is important for you as a pet owner to understand what is in your pet’s food, and though there will be minerals, vitamins, and probiotics that you may not recognize by name, the majority of the ingredient label should be composed of things that you recognize and would even eat yourself. Reading the label is easy for this, as the ingredients are listed in order of what they contain the most of.
- Named ingredients are real ingredients, and avoiding vague ingredients ensures higher quality nutrition. Finding diets that include real turkey or chicken, for example, is preferable to finding diets that list generic “muscle meat” or “animal fat” in their ingredients list. Generic terms like this may indicate that the protein is created from lower quality parts of the animal and may include hidden by-products or even unusable foods.
- Deciphering the ingredients list should not be difficult. If the ingredients listed on the food you are considering are unrecognizable and impossible to pronounce, they may not be necessary in your dog’s diet. Meat should be listed as the first ingredient, and this should be followed by other meat products, vegetables, and sometimes potatoes or fruits.
- Grain-free and gluten-free are different, and not ever dog needs a gluten-free diet. Though many dogs thrive on a diet free from grains like that of their wild ancestors, very few dogs have a true gluten allergy that requires a special diet to avoid any irritants. If you suspect your dog has a true gluten allergy, it is important to discuss this with your veterinarian and work with them to determine the best diet options for your pup. With true allergies, simply purchasing a grain-free diet even of the highest quality may not be enough.
- Organic and natural are both good qualities to look for in a dog food, but they do not always go together. Not all natural foods contain organic ingredients, as ‘organic’ refers to the way the food is produced as a whole. Organic foods are created from ingredients that are produced in the best way for the health of your pet and the ecosystem, and the meat used to craft these diets must have been raised on an organic diet as well.
- Grain-free diets are not always organic, and they are not always better than grain-inclusive diets. While many people believe that the diet of dogs should mimic that of their wild canid ancestors, it is important to remember that the physiology of canines has changed over the hundreds of years since we began domesticating dogs. There is no obvious detriment to feeding a diet that contains grains, so if your dog does not do well on the protein-rich options that grain-free diets provide, it is better to offer a food that works for your dog than it is to focus solely on providing a grain-free diet.
- Raw meat may have worked for wild wolves, but it is not always recommended for our domesticated dogs. Though many dogs will enjoy raw meat products, they are not necessary in providing a well-rounded and complete diet. If your dog does well on a raw diet, then that may be the best option for them, but it is something that requires more caution and care than feeding a dry kibble or organic canned formula due to the risks to human health, including the transmission of salmonella, E. coli, and other bacterial infections.
- Additional healthy options can provide your dog with different nutritional aspects that may not be covered by their regular diet, and these can be added easily at home. Many dogs will benefit from adding nutrient-dense foods such as green tripe, raw eggs, organ meats, and coconut oil. These things should not replace your dog’s food, and they should instead be used to enhance the balanced organic or natural diet you choose for your dog.
- Choosing an organic food is a process of research, reading, and recognizing. There are countless varieties of food on the market, and choosing the right one requires a hefty amount of research before settling on a decision. This research often results in hours of reading, and there is so much information available that it can be difficult to determine what is useful and what should be discarded. Recognizing the important ingredients, the labeling of certified organic foods, and the differences in ingredient quality is necessary when wading through the hundreds of articles advertising the best foods for dogs.
Selecting the right diet for your canine companion may seem like a daunting task, but this list highlights 6 of the best organic dog foods on the market and can help narrow down the options. Whether you have a puppy or a senior, a small breed or a large breed dog, a low energy dog or an active dog, finding an organic diet is the best way to ensure optimal health and a lengthy lifespan.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!