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10 Best Organic Dog Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

labradoodle puppy with dog bowl

There are currently no rules that manufacturers need to follow when calling a dog food natural or organic. As such, you need to check the ingredients and sources yourself to ensure that what you’re buying is natural.

Furthermore, you have to decide whether to buy dry or wet food, whether you want freeze-dried raw food, and whether you want one of the growing selections of grain-free foods that more closely mimic the natural canine diet.

Below, you will find reviews of the 10 best natural dog foods we found on the market. These contain natural ingredients and are free from toxic and dangerous ingredients.

We have tried to highlight any controversial ingredients and included a variety of different food types, as well as primary ingredients, so you can choose a food brand your dog will love while meeting your pup’s nutritional requirements.

A Quick Comparison (updated in 2021)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food
  • 25% protein
  • Human grade kitchens
  • Convenient form of a raw diet
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free 95% Chicken & Liver Dinner Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free 95% Chicken & Liver Dinner
  • Made from 70% organic ingredients
  • Contains chelated minerals
  • Grain-free food
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Castor & Pollux Organix Butcher and Bushel Grain-Free Chicken Canned D Castor & Pollux Organix Butcher and Bushel Grain-Free Chicken Canned D
  • Organic chicken is the primary ingredient
  • Wet food
  • Grain-free food
  • Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Food Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Food
  • 29% protein
  • Contains chelated minerals
  • USDA certified
  • Castor and Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food Castor and Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food
  • 26% protein
  • Grain-free recipe
  • USDA certified
  • The 10 Best Organic Dog Foods

    1. Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food – Best Overall

    The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken

    • Food Type: Dehydrated
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes
    • Protein Level: 24.5%
    • Grain: Inclusive

    Preparing homemade food for your dog enables you to manage ingredients and ensure that they get a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of healthy, organic, natural ingredients. However, it can take a lot of work to achieve ideal protein levels and to ensure that your dog gets all its required vitamins and minerals.

    Dehydrated dog food offers a compromise, of sorts. It uses real ingredients, which are cooked at a low temperature. This process retains nutrients and essential enzymes while removing water and moisture from the food.

    Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Food is prepared by mixing the desired amount of food with one and a half times the amount of warm water. Stir the mixture, leave for three minutes, and then serve.

    This is a grain-inclusive food. It has a primary ingredient of dehydrated chicken and offers a reasonable 25% protein ratio. Honest Kitchen meets FDA standards for kitchen hygiene, and they claim that all ingredients are from the USA, with no Chinese-sourced ingredients.

    The food is expensive, although you do need to bear in mind that a 10-pound box will make 40 pounds of food, because of how well it is dehydrated. Also, the food isn’t suitable for a grain-free diet and not all dogs enjoy the flavor. There is also some dental concern when feeding a soft diet to your dog because the abrasive nature of dry kibble helps remove plaque. Supplement with hard chews or regular brushing.

    Pros
    • Convenient form of a raw diet
    • 25% protein
    • Human grade kitchens
    • USA-sourced ingredients
    • The primary ingredient is chicken
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Soft food allows plaque build-up
    • Needs preparing before feeding

    2. Newman’s Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Organic Dog Food – Best Value

    Newmans Own Organics Grain-Free

    • Food Type: Wet
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, organic chicken liver
    • Protein Level: 10%
    • Grain: Free

    Newman’s Own Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver is a canned wet food with the main ingredients of organic chicken, organic chicken broth, and organic chicken liver. It has 10% protein, which is lower than ideal but is expected from a wet food because of the high moisture content.

    As well as organic meat, it has a range of chelated minerals and vitamins, which have high bioavailability because of their chelated nature.

    Although the ingredients do look generally high quality, the food contains carrageenan, which is a controversial ingredient because the natural thickening agent is said to be highly inflammatory. It has been linked to instances of colitis, arthritis, and even some cases of colon cancer. Food manufacturers argue that the type and volume of carrageenan used are safe, but it is worth noting and you may want to avoid this food, especially if your pup already suffers from rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.

    The inclusion of chelated minerals and the use of organic ingredients are positive, although there are some concerns over the use of carrageenan while feeding a diet consisting solely of wet food increases the likelihood of your dog suffering poor dental hygiene so you should supplement with dry food, offer dental chews, or brush your dog’s teeth daily.

    Pros
    • The primary ingredient is chicken
    • Contains chelated minerals
    • Made from 70% organic ingredients
    • Grain-free food
    Cons
    • Soft food encourages does not combat plaque
    • Contains carrageenan

    3. Organix Butcher & Bushel Grain-Free Chicken Organic Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Butcher & Bushel

    • Food Type: Wet
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, organic chicken liver
    • Protein Level: 8%
    • Grain: Free

    Organix Butcher and Bushel is wet canned food. It contains certified organic meat and vegetables, and the chicken recipe features organic chicken, organic chicken broth, and organic chicken liver as its primary ingredients. It has 8% protein. While most wet foods do have a lower protein ratio than dry foods, 8% is still low compared to the 10% of other canned foods.

    Like a lot of wet food varieties, the Organix canned food can be fed in a variety of ways. It can be given as a sole source of food, combined with dry food for a whole diet, or it can be fed as a topper for dry food.

    A topper is used primarily when a dog is not keen on dry food. It moistens the kibble, the gravy makes the dry food more palatable, and it also enables you to increase the amount of protein that you feed your dog while reducing the cost associated with feeding wet food.

    Castor and Pollux Organix is not a cheap food, but it does contain good quality ingredients. You will find chicken bones in the food, but they have been slow-cooked and virtually disintegrate on touch. They are safe to feed, but you should be prepared. The food is also very wet, compared even to other wet foods, and it can be quite greasy.

    Pros
    • Organic chicken is the primary ingredient
    • Wet food is palatable and appealing
    • Grain-free food
    Cons
    • Bones can be off-putting for owners
    • Very wet
    • Can appear greasy

    4. Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Food

    Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken

    • Food Type: Dehydrated
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes
    • Protein Level: 24.5%
    • Grain: Inclusive

    Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Food is USDA-certified organic food. This certification is usually reserved for human foods and it means that it meets standards regarding soil quality, how well the animals were raised, and more. Dog food manufacturers do not have to seek USDA certification, so when you find a food that has it, it can be treated as a positive sign in the hunt for high-quality organic pet produce.

    The main ingredient in Tender & True’s dry food is dehydrated chicken. Chicken is sometimes seen as a controversial ingredient because, while it is obviously a beneficial source of protein, plain chicken loses a lot of moisture and nutritional value when cooked. Essentially, the volume of chicken is overstated in the ingredient list. Tender & True’s ingredients include dehydrated chicken, which means that it is still the most prevalent ingredient even after cooking.

    The ingredients also include chelated minerals, although they do not contain probiotics, and this gives a 29% protein ratio, which is very good even for dry food. The food is expensive for a kibble, however, and some dogs simply do not appreciate dry food.

    Pros
    • USDA certified
    • Contains chelated minerals
    • The primary ingredient is dehydrated chicken
    • 29% protein
    Cons
    • No probiotics
    • Expensive

    5. Castor and Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

    Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic

    • Food Type: Dry
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic sweet potatoes
    • Protein Level: 26%
    • Grain: Free

    Cast and Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food is a grain-free, organic recipe. It consists of chicken and chicken meal as its primary ingredients, while changes to the ingredients mean that the food contains higher levels of organic chicken fat. Although chicken fat sounds like an unappealing ingredient, it is a great source of omega fatty acids.

    The organic food has a high 26% protein rate and is USDA certified organic, made in a USA kitchen, and includes organic chicken that is free from antibiotics. Fruit and vegetables, which fortify the food with additional nutritional value, are free from pesticides and fertilizers. The ingredients contain prebiotics and probiotics to aid with digestion.

    It is worth noting that this is a small breed recipe, which means that the kibble is quite small and may not be suitable for large breeds.

    Although this isn’t as expensive as some freeze-dried raw foods, it is still a premium food, but it contains peas and pea protein, both of which are high in protein but do not offer much nutritional benefit. The change in the recipe has seen chickpeas and alfalfa meal dropped from the ingredients, replaced by higher quality alternatives.

    Pros
    • 26% protein
    • Chicken is the primary ingredient
    • Grain-free recipe
    • USDA certified
    Cons
    • Small kibble
    • Contains pea and pea protein

    6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Turkey Dry Dog Food

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned

    • Food Type: Dry
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal
    • Protein Level: 34%
    • Grain: Free

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Turkey Dry Dog Food is a high protein, premium food. The main ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal.

    Also high in the ingredient list is chicken fat, good for omega-6 fatty acids, along with flaxseed, which is arguably the best non-animal source of omega fatty acids. Further down the ingredients, you will also find prebiotics and probiotics that are designed to facilitate better and more efficient digestion of the food. The only controversial ingredient found in this food is that of tomato pomace, which is only considered controversial because it is viewed as being a somewhat inexpensive filler that could be replaced with something higher quality.

    The 34% protein is higher than in most other foods. Notable additives in this recipe include taurine, which is not an essential nutrient but is lacking in dogs on a grain-free diet. It also contains chicory root, a beneficial source of inulin, which is itself a source of dietary fiber and a prebiotic.

    Finally, the minerals that the food is fortified with are chelated, meaning that they have a greater bioavailability so are easier for your body to digest. This is a premium food, which is evident in its premium price tag.

    Pros
    • The primary ingredient is deboned turkey
    • Contains taurine
    • Includes prebiotics and probiotics
    • Grain-free diet
    Cons
    • 34% protein may be too high for some diets
    • Kibble too large for small breeds
    • Expensive

    7. Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken Dry Dog Food

    Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run

    • Food Type: Dry
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic dehydrated chicken, organic peas
    • Protein Level: 30%
    • Grain: Free

    Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken Dry Dog Food’s manufacturers, Petcurean, carefully selected suppliers for the meat and vegetables found in their dog food. They say that the resulting food is organic and free from GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides, and growth hormones. Even the packaging is made from 30% sustainable plant materials. The ingredients do not include artificial additives but are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are used to further fortify the main meat ingredient.

    The food has 30% protein and is grain-free so is suitable for most diets. As well as primary chicken ingredients, Gather does contain krill, which is a fish oil and a beneficial source of omega fatty acids. As a grain-free food, we would have liked to see taurine listed in the ingredients, and the price tag is very high even for a premium food of this type.

    However, the ingredients are good quality and organic, and it has proven a popular flavor thanks to the palatable combination of chicken and fish. Unfortunately, that same ingredient combination means that the food has a somewhat pungent smell.

    Pros
    • The primary ingredient is organic chicken
    • 30% protein
    • Palatable and enjoyable flavor
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Smells
    • May contain taurine

    8. OrgaNOMics Salmon & Duck Dinner Organic Grain-Free Pate

    OrgaNOMics Salmon & Duck Dinner Organic

    • Food Type: Wet
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Salmon, duck, organic carrots
    • Protein Level: 10%
    • Grain: Free

    OrgaNOMics Salmon & Duck Dinner Organic Grain-Free Pate is a grain-free pate that includes salmon, duck, and organic carrots as its three primary ingredients. It is reasonably priced, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and includes additional organic fruits and vegetables to fortify the food.

    The wet food has a 10% protein content, which is good for a pate, but it is very moist compared to other foods and may require mixing with dry food to provide the kind of texture your dog enjoys.

    As well as salmon, which is high in omega fatty acids that are good for cognitive health as well as coat and eyesight, the food contains organic egg, coconut oil, and vegetable oil.

    Pros
    • Wet pate is palatable
    • Decent price
    • The primary ingredients are salmon and duck
    Cons
    • A bit too moist
    • 2 protein sources

    9. Purina Beyond Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Wet Dog Food

    Purina Beyond Organic Chicken

    • Food Type: Wet
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, organic chicken livers
    • Protein Level: 7%
    • Grain: Inclusive

    Purina Beyond Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Wet Dog Food is certified USDA Organic with organic chicken, organic chicken broth, and organic chicken livers as the primary ingredients. The food is fortified with vitamins and minerals to give even more benefits. It is an especially good source of B vitamin complex but also contains vitamin A and D supplements.

    The recipe is somewhat limited in ingredients, made from the chicken base ingredients and organic sweet potatoes. The rest of the ingredients are supplements, vitamins, and minerals. Overall, the recipe has 7% protein, which could be higher, and although it isn’t labeled as grain-free, it does not contain corn, wheat, or soy, which tend to be ingredients that most often interact with sensitive stomachs.

    The few natural ingredients are organic and Purina boasts that the food is free from GMOs, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones, so you know exactly what you are feeding your four-legged friend.

    Unfortunately, this is another food that contains carrageenan, and some owners will want to avoid the food for this slightly controversial ingredient.

    Pros
    • The primary ingredient is organic chicken
    • Good source of B vitamins
    • USDA organic
    Cons
    • Only 7% protein
    • Contains carrageenan

    10. Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties

    Stella & Chewys Chewys Chicken Dinner

    • Food Type: Freeze-Dried
    • Top 3 Ingredients: Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard
    • Protein Level: 48%
    • Grain: Free

    Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties are freeze-dried raw food. They come in a patty shape, regularly described as puck-like. The puck can be fed dry, as is, or it can be rehydrated with cool or warm water to make it more palatable for your four-legged friend. Stella & Chewy recommends rehydrating the food if the dog doesn’t routinely drink a lot of water at mealtimes. A change to the food’s formula means that the pucks have become rock solid and will need rehydrating, in most cases.

    Because this is essentially a raw food, the very high 47% protein is not surprising, and the food can be mixed with a dry kibble to reduce this a little. Some dogs may find it quite rich, but you should be able to get around this by introducing the food gradually over the space of 2 weeks.

    It is worth noting that while the fruit and vegetables used in the recipe are certified organic, the same cannot be said of the meat, which is not organic.

    The first three ingredients in this food are chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard. It also contains organic fruit and vegetables, is high in protein, and comes in convenient puck shapes. Although there are no controversial ingredients in the food, changes to the recipe have seen the pucks become almost inedible without rehydration, the cost is high, and the meat itself is not organic.

    Pros
    • Organic fruit and vegetables
    • Puck shaped freeze-dried raw food
    Cons
    • No organic meat
    • 47% protein too high for some dogs
    • Expensive
    • Redesigned pucks are rock hard

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Organic Dog Food

    As more and more owners look for food with good nutritional value that is free from unwanted ingredients like antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and GMOs, the number of manufacturers launching food of this type is also increasing. For the dog owner, this is good news, because it means a much greater selection of organic and natural foods.

    Food Type

    bulldog eating food
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    The type of food you buy determines the convenience and simplicity, but also directly impacts factors like the amount of protein you feed. You may also find that some dogs simply don’t like certain types of food, and if you feed dry or dehydrated foods, you will have to more closely monitor liquid intake at mealtime to ensure that your dog does not become dehydrated and gets an adequate amount of water.

    The most common types of dog food are:
    • Dry Dry food usually comes in the shape of kibble. It is considered a convenient option, has a long shelf life, and is the only viable option if you leave food down for your dog. It is usually the least expensive of the food options, but it is also the least palatable. A lot of dogs prefer wet food because it smells and tastes more like its meat content. It is also, by its very nature, dry. Provide your dog with a fresh supply of water and ensure that he drinks plenty at mealtimes, otherwise, you may have to find other ways to get water down.
    • Wet – Canned and sachet dog foods, which include pate as well as chunks in gravy, are also referred to as wet food. Dogs usually prefer wet food because it smells stronger and tastes better. It is more palatable. Such foods are also usually at least 50% moisture, often more like 75% moisture, and this helps ensure that a dog is getting a reasonable amount of water in its daily diet. However, you should only leave wet food down for between 1-4 hours, depending on manufacturer recommendations, or it can go off. And, once a tin is open, you have to feed the whole tin or store the open container in your fridge. Wet food is more expensive than dry food, but it can be fed in combination to provide a well-balanced diet.
    • Dehydrated – Dehydrated dog food uses real food ingredients and cooks them slowly at very low temperatures. This removes the moisture from the ingredients, leaving a dehydrated, dry food, but the process retains protein and essential vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes. Dehydration often uses the same natural ingredients that you would give a dog if you were to offer a raw food diet. Some dehydrated food can be fed exactly as is, while some need rehydrating. The rehydration process means mixing the food with some cool or warm water, mixing it, and allowing it to sit anywhere from a couple of minutes to 30 minutes, before serving. The compact nature of dehydrated food makes it a viable alternative to raw food that is convenient when traveling.
    • Freeze-Dried – Dehydration essentially uses warm air to remove moisture, whereas freeze-drying the food involves freezing it, depressurizing the food, and then allowing the food back to normal temperature. This process ensures that even more vitamins and minerals are retained in the food because they are locked in place during the freezing process and are not allowed to escape thereafter.
    divider-paw

    Conclusion

    Natural and organic food, especially raw and freeze-dried options, are increasingly popular food options. More owners are looking for nutritional value when buying, but not all-natural brands are made equal.

    Although pricey, we found Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food to be the pick of the bunch. It’s easily rehydrated, has a decent protein level, and is made in top-quality kitchens using high-quality ingredients. Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free 95% Chicken and Liver Dinner is another good option and boasts a minimum of 70% organic ingredients.


    Featured Image Credit: litthouse, Pixabay

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.