US Vet picks the 11 Best Organic and Natural Dog Foods in 2022

Organic and Natural dog foods can be a great way to reduce the number of chemicals exposed to your dog. However, some dog foods advertise themselves as natural but contain the same ingredients as their peers.

I used my 12 years of Veterinary experience to review over 100 dog food products to find the best organic and natural dog foods.

After evaluating over 30 natural and organic recipes, I found that “Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food” has the best overall combination of nutrients and quality sources. 

But I understand that no two pups are alike, and your doggie might have a different life stage or have different needs, such as a sensitive stomach or obesity. That’s why I prepared a shortlist of the best natural and organic dog foods that address these common conditions.

Before you pick the best Organic dog food for Fido, it’s always important to consider whether it’s the right thing to do. That’s why I explained the benefits of feeding a natural based diet to your dog.

After you decide that a natural diet is right for your doggie, you can check out these 11 Organic and Natural Dog foods that I shortlisted for you

If my shortlist doesn’t cover your doggie’s needs for some reason, I prepared a quick checklist that would assist you in finding the best natural dog food for her. I wrote the checklist in plain & simple English so that you can follow it easily.

Finally, I answered popular questions patients have asked me regarding Organic and Natural dog food recipes.

Always remember that the recommendations in this review are not intended to replace a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult your veterinarian before making significant adjustments to your furbaby’s diet.

Let’s get started.

Organic vs Natural Dog Food and some benefits

a small terrier dog sitting next to an organic carrot

If you’re considering organic dog food for your pooch, you should understand what qualifies for organic food, and the potential benefits of feeding one of these products.

According to the AAFCO, organic foods “meet the production and handling requirements of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).” They must be produced using methods approved by NOP.

Natural on the label, on the other hand, is a much broader descriptive term.

The AAFCO defines natural ingredients or products as, “a feed or feed ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur in good manufacturing practices.” Many more ingredients or products can claim to be natural than organic.

According to the USDA, organic products must use practices that:

  • Promote ecological balance
  • Foster resource cycling
  • Help to maintain and improve water and soil quality
  • Conserve biodiversity
  • Minimize the use of man-made materials

Organic products must be overseen by an authorized certifying agent, be produced without any prohibited or excluded methods, and be produced using only authorized substances. Plants must not come from genetically modified seeds, and there can not be a risk of GMO contamination. Meat animals shall be fed organic feed, must not be treated with antibiotics or hormones, and must be processed in a certified facility.

Pet food that is certified as organic must comply with USDA labeling regulations for organic foods. 

  • To contain the statement “100% organic” on the label, a product must contain 100% organic ingredients except for salt and water. 
  • A product labeled “organic” will have at least 95% organic ingredients except for salt and water. The other 5% may be from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
  • Products with “Made from organic___” on the label must contain at least 70% organic products except for salt and water. The other ingredients must meet certain constraints.
  • If a product contains less than 70% organic ingredients may list the specific ingredients as organic. 

When products are certified as organic, they have to meet certain standards that may bring benefits for your pooch. Because these foods contain ingredients that are not synthetic and meet more stringent regulatory requirements than standard dog food they have some advantages:

  • They contain no antibiotics or growth hormones
  • They aren’t treated with synthetic chemicals or fertilizers
  • They tend to have fewer empty fillers
  • The products tend to be closer to a dog’s natural diet and are more digestible
  • With no synthetic additives, your dog is less likely to develop food allergies or a sensitive stomach
  • Contain no GMOs (if that’s a concern for you)

In addition to these advantages, pooch parents who feed organic dog food report that their dogs:

  • Have more energy
  • Tend to maintain a healthy weight
  • Have a healthy coat and skin
  • Have healthy stools

Provide all the Nutrients with Organic or Natural Dog Food

black Labrador is about to eat a tasty tomato , part of his organic based diet

Not very long ago, there were only a few organic dog food options available. But now, you can choose from various recipes, formulations for different life stages, and many brands. So how do you know which food is the right choice for your dog? 

For your convenience, we’ve created a rule of thumb checklist to make it easier for you to choose the right organic dog food formulation that fits best for your doggie:

  • Certified Organic – If the food you are selecting claims to be organic and contains at least 95% organic ingredients, it should include a statement that the product was certified organic. The name of the certifying agent must be on the label to comply with the NOP.
  • Appropriate for Your Dog’s Life Stage – Dogs have different nutritional needs at different points in their lives. Puppies need a more energy and protein-dense diet to support growth and development. Seniors usually require a lower calorie diet to avoid weight gain and may benefit from supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Individual Dietary Needs – If your pooch has special dietary needs check the ingredient list to make sure the product includes the appropriate nutrients and characteristics. For example:
    • Lower in fat and calories for weight reduction
    • Free of grains, gluten, and common allergens for dogs with food allergies
    • Omega fatty acids for dogs with allergies
    • Probiotics to soothe a sensitive stomach
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Protein is the First Ingredient – Whenever you choose dog food, you should select a product that starts with animal protein like beef, chicken, or salmon. As descendants of wolves, canines need quality proteins to support lean muscle mass.
  • Complete and Balanced – Your pooch requires certain levels of nutrients including protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Choose a product that provides a well-balanced diet. Look for a statement on the label that the food meets AAFCO’s recommendations for complete and balanced nutrition. 
  • Includes Omega Fatty Acids – In addition to the essential fatty acids, your dog’s food should contain natural sources of omega fatty acids. These macronutrients help to support brain, skin, and coat health. They also contribute to immunity and help to manage inflammation in the body.
  • Rich in Fiber – When selecting organic dog food, look for a formula that’s rich in fiber. Products that include ingredients like whole fruits and vegetables help to support the gut and supply a healthy energy source.
  • Produced in a Country With Rigorous Safety Standards – You want your dog to eat food that’s safe and wholesome. Check the label to make sure the product was manufactured in a country that follows strict safety protocols and good manufacturing practices such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and many Western European nations.
  • Does Not Contain Any Unidentified Meat Meals or Byproducts – When you see a generic meat ingredient on the label, avoid that product. There’s no way for you to know the protein source. And if your pooch has a sensitivity to a specific animal protein, you could unwittingly be feeding him something that can upset his gut. Animal byproducts also should be avoided because they can contain parts of the animal that have no nutritional value for your dog.

Our 2022 Review For 11 Best Organic Dog Food

yellow Labrador is waiting to review for the first time an organic based dog food

We reviewed over 30 products by following the process presented above and classified the best organic dog foods. 

We considered each pick’s life stage and common dietary needs. We also ensured it has the best nutrient sources 

Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries
  • Key feature: Natural Raw Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 48% crude protein; 28% crude fat; 5% crude fiber; 5% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 50 kcal/patty
  • Type of Product: freeze-dried food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Best Overall
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for all life stages including growth of large breed dogs

With chicken as the first ingredient, this product is rich in protein for healthy muscles. The organ meat provides essential fatty acids to support immunity and promote healthy skin and coat.

Organic-certified fruits and vegetables contribute antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals that support overall health. The formula mimics a natural diet for dogs and is free of gluten, grains, fillers, and artificial ingredients.

This product includes probiotic microorganisms to foster healthy digestion. There are no hormones or antibiotics in the formula. The freeze-dried patties are easy to serve. Feed them as is or add water to make a tasty meal. 

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal
  • Key feature: Natural Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 29% crude protein; 13% crude fat; 5% crude fiber; 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 367 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Natural, dry dog food for Large Breeds
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Best for: Puppies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for the growth of large breed dogs

Made for large breed puppies, this food contains natural whole-food ingredients. Although not certified as organic, the formula is free of GMO foods and does not have any artificial preservatives, meat by-products, or fillers. 

The top two ingredients are animal proteins that provide essential amino acids to support muscle growth. Omega fatty acids including DHA provide energy and help to support brain development and a healthy coat and skin.

Whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits contribute antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients for whole-body health. Featuring a complete and balanced formula, this food includes the appropriate ratio of calcium and phosphorus to help ensure strong bones. The formula also includes prebiotic fiber and probiotics for gut health. 

This formula is also available as a canned product.

Instinct Raw Boost Senior Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Tapioca, Chickpeas, Peas
  • Key feature: Natural Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36% crude protein; 16% crude fat; 4% crude fiber; 9% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 478 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry and freeze-dried raw food
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Seniors
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance 

Using natural ingredients, this product from Instinct is formulated for older dogs. The first two ingredients are protein sources that help to support muscle retention and repair. Healthy sources of omega fatty acids and essential fatty acids boost immunity and foster healthy skin and coat.

This food includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that add fiber and energy to your pup’s diet. They also contribute antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Supplementation ensures complete and balanced nutrition for your pooch.

With natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, this product has nutrients for joint health. Prebiotic fiber and probiotics help to soothe the gut and promote healthy digestion. There are no by-products or artificial ingredients in the formula.

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
  • Key feature: human-grade ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24.5% crude protein; 14% crude fat; 4% crude fiber; 8% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 485 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: dehydrated food
  • Life Stage: all life stages
  • Best for: active dogs
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

This food starts with chicken as the top ingredient to provide essential amino acids for healthy muscles. With natural sources of fat, the formula contains omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. 

Organic whole grains provide digestible fiber and energy to power an active lifestyle. With garden vegetables and fruit, the formula is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Supplementation with essential minerals and vitamins provides complete and balanced nutrition for your furbaby.

There are no animal by-products, GMOs, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, soy, or fillers in this food. It’s made in the USA with only human-grade ingredients. 

Primal Beef Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef Hearts, Beef Livers, Ground Beef Bones, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash
  • Key feature: Natural, Raw Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% crude protein; 36% crude fat; 8% crude fiber; 3% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 144 kcal/oz
  • Type of Product: freeze-dried raw food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Adults
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

Beef hearts tops the ingredient list in this product to provide essential protein for strong muscles. With fish oil and coconut oil in the formula, the food is rich in omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients.

Organic fruits and vegetables add valuable micronutrients, phytonutrients, and antioxidants to support whole-body health. Supplementation with organic-certified minerals and unrefined vitamins ensures complete and balanced nutrition for your furbaby.

There are no antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients in this product. When you’re ready to serve this food, add water to the nuggets for a tasty meal.

Party Animal California Chicken & Oats Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: Certified organic by Oregon Tilth
  • First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Peas
  • Key feature: 70% organic ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% crude protein; 14% crude fat; 6% crude fiber; 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 397 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Sensitive stomach
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages except for the growth of large breed dogs

Starting with organic chicken and chicken meal as the top 2 ingredients, this food contains essential amino acids to help your pup maintain lean muscle mass. Organic grains provide digestible fiber and energy to power your pal’s daily activity.

Chicken fat and flaxseed contribute healthy fatty acids including omegas to support the coat and skin. Fruits and garden vegetables provide sources of antioxidants for cellular health and essential vitamins and minerals for overall health.

The formula includes some prebiotic fiber to boost digestion and probiotic organisms to soothe the gut. With no artificial ingredients, corn, or wheat, this food provides clean and balanced nutrition.

Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Duck with Bone, Duck Liver, Duck Gizzard, Duck Skin, Herring Oil
  • Key feature: Raw, natural Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 40% crude protein; 23% crude fat; 2.2% crude fiber; 7% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 250 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry and freeze-dried raw food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Allergies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages

Starting with ground duck, this limited ingredient diet is packed with amino acids to support your pal’s lean muscle mass. The formula includes healthy sources of fat including omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat.

With no rendered animal by-products, synthetic ingredients, grains, gluten, or fillers, this product helps protect your pooch from potential allergens. Duck offers a novel protein for sensitive pups. There’s a balanced blend of essential nutrients for your pal’s whole-body health.

The freeze-drying process helps to protect vital nutrients for your furbaby. This product is shelf-stable. You can feed this as a topper or a complete meal.

Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: Certified organic by OneCert
  • First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Potatoes, Organic Peas
  • Key feature: Organic Dog Food
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% crude protein; 15% crude fat; 3.5% crude fiber; 11% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 386 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Grain-free
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

Organic chicken and chicken meal are the top two ingredients to offer a protein-rich diet for strong muscles. Natural sources of fat provide essential and omega fatty acids to foster immunity, and a healthy coat and skin.

With organic fruits and vegetables in the formula, this food is packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients. Supplementation with vitamins and minerals ensures complete and balanced nutrition.

There are no artificial ingredients, GMOs, grains, or synthetic preservatives in the product. It’s free from hormones and antibiotics. This food comes in a variety of package sizes.

Only Natural Pet RawNibs Beef & Tripe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: None
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver
  • Key feature: natural, raw ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 55% crude protein; 14% crude fat; 2.5% crude fiber; 7% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 120 kcal/oz
  • Type of Product: Freeze-dried food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Weight Loss
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

Beef tops the ingredient list of this food to provide a rich source of essential amino acids. Healthy animal fats and herring oil add omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients to promote the immune system and a healthy coat and skin.

The holistic formula includes fresh fruits and vegetables that provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for whole-body health. Organic goats’ milk and raw apple cider boost digestion and metabolism to help attain a healthy weight.

With no grains or artificial ingredients, this food makes a tasty topper or a nutritious meal for your pooch. The package is resealable to lock in freshness.

Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

  • USDA Organic Certification: Certified organic by Oregon Tilth
  • First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Pea Flour, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Chicken Heart
  • Key feature: 95% organic ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8.5% crude protein; 4% crude fat; 2.25% crude fiber; 78% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 350 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: canned food
  • Life Stage: all stages
  • Best for: Canned food
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages except for the growth of large breed dogs

Chicken is the first ingredient in this wet dog food. Organic meat and organs provide essential amino acids for strong muscles. Healthy sources of omega and essential fatty acids help to promote healthy skin and coat. 

Made in the USA, this product is free of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, and artificial ingredients. As a grain-free formula, it also contains no gluten or grains that could trigger allergic reactions. 

The food is supplemented with vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for your furbaby. It’s also available in a dry kibble form.

Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Chicken Flavor Cookies Dog Treats

  • USDA Organic Certification: Certified organic by Oregon Tilth
  • First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Peas, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Oats, Organic Barley
  • Key feature: 95% organic ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 15% crude protein; 14% crude fat; 5% crude fiber; 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 8 kcal/treat
  • Type of Product: dog treats
  • Life Stage: all stages
  • Best for: Treats
  • AAFCO Statement: Not applicable

Starting with chicken as the first ingredient, these supplemental dog treats are packed with protein. The moderate fat content and low calories per cookie allow you to give your furbaby a special goodie as a reward or a training incentive.

With 95% organic ingredients, these 1 ½ inch-long cookies offer your furbaby delectable goodness. You can break them into smaller bits for training. There are no antibiotics, hormones, synthetic preservatives, or artificial flavors in these treats.

Frequently Asked Questions

cute small dog is sharing healthy organic fruits with his owner

Is organic dog food better than regular dog food?

The answer to this can depend. Studies suggest there are minimal nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods. If you’re concerned about GMOs, synthetic ingredients and pesticides, and things like hormones and antibiotics, then organic dog food is the better choice for you.

How much is organic dog food?

Organic dog food tends to be more expensive than non-organic products because of the higher production costs. In general, you can expect to pay between 25% and 40% more for organic dog food versus traditional brands.

What are the 3 types of organic dog food?

The three main types of organic dog food are: 

  • 100% organic 
  • Organic – containing at least 95% organic ingredients
  • Made with organic – containing at least 70% organic ingredients; other ingredients are strictly regulated and cannot include GMOs

Does organic food have higher nutritional value?

According to a 2010 literature review published in Alternative Medicine Review, studies show that organic foods tend to be higher in the nutrients magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C. They also tend to have higher levels of antioxidant phytochemicals and lower levels of nitrates and pesticide residues.

Is it really healthier for a dog to eat grain-free?

Unless your dog has a gluten sensitivity or is allergic to some grains, there are drawbacks to feeding a grain-free diet. For one, grain-free is not automatically low carb, and some grain-free foods can be higher in carbohydrates and put your pooch at risk for unwanted weight gain.

Are GMOs Safe?

GMOs or genetically modified foods are controversial. Some people won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, while others say they’re perfectly safe. What do we really know about GMOs, and should you feel safe feeding them to your pooch?

Despite the hype that plants and other foods that are altered genetically should be avoided, there’s no evidence that they’re dangerous. In truth, genetics have been used for years to select preferred characteristics. That’s how we’ve gotten so many different dog breeds. Some biotech companies are working to improve food by selecting for natural pest resistance, increased productivity, or enhancing healthy nutrients like omega fatty acids to name a few. 

However, if you’re not convinced that GMOs are OK for your pooch, then organic foods are the way to go. GMO plants can not be sold as organic.

Do Organic Foods Use Fewer Pesticides?

You may think that organic foods are produced without any pesticides. However, that’s not necessarily the case. The substances used to control pests on organic foods have to be certified for organic gardening and must not be synthetic. So, the amount of pesticide residue on the food has nothing to do with whether it was produced using organic practices or not.

The Final Woof

large breed dog is chilling with his owner outside after eating a delicious organic dog food meal

When it comes to organic and natural dog foods, you want to know that you’re getting a quality product for your pooch. The best formulas start with real animal proteins. 

You want to look for foods that are rich in fiber for healthy digestion. Fats should include omega fatty acids for the skin and coat. 

After evaluating over 30 products on the market and comparing them to our criteria and key considerations for an Organic based diet, we recommend Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried as the Best overall pick. 

This USA-made product includes whole fruits and vegetables for dietary fiber. It also has omega fatty acids and includes certified organic ingredients. 

There are no GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones in the ingredients, and it’s free of artificial substances. With complete and balanced nutrition, these dinner patties check all the right boxes.

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