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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020

Soy Free Dog Foods

Soy is a common additive in many foods, let alone in dog foods. However, there are some concerns in the canine world about using soy. If you would rather not take any chances, you will find yourself checking ingredient labels for soy and soy products. Is the trouble worth it? It can be.

In this article, we will examine why soy is used in dog food, how it can be dangerous and what to look for on the label. We will also give you the best soy free dog foods as options for your search.

Read on to find out what brands are soy free.

Is Soy Bad for Dogs?

Soy and soy products have long been used by cultures for food and other sources. It stands to reasons that if it is good for us, it is good for our pets. But is this true? The short answer is that soy can be okay for dogs. It does, however, go deeper than that.

For the most part, soy isn’t a bad thing. It is a cheaper alternative to meat and vegetable proteins and has some essential vitamins that can promote health and growth in the canine world.

There are a couple of risk factors that you should be aware of that might cause you to turn away from soy products in your dog's food.

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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 1
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken RecipeBest Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 2
  • Crafted with real chicken
  • Features healthy carbs
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Best Overall
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 3
Ollie Fresh Pet FoodBest Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 4
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
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Best Value
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 5
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato RecipeBest Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 2
  • Grain-free dog food
  • With real salmon
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Best Soy Free Dog Food Reviews

Each life stage has requirements for diet and nutrition. Following are the best soy free dog food options for all life stages.

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 8
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
  • Crafted with real chicken
  • Features healthy carbs
  • Contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 9
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Grain-free dog food
  • With real, deboned salmon
  • With nutritious fruits and vegetables
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 10
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Crafted by a Vet Nutritionist
  • 50% off First Order
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 11
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Puppy
  • Contains DHA and ARA
  • Helps promote healthy bone growth
  • Special “puppy-sized” kibble
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 12
Merrick Puppy Plate Beef Recipe
  • A hearty stew made with real, deboned Texas beef
  • Made with carrots, apples and sweet potatoes in a savory gravy
  • Features DHA to support your puppy
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 13
Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
  • Proteins from farm-raised chicken, pasture-fed lamb and salmon
  • Premium natural diet made for senior dogs
  • Made with absolutely no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 14
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Senior
  • Limited-ingredient senior dog food
  • Serve as a special treat, mixed-in with other food
  • Free from chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy and eggs
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Best Soy Free Dog Foods

The food for the various stages of your dog’s life should be the best you can find, and we have the top picks for you here.

  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
  3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
  4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Puppy
  6. Merrick Puppy Plate Beef Recipe
  7. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
  8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Senior

1. Ollie Hearty Beef Eats

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 15
Ollie dog food is a delicious option that is comprised of human-grade ingredients. It is a unique dog food option that offers a tasty meal your doggie will enjoy. Their meals do not include any artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers.

Ollie is a company that makes human-grade dog food using only the finest available ingredients. Each recipe is handcrafted and uses the bare minimum of ingredients to ensure proper nutrition.  When you place your order, it is made then, not before, sitting around waiting for you to make the order.

The orders arrive fresh and sealed in easy to portion containers. You can store them but buying in bulk can lead to spoil and waste. The most purchased recipe is the Hearty Beef Eats, and it has the first five ingredients listed as beef, beef heart, beef kidney, sweet potato, and beef liver.

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What Customers Like

  • Easy to order, simple recipes for all dog breeds and life stages
  • Portions are simple to control to prevent overeating
  • Limited ingredients with no additives

Common Complaints

  • Storage can be an issue, especially for smaller dogs who don’t eat a full package per day
  • Some ingredients are not liked and eaten around, creating waste

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 16
One of the most standard proteins in a dog’s diet. This high protein dog food contains 34% protein, 15% fat, and 6% fiber. This essential balance is great for your dog because they need this protein to maintain healthy energy and muscle development.

Blue Buffalo brings a soy free formula to the high-quality food market. Their recipes are chocked full of meat proteins, vegetables and added nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

The wilderness chicken recipe has one of the highest crude protein levels available (34% crude proteins maximum) and a generous crude fat level (only 15%) to provide energy, nutrients and immune health support for all adult dogs.

Along with the proteins, you will also find fruits, vegetables, and berries. All naturally sourced and selected from specific regions around the country. The first five ingredients are:

What Customers Like

  • Flavors that all dog breeds enjoy
  • High, natural meat proteins for energy and metabolism
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals to promote healthy growth

Common Complaints

  • Kibble can be too large for smaller breeds to enjoy fully
  • Can easily add to weight gain if not portioned correctly

3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 17
With savory real deboned salmon that will greet your pup with every bite, giving them 22% of protein meal. This recipe is made to be as healthy as possible with no grain or by-product ingredients.

The flavors vary in this category, and you will be able to keep your dog's diet varied and lively. None of the American Journey flavors add or use soy or soy byproducts so you can rest assured you are getting the best dog food without the risks of soy.

The first five ingredients are deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and sweet potatoes.

What Customers Like

  • Variety of flavors without soy additives
  • The easily digested formula for sensitive digestive tracts
  • Mixes well with water or wet food as a topper

Common Complaints

  • Kibble can be too hard for smaller teeth, such as toy breeds
  • Picky eaters may not enjoy all the flavors

4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 18
Nom Nom creates cooked food as a balance between feeding canned food and a raw food diet. If you’ve got extra in your budget, you can get a quality meal made from human grade ingredients delivered right to your door.

Nom Nom is a meal delivery service for your beloved pets. The company provides “care-grade” or “restaurant-quality” meals for your pets, which means that each dish they serve is made with quality, fresh, wholesome ingredients that is fit for your dog's caloric needs.

All recipes are complete, balanced and meet AAFCO & USFDA standards. These certificates are actually not needed if you want to sell pet food in the US- but it is nice to know that the company is willing to go the extra mile just to ensure that their meals are nutritious and safe.

What Customers Like

  • Exceeds AAFCO quality standards
  • USFDA registered
  • Simple packaging (pre-portioned)
  • All meals are delivered fresh, not frozen, and are kept ice-cold with dry ice
  • Free delivery (Weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly options are available)
  • All packaging is curbside recyclable, including the meal packs

Common Complaints

  • More expensive than traditional pet food

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Puppy Recipe with Red Meat

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 19
With real meat, real vegetables and real fruit. Special “puppy-sized” kibble is the perfect size for smaller jaws and is shaped to help promote tartar removal. Free of chicken meat and poultry by-product meals.

Puppies need a lot of protein from meat in their diet to grow correctly and healthy. Blue Buffalo Wilderness provides one of the highest proteins in dry food without using corn, soy or wheat. Along with the high meat protein levels, you will also get vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, and berries.

The first five ingredients are deboned beef, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, and tapioca starch.

What Customers Like

  • Easy to chew kibble for all mouth and teeth sizes
  • Mixes with water for gravy or wet food as a topper
  • Give energy and alertness to puppies of all breeds

Common Complaints

  • Some flavors aren’t enjoyed by all dogs
  • Has a moderate crude fat level that can cause obesity if not portioned well

6. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 20
This wholesome grain-free wet food for puppies is made with real Texas beef and is completely poultry-free. Developed with essential vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced diet.

Merrick is a premium puppy food that provides a soy free protein from real meat sources. The single-serve cans are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your puppies need to grow happy, healthy and strong.

The crude protein is lower in the Merrick formula than you may find in other brands, though their limited ingredients and high vitamin content ensure your pup gets exactly what they need.

The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken broth, turkey, turkey broth, and duck.

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What Customers Like

  • Easily digested for sensitive puppy tummies
  • Can be mixed with dry food for added proteins
  • Easy to portion and store leftovers for the next feeding

Common Complaints

  • Larger breeds and highly active puppies may need more meals per day
  • Picky eaters may not like the tastes

7. Nutro Ultra Senior

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 21
This formula is designed to give the elderly dogs what they need in the later stages of life. Senior dogs can have a myriad of bone issues, and Nutro has ingredients that address these specific needs.

Nutro Ultra Senior specializes in adequate nutrition for older dogs. As the dogs age their requirements change, requiring more vitamins aimed at bones and joints than puppies or adult dogs do. Nutro recognized these needs and created a recipe full of all the vitamins, minerals and proteins aging dogs need in their daily diet.

You won’t need to supplement with wet food unless you want to (or it is recommended by your veterinarian). The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran.

What Customers Like

  • Easily chewed and digested kibble for older teeth and weaker digestive systems
  • Proper protein and crude fat ratios to help eliminate overeating and obesity
  • Even picky eaters in their older age enjoy the flavors

Common Complaints

  • Doesn’t mix well with water for gravy
  • Grains can cause issues in some breeds

8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato Senior

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 22
Paw-fect for your senior sidekick, this irresistibly tasty wet food is made using a single animal protein and only the finest naturally grain-free ingredients. With real turkey, packed with garden fruits and veggies

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient formula is specifically designed for senior dogs with dietary requirements. The proteins are from carefully selected sources and contain no additives, soy, or wheat.

The wet food is higher in crude fat while maintaining a lower crude protein to allow older dogs to process the vitamins and minerals on a slower metabolism.

The first five ingredients are turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, flaxseed, and pea protein.

What Customers Like

  • Easily mixes with dry food if more protein is needed
  • Flavors and textures all dogs love
  • Slower digestion for more mineral absorption

Common Complaints

  • Can cause late age obesity if portions aren’t controlled
  • May, not shelf as long after opening as other brands

Weight Gain

Most dog breeds (though not all) tend to overeat if possible. Add in extra meals, treats and less activity and your pup can quickly become overweight. Proper nutrition is crucial for weight management, and you may find that soy in their diet is a contributing factor.

Soy has a high concentration of calories and can easily be attributed to weight gain. When soy is used in the place of meat proteins dogs, don’t get everything they need in their diet. This can lead to lethargy, storing calories for energy use and other processes that cause them to become ill or not able to fight off infection.

Dog’s bodies are designed to process and use meat proteins as their main fuel source and illness fighting. When this is replaced with soy, the calories aren’t burned correctly, which can quickly lead to obesity.

soy free dog food

Allergies

One of the leading attributes of wanting to avoid soy is that it is a common allergen for dogs. While not every dog will have allergies, those that do are more affected by soy than anything else. Soy products, soy milk, and soy proteins can upset these allergens can cause your pup to have an allergic reaction.

If you are unsure if your dog is allergic to soy you can have them tested. However, it is easier just to avoid using soy in their diets. This can be easier said than done though, as the cost of soy being low promotes more of its use in dog food manufacturing.

Identifying Soy on the Label

Soy can come in many forms and can be difficult to find on some ingredient lists and labels. In most cases the label will just say “soy,” however there are a few nuances you should also be on the lookout for:

  • soy free dog foodSoy milk
  • TSF (Textured Soy Flour)
  • TSP (Textured Soy Protein)
  • Edamame (soybean pods)
  • Tofu
  • Bean Curd
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Yuba

If you see any of these on the label, it means soy is used in the processing, and there is soy or soy protein contained in the food. Make sure you read all labels of new foods carefully when trying to avoid soy.

This is a lot harder than it sounds, but once you get in the practice, you will recognize the soy-based products relatively quickly.

Best Soy Free Dog Foods: Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2020 23

Why corn wheat and soy are bad for dogs?

While their crops are covered in pesticides, everything dies, except for the soy. It is left to absorb all of those chemicals that were sprayed onto the crops. And, if it's in the soy – it will go into your pet. Soy also wreaks havoc with the endocrine system causing problems for thyroid function.

Why is soy bad for dogs?

Internet message boards are rife with discussion about the downsides of soy as an ingredient in dog food, and even some veterinarians have said that soy causes serious allergic reactions, reduces the digestibility of protein, results in gassiness and diarrhea, interferes with the absorption of minerals like calcium and iron.

Is soybean OK for dogs?

Though it is a healthy vegetable, it is not recommended to regularly feed your dog edamame or soy. Soy is a common allergy in dogs, so only offer your dog a small amount to start.

What is soybean meal in dog food?

Soybean meal is a commonly-used plant protein ingredient because of its high nutritional value and consistent supply. Unfortunately, soybean meal has a bad reputation in petfood. This is mainly due to its beany taste and flatulence characteristics. The inclusion level of soybean meal in petfood is therefore limited.

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