Present-day, everyone is trying to lead a healthier and fit life by ensuring a natural diet, free of processed food. As a pet parent, you’ll likely want the same for your furbaby.
Unfortunately, most people find the world of organic and all-natural dog food overwhelming and confusing. Learning the difference between organic dog food and regular dog food can enhance your puppy’s wellbeing and health.
Ensure your dog also follows a holistic lifestyle by choosing organic foods that offer your four-legged friend all the necessary nutrients and minerals. Here’s an in-depth guide to choose the best and tastiest organic dog food:
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What is the Difference between Organic Dog Food And Regular Dog Food?
Organic and regular dog foods differ from each other due to the presence of various products. They may also differ in the sense the ingredient is grown.
Organic dog food comprises ingredients that are harvested and processed via organic processes. It means they are free of growth hormones, nasty chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetic modifications, and antibiotics.
Pet food companies may label their products as certified organic only if each ingredient meets the USDA guidelines applied to human food products. Manufacturers that don’t produce their formula in the US must conform to a different set of guidelines.
Features to Consider when Purchasing Organic and Natural Dog Food
Before selecting the ideal organic and natural dog food, you must learn what qualities and features to consider.
Here, we’ve listed essential things to consider when purchasing organic dog food:
Since each dog’s preferences and needs are unique, you must read the ingredients that make up your dog food. Most organic options, including wet and dry dog food, comprise a healthy mixture of carbohydrates, minerals, protein, water, and vitamins.
Let’s discuss the primary constituent of organic dog food products:
The type of protein in your dog food depends on the intended flavor and price of the product. Generally, dog food products include seafood, livestock, or poultry.
In some cases, manufacturers may add proteins like organs, meat broth, carcasses, and blood.
Dog food products source healthy carbs from various grain products. In most cases, dog food contains corn, barley, wheat, and soybean.
Some common alternatives to gain are peas and potatoes.
For proper nutrition, organic dog food may even contain bonus minerals and vitamins, such as omega-3 and omega-6.
Always Check the Label
According to the FDA, a product’s name and certification are critical in determining its quality.
For instance, a product boasting a 95% ingredient-specific name like ‘Chicken Formula Dog Food’ will contain few ingredients in higher quantities. Remember to look for the following labels:
AAFCO approved products contain a healthy balance of nutrients. It also ensures your desired dog food product will promote your dog’s wellbeing and development.
Grain-free dog food consists of grain alternatives like potatoes and starch-specific formulas. The grain-free marker makes it easy to choose a healthy dog food product.
Whole Protein Food
Ensure your dog gets proper nutrients and proteins by choosing products that list whole-food protein ingredients at the top.
Familiar whole protein sources include beef, chicken, lamb, and turkey.
Is it Certified?
The lack of a governing body for the production of organic dog food means that organic product labeling is complex and challenging.
Certifications ensure brands don’t use marketing tactics for advertising their products falsely. For this reason, organic food suppliers must adhere to organic certification guidelines as applied to human food by the USDA.
The USDA specifies its use of certification seal by only permitting it for brands that use 95% organic ingredients.
What Organic Certification and Labeling Should You Look Out for?
To classify, label, and advertise dog food products as organic, brands must meet stringent USDA meat and poultry guidelines, FDA non-meat regulations, and pet food labeling regulations.
According to these regulations, dog food products labeled as ‘organic’ must comprise up to 95% organic ingredients. For this reason, finding certified organic dog food can be challenging, as well as heavy on your wallet.
Not to mention, most dog food products that claim to be organic and natural fail to meet USDA certifications. To help you choose ideal organic and natural dog food, we’ve added the certification guidelines here:
- If a dog food product consists of 100% organic ingredients, the brand can use the USDA seal and claim its product as “100 organics.”
- If the product comprises 95% organic ingredients, excluding water and salt, the brand may earn USDA’s seal.
- If a product contains 70% organic ingredients, the brand may list up to 3 of those ingredients on its package and label them as “made with organic ingredients.”
- If the product’s ingredients contain less than 70% organic ingredients, the company is prohibited from listing its organic ingredients on the front side of its packaging. However, they may list it as such in the nutritional information section. They are also not permitted to use USDA’s seal or claim themselves as organic.
What Should Not be Present in Organic Dog Food?
According to law, organic food must not include ingredients that consist of the following:
- Artificial flavors
- Generally Modified Organisms (GMO)
- Synthetic Growth Hormones
- Toxic Pesticides
On top of that, stringent guidelines governing the manufacture of organic pet foods require brands to:
- Undergo inspections by USDA-accredited employees to ensure all rules and regulations, and standards are being followed properly
- Maintain an exhaustive list of all pet food productions. In this way, the source of ingredients may be verified and traced easily
The Top 10 Organic and Natural Dog Food Recipes
Here we’ve curated an exhaustive list of the top ten organic and natural dog food:
Castor and Pollux Organix Butcher & Bushel
Castor and Pollux’s Butcher and Bushel contain the perfect mix of nutritious and delicious food. This Organix range is an excellent alternative for dry food and comprises wholesome ingredients, including gravy, chunks of meat, and vegetables.
The chunky, meaty texture of Butcher & Bushel can is perfect for dogs that don’t enjoy dry food. In addition, the mixture is USDA certified and free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides. You can choose from an array of white meat flavors depending on your dog’s age, diet, and size.
Besides, the chicken wings and thighs included in Butcher and Bushel’s mixture are pressure cooked with the bones. This way, your dog can enjoy bonus nutrition sourced from the bone marrow.
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
If you seek healthy and tasty food for a larger dog, consider purchasing Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula. This dry food can is manufactured in the US and comprises cage-free chicken, fruits and vegetables, and whole-grain brown rice.
This nutritious mixture is ideal for larger dogs and is free of colors, artificial flavors, colors, and filler ingredients. Lastly, this dry food is high in glucosamine that helps ensure proper joint health for growing dogs.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe
The Honest Kitchen provides customers with kibbled, wet, as well as dehydrated versions. Plus, up to 1/3rd of its ingredients are certified organic to ensure healthy nutrition.
The Honest Kitchen manufactures food lacking GMOs, fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives. Although the brand’s pet food is 100% organic, the proteins are all humanely raised. It also contains MSC-certified fish and human-grade ingredients.
Gather Free Acres Dog Food
Gather Free Acres Dog Food is rich in meat proteins as it consists of dehydrated and fresh chicken. The can comes with a dry matter label that reveals the recipe consists of 42% estimated carbohydrates, 33% protein, 17% fat, and a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.
Available in three incredible recipes Gather Free Acres consists of a balanced blend of omega 6 and omega 3 fats.
Castor and Pollux Organix Organic Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
One of the best organic and natural dog food options for your furry friend is Castor and Pollux’s Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe. The mixture comprises 95% certified ingredients and an utterly GMO-free ingredient list.
This canned food is full of USDA-certified ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, chicken, and brown rice. The manufacturers are careful never to add wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, or artificial colors. Plus, the healthy combination of chicken with brown rice ensures your four-legged friend is full of energy without increasing its blood sugar.
However, since Castor and Pollux’s Chicken & Brown recipe is full of calories, it’s best to choose an alternative for dogs with a weight problem.
Tender and True Organic Chicken and Liver Recipe
Tender and True provides you with a wide range of dog food choices, including freeze-fried food, dry food, treats, and wet food. Its products are certified as humanely raised by GAP, i.e., Global Animal Partnership.
The company manufactures its products in the US and never includes artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. In addition, up to three different dry and two canned flavors by Tender and True are USDA-certified organic.
These include its healthy and yummy chicken and liver mixture, as well as turkey and liver mixtures. Apart from this, the brand products food from chicken and turkey raised without injections and antibiotics. Some of its blends contain wild-caught seafood certified sustainable by the MSC.
Primal Freeze-Dried Turkey and Sardine Formula
This formula is chock-full of essential nutrients and proteins. This grain-free formula comprises up to 42% protein, 24% fat, and an estimated 26% carbohydrates and sources its proteins from turkey and whole sardines.
In addition, Primal uses certified organic vegetables and fruits, fresh, as well as antibiotic-free meat. It also uses meaty bones and organ meat lacking hormones and injections.
Lily’s Kitchen Proper Dry Organic Dog Food
In-depth research by Petsmart reveals that certain ingredients like buckwheat, oats, rice, soy, and wheat can act as catalysts for allergies and food sensitivities in dogs. If your four-legged friend has a sensitive tummy or skin, Lily’s Kitchen Proper Dry Organic Dry Food is the perfect option.
This wheat-free, hypoallergenic mixture consists of chickweed, milk thistle, and rosehip. The mixture is full of antioxidants that help soothe your furry friend’s skin and sensitive tummy. Although Lily’s Kitchens’ products are not certified organic by the USDA, its ingredients are 100% organic.
It means all products are free of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. It makes the blend safe for dogs with digestive issues or those prone to allergic reactions.
Newman’s Own Chicken and Liver Dinner for Dogs
Newman’s Own Organic Chicken and Liver Dinner for Dog promises the best of both worlds. Not only is the mixture nutritionally balanced and organic, but it’s also pocket-friendly. They can consist of wholesome ingredients, including a delicious organic chick broth, organic chicken, and liver.
This USDA-certified wet food boasts a pate style and is ground smooth, making it the perfect option for elderly dogs and puppies. In addition, if your furry friend is sensitive to grains, they’ll love Newman’s Own mixture, which is free from corn and wheat.
The best part? Newman’s Own donates 100% of its profits to support various animal welfare charities. It means your purchases will contribute to animal welfare charities like the Search Dog Foundation and Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
The Honest Kitchen is famous for manufacturing nutritious and wholesome animal food products. Although its whole-grain turkey recipe is not USDA certified organic, at least one-third of its ingredients are certified organic such as flaxseed, kelp, and barley.
Free from GMOs, fillers, and preservatives, this mixture is available in three healthy meat varieties. All Honest Kitchen products are fabricated in the US and include proteins such as MSC-certified seafood and humanely raised chicken.
One more benefit of The Honest Kitchen is that it focuses on decreasing carbon footprint via its environmentally friendly products.
What are the Benefits of Organic and Natural Dog Food?
Organic and natural pet food not only improves your pet’s digestion but also boosts their energy levels. Here we’ve added several reasons you should choose organic and natural dog food:
- Keeps your dog physically healthy and fit by providing them proper nutrition. Organic dog food helps ensure your dog gets proper nutrition and improves its energy levels, weight, and fur
- Pets’ may be allergic to various ingredients triggered by additives, artificial flavorings, and artificial colors. Consider switching regular dog food with organic options to alleviate your four-legged friend’s allergies
- Apart from being animal-friendly, organic dog food is good for nature as well. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll appreciate that organic food lacks the use of artificial fertilizers, injections, and synthetic pesticides.
- The majority of dog foods comprise fillers like corn that your dog may not be able to digest. Organic dog foods primarily consist of natural ingredients that result in fewer digestive problems.
- Organic food strengthens your dogs’ immune system and supports optimal development in puppies
- It also helps boost energy levels
- Keeps your dog’s coat and fur healthy
- The health consequences of GMOs and pesticides include cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Thus, choosing organic food prevents the development of these diseases
- It increases your dog’s wellbeing, quality of life, as well as life expectancy
The Bottom Line
According to the USDA, organic food tends to contain less pesticide residue than naturally grown produce. Thus, investing in organic food is an excellent investment in your furry friend’s wellbeing and happiness.