Are You In The Know About Organic Dog Food?
When it comes to buying food for your pet, you want a product that is going to meet his nutritional needs without breaking the bank. If you were to walk down the food aisle at your local pet store, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. Words like “holistic”, “all-natural,” and even “organic” are plastered all over pet food bags – but what do these terms really mean? If you are considering switching your dog to an organic pet food formula, take the time to learn what organic dog food really is before you buy.
What Does Organic Mean?
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses the term “organic” to refer to the way crops and animals are grown and raised – organic crops should be raised free from pesticides for at least 3 years and organic livestock should be given organic feed and access to the outdoors. It is important to realize the difference between marketing terms like “organic” and “holistic” or “natural”. A pet food product that is “natural” may be made with whole foods not produced by chemical processes, but those ingredients are not necessarily organic. Organic ingredients are natural, but not all natural ingredients are organic.
How to Know if It’s Organic
Now that you know the basics about what makes a pet food organic, you may be wondering how you can easily pick out these foods from the rest. The easiest way to identify organic pet food is to look for the USDA Organic seal on the package – the seal may be in color or in black-and-white, but it should be located prominently on the front of the package. The use of this seal ensures that the product is at least 95% organic. As an alternative to the USDA Organic seal, you may also see other seals like Oregon Tilth which certifies that the product is at least 70% organic. The presence of this seal indicates that the product was made with some organic ingredients but the entire product is not completely organic.
Another way to determine whether a food is organic or not is to check the ingredients list. Look for whole food products like chicken and turkey, not rendered products like chicken meal. Organic pet foods should also contain a variety of other nutritious ingredients like eggs, vegetables and fruit – these foods should make up at least the top ten in the list of ingredients. Another thing to keep in mind is where the food is processed. Organic pet foods are often produced in human food facilities rather than pet food plants – these facilities are inspected and approved by the USDA and held to the same quality standards as human food manufacturers.
Recommended Organic Products
If you are serious about switching your pooch to an organic dog food, it may help to start with a few recommendations. The pet foods listed below are certified organic and readily available in most large-scale pet food stores.
Castor & Pollux Organix
This company has a fairly extensive line of organic pet foods that debuted in 2003. Castor & Pollux was launched in 2000 and it was the first branded, premium-quality line of natural specialty foods for pets – it has won numerous awards and continues to offer high-quality products to their customers. All of the company’s foods are produced in the USA and the Organix line of foods all contain organic chicken as their #1 ingredient.
Natura Pet Products has a line of organic foods called Karma, all made with organic chicken as the number one ingredient. The line as a whole is made with 95% organic ingredients including a variety of whole grains. All of the company’s products undergo strict quality-control checks and the cooking methods are much gentler than those used by other companies which ensures the preservation of the natural nutrients in the ingredients.
Natural Planet is a family-owned pet food manufacturer that offers a wide range of products including an Organics line. All of the products in this line are made with quality ingredients like raw chicken, brown rice and pumpkin to ensure proper nutrition for your pet. This brand is Oregon Tilth certified which means it is at least 70% organic.
The type of food you choose to offer your pet is up to you, but you would be wise to consider offering an organic pet food. These foods are made with the highest quality, most natural ingredients possible to ensure that your dog get the nutrition he needs to remain healthy and strong.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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