Organic foods are largely valued for their safety and more nutrient-rich profile since the ingredients contained in these products are generally derived from farms or other sources that do not use artificially synthesized materials. Unfortunately, picking the right one for your mutt may be especially challenging since some manufacturers have a knack for putting the “organic” and “all-natural” wordings in their labels. It is thus, crucial to be very cautious as the organic dog food you may choose is nothing more than a blend of organic and chemical-laden ingredients. To get you started, we’ve researched some of the best organic dog food products available in the market today.
If your dog is sensitive to grains or gluten, then Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Dry Dog Food might be the perfect food for them. Created without wheat, corn, or soy, it has organic free-range chicken as its primary ingredient and main protein source. The formula is USDA certificated and is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, making it a healthy and tasty option for your pet pooch. As well as a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, the food contains a full range or vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Superfoods such as organic coconut oil, blueberries, and flaxseed support your dog’s immune system and improve their general wellbeing.
Grain free dry dog food
Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Made with organic free-range chicken
This product from The Honest Kitchen prides itself of using only 100% free-ranged chicken instead of the usual mass-bred poultry, giving it exceptional safety when it comes to the absence of questionable chemicals. The chicken formulation is uniquely dehydrated to lock in its flavors and nutrient value. The ingredients are formulated to be human-grade, guaranteeing a much safer profile for the consumption of our dogs. It doesn’t contain any GMO- and GMO-related products, preservatives, or even manufacturing byproducts. For best results, the Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food should be rehydrated with warm water to unleash all that sealed-in flavors and aromas, further enticing your pooch to eat.
Made from free-range chicken
No artificial ingredients
Unique dehydration-rehydration technology
Real meat! That’s what TruDog promises the many canines that rely on its tasty chows, whether it is beef or turkey. The whole point is that TruDog is guaranteed to make canine mealtimes a real treat. Its organic ingredients are freeze dried to seal in all those delicious and nutritious goodness without the need for extenders and preservatives. It doesn’t contain grains and unnecessary fillers, too. Its unique formulation consisting primarily of premium meats allows it to be easily digested by dogs, helping improve your pooch’s overall nutrition. It’s hypoallergenic so it won’t upset your mutt’s tummy. Just add water to the TruDog to unlock the real goodness of real meat, serving your mutt food that resembles raw meat.
Made of 100% meat
Freeze-dried for optimum nutrients
No fillers, grains, and preservatives
If you are not really keen on giving your mutt dry kibbles for the simple fact that your mutt isn’t drinking that much water, then giving the Evangers Grain Free Organic 100 Percent Cooked Chicken for Dogs is a great option. Containing only a maximum of 78% moisture, whereas other wet dog foods come with as much as 90% moisture, the Evangers should provide your dog a more well-balanced formulation of proteins, fats, and crude fiber that is no more than 1.5%. Compare that with dry kibbles typically containing 4% crude fiber and you can see why the Evangers is an exceptional product. Best of all, the chicken that’s cooked and put into each can of the Evangers is certified to be grown organically.
100% organic chicken, cooked to perfection without preservatives
78% maximum moisture content for water-averse pooches
More savory chicken taste
Less than 1.5% crude fiber
Newman’s Own prides itself of using only the choicest and organically-grown ingredients for its products. Its Premium Canned Formula is available in chicken, turkey and brown rice, chicken and brown rice, and turkey and chicken to give your pet more options. Like the Evangers, the Newman’s Own Premium comes with a maximum of 78% moisture and an even better crude fiber profile of only 1% max. It’s not 100% organic, though. Nevertheless, it is already enriched with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids for added nutrition. And with plenty of flavors to choose from, dogs will sure have a heyday.
Exceptional flavors to choose from
Low fiber content for easier digestibility
No artificial colorings, preservatives, and flavorings
No wheat or corn
If you don’t like the Newman’s Own Premium Canned Dog Food, then maybe its dry kibbles version will appeal to you. The Adult Dog Food Formula comes with an even better formulation as it contains 10% moisture even though it’s in dry kibble form. It’s also packed with organic ingredients to give your pooch well-balanced nutrition. It has the ideal ratio of proteins and fats in a doggie diet complete with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and proteinated minerals.
100% organic ingredients
No artificial ingredients
More economical than canned dog food
Near-ideal ratio of proteins and fats
Considerably higher moisture content for a dry kibble
If you’re really after a meat-based high protein diet for your pooch, Halo’s Spot’s Stew Natural Dry Dog Food seems a very good option. It contains whole eggs, real free-ranged chicken, and farm-grown veggies in a well-balanced formulation. While it is a kibble, it still contains 10% moisture but only 6.5% of crude fiber. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in its formulation helps soften dogs’ coats and nourish their skin. Spot’s doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients either. And since it contains whole eggs, it is easily digestible. However, if your pet has allergies, then this might not be a great option at all. If that’s the case, you might want to give the salmon or lamb variants.
Well-balanced ingredients from different sources
Fortified with minerals and vitamins for added health
Comes in chicken, lamb, and salmon variants
Moisture content better than others
Love chicken and peas? Well, perhaps your pooch would love to have some, too. That’s the line of thinking of Nature’s Domain when they formulated the Kirkland Signature USDA Organic Chicken & Pea Formula. The ingredients included in the Kirkland Signature are USDA certified organic, from the chicken right down to the legumes and other veggies. It doesn’t contain any grains, though as these generally are much more difficult to digest. Nevertheless, Kirkland Signature has a great blend of essential fatty acids for healthier coat and skin.
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USDA certified organic
Excellent blend of essential fatty acids
No added preservatives and artificial ingredients
Pet parents who are already tired of the same usual stuff that they give to their dogs can rely on Merrick’s real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe to give their hounds a whole new way to enjoy a protein-rich meal. Reading the label of the Merrick will show that it is not really made up of 100% organic ingredients. Nevertheless, the use of Texas beef and lamb as its principal sources of protein, constituting 70% of the dry matter weight of each kibble, is good news since a lot of dog foods today come with lesser proportion of proteins.
The remaining 30% consists of healthy and wholesome vegetables that provide energy and dietary fiber to your pet. It also includes organic alfalfa and several strains of probiotic organisms. There’s glucosamine and chondroitin, too for healthier joints. The addition of salmon in the formulation provides the dog kibble with an exceptional profile of omega-3 fatty acids especially DHA and EPA. Merrick’s Grain Free formulation may not be entirely organic, but you’ll find solace in the knowledge that it uses premium beef and lamb as the main proteins going into your pet’s body in addition to the use of only natural ingredients.
Deboned beef and lamb as principal protein sources
70% animal proteins sourced from organic Texas cattle
30% wholesome organic vegetables and fruits
All-natural ingredients with choice organic ingredients
With chondroitin, antioxidants, and glucosamine
No gluten, no artificial preservatives
The Castor & Pollux Organix is not a dog food per se, but rather a doggie treat being cookies. However, this doesn’t mean that your dog can no longer benefit from it. Organix boasts of using only USDA-certified organic free-ranged chicken in every doggie cookie that is packed at their production facility. Each cookie contains approximately 8 kilocalories, 15% proteins, and 13% fats at the very minimum.
Having said that, it is important for pet parents to make the necessary adjustments in their pet’s daily calorie and fat intake. Unlike other doggie treats, Organix is prepared, baked, and packaged in a kitchen facility that is organically certified, giving you peace of mind regarding the non-use of artificial ingredients as well as any other harmful chemical in the processing of the cookie.
In addition to the free-ranged chicken that forms the bulk of each cookie, also included in the formulation are dietary fiber-rich carbs such as peas, barley, oats, and brown rice to help in your pet’s digestion. Such a cookie is never to be underestimated especially since it is guaranteed never to contain soy, wheat, and corn.
Free-ranged organic chicken as principal ingredient
With organic peas, brown rice, oats, and barley
Certified USDA organic ingredients
No corn, soy, wheat
Cooked in a US organically certified kitchen
We’re not really sure where the Honest Kitchen drew its inspiration for making the Grain Free Fruit & Veggie Base Mix Recipe, although it does have semblance to human baby food. Babies are usually given some of their first foods using commercially-available baby diet formulations that can be made with the addition of water. That’s the same thing with the Honest Kitchen. All pet parents have to do is to add water and mix it to their desired consistency. This makes the Honest Kitchen a lot similar to a wet dog food.
The best thing is that the Honest Kitchen formulation can be mixed with your preferred animal proteins. So if you have boiled chicken breast, lean beef, lean pork, or even freshly-caught salmon, you can easily mix these into the Honest Kitchen recipe and have that peace of mind you’re looking for. The ingredients used in the formulation of the Honest Kitchen are all certified organic and have passed the stringent requirements for food-grade FDA standards. This makes the Honest Kitchen a great choice for those who would want a healthier, tastier, and more natural food for their hounds.
Antioxidant-rich base easily-digestible recipe
Non-GMO, no artificial preservatives, no artificial ingredients
Just add choice proteins and water
Meets FDA requirements
Made in the USA
Each cup of Tender & True’s Organic Chicken & Liver formulation delivers about 350 kilocalories complete with a minimum of 26% protein and 15% fat. It also provides EPA and DHA plus the vitamins and minerals that your dog will need to lead a healthier lifestyle. The secret of Tender & True is in its unique blend of USDA certified organic ingredients from the farm-raised, free-ranged chicken put into every kibble to the organic vegetables like peas, potatoes, and chickpeas.
This allows Tender & True to afford your pet the kind of dog food they need to achieve healthier skin and coat, more responsive immune system, enhanced cardiovascular functioning, and overall improvement in nervous system functioning. What’s remarkable is the use of USDA certified organic chicken that is also GAP-certified. This means the chicken used in every kibble are humanely-raised. It’s the perfect organic dog food regardless of the breed of your hound and the life stage that it is currently in.
Organic chicken and chicken meal as its principal source of animal proteins
Contains organic peas, chickpeas, potatoes, and flaxseed
Uses USDA organic chicken
Doesn’t contain wheat, corn, or soy
No artificial flavoring, coloring, and preservatives
Buying an organic dog food should not really be difficult. Oftentimes, the things that you observe when choosing a dog food works, too, with organic products. Here are some essential tips.
Organic dog foods contain ingredients that have been raised, grown, or cultivated in ways that do not use artificial or synthetic methods. For example, if an organic dog food contains chicken, it is important that it is free-ranged. They are given feeds but more on the natural food such as grains. The chicken should also not be treated with any form of medication such as vaccines or even antibiotics.
The same is true with vegetables that are put into organic canine food products. These must not have been grown using fertilizers or treated with chemicals such as pesticides. For fertilizers, natural cow manure can be used as well as natural compost. For pesticides, natural predators can be introduced into the farm to help kill the pests. These are just examples, of course.
It really is easy to see why giving your pet organic food is a great option. It doesn’t have to be that organic dog food is better than other types of dog food. However, because of its relatively safer profile, it offers peace of mind to pet owners who may be wary of the ingredients they are giving their pets. Here are some other reasons why organic dog food is a great option.
Just as there are an increasing number of individuals and entire families substituting their ordinary food with organic food products, the question as to who should buy organic dog food naturally follows. A family that has already embarked on a journey of healthier living, free from the harsh effects of chemicals and other substances that may be present in non-organically grown food ingredients, will naturally want to serve their dogs something organic, too. Aside from these individuals, who should buy organic dog food?
Pet parents who have dogs that have issues in their digestive system should buy organic dog food. Because these kinds of doggie diets do not contain harsh substance that may irritate the lining of the stomach or even the small intestines, then organic dog foods are definitely exceptional choices.
The same is true for pet owners who have canines that have problems with food allergies. Many of the chemicals that find their way into commercially-grown produce can carry allergenic particles that can initiate an inflammatory and allergic reaction in susceptible dogs. While an elimination diet can help zero-in on the potential allergen, giving your dog organic foods should help address the risk of not meeting your dog’s nutrient requirements because of the elimination diet.
For pet parents who may have dogs that have compromised immune system functioning, organic dog foods should be considered. While all dog foods will contain proteins, many of these will be laced with other chemicals that can somehow reduce the overall quality of proteins and amino acids. This can have an impact in the synthesis of immune system cells, a great majority of which rely on a good supply of high quality proteins and amino acids.
Lastly, if you believe that your dog deserves only the best and most natural food Mother Nature could possibly give without the artificial chemicals and substances that are the product of man’s ingenuity, then you really should buy organic dog foods.
Picking high-quality dog food can be tricky enough. Choosing an organic dog food can be double the challenge. Nevertheless, there are some factors that you can consider to help you zero-in on the right organic dog food to buy.
The very first consideration is your dog’s age and life stage. It is critical to understand that regardless of the type of dog food whether it is organic or not, your dog should get the right kind of diet that is specific for its age, its developmental stage, and its breed. Always choose organic dog food brands that are specific for a certain breed or are specific for a certain life stage such as puppies, adults, seniors, pregnant, and lactating dogs. Each of these will have different nutrient requirements. Just because a dog food is organic doesn’t mean that it should already disregard the nutrient idiosyncrasies of individual dogs.
Make sure you understand the difference between ‘organic’ and ‘natural’. Organic ingredients are those that are produced without the addition of artificial chemicals, substances, or anything that can be considered as the result of modern science and technology. Natural ingredients, on the other hand, simply mean these are not synthetic. As such, you may see ‘real chicken meal’ in the product label which means that the manufacturer included the various meat sections of chicken into their formulation.
It doesn’t contain any artificial chicken ingredient. Compare this to an ‘organic chicken’ which simply means the chicken that were used in the formulation of the dog food were grown the natural way – free-ranged and allowed to feed on organic food. So you can have a natural ingredient but not organic. However, an organic product is always natural.
We mentioned above about differentiating organic from natural. When it comes to proteins, we already know that animal proteins are the best when it comes to dog food. As such, the animals that are the sources of protein for the dog food must be farmed or grown using the traditional method of growing them. For instance, if you have salmon, organic salmon will be one that was caught in the wild and in certain areas of the world alone. These areas should be free from pollution and other manmade factors. Cultured or farm-raised salmon hardly qualify as organic because of the extensive use of growth enhancers, hormones, antibiotics, and other substances that authentic wild salmon don’t actually need. The same is true for other protein sources like chicken, lamb, beef, and pork, just to name a few. These must have been grown in such a way that they relied solely on natural processes.
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The way we check the organic nature of the protein sources of a particular dog should also be extended well into the other ingredients used in the product. If you can read everything has ‘organic’ like organic carrots, organic potatoes, and so on and so forth, then you’ll feel much safer about the dog food you’re giving to your pet.
It is inadvertent that dog foods are formulated with preservatives, otherwise they will spoil easily. But the more important thing here is to look for natural preservatives such as ascorbic acid or Vitamin C and tocopherols or substances that mimic the activities of Vitamin E. Another natural preservative that is commonly found in dog foods is rosemary extract. The problem with using natural preservatives is that they do have shorter shelf lives compared to their artificial counterparts.
Steer clear of anything artificial such as ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole, as well as other commonly used artificial preservatives that are now being banned in many products. Ethoxyquin has been identified as a major culprit in the incidence of pet allergies, skin problems, behavioral problems, major organ failure, and even cancer. BHA and BHT are also considered as carcinogenic. While there are some quarters who defend the use of such ingredients, there is compelling evidence not to give them to your dog because of their ill effects.
A: There’s an increasing awareness on the relevance of giving organic foods to dogs in the same way as humans are now going mostly organic in their food choices. But what really makes a dog food ‘organic’?
Organic dog foods, whether dry, wet, or home-cooked, utilizes ingredients that are sourced from places that exercise organic growing or farming methods. It has something to do with the way the ingredients are grown and processed.
For instance, organic chicken is best described as free-ranged while organic cattle are those that are grass-fed. What this simply means is that both chicken and cattle are allowed to grow naturally without the use of anything manmade. Unfortunately, this somehow creates confusion as most folks always equate organic food with natural food and vice versa. We’ll deal more about their subtle differences later.
Organically-grown ingredients are those that do not employ anything that can somehow alter the natural process of the organism’s development. Organic chicken are not fed commercially-available chicken feeds as well as given antibiotics, growth enhancers, fatteners, and finishers. In short, man should never interfere with how nature wants these organisms to grow and mature.
The same is true with organically-grown vegetables, fruits, and other farm produce like potatoes and rice. Insecticides and pesticides are a big no-no when it comes to organic farming. Instead, these plants are allowed to thrive in the most natural way. Of course, they will still need fertilizers. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, animal manure and even compost are used. Biological insecticides and pesticides are also introduced in farms to get rid of pests. For example, spiders can be introduced into the ecosystem to trap and kill insects that may feed on plants.
Given that organic methods imply that the organism was allowed to grow and flourish naturally without the use of pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, growth boosters, fatteners, and the like, organic foods are, thus proven to contain higher-quality nutrients.
According to the USDA, an organic food should not have been grown, raised, cultivated, and processed with toxic pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial flavors and colors, artificial preservatives, petroleum-based fertilizers, products of cloning, irradiated products, and synthetic hormones.
That being said, any dog food that contains ingredients grown and processed organically has the right to be called an organic dog food.
Do take note that there are conventions when it comes to ‘organic’ labels in dog food. If it says ‘made with organic ingredients’, then you should expect that no less than 70% of the ingredients used in the formulation is organic. If the label reads ‘organic’, then it should contain at least 95% organic ingredients. If the dog food label reads ‘100% organic’, then you should expect that all ingredients in the formulation are organic.
A: We said that organic foods are those that are allowed to grow naturally and processed without the addition of any artificial, synthetic, or man-made chemicals. So does this mean ‘organic’ is the same as ‘natural’?
Sadly, it really is not as simple as that. Remember what we said about ‘organic’ labeling processed? Well, the word ‘natural’ as used in dog food labeling actually refers to the very nature of the ingredients and really has nothing to do with the way in which the ingredient was grown.
Let us put it this way, as long as the ingredient is not man-made, then it is considered as ‘natural’. This is where the issue is raised.
Chicken is considered natural since man cannot produce it. It must hatch from eggs and grow into juveniles before becoming fully-grown chickens. If organic methods are not used in the raising of these chickens, then it cannot be considered as ‘organic’. However, they can still be considered as ‘natural’.
To give you a better understanding of what ‘natural’ means especially in dog foods, according to the AAFCO, natural dog foods are those that contain ingredients derived only from animal, plant, or mined sources regardless of whether they are in their unprocessed state or have already been subjected to a variety of manufacturing processes. As long as these said ingredients are not subjected or produced by synthetic processes or added with synthetic substances, then they can be classified as natural ingredients.
It is actually very confusing since both organic and natural ingredients are defined on the premise of not using anything synthetic. The major difference is in the methods upon which organic ingredients have to be grown, cultivated, or raised. These should be grown with biological, cultural, and mechanical practices fully integrated into the farming or growing process. Additionally, the USDA requires that producers of organic ingredients adhere to a set of principles that foster the efficient cycling of resources, the conservation of biodiversity, and the promotion of ecological balance.
In other words, an organic dog food is always a natural dog food. However, dog food with all-natural ingredients does not always classify it as organic dog food.
A: Without a doubt it is the greater nutritional value of organic food that makes it way better than conventional, ‘all-natural’ food.
A variety of studies show that organically-grown produce contain higher quality, if not higher concentrations, of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
Technically, it has something to do with the lack of pesticides, too. These chemicals somehow affect the way plant foods create the nutrients that are naturally found in them. Pesticides can interact with the various molecules that make up the foundation for the synthesis of such nutrients. There are still nutrients, of course. Unfortunately, many of these have slightly different chemical structures that may have an impact in the nutrient value of the plant organism.
The same can be said of livestock such as cattle and chicken that is fed with commercial feeds or given antibiotics, growth boosters, and fatteners. These chemicals also interfere with the molecular structure of nutrients that are supposed to be synthesized naturally by chicken or cattle. The changes that occur at the molecular level can be easily translated into lower-quality nutrients or even substantially lower concentrations of the same nutrients.
A very simple middle school science project actually provided the impetus for the use of organic ingredients in many food applications. Fruit flies were placed on two sets of foods: one was organic while the other was typical food. After a few weeks, fruit flies on the organic group were healthier and bigger than those in the other group. This simple experiment showed that organisms that fed on organic ingredients were more likely to be healthier than those that feed on ordinary food. While it makes no sense comparing ourselves or even our dogs to fruit flies, the implications are way too great to overlook.
In this list of the best organic dog food we were able to identify two items that gained our nod as two of the best.
In the dry kibbles category, we had to pick between TruDog and The Honest Kitchen. Both provided exceptional value although the latter provided more flavor options that included chicken, turkey, and beef. However, it boiled down to their nutrient composition with TruDog’s protein and fat composition simply besting The Honest Kitchen. TruDog has 41% and 26% of protein and fat, respectively as against The Honest Kitchen’s 24.5% and 15.3%. We believe this matters as both come with high quality organic ingredients.
As for the canned or wet dog food category, it was a close call between Newman’s Own and Evangers with the latter besting the former because of its 100% organic ingredients. Newman’s Own only has 70% organic ingredients so this might be an issue.
Overall, whether you choose a dry kibble or a canned dog food, organic foods can provide your pooch with a host of benefits. Although more expensive, you can rest assured that your pooch will live a healthier life.
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