When a store or a retailer is selling pet foods, and specifically foods that are designed to be healthier in the consumer’s mind, you may find a lot of foods that are labelled natural or organic dog food.
While this may sound great as most people are now focused on eating more organic and natural foods, the labeling on dog foods is not the same as for human foods. Think of it a bit like the difference between supplements and prescription medications, there is a specific, stringent and very thoroughly controlled pathway for producing a prescription drug while for a supplement or “holistic treatment” there is really very little as long as it contains approved ingredients.
What Organic Dog Food Means by Definition
When you buy organic foods for yourself at the grocery store the use of the word organic on the label, similar to that prescription medication, is closely defined by the USDA or United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (NOP). This program is designed to make sure that the ingredients in the products, each and every one, is grown without chemicals, pesticides, artificial fertilizers, without irradiation or any treatment of the ground with any sewage. It also means that there are no genetically modified ingredients. Within the meat there are no additives such as hormones or antibiotics and they are fed on pastures and with feed that would pass the organic test as well.
However, pet foods are not included in that definition at this time. This means that some, or few, most, or even all of the ingredients in the organic dog food could be organic, but then again they may not. Look for the term USDA Certified Organic dog food to know the difference.
The Good Companies
There are some very good dog food companies that strictly adhere to the organic dog food definition simply by their own ethical and professional standards. These companies tend to be smaller companies that source all the ingredients that they use, ensuring that the plant products and the meat products meet the human food definition of organic pet food.
There are also pet food retailers that go that extra mile for their customers and do this research for them. The truth is that there are pet food stores that do check the companies and investigate their organic claims before they put their organic dog food on the shelf. These companies are a great place to buy from and it gives you the peace of mind to know you are buying healthy for your pets.
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