Humanity is becoming more and more aware of the dangers that the GMO food is posing, so they, more often than not, turn to organic and natural food. If this is the case with people, who’s to say that animals shouldn’t do that as well? The fact that our pets cannot talk or behave like human beings doesn’t mean they don’t need a balanced diet as well. So, if you’re using natural food, maybe it’s time your furry friend did as well. Even though it might be a bit challenging to find completely natural food among the sea of dog food, there are certain brands that offer precisely this. But how could you possibly know which dog food is natural? And, before we even go there, do you know what the benefits of giving your dog natural food are? Take a look.
What is ’’natural dog food’’?
According to the Pet MD website, this is the AAFCO official definition of “natural”:
- a feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subjected to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.
Natural dog food is more about what isn’t in it, rather than about what is. In order to have the most natural pet food, you need to make sure that it is made without any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. As the definition states, the ingredients in natural food must come only from plants, animals or natural minerals, with the exception of some vitamins. On the other hand, “organic” dog food has to be free of any antibiotics, synthetic hormones and toxic pesticides.
However, the word “natural” on the label of the dog food might be quite misleading if any of the ingredients don’t meet the definition of the word. There is a chance that you will often see the word “natural” on the label only because at least half of the ingredients are natural. That is why it is very crucial to know what to pay attention to when you see the label, and we’ll focus on that a bit later.
What problems does this type of food solve?
There are many benefits of giving your dog natural or organic dog food. The most important one is by far the lack of animal by-product, as many dog foods contain diseased tissues, gluten and fillers. Also, there is less chance of your dog developing certain allergies since it’s free of any chemical additives, toxic pesticides or chemical components. Moreover, natural pet food can lead to a longer life expectancy, which is of the utmost importance when our pets are concerned. This type of food promotes the interior and exterior health and boosts the immune system. Lastly, you will help your pet stay at a healthy weight. Even though a chubby pup might look quite adorable, this can increase your dog’s odds for certain illnesses.
What to pay attention to while reading the labels?
As already mentioned, your ability to read the labels of the dog food is extremely important. Consider it as a superpower, and here are a couple of tips on how to get it:
- The words and photos from the front don’t tell you the whole story – you have to turn the packaging around and pay attention to the ingredients.
- Make sure that meat is the first ingredient you see on the label. This means that meat is the main component of dog food, which is the best option.
- It is very important to have a specifically named meat on the label, such as beef, chicken or pork. Avoid all dog foods that simply say ‘’meat’’ or ‘’meat meal’’.
- Completely avoid animal derivatives and by-products.
- Look for the short list of ingredients and make sure that things such as cheap fillers, colors and other additives are not included.
After all, it’s up to the owner to decide what kind of dog food they’ll be giving to their favorite pet. But you should know that proper and natural diet is the key to your dog’s satisfaction, happiness, and long life. If we’re going to the extreme to choose the best type of food for us, why not do the same with our furry little friends?