Rate This:Ask This When Looking for the Best Natural Dog Food
You love your dog and want to give them the best natural dog food that you can. There are many, many brands of natural dog food out there, but which is the best natural dog food for your precious pet? That depends on what your dog needs and likes! Some of the top natural dog food brands like Iams, Natural Balance and Canidae are made out of natural and recognizable ingredients and geared to give your dog what they will need at the different stages of their lives. If you have questions about natural dog food, read our questions and answers below to help decide what is right for your pet.9 Active Questions | Add a QuestionThe things to look for in natural dog food, or nearly any dog food, is nutritional content, such as the quality of meat used, for content and carbohydrates, mineral content (this can be crucial as some breeds can't handle copper, while others need more zinc), taste and texture, because if your dog doesn't like it, they won't eat it and last and important; availability, because if you can't find it you can't buy it.
Here is a shock for those who only buy things labeled 'natural': there is no official meaning for the word 'natural' on food products. This doesn't matter if the product is for pets or people, it's pretty much up to the people doing the labeling to define just what natural means. According to the FDA: “For the most part, ‘natural’ can be construed as equivalent to a lack of artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives in the product.” If you want to find out exactly what is in your pet food, ignore everything on the package except for one label, the government mandated one, it's the only one that matters for ingredients. Even if it says 'natural', 'gourmet' or 'premium', always read the label and check for yourself.
The problem with finding a vegetarian dog food is your dog is not a vegetarian and their system is not set up to live on a diet of vegetables alone. Your dog needs a certain amount of protein in their diet that they are born and breed to get from meat. While your dog can survive on vegetarian or vegan food, they most likely will not thrive on it.The term "Holistic" is one of those terms that have come into prominence lately from sources other than the pet food, or human food industry. Adapted from alternative medicine it certainly sounds official and good but "holistic" has no legal definition and is completely unregulated with regard to pet food. Any pet food could use the term "holistic" in marketing their product which can mean anything the company says it means. As it applies to dog or pet food, it really has no meaning.
No matter how some people like to use them, natural and organic are not the same thing and are not interchangeable terms. "Organic" has been legally defined by the USDA only as it applies to foods meant for human consumption. Pet food companies can use the term if they follow the same rules as applied to human foods. Policing of this is somewhat spotty. Again, read the labeling carefully.
As many different companies that put out natural pet of dog food is how many different ingredients you will find in natural pet food. While they may all put different things in different foods, the basics should all be the same: recognizable food from recognizable sources. This means food from a farm rather than a lab and nothing that you should have to look up on wikipedia to see if you can eat it.
The best natural dog food for your dog is the one that best fits the health and dietary needs of your pet. To find out what those may be, check with your veterinarian. Once that has been discovered, you can try the different brands that fit those needs and see which of those your dog seems to enjoy the most. Don't forget to change or rotate the dog food to give your dog not only the best nutrition, but to keep your dog from getting too bored with their meal.
Natural dog food is made out of a lot of the same ingredients that most regular dog food is made out of and thus should be safe for your pet. If you have concerns about a particular dog food, check that company's web site to see what they say about their ingredients, safety and testing methods.
The top 3 natural dog food brands are, according to Consumer Affairs: Canidae. This brands has both dry and wet dog food made from lamb, salmon, bison or duck with a mixture of probiotics, antioxidants and healthy omega oils for optimal health and nutrition. Iams. Iams has several different kinds of food that focus on the different stages of a dog's life and age. The different varieties include Grain Free Naturals, Healthy Naturals and Adult Chunks with beef. They also have brands for special needs dogs as well. Natural Balance. Natural Balance features high-protein Wild Pursuit combining three sources of meat, and a vegetarian range created from nutritional grain and vegetables.