It’s very likely that in your time of owning a dog or looking for a dog you have heard someone say, “You should only give your dog natural dog food.” To the average person you may think that all food is natural, and you may be wondering what natural even means. Today I will be breaking down all you need to know about natural dog food and help you decide if it is worth it for you.
What does natural mean?
In 2001 Pet Food Committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) was approved for guidelines for manufacturers in order for them to use the term natural. Natural can only be used if all the ingredients meet the criteria for natural. Some commonly found chemicals in dog food are propylene Glycol and BHA, or butylated hydroxyanisole. As long as the product is not used as a dietary supplement then synthesized vitamins and minerals in the food will not disqualify it from being deemed natural. The AAFCO definition of natural in as follows:
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.
Without the chemicals or substitutes, you and your dog can see some several benefits. The first being the reduction of skin ailments and allergies. Medications such as topical ointments, eye drops, and pills can help your dog, but these can often be pricey and do not stop the issue at the source. Many dogs are allergic to the chemicals and substitutes in certain dog foods and this could be the cause of the issue.
Switching to an all-natural and organic diet could be what your dog needs. In the wild dogs would not ingest the fillers that are added to food. A natural diet can more closely resemble what a dog should eat, and the high quality proteins in a natural diet provides the body with vital nutrients to boost the dog’s immune system.
Another benefit is that your dog will have a better digestive system. As said before, dogs aren’t naturally able to digest certain foods (one of these being corn, which is often used as a filler), and as a result they can sometimes vomit, have diarrhea, experience bloating, and excessive gas, none of which are fun for you. Due to the high nutritional value of natural dog food, the dog is able to digest it better and these symptoms disappear. Dogs have also been found to not need to eat as much food while eating organically. Natural dog food is much more filling. As a result, weight loss becomes easier on an organic diet. Your dog gets the needed nutrients while eating fewer calories.
Lastly, natural food benefits the dog’s overall standard of living. Their bodies work better, their coats are thicker and shinier, and this will make them feel better. Natural food can give your dog a longer and happier life by helping maintain a healthy weight and strengthening their immune system.
There are several brands out there that are natural dog food, but the main thing to look for is a food that is high in protein. A good food has real meats like chicken, fish, and beef. Grains are fine in a dog food but they have to be the right kind. Brown rice, barley and easily digestible oats are good, while corn and other bulk fillers like wheat and soy are bad.
This is a list of some good natural dog foods.
Blue Buffalo is great company for natural dog food. They only use high quality meats and grains. They never use fillers or chemicals.
If you are looking to feed your dog an extremely high quality diet then Taste of the Wild is what you may want. This food is 32% protein and uses bison, lamb, and chicken. What I like about Taste of the Wild is that they are very transparent when it comes to the ingredients of their food. I feel like this is nice to see in a company.
Read more about Taste of the Wild Natural Dog Food .
Purina is a highly well known food company. They have made high quality foods for years. Not all of their foods are natural, like their Beneful line. If you are strapped for cash these are a good alternative. The ProPlan is their high end natural dog food that will give your dog quality proteins and grains.