The Ultimate Guide to Organic Dog Food: How to Make your Dog Healthy and Strong
Dogs just like babies need to be fed on the best and most nutritious foods. Just the same way you wouldn’t want your child feeding on bad unhealthy foods. As a pet owner, you will make sure your pet is fed on good healthy foods like organic dog food.
In this era of people looking to make money even if it means using unscrupulous ways, feeding your dog on organic dog food will reduce the number of visits you make to the vet.
Unhealthy foods equate to a sickly dog and in the end, you as a pet owner will use thousands of dollars to see your pet well.
What is organic dog food?
Organic dog food is dog food whose ingredients are organically grown; they are grown without the use of synthetic farming products such as synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Therefore, it means that all meat whether chicken, beef or pork should be organically produced.
All grains should also be organically grown. However, some manufacturers add a few minerals and vitamins into the dog food. Once that is done, the food can no longer be termed as organic.
Therefore, it is important to check the label properly to spot any added ingredients like minerals and vitamins.
Is organic dog food better than other dog foods?
The answer to this question is yes.
Organic food is way better as compared to other dog foods. Organic food for dogs has lots of benefits and once you start feeding your dog on organic foods, you will note the difference.
Organic foods are safer as compared to other foods because they don’t contain any harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
Benefits of organic dog food
1. Reduction in skin allergies and ailments
Organic dog food may help in reducing skin allergies and other ailments that your dog suffers. Some flavors and additives on dog food such as ethoxyquin and propylene glycol have been blamed on dog ailments.
Because organic foods for dogs are free from any additives, there will be less chances of your dog suffering from these ailments.
In the event your dog was already suffering from the ailments, you will notice a reduction. Organic foods have quality proteins and the ones made from grains have exceptional nutritional values. These two combined help your dog in building resistance to skin infections and allergies.
2. Organic dog food is healthier as compared to other foods
Unlike organic dog food, dry foods have no moisture and they are not as healthy as they should be. Dogs’ bodies just like humans’ are made up of 70% moisture.
Both dogs and humans need that moisture content in their diet so that organs such as kidneys, the heart, the bladder, joints, hair, and skin can function properly.
When the moisture content is removed from what dogs consume, the proper functioning of the body is affected. Drinking water alone will not provide the necessary moisture levels needed to maintain the needed balanced system.
Some dry foods have too many calories and that’s why dogs that feed on dry foods are mostly overweight. Furthermore, dry and canned foods promote dental tartar; therefore, you need to have tartar control diets for your pet.
3. Fewer digestive disorders with organic dog food
As it has been noted earlier, organic foods have no chemicals which mean your dog will have no problems with its digestive system.
Since organic food has no bulk fillers, your dog will only digest and absorb the nutrients that it needs. Dogs are more satiated when they eat smaller amounts of nutrient dense and tasty foods.
Dogs tend to eat less and poop less when they are on organic foods diet. Organic foods help in predictable bowel movements and the poop is more firm since the dog does not have digestive problems.
4. Organic dog food gives your dog a quality and a longer life
In humans, good diet affects the quality and the length of people’s lives. The same case applies to dogs in terms of how the dog feels and looks. By feeding your dog on organic foods, you are ensuring that your dog will live a longer and a happier life since it will have few health issues.
With organic foods, your dog will have a smooth and a shiny coat, energy to play and run and also a stronger immune system. All these will help in maximizing the life expectancy of your dog.
Nutritional Balance in Organic Dog Food
All dog foods are being marketed as nutritionally balanced; however, not all nutritional balances are the same. Therefore, it is crucial to research your dog nutritional needs based upon their life stage and dietary needs so as to find the best food match.
These are some of the things to consider when buying organic and all natural dog food.
- Protein: Puppies, sled racing dogs, performance dogs, lactating dogs, and pregnant dogs all need higher protein levels than the average adult dog.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a source of fiber and energy source. Even though the diet of dogs that are in the wild contain less than 10% carbohydrates, commercial dog foods cannot be made without the addition of carbohydrates.
- Fats: Dogs have different fat requirements. For example, puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs have a higher fat requirement than the average adult dog.
Good Protein Sources in Organic Dog Foods
Commercially produced dog food contain several varieties of protein sources. Depending on the unique needs of your dog, one protein source may be better than the other. If your dog has suffered from allergies in the past from food products it is advisable to consider a single source protein food.
- Duck: Duck is mostly found in hypoallergenic dog foods. Compared to chicken, duck is very easy to digest and affordable than other easily digested protein based dog foods.
- Venison: Recommended for dogs with allergies and is less expensive compared to other options. It is also very easy to digest.
- Lamb: Lamb is a common choice of protein for dogs that have beef or chicken allergies.
- Chicken: Chicken is a common protein source in dog foods.
- Beef: Beef is a very common protein source for dogs; however, many dogs that have allergies react to beef.
- Kangaroo: Kangaroo is suitable for dogs with allergies from other protein sources. It is expensive making it unaffordable to many dog owners.
- Bison: This is a good alternative protein source for dogs that experience allergies to other sources of protein.
- Fish: Proteins from fish provide vitamins and natural oils that help improve a dog’s joint mobility and coat.
Good Carbohydrate Sources in Organic Dog Food
Carbohydrates are necessary on dog food so as to create kibble. Tolerance to grain types varies from one dog to another. The carbohydrates mentioned below are all gluten-free.
- Rice: Rice is a low gluten carbohydrate
- Oats: Oats are considered a grain and are often used as a substitute for wheat or corn.
- Barley: Barley is considered a grain and a substitute for wheat or corn.
Grain Free Carbohydrates
- Peas: Mostly found in grain free foods
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are good for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- Potatoes: Mostly included as a carbohydrate source in grain free foods.
Good Fat and Oil Sources in Organic Dog Foods
Fats and oils are crucial in your dogs’ diet because they help with skin and coat health, bodily processes, and brain development. When looking at oils and fats in organic or all natural dog food always ensure that:
- The fats and oils come from a specific source such as herring oil, flax oil, and sunflower oil. Avoid non-specific fat and oils such as vegetable oil, animal fat, and, generic fish oil.
- Mineral oil should be avoided.
Reading Ingredients of Organic Dog Foods
Organic dog foods will always be marked as ‘‘organic’’ or ‘‘all natural dog food’’ because it is a selling point for dog food companies. It is still important to check the ingredients of the food even if it has been labeled ‘’organic’’ so as to look for possible allergens.
High-quality dog foods will always display the main protein source in the ingredient list. Always remember that real protein sources should be listed as ‘‘chicken’’ and not chicken by-products.’’
Anything labeled as ‘‘digest or ‘‘meal’’ and by-products are never included in healthy dog foods. Most of the organic dog foods are grain free since grains are fillers and are not found in the wild.
Categories of USDA-Certified Organic Foods
Can put a Certified Organic seal on the front of the packet and be labeled as 100% organic.
Should contain 95% to 99% organic ingredients. Can put a Certified Organic seal on the front of the packet.
Made with Organic Ingredients
Should contain 70% to 94% organic ingredients. Cannot put the organic seal on the packet but can say “made with organic ingredients.’’
Less than 70% organic
Cannot display the organic seal or use the word ‘’organic’’ on the packet. However, can list organic ingredients on the information panel.
Source: USDA labeling organic products
Keep your dog healthy and happy by making sure the organic dog food that you buy is really organic and not just marketed as organic dog food.
Organic foods have the best nutrition content as well as the best moisture content. It might be a little expensive but just like a child-parent; a pet parent will do everything to see the pet healthy and happy.