Organic Puppy Food

Organic puppy food can be a confusing or misleading term because the use of the word "organic" is often mischaracterized when describing the quality of the food you are serving to your pet. Describing the food as organic doesn't always mean that all of the ingredients are as advertised and unfortunately, there is no federal governing agency that regulates the designation of the term like there are for human food sources, such as the FDA or USDA. However, there are some organizations that set organic standards and guidelines that pet owners can follow to make sure that a pet food company's claims of organic ingredients on the label are indeed truthful. When choosing a pet food, the benefits of an organic diet versus a commercial diet are important to consider.

Organic vs. Commercial Food

Most pet owners understand the importance of an organic pet food over a commercial brand because of the basic differences that one has over another. Mass-produced pet foods can contain some elements that could be considered unhealthy for your pet, such as antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, which can be difficult for your puppy to rid from the body and if these build up, they could lead to a toxic situation for your dog.

Animal by-products like fecal waste, blood and feathers are also found in food that is not organic. Meat and bone meal is a cheap by-product meal used to fill out the food by weight. These can be very unhealthy for young puppies to digest and many of the proteins in these meals can be harmful for puppies.

The quality of the meat and grain isn't as high-grade in commercial foods as it is in organic foods. The commercial brands can use meats and grains lower in nutritional value than in an organic food, and there are often fillers and chemical preservatives added which can lead to a list of illness in puppies. Allergic reactions, diarrhea, liver damage, metabolic stress, hair loss and excessive thirst are just some of the harmful effects additives can have on your puppy.

Guidelines to Tell if Your Food Is Organic

The guidelines offered by agencies such as the Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Program and the Center for Veterinary Medicine, along with the USDA give pet owners some basis by which to determine if a pet food company's organic claims are true. Consumers should read the labels on their pet food very carefully to determine the organic qualities of the contents. Check for five or more of the following designations in order to confirm that the food you are serving your pet is truly organic:

  • The main ingredient in the food is at the top of the label
  • A full and complete list of 100% nutritious ingredients
  • Contain no artificial colors, preservatives or additives
  • Ingredients are free of pesticides, antibiotics or other chemicals
  • An absence of all fillers, such as sugars or corn syrups

Some food companies will sometimes use the term "natural" to make it appear as if their food is organic. This can also be misleading because while all organic food is natural, natural food may not always be organic so reading the label carefully will insure a healthy diet for your puppy.