The growing popularity of organic dog food and other all-natural recipes is good news for Fido!
That's because what you feed your puppy or dog has a profound, and long-lasting impact on his health - both now and in the future.
In fact, did you know that the right diet can increase both the quality and length of your pet's life?
Experts and pet-care professionals believe that a poor diet is one of the main reasons our pets are increasingly suffering from chronic or auto-immune conditions, and even dying early.
After all, that old saying 'you are what you eat' doesn't just apply to humans!
The sale of 'natural' and 'organic' pet foods is growing at a much faster pace than that of regular, generic food, up to three times as fast!
This is because pet owners are realizing the importance of premium ingredients.
If your dog's food contains a whole host of 'nasties' such as hooves, beaks and feet, sub-standard grains and questionable (or downright dangerous) chemicals, then he's not likely to be in optimum health....
.... and that's going to cost you both - financially and emotionally!
Luckily natural organic dog food is packed full of wholesome, healthy and SAFE ingredients that give your pup the nutrition he needs, without all the nasty stuff that he doesn't.
When we say something is 'organic', it means that it's been grown or raised without the use of artificial pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals.
Basically an organic product is about as 'natural' as you can get
In the United
States, any dog food that wants to carry the USDA Organic 'Seal' and 'Certified Organic' statement must meet the very strict
standards which are set by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Organic dog food has to meet the same standards that are used for organic human food.
By law, a truly organic dog food CANNOT include ingredients which contain any of the following:
There are also regulations governing the manufacture of organic pet foods.
Manufacturing plants and facilities are required (again by law) to:
So, now we know what shouldn't be in a dog food that's labeled as 'organic', we can take a quick look at what should be there!
You want to see high quality, human grade ingredients that are easy to digest.
Grains such as oats and barley are preferred over the more common corn or wheat (which can cause allergies).
Of course, as with your more main-stream dog foods, organic dog foods are available in a wide variety of formulas and flavors.
The manufacturing process is also important, because some processes can rob the ingredients of valuable nutrients and enzymes.
Lower cooking temperatures and natural preservatives are important.
All of the above sounds good, but you might be wondering exactly what the specific benefits of an organic diet are for your dog.
Well, there are quite a few, and they're all important, here are some of the 'biggies':
Better Overall Health & Longer Life
By providing superior, quality nutrition this type of food can improve your dog or puppy's health, give him a stronger immune system, more energy and a greater zest for life.
He could add years to his life, both literally and figuratively.
He may 'stay young' for an above average length of time as well as actually increase his life expectancy by as much as 3 years or more.
There are all sorts of dog health conditions which can be the result of inadequate nutrition, or exposure to dangerous chemicals, additives and toxins in dog food ingredients.
In addition to serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers, there are a number of more minor symptoms (which can become major problems if left untreated) such as vomiting, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, skin infections and non-cancerous tumors.
Being overweight, or even obese, is a growing problem for pet dogs today. Illnesses such as diabetes, organ failure and joint problems are just a few of the side effects of a weight problem.
As organic dog food has a higher nutritional value and less fillers than most commercial dog foods it's more satisfying to your pup. This means that little your dog needs less food to be satisfied and isn't weighed down by 'empty' calories from fillers and poor quality ingredients.
Plus, he'll have more energy and that means he will feel fitter and be able to walk, play and run more... helping to keep his weight in check and his heart healthy.
Premium ingredients and no artificial chemicals or fillers means this type of food is easier for your pup's digestive system to handle.
This means less gas (whew, that's a plus) and he'll also need to 'poop' less - good news during the housebreaking stage!
Reduces Allergies & Food Sensitivities
Many dogs and puppies suffer from dog food allergies that can be caused by artificial additives, chemicals and fillers, or by sub-standard ingredients .
The superior quality of the ingredients in organic food means that common allergy-triggers (such as corn) are eliminated, plus it helps your dog's immune system grow (and stay) strong which can reduce his chances of suffering from allergic reactions, or even infections.
A sensitivity to a particular ingredient might cause a mild tummy upset and/or excessive gas.
A true dog food allergy usually results in skin irritation and inflammation, and intense itching and scratching.
Repeated ear infections or head shaking can also be a sign of allergies.