Here Are Some Of The Best Organic Dog Foods, According To A Vet
Read this before buying organic food for your pup.
If you’re all about adding organic food to your diet, you might want to feed it to your dog, too.
But what is organic dog food, exactly? Do the “organic” standards for human food apply to dog food, too?
According to Dr. Sara Ochoa, a veterinarian at Senior Tail Waggers, certified organic dog food has to follow the USDA’s National Organic Program’s guidelines used for human food, which means it must be made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
“Dog food carrying the USDA organic seal of approval [are made with ingredients that] have been grown without toxic pesticides, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones and do not contain artificial flavors, colors and preservatives or GMOs,” Dr. Ochoa told The Dodo.
Here’s what else to know about organic dog food, plus some of our favorite picks.
- Best organic dog food for adult dogs: Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Best organic dog food for puppies: Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Best organic wet dog food: Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Canned Dog Food
- Best freeze-dried raw organic dog food: Stella & Chewy's Chewy's Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
- Best organic dog treats: Wild One Organic Baked Treats
Is organic dog food better for dogs?
While organic food does reduce exposure to pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), “The USDA does not consider organic foods to be necessarily safer, healthier or more nutritious than conventionally-produced foods.” And according to some research, there’s a lack of evidence to support the idea that organic food is healthier than regular food.
The purpose of the organic seal is so that people who want to eat (or want their pets to eat) organic foods are getting the right products. But when it comes to how healthy these foods are compared to non-organic food, it’s hard to say.
Benefits of organic dog food
While the health benefits of organic ingredients are unclear, there are definitely some good things about feeding your pup organic dog food.
“Organic dog foods are supposed to be made with a higher-quality protein and more natural ingredients and processing,” Dr. Ochoa said.
The pesticides used for organic foods aren’t synthetic, which lowers your dog’s exposure to chemicals. Plus, the meat used doesn't contain growth hormones.
And since there are fewer preservatives in organic foods, it’s usually fresher than other types of pet food.
Best organic dog food
Some organic dog food brands Dr. Ochoa recommends include The Honest Kitchen, Stella & Chewy’s, and Castor & Pollux ORGANIX.
If you want to buy fully organic dog food, be sure to check for the USDA seal. “Some dog foods will list that they are organic without having an organic seal, meaning that they are not 95 percent or more organic but contain organic ingredients,” Dr. Ochoa said. “This can often be very misleading for pet owners.”
You’re actually more likely to find dog foods that include organic ingredients than certified organic foods, since the USDA regulations are so strict. To be labeled as “Made with Organic,” food must include at least 70 percent organic products.
The dog foods we’ve picked all have the USDA-certified organic seal, meaning they’re made with 95 percent or more organic ingredients, or they’re produced with mainly organic ingredients.
Organic free-range chicken is the first ingredient in this dog food. There are no added growth hormones or antibiotics, so you’ll know your pup’s getting the best. All of the added produce is grown without synthetic pesticides or chemicals.
This puppy food includes DHA to support your puppy’s brain development. Organic free-range chicken is the first ingredient, and there are no artificial ingredients, added hormones or chemicals.
This wet dog food contains organic free-range chicken and no artificial preservatives, hormones or antibiotics. It’s cooked in a USDA-certified kitchen.
If you want to feed your pup organic and raw dog food, try this one. The patties are made with a single source of protein and consist of 95 percent organic cage-free chicken. They also include 100 percent organic fruits and vegetables.
These treats are USDA-certified organic and plant-based with no artificial colors, preservatives or fillers. They even come in a bunch of different flavors, like PB & J, veggie burger and pumpkin.
Even though there aren’t conclusive benefits to feeding you dog organic foods over conventionally processed foods, they do contain fewer synthetic ingredients and are usually fresher, which is definitely a plus for your pup.