Since the last pet food recall, a thrust toward natural pet foods has taken the pet food industry by storm. The promise of healthier, natural pet foods has enticed pet owners to purchase special dog and cat food formulas labeled natural, holistic and organic. What exactly does this mean, and are the foods any different than before? Read on to learn what makes a pet food manufacturer able to label their product natural and how holistic and organic pet food products differ.
Understanding Natural Pet Foods
Natural pet foods are manufactured without the use of preservatives or synthetic chemicals. Artificial flavorings and colorings are forbidden. Natural cat and dog foods should not contain any animal by-products, including ground intestines, bones, feet, feathers, organs and fatty tissues.
Natural cat and dog foods are made from meat proteins from animal flesh. The color of the pet food should be natural. Natural pet food will not have a variety of colorful kibbles.
Some natural pet food brands include Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Blue Buffalo, California Natural and Mother Nature.
Understanding Holistic Pet Foods
Holistic pet foods offer all the same quality standards listed above for natural pet foods, and add extra ingredients to boost your pet’s health systems and overall well being. Ingredients are chosen to stimulate various body systems including the immune system, brain growth and skin health. Common food additives in holistic pet foods include blueberries, fish oil and flax seeds.
Some holistic pet food brands include Innova, Halo, Eagle Pack Pet Foods and Canidae.
Understand Organic Pet Foods
Organic pet foods are natural and use USDA grade ingredients grown on farms free of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones. The meat protein used in organic pet foods is human grade, USDA certified. Wet dog and cat foods labeled organic usually contain 95% organic ingredients. Dry foods are usually labeled as “made with organic ingredients” (rather than 100% organic), and contain 70-94% organic ingredients.
Some organic pet food brands include Karma, Organix, Newman’s Own Organics and Castor and Pollux Pet Works.
Natural, holistic and organic pet foods are a green option for the pet food industry and pet owners. They promote sustainable farming, less pollution of ground water systems and healthier, more digestible diets, for our pets. Recycled packaging and electronic marketing are also common features of natural, holistic and organic pet products.
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