More and more of us are willing to pay extra for organic groceries—and for good reason. Eating organic helps us avoid foods that have been treated with potentially harmful chemicals or are genetically modified. Your pet is part of your family, and you know that they deserve the same high-quality food. Feeding your pet organic food leads to a ton of benefits, like stronger immunity and better digestion for a healthy dog.
“Many dogs and cats suffer from food allergies,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, certified veterinary acupuncturist and certified Chinese Herbalist at Animal Acupuncture in New York City. “Dog allergies can manifest as red, itchy, paws; itchy, infection prone ears; and severe skin disease.” Other symptoms of a food sensitivity often include skin irritation, chronic ear and skin infections, and gastrointestinal troubles, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Food sensitivities can also trigger chronic pain and weight gain.
In addition to dog allergies, more canines are overweight and developing serious chronic health problems as they age, including cancer and heart disease. “These conditions can severely impact pet health and daily quality of life,” says Dr. Barrack, who urges her clients to take a hard look at nutrition to rebuild their pet’s health from the bowl up.
The Organic Difference
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not have a specific legal definition for organic pet food; instead, the AAFCO borrows the United States Department of Agriculture rules on organic labeling for human food. To be certified as organic, plant ingredients in pet foods must be grown without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, genetic modification, irradiation or sewage sludge. Animal ingredients must come from animals raised on organic feed, given access to the outdoors, and not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Farmers and producers must have special certifications and follow specific procedures to market the pet food as organic.
There are different levels of organic. If a label says 100% organic, it contains no non-organic ingredients. “Organic” means the food is at least 95% organic. “Made with organic ingredients” indicates a product contains at least 70% certified organic ingredients.
If a pet food is advertised as organic, it is free from things like artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and artificial preservatives. Conventional dog treats sometimes contain these potentially harmful and unnatural ingredients, as well as health doozies such as genetically modified corn or soybeans, rendered meat (which is unfit for human consumption), meat by-products, food dyes, and food additives such as monosodium glutamate.
Organic Dog Treats Your Dog Will Love
Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Peanut Butter Flavor Cookies Dog Treats are ideal for training and rewarding good behavior. With 95% organic ingredients, including organic free-range chicken as the first ingredient, these healthy dog treats are a low-calorie way to indulge your healthy dog. These treats contain organic chicken, organic peas, organic brown rice, organic oats, organic barley and organic chicken fat.
Grandma Lucy’s Organic Blueberry Oven Baked Dog Treats are made in a bakery—not a huge factory—by people who truly love pets. These crunchy cookie organic dog treats contain 100% USDA organic, high-quality ingredients and are made without any preservatives; by-products; artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors; hydrogenated oils or trans fats.
Plato Organic Chicken Dog Treats are all-natural and certified organic, so they’re great for dogs with food allergies, skin issues or other food sensitivities. Made in the USA, these healthy dog treats contain over 90% organic chicken, as well as organic brown rice.
Primal Jerky Organic Chicken Nibs Dog & Cat Treats are healthy dog treats that are packed with flavor and protein. These organic dog treats are produced using organic chicken raised in the U.S. without antibiotics or added hormones. With no preservatives, grain or gluten, these treats get their appetizing jerky flavor and texture as well as their high-density nourishment from low-temperature, slow cooking techniques.