organic dog foodIn the quest for providing our dogs with the best nutrition available, pet owners and dog food manufacturers are venturing into the supposedly healthy but otherwise confusing world of organic pet foods.

What does "organic" mean?

The term "organic" is both complex and confusing. Even authorities are baffled about how to define organic and what are the acceptable standards for "organic" foods . How a food product is "grown" is used as basis by most people to determine if it is organic or not.

Organic mostly means, vegetables and animals are grown with no chemical substances used in growing them. Take for example, vegetables and grains. Vegetables and grains are grown in farms or fields. When a farmer uses chemical fertilizers or pesticides, then those grains are not "organic".

Same goes for livestock. When livestock are raised "naturally" that means no chemical feeds where used in feeding the animals, nor were growth hormones used on them. But it’s hard to strictly follow this meaning of "organic" simply because we have to take into consideration our environment. Environmental pollutants are more rampant now than ever.

So it’s highly unlikely that the food that is available will not be tainted with chemical substances. Consider environmental polluants: air pollution, smog, water pollution, acid rain, etc. If, for instance, you feed your dog game or food that you killed in a hunt. Even if technically that animal lives in a natural setting, there’s no way you can be certain if that animal has not eaten or drunk anything that has chemical content.

Certified Organic

The FDA and USDA regulations concerning what can be called organic are still unclear. And this is just for individual items such as animals raised for slaughter, individual vegetables, fruits, crops, etc. What more if we are to deal with a product composed of several ingredients such as packaged food or dog food? Common sense would dictate that if all the individual ingredients of the packaged food or dog food is "is certified organic", then the final product should fall in the same category.

Is feeding our dogs organic food really necessary?

The question now is whether organic food really is necessary for our dogs? Most people think that eating organic foods and feeding their dogs organic dog food is a healthier alternative to eating regular food. But there’s not rule for dog foods that says if each ingredient is certified organic, then the final product also is. Which means some dog food manufacturers can use just a few "certified organic" ingredients and still classify their final product as organic. This is not illegal. But of course organic products cost higher than their counterparts.

Bottom line, when feeding our pets (and our selves) what we should look for are fresh and high-quality products. Meat and vegetables that are available in your grocery store can be superior to the ingredients in most commercially produced pet foods even though they are for human consumption! A diet of "natural" ingredient can provide plenty of benefits for your dog, regardless whether of whether they are "certified organic" or not.