Natural dog foods
Let us start by defining what natural dog foods are. There seems to be some confusion as to what natural food really is. Does it mean that nothing can be added to it? Does it refer to human food? Or, can natural dog foods have other “natural” additive such as flavor enhancer?
What About Commercial Natural Dog Foods?
Common sense tells you that the term natural refers to something related to nature, or opposed to synthetic, per se. But you have seen the “natural” label on some bags of dog food at the supermarket. But isn’t this food processed?
In the summer of 2001, the Pet Food Committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) suggested some guidelines for manufacturers to follow when referring to dog food as natural.
So, when it comes to labeling commercial food, pet food, and specialty pet foods, the label “natural” will only apply to those foods that as a whole include only ingredients of such nature. In this way, if a food has been added with some chemically synthesized ingredients, the term no longer applies.
The AAFCO defines “natural” the following way when it refers to dog food.
NATURAL – A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subjected to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.
What can you feed your pet?
Until somebody comes with a sensitive and definite definition of what “natural” really means, you will have to use your own judgment. Obviously, if you cook vegetables, fruits, or meat for your pet, this can be classified as being natural.
Don’t let gimmicks or terms in commercial bags mislead or fool you. Carefully read the label of the food you are buying and use logic.
In Dogalize we care about your pet and how you take care of them. We have plenty of information and resources to help you become the pet owner your pooch deserves.