Natural Dog Food Diet: What Does that Mean?

By Cheryl Campbell | Food & Nutrition

Natural Dog Food Diet

Will a Natural Dog Food Diet Help Your Pup Become a Healthy Dog?

That’s Peach in the picture above. I put her on a natural dog food diet about two years ago.

Since she’s a rescue it’s difficult to know how old she was. What we did know is she was panting all the time, and that concerned me. My vet proceeded to tell me she would benefit from a diet of “natural” dog food and gave me a recipe for homemade dog food. I love Peach, so I immediately tracked down all the ingredients and then went home and became Cheryl the Canine Chef!

It didn’t take me long to become curious about what a ‘Natural dog food diet’ really means.

I decided to look up the word natural and got the following:

  1. Not altered, treated, or disguised
  2. Present in or produced by nature
  3. Of, relating to, or concerning nature

The problem comes when trying to associate the word natural with dog food. The Association Of American Feed Control Officials definition for “natural” as it relates to pet food is:

“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.”

Whoa! What the heck does that mean? As if it wasn’t confusing enough other terms popped up in my research.

Other terms for a natural dog food diet kept popping up

Some of the terms I came across were Organic Dog Food, Raw Dog Food and Holistic Dog Food. Since holistic is also a synonym for alternative methods I kind of thought that ‘going natural’ refered to turning away from the conventional and using alternative methods instead.

That got me interested in finding out about regular conventional dog food and what ingredients they use in them. A found out a lot! So much in fact I’m going to do a separate article on the topic. I think it is important to understand what is in your ‘regular’ dog food so you can discover the real benefits of feeding good quality food, but I digress!

I finally had to come up with my own definition of Natural Dog Food

“NATURAL…Food that addresses the health and well being of your pet as well as hunger. Derived from human grade ingredients and include sufficient amount of nutrition, vitamins and minerals to offer complete and balanced diet.”  That’s a little better isn’t it?

Here are Some Common Ingredients in Natural Dog Food

  • Hormone free meat
  • Whole Grain Rice
  • Probiotics
  • Omega 6 and 3 Fatty Acids
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Antioxidant vitamins
  • Chelated minerals
  • Natural Skin and Coat Conditioners.

I hope that helps to explain a little bit about natural dog food and start you thinking about why you should consider it for your dog. We’ll continue to delve into this topic in additional articles so please come back soon!