Dog and Cat Foods That Have Never Had A Recall

Dog and Cat Foods That Have Never Had  A Recall NoticeThe #1 question I get from our readers is “what food should I be feeding my dog?”

I can’t describe how hard that question is to answer… Let’s be honest, we are pampered with lies every day from the pet food brands, and it’s close to impossible to know if we’re feeding our dogs quality or crap!

There are so many layers of the dog food “onion” to peel back before any sort of a reliable answer can be found! I’m still researching this issue every week because I want to give you honest answers (and get some answers for myself as well.) I think it’s going to take me months to understand which pet foods are truly healthy because of the misleading claims that so many companies make and the lack of quality control in the industry. 

One thing I have heard many times is to stay away from the “big box retailers” like PetSmart, PetCo, and Pet Supermarket. Hardly any of the BEST brands are sold in these stores, so you can bet that you’ll need to go to the local mom-and-pop pet shop to get good quality. Just because it’s a “top” brand doesn’t mean it’s the best quality brand.

Most people like the convenience of a dry kibble dog food, although experts still say that the raw food diet is far supreme. The following list contains dry dog food kibble brands that have NEVER had a recall!  That says something, right? Oh, and you won’t find any of these in a PetSmart, PetCo, or Pet Supermarket either…

Fromm – Cats & Dogs

Fromm Family Pet FoodsEach entree is prepared in small, controlled batches. It’s a 5th generation family-owned company, and they have a super-easy to use Q&A section of their website that helps you determine which food is the best for your dog not just any dog. You aren’t going to find this food in a PetSmart or PetCo… but it’s easy to find a local business that sells it!

Life’s Abundance – Cats & Dogs

lifes abundance pet foodQuality is assured with Life’s Abundance because they cook their food in small batches and use natural, wholesome ingredients. If you like to feed your dog grain-free, they have that option too. I don’t see any brick and mortar stores that sell it. But from my own experience, ordering dog food online can be so awesome! Having it show up at the front door means there’s one less errand to run – and that feels great. This company also gives back with their foundation to rescue neglected and unwanted pets.

Earthborn Holistic – Cats & Dogs

earthborn holistic pet foodThis company believes in producing a pet food rich with only high-quality ingredients that come directly from nature. They carefully select only ingredients that serve a purpose to support your pet’s overall health and well-being. Their website offers any easy way to find a store that sells it near you. Once again, you won’t find this quality brand at one of the big box stores like PetSmart, PetCo, or Pet Supermarket. 

Zignature – Dogs

zignature pet foodZignature recognizes how confusing the controversy over pet food nutrition has become in recent years: Grain or No Grain? Soy or No Soy? Gluten or No Gluten? Meat or Meat Meal? But they take a step back from the catch-phrases and believe your dog’s food should be created with the highest quality ingredients based on the nutritional science of the glycemic index.

They also believe nothing can beat the raw food diet, but they strive to come as close to it as possible in a dry kibble. Find a store near you to purchase.

Holistic Select – Cats & Dogs

holistic select pet foodThis company believes that your pet’s total health begins with digestive health. Their “Unique Digestive Health Support System” uses probiotics, fiber, digestive enzymes, and botanicals to make your dog’s belly happy. Find a store near you to purchase.

Eagle Pack – Cats & Dogs

eagle pack pet foodThis company is proud to bring consumers quality, natural nutrition without fillers or artificial preservatives for over 25 years. They strive to provide the right balance of protein, fat, carbs, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat, bright eyes, good digestion, and an energetic spirit. If you’d like to switch to this brand, find a store near you that sells it.

Nature’s Logic – Cats & Dogs

nature's logic pet foodThis company makes kibble, canned, and raw food as well as treats, supplements, and cat litter.  They provide natural food rich in protein and nutrients so your dog absorbs more and wastes less. Its also free of allergens like corn, wheat, soy, rice, etc. Find a store near you or take advantage of online ordering. 

Canine Caviar – Dogs

canine caviar pet foodCanine Caviar was founded by a scientist whose Great Dane lived to be 17, the second-longest living Great Dane in history! His alkaline dog food is different than any other because it helps put more oxygen into the blood to allow the DNA’s self-recovery mechanism to function more effectively. It reduces the risk of your pet having kidney and liver problems as well as diabetes. They make dry food, canned food, and treats. Find a store that sells it near you, or conveniently order online

VeRUS – Cats & Dogs

Verus Pet FoodsThis “farm-to-bowl” company provides genuine, whole-health nutrition rich with omega fatty acids, live probiotics, and whole meats. They understand that you may want to make your pet’s food at home, but it’s hard to find the time. It’s also not safe for you to make your dogs food unless you understand the nutritional requirements to keep your dog’s diet balanced. Your dog is better off having a pet nutritionist to formulate the food and make it for you, which is exactly what VeRUS does for you. Home cooked meals without the hassle or risk. Find a store near you.

Annamaet – Cats & Dogs

Annamaet Pet FoodsAnnamaet makes food for cats and dogs and prides themselves in continuously analyzing the quality of their food using independent labs to “maintain their strict standards of quality control.” They use antibiotic free ingredients and natural methods to preserve the food. Find a store near you or conveniently order online. 

Pet Curean – Cats & Dogs 

petcurean pet foodsThis Canadian family-owned brand believes “the proof is in the poop!” They create their products with “passion and purpose” using only the best ingredients from their trusted network of farmers,  ranchers, and producers. Find a store near you or conveniently order online. 

Blackwood – Cats & Dogs

blackwood pet foodBlackwood provides super-premium recipes that are slow-cooked in small batches “because our family loves happier, healthier pets, too!” This company was part of an independent study to show that the time honored tradition of slow cooking creates a higher starch conversion which can lead to increased stamina and energy. Find a location near you, or get it delivered to your door from an online retailer.  


Please note that this list does not include ALL of the pet foods that have never had a recall. There could be other brands that are high quality and recall-free that are not on this list.

For example, I love feeding my dogs Darwin’s Raw Food, which you didn’t see on this list. I can’t say enough good things about this brand, and the change I saw in Zoey’s overall health, attitude, and energy has been remarkable. We were in and out of the vet’s office monthly before she switched to Darwin’s, and now I can’t remember the last time she had to go in besides for her check-up.

She used to flip her bowl over and refuse to eat because she hated her food (she probably is smart enough to know when it’s crappy food), and now with Darwin’s she eats faster than Jem, which we thought was impossible! 

Has the food that you’re feeding your pet ever had a recall? Check out the FDA’s recall list here.


Dirtiest Place In Your Home: Your Pet’s Water Bowl!

Clean water for your pet - pet fountains from radiofence.comA clean water bowl is more vital to your pet’s health than you could imagine. A study conducted in 2011 by NSF International tested for the dirtiest places in our homes and found that our pets’ water bowl is the 4th dirtiest place in our homes! When you compare that to places like the toilet, doorknobs, shower drains, and garbage disposals, that really puts it into perspective just how dirty our pets’ water bowls are! Who would have thought?

What Kinds of Germs Are In My Pet’s Water Bowl?

The most common bacteria found in dog and cat bowls is Serratia Marcescens which has a peach/pink color to it. It commonly causes infection and pneumonia. Even if you don’t see a pink-ish color in the bowl, there’s a good chance the bacteria is there. 

IMG_2993You will also find yeast, mold, and coliform bacteria (salmonella and E. coli) in your pet’s water bowl. The fat in your pet’s food is the ideal fuel for germs like these, so food bowls are three times as filthy as the water bowls – so always disinfect with hot water and antibacterial soap between meals or in the dishwasher! Don’t forget to use that soap… according to a study published in a Canadian Veterinarian Journal, rinsing the bowls with hot water is so ineffective that it’s as if you’re doing nothing at all. You absolutely need antibacterial soap to kill the germs – and NO your pet won’t taste the soap just as you don’t taste the soap on the dishes you eat from. 

The NSF states:

Pet dishes should be washed daily, either in a sanitizing dishwasher or scrubbed by hand with hot soapy water, then rinsed. If hand washing, place the dishes in a 1:50 bleach rinse (one cap of bleach in one gallon of water) and soak for about 10 minutes once per week. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

Rule of thumb: don’t expect your dog to eat or drink from something that would give you the ‘heebie-jeebies’ if you had to use it yourself. 

What Material Should My Pet’s Bowl Be Made Out Of?

IMG_2924Did you know that some materials are better than others at fighting the growth of bacteria and germs? You really want to stick to stainless steel or ceramic for your pet’s water (and food) bowls. These are the cleanest and safest – no plastic! Plastic is extremely porous and scratches easily which makes it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and mold.

Solution To The Dirty Dog Bowl Dilemma:

Get a pet fountain! They constantly filter the water so even the messiest drinkers will find a clean bowl of water the next time they go in for a drink. I’ve seen dogs that come inside with a face full of sand, bugs, mud, or whatever else they find outside. Then there’s those messy eaters that can’t keep their food out of the water bowl. And I wondered why the dog bowl was the 4th dirtiest place in the home because…? A pet fountain eliminates all of these bacteria causing particles. 

A pet fountain should be a necessity in every pet’s home… it’s just good hygiene! But there’s plenty of other reasons why your dog prefers a fountain over a typical water bowl.

Your Pet Wants A “Fresh Glass Of Water” Too!

Do you love to drink from a glass of stagnant water that’s been sitting out all day? Of course not! And neither does your dog or cat.

IMG_2911It wasn’t until the pet fountains were invented that I sat back and realized –  ‘Wow, I’m expecting my dogs to drink from a bowl of water that’s been sitting out all day (or a couple days) …but I wouldn’t drink from that!”

If I have a glass of water that I didn’t finish after a few hours, I dump it in the sink and grab a fresh glass and refill. So it’s funny that we are so accustomed to our dogs drinking in this way. Now after having that “a-ha” moment, it just feels like common sense to provide my dogs with the same “luxury” I’m accustomed to. Would you drink from the same glass for your entire life without washing it every day? 

Fountains Encourage Dogs and Cats To Drink More Water Which Improves Health

Research shows that one of the best ways to improve your dog or cat’s health is to get her to drink more water. Whenever I take the dogs to the vet for their check-ups, I share my concerns with him that I don’t see Zoey drinking enough water. Jem is obsessed with ice cubes and regularly takes big gulps from the water bowl, so I know she’s getting the hydration she needs. But Zoey seems so uninterested in drinking water, and she doesn’t like ice cubes, so I worry.

IMG_3039On those rare occasions when I see her drinking from the water bowl I’ll tense up, stop whatever I’m doing, and try not to make a sound for fear that I’ll spook her and scare her away from it! It’s that bad… So I was relieved to learn that fountains are clinically proven to encourage dogs to drink more water than they do with a conventional dog bowl. This is great news for a finicky drinker like Zoey!

IMG_3057Does your dog drink from a fountain? If not, do you think he or she would love one as much and Jem and Zoey do? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As a thank you for being a loyal reader of the blog and educating yourself on your pet’s health, we’re giving you 5% off any fountain of your choice. Your dog deserves clean, healthy water every day! Use coupon code “FOUNTAIN” at check out. 


See Our Favorite Porcelain Fountains In Action:


Have you ever seen how dogs really drink water?


BarkPost uses our pet fountains to explain how dogs drink water:

Homemade Treats To Improve Aging Dogs’ Health

homemade treats to improve aging dogs healthWhether your dog is a senior with arthritis, or you want to start early preventative care for your young pup, these homemade treats are rich with ingredients that help with arthritis and inflammation, joints, digestion, skin/coat, tumors/cysts, cholesterol, cancer, and cataracts. They’re a great source of antioxidants, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin A,  potassium, iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. This recipe is super easy, tasty, and so healthy for our dogs! The human members of your family may even like them too. 

Ingredients That Help Aging Dogs IMG_2682

  • Turmeric – a natural spice that has amazing health benefits for humans and animals. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help joints and is known to help with fatty tumors and cysts. Known to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and rich with antioxidants believed to prevent and fight cancer. It’s also packed with beta carotene which can prevent cataracts. 
  • Pumpkin – great source of fiber for dogs with an upset stomach, regulates the digestive system, and a source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and beta carotene. 
  • Flax Seed Meal – incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for dogs’ skin and coat. The antioxidants in flax seed are also an anti-inflammatory. 
  • Oats – a great bowel regulator, source of protein and B vitamins, calms nerves, and prevents tumors.
  • Eggs – excellent source of protein 
  • Meat – you can use ground turkey, venison, beef, pork, or chicken depending on what you prefer to use. I recommend a lean meat like turkey, venison, or chicken. 

Amount of Turmeric Depends on Your Dog’s Weight

You will need to adjust the amount of turmeric you use in this recipe depending on your dog’s weight.

If your dog is:

1-25lb = 1 Tb of turmeric

26-50lb =2 Tb of turmeric

51-75lb = 3 Tb of turmeric

75lb+ = 3.5 Tb turmeric 

Step 1: Mix All Ingredients In A Large Bowl

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


  • 1 C ground flax seed meal
  • 1 C of oats
  • 2 eggs
  • Turmeric (amount depends on your dog’s weight)
  • 1 can pumpkin

IMG_2685Your mixture will look like this once combined thoroughly. Next step is to add the 1 lb of ground meat:

IMG_2686Once you’ve added the ground meat, the mixture will be finished:


Form The Treats

IMG_2688The mixture will be slightly sticky, so rolling the treats into balls or using cookie cutters wouldn’t be an easy task. I simply grabbed globs of batter out of the bowl and plopped them down onto the baking sheet. I pushed down to flatten them, and they’ll taste just as good if they’re ugly as they would cut into pretty shapes!


IMG_2690Once the baking sheets are full of treats, place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your treats, they may need to bake for more or less time than that. I didn’t bake mine for long, because these are specialized for elderly dogs. A softer treat is better than a crunchy one on their teeth.

 Chow Down!

Turmeric can cause dehydration, so make sure your dog has plenty of water available when you serve these treats. 

IMG_2726 Jem and Zoey loved the smell of the treats coming out of the oven!

IMG_2743Of course Jem did her typical move: jump up onto the counter to investigate! 

IMG_2791And she loved what she smelled! 

IMG_2805Jem and Zoey loved these treats sooo much that I couldn’t even get a clear picture of the crazy girls! They went nuts! Safe to say this is a recipe for the record books. 

Storing These Treats

You must keep these natural treats in the refrigerator since they lack preservatives. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. You can also freeze the uncooked dough if you would rather not bake them all at once. 

Do you have any other tried and true methods for helping elderly dogs feel more comfortable or prevention for younger pups? 

Human Foods You Can Donate To Animal Shelters – Don’t Throw That Out!

Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog andWe’ve all been there… you think you’ll finish those leftovers in the fridge only to end up feeling guilty when they spoil and go to waste once again. Or when you’re going out of town and know the food will be spoiled when you get home, but you aren’t sure who to give it to. Friends? Homeless shelter? What about the homeless pets at the animal shelter! The shelters actually need your leftovers, and you may never guess just how many items you can donate to them. 

- Peanut Butter -

DSC07198Shelters can’t get enough of this stuff! Whether it’s filling Kongs to keep pups occupied for the night in their crates or administering pill medication, shelters need as much peanut butter as you can give them!

DSC07210However: when purchasing or donating peanut butter for dogs, make sure it doesn’t have poisonous xylitol in it.

- Cheese -

cheeseHave you ever met a dog that doesn’t like cheese? Me either! Shelters love having it on hand as a quick treat for the dogs, and they love it of course! If you have a few uneaten packages in the fridge, or your family didn’t care for the new brand you tried, do yourself and the dogs a favor and donate to a hungry pup!

- Baby Food -

Jem thought the baby food pack made a great chew toy!

Jem thought the baby food pack made a great chew toy!

Baby food is always in demand at shelters. Have you met a dog recently that loves to eat dry dog food without a little wet food added in for flavor? Because my dogs certainly won’t! They’ve trained me to realize that they would rather starve before they eat dry food without wet food added. Baby food is a relatively easy thing to donate, and a perfect way for you to rid your pantry of old jars you’ll never use. Dogs love it!

- Canned Tuna -

Zoey and Jem aren't wild about the idea of eating tuna...

Zoey and Jem aren’t wild about the idea of eating tuna…

When I hear “tuna” cats are the first thing I think of! They can’t get enough of it, and I can bet that most of us have a few cans in the pantry that we had high-hopes for at some point but never ended up using. 

- Hot Dogs -

Halloween 2013!

Halloween 2013!

Shelters love to cut them up and use them as treats for the dogs. And what tastes better to a dog than a hot dog?! They’re practically named after pups. 


- Veggies -

DSC07041With the dogs eating so much dry and canned food, this may surprise you. Munchable veggies like carrots are awesome for dogs! Veggies like onions are toxic to dogs. Our family gets a big box of fresh organic veggies from a local farm every week, and we have never been able to eat it all because there’s so much! The animal shelter is an awesome place to bring the leftovers rather than letting the veggies sit in the fridge and go to waste. 

Dogs Can’t Eat Everything We Can

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times before, but dogs can’t digest all of the human foods that we can. For your dog’s sake and all of the dogs at the shelters that you’ll be donating food to, read our blog post on common foods that are toxic to dogs before you show up at the shelter with a box of avacados! 


Can you think of any other human foods the animals at the shelter would love? Or have you ever donated your food to the shelter?

How To Understand Pet Food Labels: Know The Red Flags


If you’re anything like me, you may be starting to worry that there isn’t a healthy pet food that you can trust. It seems like each week there’s a new “pet food recall” notice. And with brands bragging that their food is “made with real beef or chicken,” it makes me wonder what the other food is made of?! 

DSC06727Dog food has a “3% With Rule” which states that any food that claims to be made “with chicken” only needs to consist of 3% chicken to make that claim true. For example, “Honest Jack’s Dog Food With Chicken” only needs to consist of 3% chicken in order to meet guidelines. Crazy, right?! 

Pet food labelsI’ve been working on my own research to clear up some of the controversy that’s on peoples’ minds about pet food, but it’s incredibly difficult to find concrete answers to my questions and concerns. It’s proved to be close to impossible to get a straight answer about pet food truths and lies. The confusion about which pet foods are healthy and which ones are fooling us can’t be clarified as easily as I’d hoped. It’s going to take more than one post to get some of this confusion sorted out, so stay tuned!  

Why It’s So Important To Research Your Dog’s Food

DSC06728We have the responsibility to research dog food brands ourselves and learn as much as we can beyond what the companies are telling us on the surface. Almost every aspect of our dogs’ health starts with their diet. A healthy diet can make all of the difference in the world for your dog throughout her entire life.

DSC06730So what should you look for when reading pet food labels? Should we buy labels that say “gourmet, premium, natural, or organic?” Or do companies know that these words are going to trigger us to purchase and they’re using them as marketing techniques?

The government’s rules and regulations on pet food have nothing to do with the advertising and marketing claims that these companies use. That means they can say anything they want regardless if it’s true. Has the Blue Buffalo controversy come to your mind yet? 

 The FDA’s Regulations: Do They Protect Our Pets?

The FDA “establishes standards applicable for all animal feeds: proper identification of product, net quantity, manufacturer’s name and address, and proper listing of all ingredients.” Seems pretty bare minimum to me… so what about the company’s claims to us that they are a superior brand? No regulations on that?

The FDA states on its website: “Pet owners and veterinary professionals have a right to know what they are feeding their animals. The pet food label contains a wealth of information, if one knows how to read it. Do not be swayed by the many marketing gimmicks or eye-catching claims. If there is a question about the product, contact the manufacturer or ask an appropriate regulatory agency.”

So what I get from that explanation is that we’re pretty much on our own to learn how to read labels in order to understand what we are purchasing. Now that’s a hefty task… 

AAFCO Regulations: Do They Protect Our Pets?

Not all states require the FDA to enforce their labeling regulations. Many of the states have adopted the pet food regulations established by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). These regulations are more specific and “cover aspects of labeling such as product name, the guaranteed analysis, the nutritional adequacy statement, feeding instructions, and calorie statements. 

 The AAFCO website provides a lot of contact information from state to state, but it says little about what the committee does. It does state that, “AAFCO’s Pet Food Committee has created a great tool for small pet food businesses to learn what is required when they wish to make pet foods and treats. Though this information is very beneficial in explaining what is necessary for a company to start up their business, it is just a tool. For further information regarding what is required by the state where you live, contact your State Feed Control Official.”

The words “it is just a tool” was a red flag for me. They also state that, “While AAFCO doesn’t help consumers directly, AAFCO has clearly stated in its philosophy regarding feed regulations in the Official Publication that “The most important aspect of feed regulation is to provide protection for the consumer as well as the regulated industry. A major function of feed regulations is to safeguard the health of man and animals. Another important function of feed regulation is to provide a structure for orderly commerce.” We also use expert nutrition opinions to establish nutrient standards (profiles) for dogs and cats.”

Look For The AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement On The Pet Food Bags

The AFCCO states that the nutritional adequacy statement is quite possibly the most important thing to look for on the pet food bag. It will state that the food meets AFCCO standards.

IMG_1931Nutritional adequacy statements may look like any of the following examples:

  • “___________ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for ___________.”
  • “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that ______________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for _____________.”
  • “_____________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for ___________ and is comparable to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests”

 Nutritional adequacy statements that do not meet AFCCO standards that you should beware of will look like these:

  • ““A nutritional or dietary claim for purposes other than those listed above provided the claim is scientifically substantiated”
  • “This product is intended for intermittent or supplementary feeding only”

Don’t Trust “Gourmet” or “Premium” Food Claims

You may be surprised to know that the FDA has no regulations or guidelines to protect consumers from misleading claims like “gourmet” or “premium.”

DSC06710FDA labeling guidelines state, “products labeled as premium or gourmet are not required to contain any different or higher quality ingredients, nor are they held up to any higher nutritional standards than are any other complete and balanced products.”

That bothers me, what about you?!

Beware of “Human Grade” Pet Food Claims

The AAFCO states that although many food companies have claimed to provide human grade ingredients, this term has no legal definition in animal feed regulations.

“Extremely few pet food products could be considered officially human edible or human grade.” The AAFCO also states that a dog food that truly met human standards would be extremely expensive.

There are official standards that must be met in order for food to be deemed “edible” by definition for human consumption. If these qualifications are met then “human grade” claims can legally be made even though there is no official definition for the term. However, a product created for a pet is very unlikely to be nutritionally adequate for human consumption. There are foods that humans can eat, such as chocolate, that are toxic to dogs. Therefore, “human grade” does not by any means indicate that a food is nutritionally safe for dogs. 

“Natural” Pet Food: While It’s Better, It’s Still Unclear

The word “natural” is being used on tons of food labels both in the dog and human food industries. It makes us feel good when we think we’re getting an honest product, and we hope that the label is telling us the truth. Some people confuse the terms “natural” and “organic” as being interchangeable, but they are absolutely not the same.

DSC06719PetMD veterinarian Dr. Hughes tells us that the word “natural” means that the FDA deems the product to contain no chemical changes to the ingredients. Of course we don’t want our dogs to ingest chemicals day after day. This can greatly deteriorate their health. Purchasing a dog food that can provide FDA certified “natural” ingredients should be part of your dog’s daily diet. 

DSC06722The AAFCO says that the word “natural” is a descriptive term that sounds positive, but there are misperceptions about the word. The term was undefined in the past by state and federal agencies, but in an effort to appeal to consumers, marketers have used the term for their food. 

The AAFCO Definition for “Natural” Pet Food: 

DSC06716“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.”

DSC06729However, the FDA labeling guidelines states, “the term ‘natural’ is often used on pet food labels, although that term does not have an official definition.” The FDA does recognize the AAFCO definition for natural. Unfortunately, it’s up to us to do the remaining research for us to be sure that the company’s claims to be natural are in fact truthful. Furthermore, not all states have adopted the AAFCO definition for “natural.” The FDA admits that ingredients can still contain trace amounts of chemically synthetic compounds and still be considered natural. 

Are you even more confused than before? Don’t feel bad, I am too! It feels like there still isn’t a concrete, defined, trustworthy answer to the natural vs unnatural debate. 

Don’t Believe “Holistic” Pet Food Claims

DSC06720There is no legal definition of the word “holistic” for pet food. Any manufacturer can claim their food is “holistic” regardless of the ingredients. To me, this word would be a red flag for ‘marketing scam!’


“Organic” Pet Food: Look For The Seal 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, organic ingredients must be grown with only animal or vegetable fertilizers such as manure, bone meal, compost, etc. When a product has the USDA Organic Seal, it is certified to meet these standards. If the product does not have the official USDA Organic Seal, it’s claim to be organic has not been proven true by any official agency. 

According to the AAFCO, Organic pet food is “produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used.”


Now that was a lot to take in! The pet food controversy is one that I believe is far from over. More consumers than ever are demanding answers from manufacturers, and I hope that in only a few more years we will be able to grab a bag of dog food off the shelves without all of these worries and concerns. Stay tuned for more information on reading pet food labels and understanding what all of the chemically-named ingredients truly are. 

Do you have a rule you abide by when picking out your pet’s food? Or is there a tried and true method you believe works when choosing a reputable manufacturer?