You want your dog to be as heathy as possible and this starts with the food you give them. While regular dog foods can be great, organic dog foods are often favored by dog owners because they are safer and more nutrient-rich than other canine foods. When a dog food is labelled organic, you know that the ingredients inside will be largely derived from farms and other sources that do not used artificial or synthesized materials.
However, finding the right organic dog food can be challenging because, not only are there a lot of brands out there now offering many different types of food, but manufacturers often have a habit of putting the word “organic” or “all-natural” on their foods that are not necessarily these things. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when purchasing organic dog food to ensure your dog has the best diet. Below we have compiled a buying guide for you, so you know what to look out for when purchasing a new food for your pooch.
What is Organic Dog Food?
Organic dog food is food made from ingredients that have been grown, cultivated or raised in an environment where no artificial substances have been used. For example, if the chicken in your dog food is organic, this will mean it is a free-range chicken. It also will have been fed a natural diet of grains and will not have been treated with any medications or antibiotics. If a fruit or vegetable in the food you buy is labelled as organic, this will mean that it has been grown or cultivated in an area where no fertilizers, chemicals or pesticides have been used.
Things To Remember Before Purchasing Organic Dog Food
Just like when you buy any dog food, you’ll want to check the label to make sure what exact ingredients are making up the organic food you are buying. However, there are a few specific things you should look for that will make a great difference in the quality of the food you are feeding your doggo.
First of all, you should always look for foods that have a certification from well-recognized organizations such as the USDA. This way, you will know that the product is safe for your dog to eat. Unfortunately, there are some brands that claim their food has a certification from the USDA when they actually do not, so make sure you are careful here and do your research.
Proteins And Fats
You should always choose a dog food that has a good mixture of protein and fats in it’s ingredients list. Science has proven that, although dogs do need some forms of carbohydrates, they do not need as many as they do protein and fats and these things should be the highest on the list when purchasing food. Many dog foods today have a lot of carbohydrates on their ingredients list; this is because carbohydrates are cheap and good “fillers” for dog food, but really you should be looking for a mixture that contains more protein and fats, even if it costs you a bit more.
The label of the dog food should also state the source of the ingredients. Many labels will just state that a food contains “protein from meat sources”, but you should be looking for more specific food. What type of protein is it? Where did it come from? This is the safest way to buy food and to make sure your dog is staying healthy. Similarly, if a food is labelled “all-natural” that does not necessarily mean it is organic. Natural ingredients can still undergo chemical manipulation in the manufacturing process before it even hits the bag or your dog’s bowl. Remember — organic means that the ingredients has been grown, cultivated or raised in an environment where no artificial substances have been used.
If your dog has allergies, this will obviously be another thing you should look for. The first thing you should do is determine whether it is a real allergy or whether your dog just has an intolerance to a food. If your dog is allergic to chicken, you will need to stay away from any food containing chicken and substitute it with other proteins such as lamb, turkey or beef. A lot of allergies are associated with a high-protein diet, so if your dog is really suffering, you may want to switch them to a vegan diet.
Why Organic Dog Food Is A Good Option
It is very clear to see why organic dog food is a great option for your dog, with the ingredients being grown and reared without any chemicals. Organic pet food isn’t necessarily better than other pet food, but it often gives owners peace of mind that what their canine friends are eating is safe and will not hurt them. There are a few others reasons why organic dog food is a good choice too.
Organic dog food can help with digestive issues your dog may be having. Because of the natural ingredients that have not been treated with chemicals or pesticides, an organic dog food is much less likely to irritate the gut lining of your dog or give them an upset stomach. Also, due to the fact that the ingredients are organic, they are normally digested better by your dog too.
The natural ingredients in organic dog food are also great for dogs that suffer from allergies, as often these allergies can come from the artificial ingredients or chemicals that are present in non-organic dog food. Organic pet foods also help to improve the immune system because, without the presence of chemicals, their immune system is boosted and it helps them to ward off more infections.
Factors To Consider When Buying Organic Dog Food
We have mentioned above the reasons why organic dog food can be great for your dog, but there are a few reactors to consider when choosing a food, especially with so many dog food brands on the market these days.
Age and Life Stage of Your Dog
The very first thing that you should consider is your dog’s life stage and age. Every dog has different requirements based on their age and their breed and, whether you’re feeding them organic food or not, you need to make sure you are feeding them the right food for their needs. A puppy has different requirements to adult dogs, who have different requirements to senior dogs, much as larger breed dogs have different requirements to older dogs. So, just because you are looking to switch your dog to an organic food, make sure you don’t disregard their fundamental needs.
Organic vs Natural on the Label
Making sure you understand the difference between “organic” food and “natural” food is very important. Organic food means the ingredients have not been treated with chemicals or pesticides at any point. Natural ingredients mean that they come from natural sources — meaning they are not synthetic. For example, you may see “natural chicken meal” on the label of foods and this means the manufacturer has included different meat sections of chicken into the ingredients.
This is, however, different to an organic chicken, which has been raised free-range and without being given any medication. So you can have natural ingredients that are not organic, but organic ingredients are always natural.
Organic Protein Sources
We have mentioned above the difference between natural and organic foods and it is clear that organic proteins are the best for your dog. The animals that the protein comes from in organic foods are farmed or raised using a traditional method, without any harmful chemicals. For example, organic salmon will be caught in the wild from certain areas of the world where there is no pollution. Salmon raised on a farm is not organic because of the hormones, enhancers and other chemicals they will be fed to allow them to grow properly.
The same goes for other protein sources such as chicken, beef and lamb — they should be raised free-range without being given any growth enhancers that animals in the wild would not be given.
It is very important that dog foods are manufactured with preservatives, otherwise they will spoil easily and you will spend a lot of money on foods that you will just have to throw away. However, in an organic food, you should be looking for natural preservatives such as ascorbic acid or vitamin C. Rosemary extract is also a natural preservative often found in dog food. You should stay away from preservatives such as ethoxyquin or butylated hydroxytoluene.
Ethoxyquin has been identified as a major cause of pet allergies and skin conditions as well as behavioral problems and even cancer. So, although natural preservatives do not have as long a shelf life as their artificial counterparts and might make the cost of the dog food increase, it is always best to be on the safe side.
Who Should Buy Organic Dog Food?
Organic dog food can be great for a range of different owners for a range of different reasons. Firstly, you may be someone who thinks your dog deserves the best, only most natural ingredients and want to keep them as healthy as you can. If you are someone or part of a family that has recently swapped some of their food items to organic, either for health or environmental reasons, you may want to think about doing the same for your doggo. Dog owners who suspect their pup has digestive issues may also want to follow down the organic path, as organic food can be much better for your dog’s gut lining and stomach and do not irritate them.
Pet parents who suspect their dog might have food allergies are also great candidates for switching their dog to organic food. Often, many of the chemicals that are found in regular pet food can actually be the cause of allergies within dogs rather than the food itself, so switching to an organic food can be a quick and easy answer, rather than having to cut certain foods out of your pup’s diet. The same goes for those dogs that have a weakened immune system or are often sick — an organic food without any chemicals can boost the immune system and ward off any infections.
If you’re ready to switch your dog to an organic food and let them feel the benefits, take a look at the best dog foods we recommend below. These are all available on Amazon.
The Best Organic Dog Food
In the Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Small Breed dog food, USDA-certified organic, free-range chicken is the number one ingredient. This highly digestible source of high-quality protein provides essential nutrition, such as amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals as well as helping your dog to maintain lean and strong muscles for playing and running. Also included in this food is a nutrient-packed superfood blend, including organic flaxseed, organic blueberries and organic coconut oil as well as probiotic and prebiotic fiber to help support healthy digestion.
Cooked in an organically certified USA kitchen, you can be sure there are no chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones or antibiotics present in this food and your dog is eating only the most nutritious ingredients. This food is designed for all life stages but specifically tailored to small breed dogs.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken dog food is dog food made with 14 1/2 pounds of free range chicken, 5 scoops of oats, 2 1/4 bunches of carrots, 2 3/4 bananas, 7 scoops of barley, 2 bunches of celery, 4 potatoes and 5 cups of green peas. This dog food is then dehydrated for maximum nutrition for puppies and adult dogs, conserving natural vitamins and minerals and meaning that this 10lb box actually makes 40lb of dog food for your pup! This food is extremely digestible and all you need to do is add water.
It is perfect for all stages of life due to it’s high protein and high calorie recipe. The Honest Kitchen meets the rigorous FDA safety standards to use the label ‘human grade’, ensuring the highest quality dog food and it is made with no by-products, preservatives or GMO ingredients. This food also comes in different flavors — cage free turkey and ranch raised beef.
Newman’s Own Organics Chicken Dinner is USDA certified organic and grain-free, providing your dog with organic chicken as the first ingredient. There is no wheat, corn or artificial colors or flavor enhancers included in this food as well as no chemical additives. Perfect for all life stages, this food is made in the USA so you can be sure it is safe for your dog to eat. This canned food is wet dog food and offers more moisture than a dry dog food, which is especially useful if you struggle to get your dog to drink water. It is also a great supplement to dry dog food as a tasty treat! This food comes in packs of 12 or 24, depending on how many dogs you have living at home.
Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle dog food is a dehydrated food, meaning that from a 10 pound bag you actually get 66, one-pound meals for your canine companion. This dog food is made of a holistic blend of 6 organic grains, 9 dehydrated vegetables and healthy herbs and grains, all of which are human grade ingredients and help with kidney support, digestion issues and picky eaters. Also included in the ingredients are crushed egg shells as a natural source of calcium and there are no added sugars or salts, no fillers and no preservatives, dyes, chemicals or by-products.
All you need to do to this food is to add meat and oil for a complete meal, allowing you total control over what you feed your dog. This food is sure to give your dog more energy, a shinier coat and less itchy skin, and, being made in the USA, you can know that what you’re feeding your dog is completely safe.
Similar to the Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free dog food for small breed dogs we mention above, this Castor & Pollux organic chicken and sweet potato food is made with chicken as the number one ingredient, although this food is perfect for all dogs at all life stages — better if you have a house full of different dogs. This food is made with a nutrient packed superfood blend featuring organic flaxseed, organic blueberries and organic coconut oil, and also contains omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat.
Other ingredients include organic sweet potato, organic chick peas and organic peas to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. Cooked in an organically certified USA kitchen, there are no chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones or antibiotics in this food as well as no grains, if you suspect your dog may be allergic.
Halo’s natural dry dog food contains real whole chicken, without any “chicken meal”, so not only is your dog getting the protein they deserve, but they are getting real meat that is more easily digestible, allowing them to absorb more of the nutrients in the food. Perfect for small dogs, the kibble is cut into smaller pieces and is great for smaller mouths, shorter digestive tracts and a higher metabolism.
Also with chicken liver and nourishing grains, as well as vegetables and fruits, this high-protein food is made from non-GMO products and there is no presence of growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, so you can be sure this food is really organic. This dry dog food gives your pup only natural, healthy ingredients, so they can have the most active lifestyle possible.
This Castor & Pollux Organix dog food is similar to the other Castor & Pollux foods we have mentioned above, however this specific one is a canned dog food and therefore contains more moisture than dry food. Perfect if you feel your dog needs to increase their water intake, this natural dog food is still made with organic, free-range chicken as the number one ingredient, alongside a nutrient-packed superfood blend with ingredients such as organic flaxseed, organic blueberries and organic coconut flour.
There is also organic brown rice, organic carrots, organic potatoes and organic chicken liver included in the ingredients of this dog food, ensuring your dog gets the full nutrients they need. Just like the other Castor & Pollux foods, this food is made in an organically certified USA kitchen and is USDA approved. There are no chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones or antibiotics included in this food. Also available in other flavors, your dog can try organic chicken and potato, organic turkey and vegetable and organic turkey, carrot and potato.
Newman’s Own Adult dog food formula is made with a blend of chicken and organic brown rice, making sure chicken is the first ingredient. Also included in this food are organic peas and carrots, giving your dog a well rounded diet and all the nutrition they need. With no antibiotics or chemical additives, there are also no artificial colors or flavors in this recipe. There is also no wheat or corn present. Designed specifically for adult dogs, the kibble size helps to promote your dog’s healthy teeth and gums, cleaning their teeth with every crunch.
The best thing about Newman’s Own as a brand is that they donate 100% of their profits to charity, including Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation and The Search Dog Foundation, so you know that by buying this food you are helping a greater cause within the animal world.
This Merrick dry dog food uses real deboned beef as the main ingredient with 70% protein in every bowl you feed your pup. This protein provides healthy energy levels, building muscle mass and giving a great taste your dog will love. Alongside beef, there is lamb meal which is also protein-rich for lean muscles. Grain-free, there are no fillers, corn, wheat or soy included in this food and it is also gluten-free. There are also real, whole foods like sweet potatoes, peas, apples, blueberries and zero preservatives, so you know your pup is eating only the most finest, natural food.
This dry food contains levels of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat, plus leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain your dog’s hip and joint function. This food is for all breeds of adult dogs, both small breed and large breeds, but there are versions of this dry dog food for dogs at other stages of their life, such as puppies or senior dogs, so you have the option to put your pups on the same type of food for ease.
Open Farm Homestead Turkey and Chicken dog food is a grain-free recipe with certified humane, antibiotic-free deboned turkey and chicken as the first ingredients, as well as ocean-caught seasonal fish, local veggies and legumes, and nutritious coconut and fish oils. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, prebiotic fibers present in this food, are keys to digestive health, skin and coat health and joint health.
With non-GMO fruits and vegetables and zero grains, Open Farm Homestead Turkey and Chicken is ideal for pets with sensitive a digestion system or certain grain allergies. Made in the USA by a family business focusing on sustainable and ethical farming practices, you can be sure your dog is eating the best type of food that is safe for their body.
TruDog’s Feed Me Freeze Dried Raw Superfood is made up of 99% free-ranging, Wisconsin grass-fed USDA beef, meaty bones and whole organ meats. With beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, beef blood and beef fat, your pup is getting the important protein they need to stay strong and healthy and develop lean muscles, all from an organic source and healthy ingredients. Appropriate for all ages and breeds, this food is easy to digest and helps to remove any foul-smelling doggy breath your dog may be suffering with.
The beef also reduces allergies and gives a softer and shinier coat. All you need to do with this food is to add water, with the guarantee that there are no grains, fillers, wheat, gluten, corn preservatives or coloring in this food. This dog food is made in the USA and is also available in a turkey flavor.
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Organic Chicken and Pea dog food is made with organic ingredients and provides your adult dog with a complete and balanced diet. USDA certified, organic chicken is the number one ingredient for great taste and excellent protein nutrition. Also present are organic vegetables and legumes such as peas, lentils, garbanzo beans and sweet potatoes, providing carbs and fiber with the added benefit of phytonutrients, giving your dog quality nutrients for overall health and vitality.
There are no grains in this formula and a blend of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids work to help your dog maintain a shiny, healthy coat and a strong immune system. Even better, the packaging contains 30% post-industrial recycled content so you are helping the environment as you buy.
This twelve pack of Evanger’s Grain Free Organic Cooked Chicken provides your dog with 100% organic whole chicken, simmered in natural well water, as a healthy supplement to any current dog food your dog may be taking. GMO, hormone and antibiotic-free, this dinner offers the additional nutritional benefits your dog needs, including natural vitamins and minerals, for all life stages, ages and breeds. You can add this whole chicken to any food your dog is currently eating as a source of protein, helping to give them strong and lean muscles.
There are no grains or gluten in this dinner, as well as no soy, corn, wheat, artificial ingredients, harmful additives, preservatives or by-products. In a pate form, this chicken is perfect for those dogs who don’t like to drink water and those owners who are trying to get more moisture back into their canine friends’ diet.
The Castor & Pollux Dog Cookies aren’t designed for an everyday meal for your doggo, but are perfect as a treat or for rewarding good behavior. These all-natural, 95% organic cookies are made from organic free-range chicken, not only providing a great protein source but also a great taste, ensuring your dog will want to behave well to get one! Other ingredients include organic barley, organic peas, organic brown rice and organic oats. Easy to break yet still nice and crunchy, each treat contains about 8 calories and can be a great supplement to your dog’s daily diet.
There is no corn, no soy, no wheat, and the recipe is USDA organic certified. Cooked in an organically certified kitchen, you can buy with confidence that these treats are a healthier option for your doggo.
Similar to the other The Honest Kitchen food we mentioned above, this whole grain turkey recipe is dehydrated for maximum nutrition for puppies and adult dogs, conserving natural vitamins and minerals and meaning that this 2lb box actually makes 8lb of dog food. Made with 2 1/2 pounds of cage free turkey, 1 1/4 scoops of oats, 1/4 head of cabbage, 2 1/8 potatoes, 1 7/8 de-cored apples and 5 carrots, this organic recipe makes sure your dog is eating only human grade products that are very safe and healthy.
The ingredients meet the requirements for an FDA standard certification and there are no by-products, preservatives or GMO ingredients. All you need to do is add water and your dog can enjoy a tasty, easily-digestible meal.
Tender & True’s Organic Chicken & Liver is made with 4lb of organic, USDA certified chicken. Grain-free and with no corn, wheat or soy, this food gives your dog 100% complete and balanced nutrition with other nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and other trace nutrients. The cage free chicken that makes up the number one ingredient in this food is raised without the use of antibiotics and there are also no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Perfect for dogs at all stages of their life, this food is great for even puppies and pregnant dogs, and, with the certified human grade ingredients, you can be sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
This Ziwi Peak Air-Dried beef recipe dog food contains 96% fresh meat, organs, and bones, as well as powerhouse superfoods including green mussels, organic kelp, and green tripe. There are no peas, legumes or potatoes included, which some dog owners try to stay away from. Perfect for all dogs at all life stages, the beef in this food is 100% ethically and sustainably sourced from a New Zealand’s free-range farm with no added hormones, antibiotics or growth promotants. Because this food is raw, 3 portions of raw ingredients make 1 portion of finished air-dried food, meaning you will feed less and your dog will have reduced stool volume.
It also gives kibble a nutritional boost as a 1 oz. meal topper too! This food has been known to help allergy relief, a healthy skin and coat, improve digestion, help joint health and mobility as well as helping weight maintenance. It also provides higher taurine levels than is nutritionally required to promote heart health. This food also comes in different flavors, including chicken, lamb, mackerel and lamb, time and lamb and venison.
Best Organic Dog Food FAQ’s
What does organic dog food mean?
Organic dog food is dog food made from ingredients that have been raised, cultivated or grown naturally, without the interference of any chemicals or pesticides. For example, organic chicken will be range-free and will never have been fed any medication or antibiotics. Organic vegetables will have been grown without any growth enhancers or pesticides.
Should I feed my dog dry, canned, or raw food?
When choosing a dog food it can be difficult to know which type to buy. Dry dog food is generally very popular because it is the cheapest. You can also buy dry dog food in large bags and it stays fresh within the bag and lasts for a long time. However, dry dog food is just that — dry. If you are worried that your dog is drinking too little water, you could change them to a canned food. Canned dog food is wet and gives them moisture as they eat, and it is also tastier. However, the portions can be small and it is normally more expensive that dry dog food.
Raw food can be another great way to feed your dog and is popular among owners. The mixture you buy is dry and raw, often frozen, and all you need to do is add water to it for a tasty meal. Another great thing about raw food is that the bags can be small but you actually get a lot of food out of them, especially once you had added the water, so you are saving a lot of money. Whatever food you choose for your dog, make sure it is right for their age and breed and they are getting the nutrients they need.
What is the safest way to transition my dog to a new food?
If you decide to switch your dog’s food to an organic one, or any other food, remember to do this gradually. If you change it over instantly you can upset your dog’s stomach because they won’t be used to the food. The best way to transition any food is to do it over a period of time. For example, if you normally give your pet 2 cups of food, you can give them 1.5 cups of the old food and 0.5 cups of the new food for the first three to five days and see how they take to the new food, watching out for any bad reactions.
Then you can slowly transition this to 1 cup of the old food and 1 cup of the new food over the next few days, then 1.5 cups of the new food and 0.5 of the old, until your dog is comfortable just eating the new food.
Organic dog food is a perfect way to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition they need in the healthiest and safest form. Made with ingredients that have been grown, cultivated or raised without any chemicals, growth enhancers or pesticides, you know your pooch is not going to be exposed to anything that could harm them. Organic food is known for being easier on your dog’s stomach and improving digestive issues, as well as improving their general immune system.
Remember to always double check that the organic food you are buying is actually organic, and not just made of natural ingredients that have been modified, and always check the food is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, breed and weight. If you are unsure at any point of which organic dog food to choose, you can always consult your vet for their recommendation.