It’s safe to say that Westerners are crazy about their dogs and that the pet industry is easily a billion dollar industry in the US alone. Everyone wants the best in bedding, clothes and toys for their special dog or dogs. Many have even turned to feeding “Fido” organic dog food, often available only at specialized shops or over the Internet. Nevertheless, organic dog food is big business and many dog owners swear by it.
Believe it or not, manufacturers can get certain types of their dog food certified by certifying bodies as being Certified Organic. There are organic dog foods containing organic beef, organic chicken and purely organically-grown grains, often supplemented with vegetable extracts that are all organic, as well as vitamins and minerals.
The cost is higher than for regular dog food; however, many dog owners will gladly pay the extra price. A typical organic dog food begins with beef that has been produced using strict organic guidelines, including that the cattle be raised without exposure to synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemical substances. The cattle must graze on organically-created pastures with a diet producing the leanest beef possible and beef that is high in omega 3 and omega 6 oils, linoleic acid, vitamin E and beta carotenes. For optimal sources of fiber, organic dog food adds organic vegetables in ways that maintain their high vitamin levels. Some vegetables in organic dog food include carrots, red beets and broccoli.
Herbs that provide an antioxidant effect include organic thyme, oregano and rosemary, all of which have healthful properties in dogs. Because dogs need essential fatty acids, organic dog food provides organic sources of linoleic acid and linolenic acids. These essential fatty acids are important in handling lipid soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K; in addition, they help metabolize cholesterol in the pet. Organic sources of these fatty acids include cold-processed canola oil, sunflower oil and organic vegetables and seeds. Organic flax oil contains omega 3 fatty acids for a shiny skin and coat.
One of the least recognizable types of fatty acids in organic food is the omega 9 fatty acid category, which consists of stearic and oleic acids. These help stabilize the flavor, texture and aroma of dog food and are derived from cold-pressed sunflower oil.
Cold processing makes this oil a good antioxidant for dogs. Some estimates say that up to 20 percent of all dogs suffer from some type of allergy and its believed that food sensitivity accounts for a third of all allergies. Organic dog food, because it complies with strict food safety and production methods, is believed to be hypoallergenic to dogs. Some dog food companies routinely test their products for allergens and, because they carefully trace their ingredients, there is a decreased chance of dog food allergens. Most organic dog food avoids being allergenic by keeping common allergens, including cord, soybeans, wheat, meat by-products, milk by-products, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives and artificial colorants, out of the product.
As a preservative, many manufacturers use bee propolis to preserve the product; this is a naturally occurring substance that is low in allergenic potential. Organic dog food is extremely healthy and safe for dogs and, in some cases, it may be worth the extra cost to the owner. The dog will likely love the food and it will probably have an impact on his or her overall health in the long run.