Pet Tips

The Real Meaning Behind The Word “Natural” On Your Dog’s Food Label

Bowls with dry and natural dog food

Are you a dog owner who wants to give their best dog training treats loving dogs the best food ever?

Are you considering switching to “natural” pet food? Are you confused as to what natural pet food really means? There is really much debate today as to which food must be called as the natural pet food. How, then, do you decide what pet food is natural for your dog?

Another important question to ask here is whether natural pet food is something that has nothing added to it or nothing is done to it? Does it actually mean that it was strictly organically grown and fed? If so, what exactly is organic? How can you define it? 

Can a natural pet food have other natural substances added as taste enhancers and still be called a natural pet food? These are the very few questions that you can be bombarded with when you choose to go natural with your best training treats and loving canine best friend!

The dictionary tells us that nature is defined as—

  • Conforming to the usual course of nature 
  • Produced by or present in nature and so on

Please note that even the dictionary has multiple definitions for the word “natural.”

How, then, do we decide which pet food is natural and which pet food is not? 

Simple! We rely on our common sense to tell us which one meets our standard and which one fails the test. In the year 2001, AAFCO (Association Of American Feed Control Officials) Decided which standards will help the manufacturers of the pet foods term the food as “natural.”

AAFCO says that when labeling the commercial feeds, specialty pet foods, and pet foods, the use of the term “natural” is allowed only when the product is used as a whole, and the components of all the ingredients meet the guidelines of the definition which the AAFCO has provided. It also states that it is false and misleading if there are any chemical ingredients present in the product. BHA and Propylene Glycol are the two most commonly used synthetic chemicals found in some of the pet foods. An exception is made for synthetic vitamin and mineral additives. 

The definition which AAFCO provides for the term “Natural” as it relates to pet food is—

“NATURAL” – Something which is derived inherently from animal or plant sources, which is either in its unprocessed state or has undergone some natural processing but not any form of chemical processing and it does not contain any additives is termed as natural. 

Not everybody has agreed as to exactly what the term “natural” means in pet food. This means that you must be very careful and must rely on your very own judgment and not fall for any gimmicks or keywords. Always read the label carefully before purchasing the pet food, regardless of which “natural” pet food you are buying. Use common sense, and your canine best friend is bound to thank you. Bone Appétit!

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