If you ask veterinarians which brand is the best organic dog food, chances are, you will receive many different answers regarding which one is their particular favorite. What veterinarians usually do agree on is that the quality of the ingredients and the type of ingredients is the most important factor.
Is Organic Dog Food The Best Option?
In general, we at the Naked Dog Bakery recommend sticking with organic dog food brands. These brands tend to have healthier ingredients and fewer chemicals simply because these brands’ customers expect higher quality ingredients and are willing to pay for the extra expense of organic ingredients.
However, it’s still smart to read those labels carefully and do some research. Some organic brands still might include ingredients such as food dyes, MSG and meat meal. Meat meal contains the worst quality meats leftover from meat processing plants and often has a very low nutritional content. Anytime you see the words “meal” or “byproduct,” it’s best to simply put that food back on the shelf.
Even just the word “meat” by itself is suspect. What kind of meat is it? When dog food companies are vague, this tends to mean that ingredients aren’t particularly high quality. After all, if they were the highest quality ingredients, wouldn’t they want to advertise that?
Other ingredients to look out for include sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, propylene glycol, BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, melamine, corn syrup or other sweeteners such as fructose, glucose or dextrose. Basically, if you don’t really understand or cannot pronounce the ingredients, they probably shouldn’t be in your dog’s food.
Many of these ingredients are found in human food and are considered “safe” by the FDA. However, there are many whole-food options, or as we like to say “naked” food options, that contain no chemicals or only natural preservatives and flavorings. Any time you can limit the number of chemicals in your diet or your dog’s diet, this is a healthier choice.
What About Gluten & Grain-Free Dog Food?
At Naked Dog Bistro, our fresh organic dog food, as well as our organic dog treats and other bakery items, are grain-free and gluten-free. Not all dogs have issues with gluten and grain, but some do, which is why we omit these ingredients. Additionally, many of the grains in dog food are just cheap filler rather than high-quality ingredients.
If your dog is eating a diet that includes grains and gluten but is healthy and happy, there’s probably no reason to change that diet. If your dog does have allergies or stomach issues, this could be due to grain or perhaps another ingredient in their food. Dogs, just like humans, can be allergic or sensitive to many different ingredients. If your dog is prone to stomach issues, allergies or other health issues, talk to your veterinarian to determine if dietary changes might help.
Each of our furry companions is unique, and one dog’s dietary needs might be different from the dog next door. This is especially true as dogs age and tend to have specific health issues such as kidney or heart issues or perhaps weight issues. Dogs with allergies or thyroid conditions also often benefit from a special diet. In some cases, fresh dog food might be a great option to consider although this also can be an excellent choice for dogs with no health issues, as well.
Fresh Organic Dog Food
Some dogs eat kibble, some dogs eat canned food. These days, there are additional options of raw dog food or fresh dog food. Some people are confused by the difference between raw and fresh dog food.
Raw dog food is just what it sounds like – dog food that includes uncooked ingredients. This will include raw meat and sometimes raw eggs, fruits or veggies. You can make raw dog food for your pet or purchase frozen raw food, freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food from a pet store.
With fresh dog food, most of the ingredients are cooked, but no preservatives are added. Fresh organic dog food also might include ingredients such as oats, rice and pasta. Again, dog parents can make their own homemade dog food or purchase pre-made fresh dog food from us at Naked Dog Bistro or another source.
The advantage of raw and fresh dog food is that the ingredients are simple and straightforward. There aren’t artificial flavors and colors and preservatives or other chemicals. There are no cheap fillers, and usually, the meats, poultry and fish included in the meals will be high-quality proteins.
Raw food, however, can be dangerous, as raw meats can contain pathogens that can harm your dog or other members of your family if there is cross-contamination. Some dogs, especially those with conditions such as cancer or pancreatitis should not eat any food that has not been cooked. Using fresh dog food can be a safer choice, and we have three varieties specially formulated to be pancreatitis-safe, which is a common problem with many dogs.
Obviously, kibble and canned food is a convenient option. It’s shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration. On the other hand, fresh dog food can be a higher quality, safer option and, frankly, most dogs adore it. If you have a finicky eater, fresh dog food (we use all human-grade ingredients) is usually a big hit.
In the end, it all comes down to what is best for your dog. In general, whether you opt for dry dog food, canned, raw or fresh, we do recommend that you choose organic dog food and carefully look over the list of ingredients.
At Naked Dog Bistro, we prepare six different varieties of small-batch, fresh organic dog food. We use only the finest fresh ingredients, and all of our organic dog food is grain-free and gluten-free. If you live in Laguna Beach, we even offer a free dog food delivery service to make fresh dog food an easy and convenient option.
In addition to our organic dog food, we bake fresh homemade dog treats daily in the Naked Dog Bistro kitchen and you can special order custom cakes and cupcakes. We also formulate our own line of CBD for dogs, including CBD dog treats and CBD oil. CBD products can be purchased in-store or shipped to your home. If you have any questions about our dog food, treats or CBD products, give us a call or pop into our Laguna Beach pet boutique and bakery at any time.