The Pros and Cons of Organic Dog Food

Conscientious dog owners spend a lot of time thinking about which type or brand of food to feed their dog. The choices range, but one big decision is whether or not to feed your dog organic dog food.

Perhaps your first thought goes to the organic debate over human food. Studies show that organic and non-organic foods carry the same amount of nutrients. Is this the case with dog food? Should this be a no-brainer?

Let’s take a moment to weigh the two options.

Benefits of Organic Dog Food

The benefits of organic pet food are the same as they are for human food. Organic ingredients mean that the ingredients are grown without chemicals. They are processed with little to no preservatives or artificial additives and coloring.

Chemicals, Dyes, and Preservatives

Eliminating chemicals improves the nutritional value of the food. Your dog doesn’t need all of the additives found in regular dog food. Next time you are in the pet aisle, pick up a sack of food and read the ingredients. You may have to go home to research the names of some of them.

Added fillers, dyes, and preservatives can block your dog’s body from absorbing the nutrients in the food. Organic dog food has better absorption because it is clear of those additives.

Better absorption of nutrients increases the stamina and energy levels of your dog. It also bumps up the immune system. Organic pet foods are higher in vitamins C and E.

They have no by-products, and have higher fat and crude protein content. Your dog will have a lower risk of illness, allergies, and disease.


By-products, by the way, are parts of an animal not fit for human consumption. Those parts are things like heads, undeveloped eggs, stomachs, heads, and intestines.

Common ingredients for dog food are meat meal, bone meal, and by-products meal. In non-organic dog food, any of those can include euthanized animals from shelters, diseased livestock, zoo animals, and road kill.

You will not find these in organic pet food.

Disadvantages of Organic Dog Food

The first complaint is always the high cost of organic pet food. Organic foods cost more to grow. Organic pet food can often cost $1 or more per serving.

Availability is another issue. You will have to go to a pet store or online pet store to find the selection you want. You’re not going to find them at Wal-Mart or the grocery store. That means adding one more stop to your day for dog food.

No Hard Evidence That a Dog Needs Organic Food

Finally, there really isn’t conclusive evidence that your dog needs organic food. In fact, most pet health organizations say that commercial (non-organic) dog food meets a dog’s nutritional needs.

There are theories that the chemical additives found in non-organic food are bad for your dog. Some even blame the food ingredients for causing cancer in pets.

Good Nutrition Means Whole Ingredients

The only thing you can’t dispute is that good nutrition plays a big part in joint, cardiovascular, immune system, and bone health in your dog.

Any veterinarian will recommend a dog food with more whole ingredients than by-products or chemicals.

Weigh Your Options

Organic dog food costs a lot more. But it could also mean you will spend less money on vet bills down the line.

Whatever food you feed your dog, it’s wise to read the ingredients and decide which ones you just don’t want your dog to have.

If you’d like to see more articles on pet health, please contact us with topic suggestions.

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