By Patty Dobson
You are what you eat, and the same goes for your pup. As many of us become more health conscious, we realize the same goes for our pets. If they eat healthier, better quality food and treats, it can lead to a longer, healthier life; feed your pet junk, and their quality of life can decrease.
Below are the benefits of healthy eating for our furry family member which are similar to humans eating organic vs. non-organic foods:
- Diet plays a vital role in our overall health, what we put in our bodies directly affects our physical and mental well-being. We know that highly processed foods and sugar irritates and creates imbalance in our gut flora (the sensitive microbiome living in our gut), which is essential in supporting a positive mood and mental health.
- Our heart, stomach, and brain are acutely sensitive to what we eat and drink. This imbalance contributes to stress and inflammation in our bodies, imbalance in mental health, and can lead to health ailments and disease.
- The problem with conventional dog treats is they’re often chock full of sugar, preservatives, cheap ingredients, additives, and fillers containing little or no nutritional value, like high fructose corn syrup, corn based fillers, chemicals, animal tissues, artificial flavors, and dyes, some of which are known toxins to humans and pups alike.
- Animal advocacy organization, Born Free USA, notes that potential carcinogens, like ethoxyquin, BHT, and BHA are permitted in US pet foods as preservatives. According to Dr. Andrew Weil’s website, the animals rendered into many pet foods are classified as “4D”: Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Disabled (aka “downer”).” On top of that, many dogs are allergic to corn, and their inability to metabolize the corn shows up as ear infections, upset stomachs, or itchy skin.
- Compared to its non-organic counterparts, organically produced fruit, vegetables, and meat are higher in nutritional value. Plant derived nutrients and vitamin C are higher in organic fruits and vegetables. Organic meats contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals, and because they fall under strict rules and restrictions, carry less antibiotic resistant bacteria and contamination.
- Organic, high quality, nutritious treats can contribute and lead to better digestion, lowered risk or illness or disease, decrease in degenerative diseases, strengthened immune system, reduction of bad breath, decreased allergies and itching, weight reduction or control, increase energy and activity, enhanced overall well-being and state of mind.
- We care about what we put in our own bodies, so it’s natural to appreciate the importance of quality treats for your dog. Deciding to go organic with your dog’s food and treats is an awesome first step to enhancing your dog’s health and well-being. But, buying organic can be a minefield! While some treats are made with the highest quality and standards, there are also many products using the term “organic” as a marketing strategy. On top of that, there are no federal or international standards for what qualifies as “organic” pet food.
The key to navigating the organic treat minefield is figuring out what you’re getting when grabbing for the organic treats. Choose products from a well-known reputable company you or someone you trust. If supporting smaller, independent manufacturers, check out their packaging or website to ensure they have high quality control standards for their ingredients, the food’s shelf life, and their ability to detect and respond to problems with their product. Most importantly, read the labels carefully!
Here’s a list of 5 organic dog treats we personally love. They’re Pork Chop and Murray tested and doggie approved:
1) Spoil Me Rotten/Little Cheesemonger
2) Planet Dog/Life is Good - Slobber and Spice
3) Polka Dog Bakery/Lucky Duck
4) Smart Cookee/Peas and Carrots
5) Lazy Dog Cookie CO./elicksors Super Food Treats