Do you choose organic food for yourself and your human family? If so, it’s only natural that you would want to find the best organic dog food for your fur child. Sadly, there aren’t very many truly organic dog foods on the market. However, there are many all-natural dog foods to choose from. Here are our top picks for the best all-natural and best organic dog food in 2020.
- Why Choose Organic Dog Food?
- What’s the Difference Between Organic and Natural Dog Food?
- The Best Organic Dog Food
- #1 – Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato
- #2 – The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Whole Grain Dog Food
- #3 – Newman’s Own Adult Dog Food Formula
- #4 – Halo Natural Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe
- #5 – Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken
- Important Features to Consider
- What About Raw or Homemade Dog Food?
- Final Thoughts on Organic Dog Food
Why Choose Organic Dog Food?
These days, crops are commonly sprayed with chemical pesticides, and animals are pumped full of antibiotics. It’s natural to think those things affect the food we (and our pets) eat. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some potential benefits of organic food:
- Increased nutrients, especially antioxidants
- Lower levels of cadmium, a toxic metal
- Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Decreased risk of contamination with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- Lower levels of detectable pesticide residue
If you want the best for your dog, and if you can’t cook for your dog or are hesitant to feed them a raw diet, then organic dog food is the next best thing. If you can’t find a good organic dog food, at least try to find one that’s all-natural and doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
What’s the Difference Between Organic and Natural Dog Food?
Ingredients must meet strict regulations to be classified as organic. Certified organic ingredients have been grown without synthetic fertilizer or pesticides or raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Natural just means that the food doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards and has guidelines on how organic foods are described on product labels. Common labels you might find on your or your dog’s food include:
- 100 percent organic means all ingredients (apart from salt and water) are certified organic.
- Organic means at least 95% of the ingredients are certified organic.
- Made with organic means that at least 70% of the ingredients have been certified organic.
- Organic ingredients may be listed, even if they make up less than 70% of the total ingredients.
The Best Organic Dog Food
Castor & Pollux Organix is the top name in organic dog food right now. The kitchen and most of their ingredients are all certified organic. They’re one of the only dog food brands really going out of their way to produce truly organic dog food right now, so they lead the pack in quality.
- First ingredient is organic, free-range chicken
- No chemical pesticides, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones, synthetic fertilizers, or antibiotics
- Cooked in an organically certified kitchen in the USA
- Made with a nutrient-packed superfood blend, including organic blueberries, organic flaxseed, and organic coconut oil
- All Organix recipes meet difficult and detailed third-party organic certification requirements for USDA organic certification
First 5 Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic sweet potatoes, organic chickpeas, organic peas
Customer Reviews: Most of the complaints revolve around shipping issues, and a handful of dogs don’t like the taste. However, most dogs love the taste, and their owners don’t mind paying more for quality organic dog food.
Final Verdict: If you’re looking for organic kibble for your dog, Castor & Pollux Organix is tough to beat. It’s expensive, but it’s arguably the best organic kibble available today.
Dog food doesn’t have to be hard brown balls or glop from a can. Dehydrated dog food is becoming increasingly popular, and The Honest Kitchen has an organic dehydrated dog food that’s the next best thing to homemade. Just add water for a fresh taste that most dogs love.
- Made with dehydrated free-range chicken and organic grains
- High quality human-grade ingredients
- No by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients
- High in protein and calories; a little bit goes a long way
- Made in the USA with no ingredients from China
First 5 Ingredients: Free-range chicken, organic barley, potatoes, organic flax, organic oats
Customer Reviews: Some dogs are not a fan of the taste or texture of this food, and some dogs got sick after eating it. Most dogs, though, absolutely love it, and owners feel good that they’re feeding their dog the next best thing to raw or homemade dog food.
Final Verdict: If you don’t have the time to do a raw or homemade diet for your dog, The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic dog food may just be the next best thing.
One of the only other organic kibbles on the market right now is Newman’s Own. Created by actor Paul Newman in 1982, Newman’s Own products donate 100% of their profits to charity, so this dog food benefits more than just your pup.
- Made with organic grains and vegetables
- Free of chemical additives and added antibiotics
- No corn or wheat
- 100% of profits go to charity
- Certified organic by Oregon Tilth
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, organic barley, organic oats, organic peas, chicken meal
Customer Reviews: All the negative reviews are more than a year old and primarily deal with quality control issues (which seem to have been fixed since then). By and large, dogs love the taste of this food, even most picky dogs, and people love the organic ingredients and antibiotic-free chicken.
Final Verdict: Newman’s Own is a good choice for an organic dog food. It’s never had a recall, and profits go to charity.
While Halo isn’t an organic dog food, they do provide a high-quality natural dog food with non-GMO vegetables and whole meat rather than meat meal. That makes it a step above most of the other dog foods on the market.
- Whole chicken rather than chicken meal
- Made with non-GMO vegetables
- Easy to digest
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- No antibiotics that promote growth
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, oat groats, pearled barley
Customer Reviews: A few dogs got sick after eating this food (especially after they changed the formula a couple of years ago). However, most dogs love the taste and tolerate the food well, even dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
Final Verdict: While not organic, Halo Natural dry dog food is still an excellent choice for most dogs. There is a chance it might upset your dog’s stomach, but it’s far more likely that your dog will thrive on this food.
While Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free is not organic, it is an excellent all-natural dog food. This protein-rich formula is grain-free, filler-free, and full of superfoods.
- All natural
- No grain, corn, wheat, soy, or meat by-products
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- High in protein
- Made in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, potatoes
Customer Reviews: There do seem to be some quality control issues with this food. Some people reported that their dog had been eating Wellness Core for a while but refused to eat or got sick after eating from a new bag delivered by Amazon. Aside from that, most dogs love this food and thrive on it, even dogs who have had problems with other foods.
Final Verdict: Wellness Core isn’t organic, and grain-free diets are controversial, but we still feel comfortable recommending this as a quality all-natural dog food.
Important Features to Consider
There are a lot of things you need to consider when picking the best organic dog food. Here are some things to keep in mind as you look at our suggestions or other dog foods.
Organic Vs Natural
Even if you can’t find a good organic dog food, you should look for one that’s all-natural. Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives may make your dog sick. While natural dog food isn’t quite as good as organic, it is a lot easier to find.
By-products are the parts of animals that you would never eat, like feathers, beaks, and hooves. They don’t have any nutritional value and are found as a filler in many cheap dog foods. Look for foods with whole meats, if possible.
Meat meal is OK if the animal is identified (for example, “chicken meal” is acceptable, while “poultry meal” should be avoided). However, “meal” includes nearly all parts of the animal including the bones and organs, so it isn’t quite as nutritious as using the actual meat from the animal.
Gluten-Free Vs Grain-Free
our dog might be sensitive to grain, gluten, or neither. While many grains contain gluten, a gluten-free food may still contain grain. It’s important to know exactly what your dog’s sensitivities are before committing to a dog food for them.
While grain-free dog food has become super popular, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found a connection between grain-free dog food and an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition. While there does seem to be a connection, there is no proof that grain-free food causes DCM.
ou should talk to your vet before switching your dog to a grain-free food. We’ve included foods with and without grains on our list.
ou might not recognize the names of every vitamin and mineral in your dog’s food, but the more the food gets vitamins from natural ingredients instead of adding them in a chemical concoction, the better.
Ingredients are listed from the most to least, so you should at least recognize the first 5 ingredients. The lower down the list unpronounceable ingredients appear, the better.
our Dog’s Age
Puppies and senior dogs have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, so you should look for specialty foods for them. While puppies and senior dogs can technically do OK on dog foods that say they’re acceptable for “all life stages,” they usually do best on foods made specifically for them.
This is especially true for large breed puppies. If they grow too quickly, they’ll be more prone to bone and joint problems, which can set them up for a lifetime of pain. Large breed puppy foods have specific nutrient profiles that help your puppy grow at the best pace.
Fat and Protein Levels
Protein is great, right? You might think that you want the highest protein levels available for your dog, but a high protein diet isn’t right for every dog. High-protein diets can be very hard on a dog’s liver and kidneys. Most dogs do best on food that is 20-30% protein. Very active dogs may need higher levels than that, while obese dogs may not need as much.
High-protein dog foods also tend to be high in fat. Obesity is a big problem in dogs, and it causes many of the same health problems in dogs as it does in people. Look for a food that has less than 20% fat. The less active your dog is, the less fat their food should have.
What About Raw or Homemade Dog Food?
Some people believe that raw or homemade dog food is the best for your dog. If you do it right, raw or homemade diets can be great for your dog.
The problem is that it can be very hard to get the right combination of nutrients when you make your dog’s food yourself. You could feed your dog the best organic ingredients on earth, but it could trigger malnutrition if your dog is missing a crucial nutrient.
Raw and homemade diets can also take a lot of time to prepare that many people just don’t have. A commercial dog food is the best, easiest way to make sure your dog is getting the nutrition they need.
Final Thoughts on Organic Dog Food
While there aren’t many organic dog foods to choose from as of right now, there are a few organic or all-natural dog foods that are great options to feed your fur child. Hopefully, you found something on our list that you would be comfortable feeding your dog.