Is organic pet food the right choice for you and your pet? Can you easily switch your pet to an organic diet if they've never had it before? Read on and make an educated decision based on your situation.
What is organic pet food?
Organic pet food prohibits the use of most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, sewage sludge fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, growth hormones, irradiation, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients. Organic pet food is closely regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP).
Organic Pet Food Labels
The key to knowing the percentage of organic ingredients used in a pet food product is by paying close attention to the label. You may have noticed the term “100% organic” on several pet food labels and wondered if this was a guarantee that the product did not contain artificial ingredients or any other unwanted ingredients. The answer is "yes!" Labels that use the phrase “100% organic” ensure that all the ingredients in the product are certified organic and regulated closely by the USDA. If you see the word “organic” this implies that the product contains at least 95% of organic ingredients, or is made with an organic specific ingredient list. However, there are ingredients that are not organic present. The term “made with organic” simply means that the product contains at least 70% organic ingredients, but a percentage of the ingredients are not organic.
Transitioning to an Organic Food Diet
The best way to switch your pet’s diet to organic is by slowly introducing them to the new organic food. A pet owner can do this by mixing the new food into the food they are currently being fed. It’s recommended to gradually increase the amount of new pet food each day while you decrease the amount of old food. This process generally takes about 7-10 days until the new diet is fully put in place. Remember to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
How do I know how much organic food I should feed my pet?
Feeding guidelines are printed on the back of the pet food label. Food amounts depend on the specific needs and preferences of your pet. Your pet’s age, lifestyle, and activity level play a large part in the amount of food they should be fed.
If you liked this article, you may also like: Considering Natural Food for Your Pet