It's generally agreed upon that organic dog food brands offer higher quality nutrition than “regular” brands due to ingredients that have gone through more rigorous assessment, according to USDA.
Unfortunately, commercial pet food market is still lacking in strict regulations and there are many controversies surrounding the industry. Many top rated dog food brands use artificial ingredients, fillers, chemicals and artificial colors and preservatives in their products, which have been proven in studies to be harmful to dogs and cats, cause allergies and other issues.
In this article, we're taking a close look at what organic dog food really is, how it's regulated in the USA, how it can be superior to regular commercial dog food brands, and how to pick the best organic dog food brands for your canine, and we'll review the below top organic dog foods.
|Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Oatmeal...||577 Reviews||$73.67||Buy on Amazon|
|PetGuard Organic Vegan Entree - Adult - 12x12.7oz||19 Reviews||$63.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Grain Free Organic...||38 Reviews||$37.84||Buy on Amazon|
|Newman's Own Organics Turkey Dinner For Dogs,...||67 Reviews||$35.88||Buy on Amazon|
|TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Beef Bonanza (14 oz)||896 Reviews||$34.49||Buy on Amazon|
Why Organic Dog Food May Be Better
One of our writers has done extensive research into the pet food market, and has provided great advice on picking top dog food brands, and pointed out the many issues with today's commercial dog foods.
The consensus that most unbiased vets, experts and scientists agree on is that some (not all) dog food brands include poor quality ingredients in order to save on manufacturing costs. Oftentimes, these savings are passed onto dog owners, making them pay less for pet food, but most pet owners are more concerned about their dog's health than money.
Over time, poor quality ingredients in dog foods will have negative impact on dog's health, as further research has shown. Many studies indicate how savings in pet food are passed onto to costs of pet healthcare. Plenty of canine diseases are linked directly to dog food and poor ingredients.
Pet food labeling requirements and regulations are getting better (stricter) every year, which is good. However, even with the involvement of FDA, CVM, USDA, ASPCA and AAFCO, there's still a lot of confusion among pet owners, according to Harvard studies.
Organic dog food brands are governed more strictly, and will require a more thorough examination of the ingredients used in these pet foods. Even though not all organic dog foods are always 100% organic, it's still a huge step forward in the right direction.
What Exactly is Organic Dog Food?
Speaking of the “organic” label slapped onto organic dog food brands, there are a few things dog owners must know before purchasing one of the best organic dog foods:
“This refers to the way ingredients are grown, harvested, and processed. The USDA has yet to define “organic” as it applies to pet foods. In the interim, pet foods meeting the human standard may display the organic seal.”
– Vets at Veterinary Medical Center in OSU (source)
Even though something is labeled “organic,” that does not mean that the specific dog food brand is 100% organic or even USDA certified; you still need to be careful about reviewing that specific dog food brand's ingredients, and doing your due diligence on how the company operates. All the below listed best organic dog food reviews discuss only USDA certified options.
For example, The Honest Kitchen has been named one of the most “compliant” manufacturers in that regard, according to Forbes. It's a great organic dog food brand, but due to its very high price tag and some palatability issues, it did not rank as the top best organic dog food brand (but it's worth considering nonetheless).
With pet food labels still being pretty loose, choosing the best dog food isn't easy, even when picking among the best organic dog food brands. Research and reviews are key. Dog food reviews are helpful to further filter through the bad stuff. Using dog food ratings and random dog food analysis assessment websites can help in understanding which best organic dog food brand may work better.
That said, it's best to start your search by speaking with a canine nutritionist or your veterinarian before you choose. Your vet will help in selecting proper balance of nutrients for your specific dog. Though it's advised to usually be skeptical of prescription foods.
When you're in a complete unknown, “going organic” will usually be a safer bet in general. These best organic dog food brands listed below offer selections for puppies, adult dogs and pets with special needs (like dog food allergies, sensitive stomachs or pets prone to obesity). You should be able to find a formula that will work for your canine among these.
The Best Organic Dog Food Brands (USDA Certified)
1Organix Adult Dry Dog Food
by Castor & Pollux
CRUDE PROTEIN 26.0% min
CRUDE FAT 16.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 11.0% max
Real organic chicken is the number one ingredient in this natural dry dog food, and it is made with high-quality ingredients that pet owners can feel good about serving to their dog(s). Ingredients include organic quinoa, organic flaxseed, and a wide array of organic fruits and vegetables. Castor & Pollux is made in the USA and guarantees only the highest quality ingredients. It is certified under the USDA’s National Organic Program.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Barley, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Organic Sunflower Seed Meal, Organic Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Organic Sunflower Oil, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product.
The company recommends slowly transitioning your pet to this food by adding it to his regular food in increasing amounts over the course of three or four weeks to keep digestive issues at bay. If you have a dog with any sensitivities or allergies, this should prove to be one of the best organic dog food brands, as customers mention it has aided in healing both skin and digestive issues in almost no time.
According to more reviews from pet owners, dogs fed have more energy, seem healthier, and look great with a shinier coat after only days on Castor & Pollux Organix Adult Dry Dog Food. Most dogs love the taste of this first rated best organic dog food brand, and pet owners love that there are no fillers or questionable ingredients. Organix line of food usually has a pretty strong ingredient profile.
The original family company has sold out to a larger public company, which raises concern for some pet owners regarding the quality of the ingredients. The product may have changed as a result of this sale. Some dogs do not like this food, but they are few and far between.
2Vegan Dry Dog Food
CRUDE PROTEIN 7.5% min
CRUDE FAT 4.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 2.3% max
MOISTURE 72.0% max
Being USDA Certified Organic, vegetarian, and free of byproducts, chemicals, fillers, wheat, corn, and soy are just some of the reasons that Pet Guard is one of the best organic dog food brands and humanely made, but the problem is that not many pet owners will get their hands on this.
This second best organic dog food from Pet Guard is hard to find these days, but if you can, note that it provides omega 3 and 6 (helps with a healthy, shiny coat), wholesome organic grains, and multiple organic fruits and veggies which have been proven to be healthy for dogs.
INGREDIENTS: Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Oats, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Quinoa, Organic Barley, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Potatoes, Organic Carrots, Tricalcium Phosphate, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Dried Peas, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Organic Apples, Organic Tomato Powder, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Dried Kelp, Salt, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Ergocalciferol (Source Of Vitamin D2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid.
This food has no antibiotics, added growth hormones, or harmful pesticides. Although it is a vegetarian mix, protein is not sacrificed, thanks to the leading ingredient – quinoa.
Vegetarian dog food options are less than common, so this food is ranked highly among those who want their animals to live a cruelty-free lifestyle along with them! Pet Guard Vegetarian Dry Dog Food promotes a nice, shiny coat and great overall health, and pet owners can attest to both! Dogs seem to love the flavor, and pet owners love that they can quit making homemade dog food.
This dog food is not one of the inexpensive dog foods, but it is aimed toward a very specific population, and that group of pet owners is extremely happy with all it has to offer. Negative reviews or even comments are almost impossible to find, proving that this dog food delivers!
3Organic Grain Free Turkey & Vegetable Recipe
by Caston & Pollux
CRUDE PROTEIN 7.5% min
CRUDE FAT 6.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.0% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
This canned dog food is a great option for pets that need soft, organic food. Castor & Pollux makes some of the most nutritious pet food available on the market. The ingredients have no chemicals, artificial preservatives, or added growth hormones. This formula includes a combination of turkey, carrots, and potatoes. It includes vitamins and minerals essential to your pet’s health.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Turkey, Water Sufficient for Processing, Organic Chicken, Organic Pea Flour, Organic Carrots, Organic Potatoes, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Apples, Organic Blueberries, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Organic Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Organic Garlic Powder.
This is one of the best organic dog food brands as it is made in the USA and is USDA Certified Organic. Pet owners can feel good about feeding this to their beloved dog(s). Most dogs (including even the pickiest eaters) love this food and lick their bowl clean every day, even when they would hardly eat anything before!
Consumers say this food smells much more pleasant than many wet dog foods.. It comes with an easy-to-open pop tab, which is convenient whether at home or traveling. Pet owners are extremely happy with Castor & Pollux Organix Adult Canine Formula, as they can feed their pets worry-free and know they are getting top-of-the-line nutrition and quality ingredients.
Very few dogs do not like this food, according to organic dog food reviews from other pet owners. Some customers note that this is a puree, rather than the chunky canned food they are used to feeding their pet(s). There aren’t many negative things to say about this product, as customers seem to be extremely happy with this canned dog food and its ingredient profile is healthy enough to be one of the best organic dog food brands on the list in the wet food category.
4Organics Turkey Dinner For Dogs
by Newman's Own
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 7.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.0% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
This dog food is grain-free and USDA certified organic, and it has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. This food from Newman's Own provides energy and helps dogs to maintain their ideal body weight. Formulated to meet the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutrient profiles, pet owners can feel good knowing that their pet(s) is getting the best and most nutritious ingredients.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Turkey, Organic Turkey and Chicken Broth, Organic Pea Flour, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Organic Alfalfa, Carrageenan, Salt, Organic Guar Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate.
Turkey is the most popular flavor, but it is also available in beef and liver, chicken, chicken and liver, turkey, turkey and liver and liver. Dogs love this food, and even the pickiest of dogs will lick their bowl clean. Newman's Own is one of the more established brands on this list of best organic dog food brands, and the company's reputation is great among pet owners.
This is a top rated option for dogs that have digestive issues, as Newman's Own Organics Chicken Grain-Free Food for Dogs is very easy to digest. It does not include fillers or other ingredients that are rough on their digestive tracts. Many customers choose to mix this with dry kibble to add nutrition and give their dog a more enjoyable dinner.
Some dogs get looser stools when using this food. Per company advice, pet owners should slowly integrate it into their dog’s diet, rather than making the switch to one of the best organic dog food brands all at once. Buyers also mention that this dog food may smell stronger and less appealing than most organic dog foods they have tried.
5Real Meat Organic Dog Food
CRUDE PROTEIN 41.0% (min)
CRUDE FAT 28.0% (min)
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% (max)
MOISTURE 5.00% (max)
CALORIES 184 kcal/oz
Just add water to this freeze dried dog “superfood” from TruDog for a real, fresh dinner for your pup! This food does not contain grains, gluten, chemical additives, or fillers, and is 99% real meat, vital organs, and meaty bone. It is all natural, and the company claims that you can see a difference in your pet in mere weeks.
INGREDIENTS: Beef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Blood, Beef Fat, Herring Oil (Natural Source of Vitamin D.) Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Antioxidant), D-Alpha Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).
TruDog does suggest taking at least a week to slowly transition your dog to a raw diet if he is not used to it. TruDog guarantees 100% satisfaction. They're one of the newer companies on this list of best organic dog food brands, but many pet owners seem to be very satisfied with their line of foods and the company.
Even finicky eaters tend to love TruDog Real Meat Organic Dog Food, and pet owners love knowing they are feeding their dogs such a high quality product. Customers who had previously made their dog food from scratch are able to feed their pet the same nutritious ingredients without all the hassle.
Although customers believe the price may be warranted, it is hard to justify spending quite this much on dog food, no matter the quality! If price was no issue, most reviewers said they would love to feed this product to their dog(s) full-time. Of course, there is the occasional dog who does not like this dog food, but most pet owners would agree that it is definitely worth a try.
No matter what popular vet recommended organic dog foods you hear about, other pet owners' dog food reviews, ratings and lists you use to pick the next food for your dog, always ensure to do your own due diligence, consult with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist, and thoroughly analyze the ingredients, and consider sourcing and manufacturing location. Remember that no one dog food is best for all dogs. Pick any of these best organic dog food brands listed above and discuss them with a professional.