Commercial dog food comes in many forms, but not all can be considered equal. It is important to understand the differences before you choose a food
for your dog. Natural and holistic dog food companies pledge to use high quality ingredients without fillers and by-products. They go the extra mile to add beneficial nutrients without adding unnecessary chemicals. Despite the higher cost of these foods, many dog owners attest to the benefits these diets have provided, such as shinier coats, increased energy, and better overall health. Here are just a few of the natural and/or holistic diets on the market today.
Image courtesy of The Blue Buffalo Company
The Blue Buffalo Company was created out of a love for pets and dedication to high quality nutrition. The company was named for the founders' dog Blue, who has suffered from cancer. BLUE set out to create a diet that could help protect pets from cancer using natural, wholesome ingredients. Available formulas include Life Protection Formula, Longevity, Wilderness and Organics. Products contain no animal by-products, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, and no corn, wheat or soy. In addition, BLUE created LifeSource Bits, which consist of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists. Cat food and pet grooming products are also available. Manufacturer's Site
Image courtesy Canidae Pet Food
Canidae pledges to use only the finest quality, all-natural, human grade ingredients. Their products do not contain corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions, fillers or by products. All products are made in USDA and FDA approved facilities in the United States. Varieties include Chicken and Rice, Lamb and Rice, a formula designed for all life stages, and another especially developed for senior or overweight dogs. Each formula is available in canned or dry. Gourmet treats are available as well. If you are also a cat lover, check out their Felidae line of cat food. Manufacturer's Site
Image courtesy of Castor & Pollux Pet Works
Named for Castor the Dog and Pollux the Cat, Castor & Pollux Pet Works is a company comprised of animal lovers dedicated to providing high-quality organic and natural products for pets. Dog food products include ORGANIX organic foods and treats, Natural Ultramix natural foods and treats, and GOOD BUDDY dog cookies. Of course, cat foods are also available. Castor & Pollux Pet Works also offers a variety of dog toys and other supplies. Dedicated to feeding pets in need, Castor & Pollux Pet Works donates food, supplies and provides other means of support to a variety of charities, including FreeKibble.com
. Manufacturer's Site
Image courtesy of Eagle Pack Pet Food
Family-founded Eagle Pack Pet Foods began in the 1980's as one of the first holistic-natural pet diets available. Both Eagle Pack Holistic Select® and Eagle Pack Super Premium brands consist of all-natural, human grade ingredients including holistic and custom supplements. All products are made in USDA/APHIS inspected plants and are 100% guaranteed. Varieties include hypoallergenic formulas, age-specific diets, and special formulas for small/mini breed or large/giant breed dogs and puppies. Eagle Pack makes both dry and canned diets, plus treats and digestive remedies. Diets for cats and ferrets are also available.
Founded by Jim Flint in 1993, Flint River Ranch is a family company that provides all-natural oven-baked food with human-grade quality ingredients. Their dog foods are twice-baked, quite palatable, and highly digestible. Several formulas are produced to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of various ages, lifestyles and activity levels. Though canned diets are not available, their "dry water" food is transformed into a gravy dinner when hot water is added. Flint River Ranch also makes several types of biscuits. Products can be purchased online directly from their website, or from many other vendors. Cat food is also available. Manufacturer's Site
Natura Pet Products was founded in 1989 in Santa Clara, California by pet lovers with a mission to produce pet food made with the healthiest ingredients available. Using high quality, whole food ingredients, they designed diets that offer optimal nutrition to benefit pets' overall health without unnecessary additives. Natura Pet Products are divided into the following brands:
All brands also produce cat food with the exception of Mother Nature Natural Dog Biscuits.
Note: In 2010, Procter & Gamble acquired Natura Pet Products. In June 2010, president and CEO of Natura released a letter to customers pledging that the company's philosophy would not change.
Image courtesy of Solid Gold
Founded in 1974, Solid Gold was one of the earliest pet diets to focus on all-natural, high-quality ingredients for overall optimum nutrition. As a holistic food, ingredients include USDA Choice meats, USDA grade I and II grains, plus healthful polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils. Solid Gold does not contain corn, wheat, soy, or chemical preservatives. A wide variety of canned and dry formulas are available, plus dog treats, supplements, and health and coat care products. Manufacturer's Site
Image courtesy of Wellness Pet Food
Emerging from the Old Mother Hubbard
dog treat company, Wellness Dog Food was developed in 1990 with pets' overall wellbeing in mind. Diets are made with only highly digestible, beneficial, human-grade ingredients -- exceeding FDA and AAFCO standards. Their diets do not contain any ingredients that are potentially allergenic, of inferior quality, or without nutritional benefit. Available varieties include dry or canned holistic recipes, special allergy formulas, and a grain-free, protein-focused line of food. Wellness also produces their own brand of treats and supplements. Manufacturer's Site
Image Courtesy of Weruva
Named for their rescue cats Webster, Rudi and Vanessa, David and Stacie Forman created Weruva after their search for the best cat food resulted in less-than-ideal options. Instead of settling, they created their own cat food. Using the most delectable and wholesome foods around, Weruva developed cat AND dog food that looks good enough for people to eat (and actually is). Available in canned form only, Weruva pet foods are made with pure and human-grade whole food ingredients that look (and taste) like they came from Grandma's kitchen. It's like comfort food for pets, but still complete and balanced nutrition.