Feeding Your Furry Friends
Organic. No artificial colors. All natural. These are phrases that are all the buzz lately and are displayed on food and drink packages and also on beauty and health products. It would seem only natural that this type of advertising and marketing would make its way to the pet-care market. Many pet food companies are now offering food, snacks, and pet care products that are organic and natural. This leads one to wonder if this is all hype or if there is more to this growing trend?
Many of the major advantages of organic food for pets are the same as human food. Perhaps the strongest argument for natural and organic pet foods is the fact that these foods are manufactured without artificial colors. We don’t want to consume artificial colors ourselves; why let our pets eat them? Artificial colors in pet foods are really unnecessary. It is common knowledge that pets see a very limited color spectrum, so why does it matter if our pet’s food is bright green? The color of the food is more for us than our pets. Pet companies think that we will buy a product for our pets because it looks good to us. But many of the artificial colors used are just as bad for our pets to consume as they are for us to consume. Having a better looking food product is simply not worth the negative effect that these artificial colors can have on our pet’s health.
Artificial preservatives are another ingredient found in dog food that are not necessary and are dangerous for our pets. Natural preservatives such as vitamin E are healthy options; however, many commercial dog food manufacturers continue to use artificial preservatives because they are cheaper and give a longer shelf life. Prolonged exposures to some common artificial preservatives have been thought to cause some forms of cancer.
Another major consideration for selecting organic food is that organic food means better nutrition for your pet. Non-organic food oftentimes contains low-grade ingredients. These ingredients are over-processed to make them digestible by our pets. Over-processing means that many of the nutrients like vitamins and minerals are lost. Organic foods contain high-quality ingredients that require minimal processing, meaning your pet is getting more nutritious and more easily digestible food.
Organic food ultimately has many health benefits for our pets, including better nutrition and increased energy levels due to higher quality ingredients, better digestion because the ingredients are easier to digest, lower levels of illness and disease because artificial colors and preservatives are not used, and ultimately a happier pet!
Our pets are like us. We take them to the doctor, we give them medication, and we buy pet insurance for them, so why not make the investment of just a few dollars extra to purchase organic and natural pet foods?
William Bosch, CPCU, AIC
Commercial Claim Representative