The food you feed your dog is the single most important factor affecting his or her health. Organic dog biscuits provide more than merely calories for your dog. Aside from energy, healthy dog biscuits must provide appropriate amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and all associated bio-available nutrients. The quality of the ingredients used in a given pet food determines how much nutrition your dog will get from that food. The healthiest ingredients are those that are USDA certified organic because they contain much higher levels of nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, than non-certified organic—or conventional—ingredients. Foods containing organic ingredients therefore supply your dog with naturally occurring nutrients that are important for both the maintenance of health and proper healing after injuries. It is a well-known fact that USDA certified organic ingredients contain significantly lower loads of pesticide residues, as well as other potentially toxic chemicals, which might otherwise accumulate during the manufacture of conventional dog biscuits and their ingredients. Another reason the healthiest dog biscuits are USDA certified organic (as only organic certification is regulated by current US law) is that organic regulations prohibit the use of ingredients that cannot be traced to their source or that were genetically modified. Organic certification excludes the use of inferior or otherwise questionable dog biscuit ingredients, such as by products or so-called ‘meals,’ as well as the use of potentially toxic synthetic ingredients.
Ideally, a healthy dog biscuit should contain a variety of naturally occurring nutrients, and would not contain a lot of nutritionally empty ingredients or the arbitrarily established spectrum of generally low quality synthetic vitamins and minerals that are often added as supplements to conventional pet foods and pet treats.
Dogs are carnivores by nature, and their teeth and digestive tracts attest to this fact. Although some dogs can thrive on closely monitored and well-supplemented vegetarian diets, dog biscuits can contain a reasonable amount of animal-derived ingredients. Many dog biscuits contain more starch and carbohydrates from grains than protein from other plant or animal sources; this can lead to health problems, as many dogs are allergic to grains. A healthy dog biscuit should therefore contain no grains or only high-quality grains that have been processed to be suitable for a dog’s digestive system. Although many dog biscuits are non-vegetarian and contain some sort of meat, in most cases, the animal-derived ingredients used are low quality, and might include such ill-defined components as so-called ‘animal meals’ or byproducts.
A truly healthy dog biscuit should contain certified organic ingredients because this assures that the quality of the plant- and animal-derived ingredients will be good. It also guarantees that the ingredients are free of hormones and antibiotics. The best dog biscuits should contain only those animal-derived ingredients from animals that were humanely raised and grown. This assures that the animal components used are free of external toxins or the hormones that are released during a stressful life on a feedlot or just prior to slaughter, all of which may impact your dog’s health negatively.
Although dogs should also eat some plant-based foods, the plant material should be healthy, toxin-free, and accessible to your dog’s digestive system; here again, certified organic ingredients are the best choice for your dog’s food. This means that plant ingredients should either be ground up finely or processed in other ways that allow the dog to use the nutrients contained in the plant cells.
So, to summarize, the best and healthiest dog biscuits are those that are USDA certified organic, whole food-based, and contain high quality ingredients including well-prepared high quality plant materials.
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