By Jazmin Clark, Editorial Assistant
We all love our pets, and naturally we want what’s best for them. What better way to show them that love than to extend our own healthy eating practices to the food we provide for them? In today’s increasingly health conscious, green-evolving world there are plenty of organic, grain-free, and holistic options for pet food out there. But how do we know which ones are right for our furry friends?
To start, both cats and dogs are naturally carnivorous animals. This means that they are meat-eaters by design, and that all of the grains and starches used as bases for many pet foods are unnecessary fillers. So why do producers choose to fill our pets’ diets with large amounts of carbohydrates instead of the protein that they crave? The main reason is cost. It is less expensive to fill pet foods with rice, corn, and wheat (which are not harmful to pets, but should not be the main source of their nourishment) than to include the amounts of real meat protein that they need. However, the price differences are not so great as to outweigh the potential health risks that could result from a poor pet diet.
When choosing the right brand of food for our pets there are 3 main things we should be looking for: nutritional value, quality ingredients, and safe production. Here are some of the top pet food brands that I have found. These exceed the standards of wholesome ingredients, balanced nutrition, and top of the line production standards.
1) Orijen is a Canadian based brand that boasts an all-natural protein rich composition. They use fresh, never frozen meat; and they buy only regionally grown, sustainably harvested products. Orijen has been voted #1 pet food two years in a row by the Glycemic Research Institute of Washington, D.C.
2) Taste of the Wild offers a grain-free combination of unique animal protein sources and vegetable supplements. They also include natural anti-oxidants and offer an in-depth ingredient analysis so that we know exactly what our pets are consuming and why.
3) Evo offers a broad range of pet food products that are designed to resemble the “ancestral” diet of our cats and dogs. Grain-free and very low in carbohydrates, this brand also uses only the highest quality manufacturing procedures.
4) Solid Gold offers premium health-centered pet foods. Their products include human grade, holistic ingredients and more exotic protein sources such as lamb and bison.
5) Party Animal is a gourmet USDA and OCIA certified organic brand of pet food. They offer a variety of gourmet meats such as venison, lamb, and duck, and all of their products are made in the United States.