Organic Dog Treats:
4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Them

By: Sarah Gardner

Organic dog treats are jam-packed with healthy nutrients that can benefit your dog's health. For a dog treat to be 'organic' is has to be free from any fillers, additives, pesticides, by-products, preservatives, artificial coloring, and any chemical fertilizers.

Many people choose to eat organically as it provides reassurance that the food is free of any harmful chemicals. Organic foods are bursting with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micro-nutrients. So by having your dog on an organic diet, you and your dog are getting a high amount of nutrients, which helps to build a strong immune system. Click here for our homemade organic dog treat recipes.

Organic Dog Treats: 4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Them!

1. Organic Dog Treats: Homemade Recipes 

Organic dog treats are easy to make in the comfort of your own home. By baking your dogs treats at home, it's the best way to be assured of the ingredients, and surprisingly, can help you save money too - and who doesn't want a little extra cash in their pocket each week? If you've been looking and researching for healthy organic dog treats, then you have come to the right website.

Here, you will find a variety of recipes from homemade organic dog treats. They smell delicious when they are baking, so don't feel too embarrassed if you sneak a bite of one because all our recipes are fit for human consumption and don't contain any harsh ingredient's only pure and natural ingredients. These treats are an excellent choice for any dog owner who is looking for a safe and healthy snack for their furry companion. 

All of the homemade recipes on our website can be adapted to suit an organic diet, by simply switching any of the non organic ingredients to organic. For a full list of our recipes, click here.

HOMEMADE ORGANIC TREATS
GLUTEN FREE DOG TREATS

GRAIN FREE DOG TREATS
BISCUITS AND TREATS

FROZEN DOG TREATS
DIABETIC DOG TREATS

TRAINING TREATS
PUPPY TREATS

2. Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms

USDA Organic stamp.

The USDA does not allow GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in products that are certified as an organic product. For more information, click here.

Many commercial dog treat's (and human foods) contain Genetically Modified Organisms) GMOs. Unfortunately, GMOs can have a detrimental effect on your dog's health, and dog treats that contain GMOs are not required to be labeled! 

GMOs can be very problematic to you and your four-legged friend. GMOs produce novel proteins that could have an impact on the immune system, lower content and elevate potential toxins. They can contain harmful toxins, herbicides, and insecticides, such as glufosinate, glyphosate and bacillus thuringeinsis.  These chemicals have been known to cause kidney damage as well as an increased risk of reproductive health problems in dogs.

Given this, the best advice I can give you would be to ensure you look for the USDA Organic Certification logo on the outer package. If you want to know which commercial treats are free from GMOs, visit The GMO Project website.

3. Commercial Labeled Organic Dog Treats

Dog treats that are labeled 'organic' are almost always healthy dog treats. Manufacturers who label their treats 'organic' have followed a very specific and high standard of production, which requires certification to determine their organic status. A manufacturer cannot label its product organic unless they have followed the process and been certified.

The three levels of organic status:

  1. 100% Organic - means just that, totally and pure organic
  2. Organic - products labeled 'organic' must contain at least 95% of organic ingredients
  3. Made with Organic Ingredients - must show that the product contains at least 70% of certified organic ingredients

The standard rules for organic treats are as follows:

  • Must be made without artificial fertilizers or pesticides
  • Be free from human or industrial waste contamination
  • Be processed without ionizing radiation or food additives
  • If the ingredients come from animals, they must have been fed a healthy diet and raised without the use of growth hormones and general use of antibiotics

4. Commercial, Natural & Organic Dog Treats:
Understanding The Difference?

Commercial dog treats that are labeled 'natural' or 'organic.' Natural and organic dog treats are much safer and contain a higher quality of nutrients, which is far healthier for our dogs. They also contain less toxic ingredients than those found in regular commercial treats. 

Although natural and organic dog treats are both healthier for your dog, don't be confused, as many people are, into thinking they're the same.  They're not -  Below is a graph to help you identify and see the difference between natural, organic, and commercial dog treats, along with the ingredients you can expect to see in each.

INGREDIENTS

COMMERCIAL

NATURAL

ORGANIC


  HIGH HEAT TREATMENT

  ANTIBIOTICS

  HERBICIDES

  PESTICIDES

  HUMAN GRADE MEATS

  ANIMAL BY PRODUCTS

  ARTIFICIAL COLORING

  'FILLER' FOODS

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

MAYBE

MAYBE

MAYBE

MAYBE

MAYBE

NO

NO

NO

MAYBE

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

NO

NO

High Heat Treatment Process

Commercial treats often go through a high-heat temperature process to sterilized to ensure there is no contamination. Although that sounds beneficial, the problem with the high-heat processing is that it also destroys the nutritional value that the treat contains.

The treats are stripped of their nutrients making the treat a 'perished' food product. The treats are left with proteins that have been denatured and enzymes that are rendered inactive. These destroyed components are essential to our dog's digestive system as they work in the dog's stomach and intestines to help break down their food and absorb the nutrition's from their treats or food.

Toxic Ingredients: Antibiotics, Pesticides & Herbicides

These three toxic ingredients (antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides) have been linked to chronic disease and are commonly found in many commercial dogs treats. Many dogs have difficulty in eliminating these toxins from their body causing an unhealthy build-up of chemicals inside the dog leading to multiple health issues. Organic dog treats do not contain any antibiotics, pesticides or herbicides, period!

Human Grade Meat vs Feed Grade Meat

It is vital to know where the meat in your dog's treats have been sourced. I take time to ensure I know what type of meat is in my dog's treat and food as well as the ingredients. That's why I always look for 'human grade' meat on the label.  I won't buy any treats, or dog food, that have 'feed grade' on the label as this is a much inferior type of meat.  

The safest type of meat for your dog is 'human grade.

Human Grade Meat

Human grade meat has been tested and certified by two of the most popular food organizations that provide leadership on food, natural resources, and nutrition -  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture).

Human grade meat has been confirmed as 100% safe humans and dogs. The meat has had to be inspected and has had to pass a strict manufacturing regulation, and because of this, they are legally considered 100% human grade.

Feed Grade Meat

Feed grade meat has been through the same process as human grade meat, but it's confirmed that this type of meat is unsuitable for human consumption and can only be legally fed to animals. Yikes! In my eyes, if an ingredient is unsuitable for me to eat, then I will not give it to my dog. 

There's a reason that this type of meat isn't suitable for humans and the thought of giving it to my dog scares me. The ingredients in feed grade meat are waste products from the human grade industry. Many of the ingredients are animal by-products, which are unused parts of other dead animals. Continue reading for more information on animal-by-products.

Animal By-Products

Animal By-Products are regularly found in commercial dog treats. When animals have been slaughtered for food production, the lean muscles are cut off for human grade meats. 

The remaining carcasses of the animal (feathers, fat, flesh, blood, cartilage, bones) are the feed grade meats, and these are the parts that go into commercial dog treats. Doesn't sound pleasant, does it?

  • Slaughtered Meat - Animals killed for food or sometimes the animals are killed because they are diseased and unsuitable for consumption
  • Dead animals from farms, ranches, marketing barns or animal shelters
  • Fats, grease and other food wastes from restaurants and stores

You may see 'Meat and Bone Meal' written within the ingredients. This is the cheapest and least nutritious for all the by-product meals. This type of by-product meal is normally made from ground bone, gristle, and tendons of the slaughtered animals.

Artificial Coloring

Natural and Organic dog treats can look grey, boring and bland, but this is because it doesn't contain any harmful artificial colors. Commercial dog treats are made to catch our eye. By adding artificial coloring to dog treats helps sell the product to us dog owners. 

Keep in mind that dogs are color blind, so it doesn't matter to them if you buy a treat that is shaped like a pumpkin and is orange!  All your dog is going to care about is the taste. We, therefore, should only care about the ingredients that are in the treat is it healthy for our dogs, not the color!

Fillers In Dog Treats

'Fillers' are usually carbohydrates, on the other hand, are very different and are harmful. I would highly recommend buying natural or organic treats because these are more likely to contain a high amount of vitamins and nutrient-rich source of carbohydrates.

I have listed the most common fillers that can be found in commercial dog treats. You should consider keeping away from the following fillers listed:

  • Corn Syrup - This is sugar. It can lead to your dog getting health problems such as gaining weight, diabetes, hyperactivity, and it has been known to change a dog's behavior.
  • BHA/BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole/Butylated Hydroxytoluene) - These two ingredients are very potent and dangerous for dogs. There have been cases where this ingredient has been linked with cancer for both dogs and humans.
  • Propylene Glycol - This is an anti-freeze product that is sometimes found in commercial dog treats. This ingredient is added to help reduce the moisture in the treat and prevent bacteria growth. This can lead to cancerous lesions within the dog's intestines or even internal blockages.

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