Organic food is all the rage these days because it’s reputed to be safer and healthier to eat. While many of us may not have yet considered organic food for pets, your dogs and cats can benefit quite a bit from food that does not contain harmful antibiotics or harsh chemical preservatives and pesticides. You may also be surprised to learn that there are quite a few brands of organic dog food already available.
We’ve chosen 10 different brands of organic dog food to review for you. Some of the best natural dog food brands are dry, while some are canned wet food, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we look at what makes organic food different than regular food and what you should look for in a brand you serve your pet.
Join us while we discuss what organic food is as well as whole meat, antioxidants, fatty acids, and meat by-products, to help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Dry Dog Food||
|Best Value||Tender & True Organic Grain- Free Dry Dog Food||
|Premium Choice||Castor & Pollux Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food||
|Newman's Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food||
|Evanger's Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food||
The 10 Best Organic Dog Foods – Reviews 2020
1. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best organic dog food overall. This brand is certified organic and contains organic chicken as its first ingredient. It also contains other organic foods like sweet potatoes and chickpeas, which help provide complex carbohydrates. Superfoods like blueberries and flaxseed help supply important antioxidants as well as omega fats. This food also contains probiotics, as well as prebiotics help to maintain a balanced digestive system and a strong immune system.
We enjoyed reviewing Castor & Pollux and felt good about giving it to our pets. The only problem was some of our dogs wouldn’t eat it, which is common with healthy foods and our dogs.
2. Tender & True Organic Grain- Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food it’s our pick for the best organic dog food for the money. The Global Animal Partnership has certified the meat humanely raised, and it features organic chicken as its first ingredient. It’s packed with vitamins and also contains zinc, iron, copper, and other important minerals to provide a complete and balanced meal. It contains no corn soy or wheat products that may give your pet problems with their digestive system. It’s a great option for the best natural dog food for your pup.
The only problem with Tender and True is that, like our top choice, many of our dogs wouldn’t eat it.
3. Castor & Pollux Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
Castor & Pollux Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best organic dog food for puppies. This brand is USDA certified organic and features organic chicken as its first ingredient. It also contains superfoods like blueberries and flaxseed that can help boost your pet’s immune system by supplying important antioxidants. It also contains omega fatty acids in the form of DHA, which can lead to a healthy coat. There is no corn, wheat, or soy products among the ingredients, and it provides a complete meal for dogs under one year.
We felt that Castor & Pollux Puppy Food is superior to many others, and that’s why we’ve chosen it, but we need to point out that several of our puppies simply would not eat it, even if we put wet food on top.
4. Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is a wet food that has organic chicken as its first ingredient. It also contains helpful minerals like copper, zinc, and calcium, as well as several added vitamins like vitamins A, B12, and D3.
The biggest downside to Newman’s Own is that it smells bad, almost to the point you are feeling unsure about feeding it. It also contains an ingredient called carrageenan, and there is some early evidence it can be harmful.
5. Evanger’s Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Evanger’s Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food has no corn soy or wheat ingredients and contains no meat by-products. Oregon Tilth certifies it as organic food. It’s a wet food that’s very low in calories and contains only three ingredients, organic chicken, well water, and organic guar gum.
The downside of Evanger’s Organics limited ingredients is that it doesn’t provide much nutrition outside of protein, therefore, is not certified by AAFCO as a proper meal, and can only be given on occasion, as a supplement, or as a treat.
6. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is another brand of canned wet food. It features large cuts of chicken and vegetables, as opposed to the typical pate style we’ve seen so far, and it’s USDA certified organic. It contains antioxidants and omega fats, and there are lots of vitamins and minerals among the ingredients.
We had to put the Castor & Pollux brand on our treat pile because it contains several small chicken bones. Castor & Pollux Claims dirt bones are safe for your dog to eat, but if you would rather pick them out, you’ll find that there’s not much food left in the can, as it’s mostly water. It also gave several of our dog’s gas after they ate it.
7. Gather Endless Valley Vegan Dry Dog Food
Gather Endless Valley Vegan Dry Dog Food is the first non-meat dog food on our list. This brand uses high-quality pea protein as a substitute for animal protein. Several other plants and vegetables like lentils, potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, kale, and carrots fortify this brand with essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains like barley, quinoa, and oats supply fiber that will help keep your pet’s digestive system in balance. This food also contains no corn, wheat, or soy, which could upset that delicate balance.
Many of our dogs did not care for Gather Endless Valley Vegan and wouldn’t eat it. If we mixed it with another food, they would eat around it and leave this in the bowl, so it wasn’t really a contender for the best natural dog food. We like it as a substitute for dogs that can’t eat meat because of a medical condition but aren’t comfortable removing meat from their diet without a medical reason.
8. PetGuard Organic Vegan Entree Canned Dog Food
PetGuard Organic Vegan Entree Canned Dog Food is another brand of vegan food. Only this one is canned wet food instead of dry kibble. It’s certified USDA organic and uses pea protein as a substitute for meat. There is no corn, soy, wheat, or dairy to upset your pet’s stomach, and there are no dyes or chemical preservatives. It contains easily digestible grains for fiber, and it also contains omega fats and antioxidants.
Our pets didn’t like PetGuard Organic Vegan wet food any more than they liked the dry brand, and most would avoid it at all costs. We also found the consistency very dry for wet food, and it was challenging to get out of the camp because it was so dry.
9. Gather Free Acres Organic Dry Dog Food
Gather Free Acres Organic Dry Dog Food is a brand that prides itself on its use of free-range chicken as its first ingredient. It also supplies important antibiotics using fruits peas, lentils, blueberries, and cranberries. EPA and DHA provide helpful fatty acids that contribute to brain and eye development, as well as help maintain a soft, shiny coat. It provides balanced nutrition and doesn’t include any corn, wheat, soy, or meat by-products.
The biggest problem with Gather Free is that it smells terrible and gave our dogs bad breath. When you open a can of this food, people will know it in the next room, and it almost has a spoiled smell.
10. OrgaNOMics Organic Grain-Free Pate Wet Dog Food
OrgaNOMics Organic Grain-Free Pate Wet Dog Food features lamb as the first ingredient, and beef as it’s second, so it packs in the protein. It also contains plenty of organic carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes, which not only add flavor; they also add antioxidants, which help to fight infection and boost the immune system.
The first thing we need to tell you about OrgaNOMics is that the meat is not certified organic. It’s locally sourced from local sources, like the Amish, that traditionally do not use steroids or antibiotics in their meat. However, the carrots peas and sweet potatoes are certified organic. We found that it dried out very quickly once you opened it and placed it in the fridge, so it’s not very good for dogs that don’t eat all their food quickly. While more of our dogs liked this food than the vegan brands, some still wouldn’t need it, and it had a bad smell.
In this section, we’ll look at what organic food is, as well as what other ingredients you should look for in a high-quality brand of organic dog food.
These are the qualities that make food organic.
Living and Farming Conditions
According to the USDA, farmers rely heavily on renewable resources and emphasize the conservation of soil and water. This idea preserves the resources for future generations and helps to improve living conditions for livestock.
Organic foods cannot contain any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). GMOs use genetic material altered in a scientific lab to create things that don’t exist in nature and are not part of a dog’s natural diet. You find a lot of GMOs in soybeans, corn, plums, and canola oil.
No Synthetic Fertilizers
Synthetic fertilizers are another type of human-made compound that can affect the quality of the food your pet eats. Synthetic fertilizers can add nutrients to the soil but they don’t add any microorganisms or other organic compounds that plants need to survive and thrive. Microorganisms and organic compounds help replenish the soil and bring in new nutrients.
No Chemical Pesticides or Preservatives
Chemical pesticides work well at preventing insects from attacking food, but the residue can enter the dog system creating significant health problems for your pet. While not quite as dangerous, chemical preservatives can also cause harm to your pet’s health. We recommend checking out food labels for signs of a chemical preservative like BHA and BHT and avoiding them.
Wet or Dry Food
What’s your found organic food you’ll still need to determine whether you feed your pet a drag cable or wet food and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is the food of choice for many pet owners for several reasons. It’s much less expensive than wet food, and it’s available in larger packages. It stays fresh longer once opened, and you can leave it in the bowl for a day or more without the worry of spoilage. Its biggest advantage is that the hard kibble scrapes away tartar as your pet chews, improving your dog’s breath and helping to reduce the chances of dental decay.
Wet Dog Food
Wet dog food is sold in cans and often comes in a single-serve size. Dogs usually prefer wet food because it’s cooked in the can preserving flavor, and the texture is more natural as well. Many brands contain chunky meats, and wet food is usually more aromatic and satisfying to your dog. However, there are a few downsides to wet food, including its high cost. It also needs to be refrigerated after opening, and you can only leave it in the bowl for a few hours before you’ll need to discard it. It’s much richer than dry food and can easily lead to weight gain, but the biggest downside true wet food is that it does not scrub away tarter. Instead, it can cause bad breath and increase the rate of dental decay as it gets stuck to your pet’s teeth.
We recommend dry food for the bulk of your pet’s diet with the occasional can of wet food for a treat or as a supplement.
When choosing a brand of organic dog food, you want to find one that contains a lean protein source as its number one ingredient. Usually, the best source of protein is with whole meat like chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb, while some of the vegan brands on our list use a high-quality pea protein.
While meat by-product and meat meal are essentially ground and dried meat and is potentially a good source of protein. This food additive often comes from outside the U.S. where standards may not be as high. Therefore, we recommend avoiding brands that use meat by-product or meat meal as an ingredient as a rule, but if you trust the brand, go with your instincts.
Antioxidants can help build your pet’s immune system, which will reduce the chances they get sick and shorten the time they live with infections both internally and externally. High-quality organic fruits and vegetables added to the food will supply plenty of antioxidants for your pet. Look for fruits like blueberries and strawberries, as well as vegetables like kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes in the food you purchase to provide helpful nutrients.
Fatty acids, primarily omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, are important for eye and brain development in your pet. Fatty acids also help maintain a soft and shiny coat and can prevent itchy skin and rashes. Fatty acids almost always come from fish oil, but they can also come from flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. Many different types of nuts also have fatty acids.
What to Avoid
We have already mentioned why you should avoid meat by-products, and meat meal, as well as harmful chemical preservatives, like BHA and BHT, but there are still a few ingredients you should try to avoid when choosing an organic brand to feed your dog.
While most of the brands on our list do not contain any artificial coloring or dyes, it’s something you are very likely to run into while shopping. We recommend avoiding this ingredient because there’s no reason for it to be there, and some dogs can have an allergic reaction to it. Dyes and food coloring are often a sign there are other chemicals included in the ingredients.
Another popular trend in the pet food industry is adding exotic meats to the food. Exotic meats include venison, wild boar, ostrich, bison, alligator, and many more. While there is still plenty of research to be done, early reports suggest that these exotic meats may not be as healthy as the standard meats found in a dog’s diet. It may be good to give these meats as a treat, but we would advise caution before switching to this type of food full time.
Carrageenan Is another food additive that, like exotic meats, still needs further research. However, early reports suggest avoiding foods with this ingredient. Some believe that carrageenan can cause gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, ulcers, and even stomach cancer. Carrageenan is made from certain seaweeds and is a popular ingredient and pet food as well as human food.
When choosing a brand of organic dog food, we recommend our top choice. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Dry Dog Food is certified organic and lists organic chicken as its first ingredient. It also contains plenty of fruits and vegetables to supply antioxidants, it has omega fats and no ingredients we try to avoid. Tender & True Organic Grain- Free Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best value and is a close second choice providing all the essentials that we look for in organic food. Either of these foods would make a great choice to start feeding your pet organic foods.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our organic dog food reviews and found them helpful. We also hope that you found our buyer’s guide informative, and it gives you the confidence you need to shop alone. If you think it will be helpful to others, please share this guide to the best organic dog food on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Organic Dog Foods – Reviews 2020
- 1. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
- 2. Tender & True Organic Grain- Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
- 3. Castor & Pollux Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
- 4. Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- 5. Evanger’s Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- 6. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- 7. Gather Endless Valley Vegan Dry Dog Food
- 8. PetGuard Organic Vegan Entree Canned Dog Food
- 9. Gather Free Acres Organic Dry Dog Food
- 10. OrgaNOMics Organic Grain-Free Pate Wet Dog Food
- Buyer’s Guide