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A growing number of pet owners across the world are looking for more natural and holistic diets for their pets. This is especially crucial for puppies, as they are at a critical developmental stage where good nutrition can make all the difference when it comes to their health and development.What’s in a name?
Natural can be quite tricky to define when it comes to pet food. It usually means something which is derived from nature and not from man-made processes. However, that is not the case when it comes to pet food. If you are looking for pet food that has only natural ingredients that are untouched, you are not likely to find one.Natural pet food
is a feed or feed ingredient that is derived solely from animal, plant or mined sources. They can be unprocessed or subjected to a little physical processing such as extraction, heat processing, purification and other such options. However, if a pet food is labeled as natural, it cannot contain any processing aids or additives which are chemically synthetic. This means that natural food cannot contain preservatives, flavoring, and colorants.The ingredients that you need to look for in natural food
Look for names that you can recognize when reading the labels. Go for foods that contain real-named meats and not unfamiliar names like meat meals or meat byproducts. If you are looking for grains, go for whole grains or the actual nutritive part in the grain, not the bran, hulls or the indigestible parts.Pros and cons of natural foods
A lot of the pet food manufacturers go for ingredient splitting in the labeling. For instance, they might list corn more than once as corn meal, corn gluten and ground yellow corn. It means that the food contains a lot of corn. The same happens with foods that are grain free. They just use a lot of lentils, peas, potatoes and other starches instead of grains, which is not a necessarily better alternative.Natural supplements
and foods do not contain additives like Propylene Glycol, which is added to a lot of pet food to keep it from becoming dry. Propylene Glycol is a derivative of Ethylene Glycol, which is used as antifreeze in vehicle engines. Although not toxic, Propylene Glycol must strictly be avoided in pet foods. They are also free of chemicals like BHT and BHA additives. Both of them have been associated with increased risk of cancer.As for the downside, there aren’t many. With any treat or food, there is always a small risk that it will not be digestively tolerated. If that’s the case, it will lead to a decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. However, feeding foods that do not contain moistening agents, chemical preservatives or artificial colors are safer and less likely to cause toxic exposure, cancer and other diseases.