Can a puppy eat ‘natural’ dog food?
Natural puppy food may contain ingredients that are less toxic than conventionally bred dogs food, but that doesn’t mean they are safer than conventional dog food, according to a new report.
The Natural Dog Food Alliance (NDFA) released a report Thursday that found that while some ingredients are safer for dogs than others, the natural puppy foods do not necessarily come with more safety measures or more stringent safety protocols.
The alliance, a nonprofit group that supports and promotes natural dog foods, also found that the industry has not been able to keep up with the rapid growth in dog food labels and labeling standards.
The NDFA also said that the lack of standardized safety standards and certification processes is putting consumers at risk, which it believes is “a problem for consumers who rely on the food for their health and safety.”
For consumers who may not have an expert to speak on the matter, NDFA said it has contacted all of the leading dog food companies to see if they can provide any information that will help consumers understand what’s in their dog food.
The alliance is asking all of them to publicly release all information related to the safety of their dog foods and the process by which they meet the safety standards.
The NDFA report found that in 2017, there were more than 200 pet food brands in the U.S. that met or exceeded the most recent federal and state dog food certification standards, including a number of large food companies like Nestle, Ben & Jerry’s, and Trader Joe’s.
According to the report, “companies with low or non-existent dog food quality ratings and/or low or no standards for dog food ingredient safety and labeling were responsible for at least 3,836 dog-related fatalities in 2017.”
The NDFAs own database includes more than 8,500 food and pet food recalls and recalls from retailers nationwide, including some that are for brands that do not meet the latest federal and/ or state standards for food safety and ingredients.
The Alliance for Natural Dog Foods has asked the USDA for guidance on what type of dog food to put on the market and what kind of recalls should be filed to prevent the proliferation of unsafe dog food ingredients in our homes.