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HELP – What should I feed my pet?

People always ask “what should I feed my pet”? There are so many options on the market, how do you choose? All pets are different, just like us. One size does not fit all whether it be in humans or in our pets. Here we give you guidance in making informed choices. Check with your veterinarian before changing your pets diet. Dogs and cats, depending on their age, activity level, health issues, breed DNA, and environment, have different nutritional needs. There is no one “right” answer. Owners have busy schedules, so whether it be home cooking or store bought, here are some things to know.

There are 4 main types of diet: Dry Kibble, Canned, Home Cooked, Raw – frozen, freeze dried or dehydrated.

What’s Best for my pet?

There are so many choices out there – which ones are the best? If you have a choice, whether it be preparing your pet’s food, or buying something off the shelf, here is what you should look for, but always check with your veterinarian before switching food.

1st: USDA Organic certified AND Non-GMO project verified.

These pet foods offer the most rigorous testing and oversight to provide the healthiest option.

2nd: USDA Organic.

This certification provides a food that has minimal GMO contaminants and free of synthetic fertilizers.

3rd: Non-GMO Project Verified.

This verification provides a food that has been tested for minimal contamination of GMO ingredients.

What does USDA Organic certified pet food mean?

Certified organic pet foods will display a USDA organic seal and must be made of at least 95% organic ingredients. By law, USDA certified organic pet food must follow exactly the same requirements and standards as those established for organic human foods. That means these foods must be grown and processed without the use of:

• Toxic and persistent pesticides
• Artificial flavors, colors and preservatives
• Synthetic growth hormones
• Antibiotics
• GMOs
• Irradiation
And they are:
• required to maintain detailed records of all production and processing activity to maximize traceability
• regularly inspected by a USDA-accredited agent to ensure that organic standards are being met

Only pet food products that contain at least 95% of organic ingredients can display the USDA organic seal and show the ‘certified organic’ statement.

The use of certified organic ingredients does not mean that the product itself is certified organic.

Put simply, if you see the “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” seal on your food, the item must have an ingredients list and the contents should be 95% or more certified organic, meaning free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents or use GMOs. The standard is high to get USDA Organic certification. usda.gov

Your best bet for getting what you are looking for? Educate yourself!
• Look for certified organic pet food with the USDA Organic seal.
• Know what ingredients you are looking for in organic pet food and those you want to avoid.

What does non-GMO mean?

A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup/DNA has been artificially modified. Genetic modification affects many of the products we humans consume on a daily basis. In order for a product to be Non-GMO Project Verified, ingredients must be evaluated and tested for compliance with Non-GMO project verification standards.

The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is a trustworthy, defensible, transparent process and North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance. Analytical testing of high-risk raw material is done at critical points in the supply chain to verify that GMO contamination is below the applicable action threshold. visit nongmoproject.org for complete information.

In order for a product to be Non-GMO Project Verified, its inputs must be evaluated for compliance with their standard, which categorizes inputs into three risk levels – with the top being High-Risk.The ingredients in this category are derived from, contain derivatives of, or are produced through a process involving organisms that are known to be genetically modified and commercially available and include:

Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, Sugar beet, Yellow summer squash / zucchini, some Animal products

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