"All Natural"- Two Definitions For Dog Chews

Organic Soil

In the world of agriculture and food production, the term “organic” is well defined. International standards exist and must be met in order for an item to be certified in this manner. In addition, multiple worldwide governmental and non-governmental organizations exist that serve to provide this certification. In contrast, the term “All Natural” is not perfectly defined nor does a common certification standard exist for products which are labeled in this manner. However, a common perception of all-natural dog foods, treats and chews does exist; although it is not necessarily agreed upon universally. To most pet owners, the all-natural label means that a pet product does not include chemical preservatives, colorings, synthetic flavor enhancers or other additives. Typically, these treats are also minimally processed. Within the world of dog chews, there tends to be two overlapping definitions for all-natural products.

The first category of all-natural products is wide and encompasses many different types of treats, chews and bones. These products fit the description as mentioned above. If a dog treat is missing synthetic and/or chemical additives then there is a good chance that the manufacturer will label the product in question as “all-natural”. The second definition of all-natural products is those items made of minimally processed animal parts. This group includes bully sticks, antlers, knuckle bones, etc. These all-natural products are typically parts of animals that are not typically intended for human consumption. Instead of discarding edible items, food producers package these parts as dog chews. The processing is usually quite simple and should involve no more than drying and cutting the chew. Oftentimes, the treat will also be smoked for additional flavor. There are different grades of chews of this type and the consumer should be on the lookout for products that would seem to be all-natural but instead have been processed with chemicals or other preservatives. Another factor to consider when purchasing all-natural products is the shelf life of the particular treat. As these treats and not chemically preserved, they typically should be consumed within 12-24 months of purchase.