When buying all natural dog treats, devoted dog owners often spare no expense when it comes to the health of their furry canine friends. Most dedicated pet owners not only look upon their dogs as buddies but as a true family member. So when consumers hear the words “all natural dog treats”, they may automatically view it as a healthier choice to offer their loyal canines. After all, the label states “all natural”, right?
Dog treats have come a long way since the mid-1800s, when a biscuit recipe by Londoner James Spratt failed in its expectations for texture and flavor. In discarding the offending biscuits, Mr. Spratt noticed that the feral dogs were happily feasting on the discarded biscuits. This sparked an idea for true “all natural dog treats”, made with meats, grains, and vegetables that would change the future. In 1870, the first commercially produced all natural dog treats were introduced to the United States marketplace. By the 1900s, all natural dog foods and varieties of all natural dog treats were quickly becoming an industry staple. Between the 1930s and 1950s, the pet food industry expanded and launched cat food products.
However, during World War II, pet food production slowed due to a lack of tin for packaging. The pet food industry rebounded with the introduction of dry dog food, chemical additives, fortification and preservatives that became mainstream and revolutionized the pet food industry forever. This was followed in the 1970s by commercial marketing and mass advertising. Pet food companies targeted consumers, urging them to buy their all natural dog treats and other pet food products. These were promoted as healthy, all natural, and fortified with vitamins and minerals, implicating that these pet food products were minimally processed. The usage of the term “all natural” as in all natural dog treats has become overused through evolutionary marketing in order to sell supposedly healthy pet products. Misleading consumers to believe they are buying safe, high-quality products, when they are in fact buying cheap by-product ingredients combined with chemically fortified additives is unethical. The origins of these by-products often come from an unknown source or mixture of varied by-product ingredients that offer zero nutritional value to our pets. Consider what other chemicals and additives are included.
Are “all natural” products truly minimally processed?
Are “all natural” products truly made from natural ingredients?
If minimally processed is a definition of “all natural”, most consumers didn’t get the memo. Forget what you thought about natural ingredients. In examining the marketing misuse of the terms “all natural dog treats” and “all natural products”, consumers must concede that an impregnable reproach is necessary in rectifying this difficult problem. Currently, there are no respective pet food regulations in place for the misappropriation of the term “all natural”. This is mainly due to a myriad of definitions offered by dictionaries of the term “all natural” much of which are contentiously vague.
This directly allows manufactures to concoct products labeled “all natural”, based on vague ideas of what constitutes all natural ingredients and minimally processed. Just about anything goes, after all, everything starts out as some form of natural material. For many, that is the definition of “all natural”. This results in the production of all natural dog treats that are indeed not all natural and certainly not healthy. So it is not surprising that by 2007 – 2014, consumers witnessed massive pet food recalls deeming a number of pet products unhealthy and unsafe. The death of our pets is a great example of what can happen when left with undefined terminology and ill-defined regulations. The all mighty dollar excelled while mass advertising, misuse of labeling, and the usage of chemical additives, colors and preservatives have taken precedent over pet health. Cheap unhealthy ingredients, by-products, fillers, artificial additives and the increase of caustic chemicals in pet foods were applied to keep manufacturer costs down, enhance appearance, taste, color, texture and to extend shelf life without regard to the incompetent ill effects on pet health. Labeled products such as all natural dog treats inundate shelf space with limited regulations in place.
As the term “all natural” has little meaning, not much has been done by the FDA to rectify the problem. Although the negative consequence on pet health has pressured the FDA to enforce some regulations in the manufacturing of pet foods, it has continuously devolved the important issues to the manufacturers themselves, leaving consumers and pets with a bad taste in their mouths. Pun intended.
It is pivotal that the use of the term “all natural” as in all natural dog treats is amended. Until this occurs, we are destined to notice a rise in pet illnesses and future pet food manufacturer recalls. It is heartbreaking to evaluate more pet deaths and illnesses due to unhealthy and unsafe pet food, including products labeled “all natural” dog treats. Notable ramifications are sick dogs and high vet bills, as evidenced by the current recall of Chicken Jerky labeled as all natural dog treats. The phraseology “all natural” requires a much needed transformation of its descriptive terminology. It is imperative to the health and wellbeing of all pets as well as their human counterparts. The demand for superior products and laws governing these products is essential for overall pet health.
The ultimatum for quality and health has put concerned pet owners on high alert, paving the way for a niche market. A few smaller pet food manufacturers have jumped at the opportunity to create all natural dog treats using quality ingredients that benefit canine nutrition. But beware, “all natural” statements are currently still misapplied in the industry.
To meet the true qualifications of real all natural dog treats it is recommended you select organic dog treats. True all natural dog treats can be considered “all natural” if made with organic ingredients minus the by-products. The use of organic “all natural” ingredients without the organic certification are as close to “all natural” as we can possibly obtain, however certified organic is truly the ultimate in “all natural” ingredients.