Nutrition and Your Dog’s Behavior: Part VI

Have you ever really wondered the difference between organic and non-organic? Well, we have and it is important to know the difference when purchasing products for your dog or your family.

For products to be considered 100% organic each ingredient must also be 100% organic. This means no use of any herbicides or pesticides that are not found in nature. For products that are labeled as “organic” they must be made with at least 95% organic ingredients. Products that state they are made with “organic ingredients” must have a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% percent, including no genetically modified organisms. Products with less than 70% may list organically produced ingredients may not make any organic claims.

Organic foods do not contain antibodies or growth hormones, are not genetically modified, do not use ionizing radiation, pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. Many health problems have been linked to pesticides such as brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer and hormone disruption as well as skin, eye and lung irritation.
We know that purchasing organic isn’t always easy so we’ve put together an organic priority list to help you provide the safest, purest food possible for both you and your dog. We’ve stuck to foods for your dog but if you would like to see more of the list for you and your family you can check it out on The Environmental Working Group website ( The list below is from 2014.
When you can, it is imperative that you purchase the following ingredients organic.
– Apples
– Celery
– Spinach
– Cucumbers
– Snap Peas (imported)
– Kale/collard greens
– Potatoes
The following list contains ingredients that are considered safe to purchase conventionally (not organic).
– Avocados (dogs should never eat the leaves, skin or pit)
– Cabbage
– Sweet peas-frozen
– Asparagus
– Mangoes
– Papayas
– Eggplant
– Cantaloupe
– Cauliflower
Be sure to check with the EWG frequently for the most updated information on pesticides in fruits and vegetables, and as a general resource on how to avoid toxins in your environment.

Check back later this week as we discuss non-functional foods for your dog.

Information adapted from Canine Nutrigenomics – The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health by W. Jean Dodds and Diana Laverdure.