Animal Welfare Certified Dog Food — How Do Dog Foods Get the Label?
written by Freshpet
It seems like every day there are new things to learn about the dog food space. Pet parents who want to provide their dogs with great options tailored to their needs are becoming more educated than ever on what words and phrases are important, and which merely serve as buzzwords within the industry.
One phrase that has been gaining traction within the dog food space is animal welfare certified dog food. Foods with this label have become popular among pet parents who are in search of recipes that both fulfill their dogs’ nutritional needs and align with their personal ethics and morals.
Below, we have included a bit of background information on animal welfare certified dog food, what it means, and why the label is so important to our pet parent communities.
Animal Welfare Certified Dog Food Explained
It’s natural to wonder what sets animal welfare certified dog food apart from other recipes. Animal welfare certified dog foods are products that receive a certification for the humane treatment of animals raised for their recipes.
Organizations such as G.A.P. work to ensure that the lives of farm animals are improved, recognizing how certain factors influence their quality of life and the end products of both our and our pets’ foods. G.A.P. certified labels mean that animals have access to more space, a safe environment, healthy diets, no added antibiotics/hormones, and (for steps 3 and above) access to outdoors and local pastures.
Why Are Pet Parents Choosing Animal Welfare Certified Dog Food?
There are many reasons why animal welfare certified dog food is seeing such a boost in popularity over time. One of the biggest contributors to the growing trend is that pet parents are becoming more interested in animal welfare as a whole. This has driven some to explore vegetarian or vegan pet food options for themselves and their pets, and has made them intimately aware of how the treatment of animals that make up our food matters in the long run. Ethics and morals matter for a lot of us and drive our purchasing decisions.
In addition to the moral arguments for animal welfare certified dog food, there are nutritional and quality based ones as well. For example, many of the factors that fulfill G.A.P. certification requirements may impact the overall health of animals as a whole. Animals that will be processed for food are more prone to disease and illness if they are not provided enough space to flourish, safety and the quality of their environment can influence their health and growth, and there is debate whether or not added hormones/antibiotics in meat can impact long term health.
When it comes down to it, most pet parents making the decision to purchase animal welfare certified dog food are doing so in the interests of improved quality of life for their pets and their food alike. With this in mind, we at Freshpet believe that ethics and health based trends in the industry are here to stay.
Does Freshpet Offer Animal Welfare Certified Recipes?
At Freshpet, we are always looking for more ways to show our commitment to quality through locally sourced ingredients and products that are sustainably produced at each step of the way.
While each one of our recipes are sustainably made, thoughtfully prepared, and created using carefully selected and locally sourced ingredients, our Nature’s Fresh recipes are certified humanely raised as well. This means that they include chicken and turkey that has been Animal Welfare Certified by the G.A.P. organization.
We believe that, as companies and pet parent communities become more knowledgeable of the important role the treatment of animals plays in the process of creating quality products, more brands will offer recipes that take a both an ethical and environmentally friendly approach.
The Future of Dog Food is Now
As we’ve stated before, it is always exciting to see the world of dog food evolve as companies refine their processes, get better at tailoring recipes to specific needs, and even find ways to ensure that we can provide high quality food for our pets without sacrificing ethics and morals along the way.
At Freshpet, we say that the future of dog food is now because there has never been a better time for pet parents to explore new foods and find ones that perfectly match their own and their pets’ specific needs. As pet food companies continue to innovate and pay close attention to how the treatment and quality of their ingredients influence end products, we can rest assured that we will continue to see interesting developments empowering our pets to live long, heathy, and fulfilled lives.