This tip is part of our resource guide, How To Make Healthy Food Choices For Your Dog, a comprehensive document which covers the following topics: (1) How to select the right foods to purchase and avoid the ones that are not healthy; (2) The foods and ingredients to absolutely avoid; (3) How to scrutinize the ingredients in the food you give your dog; (4) How to do an apples to apples comparison between dog food products to see which ones are healthier; (5) How to choose quality protein sources; (6) …and more. This Resource Guide is in PDF format.

The guidelines for using “natural” are loose and easy to circumvent. If a company uses this term, they are just trying to capitalize on a marketing gimmick that approximates nothing close to natural as we would come to think that natural should be.

Remember what we wrote earlier, that pet food companies have more latitude in the marketing claims compared to human food marketing.

Other words that companies like to use include gourmet, holistic, premium, prescription, and many more. These words mean nothing.

For example, Hormel can use the label “natural” to sell meat that comes from animals that are given antibiotics and limited outdoor access. The company won an advertising lawsuit in 2019 that also revealed that the same pigs are used for both the SPAM brand and Hormel's Natural Choice pork. The legal victory affirms terms like natural, clean, and whole are unregulated and meaningless, unlike certified industry labels like Organic and Non-GMO.