Welcome to our big organic dog food test 2022. Here we present all the organic dog foods that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best organic dog food for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy organic dog food.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Organic Dog Food: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying organic dog food
- 5 Decision: What types of organic dog food are there and which is right for you?
- 5.1 What is vegetarian dog food and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.2 What is grain-free organic dog food and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.3 What are organic snacks and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 What is organic raw food (BARF) and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate organic dog food
- 7 Facts worth knowing about organic dog food
- Organic dog food differs from conventional dog food in that attention is paid to sustainability in the cultivation of the raw materials and in the production process. The animals used come from species-appropriate animal husbandry.
- To distinguish organic dog food from normal dog food, the different organic quality seals will help you. A very important seal for organic quality is the German Organic Seal.
- Just like conventional dog food, organic dog food comes in dry and wet varieties. But there are also dog snacks in organic quality.
The Best Organic Dog Food: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying organic dog food
What is organic dog food and what are the differences between it and normal dog food?
- Organic dog food
- Dog food without additives
- Dog food from species-appropriate animal husbandry
- Sustainable packaging
The production of environmentally friendly pet food starts with organic farming. The farmers refrain from using all chemicals that consume a lot of energy in their production. In addition, they keep their distance from factory farming and concentrated feed.
There are fewer animals in a larger space and they are slaughtered without stress. The resulting disadvantage, however, is that the price rises somewhat as a result. Organic dog food hardly ever uses meat from exotic animal species (ostrich, kangaroo), because this avoids long transport routes.
It is therefore best to use meat that comes from the region. This would be, for example, lamb, beef, chicken or pork.
If you prefer to buy your dog food containing fish, you should also choose regional fish species such as trout or carp. This way, you not only support the surrounding businesses, but you also know that the fish had a short transport route.
Buying dog food with marine fish is not recommended, because fish stocks in the world's oceans are becoming smaller and smaller. The causes are severe overfishing and uncontrolled predatory catches, which are absolutely unsustainable. Tuna, salmon, sardines or shrimps are particularly endangered, but are often found in conventional dog food.
But if you can't do without these varieties, there is the MSC label. It is a quality label awarded by WWF for sustainable fishing. The production process of organic dog food is quite similar to that of normal food. The important difference is that no preservatives, flavourings, flavour enhancers or other additives are used. Organic dog food also pays attention to the packaging.
In principle, less is more! Of course, the best thing to do is to take your own reusable container to a nearby shop and fill the dog food. If for some reason this is not feasible for you, then you can simply go to a regional organic food shop. To save on packaging, simply take a few large packages instead of several small ones. Online orders are not recommended because of the extra packaging.
Also, wet food and dry food are packaged differently. For dry food, look for a high paper content and a low plastic content. Organic dog food in jars is the most sustainable because you can reuse the jars.
Tin cans and aluminium trays are recyclable, but their production and manufacturing are not really environmentally friendly.
What should I consider before buying organic dog food?
- Not all human foods are equally suitable for dogs.
- Consider the balance of ingredients (meat and vegetable)
- consider any allergies
- what environmental factors are you particularly concerned about?
What seals of approval should I look for in organic dog food?
If a dog food bears the European seal of quality (green seal with a white leaf of stars), you can be sure that 95% of the dog food comes from organic farming. The ingredients of the other 5% do not necessarily have to be of organic quality, but artificial or chemical substances are also prohibited here.
However, most organic dog food manufacturers carry other seals and certificates to commit to even more sustainability. You will often find additional seals such as Demeter, Biokreis or Ecoland. All seals of quality are strictly controlled. You can therefore be sure that your dog is getting only the best and healthiest food.
Beware of green washing! This is the name for manufacturers or brands that falsely try to generate an environmentally conscious image. You should therefore always check carefully whether it is a genuine organic seal of quality.
How much does organic dog food cost?
omparing the price of organic dog food is not so easy because the amount of food always depends on the size and age of the dog.
- You can get a good organic wet food with 200g for about 3 €.
- A good organic dry food (gluten-free) with 400g costs about 7 €.
Buy large packs. This will save you packaging material and the price will be cheaper!
Organic dog food is still a niche product. A few producers who have not geared their production to the masses have to struggle with high prices. The explanation for the price difference to normal food is partly due to the production and packaging.
Meat from species-appropriate, non-mass animal husbandry is much more expensive to produce. The chemical-free cultivation of plant-based food also requires more time and money. The packaging for many organic foods is made of glass - which is of course more expensive, but reusable and recyclable.
The advantage of organic dry food is that the nutrients are more concentrated, so the dog only needs a smaller amount. You don't have to worry about adding extra nutrients with organic dry food. Organic dry food can therefore be cheaper than organic wet food.
However, with dry food it is always important that your dog drinks more water. On the other hand, organic wet food has the advantage that it is less processed and the consistency is more similar to real meat. Some dogs prefer wet food for this reason.
If you feed only wet food, you don't have to worry about deficiency symptoms. However, experts advise you to change the food regularly.
Decision: What types of organic dog food are there and which is right for you?
Not only you, but also your dog should only eat healthy food? Is ecological sustainability just as important to you as species-appropriate animal husbandry and high quality standards?
Then organic dog food is just the right thing for you! In principle, the basis of organic dog food is exactly the same as that of conventional food: there is organic wet food, organic dry food and organic dog snacks.
With organic dog food, however, great attention is paid to criteria regarding production and ingredients:
- Vegetarian organic dog food
- Grain-free organic dog food
- Organic snacks
- Organic raw food (BARF)
There are many different types of organic dog food on the market and everyone naturally wants to give their dog only the best food.
However, we should put our own preferences behind when buying and pay attention to what nutrients the dog needs. In the following section we want to help you decide which food suits you and your dog best.
What is vegetarian dog food and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Vegetarian dog food should be considered in terms of environmental friendliness. Producing meat is many times more expensive and environmentally damaging than producing plant-based food. The production of meat not only consumes a lot of energy, but also land.
Almost half of the grain produced in a year is used to feed the animals. Because this alone is not enough, thousands of tonnes of soya have to be imported, which is not genetically free.
On the net, dog nutrition without meat is discussed very controversially. Unlike wolves, however, dogs are not pure carnivores, which is why a change is not a problem for them.
Therefore, nothing stands in the way of a vegetarian diet in this respect - regardless of breed or age. The only breed of dog for which vegetarian dog food is specifically recommended is the Dalmatian. These dogs have a different uric acid metabolism and need more plant food.
So if you decide to feed your dog a completely meatless diet, it is very important that you seek advice from a vet. This will help prevent nutrient deficiencies that would otherwise be compensated for by meat intake.
What is grain-free organic dog food and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Grain-free food is particularly suitable for sensitive dogs. The daily amount of carbohydrates and fibre can easily be compensated by potatoes or vegetables. Because dogs are not pure carnivores by nature, they can digest both animal and vegetable raw materials well.
However, it is not so easy for the dog's stomach to digest cereals. This is because his need for carbohydrates and fibre is also very low.
Maize and wheat in particular are a problem for many dogs and lead to allergies and food intolerances such as gluten intolerance. Consequential diseases can be obesity and diabetes.
Grain-free dog food is therefore highly recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This type of food usually has a high meat content and can be found on the market for all ages and weights. Important nutrients such as carbohydrates and fibre are naturally supplemented by the addition of potatoes, vegetables, nuts, etc.
What are organic snacks and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Practically all varieties of normal dog snacks are also available in organic versions. So nothing stands in the way of a healthy reward between meals! No additives such as flavour enhancers, colourings or preservatives are used.
Everyone wants to reward or occupy their dog in between meals. Whether organic dog bones, organic dog treats or organic teeth cleaning - you will find everything in organic quality in the right dog shops.
Just like with organic food, it is important to pay attention to where the snacks come from and how they have been processed. Regional animal products should always have priority.
What is organic raw food (BARF) and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Like vegetarian feeding, feeding dogs raw meat has strong supporters as well as opponents. Bones of raw food (BARF) is a very natural feeding method, but it also brings with it a number of potential dangers. BARF feeding consists primarily of a large portion of raw meat, bones, innards or fish.
Natural food additives such as cereals or vegetables are usually added. The advantage is that you know exactly where the meat comes from and can determine the proportion of meat yourself. In this way, the dogs eat very close to their original behaviour.
"Barfen", however, is based on a wolf's preferences. For our domesticated dogs, which already have a different digestion, pure raw feeding is not recommended. Severe deficiency symptoms would be the result.
In addition, the dog can also suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems, which can even be passed on to humans. The risk of injury from splintering bones is also high.
So if you decide to feed your dog this way, you should also consider all the possible side effects and seek advice from a vet.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate organic dog food
Since there are many different types of organic dog food on the market, the following criteria should help you get a better overview.
This will make it easier for you to compare and evaluate the products so that you can ultimately find exactly the right organic dog food for your four-legged friend. Here is your overview:
- Type of food
- Complete food
- Type of packaging
- Origin of ingredients
- Organic label
What these criteria mean in detail and how you can apply them is described in detail in the following article.
Type of food
The first point of differentiation of organic dog food is the type of food, i.e. wet food or dry food. A somewhat rarer but very healthy type is cold-pressed dog food. The decision between wet and dry food usually depends a lot on your dog's preferences as to what he prefers to eat.
You should also consider how often you can buy more food and how long you want the food to keep. The following table gives an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of wet and dry food:
|Type of food||Advantage||Disadvantage|
|Wet food||Dogs often prefer wet food because the taste is natural||Has to be packed in tins, which is not environmentally friendly.|
|Dry food||Very long shelf life and can therefore be bought in large quantities||Certain nutrients can be lost through processing.|
Many dogs dislike dry food because it is usually salty and dry. However, it can easily be served with lukewarm water in the food bowl, then it is no longer a problem for most dogs.
The digestibility is 85-90%. Wet food, on the other hand, is immediately accepted by all dogs because it is very close to the "real" food in nature. The next point to consider is the shelf life of the food. If you are prepared to buy smaller tins more often, then wet food is ideal for you.
For reasons of shelf life, wet food is only available in smaller quantities in tins or jars. On average, cans of food weigh between 100g and 300g. Once they have been opened, they must be consumed within the next few days. Dry food, on the other hand, is usually sold in larger quantities.
If you have enough storage space at home, you can buy a feed bag weighing up to 30 kg. This will last you quite a long time, depending on the amount of food your dog eats. An opened bag of dry food will last much longer than an opened can of food.
Many dog owners still choose not to buy dry food because it loses many important nutrients in the processing. With cold-pressed dog food, however, it is now possible to retain many more nutrients and still offer the dog dry food. However, this type is very rare on the market and usually a little more expensive.
If you don't want to worry about whether your dog is getting enough nutrients, complete food is the way to go. Any type of food that calls itself "complete food" adheres to legal minimum nutrient levels. It's a good thing that there are almost only food options that are complete foods.
This means that feeding with other feeds - i.e. feed supplementation - is no longer necessary, because all the important ingredients are already included. Dry complete food is quite easy to dose and therefore the most popular food for dogs.
Depending on your dog's weight and activity, you can easily calculate the recommended amount of food using a table on the food bag. However, you should consult an expert to avoid giving your dog too many nutrients. If you decide to feed your dog a wet dog food, you should bear in mind that you will have to give your dog a much larger quantity.
Due to the high moisture content of 72-81%, all-wet food contains only one third of the energy content of dry food.
Type of packaging
As described above, there are different types of packaging for organic dog food. However, if you are particularly concerned about sustainability and environmental protection, you should consider how high the paper content is or how recyclable the packaging is.
If you really want to live in a strictly sustainable way, you should generally avoid all types of packaging and take your own containers with you and fill them up. However, it is not possible to dose your food yourself in most dog food shops. Unfortunately, whether you choose a paper bag or a can depends on the contents. Dry food is always packed in paper, which is of course very recyclable.
But here you can also look at whether plastic has been used in addition and to what percentage it is still recyclable. Sometimes you can't see the plastic because it is attached to the inside of the food bag. Cans, on the other hand, always contain wet food because a paper bag simply could not withstand the high humidity.
According to one study, about 8,000 tonnes of steel tin packaging for pet food were consumed in 2005. So when your tin can is used up, you should not just throw it away, but dispose of it at the scrap metal collection.
There, the tin can can be reprocessed into steel products. Recycling is ecologically much cheaper than producing new ones.
One of the most important distinguishing features of quality dog food is the composition of the main ingredients, the fat content and the meat content.
The following table gives you an overview of the composition of the different nutrients and how much of them is contained in the food. It also shows what a dog really needs from it:
|Food/nutrient||Content Complete food||Optimal for the dog|
|Meat||30% - 70%||The higher the meat content, the better.|
|Fats||5% - 12%||Too much fat is unhealthy, but 5% is at least necessary for essential fatty acids to be absorbed.|
|Grains||up to 80%||The content should in no case be too high, otherwise the meat content will be lowered. Cheap cereals, such as wheat, are often used as fillers. However, this is not in the dog's interest and should therefore be kept rather low.|
In contrast to normal dog food, organic dog food has only a few main ingredients. Organic wet food can have different flavours, just like organic dry food. Poultry and beef are popular. High-quality dog food is characterised by a particularly high meat content, which is approximately between 30% and 70%.
The higher the meat content, the better. However, in order to give the dog a balanced diet, the various types of food contain additional ingredients such as vegetables or potatoes. There are many variations. What you choose in the end depends on you and your dog's taste. Variety is always good! It is also important to consider the amount of crude fat content, which refers to all fats and fat-like components of the food.
The fat content of the feeds selected here is between 5% and 12%. More fat means more energy. Depending on your dog's needs, you should consider how high the percentage should be. It is not necessarily a question of keeping the fat content as low as possible, as the dog actually needs at least 5%.
This is the only way he can absorb essential fatty acids that he cannot produce himself. In addition, there are certain fat-soluble vitamins that can only be utilised when a certain amount of fat is present.
Meatless dog food has already been described above in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. Despite controversial opinions, it is an important decision factor for choosing the right product and is therefore briefly described again here.
Meatless feeding is perfectly possible for the dog and does not harm it in any way. You just have to make sure that he takes in all the nutrients that would otherwise be in meat through alternative supplements. Often vegetarian dog food is produced in such a way that it still has the taste of meat. So don't be confused by labels like "vegetarian food with chicken".
Instead of meat, vegetables, fruits and grains are added to the food. If your dog likes it and it contains the necessary ingredients, it is up to you to decide whether your dog should be a vegetarian. For many dogs, especially Dalmatians, the meat-free diet helps with intestinal and major problems or allergies.
Does your dog suffer from a sensitive stomach or allergies? Then it may be due to too much grain in the food. Just try grain-free dog food! High-quality grain-free dog food is characterised by a particularly high meat content. Instead of cereals, different types of vegetables provide the necessary fibre and carbohydrates.
Grain is not bad in principle, but unfortunately it is often used as a cheap filler. Cheap dog food then has a grain content of up to 80%. This is of course far too high and the meat content suffers as a result.
Good dog food therefore contains no wheat, but gluten-free cereals such as rice, maize or millet.
Origin of ingredients
An important criterion for choosing a good organic dog food is the origin of the ingredients and the place of production. The rule is: the closer, the better! Regional ingredients for organic dog food are the be-all and end-all.
As described above, the ingredients for real organic dog food usually come directly from Germany or Austria. This supports local farmers and the meat quality in particular meets higher standards than in other countries. In addition, the product has a shorter transport route, which is much more environmentally friendly than imported food ingredients.
Unfortunately, it is often not possible to trace exactly where the individual ingredients come from. However, high-quality manufacturers whose products are all organically produced are happy to disclose this information. The place of production of organic dog food is almost always Germany.
However, products from other countries are not automatically bad. They can still meet certain organic requirements and thus be high-quality dog food.
Organic seal of approval
In order to be called organic dog food, it also needs an organic seal of approval or other organic certificates. The most important are the EU organic seal, the German organic seal, Bioland, Demeter and Biokreis. Just as with food for humans, there are also different organic certificates for dog food depending on the type of food.
Some manufacturers voluntarily commit to even stricter standards than others. However, the EU organic seal is absolutely mandatory for all organic products packaged in Europe.
With this you can be sure that the manufacturer has in any case adhered to the fact that 95% of the ingredients come from organic cultivation. It is rare to find organic dog food that has various organic certificates, but no EU organic seal.
Facts worth knowing about organic dog food
What is cold-pressed dog food?
Cold-pressed dog food looks like pellets and is a high-quality dry food. The big difference to normal dry food is that it retains important nutrients and vitamins through gentle production.
In contrast to classic dry food, cold-pressed dry food is only heated up to 50 degrees. In addition, the heating is done with steam. Although this takes longer, it is far gentler and makes the addition of preservatives unnecessary. Cold-pressed dog food is of course also available in organic quality.
How do I prepare organic dog food myself?
Preparing your own dog food requires a little more effort. However, your dog and your environment will certainly be very grateful! This way you can give your dog exactly what he needs.
You can mix the meat content, grain content and vegetable ingredients yourself. You also save on packaging material. Here is an example from a study of a balanced daily meal suitable for a 10kg dog:
- 160 g meat
- 185 g oat flakes
- 20 g vegetables
- 20 g vegetable oil
- 10 g mineral feed with added vitamins.
You don't have much experience with organic dog food? To make sure your dog gets enough nutrients, simply combine ready-made dog food with fresh food. It's best to buy local organic meat or fish and give it to your dog raw or cooked.
With raw meat, however, be aware of the side effects mentioned above (see BARF). In addition, you should add vegetables, some rice or noodles. However, it is always important that it is not seasoned or salted.
If you want to be particularly environmentally friendly, simply cook for the dog when you cook for yourself. This saves energy and time!
Image source: pixabay.de / SNGPhotography