Keeping it simple is an ethos that can be applied to anything from sports to business. California is a state in which many view as stereotypically relaxed, warm, happy, and full of sunshine and with a natural theme to life. California Natural has applied this method of ‘keep it simple’ to dog food.
Choosing a small number of ingredients, sourced from quality purveyors, and blending the two ideals into a dog food brand, gives an optimal nutritional value for your dog. Simple as that. The smallest amount of whole foods needed to create a good, quality food, is all that is needed when creating a successful brand of healthy dog food.
California Natural was initially a subsidiary of Natura until Proctor & Gamble bought it out. This was not a popular move at the time as such a large multi-national concerned many that the level of quality would suffer due to the increased profit demand. Many times before, when corporations overtake another, profit seems to be of the highest importance, and the customers are ones who suffer the consequences of the poor quality.
In regards to food corporations, the mergers and buy outs can be even more concerning to the consumer due to the need for high quality foods. Skimping on food quality is no longer acceptable to many consumers, and this mentality has also transferred to their dogs.
These concerns from the consumers seem to have been allayed by the consistency of the dog food product since the takeover. Quality is still very much adhered to and is of a priority. Profit margins in this organization are not put before the health needs of the dogs and the reputable brand of the food.
High Quality Ingredients
What is very encouraging about the California Natural dog food brand is the short list of ingredients. Just as with processed foods that we eat too often ourselves, it can be disconcerting to see a long, long list of ingredients most of which near the bottom are barely readable never-mind pronounceable.
Chicken meal, sunflower oil, brown rice, flaxseed and rice take up the top five spots on the ingredient list for California Natural. Generally speaking, the first five ingredients of a dog food are the most important. The ingredient list outlines the materials used to make the food, and the ranking of these ingredients highlights the vitamins and nutrients that will be the most beneficial to your dog. Having ingredients that are able to be pronounced easily are also key to providing a healthy and natural diet.
While chicken meal is an excellent source of protein containing 300% more than raw chicken, the next two spots are taken up by rice. Chicken meal is a wonderful addition to the diet of your dog. The meat and protein count is high, and the taste and smell are appealing to the dog.
Rice on the other hand, seems a little vague and it is probably safe to say that it does not come from Uncle Ben’s kitchen. Rice may be seen as simply a filler, or as an ingredient that does not benefit the dog much at all, but rice is a carbohydrate that contains significant opportunities for minerals in your pup. Brown rice is a good source of carbohydrates and does contain a healthy amount of fiber.
The lack of Omega-3 fatty acids in sunflower oil is balanced by the fact that it is a very good source of omega-6 fatty acids. It is not as high quality in terms of nutrition as canola, but it is by no means the worst oil out there. Some find sunflower oil to be incredibly useful for skin and hair conditions in themselves and wish to offer this internal treatment to their dogs.
Flaxseed is better oil full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important in helping your dog’s skin to stay healthy and maintain a healthy, shiny coat. Flaxseed oil is also good for joint health and to ease joint pain. Those dogs that may be considered in their senior years can benefit from adding flaxseed oil to their diets since the oil can help loosen their hips and knee joints and provide a bit more comfort when waking, going up and down stairs, or for long walks.
All California Natural foods are corn and soy free, but this does not mean that they are completely free of all GMOs. California Natural may use natural ingredients per se, but their company cannot guarantee their meats and veggies are completely GMO free. Many companies have issues proving their GMO content, or lack thereof, so this fact should not completely rule out the potential for you to feed this brand to your dog.
In the event GMO usage in ingredients is incredibly important to you and your dog, do extra researches into the food brand ingredients, the sourcing, and their practices to determine if the food is a trusted fit for your dog. Your vet is also a good source of information and can offer you advice as to how to navigate the GMO’s in dog foods and prevent toxins from entering your dog’s diet.
There may be a risk of a small amount of GMO’s making their way into the ingredients of the California Natural brand; however, these ingredients determined to be risky are used as little as possible. Certain processes during rendering may use such products as balancers but on an extremely low level and they do not make up any significant portion of any of the products.
All of the foods contain at least the level of nutrients outlined by the AAFCO so there is no need for any additional supplements.
Holistic, Happy, and Healthy
It should be noted that all dogs are different, with unique health concerns and digestive abilities. The age, size, breed, and general disposition of your pet are usually the rules to go by when choosing a certain dog food over another.
Of course, your personal preference for feeding your dog a holistic and natural diet come into play, but if your dog has a certain need, you may need to consult a vet before putting your dog on a particular diet. If you feel that your pet may be lacking in a certain vitamin or mineral, it is always advisable to talk to your veterinarian.
In order to promote a healthy digestive system, California Natural utilizes the microbes known as probiotics. These enhance the normal healthy flora and bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are trending in the diets of humans and have really become a mainstay in the diet of the healthiest.
Research has shown how much the body is benefited from boosting the healthy bacteria in the gut, and the same theories can apply to dogs as well! If probiotics are such a blessing for a dog owner, why not add the power of digestion to your dog? These direct fed microbials are added to the kibble during the manufacturing process.
These ‘good’ bacteria improve the balance in the intestine and inhibit pathogenic bacterial growth. Keeping the digestive system happy and healthy allows the easy removal of waste and toxins from the body of your dog while also boosting the immune system. A strong immune system keeps your dog healthier, longer.
In keeping with their holistic healthy approach, no artificial preservatives are added to the kibble, Vitamin E does the job of a preservative when mixed with tocopherols- alpha, beta, gamma and delta isomers. Vitamin C is also part of the mix, which is good news as surely there is no better way to preserve food than adding a valuable extra dimension to your dog’s diet.
Vitamin E also helps the skin, fur, and eye health of your dog, and vitamin C boosts his/her immunity. Using vitamins as the preservative agents not only protects the food, but also adds bonus health agent compounds to the diet of your dog!
The California Natural Brand has quite a few specialty brands and flavors to choose from. The needs, preferences, and textures your dog has will be sure to find a match within at least one of these flavors:
- Chicken Meal and Rice Adult
- Herring and Sweet Potato Adult
- Lamb Meal and Rice Adult Large Bites
- Lamb Meal and Rice Adult Small Bites
- Chicken Meal and Rice Puppy
- Brown Rice and Lamb Meal Weight Management
- Lamb Meal and Rice Puppy
- Brown Rice and Chicken Meal Weight Management
California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe is specially formulated for a growing body. A high level of protein is provided by concentrated chicken meal, which is crucial in developing healthy bones and strong joints. This is an important time in your dog’s development into a healthy adult and it certainly pays to give your puppy just what it needs now to ensure it gets the best start in life.
The Puppy food features only four ingredients in each of the recipes, the other flavor being Lamb meal and Rice. Grain Free by California Natural is suitable for all dogs and at any stage of their lives. Packed with peas, pea fiber and green and red lentils, this salmon based food is perfect for dogs that may have dietary restrictions and can help with dogs that show signs of dry, flaky or irritated skin.
The Grain Free also comes in venison and green lentil and lamb varieties. These are some of the best sellers in the California Natural line up and have received very positive testimonials ever since they were first released.
California Natural also features a Weight Management option and this rounds out what is a very solid and value for money high quality dog food. The knives may have been out when Procter & Gamble took over but the quality seems to have stayed the same and they are still one of the most popular dog foods on the market today.
California Natural Dog Food Coupons
California Natural Dog Food Reviews
California Natural Dog Food has a mid-tier rating according to consumers. While the ratings are not ‘bad’ for a dog food, the reviews we found are not the best either. Looking at the ingredient list of most of the brands, California Natural seems to be an above-average dry dog food.
One should not review a dog food based solely on the ingredients because other factors also come into play, such as the GMO content, whether the food truly is high waultiy, the practices of the manufacturers, and the sustainability of the company should be assessed. Most importantly, word of mouth reviews should be taken into account, as well as the company’s reputation and with the advisement of your vet.
Determining the content of meat within a particular food is a good measure to determine the reviews of a dog food. In regards to California Natural, the first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal has 300% more protein than regular lamb, making this ingredient a great choice for your dog. Dogs require high amounts of protein, and in the event you can double or triple the protein level of a particular ingredient, you are wise to take it.
Peas, lentils and sunflower oil are also active ingredients in this food, and listed in this order. Adding peas to the dog food is a good way to sneak in veggies to your dog’s diet. Just as with children, sometimes dogs need to be fooled a bit in order to eat their peas. Blending peas into the ingredient allows the food to have a natural base of carbohydrates. Peas also have high fiber content, aiding in the digestive system and overall wellness of your dog.
Lentils may not be a first thought of a dog food ingredient, but this little bean is a strong source of carbohydrates as well as protein and fiber. Lentils are used as an alternative to meat and can be added to small amounts of meat to boost their vitamin and protein power. Incorporating the lentil into dog food can only be a strong benefit to your dog.
Sunflower oil is a good addition to the dog food and rounds out the protein and meat concentration. This oil adds omega 3’s and fatty acids to your dog’s diet, thereby improving the skin, fur, and texture of the outside of your dog. Sunflower oil has its benefits, but may be seen as a ‘less than’ oil when compared to other oils such as canola and flaxseed.
While all oils may not the same in regards to nutrition, most any type of oil incorporated into the diet of your dog will reap some type of benefit.
California Natural is an all-natural dog food company that uses science, recipe studies, and the input of veterinarians and breeders to offer the best and most well rounded dog food options available.
Many people like the following reasons as to why they choose California Natural:
- This blend has a recipe with unprocessed whole grains: California Natural doesn’t process any of its grains; it keeps everything as.
- Quality control is a high priority: California Natural uses 100 quality check measures.
- Artificial preservatives and colorings are not used: There are no preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors.
- Veterinarians offer advice and guidance: California Natural consults with veterinarians to allow its products to be as nutritious as possible.
- Variety of products to keep your pets guessing: California Natural believes in rotational feeding, which has studies showing to be one of the most effective ways to feed a dog.
- Ideal product to benefit Healthy active dogs, puppies and dogs that are pregnant or lactating
California Natural Dog Food Recalls
In 2013, the Michigan Department of Agriculture found Salmonella during routine testing. California Natural then issued a voluntary recall for all the dog food produced in the production facility where the Salmonella contamination originated.
California Natural is a brand to be trusted, with a strong reputation, and with guidance from veterinarians. Reviews are somewhat limited and somewhat varied due to the ingredient listed. The ingredients are natural, however there is a potential for GMO chemicals and there is potential for cross contamination since there are may manufacturing plants that are quite a bit of distance from each other.
There are also risks of recalls when dealing with dog food that makes one take the company in consideration. While not all dog food companies are recall free, some are, and these companies may be deemed more trustworthy. Overall, the California Best dog food brand seems worthy, with a strong basis and low risk of recall and side effects for your dog.