It's a sad truth but the answer is absolutely not...we can't trust labels that use the term "All Natural". I took this photo to really break down what we are giving our fur babes when we walk into a store and grab the box of treats that say "All Natural". We love and care for our pets because we consider them family so we have no problem spending a few extra bucks to make sure they are getting a better quality treat! Well now you have homework to do friends...
First you need to understand that when it comes to labeling, just because the package says it's "Natural" doesn't mean that every ingredient listed is natural. There really aren't strict rules or guidelines (which is kind of frightening) when it comes to how the FDA regulates labeling for natural products.. I searched and searched for a rule book that could tell me the guidelines for labeling a product "all natural" and I pulled this up from the FDA website...
"From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is "natural" because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or it's derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."
Well well, does this clear everything up? Yeah it didn't for me either. Basically you can slap "All Natural" on a box, mark up the price and use stellar marketing to trick us into thinking we just purchased an All Natural beautiful, live, fresh, healthy ingredient treat for your babes! So sadly...we have to dissect and read every single ingredient label that we touch to ensure we are giving our pets what they deserve! I hate sneaky loopholes!!!
Check out this picture. I pulled a random treat off the shelf and went and got every ingredient listed on it. I laid all the ingredients out and wow...13 ingredients!!!! When someone says peanut butter I think of peanut butter!!! I could eat it by the spoonful but check out the ingredient! It's Natural Peanut Butter Flavor"....I would not want to eat that by the spoonful. You'll notice that the only other ingredient listed here is "Natural Caramel Color". So out of these 13 ingredients...2 of them are considered "Natural".
What about the rest of what makes up this treat? The box says low fat...come on friends! The molasses is a hidden source of sugar. The unbleached and whole wheat flour and oats are high carbohydrates. How does any of this equate to low fat? That's right...it doesn't. Be extra careful when selecting your treats because marketing these days can trick us all.
If you can't make your own beautiful, fresh, species appropriate treat which is best because you know what you are putting into them, then let our family make the best treats for you! You won't have to spend any time wondering if you are doing the right thing because our ingredients are what we say they are. 100% Grain Free, Filler Free and Gluten Free. All handmade from start to finish with only USA ingredients. All of our meat, veggies, berries, etc. are human grade and only the best of the best when it comes to quality.