Organix Dog Food Review (Dry): Evidence-based Analysis

Organix Dog Food Reviews

Organix Dog Food Review (Dry)Organix dog food review has evaluated this brand for an A rating. It scored 90/100 points on our scale.

Highly recommended brand.

The below NextGen Dog’s Organix dog food review analyzes product’s ingredients and nutrition, sourcing and manufacturing, any certifications and marketing claims used.

This dog food review was hand-written by a certified veterinarian and used an evidence-based evaluation approach for accuracy.

All Organix dog foods are manufactured in the USA in organic certified kitchens. All ingredients are sourced in the USA.

The Organix range of foods comes in wet and dry varieties as well as dog treats. Both canned food and dry food comes in grain and grain-free versions, with a range of different main protein sources and compositions aimed at distinctive life stages.

The following Organix dry dog food varieties are also available:

  • Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Recipe
  • Healthy Weight Recipe
  • Large Breed Recipe
  • Puppy Recipe

This range of recipes means that different life stages, levels of physical activity and owner preferences and dietary needs are catered for by the company.

For this NGD Organix dog food review, company’s Organix Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe formula has been chosen to represent their line of dry dog foods.

Ingredients

Organix dog food meets AAFCO nutrient profile requirements, which ensures an appropriate nutritional value for canines.

Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, organic peas, organic barley, organic brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic millet, organic pea protein, organic flaxseed, natural flavor, dried egg product, salmon meal, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, organic carrots, organic apples, organic broccoli, organic pumpkin, organic pears, dried yeast culture, dried Bacillus Coagulans fermentation product, rosemary extract.

Ingredients used in Organix dog food are certified “Organic,” and they are of a high quality. But there are some ingredients that are worth looking at more closely.

Most Important Ingredients

The ingredients are listed in order of weight, starting with the heaviest first.

Organic Chicken: Chicken is a great source of protein for dogs.

However, fresh chicken contains lots of water and therefore contributes less to the overall nutritional composition of a food than one would initially think.

Chicken Meal: A meal is produced once a meat product has been cooked down to a dry concentrated product. This process is called rendering.

The chicken used can include skin and meat and may or may not include bone, but should not include feathers, heads, feet and internal organs.

The fact that the source of this meal is specified is an indication of a better quality ingredient.

The inclusion of a meal in a dog food is beneficial as they contain much higher levels of protein (up to 4 times as much) than fresh meat [1, 2, 3, 4].

Concentrated protein from rendering is considered to be of high quality and nutrition [5].

Organic Peas: Peas are a source of protein and carbohydrates for dogs.

Peas also contain fiber and vitamins such as folic acid and Vitamin C, as well as minerals.

Fiber has many known health benefits. It contributes to bowel health and satiety [6, 7, 8, 9].

Peas have a low glycemic index and may improve insulin response in canines [10, 11, 12].

Organic Barley: Barley is a cereal grain which provides a source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins such as niacin and Vitamin B6 and some minerals.

Barley is a grain that contains gluten so this could be taken into consideration for dogs with allergies.

It’s an average source of carbs and fiber, but may have some health benefits for dogs [13, 1415, 16].

Organic Brown Rice: Brown rice is a good source of fiber and is an easily digestible carbohydrate [17, 18].

It’s a nutritious source of carbs that may also provide health benefits from Vitamin E [19, 20].

Chicken Fat preserved with mixed Tocopherols: Chicken fat is extracted from chicken during the rendering process.

It is high in linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acid. Tocopherols (antioxidants formed from Vitamin E) are used to preserve the fat, as some form of preservation of fats is an AAFCO requirement.

Vitamin E itself has several health benefits for dogs as an antioxidant helping with absorption of free radicals and may be beneficial in cancer and cardiovascular disease [21, 22, 23, 24].

Mixed tocopherols are a Vitamin E compound derived from sources like vegetable oils, fish and nuts and used for preserving foods. They are safe to use [25, 26].

Organic Millet: Millet is the small seed from a grass that’s gluten-free.

It is composed mainly of carbohydrate with a small amount of protein and similarly to other cereals contains B vitamins and minerals.

This is a commonly used ecological food security crop that is safe for dogs [27].

Organic Pea Protein: Pea protein is obtained from dried peas, and is a good source of protein

However, it is not a complete protein, so should be combined with other protein sources as is the case in this dog food.

It is a good source of soluble fiber, but even though it is nutritious it is not as beneficial as real peas.

Organic Flaxseed: As well as being an ingredient that is especially rich in soluble fiber (mucilage), flaxseed is high in protein and is a rich source of fatty acids.

Fatty acids contribute towards a healthy coat and skin in dogs [28, 29, 30].

Flaxseed contains a favorable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. This ratio is beneficial, as omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects [31].

In addition, it has been shown to have a beneficial effect on glucose responses after eating and is therefore potentially beneficial as an ingredient in the diet of diabetic dogs [31, 32].

Natural Flavor: The FDA defines natural flavor as a substance obtained from a plant or animal source.

Natural flavors can also be derived from chemicals “naturally” in a laboratory setting. The term is very vague and sources of the flavoring can be varied.

The origin of the natural flavor is not specified in this dog food. However, flavors are usually added to make a food more palatable and don’t have a large effect on the nutritional value [33].

Dried Egg Product: Egg product is obtained from egg graders, breakers or hatchery operations that is then dehydrated and handled as frozen or liquid.

Dried egg has a very high nutritional value, although it can be difficult to determine the source and quality of the eggs used.

Using dried egg means the shelf life of the food is longer than if fresh eggs were used.

Eggs are highly nutritious and digestible and are an excellent source of protein and vitamins [34, 35, 36]. Research on egg consumption in dogs is still lacking, however.

Note that this ingredient is not listed as organic.

Salmon Meal: Salmon meal is a good source of protein and is produced in a similar way to chicken meal using “undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings”.

The listing of the specific source of the meal i.e. salmon is a good indication that this is a quality ingredient.

Fish meal is a popular choice of a highly digestible protein containing significant amino acids, vitamins and minerals [37, 38].

Fish meal can also contribute fatty acids to the food, which are beneficial to the immune system and for joint health [3940].

Other Additives

Fermentation Products: The dry varieties of Organix contain fermentation products.

These are meant to help with gastrointestinal health and digestion in dogs, especially digestion of fiber sources [4142].

However, it’s possible to argue that it may be difficult to include enough probiotics in dog food and have them survive. Cooking and extruding will have a significant effect of bacteria’s survival.

Research is contradictory on this. Some studies evaluating commercial probiotic-rich pet foods show very low levels of organisms present [43, 44].

Other studies indicate that probiotics can be effectively incorporated in dog foods and successfully infest canine’s gut with healthy bacteria [45, 46].

An owner really wanting to use a probiotic is better off giving a supplement directly rather than relying on diet.

Chelated Minerals: Minerals are essential for a dog to be healthy.

They are used in many processes in the body such as the nerve and enzyme function and the growth of bones and teeth.

These minerals are not always well absorbed in a dog’s digestive tract when they are in their simple form.

However, when they are combined with other molecules (chelation) this improves their absorbability and is an indication of a better quality dog food as this process is expensive [47].

Suspicious Ingredients

Organix dry dog food does not contain any ingredients which could be harmful or unhealthy for dogs.

The food does however claim to contain organic quinoa, glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin which are not problematic but do not appear on the detailed ingredient list.

The Bottom Line on Ingredients

Overall, the ingredients in Organix dog food are above average.

The ingredients used in Organix dry foods are of high quality from specific sources with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

The ingredients are all sourced in the USA and the majority of them are organic and must therefore comply with the standards set by the USDA.

All ingredients used are appropriate to form part of a balanced diet for dogs.

Nutrient Analysis

Below is a guaranteed nutrient analysis of Organix Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe.

  • Crude protein (min): 27%
  • Crude fat (min): 14%
  • Crude fiber (max): 5%
  • Carbohydrates: undetermined, but can be estimated to be around 38%
  • Moisture (max): 10%
  • Calcium (min): 1%
  • Phosphorus (min): 0.8%
  • Vitamin E (min): 75 IU/KG
  • Glucosamine (min): 1200 mg/kg
  • Chondroitin Sulfate (min): 1200 mg/kg
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (min): 2.5%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min): 0.35%

Calories: 3,570 kcal ME/kg (393 kcal ME/cup)

When looking at caloric density of Organix dry dog food, it is somewhat lower than the revised levels now recommended by the AAFCO.

Previous recommendations were 3500 kcal metabolizable energy (ME) per kilogram of dry matter (DM) and the Organix range energy densities are around this level.

However, the most recent 2014 revised guidelines have increased the recommended caloric density to 4000 kcal ME per kg of DM, so foods in this range now fall somewhat below this level.

Although for adult dogs this is probably not of great significance as for average activity levels differences in total energy intake can be made up by feeding larger quantities if necessary.

This should, however, be considered in growing puppies and reproducing females who have higher energy needs.

The puppy recipe has a caloric density of 3488 kcal ME per kg of DM which falls below the recommended caloric density.

Protein Sources

Protein is an essential part of a healthy dog’s diet [48] as it forms the building blocks of the body, such as muscle.

In growing puppies it is especially important that there are sufficient amounts to allow for proper development.

Organix dog food contains a mixture of both animal and plant protein sources, such as meat and fish sources, eggs, cereal grains, seeds and pulses.

However, if you are trying to limit the protein source in your dog’s diet to specific individual proteins, for example in the case of an allergy, you will need to read the ingredients for each recipe closely as most of the recipes contain multiple protein sources.

When Organix is compared closely with the AAFCO nutrient profiles, the protein levels are well above the required minimum amounts, and the food contains quality protein sources, derived from both meat and plant matter.

Minimum amounts of protein recommended by the AAFCO are 22.5% for growing or reproducing dogs and 18% for adult maintenance levels.

These higher than average levels of protein (27%) are an indication of multiple quality protein sources. Although high protein diets were thought to be unhealthy in the past, this has since been proven to be untrue [495051].

Fat Sources

Fat levels are an estimated 14% in this dog food recipe which when compared to AAFCO nutrient profiles (8.5% for growth and reproduction, and 5.5% for adult maintenance) is higher than average.

Despite the fact that levels are higher than in the nutrient profiles, these are not levels that could be harmful to dogs.

Although often perceived to be unhealthy, fats are important for lots of different things, such as hair condition, skin, the immune system, cell membrane function and as an energy source.

Higher than average levels of both fat and protein mean that the food has not just been bulked out with excessive carbohydrates or fillers. The fat to protein ratio is around 52%.

Fiber Sources

Fiber is an important component necessary for dogs to maintain a healthy digestive system.

The Organix dry dog food range contains various different beneficial fiber sources such as brown rice, carrot, apple, pea, pea protein, millet, broccoli and flaxseed, but total fiber is still relatively low at 5%.

It should be taken into account that crude fiber is not that an accurate estimation of the total fiber content [52].

As noted above, it is worth repeating that flaxseed has other properties apart from being a good source of fiber.

Certifications and Claims

Dog food manufacturers can have their foods tested and certified to meet specific regulations.

Some companies often use obscure or undefined statements. Below, we analyze all certifications and claims made by the company for accuracy and definitions.

Certifications

Organix dog foods meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program regulations, so ingredients can be guaranteed to be truly organic, and don’t just claim to be so.

The fact that Organix foods comply with these regulations means that ingredients are of high quality and therefore contribute towards a healthy and nutritious diet for dogs [53].

Some of the regulation standards mean that no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics should have been used on any of the ingredients in this recipe.

There are three levels of organic certification depending on the overall percentage of organic ingredients used in a product. Organix dog food fall into the third level of products that contain 70%-94% organic ingredients.

This classification is due to the fact that some ingredients such as the chicken meal, dried egg product and salmon meal are not organic.

The company states this to be due to a lack of sources of organic producers of these ingredients and that they are working to find a better solution.

AAFCO Requirements

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have set nutrient profiles which pet food manufacturers must comply with and/or undergo feeding trials on real life dogs in order to be branded “complete and balanced” [54].

Ingredient Requirements: Organix dog food meets “complete and balanced” minimum requirements in accordance with AAFCO nutrient profiles.

Feeding Trials: Organix dog food have not undergone any food trials with dogs.

Although diet trials are the gold standard of pet food testing, there are in fact very few dog foods which have undergone official feeding trials.

These AAFCO standards are important to ensure that your dog is receiving all the essential nutrients he requires to lead a healthy life for the stage he is at, without developing any diseases or conditions related to malnutrition or at the other end of the spectrum, obesity [55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60].

Other Evaluations

Other factors are taken into consideration for the final assessment of this dog food brand.

“Best Use By” Date on the Label

“Best Use By” date is a useful quality control for dog food, and it can help to ensure a proper shelf life and is an indication of quality.

Organix dog food includes a “Best Use By” date, and a lot number which means that batches of food can be traced more easily.

Brand and Manufacturer

Organix is a range of dog foods produced by Castor and Pollux Natural Petworks and can be bought in stores and online.

Castor and Pollux Natural Petworks also produces a variety of other dog food brands. These include:

  • Natural Ultramix
  • Natural Ultramix with Raw Bites
  • Good Buddy

All Organix pet foods are manufactured in the USA in organically certified kitchens.

Testing, Safety and Quality Control

Organix dog foods are tested before, during and after the manufacturing process to ensure that they are safe.

Recalls

At the time of writing, there have not been any recalls of the Organix range.

Price Comparison

Organix compares favorably price-wise to other brands of dog foods of a similar quality such as Acana and Orijen.

At the time of writing, dry varieties of Organix ranged from $4.30 to $4.60 per lb, based on prices of the smaller bags. Canned dog food ranged from $2.99 to $3.49 per 12.7-ounce can.

Organix dog foods have a good price to quality ratio.

Summary of Organix Dog Food Review

This brand has scored 90 points out of possible 100 points for an excellent A rating, according to our Dog Food Rating System.

In conclusion, Organix is a dog food produced with superior ingredients and contains above average levels of protein and fats, with minimal filler ingredients to bulk the food out.

The majority of the ingredients used are certified organic.

It also contains some ingredients that have additional health benefits to dogs, such as guar gum, flaxseed and varied protein sources.

Organix meets AAFCO nutritional requirements, includes a “Best Use By” date and a lot number.

Relative to other brands of a similar quality, Organix dog food is less expensive but still contains a good selection of ingredients and provides appropriate nutrient levels.

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