The first thing to understand is the background of legislation in the EU and UK surrounding dog food.

Just as human food, pet food is highly regulated to guarantee the highest standards of hygiene, safety and quality.

Since 1970, the European legislator has adopted a succession of directives and regulations, which have had a direct impact on all the production stages and the marketing of pet food.

European Petfood Industry Federation (FEDIAF) operates within the detailed regulatory framework taking into account the specificity of the industry and its products. FEDIAF co-operates closely with the EU authorities to ensure the production of healthy, balanced and quality products.

So, to the ’legal’ definition of a natural dog food.

It states the following:

“The term “natural” should be used only to describe substances in pet food (derived from plant, animal, micro-organism or minerals) to which nothing has been added and which have been subjected only to such physical processing as to make them suitable for pet food production and maintaining the natural composition”.

Examples of acceptable physical processes include freezing, drying, pasteurisation, extrusion, pressing, retort – as long as the processes maintain the natural composition of the feed material, substance or nutrient.

Unacceptable processes include bleaching or oxidation by chemicals.

The FEDIAF also state that, if a compound pet food contains only feed materials, additives and carriers meeting their requirements, it may be described as “natural” as long as it has not been subjected to processes other than those acceptable processes for “natural substances”.

The use of synthetic vitamins and minerals with an appropriate disclaimer is approved by the regulations and the FEDIAF.

The reason these minerals and vitamins are allowed is because most cooking processes degrade (to a greater or lesser extent depending on both the cooking method used) the naturally occurring minerals and vitamins in your dog’s food.

Adding vitamins and minerals to your dog’s food ensures that it is providing them with a complete and balanced meal. The importance of the correct levels (and balance) of vitamins and minerals in your dog’s food cannot be overstated.

Based on this definition, Bonza is a natural, plant-based dog food.

As with the term holistic dog food, the term natural dog food has been abused by many pet food marketers.

For this reason we choose not to market Bonza as a natural dog food, preferring to be completely transparent about all the ingredients we include in our super-premium food for dogs.

In developing Bonza plant-based food we considered our recipe from both natural and holistic perspectives. Our food had to be all natural at the same time be holistic from a nutrition, and health, point of view.

Our focus is on a preventative approach to nutrition, to establishing the strongest foundation for your dog’s continuing good health.

Our plant-based ingredients contain a balance of quality naturally occurring amino acids from a variety of quality sources including quinoa, oats, sweet potato, chickpeas, fava beans, potato, nutritional yeast and seaweed.

As methionine is a vitally important amino acid for your dog, we chose to include a synthesised version to guarantee there is sufficient in their food.

Bonza’s ingredients contain an abundance of the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, understood to be more bioavailable than synthesised versions, to provide them with all they need for proper maintenance and function. To ensure our food contains sufficient levels we include high quality vitamins and chelated minerals from both naturally occurring and synthesised sources

The source of the carbohydrates, a necessary part of their diet, are complex carbohydrates selected for their low Glycaemic Index (GI) and Glycaemic Load (GL) values because these support lower blood sugar spikes and inflammation.

The fats in Bonza, all plant-based, include a blend of healthy fat sources including rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, seaweed oil and coconut oil. Each of these contribute different benefits for your dog’s nutrition and health – Omega-3, Omega-6, EPA, DHA and MCT’s.

Our food contains a blend of soluble and insoluble fibres so important for your dog’s gut health and microbiome and the impact these have on their overall health and wellbeing.

Finally, and possibly most importantly in our view, our food includes PhytoPlus®, our proprietary blend of herbs, botanicals and adaptogens, packed full of phytonutrients that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative and elevate your dog’s food beyond simple nutrition.

To ensure your dog benefits from the premium ingredients in Bonza we use cold extrusion to gently cook our food to preserve the integrity of the quality nutrients, and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, found in our food.

In answer to the question. While we do not market Bonza as a natural dog food, by definition Bonza is a natural and holistic food for dogs that is both functional and nutraceutical.

We also believe that feeding our dogs naturally and holistically cannot be taken in isolation from the impact their food has on Nature, the environment and the Planet as a whole.

For a food to be considered truly natural it must account for the impact it has not just on your dog’s health but also the often significant impact it has on all other systems of Nature that help to enable life.

Our food was developed with the ambition of being not just the healthiest but equally the most sustainable dog food on the Planet.

We are very proud of the result.

Bonza – Inspiring a healthier everyday life for your dog and the planet.

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