Why Natural Pet Food?

Here at The Good Trade, we love (okay, we’re obsessed) with our pets. We chat about them at lunch the way parents talk about their children because, well, our pets are our kids. Pets bring joy into our lives and elevate our days. A little puppy love, a cat cuddle, or a bunny hop (depending on your pet choice) is enough to turn a bad day around. We want the best for them, and that’s why we feed our pets the very best food to ensure they’re healthy and happy.

“Like us, our pets need nourishment from the inside out, and the food we give them plays a huge role in that.”

Like us, our pets need nourishment from the inside out, and the food we give them plays a huge role in that. Unfortunately, much of the dog and cat food out there is extremely processed and filled with harmful ingredients.

“Feeding our pets real food is really important,” says Marney Prince on The Happy Dog podcast. A holistic pet food specialist and owner of Side By Side, she warns pet owners that processed pet food “contains synthetic vitamins and minerals,” which can be harmful to an animal’s health.

In terms of environmental impact, there is controversy about animal farming and the meat used in pet food, including by healthy and natural brands (check out “Why Sustainability In Pet Food Protein Matters” for an expert analysis). That said, just like humans eating plant-based, it’s believed that meat-free pet food has a positive environmental impact.

Whether you’re ready to go the vegan route with your pets, or you’re simply after a healthier and more natural formula, these brands have a range of wholesome and integrative nutrition options. Or, if you’re ready to get cooking, scroll down to find four homemade pet food recipes!

// 11 Natural Dog & Cat Food Brands //

1. Side By Side

Best For | Dogs Features | Freeze-dried recipes Product Range | Treats, supplements, dry and wet meals Price | $80/4.5lb bag

Marney Prince founded Side By Side after she left her career working as a vet tech to pursue holistic nutrition for animals. The company uses eastern food therapy and Ayurveda philosophies to create customized meals for dogs with a variety of different needs.

Shop Side By Side Pet Food

2. PetPlate

Best For | Dogs Features | Personalized, pre-portioned meals Product Range | Human-grade meals, treats Price | Starting at $1.50/day

PetPlate checks all of the boxes. The brand delivers personalized, vet-formulated meals that are made with kettle-cooked USDA meats, fruits, and veggies—and without artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They’re human-grade, calorie-based, and flash-frozen to lock in freshness. And they come in resealable pre-portioned containers!

Shop PetPlate

3. Nom Nom

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | Veterinary nutritionist-developed recipes Product Range | Wet food meals, treats, supplements Price | Custom

Nom Nom meals are developed by Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Justin Shmalberg, with a focus on real, fresh food. The meals are for both cats and dogs, and Nom Nom has a selection of treats and supplements for your pet’s health and longevity.

Shop Nom Nom Pet Food 

4. Ollie

Best For | Dogs Features | Personalized meals Product Range | High-protein wet food Price | Custom

Through Ollie’s personalized meal portal, your dog’s food is created specifically for them and then delivered to your doorstep. The meals are made without fillers and developed by animal nutritionists with the freshest and most nutritious ingredients.

Shop Ollie Pet Food

5. V-dog

Best For | Dogs Features | Vegan dog food Product Range | Dry food and treats Price | $30/4.5lb. bag

If you’re a vegan pet owner, you may as well have your pet on-board too. V-dog creates vegan plant-powered treats and dry food that minimizes pet food’s environmental footprint and animal farming impact.

Shop V-dog Pet Food

6. Stella & Chewy’s

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | High-protein, raw farm-fresh meals Product Range | Frozen, freeze-dried, wet food, treats, supplements, kibble Price | $75/35oz. bag

Stella & Chewy’s sources its ingredients from farmers and ranchers passionate about grass-fed, cage-free, and farm-raised. The brand’s food is made with up to 95 percent hormone- and anti-biotic free meats—all sourced from Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Europe.

Shop Stella & Chewy’s Pet Food

7. Pure Life Raw

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | Personalized raw meals Product Range | Raw wet meals Price | Custom

For our Southern California pet owners, Pure Life Raw creates customized raw meals based on your pet’s weight, activity level, bone preference, breed, and age. The company’s recipes are formulated for your furry friend’s needs, with an emphasis on real and raw ingredients.

Shop Pure Life Raw Pet Food 

8. Open Farm

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | Human-grade food Product Range | Dry and wet food, supplements Price | $45–$50/4.5lb. bag

Protein is Open Farm‘s focus when creating quality pet food. The brand’s meat is sourced sustainably from local family farms, and superfoods—like coconut oil, greens, and turmeric—are added to every formula.

Shop Open Farm Pet Food

9. The Honest Kitchen

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | Human-grade food Product Range | Meals, treats, supplements Price | $23/5lb. bag (dog); $57/4lb. box (cat)

We love how transparent The Honest Kitchen is about where they source ingredients. Along with being committed to creating human-grade food, the brand creates dog and cat food with wholesome ingredients, like pumpkin and parsley.

Shop The Honest Kitchen Pet Food

10. K9 Natural

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | Freeze-dried food Product Range | Cans, treats, dry food, supplements Price | $123/4lb. bag

Based in New Zealand, K9 Natural creates locally sourced and mindful pet food. An in-house animal nutritionist develops these nutritious formulas, which include farm-sourced meat, eggs, and fish.

Shop K9 Natural Pet Food

11. Petcurean

Best For | Cats and dogs Features | For pets with sensitivities Product Range | Dry food, meals Price | Custom

We love Petcurean‘s pet-first philosophy, along with its mission to create pet food just as healthy as the food we make for our families. Through integrative nutrition, much of this company’s food is formulated specifically for pets with dietary restrictions.

Shop Petcurean Natural Pet Foods

// 4 Homemade Pet Food Recipes //

Though homemade pet food might feel overwhelming at first, consider it part of your meal prepping for the week. Making your pet’s food can be especially beneficial if your pet has allergies or health issues.

Often, prescription pet food may help symptoms of underlying problems but may also contain harmful ingredients not benefiting the long-term health of your pet (consult your vet for more info).

Moreover, making your pet food is a sustainable option, as it limits waste and your carbon footprint.

1. DIY Homemade Dog Food

Recipe By | Damn Delicious

A DIY option made primarily of brown rice, ground turkey, and vegetables, this homemade dog food is perfectly balanced with all the nutrients your pet needs. It includes high-quality protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, and essential fatty acids.

Make DIY Homemade Dog Food

2. Homemade Food For Cats With Kidney Disorders

Recipe By | Pets4Homes

Kidney issues are prevalent in cats, and these two recipes are great for both preventative health and as a holistic treatment option. Rich in protein and rice, along with vegetables like parsley, these recipes are essential for cats with kidney problems.

Make Homemade Recipes For Kidney Disorders

3. Homemade Cat Treats

Recipe By | PurelyPets

Are you searching for a homemade cat treat recipe? We love these sweet DIY cat snacks made with nourishing and cat-loving ingredients, including oatmeal, salmon, and chicken broth.

Make Homemade Cat Treats

4. DIY Dog Treats

Recipe By | Planted In The Woods

These DIY dog treats are a great low-waste alternative to store-bought dog goodies. Made with only three ingredients—peanut butter, oat flour, and ripe bananas—they are low-waste and delicious for humans too!

Make DIY Dog Treats


Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.