What Does Holistic Pet Food Mean To You?

Halo, Purely for Pets—the holistic pet products company co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres—surveyed nearly 850 dog and cat owners to find out just exactly what the term “holistic” meant to them in honor of National Holistic Pet Day.

There are no official standards for using the term “holistic” in pet food marketing, but consumers agree on what they think those standards should be. When asked what they consider critical elements, survey participants gave the following answers:

• No artificial preservatives or colorings – 84.8%

• All natural – 83.6%

• No corn or fillers – 79.1%

• No inferior byproducts – 82.3%

• No rendered animal parts (such as chickenmeal) – 78%

• No “4D” meats (diseased, dying, disabled, or dead before butchering) – 80.3%

More than 48 percent of respondents believe they’d seen the term “holistic” used deceptively by a pet-food brand. When survey participants were given the chance to add their own comments, an overwhelming majority agreed that consumers should learn to read the ingredient list and not simply rely on terms like “holistic” or “all-natural” that the company uses to present itself.