Glossary of Natural Pet Food Preservatives

Unless you plan on making your pet food fresh from scratch on a daily basis, packaged pet food must contain some type of preservative in order to retain its freshness and nutritional content. But did you know that not all pet food preservatives are made the same, and that preservatives don’t necessarily mean poisonous additives?


Here, we list 3 of most common natural preservatives that a pet parent can give their stamp of health approval!

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a nutritious preservatives that can be listed as ‘Ascorbic Acid’ or ‘Citric Acid’. The vitamin preservative is extracted from fresh ingredients such as cranberries, apples, and blueberries. 

  1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is commonly listed as ‘Mixed Tocopherols’, or listed as a form of antioxidant that slows down fats and fat soluble compounds from going rancid for up to 6 months!

  1. Herbal Extracts

Popular herbal extracts used to preserve dog food are commonly source from rosemary, sage, or clover. These are extracted as oils to naturally preserve pet food and retain moisture, while providing protection for bacterial contamination, all while adding in nourishing earthy herbal flavor!

While natural pet food preservatives are far safer than commercial food preservatives, they do not preserve the shelf life of food as long as chemical preservatives (for good reason!). With this in mind, always be sure to check the ‘best by’ date of your pet food purchases, store food properly with an airtight sealer, and purchase in a quantity that your pet can consume without any excess going rancid.