Can Dogs Be Plant-Based?

October 16, 2019

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Don’t dogs need meat? Is it ok to even reduce the amount of meat a dog eats, because don’t they need it? That’s the first thing we wondered when we asked ourselves whether we could create a healthy plant-based diet for dogs. First and foremost, we want our pets – our fur kids – to be healthy. So we wondered whether it was possible to reduce, let alone remove, animal-based protein from a dog’s diet. (You can read about our founder’s journey to find out!)

It turns out that, YES, dogs can eat a plant-based diet and thrive. Here’s why. Although technically classified in the Order Carnivora, dogs have evolved alongside humans over thousands of years to become omnivores. That’s right – dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both plants and animals!

To put it another way, dogs have nutrient requirements, not ingredient requirements. As long as your dog is getting all the essential amino acids required from nutrition, there is no physiological difference between whether that protein comes from plant or animal sources.

Let’s break that down into plain English. Protein supplies amino acids, which are the building blocks of your dog’s body. When your dog eats protein, his body breaks the protein down into amino acids. Your dog does not require protein so much as your dog requires those essential amino acids. And, different kinds of protein contain different amino acid combinations. But, as long as your dog eats and digests the correct, required amount of each of those amino acids, it does not matter whether the source of those amino acids was a plant or animal protein.

In fact, very few ingredients, including animal protein, contain all the amino acids your dog requires. That is why you see combinations of protein and supplements in dog food.

What matters most is whether the diet is complete and balanced. Meaning, your dog is getting all of the essential nutrients, including amino acids, required.

Most importantly, why would we choose a plant-based diet over an animal-protein diet? For all of the same reasons that we thrive in our own human diets by eating more plants and less meat. Plant proteins are reliable, clean sources of protein free of all the contamination-risks and diseases associated with animal protein. How many pet foods can claim a high-protein diet that contains no antibiotics, growth hormones, and other harmful contaminants.

We designed a healthier, cleaner, fresh pet food that delivers all the meaty taste and texture without any of the health, environmental and animal welfare concerns. That’s a better pet food!

Eat. Play. Love.