Backed By Science


Our health-first approach to feeding dogs more plant-based protein is backed by science. Studies show that dogs thrive on plant-based diets.

What is most important when choosing a pet food? Studies show that fresh, human-grade ingredients with minimal processing is key.

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“Dogs have nutrient requirements, not ingredient requirements.”

– Dr. Kelly Swanson

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The genetic difference between dogs and wolves

Unlike their wolf ancestors, science reveals that dogs are omnivores. In 2013, a study compared the dog genome to the wolf genome, and found a key genetic distinction between dogs and wolves is that dogs have evolved to be able to digest starches.

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A key feature in the transition from wolf to domesticated dog was a change in diet

In 2014, another study further revealed the dog copy number of the gene, AMY2B, which allows for the digestion of starchy foods, is 5 times higher than the copy number in wolves.

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Vegetarian vs. Meat-Based Diets

Do dogs do well on non-Meat-Based diets? Yes! Upon reviewing four studies, Dr. Andrew Knight concluded that omnivorous dogs can thrive on a nutritionally complete and balanced plant-based diet and experience a range of health benefits.

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Dogs fed a meat-free diet showed no physiological difference

In a 2009 study, 12 sprint-racing Siberian Huskies were fed either a commercial meat-based diet for active dogs or a meat-free diet formulated to the same nutrient specifications. All the dogs remained in excellent physical condition with normal bloodwork throughout.

" Rates of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, heart and kidney disease are rising in dogs to unnatural levels and long-term exposure to unhealthy diets is the most common preventable cause." - Dr. Andrew Knight, Director, Center for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester
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Fresh, Human-Grade Food found to be more digestible

A recent study published in January 2021 by Dr. Kelly Swanson, a member of Bramble’s Board of Health and Science Advisors, confirmed the health benefits of feeding fresh, human-grade food. The key findings revealed that fresh, human-grade food is more digestible than even a premium kibble, which is highly processed.

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Gently Cooked vs. Kibble

A 2018 study revealed that mildly cooked and raw diets resulted in greater nutrient digestibility and lower blood triglyceride concentrations compared to extruded (kibble) diets.

Study shows that the extent of processing food makes a difference

A 2019 study revealed the considerable variability of nutrient digestibility among chicken-based ingredients undergoing different processing conditions (i.e., chicken meal vs. lightly processed chicken vs. steamed chicken). In sum, the most highly processed chicken meal had the lowest digestibility, whereas the least processed steamed chicken had the highest digestibility score.