The Science Behind Feeding Your Dog a Plant-Based Diet

The Science Behind Feeding Your Dog a Plant-Based Diet

Pet food stores have rows upon rows of an array of brands that claim to be perfect for your dog’s health. It’s understandable that as pet parents, you’re unsure about the best nutritional plans for the furry friends. Especially since vets are noticing the adverse effects of commercial varieties with low-grade ingredients, often disguised as “meat meal” or “animal by-products.” If you’ve been wondering whether choosing a plant-based diet is a good option, read ahead for some helpful information based on scientific research.

SEE: Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals

The Canine Digestive System Has Adapted to Human Food

Possibly one of the most common misconceptions that science is dispelling is that dogs need a meat diet to thrive. However, since dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years, their genes have adapted to eating and digesting starches efficiently. Domestic canines now have copies of the AMY2B gene that results in a 28 times more developed pancreas. 

That makes it possible for dogs to break down maltose into glucose and their body cells to process this glucose. In other words, they are perfectly capable of digesting most kinds of human food.

Dogs Need Amino Acids for Tissue Building and Repair

Although dogs don’t absolutely need meat to stay healthy, a well-balanced diet with carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals is critical for their well-being. An essential component of the modern canine diet is high-grade protein, regardless of the source of that protein. 

Dogs need a range of amino acids for building muscles, regulating hormones, and enhancing immunity. Some of the best sources of plant-based amino acids include fungi, yeast, and algae. Ingredients like these superfoods promote healthy skins, fur, and nails that typically indicate that your buddy is getting the vital nutrients they need. 

See: An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs

Choose Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Plans Approved by Vets

Pet parents can safely give their furry friends vegetarian and vegan dog food as long as they contain the necessary nutrients outlined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Not only do dogs stay healthy and active, but they also have life spans comparable to their counterparts on a meat diet plan. Foods like yeast are packed with healthy fiber and probiotics necessary for a robust digestive system.

Check out Wild Earth Vegan Dog Food:

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Vets who see lots of dog ACL surgeries and other injuries to ligaments and tendons stress the importance of a healthy diet. When a dog food meets AAFCO’s requirements, it can reduce the chance of your pet having to go through the strain of injury.

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Complete Nutrition Can be Sourced from Plants

Additional nutrients that dogs need, like essential fatty acids, including Omega 3, 6, and 9, can be found in flaxseed, sunflower, and canola oils. When combined with ingredients like chickpeas, blueberries, spinach, and sweet potatoes, it is possible to create a nutrition plan that provides the well-rounded resources necessary for energy and wellness. 

Most importantly, you would also avoid inferior quality fillers, sugar, and unhealthy fats that are typically added to conventional dog food brands. Check online for pet service prices where you can find stores stocking high-grade, plant-based foods at a reasonable cost.

Opting for a meatless diet is one of the best decisions you can make for your pet’s health and well being. Check with your vet for advice on how to phase out harmful pet foods and make the switch.

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