The state of research on vegetarian dog food
After all, my dog is descended from a wolf! Is my dog even able to digest plant-based food ingredients?
1. Axelsson et al. (2013): The genomic signature of domestication reveals adaption to a starch-rich diet
2. Ollivier et al. (2016): AMY2B copy number variation reveals starch diet adaptions in acient European dogs
3. Murray et al. (1999): Evaluation of selected high-starch flours as ingredients in canine diets
4. Carciofi et al. (2008): Effects of six carbohydrate sources on dog diet digestibility and post-prandial glucose and insulin response
5. Cargo-Froom et al. (2019): Apparent and true digestibility of macro and micro nutrients in adult maintenance dog foods containing either a majority of animal or vegetable proteins
6. Zentek (2016): Ernährung des Hundes
Will my dog be getting all the important nutrients if they are being fed a vegetarian diet?
7. Knight & Leitsberger (2016): Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals
8. Semp (2014): Vegan nutrition of dogs and cats.
Michaela with Odi from Magdeburg
Can feeding my dog a vegetarian diet have a negative effect on their health?
9. Brown et al. (2009): An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs
10. Cavanaugh et al. (2019): Amino Acid Concentrations and Echocardiographic Findings in Dogs Fed a Commercial Plant-Based Diet.
11. Knight et al. (2022): Vegan versus meat-based dog food: Guardian-reported indicators of health.
Is a vegetarian diet also suitable for dogs with allergies?
Most often, allergies in dogs are triggered by proteins in food; less frequently by carbohydrates or fat (Zentek, 20166). In his 2016 study Ralph Mueller and his colleagues12 investigated food allergies (over-sensitivity and food intolerances) in 297 dogs. They arrived at the result that the commonest food allergens triggering food reactions in the case of dogs are pork (34%), milk products (17%), chicken (15%) and wheat (13%). The conclusion that Mueller and his colleagues come to was that, in the case of dogs, most food allergens have an animal-based origin, and plant-based nutrition can offer a remedy for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities.
12. Mueller et al. (2016): Critically appraised topic on adverse food reactions of companion animals (2): common food allergen sources in dogs and cats
Overview of the latest scientific findings
Science has been dealing with this subject for a long time already and new findings are sure to be published in the future. There are, however, lots of results which speak in support of vegetarian dog food:
- The number of copies of the starch gene AMY2B had already begun to increase in dogs 7,000 years ago. Thus, compared to a wolf, a dog is able to digest and metabolise starch in plant-based foods far more efficiently.
- Digestion of starch components in plant-based feed is between 98 and 99%; digestion of meat and meat components is 98%.
- As long as your dog is being given, nutritionally speaking, full and balanced feed guaranteeing proper assimilation of fats, carbohydrates, protein, minerals (bulk and trace elements) and vitamins, then your furry-nosed friend can be optimally fed a vegetarian diet.
- Studies which have investigated the state of health of dogs living on a vegetarian diet, confirm that, for example, in terms of blood readings, there is no difference vis-a-vis animals that are fed a meat-based diet.
- Since most food allergens for dogs have an animal-based origin, plant-based food can offer a remedy.
Are you convinced by the science? Move over to veggie feed now:
Your furry-nosed friend doesn't need meat to live a healthy dog life. Our vegetarian menus, VeggieDog Grainfree und VeggieDog Origin, just like all our varieties, have been conceived in conjunction with nutritional scientists in accordance with international nutritional standards, and thus optimally provide your four-legged friend with everything they need.