Plant-based proteins have become strong marketing claims for pet foods and treats. To take it a step further, non-meat or no-animal protein options are making their entry into pet food — especially dog foods. Traditionally, these foods have been positioned on the notion that the dog is a carnivore and needs animal-based ingredients to thrive. It is certainly easier to formulate a nutritionally complete diet for dogs using animal-based proteins and fats. However, the dog is an opportunistic omnivore and capable of surviving on a plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diet, especially our spoiled urban couch potato dogs. We do have the ability to formulate and produce these diets. How is this possible and what special ingredient considerations must be considered?
It IS possible to produce balanced vegetarian/vegan dog diets
There is sufficient information and enough ingredient options available to produce vegetarian and vegan diets for dogs in a safe and nutritionally balanced manner.
Vegetarian and vegan pet diets are a small but growing part of the pet food world, and they can be nutritionally complete and balanced with a bit of diligence. | Veronika Dvořáková I iStock.com