Study: Dogs can succeed on plant-based diet

Earth Animal touts recent research that shows properly formulated plant-based foods have several healthy benefits for dogs.

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Adapted from a press release

Properly formulated plant-based foods have many health benefits for dogs, said Earth Animal, which pointed to recent research that shows hypoallergenic plant proteins could improve gut health and digestion, increase longevity and improve overall health and well-being. 

The 2022 study, "Owner perception of health of North American dogs fed meat- or plant-based diets," noted owners feeding plant-based diets to their dog reported fewer health disorders, specifically with respect to ocular or gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders. 

In 2023, another comprehensive study, "Domestic dogs maintain positive clinical, nutritional, and hematological health outcomes when fed a commercial plant-based diet for a year," which studied 15 adult dogs, found the dogs maintained their health when fed a complete, well-balanced canine plant-based nutrition diet.

"We've always known dogs do well on a complete and balanced plant-based diet," said Dr. Bob Goldstein, cofounder and head of veterinary product development at Earth Animal. "Over the years, we have seen friends and family raise healthy, happy, energetic, plant-based dogs. Now, the research has substantiated the evidence."

Genetics allows dogs to flourish on omnivorous diets

According to Earth Animal, dogs have evolved so much in their time as companions to humans that they are now classified as omnivores like humans and can flourish on a properly formulated plant-based diet. The reason, said the company, is genetics.

The company points to another study published in Nature in January 2013 that showed throughout domesticated dog evolution, dogs have developed 10 genes that allow them to process starch-rich plant foods and thrive on omnivorous diets.

In addition to health benefits, plant-based foods have numerous environmental benefits. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, noted Goldstein, requiring large amounts of land and significant water use. It can also contribute to water and air pollution through fertilizers, untreated animal waste and pesticides.

Earth Animal From The Seed"Pet parents can significantly reduce a dog's carbon pawprint and help combat climate change simply by incorporating plant-based food into their diet one or even two days a week," says Goldstein. "Pet parents can also play a positive role with regards to animal welfare for animals being raised for meat."

Earth Animal said it is committed to reducing its reliance on animal protein within five years. A major step is the launch of Wisdom From the Seed, an air-dried plant-based dog food, which was formulated by Goldstein.

The plant-based dog food offers a special blend of nutrient-dense protein sources that consist of lentil protein, quinoa, sunflower seed protein, alfalfa juice concentrate protein and potato protein. From The Seed offers 28% protein content, exceeding AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition, including a complete amino acid profile. 

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