The renunciation of meat is the trend. More and more people are vegetarian or even completely vegan and thus abstain more or less consistently on animal products.
What applies to the human diet has long since applied to our dogs as well. As a result, vegan dog food is now very popular and the number of products offered for a purely herbal dog food continues to grow.
That's reason enough for us to go into more detail about vegan dog food. Below you will learn, therefore, whether a species-appropriate diet of dogs without animal products is possible and what are the disadvantages associated with it. In addition, we present you an unusual meatless alternative to vegan dog food.
Vegan dog food instead of factory farming
The main reason many people choose a vegan diet for themselves and their dogs is undoubtedly mass animal husbandry. After all, it is no secret that this has fatal consequences for both livestock and the environment.
The animals often live in appalling conditions and basically serve only as cheaply as possible to deliver meat and other products such as milk or eggs.
That alone may be reason enough for some dog owners to opt for a vegan dog food and so at least on a small scale to do something against factory farming.
How livestock keeping pollutes the environment
In addition, keeping livestock is also a significant burden on the environment and, on closer inspection, can easily compete with road traffic or industry.
Already today, for example, more than 70 percent of all agricultural land worldwide is required directly (as stables and pastures) or indirectly (for the cultivation of animal feed) for factory farming.
In addition, cattle in particular produce huge amounts of the climate-damaging gas methane during digestion and thus contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect.
Therefore, anyone who values a sustainable way of life can not avoid questioning the high consumption of meat that is common today, at least critically.
Vegan dog food and a species-appropriate diet
Quite a few might come to the conclusion that a meatless diet could certainly be a sensible alternative and, against this background, also consider a switch to vegan dog food.
The crucial question to be answered is, however, whether a pure plant feeding for dogs is even healthy. Finally, every responsible dog owner should know the importance of a proper diet for the health and well-being of his four-legged friend.
Is the dog an omnivore?
Advocates of vegan dog food often state that the dog has become an omnivore over time. That's only partly true. While it is true that dogs can generally digest slightly larger amounts of carbohydrates compared to wolves.
However, that does not mean that a dog can do this as much as we humans do. Dogs are still so-called semi-carnivores whose digestive system is primarily suitable for the utilization of animal proteins and fats.
Accordingly, too high a proportion of starchy carbohydrates, such as those found in wheat, will sooner or later lead to numerous ailments. These include in particular increasingly frequent food allergies in dogs, skin and coat problems and indigestion such as diarrhea and flatulence.
Possible problems with vegan dog food
The mentioned health problems can usually be avoided only with a good dog food with a high meat content or a suitable alternative. That vegan dog food can be such an alternative is more than doubtful.
This is mainly because vegan dog food, among other things, brings with it the following problems:
- Proteins with lower digestibility
- Potentially poorly tolerated protein sources
- Unsuitable oils
- Partly inferior ingredients
Vegan dog food and the digestibility of proteins
There are some things to consider in the context of protein intake. Because it depends not only on the amount, but also on the digestibility of the respective protein source. One common value commonly used to compare different protein sources is biological value.
Apart from a few exceptions, this is almost always significantly higher for animal protein than for vegetable protein. For example, the biological value of legume proteins used in vegan dog food as an alternative to meat ranges from around 50 to 60, while in beef, for example, it reaches 80 or more.
This means that vegetable proteins are generally digested to a lesser extent, leaving less of the vital amino acids available to the dog's body while maintaining the same protein intake.
Indigestion caused by vegetable protein sources
It is known that legumes often cause indigestion and in particular can cause flatulence. This applies to both humans and dogs. Vegan dog food significantly increases the potential risk of your dog getting flatulence.
Some vegetable oils can cause health problems
No dog food comes without additional fats, or oils. For vegan dog food, the selection of suitable raw materials is clearly limited. Usually rapeseed and sunflower oil are used as a source of fat.
Both oils, regardless of their intended use, are repeatedly shown to be particularly healthy. Unfortunately, the truth is different. The regular consumption of rapeseed and sunflower oil in vegan dog food can therefore lead to problems.
For example, sunflower oil has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids, for example. However, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is approximately 1: 120, which may, among other things, promote inflammation in the dog's body.
Good fats and oils
are almost as important to dogs as the right proteins. Vegan dog food, however, usually does not provide your four-legged friend with it, so it is difficult to guarantee the optimal supply of fats from plant-based foods.
In part, vegan dog food contains inferior ingredients
In addition to the disadvantages mentioned, there is another point that speaks against vegan dog food. Even though there are certainly manufacturers who pay attention to quality when choosing the ingredients of their products, even vegan dog food often contains inferior ingredients.
In addition to wheat, these include primarily so-called herbal by-products, which is nothing but a nice way of describing production waste from the food industry. Such ingredients can cause numerous health problems in both conventional and vegan dog foods and therefore have lost nothing in good pet food.
Our alternative to vegan dog food
Of course, we fully understand if you care about the environment and animal welfare. We too are aware of our responsibility and want to make a contribution to environmental protection. However, at the same time, we believe that these efforts should not be at the expense of dogs' health.
For this reason, we decided against vegan dog food in our assortment and instead use an unusual meat substitute as digestible alternative.
This alternative is insect protein, more specifically the larvae of the black soldier fly. Although this may take some getting used to in the first instance, on closer inspection it also has some big advantages over vegan dog food.
Why insect protein is the perfect meat substitute for dogs
The larvae of the black soldier fly can score as a protein supplier for dog food in two ways. For one, they are much more environmentally friendly than conventional meat. On the other hand, they prove to be a very high-quality and digestible source of protein that provides your dog with all the essential amino acids.
The advantages of our insect protein at a glance:
- Particularly high biological value of 85
- Contains all essential amino acids for dogs
- Ideal for dogs with food allergies
- Very digestible and easily digestible
- Low space requirement for the breeding of the larvae
- Feeding insects with vegetable waste
- Low energy consumption in protein production
- No formation of methane
- Almost no water consumption in the breeding
Our extensive range of products with insect protein
In the beginning, we have limited ourselves exclusively to dry food with insect protein
. However, our range now includes around 25 insect-based products that you can use as an alternative to vegan dog food.
In addition to dry and wet food
, these include, for example, healthy dog snacks as well as various nutritional supplements and care products for dogs
, where we make use of the advantages of insect protein
and insect fat.
Our conclusion on vegan dog food
As you can see, vegan dog food is certainly not a sensible and healthy alternative to animal welfare. Of course, your four-legged friend will not get sick directly or suffer from deficiency symptoms. But for a permanent feeding vegan dog food for the reasons mentioned is simply not a good idea.
Instead, give your dog what he really needs and limit your beliefs to your own diet. If you still want to contribute to environmental protection, our insect-based products are a high-quality alternative to vegan dog food.