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Can dogs be vegetarian or vegan?

Dogs have evolved to omnivores and can perfectly survive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. There are however a few things to pay attention to.

Plant-based dog food

The answer is YES, dogs can perfectly switch to a plant-based diet. Thanks to millennia of evolution and co-living with humans, dogs have adapted their food habits and are now officially omnivores. This means that dogs, just like humans, can obtain all their essential nutrients from plant-based food and don’t necessarily need meat. It is however advised that you don’t cook these plant-based meals yourself. To avoid that your dog misses essential amino acids, vitamins or minerals in their diet, it is highly recommended to purchase your food from a professional brand.

10 essential amino acids

Proteins consist of various building blocks, named amino acids. In total 22 amino acids exist of which a dog’s body can develop 12 themselves. This means that dogs need to find back the remaining 10 amino acids in their food to live a healthy and active lifestyle. The 10 essential amino acids that a dog requires in their food are: arginine, histidine,
isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine,
phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Brands like Imby Pet Food will always ensure that each amino acid is present in abundance in your dog’s diet. All amino acids can be extracted entirely from plant-based
ingredients and therefore dogs can perfectly thrive on a plant-based diet.

The amino acid taurine

There is much confusion about this amino acid. Taurine is an amino acid which performs a function in the heart muscle and nerve cells and protects the photoreceptors in the eye. This amino acid is produced by dogs but not by cats. Cats therefore need to ingest taurine through their food and are therefore not allowed to live on dog food as it contains lower taurine levels! The Imby cat food recipe does contain sufficient taurine levels to provide your cat a long and healthy life.

Vitamin D3 supplement

In addition to proteins, dogs also need the necessary minerals and vitamins. Most of these nutrients can easily be found in vegetable ingredients. This is slightly more difficult for vitamin D3. This vitamin cannot be produced by the dog itself and is usually obtained from animal ingredients. Imby’s plant-based diet uses D3 vitamins that come from lanolin (sheep’s wool). For the production of lanolin, only sheep’s wool is shorn, no sheep are slaughtered. We therefore claim that our food is 100% vegetarian and 99.99% vegan, as the D3 vitamins have an animal origin.

Plant-based food for a smooth digestion and to avoid overweight

Recent studies have already shown that dogs on a plant-based diet survive longer and need fewer visits to the vet compared to their four-legged friends who eat animal flesh. Moreover, vegetable food is easy to digest and helps prevent obesity. It is not high in calories and still contains all the necessary nutrients a dog needs. Win-win, right?

Hypoallergenic and free from harmful gluten

Since most common food allergies are caused by chicken, beef, lamb and dairy products, a plant-based diet offers a perfect alternative for your dog. Dogs rarely show allergic reactions to Imby’s plant-based food, which can therefore be considered a hypoallergenic product. In addition, it is completely free from harmful gluten and is therefore completely suitable for dogs with a gluten allergy.

Curious about our vegetarian food? Try it now!

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