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Can dogs thrive on a vegetarian diet?

Dogs are omnivores, so they can digest both plant-based ingredients as well as meat. Recent studies show many positives about vegan dog food.

Een visuele voorstelling van vegan hondenvoer


Many people believe that every breed of dog is descended from the wolf (hard to believe for Imby fans with a toy poodle, of course). Therefore, people think that dogs always need meat in their diet. But is this really true? In this article, we explain why vegetarian dog food can be super healthy and we highlight some important factors to consider when choosing a new dog food.


Officially, the dog is a direct descendant of the wolf, canis lupus. However, thousands of years ago, before the climate crisis, dogs were domesticated by humans. In addition to their behavior, the eating habits of dogs have changed significantly. Just like their owners, dogs have now become omnivores or omnivorous and can live perfectly healthy on a vegetarian diet. Recent studies even indicate that a vegetarian diet can be healthier than traditional meat! It is important for dogs however, that they are fed a complete and nutritional diet every day. In order to meet this requirement, 6 nutrients must have mandatory presence in the food bowl. These are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water. Since meat mainly provides proteins and fats, these 2 nutrients will be the focus of this article.


Proteins are the essential building blocks in vegetarian dog food


Greyhound or Maltese, every dog needs protein. Proteins consist of amino acids. They help create new cells, boost the immune system, produce antibodies and ensure strong muscles. Proteins vary in quality and can be of animal or plant origin. A dog needs 22 amino acids to survive, but there are only 10 amino acids that dogs can’t produce themselves. That is why it is important that they form part of a balanced diet. Whether these amino acids have a plant or meat origin doesn’t matter, as long as they are sufficiently present in your dog food. Good news: Imby pet food contains all essential amino acids. Insect larvae powder is even known to provide better quality protein & amino acids than various types of meat!


Fats act as energy boosters


Fats are like little energy bombs that also improve your dog’s immune system. They ensure a shiny coat and skin without ailments. Fats help to absorb the necessary vitamins and ensure a stable body temperature.


Always provide fresh drinking water


Not every dog is a water dog, but every dog needs water. H2O, the scientific name, is in fact necessary for regulating the body temperature and keeping the body tissues flexible. In addition, it ensures smooth blood circulation and maintains the lymphatic system. Dogs can get water from their food (even dry kibble contains a certain level of moisture) or from fresh water that their owners always provide during the day. Of course, they can also accidentally sip from the pond, but preferably not too often.




Dogs can certainly do without meat, but a balanced diet with the 6 necessary nutrients is absolutely essential. Be sure to browse the back of our packaging to learn more about our plant-based & insect-based recipes. We also gently bake each of our recipes in the oven, which ensures a delicious taste. If you have any questions, our wagging chatbot Billie is always ready to help!