Clinical scientists at the Western University of Health Sciences' College of Veterinary Medicines and the University of California Berkeley's School of Public Health recently released data from a study that examined the long-term impacts of a plant-based diet for dogs and concluded that a "plant-based diet can provide complete and balanced nutrition to dogs for the long term" (Read more here).
It appears they examined a brand called "v-dog" and obviously their chief executive officer, Darren Middlesworth was thrilled that this groundbreaking study "demonstrates that a nutritionally complete plant-based diet can maximize the health and quality of life for dogs and reduce carbon-paw prints" (Read more here).
I'm all for reducing the carbon footprint as much as possible, but absolutely NOT at the expense of my dogs' health. So I did some digging on this and here is what I found:
According to v-dog's website, they claim their plant-based kibble is "nutritionally complete," contains omegas, DHA's and probiotics, is animal and cruelty free and does not contain corn, soy or wheat. Take a look at their ingredient list below:
Dried Peas, Pea Protein, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potato Protein, Sorghum, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flaxseeds, Millet, Calcium Carbonate, Lentils, Peanut Hearts, Quinoa, Sunflower Chips, Salt, Marine Microalgae (source of DHA), Potassium Chloride, Dried Chicory Root Inulin, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid), Dried Carrots, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), DL-Methionine, Dried Parsley, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), preserved with Citric Acid, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Dried Celery, Dried Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Beets, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lettuce, L-Carnitine, Dried Watercress, Dried Spinach, Rosemary Extract.
For a brand that claims to be healthy and nutritionally complete, the ingredient list is appalling, especially when considering that dogs evolved from wolves. Wolves ate meat, fruit and vegetables and absolutely did not consume pea protein, oatmeal, potato, canola oil or the other artificial ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. I would never feed my dog this particular brand of food and here is why:
- Dried peas, brown rice and oatmeal are ingredients listed first, which means they are used in more significant quantities. They carbohydrates, which cause glucose to spike and insulin levels to rise. When this happens too many times, the result is type 2 diabetes.
- Pea protein and potato protein are definitely not my top choice for meeting the nutrition needs of my dog optimally. Dogs have 42 teeth designed to chew meat and bone, not potatoes/
- Canola oil is a refined seed oil and is excessively high in omega-6, which has been proven to cause inflammation in the body, which eventually contributes to typical Western diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
- The insane amount of vitamins listed that were added to the food to make it nutritionally complete is disturbing. Real food doesn't require vitamins to be complete. It should be complete on its own.
Would you feed your dog vegan kibble?