|Country of origin:||Australia|
Vegan and vegetarian diets for dogs and cats seem to be gaining a loyal following, especially with the arrival of BIOpet Vegan on supermarket shelves.
As people we may have religious or ideological beliefs about the food we eat, and consequentially believe our pets should be fed the same diet. It’s important to realise our cats and dogs have different dietary requirements and process food in a different way. Dogs are omnivores like us, but their digestive system is geared towards digesting meat rather than vegetables. The proteins in meat differ from those in grains and vegetables, and that shouldn’t be overlooked. As for cats, they’re strict carnivores and definitely shouldn’t be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet.
All that said, I’ll attempt an unbiased stance with this review.
The main ingredient is Full fat Soya. That worries me immediately, as there are many health concerns with feeding soy to a dog over an extended period. Soy contains high levels of estrogen and natural toxins (or “anti-nutrients”), can be a protein inhibitor, and can affect the thyroid. That’s just the start, as it’s an ingredient linked to gas, seizures, and deadly bloat in dogs. There’s an excellent article about it here. As with humans, a diet of soy over an extended period can also lead to intolerance, which is the same case for dogs.
The Veganpet website states the food is wheat and GM free, which sounds positive, but after soya we find corn gluten followed by corn. There’s a technique seen on pet food labels called “splitting”, where a cheap filler ingredient such as corn is split into 2 ingredients, making it less prominent than the 1st ingredient (usually meat). The reality is corn is likely the prime ingredient, in this case over soy.
Rice is next, another “filler” grain that is known to be a cheap inclusion with little nutritional value.
What we’re looking at is a mix of cheap grains and soya, which doesn’t strike me as being a good food. Fair enough we find flaxseed, super-foods spirulina and kelp, as well as omegas for good measure, but my original statement remains that dogs should not be fed a vegan diet.
Not an appropriate canine diet.
* Carbohydrates aren’t listed on pet food labels. This value is calculated based on levels of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. Estimated values for moisture and ash have been used where these values haven’t been given (moisture of 10%, and ash of 8%).
Full fat soya, corn gluten, corn, rice, flaxmeal, yeast, brewer’s yeast, sunflower and soy oil (cold pressed organic), vital amino acids, vitamins and minerals, natural enzymes, spirillina, kelp, yucca extract, Omega 3 and Omega 6, Taurine, LCarnitine, Amylase, vegetarian chicken flavour, Prebiotic, Aa, DHA and EPA.