There’s no question that vegan diets for dogs are gaining in popularity. And while there may be ethical and ecological arguments in favor of feeding plant-based diets, there is a clear nutritional argument that goes against feeding a vegan diet for your dog. Here we discuss why we don’t believe a vegan diet is the optimal choice for your dog’s health.
One way to understand the deficiencies of a plant-based diet is to look at protein. It can be argued that many of the benefits of feeding protein are derived from the uptake of four vital amino acids: methionine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Much of a dog’s body is made up of protein – and proteins are made up of amino acids. No dog can survive without ingesting amino acids, especially these four. Even restricting one of these four amino acids can lead to adverse health consequences.
Lets take a quick look at these amino acids and some of their important functions.
But isn’t there more to this story?
Diving even further into the science of optimal nutrition, there are actually some good arguments for restricting the intake of these four amino acids for short periods of time. This is because a lack of these four amino acids can create important signaling effects that may be protective against aging and diseases like cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.