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Considering a Plant-Based Diet for Your Dog?
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The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 August 2022 - 12:04 pm
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This might be a good time to start making the switch if you've been thinking about the benefits of a plant-based diet for dogs. I sure have, especially after this study was published), and lucky Nellie will get her diet completely reworked slowly this year. By December she will be 100% plant-based. 

I say this is a good time, because of this article I just read in Pet Food Industry magazine:

Pet food growth may outstrip animal protein supply

As pet food production grows in the United States, demand from dog, cat and other pet food industries for animal proteins may surpass supply from the United States’ agricultural system. Researchers from Kansas State University will present a paper on this, "Animal Protein-Based Ingredients in Pet Food: Analysis of Supply Chain and Market Drivers," at the 2022 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California from July 31 to August 2.

Animal protein production bottlenecks were only one of the supply chain issues facing the pet food industry now and in the near future, according to the researchers in their examination of the interplay among human and pet food ingredient demands.

“A comparison of the growth rates of U.S. pet food production and U.S. animal slaughter for human consumption can be used to determine if animal protein is growing fast enough to keep up with the growth in pet food,” the researchers, who included Petfood Industry Ingredient Issues columnist Greg Aldrich, PhD, professor and pet food program coordinator at Kansas State University, wrote. “…The units of pet food produced in the U.S. have been growing at a faster rate than animals slaughtered for human consumption... This is significant because if these growth rates continue there will be a point where there are no longer enough animal protein-based ingredients to meet the needs of pet food production.”

When we brought Nellie into the pack, we were stunned to see empty shelves and food shortages at Petco and Petsmart. In the year and a half since we said goodbye to Wyatt Ray , things have sure changed. During his last couple of years, Wyatt ate Wild Earth, a plant-based food, and did really well on it. 

I'm anxious to help Nellie make the switch, but we're going to give it lots of time since she's spent 8 years eating lord knows what. We have her on Diamond Naturals lamb & rice, what they fed her at the kennel where we picked her up. So far so good, but as a plant-based human for the last 35 years, I will feel so much better when she's off it. Not just for her health, but the planet.

How about you? Does any of this resonate with how you are feeding your Tripawd? Just curious.

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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3 August 2022 - 7:28 am
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It is true that there have been lots of shortages due to supply chain and staffing issues (worker shortages affecting production).  I have fed soy-based diets in the past without a problem so I think it is safe as long as everything is balanced by a nutritionist.


The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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3 August 2022 - 5:42 pm
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That is so good to know Dr. Pam. Reading your thoughts about it gives me more confidence that Nellie will do well on a plant-based food. I'm saving my $$ for a nutritionist consult ($500!), but until the piggy bank is full, will gradually switch her to a plant-based kibble.

While I've been veg forever it seems, I wouldn't impose a plant-based diet on my dog, without good vetted research behind it. Before recent studies I felt less certain but fed Wyatt Wild Earth because it was formulated in part by a vet (Dr. Ernie Ward). Now that more vets are getting on-board with this type of food, and research is appearing, I hope more folks will feel good about making the switch too.

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