2023 Brings A Double Shot Of Good News For Vegan Dog Food!

2023 Brings A Double Shot Of Good News For Vegan Dog Food!

At THE PACK, we always love January: it’s a chance for new beginnings and fresh resolutions for you and your dog, whether that be to spend more time playing or get out on longer daily walks as the days draw out again! It’s also Veganuary, a time when more and more of you are trying out delicious plant-based food, for yourselves and your furry friends. 

However, this January we’re more excited than ever because of two news items, both adding support to the safety and benefits of a ‘vegan’ diet for your dogs. 

Pet Food UK acknowledges the validity of plant-based pet diets!

Pet Food UK, also known as the UK Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, represents the majority of UK pet food companies. So, it was big news in early January that Pet Food UK had updated their fact sheet on vegan and vegetarian pet food to reflect the wealth of new scientific evidence in this field, stating “Appropriately designed vegetarian or vegan diets, formulated and made with the input of qualified professionals, that meet the nutritional and physiological requirements of the species, are a valid part of the product portfolio for today’s pet food industry.” THE PACK’s carefully formulated vegan meals definitely meet these requirements, as we’ve explored in depth, so we couldn’t be happier to have this endorsement.

While warning against poorly formulated vegan dog diets and homemade meals, Pet Food UK also acknowledged that our dogs are able to utilise plant-based sources of key nutrients like Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from marine algae. They pointed out that, “Marine algae is the reason why certain fish species are rich sources of these fatty acids in the first place”. Professor Andrew Knight described this updated information as “a sea change for the UK pet food industry”.

However, on 17 January, days after the new fact sheet started to receive media attention, Pet Food UK briefly removed and updated it. They have now re-published this as ‘Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Factsheet’. This updated fact sheet takes a rather more cautious approach than their original version, but nonetheless verifies the use of nutritionally-sound vegan pet foods. Pet Food UK state that “there is little evidence of adverse effects arising in dogs and cats on vegan diets” and cite a 2023 systematic review in support.

With Pet Food UK acknowledging vegan dog food as a viable diet and the BVA’s recent tentative support of vegan pet food, could 2023 be the year that plant-based dog diets are finally recognised as the safest and healthiest option for your fur friends?   

New paper analyses 16 studies on vegan dog diets and finds pros, no cons!

On 12 January, a new review paper was published in Veterinary Studies journal called ‘The Impact of Vegan Diets on Indicators of Health in Dogs and Cats: A Systematic Review’. Handily, it’s Open Access, which means it’s free to read in full for those of you who want to really dig in.

The researchers concluded that “there was no overwhelming evidence of adverse effects arising from use of [vegan pet food] and there was some evidence of benefits.” They also point out that the little evidence there is of adverse effects arising in pets on vegan diets is often contradicted in other studies. As we’ve seen with petfood studies, the findings are mostly based on data supplied by pawrents, so may be subject to selection biases or subjectivity – however, the researchers point out that the consistency of the beneficial findings across several studies adds significant weight to their viability. 

The researchers concluded that if pawrents want to feed their dogs vegan meals, they should use “commercially produced diets which have been formulated considering the nutritional needs of the target species.” Yep, THE PACK tick that box once again!

So if you’re keen to try out a meat-free diet for your hound, you can rest assured that our food is appropriately designed, formulated and made with the input of qualified professionals, and meets the nutritional needs of your dog.

If you haven't tried THE PACK meals yet, you can try out your first meals with the code THEPACK20 for a 20% discount off your purchase. 

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