Do Dogs need to eat Meat?
It is one of the most common questions we get here at freshwoof. Unfortunately, the notion that dogs require meat is so deep-rooted in the pet food industry that we accept it as a fact despite abounding evidence that dogs can thrive and can even heal on a well-formulated plant-based diet. If you’ve turned on the TV or browsed the internet recently, you’ve likely seen an advertisement for dog food that compares your pooch to wolves. But in reality, 15000 years separate our dogs from their ancestors. Dogs do belong to the order carnivore, however, they are physiologically omnivores. For example, order carnivore also includes animals like bears, pandas, and raccoons that extensively feed on plants or vegetations and are thus omnivores.
Dogs have undergone thousands of years of evolution alongside humans which have made them different from their wild ancestors. Our modern dogs have evolved into an animal that does not require meat in their diet to be healthy. According to scientists, dogs have differences in 10 key genes compared to their ancestors that enable them to better utilize plants. According to researches, dogs have more copies of AMY2B genes, crucial for producing the enzyme that digest starch (maltase, primarily found in herbivores and omnivores). The activity of this enzyme is 30 times higher in dogs as compared to a wolf. Dogs can also convert plant-based beta-carotene (provitamin A) to retinol; the purest form of vitamin A. True carnivores can’t convert beta-carotene to retinol, they can obtain retinol only from animal sources.
In these thousands of years, dogs have adapted to a variety of diets, they can live on a meat-based diet, a raw diet, and can also thrive on a plant-based diet (with additional health benefits). But our dogs rely on us for their life decisions. It is our responsibility to do proper research, talk to open-minded vets or nutritionists and choose the right and the best diet for our pets, a diet with maximum benefits and the least possible or no negatives. It’s time to dig into science, go with the facts, stop holding to myths about canine nutrition and make the best decisions for our beloved pet.
Here at Freshwoof, we’ve created delicious, high protein, complete & balanced, 100% plant-based recipes with lots of superfood ingredients and zero junk that are healthy for dogs and also better for our planet. Grab your Freshwoof meals today!