April 22, 2022 – 11:11 Watch
For most dog fans, it’s clear that dogs are primarily carnivores. But is this diet also healthy for hairy noses? Researchers have now found in a study that a purely plant-based diet has a much more positive effect on the health of four-legged friends than previously assumed.
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Dog nutrition: the choice of food is now huge, but what is important?
Of course, the right food plays an important role in the well-being of dogs. Master and mistress are always racking their brains over the best food. Meanwhile, the selection in pet stores is very large. Following the general trend of sustainability, there is now organic dry food, standard wet food, but also vegan food or raw meat for dogs. But what is really the best for the beloved furry noses, or the healthiest?
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Dog study: Researchers take a close look at the eating habits of 2,536 dogs
Researchers from the University of Winchester in the UK and Griffith University in Australia have come closest to answering this question. They wanted to know what diet is ideal for the dog’s health. To do this, they observed the eating habits of a total of 2,536 dogs of different breeds and their health status.
The scientists then compared the usual mixed diet of vegan eating with foods that also included raw meat. The surprising results were published in the journal “PLOS One”.
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Dog diet: like humans? Balance is the most important
Regardless of what dog owners feed their dogs, a balanced diet is extremely important, says study author Andrew Knight in a press release about the study. The age of the dog and the breed must be taken into account, but this also depends on the genetic disposition. So it sounds similar to humans. A one-sided vegan menu can also trigger deficiency symptoms in four-legged friends, as can the exclusive diet of foods prepared with meat.
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Study Result: Dogs That Were Primarily Vegan Were Healthier
Evaluation of the research data shows a clear result: dogs that were fed mainly vegan food were healthier on average and had a lower risk of disease than their carnivorous counterparts. The second best was the diet with raw meat, that is, the so-called BARF method. With this feeding method, the animals only get natural food, i.e. raw meat, raw fish, fresh offal and bones.
But the researchers cautioned that in the study, the dogs on the raw meat diet were much younger than the dogs on the vegan diet. This could explain why they probably seemed healthier than those fed mixed diets. Another contributing factor was that dog owners who fed their pets raw meat were less likely to take their four-legged friends to the vet.
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Dog study: other factors influencing the health of four-legged friends were not included
This fact could be taken as an indicator of better canine health. However, the researchers were able to show in previous studies that mistresses and masters who prefer raw meat generally seek veterinary advice less frequently. In addition, the vets did not examine what factors other than eating may also have an impact on the health of four-legged friends.
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Study: High Likelihood Vegan Diets Are Healthier for Dogs
Therefore, the scientists note that more research is needed to further confirm whether a meat-based or vegan dog food diet is better for dogs’ health. In their study, the researchers also write that previous studies have shown that eating raw meat is more often associated with increased risk of pathogens and malnutrition. Consequently, it can be assumed with high probability that the vegan diet is the healthiest for hairy noses. (Yes)