this The rise of animal-free diets In today’s society, and the trend towards the humanization of pets, has supported the emergence of vegan and vegetarian products for pets.
In this sense, a group of researchers from the Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid (MCU) made a study To assess the social impact of veganism and vegetarianism on pets and owners in Spain.
To carry out the research, the researchers format demographic data, diets, pet data or information from pet owners, and Use of vegan and vegetarian diets in small animals in Spain.
Among the data highlighted by the researchers, 93.48% of male owners surveyed followed an omnivorous diet, compared to 84.3% of females. In fact, in the study vegan collective represented only by women.
Beside middle ages their owners vegetarians and vegans (27.06) was younger than omnivorous owners (29.8).
Likewise, with regard to vegan owners, researchers 34.85% claimed to feel moral dilemma for reconcile the principles with ethics carnivorous feeding of your pet.
Regarding dietary use by owners of surveyed pets, only 1.79% used vegan and vegetarian diets with their pets (12 dogs and 2 cats).
NONE OF THE OWNERS AGREE THAT VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN DIETS MAY RISK TO PETS
The study collects a range of responses from owners who follow vegan and vegetarian diets with their pets. Therefore, 77.7% observed the benefits of using these diets and none of the owners thought they could pose a risk. In this regard, 88.8% of these owners recommend the diets to other pet sitters.
Between more disclosed benefits By owners who use these diets on their pets more weight control; the increased vitality and general well-being; and better hair condition.
“Reducing the consumption of animal products is a popular trend in Spain, especially among the younger population and group of women,” the researchers wrote. Feel a moral dilemma about reconciling this and feeding your pet. “Again, this dilemma does not significantly exceed the diet of pets”, they point.
On the other hand, “despite the rise of these diets, only 1.79% of those surveyed use them for their pets. more use in dog breedsdue to a more general understanding of the importance of the consumption of animal products in cat species”.
“All owners who have used such alternative diets with their pets have found improvements in body condition, coat quality and overall vitality to find them beneficial. Still, They are not aware that they may pose a risk”they warn.
In the light of this fact, the benefits of these diets, which are claimed to be supported by scientific publications, for pets, based only on studies assessing subjective opinion that the owners consider it necessary to develop Designed by professionals who objectively evaluate whether vegetarian or vegan diets are suitable for pets.
EXPERTS ADVICE ON VEGAN DIETS FOR PETS
In line with the results of this study, the British Veterinary Medical Association (BVAfor its English abbreviation) still “scientific proof” is missing recommending this type of vegetarian or vegan diet “safely” for pets.
That’s why British veterinarians It is recommended against such diets, He points out that when designing a plant-based diet, it’s “much easier” to make mistakes when providing “essential” nutrients.
In the case of cats, they were more empathetic, stating that while dogs are omnivores, felines should eat foods of animal origin. “This is much more difficult and even impossible to meet your nutritional needs They emphasized that restricting such foods in cats can lead to bone diseases or taurine deficiency problems.
From the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) also expressed themselves on this issue, stating that plant-based nutrition is relatively new and therefore the number of pets fed in this way is quite low, information is limited. As a result, they have now assured there is not enough evidence To suggest that a vegan diet for dogs is healthier than a meat-based diet.
In addition to all these, the Global Alliance of Pet Food Associations (GAPFA) published a paper analyzing the importance of protein in the diet of pets.
That’s how they insisted from GAPFA”a single protein source usually does not contain all essential amino acids “as much as a pet needs”, a reflection that applies to vegan diets as they don’t use animal-derived protein, prioritizing vegetables.
” use of multiple protein sources Formulated by a trained pet nutritionist guarantees its existence “All essential amino acids are in the right proportions in the diet of pets,” they stressed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ANIMAL ORIGIN PROTEINS IN PET NUTRITION
Despite trends and fashion, the animal nutrition industry is determined to follow the nutritional recommendations of institutions and scientists. In this sense, companies Masaleofficial distributor of brands in Spain Acana Y originAt the same time, he advocates the importance of meat in the diet and recommends choosing dry food recipes. high protein level mainly from animal resources.
And what they remember is that cats and dogs are naturally carnivoresalthough dogs can become facultative carnivores, preferring a carnivore diet.
Thus, they emphasize: Not all proteins are the same and it is important to pay attention to both the quality and quantity of these nutrients in the diet, avoiding meat substitute protein sources.
This group includes pea or potato protein concentrates that require more synthetic amino acid supplementation because Vegetable proteins for dogs and cats are not complete..
“A diet high in quality animal protein no negative consequences on the health of healthy dogs and cats. which is different Scientific studies they do not associate high levels of protein with kidney health. However, excess inorganic phosphorus (not protein) in the diet is the main contributor to kidney health.
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