Scientific Evaluation

Summary of Evaluation – Veganpet Vegan Dog Food

Purpose:

To evaluate through a feed trial using adult dogs, the intake, palatablity, overall apparent digestibility of the dry matter, protein protein and fat of a vegan dog food formulated and manufactured for Sandy Anderson Pty Ltd named Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food.

Feed:

The Vegan Dog Food Formulation has listed specifidogions of minimum 24% protein and minimum 11% fat. On analysis of a representative sample sample of Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food by an independent laboratory (Venturetech Pty Ltd; NATA endorsed), protein for Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food was 24.4% (0.4% higher than minimum). Fat for Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food was 11.1% (0.1% higher than minimum). Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food easily meets the specifications of the formulation.

Main Findings:

  • All dogs ate the Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food Formulation and the palatability was very high. The dogs ate 100% of food within 15 minutes except for day one, where one dog ate 90% of the food in 15 minutes.
  • Dry matter digestibility of Sandy’s Veganpet Dog Food Formulation was 84% on Day 14, which is an excellent result for a commercially prepared dog food.
  • Protein digestibility was 68.9% on day 14; which is excellent and consistent with the protein digestibilities expected for a premium dog food.
  • Fat digestibility was 87.4 +/- 9% on Day 14; an excellent result for a vegan dog food.
  • Faecal quality measured as % dry matter was very good at 28% on Day 14. The stools were consistent across all dogs.

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Summary of Evaluation – Veganpet Vegan Cat Food

Purpose:

To evaluate through a feed trial using adult cats, the intake, palatablity, overall apparent digestibility of the dry matter, protein protein and fat of a vegan cat food formulated and manufactured for Sandy Anderson Pty Ltd named Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food.

Trial methodology and management:

A twenty-day feeding, feed acceptance and digestibility trial was designed, supervised and analysed by a University nutritionist. The trial was conducted at a commercial breeding and boarding kennel and cattery where the daily feeding data were recorded and faecal samples were collected for further analysis. There were no invasive procedures such as blood samples during this trial.

Feed:

The Vegan Cat Food Formulation has listed specifications of minimum 27% protein and minimum 10% fat. On analysis of a representative sample sample of Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food by an independent laboratory (Venturetech Pty Ltd; NATA endorsed), protein for Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food was 28.5% (5.5% higher than minimum). Fat for Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food was 11.7% (17% higher than minimum). Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food easily meets the specifications of the formulation.

Main Findings:

  • All cats ate the Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food Formulation and the palatability was very high. The cats ate on average 24.0 +/- 6.9% of food on offer eaten within 15 minutes and more importantly, the cats ate 69.1 +/- 2.2% of the food on offer each day.
  • Dry matter digestibility of Sandy’s Veganpet Cat Food Formulation was 76.8 +/- 1.9% on Day 20, which is better than expected for a vegan pet food.
  • Protein digestibility was 82.7 +/- 1.5% on Day 20; is excellent and consistent with the protein digestibilities expected for a premium cat food. Also pleasing was the small variation in the overall result showing the consistency of the product and outcome.
  • Fat digestibility was 90.1 +/- 2.3% on Day 20; an excellent result for a vegan cat food and even higher than commonly observed for premium cat food. Moreover the fat digestibilities were very consistent.
  • Faecal quality measured as % dry matter was excellent at 34.5 +/- 3.8% on Day 20 for a premium cat food. The stools were consistent across all cats.

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Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals

Andrew Knight * and Madelaine Leitsberger

Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips

Simple Summary

Many owners of companion animals are interested in vegetarian diets for their animals, as concerns increase about the consequences of animal farming, for health, animal welfare, and the environment. However, are vegetarian diets for cats and dogs nutritionally balanced and healthy? This article comprehensively reviews the evidence published to date from four studies that have examined the nutritional adequacy of vegetarian diets for cats and dogs. To obtain additional information, we surveyed 12 pet food companies detailed in the most recent study. We also examined the nutritional soundness of meat-based companion-animal diets, and reviewed the evidence concerning the health status of vegetarian, carnivorous and omnivorous companion animals. Both cats and dogs may thrive on vegetarian diets, but these must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced. Owners should also regularly monitor urinary acidity, and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary.

Abstract

Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves and their companion animals. However, are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing the nutritional soundness of these diets were reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent studies are provided. Additional reviewed studies examined the nutritional soundness of commercial meat-based diets and the health status of cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian and meat-based diets. Problems with all of these dietary choices have been documented, including nutritional inadequacies and health problems. However, a significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy—including those exercising at the highest levels—and, indeed, may experience a range of health benefits. Such diets must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, however, and owners should regularly monitor urinary acidity and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary.