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In an effort to curb the pet food industry’s environmental impact, a small handful of startups are working to cut animal agriculture out of the equation by using cell-cultured meat. This follows recent developments from companies that have reimagined meat for human consumption with plant-based solutions, such as utilizing soy or pea protein to replicate beef’s taste and texture.

The plant-based food techies behind Impossible Foods have their eyes set on an animal-free future. Following the success of the Impossible Burger, a "meaty" vegan burger that mimics the texture and taste of beef, Impossible Foods is announcing that they have big plans for other vegan "animal" products, including chicken, lamb, milk, cheese, eggs, and fish.

“We want to completely replace animals as a food production technology by 2035,” says CEO Patrick Brown. “We are working on producing all foods that we get from animals.”

Experts believe that vegetarian meat substitutes are not good for dogs since they contain added flavor and spices that are toxic for dogs. If you want an alternative for meat and transform your dog’s diet to vegetarian or vegan, then you should give small quantities of it once in a while.

Meat substitutes are better suited for human consumption rather than a pet’s consumption. It wouldn’t hurt your dog if it had a little bit of the meatless burger, but it should not be included in your dog’s daily diet.

Vegetarian diet for dogs

Dogs are believed to be carnivores, but they actually belong to the omnivore’s order. The canine body can transform certain amino acids into others. This means that they can get all the protein without having to eat meat. Dogs can easily survive on a vegetarian diet.

According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet if you are persistent in giving your dog vegetarian food.

PetMD recommends changing your dog’s diet to a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet without having to deal with any nutritional deficiencies in your dog. In fact, eggs are a good source of animal protein and they are also used to make many pet foods. The initial process is tricky until you find the right balance of plant-based protein.

The only concern with changing your dog’s diet is acceptance from your dog’s side. It is difficult for dogs who are used to eating meat, change their diet to vegetarian or vegan. The solution for this is that you make changes gradually and not suddenly. Keep adding the new diet slowly and phase out the old meat-bas.

While eating plant-based diets is kinder to the environment and to farm animals, as a pet parent, you want to know if a vegan dog can be a healthy dog. Before considering a vegan diet for your best friend, it is important to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks.

Regardless of the diet you feed your dog, experts stress the importance of consulting with a veterinarian to tailor a diet plan that fulfills the individual nutritional needs of your pet.