Disclaimer: The information about these products has been fact-checked by one of our licensed veterinarians, but the purpose of this post is not to diagnose illness or prescribe treatment. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the veterinarian. We recommend contacting your pet’s veterinarian before purchasing any product from this list.
Recently, vegetarian “meat” has become incredibly popular, appearing at many fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and grocery stores. The concept of “meatless meat” has been introduced by countless brands. Vegetarians can now eat sausage, bacon, burgers, and other plant-based meats that are almost indiscernible from real meat.
While you enjoy these alternative options, you may wonder if dogs can eat Beyond Meat or other plant-based meat. Should you feed it to your furry friend? The short answer is, unfortunately, no. Depending on the brand and the ingredients used, vegetarian meat can be relatively healthy for humans. However, feeding these products to dogs is not recommended. Some of these foods are heavily processed and may have ingredients that your dog’s stomach won’t tolerate. Moreover, the protein source is not a complete protein for a canine, which would result in deficiencies and health problems if fed as part of their basic diet.
Can Dogs Eat Beyond Meat or Other Plant-Based Meat?
In general, dogs should not eat Beyond Meat or other plant-based meats. They likely won’t get sick if they only consume a small amount, but it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. Beyond Meats contain processed ingredients, a high-fat content, and a lot of sodium. All of these may not be good for your dog’s digestion. Additionally, cocoa butter, which can be bad for dogs in big doses, is also often used for “marbling”. Even though the amount of cocoa butter in Beyond Meat isn’t enough to be harmful in a single bite or two, it’s still a good idea to keep it away from your furry friend.
Remember that Beyond Meat and others design their plant-based products with human consumption and diets in mind. Beyond Meat and similar products shouldn’t be given to our beloved pets without further testing.
What Are the Concerns About Feeding a Dog Vegetarian Meat?
Soy is a common component of vegetarian meat. Is it harmful to dogs? Unfortunately, it has been associated with a few health risks. For example, it can cause dogs to produce more estrogen. Additionally, certain vegetarian meats can contain garlic or onions. As you may already know, both are highly dangerous to dogs if eaten in even small amounts. Therefore, it’s better to avoid giving your pet any vegetarian meats, since you don’t know what ingredients make up the “natural flavors” in them.
Potential Problems for Vegan Dogs
Vegan diets for dogs are not recommended by most veterinarians. These diets are not as suitable as those that include an animal protein because there is too much room for error. Simply put, vegan proteins do not provide all the amino acids or building blocks that your dog needs to thrive, which is why they cannot be labeled as complete and balanced.
A vegan diet that isn’t properly balanced can cause the following significant deficiencies, according to WebMD:1
If your dog could consume protein-rich meat substitutes like beans and legumes, the required total protein levels can be adequately met with plant-based foods. However, the amino acid profile will be incomplete and lacking vital components. These pose more challenges. Vegan dog food in stores will have additives to make up for what’s missing without the meat, but you’ll have to add supplements if you prepare vegan dog food at home.
What Vegetarian Food Can You Feed Your Dog?
There are also many plant-based foods that dogs should never eat, so you must research thoroughly before feeding your furry friend a vegan diet. Fortunately, commercially available vegan dog food is becoming more diverse. Since these products are specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, they would be a better choice than human products like Beyond Meat.
Tips to Ensure That Your Dog’s Diet Is Healthy and Sustainable
- Choose pet food brands that use high-quality ingredients and promote humane and environmentally friendly farming methods.
- Make healthy homemade dog food with meat from reliable local suppliers and organic or homegrown vegetables.
- Offer vegan treats to your dog while still giving them meat-based protein the rest of the time.
Thorough research and careful preparation make it possible to give dogs the nutrients they need for a healthy life without meat. When closely supervised by a veterinarian, a vegan diet can be helpful for dogs with especially sensitive stomachs or severe allergies. Just make sure to seek advice from professionals before you go this way.
Vegetarian meat options for humans on the market now include Beyond Meat, Morningstar, Impossible Burger, and Boca. Recently, plant-based meat has made a big impression, even appearing in fast food restaurants like White Castle and Burger King. Although it’s not a good idea to give your dog vegetarian meat created for humans, you can offer veggies that dogs can consume, such as zucchini, okra, lettuce, turnips, and parsnips, to make their diet more vegetarian friendly.
Many vegetarians and vegans decide to feed their dogs diet that they have for ethical and health reasons. Dogs love meat, but vegan or vegetarian dog foods are available in the market. However, always check with your vet before giving it a try.