Vegetarian/vegan dog food has been featuring in Yarrah’s range since 1995. In addition to dry food, there is also wet food, with the most significant source of protein being soya. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it wasn’t introduced to the market back then to given vegetarians the option of feeding their dogs a meat-free diet. The food was primarily intended for (and pre-eminently well suited to) dogs that don’t get on well with animal proteins.
For and against
Proponents and opponents of feeding dogs a vegetarian/vegan diet may well be diametrically opposed to one another, but they all have one thing in common: they want the best for their pet. Anyone feeding their dog fresh meat only and noticing that the dog is thriving as a result should certainly continue to do so. Yarrah has no desire to persuade anyone that a vegetarian/vegan diet is better, but it can offer a solution for animals with problems processing animal proteins. ‘We’ consider it completely normal that a dog might be intolerant to beef (for instance) and that the owner will therefore stick to giving him products that contain chicken. But what if a dog doesn’t get along with beef, chicken and pork? In such cases, vegetarian/vegan food could be the answer.
What’s more, there are vegetarians and vegans wishing to feed their dog a vegetarian/vegan diet on account of their own principles. Preparing a full vegetarian/vegan meal for yourself takes a great deal of knowledge on nutrition. Consequently, it’s better for there to be a full alternative to ensure that the dog is getting all the nutrients he needs.
The most significant source of protein that we use is soya, both in kibbles and wet food. Proteins – plant or animal – are one of the most important sources of energy. When plant proteins are rendered soluble in a certain way, dogs are readily able to absorb them and convert them to energy. 10,000 years of domestication have seen to it that dogs are capable of absorbing plant proteins
Carnivore or otherwise
One commonly touted argument is that dogs are carnivores and that they need meat. Our vegetarian food contains all the ingredients a dog needs to live a healthy life. And to be honest, plenty of conventional dry food kibbles contain so little meat that they’re almost vegetarian anyway (read the back of cheap, regular food, which will contain 4% meat in the round kibbles but not in the square or triangular kibbles that make up three quarters of the pack).
Given that Yarrah does not test on animals, it’s difficult for us to prove that our vegetarian food is capable of remedying skin, fur or digestive problems. To this end, we are reliant on the opinions of ‘users’. The website of Zooplus, a major animal product retailer, features a plethora of positive reviews of our vegetarian/vegan food posted by owners. Dogs like the taste and their symptoms are reduced or even gone. And that’s why we make it.