I no longer eat meat; what can I feed my dog?

The demand for vegetarian products for dogs is growing. — Shutterstock pic via ETX Studio
The demand for vegetarian products for dogs is growing. — Shutterstock pic via ETX Studio

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PARIS, May 4 — Vegan cookies, vegetarian kibbles, cell-based feed... Vegetarian food for our pets is a booming industry, offering something to fill Fido’s bowl and hopefully satisfy him.

How do you convince your faithful four-legged friend to switch to a non-meat diet? More and more dog owners who have adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet are asking themselves this question.

“Supermarket pet foods are often composed of ground-up parts of animals that US Department of Agriculture inspectors have deemed unfit for human consumption...The flesh of animals who fall into one of the categories of the four D’s — dead, dying, diseased, or disabled — is what often goes into pet food,” outlines the website of animal rights association Peta.

But health and respect for animal welfare are not the only elements that are taken into account by people who are concerned about making their pet’s diet more “green.”

As a recent survey conducted by the American platform First Insight shows, the desire to give one’s pet a more sustainable diet is gaining momentum, especially among Generation Z (73 per cent) and millennials (68 per cent).

And it’s a trend that has not escaped the attention of the pet food market. Indeed, the number of vegetarian and plant-based initiatives especially designed for our furry friends have been increasing exponentially in recent years.

Plant-based kibbles

Rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli and quinoa... A growing number of vegetarian kibbles are available for our dogs’ meals. Some of the brands offering such options are V-dog, Ami, Benevo, PetGuard, Wysong and Halo Garden. In the same spirit, there are 100 per cent vegan, “organic” and mineral-rich canned food.

Chewy vegan cookies

Because your pet deserves a little treat from time to time, you should know that there are gluten-free and meat-free chewy cookies (an alternative to poultry-flavored treats). For example, Wet Noses apple and ginger treats, or Wholesome Pride banana bites.

Cultured protein

American company Bond Pet Foods has recently developed a cellular meat recipe especially for dogs. The principle? Restore the taste of chicken by isolating the DNA of the bird, thanks to a microbial fermentation process. The mash is then macerated in a vat with sugars, vitamins and minerals, dried and transformed into powder. It is then simply added to Fido’ s meal, which will remind him of the taste of chicken. This product should be on the market by 2023. — ETX Studio

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