The pet industry over the last few years has seen a huge growth in vegan dog treats and plant-based dog food in general. However according to new research, it isn’t only dogs that may be able to benefit from the many health benefits of vegan treats, but cats also.
Vegan Diets for Cats
There are many health benefits of vegan dog treats, our very own MaksPatch Vegan dog treats are light in protein, hypoallergenic, low in fat, gluten free, grain & wheat free and sugar. However, a recent study covered by the Guardian newspaper showed that the emerging trend and growing market of vegan dog treats and plant-based food might also extend to our feline companions. The study found that owners of cats fed vegan diets reported fewer visits to the vet, less medication use and said that their vet would be more likely to describe their cat as healthy. The findings provide reassurance to a growing number of owners who are considering alternative diets for their pets, the researchers said.
Challenging Pet Industry Beliefs
From our experience launching MaksPatch veggie dog treats back in 2017, although challenging at first, since launching our vegan dog treats we experienced consistent and large year on year growth. Despite this growth and success, it has never really crossed our mind at Miro & Makauri to develop a sister product for cats due to the long held and widespread acceptance that cat’s diet is almost entirely meat-based. However, Prof Andrew Knight, of the University of Winchester who led the research explained “Biologically, what cats need is not meat, but a specific set of nutrients and there’s no scientific reason why you can’t supply all the necessary nutrients through plant additives.”
While further research is needed to confirm these findings, the study has laid the groundwork for potential dietary shifts in the feline world. As previously mentioned, this shift has already occurred in the pet industry regarding plant-based dog food and vegan dog treats. This research hints at the same potential for cats and could have huge benefits for cat owners that are conscious of the negative implications of the traditional meat-based diet for their pet cats.
Cats as Potential Beneficiaries of Vegan Diets
Historically, cats have been classified as obligate carnivores, leading to the belief that a diet predominantly consisting of meat is essential for their health. The study discussed by The Guardian challenges this notion, hinting at the possibility that cats could thrive on a vegan diet with careful planning and supplementation.
While the primary focus remains on the potential benefits of a vegan diet for cats, it's worth noting the growing popularity of vegan dog treats. These treats, often crafted from plant-based ingredients, aim to provide dogs with tasty and nutritious alternatives while promoting sustainability and ethical choices. As the market evolves, the notion of extending this trend to include cats highlights the demand for diverse and compassionate options in the pet food industry.
The Importance of Responsible Transition
For pet owners considering a transition to a vegan diet for their cats, consultation with a veterinarian is crucial. Ensuring that cats receive all the necessary nutrients, including taurine, vitamin B12, and essential amino acids, is essential for their overall health and well-being. Similarly, when exploring vegan dog treats for our canine companions, responsible choices that meet their nutritional needs are paramount.
As The Guardian's article sparks conversations about the potential health benefits of a vegan diet for cats, it also opens the door to exploring compassionate choices in pet nutrition. The emerging trend of vegan dog treats hints at a broader shift towards ethical and sustainable options in the pet food industry. Whether for dogs or potentially for cats, the pursuit of plant-based alternatives underscores a collective effort by pet owners to provide their beloved companions with nourishing treats while aligning with values of kindness and responsibility.
Here at Miro & Makauri, we are trying our best to be a responsible company that looks at how we operate, what we produce, how we package our products while contributing to projects that help make a difference such as the Project Rhino K9 unit in South Africa which use dogs as essential tool to fight wildlife crime and reduce poaching: We Sponsor Project Rhino. Read about them here – Miro&Makauri
In essence we are trying to make improvements to help our customers (dog owners) to come on that journey with us and make more sustainable and responsible choices to help reduce the carbon ‘pawprint’ and minimize the environmental impacts of having a dog. In this article, we will explore five ways to be a more sustainable and environmentally responsible dog owner.
1. Choose Sustainable Dog Food
Selecting the right dog food can make a significant difference in your both your dog’s health and the impact on the natural environment - opt for sustainably sourced and locally produced dog food to reduce your pet's carbon footprint.
Even better is to incorporate vegetarian or vegan dog treats into your dog’s diet. Vegan dog treats help alleviate issues with traditional farming; using less land, no deforestation, and no use of antibiotics, while at the same time the production of vegan dog treats compared to meat-based also uses less water and produces less CO2 emissions.
Another sustainable alternative are dog treats and food comprised of insect-protein, which similar to vegan dog treats take up less land, uses less water and CO2 in the production chain compared to tradition meat based food and treats.
2. Reduce Single-Use Plastic
Plastic pollution is a significant environmental concern, and pet owners can contribute to the solution by reducing single-use plastic items. Swap out disposable doggy bags for biodegradable alternatives, or better yet, use a scoop and compostable bags. Choose stainless steel or glass bowls instead of plastic ones for your pet's food and water. Reusable, washable pet toys and grooming tools can also help cut down on plastic waste.
3. Adopt Eco-Friendly Grooming Habits
Bathing and grooming your dog is a regular task, and it can have a significant environmental impact. Use natural and biodegradable shampoos and grooming products to minimize the release of harmful chemicals into the water supply. When brushing your dog, consider saving their fur and using it for nesting material for birds or donating it to organizations that use it to create eco-friendly yarn for clothing.
4. Responsible Waste Management
Proper disposal of dog waste is crucial for maintaining a clean environment. Use biodegradable bags when picking up after your dog and dispose of waste in designated bins or compost it if your local regulations allow. Avoid flushing pet waste down the toilet, as it can harm water treatment systems and the environment. By managing dog waste responsibly, you prevent harmful bacteria and pollutants from entering water sources.
5. Eco-Conscious Dog Accessories
When choosing accessories for your dog, like collars, leashes, and bedding, opt for eco-friendly options. Look for products made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Consider buying durable, high-quality items that will last longer, reducing the need for replacements and lowering your overall environmental impact.
Companies that incorporate sustainability into their decisions and products can help consumers, in this case dog owners to make more sustainable choices and reduce dog ownership impacts on the environment.
At Miro & Makauri we are doing our best to help our customers to make those small changes, chiefly with our MaksPatch vegan dog treats and minimising single use plastic in our packaging.
As a dog owner, you have the power to make environmentally responsible choices that benefit not only your dog but also the planet. By incorporating sustainable dog food/treats, reducing single-use plastic, adopting eco-friendly grooming habits, practicing responsible waste management, and choosing eco-conscious dog accessories, you can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.