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What Is Really in Traditional, Meat-Based Pet Food?

Hey there, fellow pet parents! Have you ever wondered what’s in your dog’s food? We know you want the best for your fur baby, so it’s essential to understand what you’re feeding them. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at traditional meat-based pet foods, discuss some alarming facts, and explore the benefits of choosing vegan dog food for your canine companion’s health, animal welfare, and the environment.


The Issues with Traditional Meat-Based Pet Foods

Problems with Meat-Based Kibble

Let’s start with the typical kibble. Sure, it’s convenient, but did you know that many meat-based kibble brands use lower-quality ingredients like meat by-products and fillers? These can include animal parts like bones, beaks, and hooves, which don’t offer much nutritional value (or sound very appetizing, to be honest). In a 2016 study, Dr. Andrew Knight, a veterinary professor at the University of Winchester, noted: “Due to expensive labour costs, plastic ear tags are not always removed. Old or spoiled supermarket meat, sometimes without removal of styrofoam packaging (which increases labour costs), may also be used.”

On top of that, artificial additives and preservatives are often used to extend shelf life and enhance the taste. Studies have shown that some of these additives, like BHT and BHA, can contribute to multiple health issues. Plus, according to research, the most common allergies in dogs are to animal proteins such as beef, chicken, and eggs. 

As if that wasn’t enough to turn us away from meat-based kibble, the risk of contamination and recalls is ever-present, causing unnecessary worry for pet parents. In fact, since 2009, there have been over 250 pet food recalls in the United States alone. 


Issues with Meat-Based Fresh Food

Now, what about meat-based fresh food? While it might sound like a healthier option, there are still issues to consider. Unbalanced nutrition can occur if the meals aren’t carefully formulated, and fresh food can spoil quickly, leading to bacterial growth.

Additionally, the environmental impact of sourcing meat for pet food is significant. The meat industry contributes to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that producing meat-based pet food generates up to 64 million tons of CO2 annually.


Risks Associated with Raw Food Diets

Finally, let’s discuss raw food diets. While some people swear by them, raw food diets come with their own set of risks. Bacterial contamination and foodborne illnesses are real concerns, especially with raw meat. The FDA states that raw pet food is more likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria.

Moreover, an improper balance of nutrients can lead to health issues in the long run. Research has shown that many homemade raw diets lack essential nutrients.


The Benefits of Vegan Dog Food

Now that we’ve covered the drawbacks of traditional pet foods, let’s dive into the advantages of vegan dog food.

  • Improved health and well-being: Vegan dog food offers complete and balanced nutrition, reduces the risk of allergies and sensitivities, and helps manage your pet’s weight more effectively. A study by Dr. Andrew Knight concluded that a vegan diet may actually be the very best choice for your furry friend’s health.
  • Animal welfare: By choosing cruelty-free and ethically sourced ingredients, you’re helping reduce the demand for factory farming and its associated issues. Over 9 billion animals are slaughtered each year in the United States for meat production, and a significant portion of that goes towards pet food.
  • Environmental sustainability: Vegan dog food has a lower carbon footprint, uses less water and land, and generates less pollution and waste. According to PETA, producing one pound of beef requires over 2,400 gallons of water, while growing one pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons!


PawCo’s Vegan Dog Food Advantage

PawCo has revolutionized the pet food industry with its GreenMeat™, a plant-based meat substitute specifically formulated for dogs and based on plant and yeast proteins. Our recipes, developed by board-certified food scientists and animal nutritionists, exceed AAFCO standards and provide all the essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs for optimal health. This way, you never need to wonder whether the food you’re feeding your furry family member is healthy enough for them or if they’re really receiving all the nutrients they require!

Not only is PawCo’s vegan dog food a healthier choice, but it also promotes animal welfare and environmental sustainability. By excluding animal products from our meals and by only using sustainable and eco-friendly food packages and shipping materials, we help reduce animal suffering, deforestation, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. 



In conclusion, vegan dog food offers numerous advantages over traditional meat-based pet foods. By making the switch, you’re helping improve your dog’s health, supporting animal welfare, and contributing to a more sustainable future. With more facts at your disposal, you can make an informed decision about your dog’s diet. Give PawCo’s vegan dog food a try, and see the difference it can make for your furry friend!


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