SOUTHPORT, CONN. — The evolution of canines from wolf to man’s best friend has transformed their eating habits on a genetic level, according to a 2013 study published in Nature, a scientific journal. More recent research takes this concept one step further to suggest dogs can get all the nutrients they need from — and even thrive on — an entirely plant-based diet, given that it’s formulated properly.

The 2013 study, entitled “The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet,” involved whole-genome sequencing of both dogs and wolves, through which researchers identified 10 genetic variants in dogs related to starch digestion and fat metabolism. In short, today’s domesticated dogs are able to digest starch at increased levels compared to their ancestors.

This genetic evidence was put to the test by what Earth Animal, a natural and holistic pet care company that sells Dr. Bob Goldstein’s Wisdom plant-based dog food, described as “the longest and most comprehensive study” focused on the nutritional efficacy of plant-based diets for dogs based on key health markers. This more recent study was conducted by researchers at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., and the University of California Berkeley. The study has not yet been peer reviewed.

“We’ve always known dogs do well on a complete-and-balanced plant-based diet,” said Goldstein, co-founder and head of veterinary product development at Earth Animal. “Over the years, we have seen friends and family raise healthy, happy, energetic, plant-based dogs. Now, the research has substantiated the evidence.”

According to Earth Animal, properly formulated plant-based diets for dogs can be hypoallergenic, support gut health and digestion, support longevity, and enhance overall health and wellbeing.

Earth Animal Wisdom From the Seed air-dried plant-based dog food

Earth Animal’s latest pet food innovation, Wisdom From the Seed, an air-dried and plant-based diet for dogs. 

| Source: Earth Animal

Aside from their nutritional fortitude, properly formulated plant-based dog foods also offer environmental benefits, according to Earth Animal. These range from avoiding greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal agriculture, as well as reducing land and water use.

“Pet parents can significantly reduce a dog’s carbon pawprint and help combat climate change simply by incorporating plant-based food into their diet one or even two days a week,” Goldstein added. “Pet parents can also play a positive role with regards to animal welfare for animals being raised for meat.”

As part of the company’s effort to reduce its reliance on animal protein, Earth Animal has introduced its latest innovation: Wisdom From the Seed air-dried and plant-based dog food. All ingredients used in the formulation are hypoallergenic, according to the company, including lentils, quinoa, sunflower seed protein, alfalfa juice concentrate protein and potato protein. At 28% protein content overall and suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes, Wisdom From the Seed delivers nutrient content, fat and amino acid levels that “surpass traditional meat-based diets,” according to Goldstein, who formulated the new diet.

Earth Animal added that its new Wisdom From the Seed formula was also designed with digestibility in mind, and has passed palatability testing with “overwhelmingly strong results.”

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.