Bramble, the Vegan Border Collie dog who lived to 25 years old and broke a world record for longest lifespan

What if we told you that dogs could live to over 20? Well let us tell you about Bramble…

 
As a dog parent, all we want is for our best friends to live happy, healthy lives, for as long as possible. We do everything in our power to safeguard their health; providing medical care, protection, a safe home, enrichment and a good diet. 
When our founders started Omni- that’s exactly what they wanted for their dogs too. They were struggling to find a diet that stopped the frequent tummy upsets, that tasted delicious, and was beneficial for their dog’s health, as well as kind to the environment. This is when they came across Bramble, the super Border Collie. 


Bramble was fed an exclusively plant based diet, and lived to 25 years old- that’s double the average life expectancy of a border collie! Not only this, but Anne Heritage (Bramble’s doting mum) also had 2 other collies (also on plant based diets) that lived to a phenomenal 19 and 20 years old as well.


Of course, we hear you say their lifespan relies on many factors- breed, environment, genetics, however we believe that diet shouldn’t be overlooked. It plays a significant part in health, much like in people. More recent studies are showing the benefits of dogs on a nutritionally complete plant based diet, from longevity (1), better coat conditions, gut health and even anxiety (2).
Bramble’s mum became vegan after learning about the horrors of the meat industry and its effects on the environment. At that time (Bramble was born in 1975) there was little information on plant based feeding, let alone plant based pet food brands- but Anne perfected making dinners for her pups- consisting of lentils, fresh veg , rice and more. The results? Her dogs thrived, and excelled far beyond the average collie life span. 


When we say thrived, we mean it- Bramble was full of beans, and described as a ‘bulldozer’ by her mum. She loved meal times, walks and swimming. It just goes to show that dogs aren’t reliant on ingredients, it’s the nutrients that really matter. What’s more, we know that dogs can obtain all their required nutrients from entirely plant based, cruelty free sources.


This is where we come in. Omni is nutritionally complete, species appropriate, totally plant based diet, made from fresh, human grade ingredients. As vets and scientists, following the science and looking out for your dog’s health is key. As our promise, we test each batch of Omni at the University of Nottingham, to ensure that the food that reaches your dog, is everything they need to live their lives to their full potential.

 

  1. Dodd, S. (2022) ‘Owner Perception of health of North American dogs fed meat-  or plant- based diets’ Elsevier, 149: 36-46
  2. Davies, M. (2022) ‘Reported Health Benefits of a Vegan Dog Food- A likert scale-type Survey of 100 Guardians’ Archives of Clinical and Biomedical Research, 6 :889-905

FAQs

But aren’t dog’s carnivores?

Dogs are in fact nutritional omnivores as demonstrated by a robust scientific study published in the reputable journal Nature (1,2) in which it was shown that they have 30 copies of the AMY2B gene responsible for digesting plant-based foods.

They have also evolved relatively long intestines (21) (almost as long as humans) and relatively flat surfaces on their molars (31, 22) which they use for digesting and chewing a whole range of foods.

The common misconception that dogs are carnivores probably arises from the fact that they are classified in the order Carnivora but so are plenty of other species like bears, skunks, racoons who are omnivores and even the giant panda who thrives on a plant-based diet (20).

Is plant protein digestible to dogs?

Absolutely yes, studies which have looked at how much protein dogs can absorb from plant-based and fungi-based foods like soya and yeast demonstrated over 75% digestibility which is on par with meat-based foods (23, 24, 34, 35 & 25).

Both these protein sources also contain all 10 essential amino acids (36, 37) that dogs need to thrive.

Isn't there too much fibre in plant-based food?

The average amount of fibre in a commercial dog food diet is between 2-4%. omni’s plant-powered recipe has a fibre content of 3% which is on par with meat- based diets.

In our survey with over 200 dog owners, 100% reported that their dog’s stool consistency was either ‘normal’ or ‘perfect’ and there were no reports of any digestive upsets (data on file).

Can I mix omni with other meat-based diets?

We are proud that our recipes are nutritionally complete and so include everything your dog needs to thrive. This means omni can be fed as a sole ration. We also fully support a 'flexitarian approach' like meat free lunches or using omni as a mixer.

Every little helps to bring some of the health and environmental benefits of plant-power to meal times. Mixing omni with meat/fish will help to add variety into your dog’s diet whilst adding in healthy ingredients with a relatively low carbon footprint.

Can plant-based food provide the essential fatty acids dogs need?

All the essential fats and oils that dogs need, including omegas 3 and 6 are found in a variety of both meat and plant-based foods (31, 28).

omni’s recipe is rich in plant-based sources of these nutrients so your dog will get all the essentials they need.

I hear a lot about feeding raw meat, isn’t that better?

Feeding raw meat to dogs has become a very popular trend in recent years, but most vets will warn against this practise. This is because the cooking process is vital to help kill off dangerous bacteria like E coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter (9) that have necessitated several food recalls from the market and caused serious illness and even death in both dogs and their owners (40, 41, & 42).

There are also several worms and parasites that are only killed off when raw meat is cooked. Dogs are dogs, not wolves and thanks to their domestication over thousands of years, thankfully don’t need to hunt to get their grub nor do they need to eat raw meat, it's just not worth the risk.

References

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