Lots of people think dogs require meat in their diet but there is scientific evidence to prove that dogs thrive on plant-based diets (7, 31, 11). In fact some of the longest living dogs on record were fed entirely plant-based, like Guinness World Record holder Bramble, who lived to the age of 25 (16,17). In one study reported by world renowned vet and professor Dr. Andrew Knight, the average life expectancy of plant-based dogs was reported to be almost 13 years old (11), well above average (32) and in certain parts of the world like India and Sri-lanka dogs have also been thriving on plant-based diets for generations (18). The take home message is that dogs need nutrients rather than ingredients, and they can get these from delicious plant-based sources (31, 4, 5, 6).
Dogs are in fact true 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 is a strict herbivore that thrives on a 100% plant-based diet (20).
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 your dogs need to thrive.
The optimal amount of fibre in a dog’s diet is between 2-4%. omni’s plant-powered recipe has a fibre content of 3% which is just right for optimal gut health. In our taste-test trial with over 500 dogs, 100% of dog parents reported their dog’s stool consistency was either ‘normal’ or ‘perfect’ and there were no reports of any digestive upsets.
We are proud that our recipe is nutritionally complete and includes everything your dog needs to live a long, happy and healthy life. Like humans who are cutting back on their meat intake for health and environmental reasons, thanks to omni it's now possible to feed your dog a fully vegetarian or ‘flexitarian’ diet too. We understand that some people would prefer to continue feeding a component of meat/fish in their diet. Mixing omni with meat/fish will help to add variety into your dog’s diet whilst adding in healthy ingredients with a low carbon footprint.
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 without the saturated animal fats found in meat-based diets.
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.
Natural is a very relative term, despite many glossy marketing claims out there, pet food only has to contain 4% of a meat like ‘chicken’ or ‘beef’ to be labelled as such (19). What's more, the rules allow for this 4% to be made up of animal derivatives like bone meal, lard and feathers and then the rest is often bulked up with cheap fillers like corn (15). This means millions of dogs are already eating mainly plant-based diets but with low quality ingredients. Now thanks to omni, it’s possible to feed your dog high quality protein rich diets that contain delicious plant-based ingredients that humans would want to eat too!
Multiple health benefits have been reported for dogs on plant-based diets such as improved weight control, decreased incidence of cancer, decreased infections, diabetes regression and better skin/coat quality and odor (11). Allergies are extremely common in dogs and can cause significant suffering. They are often related to the meat or fish component in their diet (39). Common signs of such allergies in dogs include itchy ears, hair loss, red skin, paw licking, runny stools and vomiting (38). Another great advantage of plant-based diets is that they are naturally void of these common allergens so could be the perfect choice for your dog.
We did an omni taste-test trial with over 500 dog parents. Over 90% of respondents reported that their dogs LOVED omni and over 50% that they preferred it to their usual meat-based diet. Feel free to check out our testimonials and to see for yourself how excited dogs are when you serve up a dish of omni.
Omni’s recipe contains brown rice and oats which are grains that are both naturally wheat and gluten free however we cannot guarantee the absence of traces of either of these in the mills in which these ingredients are ground up.
Sadly yes, there have been a large number of recalls due to contamination issues with bacteria, fungi, toxic chemicals and antibiotics (11,10, 12, 13).
Yes, the European regulatory body (FEDIAF) stipulates strict controls (49) on what should go into pet food, before it can be labelled as nutritionally complete. omni not only meets these guidelines but surpasses the minimum requirements on several key points such as the level of protein.
Feeding a balanced diet dog containing all the bits they need has its challenges. Dogs require a minimum level of protein, can only digest a limited amount of fibre and require a precise balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to cover all their health needs. This is why omni’s recipe has been formulated by industry experts including our vet founder and team of PhD pet food formulators who have extensive experience with plant-based diets. A vet-formulated recipe is one that can be trusted to get those critical details right so that you can rest assured you are offering your dog healthy nutritious food.
The European Pet Food Industry Federation is the trading body that represents the European pet industry and regulates the sale and distribution of animal feeds. They also set the nutritional guidelines (3) for both complete and complimentary food for pets including cats and dogs.
All omni products are periodically sampled and analysed for their nutritional parameters, quality and safety. We are committed to never having a recall on any of our current or future products.
The uncomfortable truth is that the world’s 500 million dogs and cats eat 20% of the planet’s meat. This produces 64 million tonnes of CO2 and methane in just the US alone. To put that into context, that’s the equivalent environmental impact of 13.6 million cars (53)! omni’s plant-powered dog food uses significantly fewer resources meaning our food is not just better for your dog, it’s also pretty great for the planet. Making omni uses 85% fewer greenhouse gases, consumes 61% less water and uses 92% less land, as compared to traditional meat-based dog food. Switching a medium sized dog from a traditional meat-based diet to omni’s plant-based diet is equivalent to savings over a dog’s lifetime of 20 years’ worth of an individual’s showers, 22 return flights from London to New York and 348 Tennis Courts
We’ve been working hard to make our recipe fully vegan but currently it does contain vitamin D3 derived from lanolin, the waxy material in sheep wool and so is vegetarian rather than vegan. Your dog’s health is our top priority and as such we only produce food that complies with both FEDIAF and FSA (food standards agency) regulations for pet food. The vegan vitamin D2 supplement was recently removed from the ‘Feed Additives Registry’, which means it can no longer be legally used in pet food. There is a relatively newly discovered form of vegan vitamin D3 derived from lichen/algae that may have future promise for use in pet food. We are working with the regulatory authorities to test the safety of this and its inclusion into our diet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has been investigating links between certain grain free diets and a form of heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) (50). Their findings highlight that the incidence of DCM is likely multifactorial and includes a complex interaction of predisposing factors like breed, age and metabolism as well as possibly dietary components (52). Although omni is not grain free, as a vet founded brand we are committed to keeping a close eye on the conclusions of this investigation and any others that may highlight health concerns with any food ingredients. It is crucial to note that only 1% of dogs in the USA are impacted by DCM so it is a relatively uncommon condition (52). The director of the FDA’s centre for veterinary medicine, Dr. Steven Solomon has acknowledged that “complex scientific messaging” has contributed to confusion and misinterpretation on the link between diet and DCM (51). We also supplement taurine as deficiencies of this amino-acid have in the past been linked to heart disease (14).
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