In our professional opinion, yes, especially in light of some recent research.

Unlike humans, which are true omnivores — meaning we get our nutrition from a wide variety of plant and animal sources, domestic dogs derive nearly all of their nutrition from a single source — their dog food.

So the real question that's typically being asked here is, since a dog gets most of their nutrition from their dog food, should that food be meat-based? Our answer would be a resounding yes.

Just several years ago, our answer would not have been as vehement. Recently, meat alternatives have become popular both for human and dogs for reasons of sustainability, cost, and ethics. Since dogs' consume a lot of animal protein, it's a completely reasonable desire ot shift some of this consumption towards plant-based proteins.

There is one big issue, though — nutrition.

Amino acids, which comes from proteins, offer essential nutrients from all living animals.

At the core of the FDA's recent investigation into grain-free dog foods causing a potentially fatal heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy ("DCM") are amino acids. The leading hypothesis is that plant-based proteins (particularly from legumes like peas, chickpeas and lentils) are interfering with the absoprtion of essential nutrients — and thus causing heart failure.

In the foreseeable future, therefore, we strongly recommend your dog's primary diet is meat-baed to ensure they get the amino acids they need. The more "common" the meat the better, because those amino acid profiles are most widely understood in their affect on dogs, e.g. beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, etc.

Over time, as there is more research into the amino acid profiles of uncommon animal proteins and eventually plant-based proteins, there will likely be a day when we can recommend (or even make our own) plant-based diet.

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