There have been circulating talks in the internet about the hype of edamame-based dog food products recently. These products are supposed to be alternatives to the usual products that we are used to feeding our pets. The new dog food promises to be healthier and more affordable options for dogs.
However, there is still a lingering issue on whether edamame is a good dog food alternative or not. This article will discuss the effects of feeding your dog edamame.
What is Edamame?
Edamame are young soy beans popular in Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea. They are served as snacks or are integrated in favorite Asian dishes. According to the US Department of Agriculture, edamame beans contain phosphorous, potassium, protein, and fiber, among others. Pet product manufacturers are starting to integrate edamame beans into pet food formula due to its cited benefits.
While edamame beans are rich in nutritional content, there have been adverse reactions from veterinarians, researchers and pet owners in giving edamame in dogs.
Is it Biologically Appropriate for Your Dogs?
Dogs are naturally carnivores. As can be seen by the structure of their teeth, it is designed to consume meat. Unlike omnivores which both have sharp molars for tearing meat, and flat molars for grinding plant-based food (like human beings), carnivores do not have flat molars. Nature has designed carnivores like your dog to eat only meat.
There some pet owners who think that dogs can simply adopt the ways of the herbivore by simply feeding them with plant-based food until they are get used to it. However, for the past century, the dogs' DNA has not evolved to become herbivores.
Although dogs are resilient and can withstand eating plant-based diet for a period of time, it is a different matter if they can thrive on this diet. Aside from being biologically inappropriate, this diet does not contain the required amount of protein for your dog's survival. Further, it is not only about making your dog survive – it is also making your dog healthy in the long run.
As pet owners, we should try to mimic our companion's natural diet as much as possible. We try to avoid diet-related problems if we make them eat food that we do.
There are dog meals available in the market such as BLUE Freedom Grain Free Dry Dog Food which contains real meat. It does not contain poultry, grain, or other plant-based products which some pet parents avoid.
What Do the Experts Have to Say?
There are pet owners and veterinary nutritionists who advocate in converting their pets into raw and vegan diets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), while they will not, and are not able to regulate the choice of pet owners on what they are feeding their pets, they are mainly concerned about mitigating the public health risk of giving raw food to pets.
Based on their studies, feeding dogs with raw protein can cause infection with Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aurelus, among others. These can infect not only pets but their owners as well and are life-threatening.
What Does Edamame Contain?
Phytoestrogens are plant estrogens which have biological effects on human beings. In soy, isoflavones are the most common compounds. Fermenting soy using traditional methods reduces the amount of isoflavones. However, processing in factories do not.
Moreover, genetically modified soy produced in the United States are made to be more resistant resulting to it containing higher amount of isoflavones as compared to those grown in Japan and China.
Phytoestrogens found in raw, mature soybeans also contain phytates, a compound responsible for preventing mineral absorption and blocking the enzymes necessary for protein digestion.
Pet food manufacturers use soy to enhance protein content and as an additive. Since it is a cheaper alternative to meat proteins, these companies gain more profit margins when using soy.
Are there Risks of Feeding Edamame on My Dog?
Giving soy-based products has been considered to be a contributor to gastric dilatation volvulus, also referred to as the twisted stomach or a deadly bloat, a problem considered to be life-threatening among dogs.
Soy is high in purines and is considered to be inappropriate source of protein for dogs. It also contains high silicates that can cause formation of silica stones. Ingestion of soybeans is also said to cause seizure in dogs.
In a study conducted by the York Laboratory in United Kingdom, it was discovered that allergic reactions to soy has increased by 50% as compared to the previous year. The study was done using genetically modified soy. About 90% of edemame beans supplied in the US market are genetically modified due to high demand for soy-based products.
It is a common fact that soy can cause allergies to your dogs. If you have fed your dog with edamame and have shown adverse reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea and chronic ear infections, excessive scratching or licking, hair loss, and saliva staining on limbs, then it's time for you to stop feeding your dog with edamame and consult your vet.
Edamame: A Boon or Bane?
Feeding your dog with a bean or two from time to time might not produce harmful effects on your dog. However, if you are thinking of drastically changing their diet and convert them to a plant-based one, it is still best to consult with your trusted veterinarian before doing so.
While edamame might be beneficial to us, human beings, due it high nutritional content, it does not necessarily mean that it is also good for our dogs. It may be cumbersome for us to buy meat products and prepare separate meals for our furry companions, yet, we are not without options.
There are ready-made, delicious, healthy, and appropriate meals available in the market that we can buy such as the BLUE Freedom Grain Free Dry Dog Food. They also offer a line of dog food products suitable for any stage of your pet's life. Since they are easy to prepare, we can spend more quality time bonding with our beloved dogs.
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