Your pets make your life worthwhile with their companionship. They share your happiness and sorrow. No wonder most pet owners want to give the best to their pets. It includes choosing the ideal pet food that nourishes and boosts their pet’s health. You can see various brands using several types of ingredients to prepare the best pet food. Figuring out the nutritious and ideal pet food may seem confusing. Also, the myths and misconceptions surrounding certain pet food ingredients like soy can make you decide on other not-so-good alternatives. Read ahead to learn more about soy and its purpose in pet food.
Soy refers to the product coming from soybeans. Classified under legume, people use soybeans in many edible products. The popular soy products used today include
- Soy sauce
- Soy milk
- Cheese substitutes
- Vegan meat
Manufacturers add soy extracts like soy emulsifiers and lecithin to various processed foods. They can act as food additives.
Use Of Soy In Pet Food
Pet food manufacturers try to ensure good animal nutrition by adding the best ingredients to pet food. Soy has become a common protein source available at low costs. Some manufacturers also use it in allergy diets for pets. They believe in the potential health benefits of soy due to the presence of amino acids, fatty acids, fiber content, and antioxidants. It may ensure good digestion. Some other reasons soy may have become a popular ingredient in pet foods include.
1. Well-Digested Ingredient
Unlike the misconception surrounding soy, pets may digest this ingredient when used in pet foods. The amino acids in soybean may digest to the same extent as high-quality animal proteins. Pets may not develop bloating due to eating soy. Beware of the fact that soy may trigger flatulence in pets. Soy can contain compounds stachyose, galactooligosaccharides, raffinose, and verbascose that can cause flatulence. Therefore, experts believe in restricting the use of soybean meal to no more than ten percent in pet meals to prevent flatulence.
2. Can Treat Allergies
Some vets suggest pets a diet rich in soy to diagnose and address food allergies in pets by using them in food elimination programs. The hydrolyzed soy diet can contain protein broken into small pieces. These pieces can pass through the pet’s digestive tract without the immune system recognizing them. Hence, it may trigger no reaction.
Like humans, your pets may also develop an allergic reaction to some food products. Eliminate soy allergy before feeding them a diet containing soy products. The soy product quantity ingested can also result in developing allergies. Dogs may develop an allergic reaction to various food sources. However, the myth persists that soy can automatically trigger an allergic reaction. Test your pet’s response to soy products before including them in their food.
3. Soy Diets Can Help Manage Illnesses
No evidence exists to indicate that pets consuming normal soy levels in pet food can suffer from illnesses. However, vets prescribe a soy-based diet to manage some health conditions. It may seem helpful in speeding the recovery of dogs who have undergone invasive surgery to remove bladder stones. Soy can have low purine levels. It can prevent the recurrence of developing stones.
Pet with purine uroliths may feel better with a soy-based vegetarian diet. Purines refer to the chemical compound triggering gout. The animal tissue can contain high levels of purines. A diet rich in organ meat like liver can make your pet prone to developing bladder stones. Switching to a vegetarian diet may also promote higher urine pH. It can increase the chances of dissolution of purine uroliths. Vets suggest soy in the diet for dogs suffering from advanced liver disease. Soy may have a gentle effect on the organ than other animal proteins. Studies also indicate that soy in diet may inhibit cancer cell growth in pets.
Myths And Misconceptions Surrounding Soy
Several misconceptions swirl around soy-based pet foods. Let us take a look at them and determine their authenticity.
Can Soy Trigger DCM?
Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) refers to a heart problem affecting dogs. Experts believe the condition develops due to consuming foods containing legumes. Since soy comes under the legume category, people assume it can cause danger to pets. The FDA has started an investigation to find the link between DCM and some grain-free diets. According to the FDA, no correlation exists between heart disease in canines and high-fat soy legumes. Hence, the rumors of soy triggering DCM may have no solid evidence.
Soy Foods Contain Glyphosate
Glyphosate can weaken the immune system of the canine by destroying good bacteria. But, a Norwegian study found that only GMO soybean crops contained high levels of glyphosate. The conventional or organic soybeans remained void of glyphosate.
Should You Feed Your Pet Food Containing Soy?
The diet you choose must depend on your pet’s physical needs. Your pet requires the ideal balance of nutrients to lead a healthy life. Instead of focusing on specific ingredients, try to find various sources to get the necessary nutrients. You must review the overall nutrient requirement levels before selecting the pet food. A healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fats can promote good health. The diet must also have the appropriate breakdown of fiber, amino acids, and fatty acids to ensure better health for your pets.
Consult your vet to determine the soy tolerance levels of your pets. An expert can also provide information regarding the nutritional needs of your pets. You can look for reputable brands selling the best pet foods meeting the standards set by the country to prevent issues.