Meat Based vs. Plant Based Dog Foods

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Meat Based vs. Plant Based Dog Foods

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  • #68264 Report Abuse
    Mike T

    I have two questions for you:
    1. In the “Bottom Line” section of your dog food reviews, foods are catagorized as either “plant based”, or as “meat based” dog foods.From a nutritional perspective is one better than the other?
    2. Is there any scientific data to show that a non-GMO dog food is better than GMO containing dog food of the same star ranking?

    #68273 Report Abuse

    Hi Mike T,

    From a purely nutritional perspective, as long as the nutrient content of the ingredients is exactly the same, there would be no expected health advantage of plant based materials over animal based sources.

    However, we include this important statement on every review as a way to convey to readers who are making a purchase of a product entitled “Chicken and Rice” to provide a more honest picture of the food itself.

    Regarding GMO ingredients, the answer to your question depends on the opinion of the individual you ask. Because of the controversy associated with this topic, we currently make no distinction or any ratings adjustment for the presence or absence of GMO ingredients in any review on this website.

    Hope this helps.

    #68506 Report Abuse
    Jennifer G

    To me the bio-availability of a nutrient has to be taken into consideration when making such comparisons.

    #68512 Report Abuse

    Bioavailability is a term more commonly used in the science of pharmacology (drugs).

    However, when used to discuss dietary supplements and nutrients, as long as the chemical structure and digestive environment of a particular nutrient is chemically identical to that of another, it would make no difference whether that nutrient is sourced from a plant or an animal.

    The bioavailability of any mineral (like magnesium or selenium) would be expected to be nutritionally identical to any other pure form of the same mineral — whether or not it had been derived from a soybean or a chicken. It makes absolutely no difference from where it is sourced.

    However, when that same mineral has been chelated — combined with an amino acid, for example — it would become more bio-available for the animal.

    So, in our ratings, we do tend to slightly favor recipes that contain chelated minerals over their standard inorganic counterparts.

    In the case of whole foods like eggs or corn — not individual nutrients — the biological value (or nutritional completeness) of a food can vary significantly for any particular species.

    For clarification, it may help to read this article about biological value published elsewhere on our website.

    Or the Wikipedia articles about biological value and bioavailability, too.

    Hope this helps.

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