Feeding your pet using natural food is one of the ways to boost their health and reduce the chances of allergens. The market offers a variety of ingredients that are used in the production of pet food. However, the best pet food should provide nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and others.
Regarding pet food, soy is one of the common natural ingredients for its benefits. However, there are mixed feelings about feeding pets soy-based food. If you want to give your pet natural nourishment, you should probably think about soy food. But can pets eat soy? Let’s find out!
What is Soy? Is It A Safe Ingredient For Pet Food?
Soy is a legume known for its protein richness and comes in different types, like green, yellow, and black soy. Also referred to as soybeans or soya, the legume has been used in human and animal nutrition since the 11th century.
The ‘magic’ legume is one of the grains with the highest level of proteins providing 36 grams per 100 grams. Besides the high protein, soy contains other nutrients like calcium, iron, phosphorus, thiamin, and potassium. The nutrient composition of soybeans makes them an excellent natural ingredient for animal feed. This explains why many pet foods these days incorporate soy as a plant-based protein source.
Soy is one of the highest sources of plant-based amino acids, but there are mixed opinions regarding its safety and use in dogs and cats. Many experts in the pet food industry consider soy safe for dogs and cats since it provides cheap, plant-based essential amino acids and other nutrients.
Should You Feed Your Pet Soy-Based Food?
There is no problem with feeding your dogs and cats approved soy-based food as long as they don’t have allergic reactions to soy products. Normally, soy food for pets is available in protein concentrates, protein isolates, and soy oil. Whichever way you choose to offer to your pet, these foods have great benefits.
One major benefit of soy food is its high level of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Since dogs can’t synthesize essential amino acids in their body, soy helps supply them allowing them to enjoy the many benefits for improved overall health.
Besides proteins, soybeans are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is important in improving dog gut health through increased digestibility. By improving the laxative effects, dogs don’t suffer from constipation. Therefore, feeding dogs or cats quality coy feed will result in fewer digestive issues.
Dog food made from whole-grain soy offers an amazing amount of concentrated fatty acids. These oils are important for maintaining healthy skin and pet hair. Also, oils are essential in keeping pets healthy by regulating the body’s bad cholesterol.
The high composition of other minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium in soy also contributes to health boost in pets. Calcium and phosphorus are the major components of bones and play a vital role in bone health. They are the primary building material for bones and teeth. Additionally, potassium is vital for regulating the body’s osmotic levels, while iron helps in red blood cell formation and oxygen transportation.
Safety Considerations When Feeding Soy Food To Pets
Feeding soy food to pets is safe in most instances, but there are also some safety concerns. The major one is allergic reactions. Some dogs show signs of allergy after consuming soy-based food. If your dog doesn’t tolerate soy food, it can suffer from itchy skin, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
The issue of GMO soybeans is also of great concern regarding dog nutrition. Over 90% of the soy grown in the US is Genetically Modified to allow the use of Glyphosate to control weeds. The issue with GM soy isn’t genetic engineering but the amount of herbicide residue in the grains. With Glyphosate classified as a carcinogen, feeding dogs with GM soy can is risking their health.
soybeans, like other legumes, can cause a gassy stomach in dogs. The issue is due to complex oligosaccharides like raffinose and stachyose. When present in large quantities, these complex sugars cause flatulence and other discomforts. To reduce these effects, experts recommend soy content to 5-15%. This level also helps to reduce the beany taste in the food.
The presence of antinutrient components in soy is also a concern. The legumes contain antinutrients like lectins. These compounds can interfere with absorbing other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins, impacting overall animal health.
Can Pets Consume Other Soy Products?
Dogs and cats can consume other soy products like soy milk and Tofu. However, these products should be given in moderation since they can cause digestive issues when ingested in large quantities. Some, like miso, and soy sauce, contain high salt levels, which can be unhealthy for pets.
Feeding dogs and cats soy pet food is safe. However, the food must have the recommended soy meal to avoid nutritive issues. Due to high nutrient content and cheap protein alternatives, soybeans are an excellent inclusion in pet food. Although soybeans have great nutritive value, they also have some downsides, which can have undesirable effects when fed in large quantities.