About textured vegetable protein
Textured vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), is a low-fat, high-protein product produced from soy flour. Exceptionally popular with vegetarians and vegans, it is also known as soy protein, soy meat or soy chunks.
Just from that description you can clearly envisage textured vegetable protein for dogs as a viable plant-based alternative for meat proteins in homemade dog food.
Nutrients in textured vegetable protein
Made ultimately from soy beans, TVP is rich in nutrients.
Containing 52% protein, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s high in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9 which is also known as folate, or natural folic acid.
As far as minerals are concerned, it’s not lacking in those either. It’s rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It also contains trace amounts of selium and sodium.
One of the longest ever-lived dogs, Bramble, a Border Collie, lived to the age of 27 on a diet rich in textured vegetable protein. And while the commercial pet food industry has given such products a bad name, that’s only because they use them for the wrong reason.
Variety is key
If you want to feed your dog a meat-free, plant-based diet, the wider the variety of protein sources the better. That’s why I have included textured vegetable protein in my homemade dog food recipes for those who wish to feed their dog plant-based dog food.
Plant-based dog food guide
Especially for those who want to feed their dog a plant-based diet, I have written a complete Plant-Based Dog Food feeding guide. It’s a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to feed their dog a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet.
To that end, there is both a vegan and a vegetarian version to download.
As a canine nutritionist I personally favour a more traditional, meat-based diet for dogs. That said, I believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a dog can live a long and happy life on a properly balanced plant-based homemade diet. Bramble’s story attests to that.
There is even further evidence that for some dogs, a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet may even offer some health benefits. These can include increased overall health, weight control, allergy reduction and the management of arthritis.
So while it may not be to everyone’s taste, for some dogs, plant-based diets appear to be here to stay. And all the while they are, textured vegetable protein for dogs has to be on the menu!