I read this article by Mercola recently about the risks and dangers of soy proteins for pets. A friend had posted a product for dogs that promised to help your dog shed less. Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredient list on the product she was feeding to her dog. The first named ingredient was soybean oil, followed by flax seed oil, fish oil, wheat germ oil and beef flavor.
I was concerned about the ingredients being mostly plant-based oils, with the exception of the fish oil. With fish oil as the third named ingredient, it means the product could contain a small amount of fish oil compared to the plant-based oils.
Ouch! The article from Mercola advises to stay away from soy products for pets. Many pet food manufacturers are starting to use soy protein as a way to build up the protein content in commercial pet foods and treats, and because it is less expensive than meat or fish proteins.
“The majority of experts on pet nutrition agree soy isn’t good nutrition for cats or dogs. It is considered a low-quality, incomplete protein well known to create food allergies in pets.“
The article states that that soy has also been linked to bloat in dogs. For those of us with large and giant breeds that are susceptible to bloat, this is an excellent reason to start reading ingredients lists on pet foods and treats, and to steer clear from soy products. Soy is also high in purines, and can be harmful to dogs that are prone to uric acid bladder stones, such as Dalmatians, Black Russian Terriers and Bulldogs. There has also been research done that shows that soybean products are linked to seizures in both dogs and cats.
Don’t risk the possible side-effects of feeding soy protein to your dogs or cats. For shedding problems and to get a healthier coat, consider supplementing with salmon oil, sardines or sardine oil. There are also natural treats on the market made from whole food sources like Wild Caught Salmon Jerky Treats for Pets that will provide animal protein with no other ingredients.