Fetch the answers to your questions here.
Q: Are dogs 'really' carnivores?
A: Similar to us, dogs are actually considered omnivores.
Just as we've witnessed through the evolution of plant-based diets and their immense benefits for people, we're now at the beginning of the same learning curve in canine nutrition. Ask any veterinarian what they were taught about dogs. Their answers should be (based on our many years of experience interviewing veterinarians) similar to this: "Dogs are NOT considered 'true' carnivores".
Here are facts, taken right from Hill's Pet website:
Nutritional, behavioral and physical factors that separate the omnivores [dogs] from true carnivores:
Dogs have teeth (molars) with relatively flat surfaces designed to grind up bones as well as fibrous plant material.
Dogs can digest almost 100% of the carbohydrates they consume.
Dogs have a small intestine that occupies about 23 percent of the total gastrointestinal volume, which is consistent with other omnivores; the small intestine of cats occupies only 15 percent.
Dogs can create vitamin A from beta-carotene found in plants.
“Some folks have come to the erroneous conclusion that dogs must be carnivores because they fall under the order Carnivora. A close look at the anatomy, behavior and feeding preferences of dogs shows that they are actually omnivorous — able to eat and remain healthy with both animal and plant foodstuffs.” – Hill’s Pet Foods
Compared to true carnivores, dogs produce more of the enzymes needed for starch digestion, have much lower protein and amino acid requirements, and can easily utilize vitamin A and D from plant sources, just as people do.
Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN
Tufts Clinical Nutrition Service
Q: Is there any research showing the benefits of a plant-based (vegan) diet for dogs?
A: Yes, but we need more.
As we stated in the answer to the first question above, we're just at the beginning of plant-based nutrition for dogs. The research is limited, which is why Virchew's commitment to partner with veterinarians and universities to produce the long-term, clinical evidence, is critical.
There is one very good study that demonstrated a carefully balanced meat-free diet (100% vegan) can maintain normal hematological values in exercising, sprint-racing dogs.
Another more recent and intriguing study showed the evolution of a domestic dog’s digestive ability vs a wolf. Domesticated dogs have evolved alongside us for thousands of years. Therefore it makes sense their diet has evolved, too.
So far, in our veterinarian-guided trials held here in Vancouver with partner veterinarians, we're seeing very positive results. After several months on our fresh, plant-based foods, the dogs, indeed, thrived. However, we are dedicated to long-term research and excited to see what the future will hold.
It's important to note; vegan diets are not new to veterinarians. Many traditional, commercial or prescription diet producers offer a vegan option. They have been typically used for dogs with food sensitivities. Thousands of dogs have eaten these foods for several decades.
Here's what we do know (and will continue to strive toward proving): When properly balanced with supplementation and developed with a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, a 100% plant-based diet is a healthy, safe choice for your dog's health.
The term "opportunivore" may best describe the dog's natural desire to eat whatever is available — plants as well as animals .
Hill’s Pet Foods
Dogs require specific nutrients, not specific foodstuffs .
National Research Council
Nutrient Requirements of Dogs,
National Academy Press: Washington
Q: What 'form' is Virchew's food?
A: Convenient, dry blends that you rehydrate just before serving to your happy pooch.
Our 'Dinner and Breakfast Bowls' and first line of foods are:
100% Plant-based (vegan)
Soy and corn free
Our Virchew Treats are made with similar ingredients to our foods and just like our foods, we're taking our treats to a new level of tasty nutrition, so stay tuned for more of our delicious updates.
If you want your dog to be one of the first to sample or purchase our awesome foods, head over to join our customer mailing list and we'll let you know as soon as we're ready to deliver!
Q: I'm a veterinarian in the Vancouver area and want to learn more about sharing your foods
A: We're super excited to meet with you!
If you're interested to learn all about our Veterinarian Partner programs, foods and upcoming nutrition programs, we look forward to meeting with you to buy you a tasty plant-powered lunch or visit you at your clinic.
Get in touch here and we'll get back to set a time that is convenient for you.
Q: Are there any veterinarians in the Vancouver area who are plant-based or vegan-friendly?
A: Yes, however, we've met with dozens of Vancouver veterinarians and...
Every one of these professionals has been very open and receptive to our story and development plans for 100% plant-based foods for dogs here in the Vancouver area.
Here are a few awesome veterinarians we would not hesitate to recommend:
Dr. Kathy Kramer
Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital
Dr. John Clark
Point Grey Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Radica Raj
Owner, Phoenix Rising Integrative Veterinary Clinic
Owner, The Roving Vet (Mobile Veterinarian)
604 291 4687
Dr. Manju Arora
Owner, Queen's Park Pet Hospital
Dr. Gavin Myers
Owner, Yaletown Pet Hospital
Dr. Robert Spooner
Yaletown Pet Hospital
Dr. Tatjana Mirkovic, DAVCIM
Owner, Allies in Internal Medicine
Dr. Ina Purborini
Owner, The Barn Door Veterinary Care
Q: I own a plant-based, vegan business or dog-related business and I want to learn more about your B2B partnership programs.
A: Awesome! Let's meet to talk collaboration.
Since Virchew is a direct delivery brand and not retail, we've set out to build exciting and prosperous relationships with Vancouver and area plant-based or dog-related businesses.
Let's meet to talk about your products or services! We'll also fill you in on our lucrative affiliate programs and a partnership to collaborate our way to success.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I've heard there's an exciting Invest in Virchew Campaign, can you tell me more?
A: Yes, there is! Virchew is inviting people like you to join our shareholder community.
From the early beginnings of Virchew, we were doggedly determined to gather a large community of shareholders who shared our social venture, plant-based values. Today, that's exactly what's happened.
We're gearing up for our next growth stages and have announced our next capital raise.
Contact Laura Simonson, CEO of Virchew at email@example.com or 778 968 8880 to learn more about this unique opp!
Live in Vancouver, BC and want your dog to try some flippin' tasty Virchew food? Join our list and we'll let you know as soon as we're ready to deliver your free food samples!
Not from Vancouver? We'll keep you updated and let you know as soon as we're ready to ship outside the Greater Vancouver area.