The most popular forms of soy in our diets include tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and soybeans. Soy is a treasured protein source for many people who follow vegetarian and vegan diets and is said to provide many health benefits for humans.
But should we feed them to our pets as well?
Pet foods are mainly formed as the sole source of nutrition for pets. As a result, the food must have all the necessary components, including protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. A satisfying diet should be safe, digestible, tasty, and balanced in terms of nutrition.
In recent years, the use of plant proteins as ingredients in pet food has increased. A popular source of plant protein due to its excellent nutritional content and steady supply is soybean meal.
What is Soy Protein?
Soy protein is one of the most nutrient-dense, adaptable, accessible, and dependable sources for new food and beverage creations. It is also the most popular source of plant protein in the food business.
Soy products are among the world’s oldest and most extensively utilized high-quality protein sources. With other proteins and cereals, its complementary amino acid profile works well. Products made from soy, as opposed to other popular protein sources like meat, fish, chicken, or milk, offer all of these beneficial qualities:
- Source of folic acid and vitamins
- Rich in lysine and other essential amino acids
- Fatty acid concentration source
- No cholesterol
- Good fiber source
- Excellent supply of potassium
- Less allergic to dogs than other protein sources such as meat and dairy products
- Includes important antioxidants
In companion animal feeds, calf milk substitutes, young animal feed, and aquaculture diets, soy protein concentrates—dry, powdered, or granular soy protein concentrate—provide both nutritional and functional benefits.
The feed business uses soy protein, which is, without a doubt, the most popular source of animal nutrition. The high degree of concentration and wide market availability of soy makes it essential for feed formulators worldwide to use soy and its derivatives.
On that note, here are five benefits of incorporating soy-infused food into your pet’s diet.
1. A Good Source of Nutrients
Legumes are incredibly nutrient-dense foods loaded with fiber, protein, carbs, and other essential vitamins and minerals your pet needs. Combined with other healthy ingredients, they are a fantastic source of extra nutrients for a balanced lifestyle.
For pets, soy is a natural protein, fiber, and carbohydrate source, as explained. They assist in the preparation of some of the essential dietary components for dogs.
Legumes aren’t awful, and they do function as a nutritional ingredient in pet food, according to Dr. Greg Aldrich, coordinator of Kansas State University’s pet food department, in an interview with Pet Food Industry.
According to Aldrich, “it is widely accepted in the nutritional community that the legume seeds should be supplemented with other components to balance the amino acid profile.
2. Rich Source of Protein
Although your dog is an omnivore, they have carnivore-like desires; thus, they prefer meat. Even though they aren’t out in the wild seeking out live prey, they benefit greatly from being fed high-quality protein.
But did you know that there are several alternative non-meat sources of protein? An excellent source of protein is soy. Compared to the 44 grams of protein in a 5-ounce steak, one cup of boiled soy has 31 grams. This amount from a plant-based source is exceptional.
3. Rich in Carbohydrates
You want your dog to play and run for as long as possible! Dogs, therefore, require the proper energy source to maintain their bodies in peak conditions. Even though high-quality protein benefits your dog, carbs are also a fantastic energy source.
Soy products are complex carbohydrates; as a result, they release energy gradually over time since they take longer to digest.
4. Best Edible Fiber
Soluble and insoluble kinds of fiber each play a specific role in preserving a healthy gut. Easily soluble fiber encourages normal bowel movements, avoids constipation, and facilitates the passage of food through the digestive system.
5. Quantum Nutritional Benefits
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, soy products are an excellent source of the following nutrients:
- Rich in B-group vitamins
- Rich in iron, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus
- A good supply of magnesium
- Naturally abundant in antioxidants
Besides, you can also use soy protein isolate and concentrate at higher dietary concentrations, depending on your pet’s requirements.
Soy-rich meals are a good alternative to other protein-based products. They can fulfill your pet’s nutritional needs and are easily digestible. That said, you should only feed them pet-verified soy foods and ensure you read the label for ingredients. If you require further clarification regarding your specific dog’s needs, speak with your veterinarian. Remember, you can provide soy-infused foods to your pets as long as they aren’t allergic to soy.