Q. Are all your ingredients in benevo pet food vegan?
A. Yes. We carefully select the ingredients used in Benevo Pet Food products to ensure that they are suitable for and vegans. This often means tracing ingredients back to the manufacturers and also sourcing ingredients especially for our products. For example, many vitamins used in pet foods are coated in animal based gelatine and some are produced from animals. All of our vitamins are sourced to be sure that they are neither produced from animal sources, nor use animal derived ingredients during production.
Q. I heard that meat protein is better than plant proteins?
A. Again, this is based on a truth – but often misunderstood, or deliberately misrepresented by pet food companies to promote their own brand. The truth is a little more complicated but we can explain the basic concept. The first thing to understand is that all proteins are made from building blocks called amino acids.
Nutritionists describe a food that has all the amino acids that our bodies need as being ‘high quality’. Many plant proteins contain all the essential amino acids except one, that may be much lower and these are said to be lower quality. Unfortunately, this often leads to the misconception that plant proteins cannot provide all the protein that we or cats need, or are not as ‘good’ as animal proteins. That is not the correct way to interpret the facts!
Obviously, no one would feed a cat or dog only a single plant protein source – such as an all wheat protein diet, or all corn protein… So in reality, different plant proteins are combined in the recipe, with various ingredients compensating for any deficiencies in other ingredients. So Benevo vegan pet foods provide a combination of plant proteins that together provide all the amino acids that cats and dogs need in a tasty and digestible form.
When your dog or cat digests these proteins, they are broken down into the various amino acids that they were made from, and can then be recombined into muscle, skin, fur, etc.
Q. Aren’t soya, wheat and corn just cheap fillers?
A. There has been a trend in recent years by some who promote ‘raw food’ or ‘natural’ diets to label many ingredients that are used in pet foods in negative terms… normally before suggesting you buy their product/book/dvd!
We have seen it said on some websites that some ingredients are ‘fillers’ that they have no role to play except bulking up the product. To make it worse they also accuse them of being ‘cheap fillers’! If that doesn’t put you off they point out how many dogs and cats are allergic to them.
They are wrong on several counts.
Ingredients such as soya, wheat gluten and corn gluten are very rich sources of protein. Wheat gluten is actually the protein portion of the grain that has been separated from the starches and the bran. As a dry flour it is around 75-80% protein. Wheat gluten has an unusual property which makes it highly useful in the food industry, when it is mixed with water it becomes sticky and holds ingredients together. It provides not only a useful source of protein but structure to the food (its also why your bread holds together!).
Corn Gluten Meal, is also the separated protein from corn, which is about 60% protein and is highly digestible in dogs and cats.
Soya contains a wide range of well balanced amino acids. Cooked and ground soya beans are highly digestible in dogs and cats.
In combination these different proteins sources provide all the amino acids that your dog or cat will need to function properly.
Despite some people claiming these ingredients are very bad for dogs and cats, and cause allergies and digestive problems, it is actually far more common for dogs and cats to have a problem with a meat proteins. Dogs for example are far more likely to be sensitive to beef and dairy. Wheat is down that list and corn and soya are almost at the bottom.
For cats, they are likely to become allergic to chicken and fish as they are to corn and wheat.
Because wheat can be a problem for some dogs, we decided to formulate all of our benevo pet food for dogs with a wheat free recipe. Not because wheat is bad, but simply because we wanted to provide a food that all dogs would be able to enjoy and rely on, including those dogs who have the most common sensitivies to beef, dairy and wheat.
Q. What is sugar beet pulp? I thought you shouldn’t give your pet sugar?
A. Don’t worry, this ingredient is not sugar. The sugar beet is a root vegetable grown in the UK, with a high sugar content used for sugar production. The beets are pulped and the sugars washed away, leaving the nutritious parts of this vegetable which contains protein, calcium and soluble fibre and provides energy. This ingredient is commonly used in pet food, and may often just be described as ‘beet pulp’.
Q. What is tomato pomace?
A. Tomato pomace is produced by juicing tomatoes, once the juice is extracted the remaining parts of the tomatoes (skin, pulp and seeds) are ground and dried. Tomato pomace contains the most nutritious parts of the tomatoes, which are made more digestible though the grinding process, providing protein, essential fatty acids, Lycopene and B vitamins as well as adding flavour that dogs and cats enjoy. It is claimed that the acidity in tomato pomace also promotes lower urinary pH levels in cats.
Q. What is Brewers Yeast? Does it contain alcohol?
A. Brewers Yeast is usually spent yeast from beer production. While the yeast is active it converts sugars into alcohol, however it doesn’t contain any alcohol itself. Brewers yeast is very nutritious, providing all essential amino acids, 14 minerals chromium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and selenium and 17 vitamins, in particular the important ‘B complex’ vitamins. On top of it’s impressive nutritional benefits, brewers yeast adds savoury flavours and scents that cats and dogs enjoy.
Q. Isn’t Taurine from only found in meat?
A. Taurine doesn’t occur in plants, so understandably some may wonder how Benevo pet food would get it’s Taurine. What many people do not know is that Taurine, which you can find added to all commercial cat foods, in energy drinks and sports supplements, is normally ‘vegan’. Despite its name (which comes from it being first discovered in a sample of Ox bile in 1827), it is not extracted from meat or any other animal product. It is now produced in vast quantities in factories where it is then also used in human sports supplements and energy drinks.