SUPPORTED BY SCIENCE

plant-based nutrition is backed by experts

Hundreds of veterinarians - including those at top veterinary colleges - approve and prescribe properly-designed meatless diets. Here are a couple of the experts backing balanced plant-based nutrition.

“Most dogs can do quite well on a carefully designed vegan diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. As a veterinary nutritionist, I use meat-free diets quite a bit to help manage various health concerns.”
DR. CAILIN HEINZE
Veterinarian, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Professor of Veterinary Nutrition at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
“A significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that dogs and cats maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy—including those exercising at the highest levels—and, indeed, may experience a range of health benefits”
DR. ANDREW KNIGHT
Veterinarian, Fellow of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Professor at University of Winchester
"Dogs are omnivores, which means they have a pretty adaptable gastrointestinal tract, and that their nutritional needs can be met through different means. It is OK for dogs to be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet - with the caveat that they are correctly balanced."
DR. AMY FARCAS
Veterinarian, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Masters in Nutritional Biology
“It is my very strong belief that not only can we, but we should - and probably will need to in the very near future - start feeding an awful lot of alternative protein sources to our beloved pets. [...] You can make nutritious plant-based diets that are healthy - that lead to flourishing, healthy long lives for cats and dogs”
DR. NICK CAVE
Veterinarian, Diplomate of American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Ph.D. in Veterinary Nutrition & Immunology, Professor at Massey University
“When we look at the evidence, we see that both nutritionally and taxonomically, the dog is best classified as an omnivore, an animal that consumes and derives nutrition from both animal and plant food sources. Dogs do not have a nutritional requirement for animal-based ingredients in their diets.”
LINDA CASE
Masters in Canine & Feline Nutrition,
Lecturer at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Author of The Science Dog blog

LED BY
RESEARCH

Stray dog eating food scraps

GUIDED BY
BIOLOGY

Optimal Nutrition
Premium Ingredients

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COMPLETE & BALANCED
NUTRITION

PACKED WITH PROTEIN

Our recipe puts to rest the false notion that plants don’t provide enough protein or fat. Petaluma provides as much protein and fat as top-selling traditional brands without using animal ingredients. Each cup of Petaluma has as much protein (~33 grams) as a serving of steak or 4 glasses of milk.

Complete Amino Acids Profile

We balance different sources of plant protein to create a complete and balanced amino acid profile. Potato protein is one of richest sources of essential amino acids, with a higher percentage than milk or eggs. Potato and pea protein make a perfect combination, as potato is rich in the amino acid methionine while peas are packed with lysine. We also supplement with a highly digestible form of taurine, a critical building block of heart health.

Balanced, Healthy Fats

Omega-3 fats are proven to reduce inflammation and associated chronic diseases, and both omega-3 and omega-6 fats improve skin and coat health. Our recipe contains high levels of omega-3 fats from algae (DHA) and flaxseed (ALA), balanced by omega-6 linoleic fat from peanuts and sunflowers, and comparatively low amounts of saturated fats.

Bio-Available Vitamins & Minerals

Petaluma was formulated to provide digestible forms of all essential vitamins & minerals, especially those that are most commonly found in animal ingredients.

VITAMIN A

Our recipe is rich in natural sources of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A easily metabolized by dogs.

VITAMIN B12

Petaluma includes a highly digestible source of B12 produced through bacterial fermentation rather than animal flesh.

VITAMIN D

This recipe is supplemented with vitamin D2 to compensate for slightly lower bioavailability than animal-derived vitamin D3.

VITAMIN B3 (Niacin)

Peanuts and brown rice provide a natural source of niacin and the recipe is fortified to ensure bio-availability.

FOLIC ACID

Parsley, peas, and yeast are natural sources of folic acid and the recipe is fortified to ensure bio-availability.

IRON

Chickpeas, flax seeds, whole oats, and yeast provide natural sources of iron and the recipe is fortified with a mineral form to ensure bio-availability.

WHOLESOME INGREDIENTS

We select ingredients that have an important nutritional function and source them from sustainable, organic farms.

WHAT’S INSIDE

Protein-Packed Plants

Organic chickpeas, potato protein, dried yeast, pea protein, organic peanut butter, organic flaxseeds, organic peas

Whole Grains

Organic brown rice and organic oats

Vegetables & Herbs

Organic sweet potato, organic carrots, parsley, turmeric, and ginger

Healthy Fats

Organic flaxseeds, organic peanut butter, organic sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peanut oil, marine microalgae

Organic

Organic chickpeas, organic brown rice, organic peanut butter, organic sweet potato, organic flaxseeds, organic oats, organic peas, organic sunflower oil, organic carrots, organic kelp meal

Tasty Flavors

Organic peanut butter, organic sweet potato, peanut oil, brown rice syrup, organic carrots, baking powder, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, rosemary extract

Vitamins & Minerals

Calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D2 supplement, manganese sulfate, riboflavin, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, taurine, dl-methionine

Nutrient Rich

Dried yeast, organic kelp meal, marine microalgae, turmeric

Digestion Support

Ground miscanthus grass, yeast, sunflower lecithin

See All

ALL INGREDIENTS

Organic chickpeas & peas

Organic chickpeas & peas

Grown in the US & Canada

These prolific protein-producers are loaded with highly digestible amino acids.

Dried yeast

Dried yeast

Grown in Ohio

Yeast is a microorganism that “eats” sugar and turns it into protein and nutrients to feed its own growth. Unlike strains of yeast that make bread rise and beer ferment, this yeast is inactive. This dried yeast provides protein, vitamins, and nutrients, and brings a savory flavor that dogs love.

Potato protein

Potato protein

Grown and milled in Poland

Potato protein contains a higher portion of essential amino acids than egg, milk (casein), and any other plant protein.

Organic brown rice

Organic brown rice

Grown in US

This whole, unprocessed grain has a low glycemic index and provides gut-supporting dietary fiber, as well as the essential amino acid methionine.

Pea protein

Pea protein

Sustainably milled in Norway

Peas are separated into protein-rich and starch-rich parts using hydroelectric power and without the use of any chemicals. The protein-rich fraction is loaded with highly digestible amino acids.

Organic peanut butter

Organic peanut butter

Grown and ground in the US

In addition to being delicious, ground peanuts are a serious source of protein and provide healthy omega-6 and omega-9 fats.

Organic sweet potato

Organic sweet potato

Grown in Honduras & Peru

This root vegetable provides a tasty sweetness loaded with beta-carotene - the building block for vitamin A - and dietary fiber to support digestion.

Organic flaxseeds

Organic flaxseeds

Grown in US & Canada

Flax is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fat (10 times as much as salmon) and a major protein provider.

Organic oats

Organic oats

Grown in the US & Canada

This whole grain is a trusted source of low-glycemic carbohydrates and natural zinc, as well as a sneaky amount of protein.

Organic sunflower oil

Organic sunflower oil

Grown and pressed in the US

More than just a pretty face, sunflowers produce seeds that contain high levels of vitamin E as well as a healthy balance of unsaturated omega-6 (linoleic) and omega-9 (oleic) fats.

Peanut oil

Peanut oil

Grown and pressed in the US

Unrefined, cold-pressed peanut seeds provide a tasty peanut aroma with high levels of unsaturated omega-6 linoleic and omega-9 oleic fats.

Brown rice syrup

Brown rice syrup

Grown and fermented in the US

This tasty sweetener is derived from fermented brown rice that provides immediate energy to complement other slow-release carbohydrates.

Organic carrots

Organic carrots

Grown in the US & Canada

These root vegetables add a delicious crunch loaded with beta-carotene - the building block for vitamin A.

Ground miscanthus grass

Organic flaxseeds

Grown in Missouri

Miscanthus grass grows with almost no water or fertilizer inputs in “marginal” cropland unsuitable for most other plants. The fiber-rich ground powder from this giant grass has been scientifically validated to improve stool quality.

Organic kelp

Organic kelp

Harvested and dried in Iceland

Kelp absorbs nutrients in the sea water and is an extremely mineral-rich food. Kelp is one of the best natural sources of calcium and iodine - an important nutrient for thyroid function. This kelp is sustainably dried using geo-thermal power from Iceland's plentiful hot springs.

Parsley

Parsley

Grown and freeze-dried in Egypt

One of the world’s most popular and nutritious herbs, parsley is rich in protein and micronutrients including vitamin K, C, folate, and iron, as well as the rare ‘flavonoid’ oils that have antioxidant properties.

Marine microalgae

Organic kelp

Sustainably cultivated in the US

Microalgae is the only direct source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fat that makes up a large portion of brain cells and is associated with brain and vision development in puppies. DHA is usually consumed as fish and fish oil supplements, but DHA is actually produced by the microalgae that fish eat.

Vitamin & mineral mix

Vitamin & mineral mix

Manufactured in Ohio

This blend complements our natural nutrients with safe, bio-available forms of 20 nutrients deemed essential for canine health by veterinary nutritionists.

Functional spices

Grown in India

Turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger provide a spicy, savory kick to our roasted flavors. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a substance linked to an anti-inflammatory effect on arthritis and other conditions.

Amino acids (taurine, dl-methionine)

Vitamin & mineral mix

Synthesized in Japan

These highly-digestible and hardy forms of amino acids critical to heart health have been proven to reduce the risk of diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Whereas natural taurine and methionine sources have been shown to degrade unpredictably, synthetic taurine is safe and more bio-available.

INGREDIENTS

Organic chickpeas, potato protein, dried yeast, organic brown rice, pea protein, organic peanut butter (organic peanuts), organic sweet potato, organic flaxseeds, organic oats, organic peas, organic sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peanut oil, brown rice syrup, organic carrots, ground g
Organic chickpeas, potato protein, dried yeast, organic brown rice, pea protein, organic peanut butter (organic peanuts), organic sweet potato, organic flaxseeds, organic oats, organic peas, organic sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peanut oil, brown rice syrup, organic carrots, ground grass, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulphate), calcium carbonate, parsley, organic kelp meal, salt, marine microalgae, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D2 supplement, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), turmeric, choline chloride, dl-methionine, cinnamon, allspice, taurine, potassium chloride, ginger, and rosemary extract

OVEN BAKED
WITH CARE

Petaluma baked bites

SLOW-ROASTED IN AN OVEN

TRADITIONAL KIBBLE

Traditional Kibble

RAPIDLY PRESSURE-COOKED IN AN EXTRUDER

Our ingredients are mixed to form a dough, rolled into bites, and baked for 10-20 minutes in a convection oven.


Typical ingredients must be dried and ground into powder before being pushed through a tube and steam-cooked at high pressure for 15-60 seconds.

TOASTED CLUSTERS

Each bite is formed with unique texture and flavor with chunks of carrots, oats, parsley, and nuts. Yummy!

BROWN & ROUND

All ingredients must be ground into a fine powder, creating a uniform texture and flavor. Yawn.

LOW GLYCEMIC

Maintains lower glycemic index with a balance of slow- and fast-release carbohydrates

HIGH GLYCEMIC

Increases glycemic index by converting all starches into a fast-release “gelatinized” form

PRESERVES HEALTHY FATS

Low degradation and oxidation of omega-3 and omega-6 fats

OXIDIZES HEALTHY FATS

High degradation and oxidation of omega-3 and omega-6 fats

COOKED MEDIUM RARE

Heat gradient cooks from “outside-in,” creating browned edges and toasted flavor but less heat exposure at the center

COOKED WELL DONE

Pressure cooks from “inside-out” with browning and high heat exposure distributed throughout the entire kibble

DESIGNED BY EXPERTS

Dr. Blake Hawley, DVM

Veterinarian & Lead Formulator

Dr. Hawley is a veterinarian who has spent over 25 years developing scientific diets and pharmaceutical delivery products for pets. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from NC State University and conducted postdoctoral studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has developed deep nutritional expertise while designing hundreds of unique and specialized pet diets.

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Dr Deena Krestel-Rickert, PhD

Product R&D Advisor

Dr. Krestel-Rickert has spent over 35 years developing, manufacturing, and validating pet nutrition products. She earned a Ph.D. from Purdue University and has worked in R&D departments at some of the world's largest pet nutrition companies as well as innovative startups creating new approaches to nutritional and agricultural problems.

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COMMON QUESTIONS FOR DR. BLAKE

Can dogs safely eat a vegan or vegetarian diet?+
Yes, as long as they are formulated to be nutritionally complete and supplemented to account for any deficiencies in a typical meatless diet. Dogs (and humans) require nutrients rather than specific ingredients. There are many possible ingredient combinations that provide a healthy nutrient profile, and there are no essential nutrients provided by meat and animal-derived products that can’t be replaced with animal-free alternatives.
Where do dogs get protein if they don’t eat meat?+
Plants create most of the world’s protein, and an entirely plant-based ingredient list can provide more than enough protein to meet a dog’s nutritional needs. Diets designed for adult dogs without health issues should have 20-30% protein as a percentage of dry matter weight (i.e., if the food was fully dehydrated), or ~50-70 grams per 1000 kcal of food energy. For reference, 1000 kcal of chickpeas contains ~53 grams of protein and peanut butter is ~25% protein by dry matter weight.

Adding additional protein beyond a dog’s metabolic requirement is not healthier, as protein cannot be stored for later use. Excess protein is stripped of the amino acids, converted into energy (glycogen), and stored as fat tissue in the same way that energy from carbohydrates and fat is.

Amino acids are the fundamental ‘building blocks’ of proteins, and a dog’s diet also requires specific, “essential” amino acids that their bodies do not synthesize. Plants also create and provide all the essential amino acids in different ratios.

We use a variety of plant-based protein sources in Petaluma, including brown rice, peas, chickpeas, and oats, to create a balanced amino acid profile that aligns with and complements a dog’s nutritional needs.
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What is your nutritional philosophy? What guidelines do you follow?+
We take an evidence-based approach to formulating diets. That includes referencing the standards established by other expert nutritionists that participate in the annual review process for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Refereed journals and evaluations of new research are ongoing, and we discuss how the findings may change our guidance on optimal nutritional profiles.

I also draw from my extensive personal experience formulating diets and evaluating test results. You can get a similar nutrient profile using millions of different combinations of ingredients, but ingredients may interact with each other in unforeseen ways. By tracking the performance of hundreds of formulas through digestibility, palatability, and nutritional testing and developing deep insights into what nutrient sources and ingredient combinations, we can best achieve our desired nutritional profiles to deliver your pet optimal nutrition for a healthy life.

In addition, I work with many pet food and treats companies to define the target canine consumers and tailor formulations to meet the unique nutritional requirements of that life stage and health condition. It is not possible to design a “one size fits all” diet that truly optimizes the nutritional requirements of all dogs.
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Should I talk to my veterinarian before switching to Petaluma?+
Proper nutrition is a pillar of health and your veterinarian should be aware of your dog’s diet on your next routine visit. We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian when making significant changes to your dog’s diet, as you would with other decisions that may influence your dog’s health.

The most important aspect is to transition your pet from one food to Petaluma over a 4-7 day period, slowly introducing Petaluma over that time period as you decrease the amount of old food. We have created a fact sheet with Petaluma’s nutrition and testing details that you can share with your veterinarian to inform their evaluation. If your dog has known health issues and/or your veterinarian has recommended therapeutic dog food for a specific health condition, it is particularly critical that you discuss any intended changes to their diet in detail. Our first Petaluma recipe is not for every dog, and we do not recommend transitioning from a veterinarian-prescribed therapeutic diet without your veterinarian’s approval.
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How are you addressing the FDA’s warning about heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy / DCM) that may be linked to diet?+
There are many unanswered questions about both the prevalence and the causes of diet-related DCM in dogs. However, we have formulated our food to proactively address the suspected risk factors. That includes providing most of our protein from plants that are not legumes, including grains (brown rice and whole oats) and yeast. We also supplement the food with the amino acids (i.e. protein building blocks) taurine and methionine from sources that are easily digestible by dogs. We conducted protein digestibility testing to ensure dogs can absorb the essential amino acids in the food.

For context, the FDA announced a perceived increase in cases of DCM and a potential link to “grain-free” foods - specifically those that contained a high proportion of peas, lentils, and other legume seeds (pulses) and/or potatoes. In the FDA’s own words, the current data does not enable them to determine “whether or how these case reports are linked to diet” and “the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

While there is significant debate about the underlying causes and the meaning of the case data, deficient levels of the amino acid taurine is a known cause of DCM. The causes of taurine deficiency are not well understood, as most dogs can synthesize their own taurine from other amino acids rather than relying on taurine in their food. However, taurine is involved in maintaining heart muscle and studies have shown that providing taurine-deficient dogs with supplemental taurine in their food alleviated the signs of DCM in many cases.

As a result, most veterinary nutritionists are recommending taurine supplementation in dog food, as we have done with Petaluma. Methionine is an essential amino acid that is a precursor to taurine (i.e. it can be converted into taurine by the dog’s metabolism), and we have added additional methionine in an easily digestible form (DL-methionine) as an added precaution.

It’s important to note that DCM is a serious but rare condition that impacts <1% of dogs, and disproportionately impacts certain pure-breed dogs, including Doberman Pinchers, Great Danes, Boxers, and Cocker Spaniels, which suggests a significant genetic component. We will continue to monitor additional research findings closely as they are released and are applying cutting-edge knowledge to alleviate risks with Petaluma recipes.
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EXTENSIVELY TESTED

HIGHLY
DIGESTIBLE

We commissioned a veterinary laboratory to conduct an independent analysis of Petaluma using a cutting-edge in vitro (animal-free) model of the dog digestive system. The study confirmed that our food is easily broken down and absorbed by your pup. See the results here.

HIGHLY
DIGESTIBLE

We commissioned a veterinary laboratory to conduct an independent analysis of Petaluma using a cutting-edge in vitro (animal-free) model of the dog digestive system. The study confirmed that our food is easily broken down and absorbed by your pup. See the results here.

QUANTIFIED
ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

We completed a life cycle assessment based on the recommended methodology of leading environmental scholars to objectively measure the carbon footprint and resource requirement of all our ingredients and manufacturing inputs.

QUANTIFIED
ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

We completed a life cycle assessment based on the recommended methodology of leading environmental scholars to objectively measure the carbon footprint and resource requirement of all our ingredients and manufacturing inputs.

PROVEN
PALATABILITY

Petaluma went head-to-head against leading conventional kibble brands and our canine taste-testers consistently preferred our oven-roasted flavors.

PROVEN
PALATABILITY

Petaluma went head-to-head against leading conventional kibble brands and our canine taste-testers consistently preferred our oven-roasted flavors.

LAB-VERIFIED
NUTRIENTS

We conduct in-depth laboratory nutritional testing of all essential nutrients and share the detailed results to provide peace of mind that your dog gets a top-notch diet. See the results here.

LAB-VERIFIED
NUTRIENTS

We conduct in-depth laboratory nutritional testing of all essential nutrients and share the detailed results to provide peace of mind that your dog gets a top-notch diet. See the results here.

ETHICAL &
COMPASSIONATE

Most companies conduct product testing on laboratory dogs that live in kennels without an owner. We collected our data in real homes with volunteer dogs that are family members instead of corporate property.

ETHICAL &
COMPASSIONATE

Most companies conduct product testing on laboratory dogs that live in kennels without an owner. We collected our data in real homes with volunteer dogs that are family members instead of corporate property.

EXPERT
REVIEWED

Our diet was designed by a credentialed veterinarian and has been reviewed and approved by board-certified delegates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) - the leading academic body of veterinary nutritionists.

EXPERT
REVIEWED

Our diet was designed by a credentialed veterinarian and has been reviewed and approved by board-certified delegates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) - the leading academic body of veterinary nutritionists.

REFERENCES

A DOG DIDN’T EAT OUR HOMEWORK

Academic Studies+
Knight A, Leitsberger M. Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals. Animals (Basel). 2016;6(9):57. Published 2016 Sep 21. doi:10.3390/ani6090057

Dodd SAS, Adolphe JL, Verbrugghe A. Plant-based diets for dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018 Dec 1;253(11):1425-1432. doi: 10.2460/javma.253.11.1425. PMID: 30451617.

Brown WY, Vanselow BA, Redman AJ, Pluske JR. An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs. Br J Nutr. 2009;102(9):1318-1323.

Axelsson, E., Ratnakumar, A., Arendt, ML. et al. The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet. Nature 495, 360–364 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11837

Researchers study dog diets in the Bronze Age and the First Iron Age using remains from Can Roqueta site

Koppel K, Gibson M, Alavi S, Aldrich G. The Effects of Cooking Process and Meat Inclusion on Pet Food Flavor and Texture Characteristics. Animals (Basel). 2014 May 23;4(2):254-71. doi: 10.3390/ani4020254. PMID: 26480040; PMCID: PMC4494385.
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