‘While the pet food industry has long been considered sustainable, it is actually far from it’, Lucy tells us. ‘The dry food pet industry alone is responsible for annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the 60th-highest country in the world. It is estimated that if companion animals went vegan, their environmental impact would reduce by 66-75%.’
Getting nooch in your pooch
According to Lucy, all domestic dog breeds can thrive on vegan diets – though striking the right nutritional balance isn’t easy. She advises homemade vegan food should be avoided unless a recipe from a veterinary nutritionist is followed to the letter. ‘Otherwise there’s a risk that crucial nutrients, like the amino acid methionine, for example, will be missing from your dog’s diet’, she explains.
Alongside these nutrients, Noochy Poochy dog food contains a surprise ingredient that gives the company its name: nutritional yeast, or ‘nooch’ – a familiar cupboard staple for anyone on a plant-based diet.
‘Nutritional yeast packs an impressive 48% protein punch’, Lucy tells us, ‘and contains zinc and selenium. It also gives a cheesy base flavour without any need for dairy.’
Other ingredients in Noochy Poochy are reassuringly familiar: responsibly sourced soybean and chickpeas are star ingredients in the two current recipes.
The 12mth+ version for adult dogs is blended with herbs for a cheesy herb flavour, while Noochy Puppy & Adult, for all ages, blends extra-small kibble with a second yeast for savoury umami flavour.
Dog diets of the future
When it comes to price, Noochy Poochy is comparable with some of the more premium meat based pet food brands, despite the fact that high-quality plant protein is more expensive than rendered animal protein.
‘We do everything we can to keep our price as affordable as possible’, Lucy explains, ‘and also offer our customers subscription deals and regular special offers.’
Affordability is important, as Lucy believes all dogs will be moved to a vegan diet in the future. ‘I think in 10 years everyone will be shaking their heads and wondering why we didn’t question feeding highly processed animal by-products to our dogs’, she says.
In the meantime, Lucy will continue to develop healthy, sustainable recipes that challenge the status quo and give the meat industry a run for its money; ‘they’ve had it good for long enough’, she says.