Although, soy may be the most common ingredient in a dog’s food, it may be potentially harmful to your lovely pet. It is available in various names such as soybeans, soya or soy.
Why is soy in dog food?
Soy is a nutritious legume which is a relatively cheaper source of protein, minerals and vitamins. It is mostly used in dog food as a supplement for these nutrients. Despite being native to East Asia and Russia, soy is increasingly becoming a famous cultivation particularly in Brazil, India, Argentina and United States.
Benefits of soy
Soy is a very nutritious component of the human diet. However, it has also been associated with certain health complications in both humans and dogs. Soy contains proteins which are body building nutrients. It also contains a significant amount of vitamin K and B vitamins. Minerals such iron, manganese and zinc are also found in soy.
Soy passes the basic market standards for health
Like as with most food sold in the market for either human or animal consumption, soy meal passes the market standards for dog health. This proves that it is easily digestible and the harmful effects are significantly low.
Soy is cheaper
When compared to other alternative sources of proteins such as eggs and meat, soy is relatively cheaper. This is not only profitable for dog food companies seeking market competence, but the low cost is also convenient for the customer who is the owner of the dog.
Is soy bad for dogs?
Despite the aforementioned benefits, there are also certain reasons why soy is bad for dogs.
High salt/sodium content
Usually, the amount of salt that can cause toxicity in dogs is 4 g/kg. That means a 25 kg dog can die after consuming about 100 grams of salt. Some findings also show that dogs can start getting ill after a dose of 0.5 g/kg of salt. Meaning a 25 kg dog can get ill after a dose as low as 12.5 grams of salt.
A single tablespoon full of soy contains 2.3 g of salt which is potentially lethal to a small 4.6 kg dog. It is safer to avoid salt food as much as possible because dogs are more sensitive to salt compared to humans. The high salt content may cause electrolyte imbalance, diarrhoea, sodium ion poisoning and death.
Oestrogen-like compounds in soy can modify endocrine functions
Phytoestrogens are chemicals of plant origin that mimic oestrogen effects. They can cause fertility issues in dogs such as delayed puberty.
Some studies have linked soy to stomach gasses and deadly bloating in dogs.
Genetic modification and pesticides
Soy is among the most genetically modified crops. Besides, a lot of spraying is done during the cultivation process of soy. These pesticides used during the spraying of the crops are usually cancerous.
The major disadvantage of soy is the high salt content. Soy is very nutritious and cheaper than other dog food with the same nutritional benefits. Nevertheless, moderation is important to ensure that your dog does not die from the consumption of too much salt. You should not feed your dog on soy daily or in large amounts.