Dog Health

As pet parent your first priority is to make sure your best friend is thriving. With ON!ST you don’t have to make compromises because our natural plant-based formula ensures your four-legged friend eats real food - so it can be in sync with your conscious lifestyle. Continue to read if you want to know how ON!ST’s petfood is true to your pet’s nature, enhances their health, life expectancy, goes beyond nutritional requirements, prevents nasty diseases, and avoids the hazards of conventional pet foods.

frequently asked questions

do dogs need to eat meat like their wolf ancestors?

You might find yourself wondering if dogs thrive on a plant-based diet since they descend from wolves a true carnivorous ancestor? The short answer is yes, they thrive on a vegan diet! Because dogs do not have the same nutritional needs as wolves do. This is because dogs went through an evolutionary spit from their wolf ancestors 30 thousand years ago. Instead, they evolved in parallel to the genes of humans due to domestication. As a result, modern dogs just like humans are omnivorous and thrive on both meat, plants, and a mix of both diets. Looking at the science, dogs can digest plant starch unlike their wolf ancestors which is a clear indication that they are not one and the same. Furthermore, wolves are not solely meat-eaters either, they hunt small prey and eat their intestines filled with, you can guess it plant-based food!  

is plant-based pet food nutritionally complete?

A plant-based diet provides all the essential nutrients a dog needs, such as protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, as long as it is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements. Better yet, vegan dogs have higher nutrition levels measured in their blood than meat-fed dogs! When choosing a species appropriate food, it's essential to focus on the nutritional value & quality of ingredients, rather than simply the source of the ingredients. The ingredients used in vegan dog food, such as peas, lentils, potatoes, and rice are combined in various ways to provide a balanced and complete diet. After all, that’s where the lovely farm animals also get their nutrients from when we feed them to our pets. All ON!ST does is cut out the middleman and focus on providing complete quality nutrition. 

Hear what Dr Adrew Knight (Veterinarian) has to say about vegan pet food nutrition

is plant-based pet food the healthiest?

Not only is a plant-based diet in line with a dog’s naturebut various research indicates it is healthier than a meat-based diet too! On average vegan dogs live 1,5 years longer, visit the vet less (nice bonus for your wallet), show better protein profiles, have healthier coats, oral health and stools, show decreased risks of contracting allergies, cancer, crystal formation, infections, hypothyroidism, obesity, and have superior health vitals over meat-fed and even vegetarian dogs. A practical example was Bramble who turned 25 on a vegan dietbecoming the oldest dog alive ever in his time. Note, that Bramble is not the exception, asall his brothers and sisters also fed a vegan diet lived up to 19-21 years of age. These are exceptional ages when compared to the average life expectancy of a dog only being 12 years.

why is plant-based pet food healthier than meat-based?

Choosing a plant-based diet for your pet is a great way to ensure a long and healthy life. The major components to why plant-based is healthier than meat-based pet food is the quality of meat in it. The main source of meat in most pet foods comes down to animal waste that cannot be used for human consumption. Typically animal waste includes; damaged and diseased tissue, ground bones, leather, connective tissues, fecal waste, feathers, cattle hair, euthanized pets, and plastic items such as ear tags from livestock which is not removed before slaughter. These ingredients are labeled as “meat-meal” & “meat by-products” on the ingredient list of your pet food. If you want to improve your pet’s health, why would you feed them with ingredients that are to far gone to eat ourselves?  

why is plant-based still healthier than organic pet food meat?

Even if you provide your pet with the nicest quality meat on the market, there is another major component that contributes to the low quality of meat; the toxic build-up of chemicals in meat tissue called “bioaccumulation”. Bioaccumulation is the buildup of toxins in animal tissue caused by using harmful substances such as anti-biotics, illegal grow hormones, pest control poisons, radiation, toxic heavy metals, and microplastics as the result of our intensive factory farming industry. Unfortunately, organically farmed livestock is also exposed to the build-up of bioaccumilation as frequent spot checks continue to confirm. These toxins like to nettle in the tissue of livestock. When another species consumes that tissue the toxins then jump onto the tissue of the animal/person who consumed the livestock. Especially in ingredients such as “meat-meal/by-products” the bioaccumulation is found in its most concentrated form. Obviously discarded meat is most likely to come from the “sickest” animals who needed the most antibiotics etc. and hence contain more toxic build-up in their tissue. However, in general everyone who consumes meat is exposed to the buildup of these toxins. As a result, 50% of pets develop cancer and other diseases caused by this poor meat quality. By avoiding animal-derived products, pet owners can reduce the chance of their furry friend ingesting these substances altogether. 

does ON!ST meet the nutritional requirements?

Pet food manufacturers must meet the nutritional requirements set by the FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry) to be allowed to sell their products in Europe. These requirements describe in detail all the necessary carbohydrates, amino acids (proteins), vitamins, fats, minerals, and trace-minerals that are needed to make your dog thrive. ONIST’s plant-based ingredients are selected and matched in such a way that when combined provide complete and balanced nutrition fulfilling all the nutritional requirements of the FEDIAF. Furthermore, ONIST’s Pet food goes beyond the nutritional standards of FEDIAF. Being pet parents ourselves we want to make sure that nutrients that are not required by the FEDIAF but are beneficial to ours dog’s health such as vitamin c, k, B7, taurine, omegas 3, 6, and 9 are additionally included into our formula.

why is dried/dehydrated pet food the healthiest?

Whole foods, in other words “unprocessed foods” that come directly from nature (e.g. fruit and veggies) have the highest bioavailability. Bioavailability is the amount of nutrients in food that are effectively absorbed by the body. Whereas, highly processed foods such as most petfood’s, any type of kibble, canned wet food, and heat-treated food (above 100°C) are lower in bioavailability.  

Most petfood manufacturers break down all the naturally occuring nutrition in fresh ingredients during their intensive heat manufacturing processes. The ingredients are pressed, extruded, or baked above 180 °C even though nutrients are typically destroyed above 100 °C. After all the nutrients are lost, they add a cocktail of synthetic artificial nutrition to the food to meet the FEDIAF standards again. You may find this cocktail of ingredients on the packaging of your petfood under “nutritional additives”. This practice is the human equivalent of you surviving by solely eating vitamin pills and astronaut food instead of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and yeast. 

Instead ON!ST dehydrates all fresh whole food ingredients at low temperatures (below 100°) keeping all the natural nutrients intact and preserving the recipe without using artificial additives, con/-preservatives, minerals, or vitamins providing maximum bioavailability. So next time instead of feeding astronaut food (kibble and canned wet food) you can provide your pooch with real food and natural nutrition. 

why is human-grade pet food healhtier than commercial pet food?

Human-grade petfood, are foods equally safe for humans to consume. Human-grade foods are healthier for pets because they have a higher digestibility and superior nutritional values than commercial pet food. Not very surprising if you ask us. If you provide human-grade high-quality ingredients for yours pets instead of upcycling waste ingredients such as the average pet food brand does, of course the digestibility and health of your pet will improve.

what ingredients in pet food are not human-grade?

Don’t be surprised to find these ingredients in your pet food; meat by-products (e.g., feathers, leather, fecal waste, hair, ground bones)., leftovers of processed human foods (e.g. potato peelings, beet pulp, brewer’s yeast) with little nutritional value, discarded human ingredients (e.g. moldy rice), and the last one will shock you beyond your grave: euthanized pets. Dogs can only digest 75% of these ingredients.  

Instead, ON!ST only uses clean ingredients. Meaning you could eat the recipe yourself (human-grade), all ingredients are whole foods (unprocessed, directly sourced from the earth), locally sourced (EU, preferable NL), from native decent (so no soy beans grown in a Dutch greenhouse), and pronounceable (no weird unreadable ingredients you’ve never heard of).

do dogs need to eat kibble to clean their teeth?

The question we get a lot is: Don’t dogs need to eat something crunchy like kibble to clean their teeth? Nope, is the short answer. Do you clean your teeth by eating crunchy cookies? Is the cheeky and a bit funny rhetorical answer. And here is our Scientific answer; the assertion that eating kibble helps to prevent oral disease is not backed up by any credible study. Kibble's tough structure makes intuitive sense that it may scrape off teeth debris and prevent oral disease,but this assumption stays unproven. On the contrary 80% of dogs on a kibble diet develop some form of dental health before they turn 3 due to the artificial coating on kibble. These coating are stuffed with artificial colorings, sugars, salt, and chemical additives to make the kibble more appealing to your pooch. These coating actually harm the top layer of canine teeth and ultimately cause teeth debris and oral disease. A natural whole food diet without artificial additives is the best approach to healthy oral hygiene.

why are plant-based diets the best for tackling pet obesity?

ON!ST nutrition is lower in fats and high in plant-based fiber the perfect combination to maintaining and regaining a healthier weight.

Meat-diets have a high caloric intake. A high calory diet is only necessary when a lot of exercise is involved. But the average dog does not walk for more than 30 minutes a day causing many dogs to become overweight and developing disease such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and cancer.

What are the source of vitamin d3, b12, omega 3, calcium, iron used?

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is the reason why most "vegetarian” and “plant-based” pet foods are NOT vegan because the vitamin D3 they use is extracted from the wool of sheep (called “lanolin”). The vegan sources of vitamin D ON!ST uses is sourced from lichen a plant organism that grows on tree bark.

Vitamin B12

Unfortunately, you’re not going to find much B12 in plants. That’s because vitamin B12 is only made by bacteria. The specific bateria that makes it is usually found in the root of plants. Meat only contains low quantities of B12 because they ate those roots. Once again ON!ST cuts out the middle man and provides natural occuring B12 through algea and nutritional yeast, both packed with vitamin B12.

Omega 3

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA and DHA. ALA can not be manufactured by the body making it essential to eat. In turn ALA is converted to EPA and DHA. ON!ST uses linseeds and linseed oil to provide ALA and algea for EPA and DHA. Traditionally people use fish oils to consume omega 3, the fishes in turn eat algea to get the omega 3 in the first place. ON!ST cuts out the middel man (the fish) and directly uses the Omega 3 source: Algea.


Due to advertising growing up, we think of animal products like dairy as amazing sources of calcium. In reality, dairy is an okay source of calcium but nothing special. There are many whole plant foods that dominate dairy for calcium intake. ON!ST uses a variety of these ingredients to meet the calcium intake: algea, seeds, leafy greens, and nuts.


There are 2 types of iron: heme and non-heme iron. Plant-based whole foods contain non-heme iron and meat-based food a mix of both. The problem with heme iron in meat-based foods is that it is often attached to proteins and once it is ingested the body has no mechanism to remove excess iron. With non heme iron in plant-based foods this is not the case, instead they need vitamin c and lysine (a protein type) to help digest this type of iron in the quantity that the body needs in that moment. There are multiple foods (of which ON!ST uses multiple) that contain high levels of iron such as vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes (e.g. seaweed, flaxseeds, kale)

will my dog get enough protein on a plant-based diet?

One common myth about proteins in plant-based pet food is that it does not contain enough proteins. But research shows that vegan dogs actually shows superior protein levels in the measured blood levels than meat-fed dogs. A hand full of plant-based ingredients high in proteins are: seaweed (57%), vital wheat gluten (75%), almonds (21%), soy beans (20%), pumkin seeds (19%) (meat comparison; lamb (24%), chicken (31%), and salmon (25%)). ON!ST combines various plant-proteins to reach a 30% protein profile meeting and exceeding the FEDIAF nutritional minimum of 18%.

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ON!ST pet food