Living Long And Prospering: The Science (No Fiction) Behind The Pack’s New Plant-Based Dog Food Campaign

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The Pack is a UK brand that specialises in plant-based nutrition for dogs. It has just unveiled  a new ‘dog-first’ advertising campaign, educating human companions about the safety and benefits of meat-free food. The company worked with B-corp-certified agency Library to compose the ‘Hey Humans! Hey Doggies!’ artwork. The project is designed to raise brand awareness but also reassure owners that dogs can thrive without animal products.

The Pack’s new advertising artwork has been split to reach the eye lines of both humans and dogs. It riffs on familiar motifs from London-based The Pack, which addresses pets directly in its branding. The campaign will run until February 20 and can be found in London neighbourhoods such as Chelsea, Islington, and Hackney.

The Pack co-founders Judy Nagel (L) and Damien Clarkson.

Can dogs really be vegan?

As an omnivorous species, dogs can adapt to diets without meat. As with any diet, adequate nutrition relies on balance. Companies such as The Pack remove the guesswork.

“We launched our vegan dog food range to help humans and dogs alike to leave smaller carbon pawprints on the planet,” Judy Nadel, co-founder of The Pack said in a statement. “We know consumers are applying environmental and healthy diet principles to their pets, The Pack is here to help them along the way. As thousands sign up to Veganuary this month, we want to turn heads and get tails wagging across London with our latest campaign and let people know that eating a plant-based diet isn’t just for them, it’s for dogs too.”

What’s wrong with conventional food?

Popular dog food brands have been found by animal rights group PETA, to contain hair, faeces, and diseased meat. They frequently include hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. None of these elements promote gut health. The only upside to commercial meat dog food brands is that they normally add good levels of two amino acids that are essential for animal longevity. Deficiencies of L-carnitine and taurine can cause a condition called cardiomyopathy. Owners looking to create vegan meals for their companions will need to supplement both of these.

Can older dogs be converted?

As long it’s a slow and gradual introduction of new food, it doesn’t matter how senior a pup is when changing diets. Never try to make a food switch overnight as this will lead to stomach upsets and an easy-to-make assumption that vegan food isn’t right for them. 

A terrifically stylish doggy showing of The Pack’s No-Moo Ragu.

What are dog-specific benefits of a vegan diet?

Many owners report improved resistance to infections, healthier joints and improved mobility in their vegan pooches. Hearsay aside, a 2016 report highlighted that domestic pet dogs can thrive on a plant-based diet. Particular observations included better coats, easier weight control, eye health, and a regression of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. 

Is vegan dog food better for the planet?

Just as reducing human meat consumption will reduce carbon emissions, so will meat-free doggies. “Whilst millions of Brits are cutting down on meat in their own diets, pet owners are also looking for ways to reduce meat in their pet’s diet,” Damien Clarkson, co-founder of The pack said in a statement.

“At The Pack, we’re on a mission to encourage pet parents to start thinking of the climate crisis when making purchasing decisions for their dogs and it starts with what we plate up ourselves and our pups. We are all living through an ecological crisis and a seismic shift in the pet-food industry can make a positive contribution to tackling the climate crisis.”

The Pack claims its three products are nutritionally complete, vet-approved and planet-friendly. The company confirmed that it secured undisclosed funding in 2021, with a roster of celebrities participating. Bosh! chefs Henry Firth and Ian Theasby were among the first backers.

2020 saw the organic and natural pet food market valued at $22.8 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6 percent until at least 2026. The vegan-specific pet food market has been predicted to reach a value of more than $15.5 million by 2028

Two splendid hounds advertising The Pack’s No-Cluck Casserole.

Driving meat-free demand

The same study that predicted vegan pet food growth also found that humanisation of family pets is driving demand for cruelty-free food options. Feeding one animal that is cherished with another that is faceless appears to be causing a cognitive shift in a rising number of owners. If this is a motivating factor, it is not unreasonable to expect a boom in vegan pet food sales in Spain. 

The country has recently taken a monumental step in terms of animal rights. In December 2021, it announced that animals would no longer legally be considered property. They now have equal rights to humans and have to have their feelings considered when major life events occur. Only the far-right political party Vox opposed the move.


All images courtesy of The Pack and with thanks to the furry models.

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