Veggie burgers are a seemingly harmless option to feed your dog.
Surely vegetables are rich in nutrients and can’t harm your pooch, right?
Although dogs can mostly tolerate veggie burgers, they aren’t recommended to be fed to your dog in large quantities.
Some vegetable burgers contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs so it’s always best to check the content list before you feed them to your dog.
This will help to avoid your dog becoming sick.
Although most dogs will generally eat anything you give to them, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have sensitive stomachs.
Quite the opposite, dogs have fragile stomachs which can be easily upset by human food.
Read the article below to discover how veggie burgers can affect your dog and which ones are safe for them to eat!
What Are The Most Common Ingredients Used In Homemade Veggie Burgers?
Although there are an endless variety of ingredients used within veggie burgers, the most common includes Soy.
Soy is made from the soybean which is a species of legume native to East Asia.
Soy is loved because it provides large amounts of protein and fibre which many vegetarians often lack.
Tofu, also made from dried, soaked, and crushed soybeans is another popular option.
Veggie burgers can likewise be made from a variety of beans.
Black or Kidney beans are widely used as they can be compressed into a patty along with a number of seasonings to spice them up.
Adding chilli, onions, garlic, and cheese is not uncommon to aid with flavour.
Finally, Quorn burgers are another very popular dish that you can make at home. Made primarily from mycoprotein, Quorn also includes egg whites, onions, barley, sugars, and milk.
Are These Ingredients Toxic For Dogs?
Unfortunately, a lot of the ingredients found within the veggie burgers listed above would be toxic to dogs, especially if given in large quantities or daily.
Although soy is technically safe for dogs and is found in many premade dog foods, not every form of soy is good for your pup.
Some dogs can also be allergic to soy so it’s a good idea to monitor your dog’s reaction to the soy burgers and avoid soy if they experience any discomfort.
If you think your dog is having a severe reaction, it’s always best to take them to the vet to get them checked over.
Symptoms of soy allergy in dogs include pruritus (severe itching of the skin often confused with dermatitis) and chronic ear infections.
Your vet will help you to carry out food elimination trials to figure out if they do have a soy allergy or whether another product is causing the issue.
Most Quorn products have a mixture of onions and garlic within them.
Onions and garlic are toxic to dogs because they contain disulphides.
This is a compound that leads to the breakdown of red blood cells and can potentially lead to anaemia if eaten in large amounts.
This inhibits your dog’s red blood cells to carry oxygen and causes the dog’s body to think their own red blood cells are invaders and attacks them.
So, it’s best to steer clear from feeding your dog anything containing garlic and onions.
How Might These Veggie Burgers Help Your Dog?
Despite the above, some veggie burgers can include beneficial ingredients for your dog.
Black beans and kidney beans are amazing sources of vitamin C and K.
They have large sums of protein and fibre within them which help to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
They also help to burn fat and regulate blood sugar levels.
Antioxidants found in kidney beans have even been known to help fight certain cancers! However, raw kidney beans contain toxins dangerous to dogs.
So, you need to make sure that the burger is cooked all the way through before feeding it to your pet.
What Other Common Ingredients Are Used in Veggie Burgers?
Although a dog would have to eat one whole onion or two garlic cloves to experience toxic effects, most pre-packaged burgers use onion and garlic powders which are much stronger than when used fresh.
Sodium is also a major ingredient used in meatless products.
This acts as a preservative and enhances flavour for humans.
This is because humans crave salt and it is somewhat addictive because it’s necessary for survival.
Are Any Of These Ingredients Toxic To Dogs?
Fake meat and veggie burgers are very highly processed.
This means that much of the nutritional value is lost and makes them quite difficult for dogs to digest.
Their high fat and salt content also aren’t good for dogs.
Salt isn’t toxic to dogs and they do need certain levels of it to keep their cells healthy and functioning.
This is estimated to be between 0.25g/100g and 1.5g/100g per day. But, when a dog eats too much of it, they become extremely thirsty and dehydrated.
Symptoms of eating too much salt include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, and high temperatures.
In worst-case scenarios, this can also lead to sodium ion poisoning.
If this happens make sure to give your dog plenty of water and limit their salt intake in the future to prevent your dog from becoming ill again.
If you caught your dog eating large quantities of veggie burgers, don’t panic.
Monitor your dog’s behaviour and if they are showing signs of pain then you should call your vet to ask for advice.
They may then advise you to bring them into the clinic to be checked over further. Most likely, your dog will be okay.
Can Dogs Eat Beyond Meat Burgers?
Having discussed how suitable veggie burgers are in general to dogs, it is time to be more specific.
In this section I will zero in on one of the top brands of veggie burgers, Beyond Meat.
Now the good news is that dogs can eat technically eat small amounts of Beyond Meat burgers.
But, it’s not advised that they are given as a regular part of your pup’s diet.
Firstly, Beyond Meat is very expensive and so it would be very unsustainable for most people to buy them to feed their dogs every day.
In the UK they cost around £5 per two patties and $6.40 per pound in America.
Secondly, Beyond Meat burgers along with most other fake meats are very highly processed. Giving your dog a small bite of the burger won’t harm them but giving them more than this could lead to health issues down the line.
Are Any Of These Ingredients Toxic To Dogs?
As well as the issues listed above, Beyond Meat burgers also contain cocoa butter as one of their main ingredients.
This is a fat removed from chocolate that contains Theobromine. Theobromine can affect a dog’s central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system.
If they eat too much of this, it can lead to poisoning which causes symptoms like vomiting and polydipsia.
So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid giving your dog any Beyond Meat products in large quantities or preferably all together.
Although it’s rarely fatal, Theobromine can lead to death if eaten in very large amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Vegan Cheese?
As with veggie and Beyond Meat burgers, dogs can eat vegan cheese in small volumes as long as it isn’t a major component of their diet.
Most varieties of cheese are not healthy for humans, so it comes as no surprise that they are bad for your dog as well.
Nut-based vegan cheese like those made of cashew are sometimes less processed than store-bought vegan cheese.
But, they often still contain high levels of fat and sodium.
As explained above, high levels of sodium can cause poisoning and high levels of fat can lead to weight issues.
These may lead to other significant problems down the line like obesity, joint problems, heart disease, and hypertension.
Dogs can also be affected by nut allergies as humans can.
Many commonly eaten nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, and pecans can cause allergic reactions.
These are major ingredients in homemade vegan cheeses as well as store-bought ones.
So, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog foods made from nuts if you think that they could react negatively to them.
After reading all of the information above, it’s safe to say that veggie burgers are not safe for your dog if they are eating them all the time.
Dogs should be given lean meat as a treat instead of fake meat where possible as this is what they are naturally meant to eat.
This means meat contains the correct amount of protein for your dog to help them build muscle and stay healthy.
Although veggie burgers are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than normal burgers or processed meats like hot dogs, you should always try and avoid feeding your dog any type of burgers whether that be veggie or meat.
Instead, you could try feeding them any number of dog-safe fruits and vegetables as a treat!
This will give them a variety of nutrients and minerals and will add more interesting flavours to your dog’s diet.
Let us know in the comments your experiences with feeding dogs veggie burgers and any alternatives you can suggest for your readers.