Benefits of Soy in Your Pet's Food

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soy imageMoms everywhere, at one time or another, advised, "Eat your veggies, they're good for you." As usual, mom was right. Vegetables contain high levels of many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more. The same holds true for soy products.

The Benevolent Bean

Soy products are one of the world's oldest and most widely used sources of high quality protein. Its complementary amino acid profile combines well with other proteins and grains.1 Unlike other common protein sources such as meat, fish, poultry or milk, soy products have all of these healthy characteristics.2,3

  • High in vitamins and folic acid
  • High in essential amino acids, especially lysine
  • Concentrated source of fatty acids
  • No cholesterol (soy has even been shown to lower cholesterol levels in humans and animals)
  • Good source of fiber
  • Good source of potassium
  • Good digestibility
  • Less allergenic for dogs than other protein sources such as meat and dairy products4
  • Contains key antioxidants

Key points

  • Soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein and essential amino acids.
  • Soy provides coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber.

Good for People

Soy products are used in a variety of human foods including baked goods, breakfast cereals, pasta, beverages, meat and dairy products. In people, diets high in ,soy are believed to reduce the risks of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Soy products also contain isoflavones (antioxidants), which researchers believe to be a potential weapon in the fight against cancer.2,3

Good for Cats

As is often the case in nutrition, what's good for people is also good for cats. Despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors.5,6 Our research, and the research of others, continues to show that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats.

If you’re looking for a product without soy, Hill’s offers Science Diet recipes for cats with no corn, wheat or soy.

1 Hill D. Alternative Proteins in Companion Animal Nutrition. Pet Food Association of Canada Fall Conference. Presented October 27, 2004. Accessed March 14, 2011.
2 United Soybean Board website. Accessed May 17, 2010.
3 National Soybean Research Laboratory website. Nutritional and Health Benefits of Soybeans. html. Accessed May 17, 2010.
4 Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al. eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 5th ed. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute, 2010.
5 Raghavan M, Glickman NW, Glickman LT. The Effect of Ingredients in Dry Dog Foods on the Risk of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2006;42:28-36.
6 Raghavan M, Glickman NW, McCabe G, et al. Diet-Related Risk Factors for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs of High-Risk Breeds. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc.2004;40:192-203.