Methionine is an essential amino acid that plays an important role in metabolism and health of cats and dogs. Dogs use Methonine as the pre-requisite for synthesizing taurine, while cats require methionine for proper liver function (methionine prevents a fairly common sickness in cats called "fatty liver" or liver lipidosis). In either case - for cats and for dogs - methionine must be received from the diet.
Sources of Methionine
Methionine is found in highest concentrations in animal proteins and in lower concentrations in plant-based proteins. Therefore vegan diets must be properly balanced to ensure enough methionine is supplied. Cereal grains and pulses, such as wheat gluten, corn meal, brown rice, soy and whole peas contain methionine and are used extensively in vegan pet foods.
Plant-based sources of methionine
- wheat gluten
- corn meal
- brown rice
- whole peas
Methionine in Vegan Pet Foods
Benevo, Ami, Evolution Diet and VegePet products satisfy methionine requirement for both cats and dogs. Ami and Benevo use natural methionine found in corn and soy to ensure adequate levels are provided to dogs and cats, while Evolution Diet (while also using corn and soy) and VegePet supplement the diet with DL-Methionine. DL-Methionine has a secondary function as well - it is useful for urinary acidification.
Methionine Deficiency Symptoms
With Benevo, Ami and Evolution methionine deficiency is highly unlikely. Also, when pet guardians select to use VegeDog or VegeCat in homemade meals they can be assured their animals receive the proper amount of methionine as well.
Issues may arise when dogs and cats are not fed with a properly balanced diet. When the animal does not receive enough methionine, he or she will suffer from a deficiency, and may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Deterioration of coat appearance and lack of shine
- Growth deficiency in puppies and kittens
- Deterioration of protein and nutrient absorption
- Decreased energy level
- Weakening of the immune system
- Deterioration of blood indices (e.g. anemia)
- Deterioration of muscular strength
- Weakening of kidney and liver functions
Methionine Uses and Beneficial Effects
- When used in veterinary medicine as a urine acidifier it helps prevent or treat certain types of stone formations, such as the formation of kidney stones
- The supportive effects of methionine allow the liver to combat diseases, such as hepatitis, dystrophy and even cirrhosis
- Methionine promotes the action of many enzymes and vitamins (mainly from groups B and C)
- It helps protect against the effects of radiation and heavy metals
- It is useful in treatment of osteoporosis and certain allergies
- It boosts energy levels and has an antidepressant effect
- It acts as the "supplier" of sulfur – a chemical element which helps the formation of keratin protein, which in turn directly affects the condition of the coat, skin and claws of your pet.