Virchew has created a completely new way to nourish dogs with pure, natural foods that promote optimum health. Instead of using unnecessary animal ingredients or a typical kibble, founder Laura Simonson sought to produce nutritionally complete and balanced meals and treats for dogs – packed with life-giving, plant-based ingredients.
Virchew – Leading the Pack
Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Virchew is the first producer of 100% plant-based meals and treats for dogs powered by trail-blazing veterinary partnerships and nutrition programs. 10-years in the making, this celebration of foods and services aims to create products that are good for our dogs, good for our earth, and good for our hearts. Health, sustainability, and compassion aren’t just marketing (and greenwashing) words for them, these words are imprinted in the brand’s DNA.
Meet the Doggess – Laura Simonson
If you spend 10-minutes with Laura Simonson, you will realize that she knows a thing or two about feeling a tug of passion when eyeing a new venture. She speaks kindly and softly but with an urgency – she is equally passionate about our planet and our pets. Over 20-years-ago in Calgary, Alberta, Laura created, financed and managed the first health and lifestyle studio of its kind. It was a one-stop-shop that offered life-changing programs in personal development, fitness, nutrition and meditation. Her knack and passion for predicting trends in natural health, fitness, and plant-based diets, continues with the development of Virchew – the first plant-based food for dogs that is supported by veterinary nutrition programs.
Decades of First-hand Research
Researching canine plant-based diets as far back as 1989, Laura – and dozens of intrigued onlookers over the years – were encouraged with the remarkable results the diet had on her first border collie, Shanti. Laura knew, without a doubt, this message of this canine health success could, and should, be shared with others globally.
Virchew – The Natural Progression to Our Companions
After a decade of research and development along with a team of experienced entrepreneurs, business leaders, industry specialists, veterinary professionals and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists, Laura began meticulously creating the formulation of Virchew. The strategy was set in place to position Virchew as a new canine nutrition and lifestyle movement. One where not only companion dogs live and thrive on a plant-based diet but so do those who love and care for them. The brand’s mantra ‘Good for Our Dogs. Good for Our Earth. Good for Our Hearts‘ resonates with the current market’s exploding vegan and plant-based trends.
Let’s Fetch the FAQs with Laura
When it comes to what is best to feed our dogs, it seems everyone has an opinion! How we come about those opinions is based on a conflagration of marketing, myths, and tradition. We narrowed our interest down and posed the following three questions to Laura at the new Virchew HQ in Kitsilano.
Can and should dogs be fed plant-based diets? If dogs are carnivores, don’t they need meat to be healthy and thrive?
“This is one of the most common questions in modern canine nutrition research. It is a valid question and to be to the point – YES! Because dogs are not considered ‘true’ carnivores. They are actually more like us – omnivorous or non-obligate carnivores. When properly balanced with supplementation and developed with a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, a 100% plant-based diet is considered a healthy, safe choice for your dog’s health. It is my mission with Virchew to bring forth as much evidence-based data from clinical case studies as possible as we work in collaboration with our veterinarian business-business partners. Check out our ‘Vegan Dogs: The ONE Question.’ blog on our website. It goes into much more detail with the research to back-up all statements.”
This is the first time we have seen a dried blend of plant-based food for dogs. How is this better than canned food or kibble?
“Virchew is a new-fashioned form of food. Consider it an easy peasy meal kit for your dog! Since dogs need moisture in their diet to possibly prevent health issues and to promote optimum health, Virchew set out to create plant-based foods that have been either dehydrated, airdried or lightly processed, then dried. Virchew is convenience without compromise. All you have to do is dish it up, add warm water, stir it up and serve it up to your happy pup!”
What is in Virchew? It is nutritionally complete for all breeds of dogs?
Virchew’s recipe has been made with nutritious, delicious, 100% plant-based ingredients. We called it, The LOVE Bowl, because it’s good for our dogs, good for our earth and good for our hearts. What’s not to love? This bowl is filled with green and clean proteins, beneficial and essential fats, complex carbohydrates, healthful fibre and vital nutrients to ensure it’s ‘complete and balanced’ based on veterinary nutrition and AAFCO standards. Our ingredients are 100% plant-based/vegan, and free-from GMO’s, soy, corn, and gluten. Our recipe is a delicious combination of hemp hearts, pea protein, oats, potato, spinach, organic carrots, dried golden algae, salt, and a customized vitamin supplement. A full list is available in the Virchew FAQ.
Women-led & Financed by Women
Virchew is poised to be the leading plant-based food and lifestyle brand for dogs. Perfectly positioned between two multi-billion-dollar markets. Virchew is a recipe for boundless possibilities and, it should come as no surprise, that 90% of the company’s business development has been financed by women? We love that Virchew is woman-led and financed!
Virchew HQ is now open by appointment at 2960 West 4th Avenue for meal and treat pick-ups and soon will be offering regular hours for sampling, appointments for their Veterinary Nutrition Programs, and cool community/pop-up events.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at email@example.com.
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