Can dog's be vegan?
A dog can be healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet despite the misconceptions. Our pet dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores, and their digestive system is capable of getting nutrients from plants. Some dogs are even allergic to animal proteins!
The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University stomped out some of the myths surrounding vegan diets for dogs here (https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2016/07/vegan-dogs-a-healthy-lifestyle-or-going-against-nature/). Not all concerns are myths; getting the nutrient level right in meat-free dog food is more of a challenge than usual.
A more recent study has also found that the healthiest and least hazardous diets for dogs are nutritionally sound vegan diets, https://proveg.com/press-release/large-scale-study-finds-vegan-diets-healthiest-and-least-hazardous-for-dogs/
Why can a Vegan Diet for Dogs be Challenging?
Dog digestive systems can get nutrition from plants, but it does have an easier time processing animal matter. In addition to this, it can be hard to get enough of certain nutrients that are essential for dogs. This can include fat and specific proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. This doesn't mean dogs can't eat a vegan diet. It just needs to be done carefully.
How to Feed your Plant-Based Dog
It's important to remember that veganism's health benefits that apply to humans don't always apply to dogs. In some cases, it will; in most cases, it won't. Your plant-based dog needs to be given a carefully designed diet to meet all their nutritional needs. Here's how you do that:
- Talk to a Veterinary Nutritionist about meat-free diets for your dog in particular
- Do not solely feed them a home-cooked diet yourself; it is very hard to do this!
- Use a commercially prepared "Complete" vegan dog food option
- Consider the age, weight and health conditions of your dog
The age, weight and health conditions of a dog must always be considered when feeding them or changing their diet. As they age, you will need to adjust their diet to keep them healthy and happy for many years. A dog on a plant-based diet also needs to have their diet changed as they age to match the current nutritional needs of that age.
Here at Five Vegans we have both vegan dry dog biscuits and wet tinned food that have been specially formulated to provide all the nutritional needs for your dog. See our range on the link below