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Dogs are notorious meat lovers and thrive in it, but can dogs be vegan?
It might sound far-fetched, and it’s given rise to much controversy, but research indicates that a carefully planned vegan or vegetarian diet for your dog is possible and even healthier. Today, we present you the facts and the science behind both sides of this argument and weigh out whether dogs can benefit from plant-based nutrition or if it’s dangerous for them.
As more and more people adopt a vegan lifestyle, the question of whether dogs can also be vegan is becoming increasingly relevant. Hence, it’s critical to understand the nutritional aspect of dog veganism and its impact on the dog’s health before putting your dog on such a diet. We also provide additional resources for those considering a vegan diet for their pets. Let’s dive right in!
- What Are Vegan Dogs?
- Can Dogs Be Vegan?
- Are Vegan Dogs Healthy?
- Is Vegan Food Good For Dogs?
- Do Vegan Dogs Live Longer?
- Risk & Concerns
- Where To Buy It
- When To Avoid A Vegan Diet
- Can Puppies Be Vegan?
- Reddit Vegan Discussion
- Is It Animal Abuse?
- Ask A Vet
- Build Your Own Vegan Diet
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Vegan Dogs?
Dog veganism is a dietary and ethical choice that involves abstaining your dog from consuming animal products or products derived from animals. A vegan dog diet is typically made from fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts, vegetable oils, soya, and other non-animal-based foods.
A vegan dog diet is a stricter form of a vegetarian dog diet. Unlike a vegetarian dog diet, a vegan dog diet prohibits consuming or using animal-derived products such as dairy, eggs, honey, leather goods, wool, and silk.
Vegetarians and vegan dogs don’t eat meat and fish.
Can Dogs Be Vegan?
According to research and anecdotal evidence, dogs can be vegan and thrive on a meat-free diet. A vegan or vegetarian dog diet is possible if they are nutritionally complete.
Dogs’ diet adaptation research shows our pups have evolved to eat diets with less meat and more plant starch (carbs). Dogs can digest plant starch thanks to a mutation that happened over thousands of years in the gene coding for pancreatic amylase (AMY2B). This happened over thousands of years due to domestication and the start of agriculture.
Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University states that dogs can thrive on a vegan or vegetarian regimen. However, it has to be a carefully designed vegan diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. The American Kennel Club also states that dogs prefer meat, but a vegan or vegetarian diet is possible as long as it’s balanced.
Dogs have several omnivorous characteristics, according to Hill’s Pet research. Dogs became omnivores about 8,000 years ago, according to an analysis of prehistoric dog droppings. An analysis of dogs’ anatomy, behavior and feeding preferences shows they are omnivorous and can eat and survive on both plant and animal matter.,
Can Dogs Be Vegan And Healthy?
Dogs can be vegan and healthy if they get all the necessary nutrients from their meals. The University of Vienna studied the consequences of a vegan diet on 20 dogs for over six months and found the diet change did not negatively impact the dog’s health.
Commercial vegan and vegetarian dog foods are manufactured to meet all the dogs’ nutritional requirements and are AAFCO approved, so you don’t have to worry about any deficiencies. But, it’s essential to seek a veterinary-trained nutritionist’s supervision if you plan to cook vegan dog food at home. You can also use this book on plant-based recipes for dogs as guidance.
Is Vegan Food Good For Dogs?
What do vegan dog diet studies state? Let’s take a look at the evidence and what the experts say.
So, is a plant-based diet good for dogs?
Dr. Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, and Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare, at the University of Winchester, says dogs can thrive on vegetarian diets as long as they are nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced.
Vegan Dog Food Benefits
Plant-based diets (or meatless dog food) offer many health benefits.
Here are some health benefits you can expect when switching your pup to a plant-based diet.
Can Dogs Be Vegan? Veterinarian Researcher Explains
Do Vegan Dogs Live Longer?
While research is still minimal, anecdotal evidence suggests dogs seem to live longer than their counterparts on meat-based diets. Dogs also tend to be healthier which leads to a longer lifespan.
Bramble, a vegan Collie from the United Kingdom, lived to 25 years of age and is listed among the world’s longest-living dogs in the Guinness Book Of World Records. Bramble’s owner, Anne Heritage, attributes her health to her vegan diet. For 25 years, Bramble dined on brown rice, lentils, textured vegetable protein, herbs, and yeast extract. Anne also notes she has raised seven other vegan dogs. Three of them lived to 19 years old, one lived to 20 years old. 
Moreover, a scientific peer-reviewed analysis of 2,500 dogs found vegan dogs visit the vet less often and require fewer medications than dogs on a meat-based diet. The percentage of dogs reported to have suffered from health disorders was 49% for the meat diet versus 36% for the vegan diet. This scientific evidence shows vegan dogs are healthier and can potentially live longer.
Dog Vegan Diet Risks & Concerns
While a balanced vegan diet is safe for dogs, some risks are associated with feeding unbalanced plant-based meals to dogs.
A recent study on the labeling adequacy and nutritional nutrient concentration of 24 commercial vegetarian dog food formulas found that six of the 24 diets (25%) did not meet the minimum amino acid requirements. However, the study only measured two samples of each, so the margin of error is wide. Also, generally, 15% of traditional dog kibble (non-vegan) doesn’t meet these nutritional requirements, according to The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).,
Do You Have to Worry About Unbalanced Vegan Food?
No. This only means that 75% of vegan dog foods are nutritionally complete.
Commercially available vegan dog food brands are formulated to address any potential nutritional deficiency in their recipes, including those mentioned above. Always read the label to ensure the formula meets the corresponding AAFCO nutrient profile. However, if you make vegan dog food at home or don’t see any of these ingredients included in your dog’s vegan kibble recipe, you’ll need to include supplements in his diet to provide a balanced diet.
Where To Buy Vegan Dog Food?
You can buy vegan dog food at your at many pet stores, as well as online retailers. Some popular brands that offer vegan dog food options include Wild Earth and V-dog. It is also available on large e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Chewy.
If you are looking for a plant-based recipe for your dog, read our best vegan dog food reviews article to find the best formula for your dog’s specific needs. Our researchers for nutritional adequacy have vetted the brands in this review, so you don’t have to worry about any deficiencies. We only recommend trusted brands.
Dog Vegan Diet Misconceptions
You’ve probably come across a wide misconception about vegan dog food. Here are the facts.
Vegan Dog Food Sustainability Helps The Planet
Vegan or vegetarian dog food also has positive ethical and environmental benefits, contributing reseasons for dog owners to switch their dogs to a plant-based diet.
The vegan diet has the least environmental effect, and it’s considered a more sustainable dog food than traditional kibble. Why? Vegan dog food requires less land and water to produce and generates less greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based protein production. More importantly, it reduces the exploitation and cruelty of animals often associated with the meat industry.
Why Dogs Should Not Be Vegan
Can all dogs be vegan? Here is why a vegan diet may not be appropriate for some dogs.
Can Puppies Be Vegan?
While puppies can be raised on a vegan diet, it is generally not recommended. Puppies have specific nutritional needs best met by a diet that includes animal-based proteins and nutrients. Puppies require a diet high in protein, fat, and essential nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid, which are found primarily in animal-based sources.
There are limited vegan puppy food options. If you plan to feed your 5-month-old puppy vegan dog food, consult with your vet first. Puppies require different nutrition than adult dogs. Depending on the vegan formula you provide him, it may require supplementation because of the high nutritional requirements of puppies in their development stage.
These nutrients are essential for the puppy’s growth, development and overall health. A vegan diet may not provide the necessary balance of nutrients that puppies need to maintain optimal health. It is also important to note that puppies have a natural carnivorous bias and may not have the necessary enzymes to digest plant-based proteins effectively. It is best to consult a veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your puppy. A veterinarian can help you find a nutritionally complete and balanced diet to meet your puppy’s needs.
Can Dogs Be Vegan Reddit
Here are the top thread discussions real people are having on Reddit on vegan dogs.
Dog Eating Vegan
Is Making Your Dog Vegan Animal Abuse?
According to the official definition of ‘animal cruelty’ (neglect’ or ‘intentional’ cruelty to animals), feeding or making your vegan dog food is not considered animal abuse. Feeding a dog a well-researched, balanced vegan diet does not fall under the category of animal cruelty, as defined by PETA. Animal abuse is commonly divided into two categories: neglect and intentional cruelty. Examples of deliberate cruelty include overt abuse, dog fighting, and cockfighting. Neglect includes denying basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, or veterinary care.
Commercially available vegan food offers a solution for animal lovers to feed their dogs a complete and balanced nutrition that is 100% cruelty-free and made from animal-free sources. Because they provide all the nutrients they need to thrive, this is far from being considered animal abuse.
How To Create A Vegan Dog Diet Plan
Cooking a nutritionally balanced home-cooked dog vegan diet is highly challenging. Getting the right balance of essential nutrients can be difficult on an all-plant menu without careful planning. That’s why we’ve put together this homemade vegan dog food guide to help you understand how to cook balanced vegan meals at home properly. We’ve also included some recipes.
However, before getting out your apron, you should get the guidance and supervision of a qualified veterinary nutritionist.
Cooking unbalanced meals can result in inappropriate nutrition and have negative repercussions such as poor coat quality, poor growth, weight loss, lack of energy and low litter size in whelping bitches.
Need Veterinarian Vegan Dog Food Advice?
Here you can book a video appointment to chat with one of our vets for advice on vegan dog diets. They will be able to answer all your questions and concerns.
Can Dogs Be Vegan Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most commonly asked questions about vegan dogs.
Can Dogs Be Vegan? — Conclusion
Can dogs be vegan? Based on our research and third-party research analysis, dogs can be vegan only if their vegan food is nutritionally complete and balanced and meets your dog’s specific dietary needs. We recommend commercially available vegan dog foods as your first option if you want to switch your dog to a vegan diet. They are a safe option as they have been formulated to meet a dog’s nutritional requirements.
Pet owners must consult a veterinarian and a licensed veterinary nutritionist before making any drastic changes to their dog’s diet, especially if they plan to make a vegan diet at home. A vegan diet for dogs requires careful attention to protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Ultimately, when considering any dietary changes for your pup, veterinary advice should be considered before putting them onto any new diet. It is important to prioritize the health and well-being of our dogs when it comes to feeding them before any ethical or personal beliefs you may have.