Everything You Need to Know about What a Vegan Diet for Dogs Should Be
Plant-based eating has proven to have a massive impact on both the environment and our health, more and more people across the globe are adopting a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle as a result. But what about our dogs? Should they be following suit and taking on a veggie lifestyle too? Well, this is a question asked by many dog owners who are trying to make the best decisions for their beloved companions.
The truth is vegan dog diets have caused much controversy amongst the vegan community, with many different viewpoints and theories, dog owners are at a loss about whether putting their dogs on vegan diet is for their benefit or detriment. I’ll be explaining all of the various vegan diet dog ins and outs and tips and tricks to help make your decision a little easier.
Can Dogs Live on a Vegan Diet?
Before we can even get into the various types of a vegan diet for dogs, we first need to understand if it is actually a healthy diet alternative for them and what the pros and cons may be. So can dogs eat a vegan diet?
Well, in theory, it is most definitely possible to feed a dog a vegetarian or vegan diet, in technical terms a dog can live and survive off of a completely plant-based diet, however, this doesn’t mean that it is the best option for their wellbeing. Firstly dogs have always been perceived to be carnivores, meaning they only eat meat, however, through copious amounts of research, scientists have found that they are actually part of the omnivore family and have no trouble digesting various plants and vegetable and actually need the nutrients they provide. Just like humans each animal is different and as such there is no direct answer to the question, instead, it is more of an individual preference that will determine whether your dog is built to sustain a dog vegetarian diet plan.
What Can You Feed Your Dog?
While technically a dog vegan diet can be practical and sustainable, there are still many restrictions involved as there are many foods and products that dogs cannot consume even if they are vegan. Firstly the animal proteins and animal fats found in meat products are especially beneficial for dogs and provide them with key nutrients for their ultimate wellbeing. Saying this you cannot simply just remove those products from your dog’s diet without supervision and the consultation of a vet as it can be extremely dangerous.
Next, do not feed your dogs fake meat products, dogs are not like humans they cannot just substitute meat for fake meat alternatives. The bottom line is that yes dogs can be vegan, however, designing a perfectly suited meat-free meal plan that still encompasses all of the correct vitamins and nutrients that they need is near to impossible, and failing to provide them with the correct resources for their needs could lead to some serious health damage.
How to Know If a Vegetarian Dog Diet Is Right for Your Pet?
If you are extremely passionate about giving your dog the perfect vegan diet for dogs without complications, there are a number of things you could do to ensure your dog is number one allowed to follow such diet and how to create and monitor their diet plan. To ensure that a vegetarian diet for dogs is suited to your pet you should :
Talk to your vet
If you are serious about a vegan dog diet, then talking to your vet about whether or not it would be a possibility is the first step you need to take. Your vet will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, check your dog’s health and wellbeing, and possibly recommend dairy-free and meat-free alternatives that they think would be suitable to your dog’s needs in particular. They can also help you devise a diet plan and monitor your dog throughout the process to ensure no threats or harm are caused while switching them to a plant-based veggie diet.
Considering a compromise
If your heart is set on helping the environment through plant-based dieting and you are intent on a vegetarian diet dog then there may have to be a few compromises on the way. If your dog is not suited towards a vegan diet then it will cause more harm than good by forcing one on them. However, you could compromise by feeding them fish instead of meat and shopping for higher quality and ethically sourced meat products that also include a wide range of plants and vegetables that are dog friendly.
As you can see from this article, dogs can live off of a vegan diet, however, that does not mean that vegan diets for dogs are good for them or is even a technically safe option. Saying this there are still many ways you can help save the environment through your own vegan choices, but it is of the utmost importance that your furry best friend remains safe and cared for and that their health and wellbeing is not compromised in any way through your dietary choices on their behalf.
Vegan diet dogs often live shorter lives and experience a range of health problems as a result of lack of nutrients. The best way to go about this is to treat your dog as an individual and do what works best for them and them alone. Ask questions to your vet and animal nutritionist before making any harsh or rapid decisions about their diet.
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