Vegans are persons who decide to eliminate all sources of nutrients and products from animal origin out of their lives. From milk to eggs, even honey is not allowed. This can be out of health concerns, ethical or ecological reasons.
Many vegans therefore decide to change the diet of their dog from a conventional to a vegan diet.
Their argument is simple : Plant powered pooches save the planet! A vegan dog, like a vegan human, leaves behind a much smaller environmental “paw print.”
Can Dogs be Vegan?
Unlike cats ( covered in a different article ) dogs are omnivores from a biological point of view.
The most important element of a healthy diet for your dog is that it fulfils the daily requirements in terms of palatability, nutritional value and the bioavailability of your dog. Choices include buying special vegan dog food, or preparing it yourself for your pup. A balanced diet should always be the main priority when thinking about your dog’s diet plan.
- Palatability : in simple dog terms, it is the satisfaction your dog will experience by absorbing a type of food
- Nutritional Value: is the measure of a well-balanced ratio of the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, and vitamins in relation to the nutrient requirements of your dog
- Bioavailability: is the ease by which nutrients are digested and broken down into small molecules. The higher the bioavailability, the better the mucous membrane of your dog’s guts will absorb the food. When the bioavailability is low, your dog will suffer malnutrition.
So the question is, can your dog be vegan?
As mentioned above, dogs are omnivores. This means that their digestive system can process vegetables, fruit, cereals, fat and meat. However, their daily protein requirements are high and fundamental for both their psychological and nutritional health.
The good news is that domestic dogs, unlike their ancestors, possess up to 30 copies of the AMY2B gene for digesting plant foods.
Am I getting too technical on this?
Luckily for us now vegan dog food , either shipped from abroad or produced locally, is readily available.
How will you & your dog benefit from a vegan diet?
The benefits of a vegan diet for your dogs are plenty. Vegan diets for dogs are naturally hypoallergenic, easily digestible and anti-inflammatory.
Allergy Friendly :
To the surprise of many dog owners, most dogs are allergic to animal proteins. The allergic effects may include rashes, dry and itchy skin, loose stool, constipation, gas, vomiting, eye discharge, yeast infections and fur loss.
Exposure to allergens over time is a health concern, as it compromises the immune system.
The absence of animal proteins in a vegan diet will naturally take care of these issues without having to rely on food supplements or medication.
Improvement of Their Energy Level :
Your dog might regain puppy-like energy due to the clean, readily-available nutrition (without the negative effects from meat-based and byproduct-heavy food).
A relief from chronic symptoms :
- a lower risk for articular gout, due to less bones and joints deposits
- get rid of or substantially reduce digestive problems
- lower the risk to develop cancer or hypothyroidism …
- And last but not least, for you as a dog owner, their eliminations will smell less.
What the pessimists are saying
Vegan diets contain a much lower amount of protein. With dogs this may cause the ph factor of the urine to become more alkaline. The higher the alkaline level, the more risk of producing chrystals and uroliths ( so called stones ) in addition to altering the bacterial flora. These two combined may/can augment the chances of infection of the urinary tract.
A second thing is that too much fiber in your dog’s diet may cause diarrhea or liver discomfort.
Now that you know the pros & cons – How do I change my dog’s diet ?
Some dogs adapt more easily to a change in their diet than others. It is therefore advisable to introduce them gradually and having your dog followed by your vet.
For a full interesting read on the topic, click here.
A Treat for your furry friend
While you were reading this article you might have neglected your furry friend. So here is a recipe to make up for it.
- 9 cups of wholemeal flour
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 scoop salt
- 1 scoop basil
Preparation: Mix the dry ingredients and add in 3 cups of water. Mix into a dough and then cut in the desired forms. Put everything in the oven for 10-15 minutes at a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius.
Important: Once the dogie cookies are done, let them sit overnight to get crispy and hard, or at least for 8 hours.
With pet love from Karin
Credentials : My gratitude goes to WealthyAffiliates. Without their technical support & encouragement this website would not exist.