So, You Live a Vegan Lifestyle – Can Your Dogs Also Be Vegan?
There is no disputing how effective being on an all vegan diet can be for humans. Not only is it one of the most humane choices that you can make, but having a diet that does not consist of any type of animal products is also going to help lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many other health problems as well. Since being on vegan diet is so healthy for you, does that mean that it can be a healthy alternative for your dog as well? So the question is, can my dog be vegan?
To answer this question, it just depends. But get ready to learn just about everything that you can learn about what the nutritional intake of your dog should consist of, how exactly the vegan diet works and what all of that means for you dog.
Can Your Dog Be Omnivorous?
You may have heard or have not heard, but there is a discussion that has been going on debating whether dogs are carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores. However, according to the most research that has been done by Hill’s Pet, all dogs some key qualities that are prevalent in all omnivores:
- Molars that have flat surfaces are designed to help grind up fibrous plants and bones.
- An ability that allows them to digest most of the carbohydrates that they eat.
- Small intestines that take up a total of roughly 23 percent of all their gastrointestinal volume, which falls in line with most of the other omnivores (real carnivores have much smaller small intestine sizes).
- The are able to create vitamin A, one of the essential nutrients they need to live, from the beta-carotene that is found in plants they eat.
While none of this may make sense to you, essentially what it means is that dogs have the ability to get all of the essential nutrients that they require to be at optimal health from both animal proteins and plants. Yes, meat is still regarded as their main source of protein, but you have to admit that most dogs are going to run very enthusiastically after eating a nice, juicy cut of steak, however the pile of carrots won’t even get them to go in that direction.
Why Your Dog Might Go Vegan
There are two main reasons why some people decide that their dogs should start a vegan diet.
- The owner’s own personal ethics
- The dog has severe food allergies
If your dog does have food allergies, they are typically going to be sensitive to a very specific animal protein. By eliminating any of the processed animal products that your dog regularly consumes, they are going to be able to enjoy the food they eat and get all the nutrients that they require for optimal health. The only hard part is making sure that the diet they are on has been formulated to give them all of the essential nutrients that they require.
There are actually many dogs that have been switched to an all vegan diet and have adapted very well to it. However, most dogs do the best with a combination of vegan foods, as well as some foods that contain animal proteins and fats. But at least one or two all-vegan meals per week can really be a huge benefit to your dog.
What Do You Put Into A Vegan Dog Diet?
Some of the vegan foods that your dog can eat and enjoy include:
- Some types of beans (however, with dogs, beans mean more smelly dog farts)
- Broccoli, carrots and other veggies
- Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens
While that is just a small sample of some vegan foods that your dog is able to eat, keep in mind that there are also many plant based foods that you should never feed to your dog at all. So prior to getting started with a vegan diet for your dog, be sure that you spend some time doing the proper research on what your dog can and cannot eat while on a vegan diet.
Not only should your dog’s vegan diet include whole foods, but you are also going to need to pay attention to the amino acids that they are eating, as well as minerals and vitamins. This makes it an absolute must to speak to a pet nutritionist prior to putting your dog on an all vegan diet. They will be able to help you pinpoint the proper amounts of supplements and food required to make sure your dog is receiving the proper nutrients.
However, if you are not quite ready to start empting out your vegetable drawer for your dog, there are also a number of different commercial vegan dog foods available on the market. These are always a safe route to go as they have been specially formulated to not include any animal products or meat, but still provide your dog with all of its required nutritional needs.
Some of the most popular vegan dog food brands include:
- Halo Vegan Garden Show
- Wysong Vegan Dog Food
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula
While there are several different all vegan dog foods available on the market, there are also some potential problems if you do decide to give your dog an all vegan diet.
Vegan Dog Potential Problems
If your dog is on a vegan diet, there are some potential deficiencies that you will need to be aware of. These deficiencies include:
- An inadequate intake of protein
- An imbalance of amino acids
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
These are all some very serious problems, which can and will end up causing illness, disease, and many other problems as well. The best thing you can do if you really want your dog to be on a vegan diet is to speak with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist so that you can develop a vegan menu that will be able to supply your dog with all of the proper nutritional components that they require.