Can Dogs Be Vegan?
Vegan diets have been growing in popularity in recent years, with many people realizing that eating vegan has a number of health benefits. Given how healthy vegan diets can be for humans, it’s only natural for dog owners to wonder: can a vegan diet be healthy for dogs as well?
The short answer is: it depends.
Here’s what you need to know before putting your dog on a vegan diet.
Dogs are Omnivores
There’s been some debate about whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores, but dogs have several omnivores’ key qualities. This includes molars with flat surfaces, the ability to digest most carbohydrates, small intestine size consistent with other omnivores, and more. This all means that dogs can get essential nutrients from plants and animal proteins, which is why we include a mix of protein and fruits/veggies in our Just Raw Meals.
Vet Recommended Vegans
Due to dogs being omnivores, it means that they can eat a completely vegan diet. HOWEVER, in order to do so safely, it needs to be done under the careful guidance of a veterinarian and monitored closely. Due to how difficult it can be to provide a dog with a balanced and nutritional vegan meal, most vets do not recommend doing so unless there are medical reasons.
Reasons for Veganism
While humans adopt a vegan diet for a number of reasons, from environmental impact to health benefits, most dogs are put on it for medical reasons. Food allergies are the top reasons why a vet may recommend a vegan diet. Some dogs are sensitive to specific animal proteins, and eliminating them can help. Again though, this should only be done under the recommendation of a vet and pet nutritionist.
Problems with Dog Vegan Diets
Dogs can live on vegan diets, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should unless it’s medically necessary. There is a lot of room for error in pet vegan diets, and if they’re not done right, your pet could really suffer. An improperly balanced vegan diet can cause such as inadequate protein intake, amino acid imbalance, and vitamin deficiency.
While dogs can live on a vegetarian or vegan diet, most prefer and need animal protein. If you’re uncomfortable with feeding your dog processed kibble, you can always look into raw feeding such as Just Raw Pet Food. Our food has a nutritional mix of animal protein, animal bones and organs, vegetables, and fruit. This diet mimics the natural prey diet that dogs living on for years before domestication and is free from additives and preservatives!
So, is a Vegan Diet Healthy for My Dog?
To sum it up, while dogs can survive on a vegan diet, they should only be put on one if it is medically necessary and under a professional's guidance.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our Raw Meals or raw feeding!