Can a dog eat a vegan diet? There’s a lot of debate circling this question. Although many people may claim that their dogs thrive on a vegan diet, many others express concern that a vegan dog food lack in providing overall nutritional requirements for a really healthy dog.
So, which side of the coin is shinier? Is it OK to make your dog vegan? Let’s find out in this article what vegan food options are best for your dog.
It is generally understood that dogs are carnivores like their wolf ancestors, implying that they must eat meat to survive, which is incorrect! Although they fall in the class of the order ‘Carnivora’ which, it should be underlined, also includes the order of ‘Carnivora’ and NO it dose does not mean “carnivorous” (in many cases).
Hence, dogs are actually omnivores. Canine digestive systems are pretty competent of digesting and procuring nutrients from fruits and vegetables and other vegan food products. Thus, in short, the answer is that yes, technically, dogs can endure and even do well on a natural balance vegan dog food.
Why do dogs need to eat meat?
PROTEINS- The answer is as simple as that. Have you ever heard somewhere plant-based proteins are not as effective as meat extracted proteins? NO, because proteins are on and the same! Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues, irrespective of its source. As we all are well informed about the prices of meat, which is expensive.
Thus, the meat-based dog food we buy which is claimed to be “healthy” and “only food your dog should eat” makes an outrageous profit by selling low-cost, cereal-based dog food. Not so surprisingly, the meat used is of low quality and in very less amount.
Already many institutes have started re-teaching, that the dog not only is not only an omnivore (meat and plant-eater) but that he actually does great when fed largely plant-based food, a diet that is super-high in nutrition and also breaks down easily in dogs stomach. It’s just a lucky fluke that this also happens to be much more economical to manufacture or make at home.
So that now we have concluded that dogs can survive on a vegan diet lets find out what exactly can we feed a dog from a vegan menu.
Do not skip this part cuz if you are converting your adult dog into vegan, you need to know exactly your dog’s daily nutrition and physical food requirements and also need to take care of his taste buds! If you have a puppy you need to understand his nutritional diet right from the beginning so as he should live a healthy and happy and active life! Hence we advise you to read the full article till the end.
A Vegan Dog’s Diet
When choosing what to feed your dog, ensure that they receive a balanced amount of vitamins D and B, calcium, iron and protein. A supplement is often necessary for Vit B12 as it is not found reasonably in our daily vegan diet, nutritional yeast is one good supplement to consider for the same.
Here are some raw vegan foods for your cuddly buddy
Almost all common fruits such as apples, mango, bananas, berries, kiwi, watermelon, muskmelon, oranges, sweet limes, etc are perfect for a snack. Make sure you slice them and remove seeds and skin before serving your dog.
Raw veggies such as broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and beetroots are excellent for dogs as they have fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Also, you can try to put chopped up a sweet potato into the freezer as it makes for a tasty chewy treat.
3. Dried Food
You can provide them with some dried foods as well such as cashews apricots, almonds, raisins, dates pistachios- better pop them in their mouth, dogs love to catch and eat!
Homemade Dog Food
Here are some cooked food options for your doggo.
First things first, do not make instant changes in your dog’s food as he will not be physically and mentally prepared for it. Instead, progressively decrease the amount of meat and other animal products in their diet and slowly introduced the new choices.
To make it a little more edible and delicious, mix the food with a small amount of soy or coconut milk or virgin coconut or olive oil. Virgin oils are good for a dog’s digestion as well as their coats. Also, they provide the necessary fats. Remember a dog’s smell is his powerful sense!
Feed your dogs a mixture of rice (cooked) and the options mention below (in a cooked form), make sure to change the combination of food every day. After all your dog has his own taste buds!
- Lentils and pulses
- Brussels sprouts
- pumpkin, squash
- sweet potato
- Soya chunks
All of these can be popped in the food processor with some virgin coconut oil or olive oil (as per your doggos taste) to lightly mixed so that they are easily digestible. You can add or delete a few ingredients as per your choice and menu of the day!
A special treat for your fur-buddy
- A sandwich of vegan whole wheat flatbread (with no soda) with mashed avocado will make your dogs breakfast yummy and will provide necessary fats.
- On a hot sunny day, you can provide him with freshly made fruit juice or you can chill the same juice to form ice cubes (dogs love to eat ice cubes in summers!). On other days you can provide him with soy milk and coconut milk too!
- You can grind some boiled chickpeas and add sprouts. Drizzle it with coconut oil and bake it. You can feed this to your dog on a winter day snack.
- Homemade granola bars with no added sugar will be your dog’s fav too (you might be his partner in crime in finishing that first batch!)
Note: Make sure you don’t overpower his food with salt and sugar, a tiny bit is ok!
Market Buy Vegan Dog Food
There are also plenty of options for commercial ready-made vegan dog food products easily available in the market. Here are some vegan dog food brands which have good reviews and considered to be top vegan dog food products.
Make sure you feed your dog the recommended quantity of food written on the respective packets. Here’s a small tip, you can ask for a sample packet or a trial pack if available, if not then a small packet to try first.
What’s the best vegan dog food?
Well, you also know there is no one perfect answer to this. This is so because, it depends on your lifestyle, how much time you can take out of your daily routine to prepare your dog food? What is your budget assigned for dog food? And most important what does your dog like? Some dogs prefer to eat store brought vegan food while some prefer to eat fresh homemade food.
Also, it is a fact that homemade food is cheaper than market bought products, on the other hand, it takes more time to prepare than just cut the packet and pour in the dog bowl.
Why is vegan food so expensive?
Talking about prices why is vegan food so expensive?
You must have observed the pre-packed ready to eat vegan dog food is expensive, this is so because the vegan dog food is completely, organic plants, vegetables, fruits are used to prepare these foods which can be stored for a longer period of time.
Also, plant-based proteins are difficult to extract hence a good technology and unique technique is used to carry out the process. Hence, to provide your dog with quality food they have a good reason to be expensive.
Do Vegan Dogs live Longer?
Still a question persists, “Do vegan dogs live longer?”
Many studies have carried out and many of them have stated that dogs can survive well on well balanced vegan dog food. A study carries out by Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University have stated on a debate over dogs sharing 90-95% of DNA with wolves, “To put the info above in perspective, humans share about 96-99% of their DNA with chimpanzees (whole genome, not just mitochondrial DNA).” Thus if chimpanzees can survive on 99.99% on a herbivorous diet, dogs can too!
Do vegans feed their dogs, meat?
It is not a hard and fast rule to feed your dog vegan food if you are vegan. It depends on your thought process. Some prefer not to change their dog eating habits while some switch to fish from meat. While others prefer to feed their dog vegan food. So the conclusion is, it depends on YOU and of course your dog.
If your dog refuses to eat vegan food you can not force him to do so or if your dog has special needs you can continue on his old diet. Concluding this article we can now clearly see there is NO HARM in converting your dog vegan by switching them on vegan food.
But it is mandatory to talk to your vet first and your veterinary nutritionist before taking the decision as they are more well known to dogs anatomy in depth. So again answer to the question “Can dogs live without meat?” YES, they do but only with a proper balanced vegan diet. If you have a vegan dog or in a process to switch him to vegan food share your experience with us. (BOWW WOWW!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some quick answers to FAQ’s
Yes, a dog can eat a well balanced vegan diet.
The best vegan dog food consists of fruits, vegetables, a market buy vegan dog food and supplements (if needed and prescribed).
Vegans feed their dogs an array of food ranging from numerous fruits to vegetables. Providing meat or any animal products depends upon the owner of the dog.
Yes, dogs can live without meat of they are provided with the required amount of proteins, vitamins and fats on a daily basis.
It is found out that too much of garlic, onions and wild mushrooms are bad for dogs digestive systems.
She is a true vegan concept lover by heart. Over 5 years of experience she is a professional foodie and nutrition decoder. Her every writing is researched based and she strictly sticks to scientific facts and figures. Along with vegan food she is here to explain and change lifestyle into a true vegan! Her honest and to the point writing will make you carry away in her vegan world!