The answer is yes! Dogs can eat vegan dog food and thrive. However, it will take a bit more planning and consideration to keep your dog healthy on a vegan diet. Here is a few things you need to know about vegan dog food.
If you are vegan yourself, then you might find it difficult to feed your four-legged friend conventional dog food made from meat and animal ingredients. Luckily, it is possible to feed a dog an all-vegan diet. Dogs are actually classified in the order carnivora, but, like humans, dogs are omnivores and can live a perfectly normal life on a well-balanced vegan diet. A dog’s nutritional needs can easily be met through plant and mineral sources and, nowadays, there are many different vegan dog food brands produced to give your dog everything he or she needs.
The pros of vegan dog food
Research shows that our four-legged friends have made remarkable transformations on the vegan diet, both in physical health and in temperament, which is one of the main arguments for feeding our dogs vegan dog food. As dogs lose their taste for flesh and blood, their desire to hunt and kill tends to lessen, making them less aggressive and more gentle. Furthermore, with a homemade vegan meal or commercial vegan food your dog may avoid the potentially dangerous health effects (such as cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and other common diseases and disorders) of many meat-based commercial foods as some of these actually contain animal products that cannot legally be sold for human consumption. By contrast, vegan dog food is typically made from healthy, wholesome ingredients. Many veterinarians even recommend vegan diets for dogs afflicted with allergies. Of course, a diet that does not include any animal products might be a little bit trickier to make but it definitely has a lot of benefits for your dog. The right balance of different plant-based sources (e.g., beans, corn, soy and whole grains) can still provide the needed proteins. You simply have to make sure that approximately a third to a half of your dog’s meal consists of a high-quality protein source. Well-cooked legumes – pintos, chick peas, soy beans, lentils, and split peas are all good protein sources. And last but not least, it is important to remember that no animals had to be killed to make the vegan dog food.
The cons of vegan dog food
The main point of argument against vegan dog food is the fact that dogs are naturally carnivorous. Descended from the wolf, domestic dogs have also evolved to consume a diet that has a lot of meat in it. The size and shape of their teeth are designed to rip, shred and shear animal meat. So why change nature? Another concern is the fact that a dog’s protein requirements are greater than ours, and since vegan dog food is completely void of meat, some may wonder if this could actually fulfill a dog’s nutritional needs. Finding protein sources that provide adequate amounts of nutrients, such as amino acids, in the sufficient ratio can be difficult under the vegan approach. Amino acids are found in protein sources such as chicken, beef, lamb, fish and eggs. This is worrying as none of these foods can be found in vegan dog food. In order for the vegan dog food to be nutritionally complete, synthesized amino acids and fatty acids must be added to the food. Therefore, some people argue that it is much better to supply a dog’s essential nutrients in a food containing both plants and meat.
From meat-eater to vegan
If your dog is currently eating an animal-based diet, it’s wise to be gentle and careful when switching to plant-based food. Any change in diet has the potential to cause digestive disorders. Many dogs (especially young dogs who still don’t have fix meat eating habits) are able to make the change right away, but for some, it may take a few days before they are willing to try the new, plant-based food. During the transition time, it’s a good idea to offer them foods that they find particularly irresistible. Once they realize how delicious their new food can be, they may adjust easier. And, as with any diet change, if you decide to transition your dog to a vegan diet, please consult your vet. There are a few large dog breeds that may require additional supplementation for their diet.
Vegan recipes for dogs
Chorizo soya with potatoes
- Soy chorizo – Soy is rich in protein but no fat. It is an excellent and tasty vegan food for dogs and humans.
- Cut a potato into thin slices.
- Add the potatoes to the dehydrated soy chorizo and put everything in a pan with just enough water to rehydrate.
- Warm up for about 5 minutes.
- Allow it to cool and serve!
Vegan dog treats
- 225 g whole wheat flour
- 225 g white flour
- 114 g organic, all-natural peanut butter
- 2,5 dL water
- 2 Tbs oil
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Using a mixer, combine the water, oil and peanut butter; cream until mixed well.
- Add the flours one cup at a time. You will have a crumbly mixture.
- Press together tightly to form a hard ball.
- Roll out to a 0,6 cm thickness and cut into 7-8 cm square shapes (feel free to make any size you like). You can use a pizza cutter to make little squares.
- Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow it to cool and then serve!
If you know any delicious vegan dog recipes, please share with us!