Is Vegan Dog Food Safe For Your Dog?
Veganism has become the “it” word of today. What started with conscious environmentalists and animal-rights activists, common people today are too jumping onto the bandwagon.
However, there are still a lot of reservations whether veganism is actually feasible and meets a person’s nutritional needs.
If humans weren’t enough to be concerned with, there’s also been a growing controversy about whether vegan dog food is safe too.
Here, in this article, we finally answer this question that’s been hounding countless dog owners - especially who are practicing the vegan lifestyle.
Before we jump on to anything, it’s important to understand what veganism really is.
Did you know that according to a poll conducted in 2012, almost 5% of Americans categorize themselves as vegetarian and more than 2% are living a vegan lifestyle?
Being a vegan means abstaining from consuming meat, fish and in many cases all animal byproducts. That’s 7% of the entire population – which is a lot!
It just proves that there is nothing wrong being a vegan. Many follow this way of life for various health reasons, others for religious and ethical reasons.
No matter the reason, like everything else, practicing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle has its ups and downs.
It also rings true for the pets too – as vegan owners choose this diet on behalf of them.
Vegan Dog Food
There have been countless studies on feeding vegan food to dogs. There still hasn’t been any report of a negative impact on canine health.
However, as the studies were only for 6 months to a year, many experts argue that the adverse effects may come in the later stages of a dog’s life.
Humans have been feeding plant-based protein to dogs for years without any problems.
It’s true that they can survive on this diet, but - Can they thrive throughout their life with this vegan diet?
Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores
The discrepancy of feeding vegan food to dogs comes from the idea of them being carnivores. This dogma originated from their ancestors – the wolves survived only on meat.
To that degree dogs also show various carnivorous traits. Their teeth and digestive tract are proof of that.
In reality, they also have the ability to digest carbohydrate-based food. But one cannot deny that their body is optimized to consume meat and prefer meat-based food.
It can be safely said that dogs are scavenger carnivores. They would prefer meat or meat based food, but they can survive on almost anything that’s available.
Proper Dog Nutrition
To stay healthy and fit, a dog needs food that contains a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vegetables and other essential nutrients.
A rough estimation of optimal dog food comes at 30% protein and 40% carbohydrates. In addition, vegetables come at 27% and other oils at 3%.
It’s important to remember that without a mix of fats, dogs are unable to absorb enzymes.
When preparing a vegan meal for your dog, make sure that ingredients such as L-carnitine, Iron, Calcium, Taurine, Vitamin E, B12, and D are present. Ensure a balanced diet for your pup.
Benefits of Vegan Dog Food
As we’ve discussed above that dogs can consume carbohydrate-based food, it opens up to a wide range of health benefits. Few of them are:
Drawbacks of Vegan Dog Food
As they say, there are no pros without cons. Here are some of the drawbacks of a vegan dog diet:
A Vegan Dog Food Recipe
If you’re sold on feeding your dog vegan food, then here’s are some easy-to-prepare recipes from us. We’re sure that your dog will love it!
1. Chickpea Stew
- First mash the chickpeas into a large bowl. Add oil, peanut butter and 1 cup of water or veggie stock. Mix them well.
- Put the remaining water, celery, beet, and carrot in a blender and blend it for 30 seconds at minimum speed. Finally, add the chickpea-peanut butter to the mix. Serve warm.
2. Meatless Dog Cookie
- First mix all the dry ingredients properly and add the 3 cups of water. Make a rough dough and cut it into your preferred shapes.
- Put everything in the oven and bake it for at least 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Leave them out overnight to harden.
Despite everything, there is no right answer to whether vegan food is beneficial for dogs or not. It’s an individual observation and varies from one dog owner to another.
If you do decide to stick to it, make sure your furry friend gets the best possible nutrition from a vegan diet. No matter what anyone says a veggie snack once a while will cause your dog no harm.