In this article you will find:
- The Best Vegan Dog Food 2022 Review
- Reviewed Vegan Dog Foods
- Best Vegan Dog Foods in 2022
- 6. Canidae Sustain Premium Plant-Based Protein Recipe
- Buyer’s Guide: All About A Dog’s Vegan Diet
In recent years, the concept of a purely meat-free diet for humans has grown in popularity tremendously because of so many factors including health issues, animal treatment, and environmental effects.
It’s no secret that many of the common human diseases today emerged from the consumption of various animal products, from commercially bred and processed animals to even animals caught in the wild.
Animal rights movements have also become very active as a result of the rampant malpractices in the animal husbandry industry. And yes, the carbon footprint from animal farming has been staggering, and that’s an understatement.
But is a purely plant-based diet appropriate for Fido? Aren’t dogs the descendants of wolves that fed solely on meat?
This article tries to answer some of the common questions about a vegan diet for dogs. Also in this article is a 2022 review of the best vegan dog food brands today.
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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST VEGAN DOG FOODS
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The Best Vegan Dog Food 2022 Review
If you’re a vegan pet parent who wants to start a vegan diet for your furry kids, there are several vegan dog food brands available in pet stores now to choose from.
This review will help you pick the best vegan dog food option for your pups and guide you in transitioning your dog to a vegan lifestyle.
What To Look For In The Best Vegan Dog Foods
Vegan dog foods do have many health benefits for your dogs. Many dogs have food sensitivities to some animal proteins, especially beef, and chicken. So a shift to a vegan or vegetarian diet can help address this issue in food-sensitive or allergic dogs.
But like any other dog food, not all vegan dog foods are made of good quality ingredients or are nutritionally complete. Vegan dog food made of poor-quality ingredients or is lacking in important nutrients that dogs need is no better than inferior-quality traditional dog food.
Here are the qualities to look for in the best vegan dog food brands:
High-Quality Plant-Based Ingredients
Just like your regular dog food, the best vegan dog food is composed of high-quality ingredients, in this case, high-quality plant-based ingredients.
To keep the costs low, some cheap vegan dog food brands use lesser-quality components like corn, wheat, or soy to make up most of the diet. These ingredients offer very little nutritional value to dogs and are also known to induce food allergies to some dogs.
Look for vegan dog foods with whole foods from trusted farms, preferably organic, to guarantee excellent quality. Instead of corn or wheat, the preferred fillers are brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, and certain beans. Veggies like carrots, broccoli, kale, and spinach are nutrition-rich components vital to a dog’s wellness.
One of the biggest concerns of dog owners about vegan food is its nutritional adequacy. Many of the known critical nutrients for dogs are derived from animal products. But the best vegan dog food brands are fortified with all the nutrition needed by dogs to live a healthy and happy life.
The most common deficiencies in nutrients among the cheaper vegan dog food brands are in protein, certain essential amino acids, potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.
Choose a vegan dog food that has all the vital nutrients your pooch needs to thrive, including omega fatty acids. Check if the product meets the nutritional requirements of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
Protein and Amino Acids Adequacy
Protein intake is crucial to a dog’s health. If there’s any nutrient most valuable to a dog’s nutritional requirement, it’s most certainly protein.
The amount of protein intake for dogs will depend on age, health condition, and activity level. But in general, a dog’s diet must have a minimum of 15% protein content.
Working and active dogs must have more, perhaps at least 20%. Also, essential amino acids, normally extracted from animal sources, must also be present in good vegan dog foods. Lack of these amino acids can lead to a number of health disorders in dogs including heart problems.
But protein and essential amino acids can also be sourced from plant-based ingredients. Pinto beans and peas, for instance, are high in protein content. Ideally, most dogs must take no less than 25 grams of protein per 1,000 calories.
No Artificial Ingredients
The best vegan dog food brands use only natural ingredients. Avoid any pet food with artificial ingredients like artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, or any cheap food component. Such components, when consumed by dogs in large amounts, could result in several potential canine health disorders.
Manufactured in Countries with High Safety Standards
When it comes to pet foods, the best brands are from countries with strict manufacturing and safety standards like the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. This is very important because many substandard dog food products are out in the market and find their way into our pets’ bodies.
Especially for special diets, like a vegan recipe, a dog’s nutritional requirements must be met. The AAFCO are strict when it comes to the quality of dog food.
Reviewed Vegan Dog Foods
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula
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V-Dog Kind Kibble Vegan Formula
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Natural Balance Vegetarian Canned Formula
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Halo Holistic Chicken-Free Garden of Vegan
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Wild Earth Clean Protein Vegan Formula
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Canidae Sustain Premium Plant-Based Protein Recipe
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Walk About Canine Exotics Vegan Recipe
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Freely Vegetarian Recipe
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Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Canned Recipe
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Lord Jameson Coco Crush Vegan Dog Treats
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Boss Dog Propuffs Peanut Butter Dog Treats
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Best Vegan Dog Foods in 2022
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula
- V-Dog Kind Kibble Vegan Formula
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Canned Formula
- Halo Holistic Chicken-Free Garden of Vegan
- Wild Earth Clean Protein Vegan Formula
- Canidae Sustain Premium Plant-Based Protein Recipe
- Walk About Canine Exotics Vegan Recipe
- Freely Vegetarian Recipe
- Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Canned Recipe
- Lord Jameson Coco Crush Vegan Dog Treats
- Boss Dog Propuffs Peanut Butter Dog Treats
1. Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula
First 5 ingredients: Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Barley, Peas, Potato Protein
If you want a vegan lifestyle for your dogs, this vegan dry dog food is a great way to start. Natural Balance vegetarian formula is our top choice for the best vegan dog food because of its overall great features.
Its plant-based ingredients are admirable for a vegan diet. Brown rice heads the outstanding list, followed by oat groats, barley, and peas, which are all considered high-quality foods.
This dry dog food from Natural Balance has a sufficient 18% minimum protein load, with 8% fat and 4% fiber. But that’s not all. This dog food is also enriched with taurine and L-carnitine, plus an ample supply of natural omegas that support healthy skin and shiny coat in dogs. It’s also enriched with antioxidants from spinach, cranberries, and dried kelp.
Amazingly, Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food is among the best-loved dry food products in the market in all categories as evidenced by the high 4.7 out of 5 stars rating given by over 300 reviewers at Chewy.com. 97% of them actually gave positive reviews, with just very few unfavorable comments, mostly about picky dogs not too fond of it.
Most customers were very satisfied with the disappearance of their dogs’ allergies. There were a few complaints about the Natural Balance vegan dog food being too big for smaller dogs. The price is reasonable too for vegan dog food.
- With natural omegas
- Increased levels of B vitamins
- Zero artificial flavors or colors
- Enriched with essential nutrients and amino acids
- High-quality ingredients, with brown rice as the first ingredient
- Kibble too large for small-breed dogs
2. V-Dog Kind Kibble
First 5 Ingredients: Dried Peas, Pea Protein, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potato Protein
From a company that focuses on vegan diets, V-Dog Kind Kibble vegan dry dog food is another great option for dogs.
Surely one of the finest vegan dog food products approved by a veterinary nutritionist, this vegan dog food features dried peas as the first ingredient, which is a nutritious and high-fiber ingredient.
This dry food also boasts other choice plant-based ingredients like brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, peanut hearts, quinoa, and dried parsley that are all rich in nutrients. It also has superfoods like blueberries, cranberries, celery, and spinach for the antioxidant load.
This vegan diet has a high supply of protein at 24% minimum, with 9% healthy fats, and 5% fiber. Being the expert in vegan dog foods, V-Dog Kind Kibble includes nutrients vital to dogs including taurine, vitamins A, E, C, and various B’s, and L-carnitine.
Over 200 reviewers at Chewy handed this V-Dog Kind Kibble vegan recipe a stellar 4.6 out of 5 stars average rating, with 94% of them giving encouraging comments.
A great number of responses were about their dogs happily going vegan over this dry dog food, and also about how it alleviated the dog's allergies.
As for the gloomy comments, the pet parents claimed their pups turned their noses up, and some had to mix some toppers or broth just so their dogs could eat the kibble. Some also found the brand too expensive and commented that they wished the packaging was a bit better.
- Protein content is 24%
- Sourced, produced and packaged in California
- High-quality ingredients, with dried peas as the first ingredient
- Enriched with all the essential nutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids
- Packaging is not resealable and needs improvement
3. Natural Balance Vegetarian Canned Formula
First 5 Ingredients: Water For Processing, Brown Rice, Barley, Oat Groats, Canola Oil
Our top choice as top vegan wet food is Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula canned food, which is equally terrific as its dry food counterpart and it’s easy to see why.
Like the dry food option, this canned food vegan recipe from Natural Balance headlines a spectacular array of plant-based ingredients that includes brown rice, carrots, peas, potatoes, and spinach to attain a nutrient and fiber-rich formula.
This vegan wet food offers a compact minimum of 5% protein and is rich in vital nutrients, including a generous supply of vitamin A and B12 for the immune system. Canola oil serves as its main source of essential omega fatty acids.
Natural Balance vegetarian wet food formula got an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars from close to 200 respondents at Chewy.com, with 89% giving rave reviews. Most dog owners that tried this canned food were delighted with the quality and results in their pups.
Some like the smell, and some also love to use it as a topper for kibble. Some also claimed the skin issues in their pooch slowly improved.
But there have been quite a number of complaints about the texture and consistency of the pate, describing it as “too dry,” “too thick,” “too sticky,” and “gummy” that makes it hard to mix with dry dog food. And some customers found the canned food inconvenient to open as it requires a can opener.
- High-quality ingredients
- Enriched with antioxidants and essential vitamins
- With Yucca Schidigera extract which aids in gut health
- Requires a can opener
- Pate texture a bit too thick and dry
4. Halo Holistic Chicken-Free Garden of Vegan
First 5 Ingredients: Green Peas, Chickpeas, Pearled Barley, Oat Groats, Pea Protein
Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan recipe is undoubtedly one of the choicest vegan dog foods today. Its components are clearly top-of-the-line for vegan dog food, with peas as the first ingredient, followed by chickpeas and pearled barley.
Also among the astounding ingredients are flaxseed, sunflower oil, beet pulp, sweet potato, celery, lettuce, and watercress, and with antioxidant sources from dried apple, dried blueberry, and dried cranberry.
As expected from a Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan recipe, the protein load is pretty high at 20% minimum, plus 10% minimum fat, and a bounteous 8.5% fiber for healthy digestion.
This vegan dry dog food also boasts a nutritionally complete formula, with an ample supply of natural omegas for a shiny coat and healthy skin.
Over at Chewy.com, 185 reviewers gave Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan recipe a respectable average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 92% of them giving the thumbs up to this vegan kibble. 165 customers were all-praises for this vegan dry dog food for various reasons such as great smell and taste, alleviation of allergies, healthier-looking dogs, and high-fiber content.
One reviewer even claimed this Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan recipe helped prolong her cancer-stricken pup’s life. There were only 20 critical reviews at Chewy, mostly about their finicky pooch not liking it and the high price tag.
A few cited that it smells too much like plants or grass. By the way, a portion of the sales goes to animal welfare organizations.
- Highly digestible ingredients
- Uses non-GMO veggies and fruits
- Rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Smells strongly of plant/ grass
5. Wild Earth Clean Protein Vegan Formula
First 5 Ingredients: Dried Yeast, Chickpeas, Oats, Peas, Pea Protein
In the list of the finest vegan dog foods, Wild Earth Clean Protein vegan dry dog food must be a shoo-in. This special vegan recipe presents premium a premium plant-based diet built on natural ingredients and nutrients.
Dried yeast is the first of many remarkable ingredients that also include chickpeas, peas, flaxseed meal, sunflower oil, pumpkin, and spinach. This Wild Earth brand dog food also includes prebiotic fibers for the extra boost in digestion.
Amazingly, this vegan dog food from Wild Earth has a lofty 31% minimum fungi-based protein load, which is incredible for vegetarian food.
Apart from a host of highly beneficial nutrients, Wild Earth’s vegan dry dog food is also wealthy in healthy omegas, especially omega 6 fatty acids, to support healthy skin and coat.
About 45 reviewers at Chewy.com gave Wild Earth vegan food an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars rating, even as 93% of them were friendly in their comments. 36 to 9 is the ratio for good and bad reviews respectively for this Wild Earth vegetarian dog food.
Most of the constructive views were about the pleasant effects on their pups like healthier-looking skin and even firm stool. The few adverse comments were about fussy dogs. Two reviewers also thought the Wild Earth kibble was too hard to chew.
- High-protein at 31%
- Savory umami flavor
- Rich in omega 6 fatty acids
- With mushroom-based protein
- Too pricey
- Kibbles are a bit hard
6. Canidae Sustain Premium Plant-Based Protein Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Yeast, Peas, Soybean Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Grain Sorghum
Canidae is known for its premium-quality pet foods, and its vegetarian dog food is no exception. This outstanding vegan dry dog food formula presents another great option for dog owners that want a cruelty-free diet for their furry pals.
Made with brewers yeast, peas, and soybean meal as the first three ingredients, this vegan food is also fortified with excellent nutrients, including probiotics, which are rare in vegan foods.
The minimum protein content for this vegan dog diet is a good 24%, which is competitive with meat-based food. Also, apart from its cruelty-free features, you might be glad to know that the packaging is made of 40% recycled material.
According to buyer reviews from various websites, many of them were quite pleased that this food was able to help their pups with their allergies.
However, one buyer commented that there seems to have been a change in the formula, and that the kibbles are now smaller and crumbly.
- With antioxidants and probiotics
- Packaging is made of recycled material
- Made with responsibly-sourced ingredients
- Free of added fillers like corn, wheat and soy
- Possible change in kibble size and texture
7. Walk About Canine Exotics Vegan Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Pea, Sweet Potato, Pea Protein, Pea Starch, Lentils
When it comes to prime-quality vegan dry dog food, Walk About is surely something to talk about. This creditable dry food is apt for adult dogs with food sensitivities as it is grain-free and free of known food allergens in dogs.
High-quality plant-based components led by peas, sweet potatoes, and lentils make up this tasty vegan kibble that’s likely to be loved by vegan dogs.
This vegan dog food presents a 21% minimum protein pack, which is fine for most adult dogs. It also has vital vitamins and minerals healthful for dogs. However, it’s important to note that it lacks some of the amino acids beneficial to dogs like taurine and L-carnitine.
This vegan recipe garnered an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars rating from 41 respondents at Chewy.com, with 85% giving supportive remarks, and with only 10 naysayers.
The majority of its customers said their dogs emptied their bowls of this vegan food and that they liked the results. But there have been some mentions about its lack of taurine, which helps support dogs’ heart and eye health.
- Alkaline kibbles
- Protein content is 21%
- Grain-free and gluten-free formula
- Suitable for pups with certain food sensitivities
- Lacks taurine
- Kibbles are too hard for some
8. Freely Vegetarian Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Vegetable Broth, Pea Protein, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Carrots
Here’s another great wet food option for vegan dogs – Freely Vegetarian canned food.
This vegetarian dog food has all the features you would want in vegan wet food, complete with outstanding ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, and carrots, and also the nutrients needed to fulfill a dog’s nutritional requirements to stay healthy. 7% is the minimum protein content in this wet food, which is truly noteworthy.
This diet got 9 positive reviews and 4 critical comments for an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars at Chewy.com. The encouraging comments acknowledged the dog food as fitted for their food-sensitive pups, while most of the critics did not like the “hard and dry” consistency of the pate, which seems to be a common complaint about vegan wet foods.
- With added Taurine
- Nutritionally balanced and complete
- High in protein content for wet food at 7%
- Contains no wheat, corn, rice, soy, oats or barley
- Pate too hard and dry
9. Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Canned Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Vegetable Broth, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Carrots
If you’re looking for another great wet food vegan option, Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan recipe canned food is worth checking out.
This flavorful and nutritious vegan wet food is made with top-notch and natural ingredients from reputable sources such as chickpeas, carrots, olive oil, and spinach to provide an admirable 5.75% minimum protein. It has several of the gainful nutrients for dogs.
Dog owners that tried this vegan wet food mostly liked it, with about 120 reviewers giving the brand an average grade of 4.3 out of 5 stars at Chewy.com.
Ninety percent said they would maintain this wet food vegan recipe, with several accolades for the high-quality components. But there are a few that found the texture too dry and sticky.
- Crafted with non-GMO veggies and fruits
- High-quality ingredients, with chickpeas as the first ingredient
- Formulated to help dogs maintain their strength and energy level
- Not a hit among picky eaters
- Pate is quite pasty and gummy
10. Lord Jameson Coco Crush Vegan Dog Treats
First 5 Ingredients: Organic Oats, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic date, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Coconut
Whether your dog is vegan or not, this vegan treat is highly nutritious and delicious and made with organic ingredients. It’s surely a great way to integrate your pooch into a vegan diet.
Your dogs will love the rich peanut butter flavor and certainly benefit from the health gains from coconut.
It’s also protein-rich at 10% minimum, plus 13% fat. This vegan treat got a perfect 5 out of 5 stars-rating from 31 reviewers at Chewy.com. Need we say more?
- Made in the USA
- Supports skin health
- With vitamin B, niacin and vitamin E
- Crafted with organic coconut & peanut butter
- Contains organic dates for high fiber content
- Not the most ideal for diabetic dogs due to its natural sugar content
11. Boss Dog Propuffs Peanut Butter Dog Treats
First 5 Ingredients: Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil, Oat Flour, Ground Grain Sorghum, Pea Protein
Another delectable peanut butter vegan treats to consider is Boss Dog Propuffs, which is designed to entice your finicky pups.
Made with mostly rice flour and sunflower oil, plus quinoa and pumpkin, this vegan delight packs 15% minimum protein and 26% fat suitable for active dogs.
It’s enhanced with probiotics for healthy digestion. It’s surely a must-try. 6 reviewers at Chewy.com gave this treat an average 4.5 out of 5 stars rating, with 100% positive reviews.
- Just 2.7 calories per puff
- Made with ancient grains
- Loaded with 15% protein
- Contain over 500,000,000 probiotics per ounce
- Contents easily crumble from shipping
Buyer’s Guide: All About A Dog’s Vegan Diet
As veganism continues to grow at a rapid pace, vegan diets for pets, especially dogs, have also gained some popularity over the past few years. The issues that prompt the change to a vegan or vegetarian diet in humans are similar to those with dogs.
Basically, a stronger awareness of animal cruelty, health issues from animal products, and the disturbingly towering carbon footprint from animal farming are the most prevailing reasons for the steady ascent of veganism. And as more dog owners turn vegan, so do their dogs.
Talking about carbon emission from animal farming, the pet food industry alone is responsible for unloading an estimated 64 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year, not to mention the amount of water consumed by farm animals and their crops, plus the vast forest areas opened up for animal farming.
A shift to a meatless diet might do the planet and the animals a lot of good. But is a vegetarian diet better than traditional dog food? Is it even safe for dogs? Can man’s best friend survive on a 100% plant-based diet? Let’s dive right into it.
What’s A Vegan Diet For Dogs?
Vegan foods are 100% meat-free and plant-based. While traditional dog food is made primarily with animal meats and organs, vegan dog food is composed of ingredients derived from plants such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. It has zero ingredients coming from an animal source including fat or oil.
The most prominent vegan dog foods today are made with these ingredients:
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans (e.g. chickpeas, pinto beans)
- Legumes (e.g. green peas, yellow peas)
Today, there are several vegan dog food brands available online or in pet stores that vegan dog parents can buy from. Most of these vegan recipe options for dogs claim that they have all the nutrients and amino acids vital to a dog’s health.
Deficiencies in certain nutrients could lead to serious health disorders in dogs. For instance, taurine deficiency can cause dilated cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening heart illness, plus other significant health issues. However, taurine is not one of the essential nutrients required by the AAFCO to be included in dog food.
We strongly advise all pet owners to consult with the local vet first before making the big jump to vegan food. The vet may recommend some supplements to achieve a balanced diet. Also, it’s imperative to know and understand the details of the vegan recipe before purchasing it.
Vegan Diet vs Vegetarian Diet
While both vegan and vegetarian diets are meatless, vegetarian foods can still have some ingredients from an animal source like eggs, fat, and milk. Vegan food is purely plant-based.
Homemade Vegan Dog Food
Some pet owners opt to serve freshly prepared or homemade dog food than settle for commercial dog foods. This is fine if you have the time to prepare the meal. This option is also more expensive as you’ll have to buy fresh whole foods.
Athough this option is great because of the high-quality of foods, absence of artificial ingredients, and minimal processing, this diet may not be nutritionally complete.
While there are several vegan recipe suggestions found online, it’s still best to ask a veterinary nutritionist for the ideal formula to attain balanced nutrition.
Wait, Aren’t Dogs Carnivores?
Even to this day, there’s great debate about whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores. The veterinary and animal science researchers are likewise split on this issue.
However, domesticated dogs have been eating various diets for many years now, including plant-based food, and they seem to be generally doing fine.
This is why many veterinarians consider dogs as omnivores, just like humans are, even when many of them also believe dogs are better off with meat-based diets.
A study in 2013 revealed that dogs evolved into a species that is able to digest starches (carbohydrates) better than wolves. There is also evidence that wolves eat berries and some grains in the wild.
Unlike cats, which are true carnivores, dogs can produce enzymes needed for carbohydrate digestion, have lower amino acids needs, and can benefit from vitamins sourced from plants.
Is A Vegan Diet Safe For Dogs?
The simple answer is yes. Adult dogs can easily break down starch from plants in their digestive system. So far there haven’t been scientific findings that suggest that a high-carb diet could damage the dog’s pancreas. Most dogs can do well with a well-planned vegan diet that provides all of a dog’s nutritional needs.
High quality meat is still widely considered as the best protein source to keep dogs healthy. They contain amino acids that plant sources lack. Animal proteins are also more easily absorbed in dogs’small intestines.
Even among commercially available vegan dog foods, the nutritional value is not the same always the same when compared with meat-based ones. The safest way is really to consult with a veterinarian, preferably a board-certified vet nutritionist, to minimize food-related health issues.
For very young puppies, however, most vets would not recommend vegan puppy food. Newborn pups need nutrition from their mother’s milk to develop their immune system. The same is true for mother dogs intended for breeding.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet for Dog
Dogs can benefit from a vegan diet or a vegetarian diet. Among the notable health benefits are:
- Elimination or lessening of food allergies
- Weight management
- Elimination of bad breath
Vegan dogs are very rarely susceptible to food allergies. According to BMC Veterinary Research, the top 3 most common food allergens in dogs are beef (34%), dairy products (17%), and chicken (15%). However, plant-based ingredients wheat (13%) and soy (6%) come in at fourth and fifth respectively.
The same ingredients are usually suspected as the origins of many skin issues in dogs. A plant-based diet is also attributed to improving breath odor in most vegan dogs. Most vegan dog foods have very low-fat content and caloric load, making these diets appropriate for weight management.
Tips On Starting A Vegan Diet For Dogs
- Consult with a veterinary nutritionist to have a well-planned vegan diet with all the nutrition your pups need.
- When buying vegan dog food, make sure that the product meets the requirements of the AAFCO.
- Make regular visits to the vet just to make sure your dog is doing well with a vegan diet.
- Be observant about any changes in your dogs such as physical activity, energy level, demeanor, etc. It’s important that your dog feels and acts normally after the shift to a vegan lifestyle.
- Ask the vet about necessary supplements to complement a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Change the diet slowly and gradually. The dogs’ digestive system needs time to adjust to a new diet, especially if it’s a plant-based diet. A sudden change will likely result in diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. Gradually adjust the proportions of the new food and current food, slowly increasing the new food portion each day for maybe 14 to 20 days, until it’s totally the new food in the bowl.
- If you have a fussy eater, it may help to add some flavor boosters like baby food (without any meat), olive oil, soy milk, powdered veggies, etc.
Turning your Fido into a completely vegan dog is doable, and in most cases safe. But before you do, it’s always best to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to make sure that you do it right, and that you don’t deprive your four-legged kids of all the nutrients they need even with a meat-free diet.
Vegan diets for dogs are now widely accepted by the veterinary field, although most vets will say that it’s easier for pet parents to get it wrong than right when doing it on their own.
For some dogs with serious food allergies, a vegan diet might even be recommended by the vet.
A vegan diet does have its benefits for dogs and it’s even possible for you to see vast improvements in their overall health and energy. The key is in having a nutritionally complete diet to satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs.
But no matter how strong your conviction about veganism is it’s safer to follow the vet’s advice. Veterinarians vary in opinion about vegan diets for dogs – some are totally in favor, while some are still skeptical.
Although there have been several studies supporting a meat-free diet for dogs, some vets and animal nutritionists still believe a meat-based diet is more fitting for dogs.
Just like in humans, some diets are just not for everyone. Some dogs may not do well with a vegan diet. It’s the pet owners’ responsibility to ensure that the dog gets the appropriate diet they require, regardless of their beliefs.
If your vet disapproves of a vegan diet for your dog, it doesn’t mean vegan food is wrong. Perhaps it’s just not the best for your particular pooch. Maybe your dog has some health issues that are better addressed by animal products or a meat-based diet.
At the end of the day, it’s all about your beloved pets getting a healthy and happy life.