Feeding Your Dog Vegan Food – Is It Healthy For Dogs
what is vegan food?
Vegan food is derived entirely from plant matter. Not only is meat excluded but so is all other food which comes from animals. Things like eggs, milk and seafood. Vegans also avoid using other animal products such as wool and leather.
what are the benefits of vegan food?
One of the most common reasons individuals switch to a vegan diet is out of concern for the animals that are slaughtered to produce meat-based food products. Vegan dog food is considered a cruelty-free option because no meat products are used to produce the food. Many owners of vegan dogs claim that their dogs eat their vegan food just as enthusiastically as they used to eat their kibble and that the switch has had no adverse effects on their health or activity levels. In fact, some dog owners claim that switching to a vegan diet has given their dog more energy. They key concern in switching to a vegan dog food is making sure the dog's nutritional needs are met.
Is a Vegan Diet OK for dogs?
Owners worry that if they start feeding their dogs vegan food, they won't obtain the protein nutrients they need. A dog's gastrointestinal system is different from a herbivore; it can't digest fruit and fibrous vegetables as easily.
They think they will not have time to prepare the dog's vegan food every day. In fact, there are many vegan dog food recipes that are quick to prepare and that can be frozen to use later.
In fact dogs are omnivorous and can obtain almost all their nutrional need from grains and vegetables. Some animal nutritionists recommend adding vitamin B12 to the mix. Others taurine and L-carnitine. These are two amino acids that are naturally found in animal flesh, but do not naturally occur in plants. Dogs cannot synthesize these nutrients themselves. Deficiencies can be potentially serious, so a supplement is an important preventative measure. Both of these nutrients can be bought at your local health food store, and they are also included in many commercial vegan dog products.
will a vegan diet give my dog enough protein?
A dog's protein requirements are greater than ours. To ensure that your dog gets enough, make sure that approximately a third to a half of their meal consists of a high-quality protein source such as well-cooked legumes - (pintos, chick peas, soy beans, lentils, and split peas are all good). Other high-protein foods include tempeh, tofu, TVP, hummus, sprouted lentils/garbanzo beans (ground/blended).
A vegan diet is suitable for most dogs. However, just to be on the safe side consult a veterinarian before making the change. This advice applies whenever you plan to make a major change to a dogs diet.