Veganism is a massive trend in society today and is the new lifestyle that many are turning towards. Vegan diets promote healthy and clean eating and has been proven to change the life and health of millions. But why should it just be limited to humans? You can get your dog on a vegan diet too. Yes, you heard me right, you can have a vegan dog!
Thousands have decided to raise their dogs as vegan, or to convert their previously meat-eating dog to a plant-based diet. People do this for many reasons, and there are lots of benefits that this diet can do for man’s best friend! There are some important nutritional considerations you need to be aware of if you are considering raising, or transitioning, your dog to a vegan diet to ensure they are living the healthiest lifestyle possible. This post will have everything you need to know about raising a vegan dog, and all the reasons why it is a good idea.
Why Make Your Dog Vegan?
Well, there are many reasons.
Vegan dog food is made from 100% plant-based foods and doesn’t involve the harm or suffering of any animal. The ingredients are always completely organic and natural, so you know there are no nasty or potentially dangerous chemicals in them that could affect your dog’s health.
Regular dog food also has a major negative impact on the environment, with its production contributing to the 62 billion tons of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere per year from the manufacture of pet food. An article by The Guardian stated that meat-based pet food is actually known to be responsible for a quarter of the environmental impact that is caused by the production of meat. Therefore, converting your dog to a vegan diet will have such a positive impact on the environment, and will help reduce the carbon emissions caused by meat production.
Another reason why you should turn your dog vegan is because normal meat-based dog food can actually be very bad for your dog’s health. According to lead health professionals, normal dog food that is made up of all sorts of animal products contains lots of potentially dangerous toxins that have come from accumulation of chemicals and other substances through the food chain. Lots of veterinarians and owners of vegan dogs have said how they noticed a considerable improvement in their dog’s health after switching their diet. It is also very common for dogs to have allergies to meat-based products and so sometimes a vegan diet is actually prescribed by vets.
If you are still sceptical about whether a vegan diet will really benefit your dog, then look at the fact that the Guinness world record for longest living dog was a border collie who was on a completely vegan diet.
Important Nutritional Considerations
There isn’t too much risk with transitioning your dog to a plant-based diet, as dogs are omnivores which means they’re digestive system is adapted to digest both meat-based food and plant-based. Another key reason why it is okay to turn your dog vegan is because they have amylase in their DNA which allows them to digest plant starch. They are also able to develop vitamin A from plant-based foods which means there is no need to worry that they won’t be getting that essential nutrient.
It’s important to note there are some nutrients that dogs need that are most commonly found in meat products, and so you need to make sure that the vegan food you are giving your dog has these essential nutrients. These are vitamin B, calcium, phosphorus and iron. This is nothing to stress over, and all you need to do is check the packaging of the vegan food you are purchasing and ensure these are listed in the ingredients. If the food doesn’t have these listed, or if you’re making the food yourself at home and cannot be sure the nutrients are included, then it is important that you give your dog supplements for the vitamins mentioned.
How to Get Started
You do have to be careful and do your research before you put your dog on a vegan diet, as it is essential that they are still getting the nutrients they need which would normally come from their meat-based food. That’s why the best way to embark your dog on their vegan journey is to consult your vet and make a diet plan together for your dog to ensure all essential vitamins are included.
Another key point is that the best way to transition your dog to a vegan diet is to do it gradually. Don’t just throw away all the meat-based pet food you already have and only feed your dog the new vegan food, as this is more likely to shock your dog and they might be less likely to warm to the new food. Instead, gradually ease them off their old, meat-based diet and start introducing them to the new plant-based food.
For example, if you feed them twice a day, start by just switching out one of their meals for the vegan food. Do that for a week, then every other day make both meals plant based. Then, after another week of doing that, both meals that you feed your dog in a day can be the new vegan food. By that point your dog will be fully transitioned to a vegan diet, and will probably be more likely to take well to the food.
What Vegan Dog Food Can You Get?
It is important to know that you cannot just feed your dog human vegan food. Serving them up a bowl full of broccoli, spinach, avocado and all other vegetables that, to us humans, might seem yummy and healthy, will not make do for dogs. You need to get proper fortified vegan dog food that has been made by a brand or company that has a lot of knowledge and expertise in the industry.
The cheapest option of vegan dog food you can get for your furry friend is Pitti Boris. This can be found online however you need to make sure you also get a supplement of L-carnitine and taurine to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrition they need.
What makes vegan food even better?
When it comes in vegan friendly and environmentally friendly packaging! Lukullus Veggie is another brand of plant-based dog food which is available to buy online, and it comes in a packing that is made 100% from paper. What more could you want!
V-dog is another very popular brand that sells vegan food and is renowned for their affordable products.
Then, for when you want to reward your dog for their good behaviour, you can even get vegan treats! Yarrah is an online brand that sells plant-based treats so you can keep teaching your dog to sit and shake hands, whilst keeping them on their tasty vegan diet.
The big breakthrough in the vegan pet food industry is Koji, which is a fungus that has been shown to be a great ingredient to use to make vegan pet food. It is completely environmentally friendly and is meant to be a very tasty option for your furry friends. And, of course, it is 100% vegan!
So now you know all the essentials to raise a vegan dog, with all the information needed to ensure the diet is safe and nutritional. You should start to see positive changes in your dog’s health and overall wellbeing in no time!