Is it Healthy for Dogs to Eat a Vegan Diet?

Is it healthy for dogs to eat a vegan diet? What are the benefits and what are the possible dangers? What should you keep in mind to care for your dog's health? We'll answer all of these questions below.
Is it Healthy for Dogs to Eat a Vegan Diet?
Natalia Laguna

Written and verified by the biologist Natalia Laguna.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Diet is a fundamental pillar when it comes to staying healthy. With that in mind, there are more and more people deciding to follow a vegan diet and eliminate all animal products. Some make this decision for health reasons while others do so in defense of animalsWhen it comes to well-being, this diet has its pros and cons, but there’s a solution for everything. So, is it healthy for dogs to eat a vegan diet? Or is it harmful?

Many people who have opted to go vegan themselves have also wanted the same for their pets. But, it’s important to keep in mind that both humans and dogs are mammals and, at the same time, omnivores.

Dogs aren’t the exclusive carnivores that many think they are. In fact, our metabolisms function in a very similar way. Therefore, those who opt for a vegan diet must know how to carry it out correctly. And this is just as true when it comes to choosing veganism for our dogs.

A vegan diet for dogs

It’s easy to confuse vegetarianism and veganism, but they’re not the same thing. Both diets are based on vegetables and share the elimination of meat and fish. However, the difference is that vegetarians still consume animal-based products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and honey. Vegans, on the other hand, do not.

Vegan diets for dogs.

It’s important to point out that nutrition involves offering the nutrients that a body needs in order to function properly.

These nutrients consist basically of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins. What’s more, animals require specific and sufficient quantities if you want to keep their health and well-being in good shape.

Minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates are easy to obtain in good amounts from vegetables. However, the controversy regarding whether or not it’s healthy for dogs to eat a vegan diet has to do with proteins.

Science has proven that vegetables offer more protein than vegetables, as long as we’re basing comparisons on the same quantity.

Canine bodies are designed to digest and utilize nutrients from animal sources more effectively than those from vegetable sources. Just the same, their metabolism is still capable of correctly accepting a plant-based diet and obtaining enough proteins. You simply need to practice a series of considerations when preparing their vegan diet. Below, we’ll tell you what you need to know.

Designing a vegan diet for your dog

So, as you’ve seen so far, feeding your dog a plant-based diet is completely viable. Just the same, it’s important to be very careful when it comes to designing a vegan diet. You need to make sure your dog won’t be lacking in any essential nutrient and that your pet’s getting the necessary amounts.

On the market, you can find a large number of vegan products for dogs that are properly made and well-balanced.

You can also design your dog’s vegan diet using homemade foods. However, you’ll need to consult with your veterinarian to find out how to go about it. A professional may suggest the use of nutritional supplements to make up for any possible deficits in this homemade diet. It’s worth noting that this situation doesn’t usually occur when it comes to commercial vegan dog food.

Other considerations to keep in mind when designing a vegan diet for your dog are:

  • Investigate and consult with your vet regarding the best diet for your dog. The professional will base their recommendations on your pet’s size, activity level, and maturity.
  • Choose fresh ingredients.
  • Keep in mind that natural and wholegrain ingredients will improve your dog’s digestion.
  • Pay attention to the balance of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
  • Include digestible carbohydrates. All of the grains in your dog’s food should be whole.
  • Wash foods well in order to properly remove any pesticide residue.
  • Follow the recipes as precisely as possible.
  • Use a scale to measure amounts correctly.
  • Include nutritional supplements.
A dog smelling parsley.

Is it harmful for dogs to eat a vegan diet?

As long as you keep the above considerations in mind, there’s no reason a vegan diet should be harmful to your pet.

In the same way, you need to keep in mind that not all dogs tolerate vegan diets very well. This may be due to metabolic issues or other particular problems. Therefore, you should always visit your vet to make sure your pet’s nutritional balance is correct.

Some dogs develop allergies that arise frequently from the animal proteins in dog foods containing pork, chicken, or beef.  In these cases, opting for a vegan diet for your animal can be a good solution.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that a healthy, balanced diet is fundamental when it comes to giving your dog a complete and happy life.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.