You know a vegan diet is life-changing. Choosing vegan foods over eggs, meat, and dairy products not only helps prevent animals from suffering, but it also means a healthier and happier you. A vegan diet is simply great for your health!
It’s the sustainable option when it comes to caring for our planet. A plant-based diet is a more sustainable way of nourishing the family, too.
Now, you want the same benefits for the entire family–including your most-beloved canine companion. How do you transition to a vegan diet for your dog? Is it even good for them? In this article, let’s talk about vegan dogs. Yay!
The Pros of Vegan Dogs
You’d be surprised to discover that dogs can enjoy vibrant health on a plant-based diet. Just like us, their physical conditions even improve when taking away the animal foods from their doggy bowl.
Check out the story of Piggy: “When we first found him on the streets of the Dominican Republic, Piggy was just a pup – he had no hair, he was skin hanging over a skeleton, and he could barely walk a couple of blocks,” Tod recalls. “After a few months recovering on his vegetarian diet, he literally tripled in size to 45 pounds, gained a foot in height, exploded with healthy, soft fur … and he runs for miles on his three legs.”
Plus, there is overwhelming evidence showing that a vegan diet for dogs provides benefits to dogs who suffer from numerous ailments. According to the Harbingers of a New Age website:
“Studies and numerous case reports have shown that nutritionally sound vegetarian companion animal diets appear to be associated with the following health benefits: increased overall health and vitality, decreased incidences of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism, ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites), improved coat condition, allergy control, weight control, arthritis regression, diabetes regression and cataract resolution.”
Can Dogs Be Vegan?
When you consider a dog’s genus, they can be classified as carnivorous. Okay, okay… that means that they devour meat exclusively, right? Well, metabolically, they’re actually omnivorous, which is great news for our vegan dogs. This means their nutritional requirements are adequately met when going vegan as they can process all the nutrients they require from plant foods with supplementation.
The canine body is capable of transforming certain amino acids which means that dogs acquire all the amino acids they need without meat.
Take this CNN story. Six veterinarians approve of a vegan diet for dogs and that it their nutritional needs can be met through veggies alone.
Veterinarian Kathryn E. Michel, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, says “The important thing is that you use a diet that has been shown to be nutritionally adequate for whatever stage of life you’re feeding, and it is absolutely possible to find a good quality commercial pet food that doesn’t have animal products in it”.
Vegan Dog Food with a Yummy Spin
Ketunpet is a complete, wholesome, and balanced diet that provides all the nutrients vegan dogs require. You can, however, choose to feed them snacks alongside Ketunpet or prepare a little extra food to mix in with their vegan dog food if you feel like whipping up a homemade vegan meal for your good boy (or girl) with your own spin.
We know that you don’t always have the time to prepare a homemade meal. Also, ensuring that a meal meets their requirements can be tricky. Ketunpet assures you that your pup or adult dog has everything they need for a long, happy, and healthy life.
The Only Issue…
When you switch your dogs to a vegan diet, your dog may go through a phase of acceptance. Having been used to a meat diet, they may ask, “Where has all the meat gone…?” Just like transitioning to any new dog food, overcoming this is easy. Simply combine increasing amounts of the new food with decreasing amounts of their old food. Slowly make the transition so that they can get used to the new diet.
Of course, some dogs simply love their vegetables. Here’s what Lindsay, a vegan, had to say about her vegan dogs,
“Although they liked their vegan kibble, they were never excited about meal time. Really, they could take it or leave it. Now they bark and do circles — they couldn’t be more thrilled to eat their supper.”
The Environmental Impact
The reason for switching your pup to a vegan diet goes beyond just animal rights and good health – the wider environmental impact. Owning a dog could double the impact of driving an SUV has on the environment. Your dogs, however, are not the problem, it’s their meat diet. Today, greenhouse gases emitted from livestock used to feed them far outweigh those amassed from the entire global transport system.
Transitioning to Vegan Dog Food
If your dog’s diet right now is meat-based, try to be as gentle and careful when transitioning to a vegan diet for dogs. Whenever your dog’s diet changes, it could potentially cause digestive issues.
Here’s how you can do it gradually. Combine 25% new food with 75% of their old food for a couple of days. Afterwards, mix 50% of their old food with 50% of the new food for another couple of days. Then 25% of their old food with 75% new food for another few days. Once they’re used to the new vegan diet, you can completely feed your dog the new food.
If you notice your dog developing diarrhea from the transition in diet, add bits of pumpkin to their food and monitor them. If that fails, try several food combinations.
You may find that young dogs will easily adapt to a vegan lifestyle, but many others may take a few days before they go meat-free.
You can help ease the process by offering them foods that you know they like, something you know they’ll find delicious and particularly irresistible. (They’re sure to love Ketunpet!)
Take note: Non-vegan dogs usually eat one meal per day, while vegan dogs should receive two smaller meals daily. And give them some snacks, such as a few dog biscuits or a handful of dry kibble.
A few helpful hints:
- Be careful about giving your dogs too much salt as they cannot process excess salt. Remember this whenever you add some of your own food or leftovers to their bowl.
- If they’re experiencing difficulty getting used to vegan meals, try serving meals slightly warm or at room temperature with a bowl of water.
- Take your dog out on daily walks to soak in the sunshine. This is essential for their Vitamin D intake, as well as physical health.
Over to You
Vegan dogs are simply the best! They’re healthier, happier, and live a longer life. Some dogs, like this Labrador-cross Tara, have barely been to the vet since going vegan. Make sure the transition to vegan dog food is done gradually. Soon enough, you’ll be welcoming another vegan into the family!