As many people opt for a meat free or vegan diet, we find out whether our doggy friends would benefit from a vegan diet.
Whilst we often think of our canine companions as being carnivores, like their wolf ancestors, dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat meat and vegetables for a healthy diet, so does this mean that dogs can be vegan?
Recent research suggests that dogs may benefit from a vegan or vegetarian diet. As omnivores all dogs can digest and process nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Like some humans, dogs may even benefit from a vegetarian diet, for example if your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity towards certain meat products a plant protein diet may be good for them.
Some vets will prescribe a meat free diet for dogs who have a meat protein allergy.
Can I give my dog my vegan food?
Whilst some vets will prescribe a vegan or vegetarian diet for your dog, do not switch your dog to a vegan diet before consulting a professional dog nutritionist or vet. Homemade vegan meals will not have the correct nutrition for a growing, healthy dog. Even home cooked meat meals are not always enough which is why commercial dog foods are prepared to be ‘complete’ and balanced for your dog’s needs.
Switching to a vegan diet or home cooked may seem like a good idea, and in the short term you may not see any issues but over a period of time, your beloved dog may start to show signs they are not getting the correct nutrition.
Signs such as weight loss, lack of energy, poor coat quality are just a few ways that you can tell your dog is not getting the nutrition they need. This can cause problems for their immunity and other serious health consequences later on.
I’m vegan. What do I feed my dog?
Many people choose a vegan lifestyle for health benefits, but just because a vegan diet is beneficial for you, does not mean it is appropriate for your best friend - in this case your dog. You can easily feed your dog a balanced and complete wet and dry food that will give them everything they need without needing to supplement with fresh or frozen meat.
If you have decided upon a vegan or vegetarian diet for ethical reasons you may find it difficult to buy even the complete dog foods that are made with meat proteins.
There are some good commercially available vegan dog foods that are nutritionally balanced but you should always speak to your vet before switching, it may be that you should opt for animal products such as egg proteins, or a more fish based diet.
If you are determined your dog should be vegan then always speak to a specialist nutritionist in your dog's breed to make sure you are not putting them at risk and you can give them a complete and balanced diet for a long and healthy life.
I tried a Vegan Diet now my Dog has lost weight
If you have tried a vegan diet and your dog is exhibiting signs that they are not getting the correct nutrients Miracle vet has a number of foods that can help you.
You can try our weight gain dog chew that will help them gain weight, improve the condition of their coat and help their immune system. For any weight loss, either after a change in diet or not, you should consult a vet.