Vegan dogs: can my dog be plant-based?
As a vegan and conscious consumer in the making, I’ve been always interested in boosting my dog’s nutrition. For many years, there was a popular belief that called meat was essential for dogs. Today, things have changed: organizations like PETA and journals like Animals are already publishing articles based on different studies informing dogs can, in fact, have vegan or vegetarian diets without compromising any required nutrient.
Dogs are omnivores animals and they require L-carnitine and other essential amino-acids meat provides, t helps them prevent severe cardiomyopathies. The thing is, just like humans, they can get it from vegan sources. Their body has the ability to turn certain amino acids named building blocks into others while still avoiding meat.
‘Dogs can get all the amino acids needed through a plant-based diet, thanks to sources like corn, beans, whole grains, etc.’
If you have considered changing your dog’s diet, but you don’t make up your mind yet, the following facts can be helpful:
Commercial dog food contains pretty much the same long-banned pesticides and preservatives we can find in commercial meat products for humans. In addition, meat products contain chemicals and additives that lead to potential health issues. The most worrying and upsetting part is that these toxic ingredients will probably go unnoticed until it’s too late.
- Including different plant-based sources like beans, corns, whole grains, soy, etc. in their diet, guarantees your dog is getting all the amino acids he needs.
- Feeding your dog with vegan homemade food is possible. You can find these amino acids in a health food store or you can go to a vegan pet store to find the best supplements for dogs.
- Many dogs have a super sensitive digestive system and meat consumption can cause them irritability and discomfort. Therefore, a vegan diet can help them feel better. However, other dogs may not adjust to their new diet as well, and you may have to change back to their previous diet.
Vegan dogs in the making
Try to soothe this experience for your dog. You should start mixing his regular food with the new vegan food for at least one week. If he is adjusting fine, then the second week you can change the proportion. Add more vegan food and less meat-based food. In the third week, if you don’t notice anything unusual with your dog’s skin or intestinal behavior, you can go for a fully plant-based diet.
Throughout transition, supervising your dog is a must. Start including his new food with a piecemeal approach and watch his reaction closely.
Dogs transitioning from meat consumption to a vegetarian or vegan diet need supervision. You need to watch closely your dog to know whether he is adjusting correctly or not. Remember your dog is one of a kind: all animals are different and their nutritional needs can variate from one to another. If you notice any digestive problem or odd behavior, you should check with your vet asap.