Not only more and more people are adopting a vegan diet. Dog owners are also increasingly taking up the idea of a meat-free diet that dispenses with animal ingredients for their four-legged friend. But how sensible is it to feed a dog a vegan diet? This demanding form of nutrition requires a lot of attention to prevent deficiencies.
The Dog As A Relative Of The Wolf – A Pure Carnivore?
In fact, a domestic dog is not a pure carnivore. He is considered a so-called omni-carnivore and therefore tolerates quite a few other foods besides meat. He is thus an omnivore and carnivore. Due to thousands of years of domestication, quadrupeds have also adapted to life with humans and the associated diet. Accordingly, dogs tolerate not only meat but also many plant products very well. For example, various types of cereals, as well as fruits and vegetables, are also popular ingredients in dog food. A dog is therefore by no means a pure carnivore, even if meat usually occupies a high place in his diet.
The Difference Between Vegan And Vegetarian Dog Nutrition
Besides the vegan one, there is also the vegetarian form of nutrition. The difference is simple: a vegetarian diet only abstains from meat and fish. However, other animal products such as milk and eggs are allowed. Vegan diets prohibit any use of animal products. All food must be of plant origin.
Who does not want to set thus directly on vegan dog food, can nourish its Fellnase also first of all vegetarian. Straight one, who manufactures fodder, should pay attention here, however. Often vegetarian nutrition plans contain numerous animal products such as yogurt and eggs. However, many dogs do not tolerate dairy products. Even those that at first glance do not seem to have any digestive problems should not eat excessive amounts of food with milk content. So always try small amounts first to see how well your dog responds to dairy and eggs. Keep in mind that these foods should be supplements and not the basis of the diet.
Reasons For A Vegan Diet For Dogs
Unless the special needs of your dog speak for it, it is usually not overly sensitive to feed him exclusively vegan. Too many food options and foods with valuable ingredients are then blankets excluded. However, there may be good reasons to feed vegan dog food. These include, for example:
- Contributing to climate and environmental protection
- Not supporting factory farming and animal suffering
- strong incompatibilities and allergies, which exclude normal food
So a common reason to feed a dog vegan food is their own eating habits. Those who live vegan themselves for ideological reasons do not want to support the animal suffering of farm animals in principle. Accordingly, the beloved four-legged friend should also not get any meat. In industrially produced dog food, moreover, slaughterhouse waste and low-quality meat parts are often processed.
With all quite understandable reasons to feed your own furry nose with dog food that is vegan, you must not forget, however, that you have an omni-carnivore at home. Even though it is quite possible to feed a dog vegan with very careful planning, the risk of nutrient deficiencies is great in the long run. So if you want to feed your roommate a vegan diet not just in phases, but permanently, be sure to check with your veterinarian.
By nature, your dog is not a pure vegetarian or vegan. So consider whether it makes sense to feed him individually based on moral arguments.
When Vegan Dog Food Does Not Make Sense
Even though it is more practical for most dog owners to buy vegan dog food, you can of course make it yourself from time to time. If you do this more often, it is important to know exactly what nutrients are essential for your dog. If you want to add nutritional supplements to your food, it is best to clarify this with a veterinarian.
Basically, the following foods, for example, are suitable for dog food that is vegan:
- Cereals, such as oats, rice or wheat
- Fruit (without seeds)
- high-quality vegetable oils (e.g. rapeseed oil or linseed oil)
- Legumes as a source of protein (must be soaked and cooked)
Carbohydrates such as most grains and potatoes usually need to be cooked before consumption, otherwise, they are toxic. The same is true for legumes. Care should also be taken with fruits and vegetables, as not all varieties are tolerated by dogs. Avocados, stone fruit seeds, some berries, and grapes, for example, are not tolerated at all. Those who make vegan dog food themselves must therefore inform themselves well in advance about intolerances.
Buy Vegan Dog Food
Vegan dog food you can find nowadays in every well-stocked pet store. Alternatively, of course, online trade offers itself. It is particularly important when buying that the selected food contains all the important nutrients for vegan dogs. Products that have been co-developed by veterinarians have therefore proved very successful. Corresponding information can usually be found on the packaging.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Dog Food
Can A Dog Be Fed Vegan?
Yes, you can feed a dog completely vegan. If you decide to do so, it is extremely important that you keep an eye on your pet’s nutrient intake to avoid deficiency symptoms and illness.
Can Vegan Dog Food Be Homemade?
Yes, of course, you can make dog food that is vegan yourself. However, keep in mind that you will have to add many vitamins artificially. Therefore, the composition of rich vegan food requires a lot of time and dedication. Do you have enough time? – great. If not, it might make more sense to go for a high-quality ready-made product that is specially adapted to the needs of dogs.
Are Dogs Pure Carnivores By Nature?
Dogs differ nutritionally from their wild relatives, the wolves. Unlike the latter, they are not pure carnivores, but also eat plant foods due to their domestication. So dogs are both carnivores and omnivores.
Is Vegan Dog Food Better Than Vegetarian?
Provided you make your own dog food, it is easier to provide all the nutrients and vitamins with vegetarian food. However, make sure that your dog’s vegetarian diet does not contain an excess of dairy products.