Can Dogs Be Vegan – Answered

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Your dog enjoys vegetables so much that you are thinking about a vegan diet? If so, you should continue reading because this article will tell you if a vegan diet can be beneficial to your dog.

Dogs are big food lovers. They are such foodies that nothing could stop them from getting their favorite treat.

This is why dog training experts recommend food as a tool to help dog owners train their dogs.

Dogs are food-driven beings and that is something that dog owners should be very careful about. Why? This means that you need to master the dog’s nutrition.

That being said, you should know how much your dog should eat based on his weight, age, activity level, and overall health.

You should also know when is the best time to serve your dog meal and how often.

For example, did you know that large size dogs are prone to bloat? Dog bloat is a condition that might kill your dog and knowing the symptoms and how you can prevent this condition is something that every dog owner of a large size dog should know.

When it comes to creating the best dog nutrition, you should always talk with your veterinarian first.

In practice, this means that you should do the following:

  • Provide regular veterinarian check-ups
  • Serve high-quality food
  • Know pros and cons of raw diet
  • Provide a healthy balance of meat, fruit, and vegetable

Learn which human foods are OK to share with your Fido, and why certain table scraps should be avoided no matter what. That being said, know why cucumber is a great treat for your dog, and why onion and human chocolate are so dangerous for dogs.

Did you know that dog brains evolved over time? This means that they have spent centuries observing humans and adapting to their lifestyle.

Moreover, as dogs’ duties evolved and their tasks became more and more complex they adapted their skills to new needs, which resulted in them better pets and workers.

It seems only logical that their diet evolved as well when their habits were so influenced by a mutual bond.

We all know that the human diet evolved a lot in the last century, especially in the last few decades mostly due to more plant-based foods.

If humans are more open to a ‘greener’ diet does it mean that dogs’ diet will or should change over time?

Are dogs heavy carnivores like cats are, or do they prefer more vegetables in their diet? And… Could a vegan diet be actually a better choice for dogs? Let’s discover.

Can Dogs Survive On a Vegan Diet?

Before you continue reading know that the best way to know what kind of diet your dog needs is to talk with your veterinarian first. That being said, let’s see where dogs stand when it comes to a vegan diet.

Are you on a plant-based diet already or you are just exploring new feeding styles for both you and your Fido?

Regardless of your ‘why’ you should know that technically dogs can survive on a vegan diet.

Technically, they can survive on a vegetarian diet as well. However, this isn’t something that comes lightly, or easily, and requires a certain dose of knowledge.

This means that you should not only know, but also understand hard-solid facts on dog’s nutrition that include understanding why they need certain foods based on their age, size, and overall health.

How Long Can A Dog Live On A Vegan Diet?

The most famous dog who thrives on a vegan diet was a dog named Bramble, a collie who lived for 25 years.

Bramble is the world’s most famous vegan collie, and a true sensation in the UK.

At the age of 25 years, the famous Bramble outlived even the longest living dog breeds such as Pomeranian and Beagle, and Bramble got official recognition as the longest-living dog in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bramble was raised by Anne Heritage who is known for raising long-living vegan dogs.

Next to Bramble, Anner has raised a total of seven vegan dogs, and five of them lived past 19 years old.

How Can Dogs Be Vegan?

As mentioned above, dogs can survive on a vegan diet, because they are in fact omnivores.

Omnivores can benefit from fruits and vegetables. More precisely, the fact that dogs are part of the omnivore family says that their digestive system is more than capable of digesting and deriving nutrients from both fruits and vegetables.

Why do we believe that dogs need only meat? This common belief is linked with dogs’ ancient link with wolfs.

Wolfs need meat to survive, but dogs are nowadays far from their ancestors’ feeding styles and enjoy a delicious cucumber, as much as they enjoy a bit of chicken.

Did you know that some dogs are allergic to animal protein? This is why it’s not uncommon for dogs to be put on a meat-free diet when a health issue arises.

Meat-free diets are specially created to treat dogs with allergies and many other health issues.

Is Vegan Regime Dangerous For Dogs

The first rule that every dog owner should care about when it comes to a meat-free diet is to understand dog nutrition. This means that any meat-freed must contain needed nutrients, which is why you might need the right veterinarian’s assistance.

To provide your with Fido with the right amount of vitamins and antioxidants you should serve the right portion of fruits and vegetables. However, for dogs to thrive they also need the right amount of fat and protein.

As general rules, the highest percentage of proteins are found in animal products, such as elastin, keratin, and collagen.

This is very challenging, and often impossible, to get from only a vegan diet.

Creating the ultimate vegan diet for your Fido requires the right guideline and should be conducted under the right supervision of a licensed veterinary nutritionist. Otherwise, you may put your dog in real danger, where space for various complications and malnutrition might be possible.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Vegan Diet For Your Dog

So far it should be obvious that you will spend a lot of time choosing the best food for your dog.

To get the best food in a short period, learn how to read pet food labels and always choose food that is highly rich in proteins.

Next to great food, other factors should be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Dog’s age
  • Dog’s weight
  • Dog’s overall health condition

All in all, all factors should be taken into consideration. Why? This is the only way to make the right diet, that your dog could thrive on.

Each dog has different nutritional needs, and one diet cannot benefit each dog equally.

For example, puppies need specific food that will complement their growth and help them create strong and healthy joints.

Choosing to feed your puppy with adult dog food can be a poor decision because it can create many health issues.

For example, poor nutrition in puppies can lead to lifelong skeletal issues.

Benefits Of Vegan Diet For Dogs

So far, dog experts claim that adult dogs can adapt to a vegan diet that is well-balanced and well-implemented.

They usually admit that majority of dogs do the best on a variety of foods that are packed with animals fats, animal protein, and a significant amount of fruit and vegetables.

If you are just thinking about serving your dog a full-time vegan diet, you might choose to think about a test first.

What does this mean? It means that you can make a day or two per week meat-free and see how your dog reacts.

In the meantime, you might want to know just how many benefits do meat-free diet comes with.

Similar to humans, dogs may have fewer health issues when on a meat-free diet. That being said, a plant-based diet comes with a range of health benefits, including the following.

  • Vegan Diet is Allergy-friendly. Some dogs are allergic to different food, certain products, and ingredients that can lead to many health issues. For example, the majority of pets are allergic to animal proteins, which makes a meat-free diet the perfect choice.
  • Vegan Diet Is Easy To Digest. If your dog suffers from constipation or intense gas, a meat-free diet can be a great way to support your dog’s digestive health. A vegan diet is gentle on digestion and often comes without irritating allergens, which makes it great even for puppies.
  • Vegan Diet Is Anti-inflammatory. The plant-based diet is naturally anti-inflammatory. What does it mean? It means that a plant-based diet can help relieve joint and arthritis, which are often seen in adult and senior dogs. Plus, food packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients can improve mobility in dogs which leads to stronger muscles, and eventually longer walks and more intense exercise needs in dogs.
  • Vegan Diet Can Improve Dog’s Energy Levels. Dogs can thrive on a meat-free diet really fast. Even older dogs may feel that rush of puppy energy when their diet changes. More intense workouts and higher energy levels, lead to better life quality.

What Do Dogs On Vegan Diet Eat?

Dogs love different food.

They love different flavors, different food structures, and even different forms. All in all, dogs love food. Even if your dog enjoys nothing more than a bit of chicken or rice, he still enjoys a nice carrot or a slice of apple.

What do dogs that are on a meat-free diet eat? Dogs can enjoy a vegan diet as long as it is prepared the right way and there are the right nutrients.

Here is what you should include in your dog’s vegan diet:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Apple
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Certain types of beans
  • Quinoa

Of course, learn which human foods are off-limits when it comes to feeding your dog, such as onion.

Know that not every vegetable is beneficial for your Fido, and serve only food that will keep him safe.

Next to a great food combination, you should put extra attention to amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.

Don’t do this on your own, but choose to talk with a pet nutritionist and your veterinarian first. This way you will know the right type and amount of food and supplements to provide for your dog.

What about vegan dog commercial food? The pet market is rich in different brands that are safe for your dog.

Just make sure that you check labels and choose the brand that your dog can benefit from.

Risks Of Vegan Diet For Dogs

The biggest risk linked to a dog vegan diet is that your dog won’t get enough protein.

As expected, some dogs may experience an imbalance of amino acids, and some dogs may even experience a vitamin or mineral deficiency. However, this is preventable if you make the right preparation and provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Add to this proper amount of supplements. To get the most out of supplements choose the one that provides enough taurine, L-carnitine, and vitamin B-12.

If you are thinking about preparing food on your own, make sure that you talk with your dog about the risks of raw food and how you can make the transition from commercial food to homemade.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing the best diet for your dog you need to understand the dog’s nutrition needs first. This means that you should do your best to understand what dogs need to thrive and how you can provide enough vitamins and proteins.

Dogs need proteins to remain healthy and strong, and commercial food is usually packed with enough proteins for dogs to be healthy. This is why switching to a vegan diet should come from well-designed preparation, properly balanced meals, and well-prepared nutrition.

Dogs love food that is based on animal protein and any diet change should at least resemble that protein.

If you decide to test a vegan food diet make sure that you include your veterinarian in the process and provide enough wellness exams, enough exercise, and regular veterinarian check-ups so that you can know for sure that your Fido is on the right track – this may sound like a lot of work but is the best formula to keep your dog healthy.