With the rising popularity of this diet among individuals all over the world, the idea of doing the same for your furry friend might sound good. People who follow a meat-free and plant-based diet may also want to do the same for their beloved dogs.
While these types of diets are generally safe for dogs, there are certain benefits and disadvantages to giving your dogs vegan or vegetarian meals.
Safe and Clean Food
Dog food that is readily available on the market is mass-produced so it’s natural for dog-owners to be concerned if they’re made of real and clean ingredients. If you’ve had a bad experience with the usual supermarket dog food, it is understandable to go for available vegan options which you can prepare and make at home.
Lowers Risk to Certain Diseases
No one wants to see their beloved dogs suffer from certain diseases and conditions, which is why a meat-free diet, particularly one free from bones and fatty portions, might be given to a dog. Skin allergies that are not caused by fleas are usually caused by food which may be triggered by animal fat.
Dog owners whose pets are suffering from kidney stones or liver disease may choose to take extra precaution about the food they’re giving and that includes giving a meat-free meal. Always remember to talk to your veterinarian about changing up your dog’s food and diet.
On top of their huge need for protein, dogs need nutrients such as vitamins E, B12, iron, calcium, and iodine which they can mostly get from raw meat. Plant-based alternatives such as soy lack the right amount of nutrients to keep your dog healthy.
It is important to know that a dog’s digestive system is not used to a meat-free diet. Although dogs are now classified as omnivores, studies show that they have traits strongly similar to carnivores. In fact, the nature of their bodies are designed to tear through flesh and digest meat more efficiently which is why it might take some time before your dog fully adapts to this kind of diet.
Expensive and Time-Consuming
Maintaining a vegan diet for your dog takes more than time and money to buy or prepare. You have to make sure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need in every meal and make sure that your dog stays healthy through regular visits to the vet. Upon introducing the diet, you’ll also have to closely monitor your dog to make sure that there are no negative effects on their overall well-being.
Answering the question, can dogs be vegan?
Making your dog adapt and get used to a new diet takes time. What works for others may not work the same for your dog. Although they can technically survive on vegan food, their bodies may not agree with it, so it is important to know that you can still find clean and healthy options without the risks that come with feeding your dog vegan food.