Have you noticed people are turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet? The reasons for doing so are plenty, including environmental, philosophical, and religious considerations. But have you ever thought about feeding your dogs a vegetarian diet? Or can dogs be vegetarian?
While some people believe that a vegetarian-only diet is good as long as it is adequate, others argue it is unnatural and unfit for the species. However, studies have shown that well-balanced vegetarian food for dogs results in positive effects on their health.
Meat vs. Vegetarian Studies
Dr. Andrew Knight and Madelaine Leitsberger conducted a study to find the effects of vegetarian dog food. They surveyed 12 pet food brands. They also examined the nutritional contribution of meat-based dog diets and reviewed the observations concerning the health status of vegetarian, carnivorous, and omnivorous dogs. As long as the vegetarian diet for dogs is well balanced, it would positively affect the dogs’ health.
PETA conducted a survey that stated 82% of dogs that had been vegan for 5 years were in good health. They also noted that the longer dogs followed a vegetarian diet, the better their overall health. However, before switching to vegetarian dog food and healthy dog treats, think about consulting a vet who can guide you through the process.
Vegetarian diet for dog and its benefits
Now let’s talk about how a vegetarian diet for dogs can help improve their health. We have five reasons why:
Experts at Tuff’s University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center say that most dogs are allergic to animal products in their diet. It is usually not grains that cause your dog to have an allergic reaction. Most dogs are allergic to animal proteins. A vegetarian diet for dogs that is well-balanced helps overcome any allergy-related issues for dogs.
2. Easy digestion
Meat-based dog foods are often hard on the digestive system. The acidifying and inflammatory characteristics of proteins are usually responsible for this. However, plant-based ingredients work well with the doggy digestive system. They help clear up pain in the gut due to indigestion in most dogs.
Unlike meat-based foods, vegetarian food for dogs is anti-inflammatory. This helps your dog have relief from any swelling or inflammation. This implies that a vegetarian diet for dogs helps relieve pain in joints and arthritis.
4. Provides energy
Meat-based diets offer energy to dogs through chemicals and other harmful compounds. These chemicals have a harmful impact on dogs after consumption. However, Vegetarian diets are a healthy source of unprocessed compounds.
Because of the clean, readily available nourishment, a vegetarian diet for your dog will help regain puppy-like vigour. Vegetarian diets for dogs frequently provide abundant energy in their new diets, resulting in a superior quality of life.
5. Maintains weight
Vegetarian food is an excellent alternative for dogs who have problems maintaining a healthy weight since they are made with lean, readily digestible components.
Fats and additional calories are common in meat-based dog foods. After making the switch, overweight dogs generally lose weight, allowing them to stay slim and enjoy longer, more active lives.
Also, check out Coco enjoying his favorite vegetarian dog treats on our Instagram!
Nutritional Advantages of Vegan Diets for Dogs
According to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), dog food for an average-sized adult dog should have close to 18% protein. This amount is considered necessary for healthy and proper growth and development.
Vegetarian sources have different levels of amino acids. Amino acids are proteins’ building blocks, and not all proteins are created the same. This means that some proteins are better for your dog than others.
A veterinary nutritionist at the University of California, Dr. Jeniffer Larsen, says that both commercial and home-cooked vegetarian food for dogs is safe. It
can provide the required nutrients, but only if carefully and appropriately formulated. Dog parents are required to pay special attention to providing meals that satisfy the amino acid requirements of their dogs.
Now we know well-formulated vegetarian diets will also satisfy your dogs. Do you believe that dogs are carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous?
Why should you keep a check on the vegetarian diet for your dog?
Many dogs need taurine and L-carnitine, which are found in raw meat. These amino acids can help avoid dilated cardiomyopathy in susceptible breeds. The study conducted by Mr. Knight also finds what diseases dogs may be prone to.
While on a vegetarian diet, dogs may be prone to urinary tract infections and heart diseases. This would be a result of a deficiency in amino acids and L-carnitine or taurine. So it is very important to formulate a vegetarian diet that provides your dog with the nutrition it needs.
A smooth transition
Are you ready to take on vegetarianism with your dog? If so, it’s wise to start with puppy steps. Starting to use vegetarian food for your dogs suddenly may be a bad idea. Instead, start by introducing them to small amounts of vegetarian foods.
If you think changing their meals is too big a step it may be easier to treat them with yummy vegetarian dog treats. You may do so by using veggie treats during training sessions or while rewarding them for good behavior. It is important to note the nutritive values while making/ selecting veggie treats.
Keeping a check on the value of the vegetarian food served for your dog helps them stay healthy. You don’t need to worry, here are the select treats that we swear by. Here you can check vegetarian dog food for complete and balanced nutrition for your dog.
Puffies are ideal as dog training rewards since they make training sessions more enjoyable and guilt-free. These training treats include a high-protein (59.2%) and low-fat (5.2%) dietary composition that helps keep your dog’s weight in check and offers energy. They work as excellent vegetarian dog treats!
Dogsee Chew – Crunch
These single-ingredient snacks are a healthier alternative to treats because they are prepared with natural fruits and vegetables and have no added chemicals. These treats are adaptable and can be used for training, as a reward for excellent conduct, or simply to lavish extra love on your fur baby. These treats include protein (5.8%) and dietary fibers (7.1%) and are low-fat (2.3%). They are also ideal vegan treats for your dogs!
Dogsee Chew – Hard chew bars
A nutrient-dense treat that your dog will adore! Dogsee Chew’s healthy turmeric bars are made from the finest cheese in the Himalayas to keep your dog nimble. These dental chews battle plaque and tartar while also providing relief from joint pain and promoting a healthy immune system, making them the ideal vegetarian treat for dogs! These treats are rich in protein (74%) and are low-fat. Consider these as great long-lasting vegetarian dog treats.
Dog parents should be aware that a large number of studies have shown that dogs on a vegetarian diet can be healthy. As Dr. Knight’s study shows, vegetarian food can extend a dog’s life expectancy. Make sure it gets enough protein and all of the vital vitamins and nutrients required, just like you. If you want to know more about the benefits of vegetarian and vegan dog treats, read our blog: Pros and Cons of Vegetarian vs. Meat-Based Diets for Dogs!