Sunday, November 19th, 2017

If You’re Vegan, Does That Mean Your Dogs Should Be Too?

Published on October 24, 2017 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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We love our dogs. As our friends and faithful companions, we want to give them everything that they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life. As people around the world embrace a vegan lifestyle, many ask the question: Is it necessary that we feed animal products to our canine friends? Would it have an adverse impact on their health to give them a meat-free diet?

If You're Vegan, Does That Mean Your Dogs Should Be Too?

If You’re Vegan, Does That Mean Your Dogs Should Be Too?

Natural vs. Reality

Many people feel compelled to feed their dogs meat because it’s their “natural” diet. However, this is a poor argument. If we held natural as the supreme criteria for whether we should do something or not, everyone would be walking around nude.

Okay, this is a bit extreme, but it’s fair to say that “natural” doesn’t mean “better”. It’s not an adequate justification for taking an action. In technical terms, using this argument is called “an appeal to nature fallacy”.

Let us also not forget that our dogs are living an “artificial life” regardless of whether their kibble has animal products in it or not.

Rather than thinking about which ingredients that our dogs need, we should ask: which nutrients do they need? If they can get these nutrients in a healthful way without eating animal flesh then it’s ideal for the animals being killed as well as the environment.

Vegan Dog Food Brands

It is important to note, if you are going to try switching your dog to an animal-free diet you need to be mindful of how you do it. This isn’t difficult, but there have been reported cases where vegans have fed their pets diets that were completely inappropriate. A dog’s diet needs to be complete and balanced with all of the nutrients that they need. You can’t just feed them carrots and celery.

There are many vegan dog food brands available on the market today. Most, if not all, of these brands are formulated to be nutritionally complete for dogs. Brands like V-dog specifically state that you do not need to supplement anything to your dog’s diet.

However, when making any dietary changes, consulting your veterinarian is always optimal for the dog and for your peace of mind.

v-dog vegan dog food

v-dog vegan dog food

Scientific Data

Even though there aren’t nearly as many studies done on dogs eating animal free-diets when compared to humans, the ones that have been conducted seem to be positive. Dr. Andrew Knight does a great job of documenting all of the current evidence on his website. One of the most notable studies done on sprint racing Huskies showed that those fed a meat-free diet fared just as well as those on an animal based one over the course of 16 weeks. The study focused on red blood cell counts, but the dogs received regular vet checkups throughout.

We highly suggest checking out the link above for greater detail. The available scientific evidence, as well as all of the positive anecdotal reports from dog owners, makes a strong case for giving it a try.

Wrap Up

While your pet’s health should always come first, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why you shouldn’t consider a vegan dog food as a viable option. If you love animals other than your dog, feeding them a cruelty-free diet is a win-win! Many people have reported positive results on their pets when switching them over, so it is most likely worth a try! Read my personal dog’s story here.

To learn more, check out the sources linked above and start a conversation with your vet!

Joey Bruno is the co-owner of ThriveCuisine.com with his brother Mike. He’s passionate about vegan education and super passionate about vegan food! In his spare time, he loves hanging out with his dog and practicing Jiu Jitsu.

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