Is It Safe for your Dog to be Vegan?

All dogs eat meat, and have to eat meat to be happy and healthy. This is a stereotype that applies to most dogs, but it’s actually not true! Contrary to popular belief, dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and vegetables! So what happens if you want to put your pup on a vegan diet? What if they’re allergic to meat products? Is it safe for your dog to be vegan? The answer is: Yes!

It is a very rare allergy in dogs, but some pups are allergic to nearly every meat and fish product on the market. Many dog owners may have to find a substitute for them! Luckily, because our dogs aren’t wolves, they don’t need the same dietary needs as their distant ancestor. Plus, with our modern technology, many dog food brands are able to put the nutrients your pup needs to stay happy and healthy! So, in other words, yes, your pup can safely be a vegan.

What Goes In Vegan Dog Food?

If they don’t put meat in vegan dog food, what do they put in it? Lots of healthy veggies and fruits! Here’s a small list of what common vegan dog food can contain:

  • Rice, brown or white
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • Kale

There are also diets that replace meat with eggs and dairy, if you’re willing to go vegetarian for your pup. Egg is a wonderful protein alternative if your pup can’t eat meat!

Are Vegan Dogs A Good Idea?

If you’re ethically against the animal products industry, you can also safely put your furry friend on a vegan diet as well. However, like most diets, there are positives and negatives to what it can do, as dogs are not purely herbivores.

Pros Of A Vegan Diet:

Luckily, your dog is an omnivore! Your furry friend can absolutely digest and survive on only vegetables and fruits. Plus, if your dog has had digestive issues in the past, removing animal products may actually be able to help your pup. Your pup will be less prone to problems such as: Digestive issues, cancer, hypothyroidism, and gout.

Vegan diets are also highly beneficial to dogs with severe allergies to meat products. Signs your pup may be allergic to meat can vary from picky eat to vomiting, so be sure to check in with your vet if your pup may have allergies.

Cons Of A Vegan Diet:

While there are many substitutes to what nutrients your pup can get from meat, they can’t necessarily get the right nutrients. In other words, some proteins and fats can’t simply be replaced with fruits and vegetables. The change in diet can cause your pup’s skin, coat, and even muscles and joints to decline in health later in life.

However, there are always supplements if your pup is allergic to all sources of protein. While it may not be the best outcome, sometimes it’s all you can do to make sure your pup is okay!

It is also highly recommended that if you choose to go with a vegan diet, that you consider making the meals in your own home. While vegan dog food brands contain MOST of what your dog needs nutritionally, it may not contain ALL of what your dog needs. You may need to spend more time at home to properly prepare what your pup needs to make sure they have all the nutrients they need!

So What Should I Do To Make Sure My Dog Is Healthy On A Vegan Diet?

Long story short, you have to replace what your dog is missing from a meatless diet. You have to buy more supplements in order to replace your furry friend’s missing nutrients! Many people recommend Dog Greens, as it is vegan and contains all the nutrients your pup needs! The only ingredients in this supplement are spirulina, kelp, barley grass, alfalfa, wheat grass,  chlorella, and irish moss. However, these simple ingredients are able to supply your pup with Omega 3 fatty acid, vitamins, and minerals that you can find in meat products!

There are also recommended brands that you should prioritize if your pup goes on a vegan diet. One of the top brands is Natural Balance’s Vegan Dog Food. This brand is highly recommended by pet owners and vets alike, as it’s affordable and healthy for your pup. This brand makes sure that it’s nutrients that are loss from meat are put in to keep your pup healthy!

In the end, yes! Your dog can be vegan! However, it takes a lot of hard work and research to make sure your pup is healthy. Going vegan may be easy for humans, but for dogs, it can be hard as many important nutrients are taken away from them. Always check in with your vet to see if the diet is working for your pup! 

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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