- Dark, leafy greens (Spinach and kale)
- Certain types of beans (Just like in humans, beans can cause flatulence in your dogs as well, so use beans sparingly)
There are commercially prepared, vegan dog foods available that have all the nutrients your dog needs. You’ll still need to read the label to ensure they contain the appropriate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, mainly l-Carnitine and taurine. Worst case scenario, you can supplement these two amino acids if the food doesn’t have enough. Speaking to your veterinarian can help you understand the right amount of pet food and supplements your dog needs to be healthy on a vegan diet.
Misconceptions about veganism for dogs
- Dogs are carnivores and need meat to successfully thrive – According to scientific research, the dog and the wolf are not as similar as the media would have you believe. Dogs and humans have evolved with each other for over 10,000 years. During that time, domesticated dogs adopted a different genetic component that enabled them to make good nutritional use of plant-based, starchy foods. Researchers found that domesticated dogs have higher amounts AMY2B, a gene that is critical for the production of amylase. In fact, the AMY2B gene was a whopping 28 times more active in domesticated dogs than in wolves. Domesticated dogs have also been able to break down maltose into glucose which is crucial for the digestion of starch.
- Dogs need to have meat for their protein source – It is very true that dogs need protein. This is not restricted to JUST meat proteins. Proteins are found in many non-meat foods as well. Through a vegan diet, your dog can be fed plenty of protein from organic and plant-based compounds. Good examples of high protein, non-meat based foods are peas and pinto beans.
- Your dog’s health will decline on a vegan diet -This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. As long as you are monitoring the nutrients that your dog is getting, you can give them a complete diet that comes from 100% plant-based foods. Your dog can live a healthy, long life, possibly even into their 20s like Bramble.
- Feeding your dog a vegan diet, even a complete and balanced one, is animal neglect/abuse – Feeding your dog a vegan diet, as long as it is complete and balanced with all of the nutrients your dog requires, is in no way animal cruelty or neglect. What matters the most is that the food you feed your dog is balanced and complete. Talk to your vet, get the right supplements, and avoid the foods that dogs shouldn’t eat.
- All veterinarians think that vegan diets for dogs are unhealthy –This is also not true. Yes, there will be veterinarians that may not agree with a vegan diet for dogs, but that doesn’t make a vegan diet wrong or unhealthy. Just like human doctors have differences of opinion on what is healthy and what isn’t, so do veterinarians. Ask your veterinarian what they think about veganism for dogs, but also do your homework and make sure the veterinarian knows that you know the importance of balanced and complete nutrition.
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