Ask the Vegan Vet: Switching from Raw to Vegan Dog Food

We hear from many customers who have successfully switched over to v-dog from a raw meat diet. Below you can find some answers to your questions, and learn about switching your dog, too! 

 

"I currently feed my dog a raw diet. What is your opinion on this type of diet for dogs?" - Samantha L. 

Feeding dogs a raw meat diet is definitely a controversial matter in the veterinary and public health community.  The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) discourage feeding raw animal-source protein to dogs.  All diets have pros and cons.  Raw meat may be more easily digestible than other foods for dogs.  However, it contains significantly more potentially dangerous bacteria, may not be nutritionally balanced and is not well regulated. 

One major concern here is public health.  There is potential for infection, particularly in children and the elderly as well as immune-compromised individuals.  These people are more susceptible to infections from bacteria like salmonella that are common in raw meat.  Although most healthy dogs won’t get sick from eating salmonella, they can become carriers and shed the bacteria in their feces.  Though rare, there have been reports of dogs who became ill or even died from salmonella that was in their raw food.

"Is it ok to switch my dog from a raw meat diet to a vegan food like v-dog?"

It’s absolutely okay. I recommend a gradual change over 1-2 weeks. For more information, see my post about raw meat vs. vegan diets for dogs

"What about protein? Will my dog get enough?"

Some people think dogs need meat for the right proteins and amino acids.  There are 20 amino acids present in proteins, and 10 of those are essential for dogs.  This means they need to consume them in their diet because their bodies don’t make them.   A nutritionally balanced diet, such as V-Dog, supplies these essential amino acids.  There are a variety of healthy plant sources of amino acids, such as peas and soybeans.  The important factor, according to the NRC (National Research Council), is that dogs require specific nutrients, not specific feedstuffs. Dogs are omnivorous eaters.  They adapted over thousands of years alongside humans to be able to absorb a wide variety of nutrients. 

I hope this letter answers all of your questions and concerns! Thanks, Samantha!

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Lorelei Wakefield, DVM

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V-dog contains 100% balanced plant-based nutrition for your pup. Our products are expertly formulated, veterinarian recommended and meet/exceed all AAFCO standards. Since our formula is highly-digestible, we've seen countless itchy, allergic dogs experience complete turnarounds on our kibble. Read their stories here or learn more about v-dog on our FAQ page!

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Additional Resources on Vegan Dogs

Sprint Racing Huskies Thrive on Meat-free Diet

Dog's dinner was key to domestication (Nature Journal)

Veterinarians approve a meat-free diet for dogs: link

D.V.M. Armaiti May on Vegan diets for Dogs: video link

V-dog FAQ page

 

Vegan Dog Videos

Senior (vegan) Whippet Sprints at the Beach 

Dogs Go Cray Cray for Cauliflower

San Francisco Beach Adventure


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