Can a Dog Be Vegan? Myths Busted & Protein Facts
A question we hear a lot is: can a dog be vegan?
We know how important it is to fuel all our family members with nutritious and delicious food. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions about vegan dog food and protein, so you can feel empowered to make decisions that are best for your pet!
If you’re wondering if dogs can live on a vegan diet, the answer is... YES!
Additionally, according to the Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, “Most dogs can do quite well on a carefully designed vegan diet that meets all of their nutritional needs.”
Of course, we always recommend talking with your veterinarian to be sure you’re doing all you can to keep your pet as healthy as can be. Each dog is unique with their own individual needs, and they deserve to be treated with care that’s customized to them.
Facts about vegan protein & dogs
Like humans, dogs are omnivores. Meaning, a combination of plant and animal foods can sustain their nutritional needs.
That said, the VCA Hospitals website states, “The source of the proteins and fats is less important than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the dog's diet.”
In other words, it’s important to ensure your pet is getting sufficient amounts of protein, but that doesn’t mean it has to be from cows, pigs, and other animals - as there are plenty of plant-based protein options.
Also, protein is by no means the only nutrient a dog needs. They also need water, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
Vegan protein sources, from beans to seeds
If you’re transitioning your pet to a plant-based diet, you’ll need to consider vegan protein sources. Luckily, there are lots of options! Here are three of the main categories:
Beans (chickpeas, black beans, lima beans, edamame)
Nuts & Seeds (peanuts, cashews, seeds)
Vegetables (potatoes, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas)
Please note: Be mindful of the quantity of food you’re giving your dog. It is possible to have too much of a good thing!
What are the benefits of a vegan diet for dogs?
A plant-based diet can provide wonderful benefits for your dog. For some dogs with chronic symptoms, like itchy skin, joint pain, or digestive issues, a vegan diet can truly transform their well-being.
Here are three other benefits of vegan diets for dogs:
Want to read more about this topic? Check out this blog: The top 5 health benefits of a vegan diet for dogs
Common vegan myths busted + facts about vegan protein
Myth: Animal protein is the only protein
FACT: While animal protein is an option - it’s not the only option when it comes to protein. As we shared above, beans, nuts and seeds, and vegetables are also sources of protein.
Myth: It’s always unhealthy for dogs to be vegan
FACT: A vegan diet can be highly beneficial for many dogs, especially sensitive and allergy-prone dogs. Read real-life stories from v-dog customers!
Myth: Only vegan dogs need supplements
FACT: Many dogs - vegan and not-vegan - need supplements for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for strengthening their bones or boosting their energy levels.
Read more: Top 5 vegan dog myths and facts
Nutrition tips for your dog: do’s and don’ts
Do: Adjust Their Diet As They Age
As your dog gets older and their activity levels change, you’ll need to adjust their diets. For example, a puppy will eat differently than they will when they’re an adult.
We know it’s fun to shower your dog with treats, but obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs, according to VCA Hospitals.
Do: Keep Them Hydrated!
Your pet needs water to survive. Be sure to keep handy water bowls on-the-go, teach them to drink from your palm, and consider adding water to their kibble. These steps will ensure they’re getting the H20 they need.
DIY: Vegan Dog Food Recipes
From fruity creations to veggie based options, we hope the below vegan dog food recipes give you inspiration to treat your pup.
Looking for more vegan dog recipes to treat your pup? We’ve got you covered on our Dog Blog!