Vegan Veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May on Plant-Based Diets for Pets

Veterinarian and vegan pet food expert Dr. Armaiti May spoke at the World Vegan Summit and Expo to address common questions regarding plant-based diets for dogs and cats. "What we feed our companion animals is an ethical dilemma," she says, referring to the inconsistency between loving some animals and consuming others. Luckily, as she discusses in her talk, healthy, cruelty-free options are available for our pets.

Dr. May was raised vegetarian and went vegan in college after reading Diet for New America. Her values helped shape her career as a veterinarian. She believes that if a healthful vegan diet can be provided, it should be.

"Dogs are biologically omnivorous but can thrive on a balanced plant-based diet, " she says. "Animals do have requirements for nutrients, but not necessarily ingredients." She recommends choosing an AAFCO-approved food to ensure that nutrient guidelines are met. 

The health benefits of a vegan diet are tremendous. Dr. May points out that meat products like chicken and beef are common allergens, causing a host of skin issues in dogs. Not to mention that the "meat" found in commercial pet foods contains byproducts like diseased animal parts, beaks, and bones -- all junk deemed unfit for human consumption -- and even euthanized dogs and cats. Not surprisingly, recalls are common in these foods. Bacterial contamination is also a concern, as are degenerative diseases like cancer and arthritis.

Dr. May also touches on some of the common myths regarding plant-based pet food.

"It's unnatural."

Well...maybe it is. But so is having pets in the first place, bringing them into your home, and providing them with veterinary attention like surgeries, vaccines, and medication. Dogs and cats may hunt in the wild, but they aren't exactly taking down a cow or a tuna. The point is, we as a society reevaluate our way of living given the current circumstances, and "natural" is a subjective term. "We have to look at the whole picture," Dr. May says. "What are we doing to this planet? How much water does it take to produce meat? It's astronomical. We don't want to have to continue to support this practice that involves taking the lives of animals, who are sentient beings, to feed our own animals."

"It's cruel."

"This is absurd," Dr. May counters. "What's cruel is what is happening to factory farmed animals." Given that billions of animals are raised, confined, and slaughtered each year for our consumption, providing our pets with a balanced plant-based diet is a win-win.

Interested in learning more? Dr. May provides veterinary house calls and phone consultations through her website,

V-dog is a vegan owned and operated dog food company providing the healthiest plant-based kibble and treats for your dog. We work with a team of veterinarians, including Dr. May herself, to ensure that all the nutritional needs of your pup are met. Since 2005, v-dog has seen thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on our plant-based diet.

Check out for more!

Questions? Visit our FAQ page or email us at

Source: Benevolent Vegan

Image credit: Cows with Hearts


  • Bravo. Thank you for what you’re doing.

    Doug James on
  • What about cats ? Can we feed them a vegan diet ! ? Please help I feel terrible contributing to animal agriculture by purchasing pet food, but I just don’t know what else to feed my cats. Thank you

    Leigh frayn on
  • We rescued a toy poodle 4 years ago. He was around 8 years old at the time. He had fleas, a hernia, was not neutered, and all of his teeth were rotten and had to come out. WE started feeding him “vegan” formulas (mostly canned and some kibble with water) after a month, and he has been all vegan for 4 years. He initially had a heart murmur when the vet first saw him. After the first year with us, the vet said that the murmur was not as strong, or she could not hear it. Today, Jaco the Poodle is around 12 years old. He walks daily, at least a mile, does not show any signs of arthritis, and his hearing and vision are still good.His appetite is insatiable. Many are surprised when I tell them he is 12. Our hope is that he will live many years longer.Apparently, a poodle was one of the oldest living dogs (29) and a vegan dog made it to 27 (Bramble). The formulas we have used are by Nature’s Recipe and Natural Balance, both available in stores or online.He also enjoys some human food for snacks, like a touch of tofu, watermelon, cherries, but for teh most part, we feed him strait vegan formulas. Thanks to Dr. May we did this with confidence, adn encourage other vegans to try it as well for many reasons.

    John and Claudia Mooter on
  • My dog has been vegan from the age of 6months old when we rescued her. She is now nearly 18 in July. She made it into the Sunday Mirror and Dogs Today did a two page spread on feeding your dog a veggie diet. Why is not more done to persuade or educate the public that dogs can survive on a veggie diet we need more articles on this subject and more advertising by veggie dog food companies.

    Ann BOyce on

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