A vegan diet is certainly one way to introduce some health into your daily life, but this doesn’t exactly apply to everyone, as there’s been a lot of discourse regarding vegan diets for pets.
To no one’s surprise, both cats and dogs are omnivores, although their diet mainly consists of meats, and forcing an animal to consume only plant-based foods is often considered to be akin to animal abuse.
That being said, if your little furry friend is getting all the nutrition they need, there’s no harm in helping them make the switch over to the diet you prefer, so long as they’re not visibly rejecting it.
You can’t expect a dog to be too excited about carrots and potatoes over a nice cut of meat or some bone marrow, but with enough training, they may just grow to like it.
It all depends on the pet and the way the owner approaches this vegan diet, and we’re going to help you understand how it works.
Can a dog even be vegan?
In a way, one could claim that dogs are suitable for a vegan diet, and while there are a number of counterarguments you’ll hear on this subject, there are thousands of dogs out there that live healthy lives eating nothing but plant-based foods.
The common misconception that dogs are carnivores comes from the fact that they’re closely related to wolves, which eat exclusively meat, something that is not the case for a domesticated dog.
In fact, a number of other animals in the order of Carnivora, don’t eat meat at all, and pandas are the perfect example, as their diet consists entirely of bamboo plants.
That being said, pandas are a bad example here, as they’re not exactly known for their agility, health, or ability to thrive in nature, which doesn’t mean man’s best friend can’t achieve a lot more with a vegan diet either.
It could be dangerous
Creating a diet for your dog that has all the nutrients they’ll need to live a healthy life is difficult, to say the least, and doing the same thing without access to animal-based foods is a herculean task.
Of course, a dog’s digestive tract can and will get nutrition from plants, that’s not up for debate, but there’s the issue of dogs getting nutrition from meats and other animal-based foods much easier, something that also applies to us.
On the other hand, we as humans have access to a number of different supplements to help offset these difficulties, something that can’t be said for dogs, which apart from having a clear disadvantage when it comes to a vegan diet, also have no way to communicate their needs to us effectively without the help of a professional.
Feeding your dog as a vegan owner
As a pet owner, your friend’s health should always be one of your main concerns, and even if you’re not consuming animal-based foods, you have to weigh just how important this cause is to you and whether your dog will suffer because of it.
You should take this discussion to your local vet, as they’ll give you a solid answer, one that will rely on your dog’s species, age, and overall health, mainly due to how a vegan diet can impact one’s immune system and ability to retain weight.
When a significant lack of nutrients is present, the body begins to consume storages of fat, and not all dog species are as lean as the next.
Because of this, you may have to resort to buying high-quality dog foods to supplement the losses your dog may be experiencing due to the vegan diet.
Man’s best friend
Even if they are lifelong companions to the human race, dogs are also devoted servants and friends to the man/woman they imprint at a young age.
This is one of the main reasons why you shouldn’t be putting your dog through suffering in order to appease your dietary choices, especially if they’re not particularly healthy.
An animal’s health deteriorates with age, much like a human’s does, and even if your dog was raised on vegan foods, you shouldn’t put them through a low-nutrition diet once they reach old age.
For being your best friend for an entire decade, dogs deserve to live their final years enjoying the foods they’d normally love, and denying them the pleasure of chewing on a bone or a hearty cut of meat is just wrong.
Anyone who loves dogs knows just how much they love meats and other animal products.
That being said, a vegan diet is not out of the question, although it’s not exactly optimal either, as you will have to provide your dog with nutrient supplements to offset the losses caused by the intake of plant-based foods.
As long as your pet isn’t suffering, it’s okay, but keep in mind that they likely won’t be as happy as they would with their naturally occurring dietary choices.