Is vegan dog food healthy?
Some pet owners who eat a meat-free diet or a diet completely free of animal products also want to pass this diet on to their pets. Vegan dog food is one option – but to ensure that it remains healthy for the four-legged friend, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
There are regular debates about whether vegan dog food is a healthier alternative for four-legged friends or even leads to deficiency symptoms. People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet themselves often argue that a meatless diet is also suitable or even healthy for dogs. They argue that dogs are omnivores and can therefore do without meat and other animal products.
Dog nutrition: What is healthy?
Dogs can indeed digest foods other than meat – unlike cats, for example. However, one should not equate their needs with those of a human. Plant foods, for example, are part of the animal’s diet, but they often don’t provide enough essential amino acids that dogs absolutely need. Many veterinarians therefore recommend the use of nutritional supplements when pet owners serve pure vegan dog food.
Vegan dog food: Possible reasons
The ideal would be a balanced distribution of vegetables, carbohydrates and meat or fish. Ready-made dog food provides this mixture in some cases. However, many pet owners avoid it because it is important to them that the dog food was produced without animal testing and prefer a vegan diet.
Avoid malnutrition with vegan dog food
However, this also does not mean that a dog diet without animal products is automatically unhealthy for the animal or makes it sick. It is only very costly and carries some risks. Who wants to give his pet for ethical reasons only vegan dog food, must therefore pay attention to many things.
It is best to consult with your veterinarian if you are considering changing your dog’s food. He can tell you individually what your four-legged friend needs – and in what quantity. It is also important that dogs fed a vegan diet are checked regularly to avoid deficiency symptoms due to insufficient protein, for example.
Special case: pregnant and lactating bitches
In principle, healthy quadrupeds can also eat vegan dog food – as long as the nutrient requirements are covered. However, pregnant and lactating bitches as well as puppies are an exception. They make special demands on the nutrition. This should be very rich, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Many dog breeders therefore feed their animals beef.