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Good Nutrition for Healthy Vegan Dogs

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Good Nutrition for Healthy Vegan Dogs

Many people are surprised to learn that not only can dogs enjoy vibrant health on a vegan diet, but just like people, their physical condition can actually improve as a result of eliminating animal foods.

By genus, dogs are classified as carnivorous, but metabolically, they are actually omnivorous. This means that their nutritional requirements can be adequately met with a plant-based diet, as they can source or synthesize all the nutrients they require from plant foods with supplementation.

Skeptical? Check out the story of Bramble, a vegan dog who lived to the age of 28 – making her one of the world’s longest-living dogs. Or how about the story of Piggy:

“When we first found him on the streets of the Dominican Republic, Piggy was just a pup – he had no hair, he was skin hanging over a skeleton, and he could barely walk a couple of blocks,” Tod recalls. “After a few months recovering on his vegetarian diet, he literally tripled in size to 45 pounds, gained a foot in height, exploded with healthy, soft fur and he runs for miles on his three legs.”

Still not sure? Consider this story from CNN, where six veterinarians agreed that the nutritional requirements of dogs can be adequately met with a vegan diet.

“The important thing is that you use a diet that has been shown to be nutritionally adequate for whatever stage of life you’re feeding, and it is absolutely possible to find a good quality commercial pet food that doesn’t have animal products in it,” states veterinarian Kathryn E. Michel, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Michel recommends using commercial pet food that has gone through The Association of American Feed Control Officials feeding trials. “Or, if you prefer to cook meals from scratch, consult a credentialed expert in dog nutrition to ensure a proper balance of essential nutrients.” (See resources at the end of this article for more information.)

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Read more: Cats, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Food, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, Vegan

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.


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7:27AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

informative! thank you :) Our two dogs are vegan and are in great shape!!

6:32AM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

Hm interesting. Thanks!~

6:37AM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

not convinced that dogs should be vegan or vegetarian unless absolutely necessary due to allergies or some other medical condition. it is very difficult for some people to adequately get the nutrition they need without animal protein- and that is possibly more true with animals. they were created carnivorous (or at most slightly omnivorous). i think it is a well-written article with good info, but i remain skeptical.

7:30PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011


9:15AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

This information got buried under the irrelevant anti vegan posts--it is very informative and worth re-posting:

9:13AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Another relevant ON TOPIC and informative source:

2:45AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Belinda, just thinking, in case you are interested, when I was feeding my Golden a half raw diet, I did it by feedng 1 cup of a diet kibble (Avoderm Lite) and the other portion was made up of 1/3 lb. of RAW, ground turkey (I was told turkey is the best source of animal protein for dogs, and the least likely to cause allergic reactions), 1/3 can of unsalted green beans, 1/3 cup of cooked BROWN rice and a raw egg yolk (never feed the whites to dogs). My Golden was almost as wide at the time as he was long and my vet was lecturing me! He wouldn't touch the diet dogfoods unless I adjusted them by adding bacon grease or something like that, so really counter-productive to getting him to slim down. He was up to 106 lbs! It took about 90 days, but he slimmed down to 78 lbs, which is what he's at now at the age of almost 14. Unfortunately, raw turkey is expensive and it's getting very hard to find organic turkey anymore around here, and when I got the adopted GSD, couldn't afford to continue doing that. Yes, getting kibble online if you have to pay extra is very costly. I got Life's Abundance once, and it cost a small fortune, for a big dog, just not an option.

2:39AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

You're very welcome, Belinda. I thought Walmart was EVERYWHERE, LOL! Now, Lynda H. lives in Australia, so maybe she could give you some hints as to where to get organic stuff, but she has cats, not dogs. I know she advocates feeding raw, though. I don't think she participates in this discussion, however. Good luck!

2:30AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Thank you for the links! I will check them out. I pretty much already feed her raw anyway as I don't like the alternatives.. Some of the horror stories of whats in petfood... I only buy her human grade meat.

We don't have Walmart, Petco or Safeway here but I get the idea that they are large scale type supermarkets or largescale 'petshops' I wouldn't generally but there anyway :D I might have to look at getting her stuff online. Importing something heavy like dog food would be hugely expensive and there is potential quarantine for anything including meat here so I will have to look aorund.

1:52AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Belinda, here's another link that you may find of interest. If you only have one dog, it might be feasible to consider feeding raw. I've done that partially with my Golden when he was overweight and he was my only dog. It helped slim him down and get him more active very well, but it's sometimes hard to find good, organic raw food..........anyway, here's the link.....

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