If you talk to some dog owners, you’re likely to get opinions that are torn between meat-based and plant-based diet for dogs. Some would base it entirely on how dogs are very much well-related to their wolves ancestors which means that they can only thrive when fed with meat-based diets. On the other hand, dogs with plant-based diets are the ultimate game-changers of the century with a number of brands offering vegan dog food. There are cases of longevity, surpassing beyond dog years and showing it to the canine world how veganism for dogs can be a thing.
Nutrition and Adaptation
The main concern of dog parents is how likely can their dogs get the complete dog nutrition through a fully plant-based diet?
According to American Veterenarian, “As dogs and cats became domesticated over time, human food scraps became an increasing part of their diet, causing behavioral and physiological adaptations to a more varied diet that included plant-based foods. Today, domesticated dogs can metabolize carbohydrates and subsist on a lower protein diet than their wolf ancestors, effectively making them omnivorous.” Additionally, not only dogs have developed a better ability to digest starch, but also a greatly-improved ability to utilize and benefit from these starches than their wolf counterparts.
Some dogs also cannot tolerate raw meats due to certain allergies, making plant-based diet their only option. But it’s not a case of a walk in the park. Given that you want to extend your vegan lifestyle to your dog or he/she was medically advised to do it, it’s all about giving them a well-balanced, nutritionally-sufficient, and complete with vital vitamins and nutrients plant-based diet. Most animal dietitians and veterinarians will agree that that’s the only way a plant-based diet for dogs will work. Something that should meet their overall nutritional requirements.
Regardless if you want to create your own recipe at home or buy commercial vegan dog foods, it is very important as well to seek professional advice beforehand. It’s not an overnight thing and you should be knowledgeable across all points of dog veganism.
Should your dog eat a plant-based diet?
It’s entirely up to you and it will depend if your dog has a medical condition where a meat-based diet isn’t feasible anymore. One thing’s for sure though, dogs can thrive through plant-based diets. They have evolved naturally to sustain it. And with that, there’s a good chance that your dog may also surpass his/her own life expectancy.