Can a dog be vegan? This is one of the most common questions that dog owners ask. The truth is that any dog, regardless of the breed, can be vegan.
In fact, it might surprise you to learn that one of the oldest dogs to live for 28 years was vegan.
A vast majority of dog owners are surprised to know that just like humans, not only can their dogs enjoy a healthy and nourishing vegan diet, but improve their overall physical condition in the process as well.
Basically, dogs are known to be carnivorous. However, when it comes to their metabolic abilities, dogs can be classified as omnivorous.
Due to this, your dog’s nutritional requirements can solely be met by a plant-based diet. This is because just like meat-based diets, vegan foods can supply all the required nutrients to your dog adequately.
Even so, feeding a dog on a vegan diet isn’t a walk in the park. It’s important to, first of all, take notice that, unlike humans, dogs have specific nutritional requirements that are vital for their overall growth.
It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure that you pay extra attention to these needs. After all, you are responsible for making all their nutritional decisions for your four-legged friend.
So, if your dog is currently on an animal-based diet, its crucial that you exercise extra caution while switching to a vegan diet. This is because any slightest change in the diet can cause irrevocable damage to the digestive system.
While switching to a vegan diet such as Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian Dog Food can be less daunting, ensuring that your dog remains adequately nourished while on the vegan diet can be quite overwhelming. So, how can you ensure that your dog thrives on a vegan diet?
Read along to find out more.
Protein & Carbohydrates
It goes without saying that, unlike humans, a dog has a higher nutritional requirement. So, how can you effectively ensure that your dog receives adequate proteins?
According to experts, it is highly recommended that you ensure that, at least, a third of your dog’s vegan diet is made up of proteins. Since the meal is all vegan, you can include high-quality plant foods that contain proteins such as legumes, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, split beans, among others.
When it comes to proteins, whole grains such as brown rice, millet, polenta, etc.are incredible sources of carbohydrates. Unless your dog requires a grain-free diet, it’s paramount to ensure that you include these carbohydrate-rich foods in your dog’s vegan diet.
Fatty Acids and Oils
Oils play a crucial role in your dog’s overall health. However, you should ensure that your dog gets a certain amount of essential oils.
But how can you know that your dog lacks the essential oils? Well, your dog’s coat will be quite clear. You can ensure that your dog receives adequate oils by adding 1-2 tablespoons of sesame seed butter, seed oil, hemp seed oils among others.
Equally important in your dog’s diet is fatty acids such as Omega 3,6, and 9. You can as well include a teaspoon of essential fatty acid or flaxseed oil among others.
Vitamin B12, Taurine and L-Carnitine
If your dog is on a vegan diet, you probably know that most vegan dog foods contain L-Carnitine or taurine. Basically, these are amino acids that cannot be found naturally in plants but are readily available in animal feeds.
While dogs are unable to synthesize these nutrients on their own, your dog can be in big medical trouble if they are deficient.
If you are looking to hit the market for a vegan diet for your dog, it is paramount that you ensure that the brand you pick has these two nutritional elements included.
Another must-watch nutrient that should be supplemented to your dog’s vegan diet is Vitamin B12. This is a crucial element that goes a long way in ensuring that your dog remains free from any blood-related diseases.
These three elements are usually not available in a vegan diet. However, they play an important role in your digs overall health. Therefore, ensure to add them to your dog’s diet every time you feed your furry friend.
Beta-carotene is another crucial requirement that should always be included in your dog’s diet.
The good news is that your dog can always get these nutrients through foods such as carrots, vegetables, or sweet potatoes.