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Food & Diet

Beyond Kibble: The Evolution of Dog Diets

At A Glance

Vegan meals can be good for your dog, provided you prepare them with care to ensure it meets your pet’s daily nutritional requirements.

  • Vegan meals are cruelty-free, healthy, allergen-free, help with weight management and are good for digestive health.
  • But they may not have all the nutrients a dog requires on a daily basis.
  • Plus your dog may not take to them easily, and meal preparation can be tough.

Last Updated on: May 11, 2023


Going vegan is all the rage these days, and it has now extended to making pets follow the lifestyle of their humans. The question on whether feeding your dog only vegan food is against nature has been the subject of heated debate.

After all, dogs are carnivores, right?

Well, dogs are actually omnivores and can thrive on both vegetarian and meat-based diets.

So are vegan meals healthy for dogs? Read on to know more.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

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Yes, vegan meals can be healthy, as long as they meet the daily nutritional requirements your pet needs. But a lot of thought and planning needs to go into it to ensure the meal is good for a dog’s physical development and optimal health.

There are several in favor and against the point. Supporters believe that vegan diets are just as healthy for dogs as they are for people, while naysayers believe dogs need a regular diet of meat to be healthy.

But both these groups – those in favor and those against a vegan diet only want what’s best for their pets-they want healthy and happy dogs.

Proponents of a vegan pet diet look for options that are not just healthy for their pet but also the environment. Those advocating a meat-based diet cite a dog’s carnivorous nature and physical needs, which a plant-based diet might not meet.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Vegan Meals For Dogs

Some people believe a vegan diet is healthy for dogs, while others believe it is not. The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this debate.

Each dog is different, and each vegan diet is different, depending on the permutations and combinations of the ingredients.

Some vegan diets for dogs are healthy, while others may not have much to offer.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of a vegan diet so you can make an informed decision for your pet.

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It is a Cruelty-Free Choice That Also Helps the Environment

One of the best reasons to go vegan is that it is a green choice that promotes sustainability and care for the environment.

The pet food industry relies heavily on the meat industry, and many pet owners desire to make ethical choices when it comes to their pet food.

It’s Healthier

The latest research on 2,500 dogs showed that vegan diets were comparatively safer and healthier for dogs than their regular meat-based diets. The dogs were assessed based on illnesses and visits to the vet.

Of those fed a vegan diet, only a third faced health issues that necessitated medication. But half of those fed a meat-based diet had to go to the vet and needed medication. The results showed that vegan diets could strengthen your pet’s immunity.

Is Allergen-Free And Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

A vegan diet helps prevent bloating, nausea, vomiting, gas, and general discomfort in dogs who have known allergies to eggs or dairy. Most dogs cannot process milk or cheese, so giving them a plant-based diet can lessen allergies and inflammation.

Allows For Weight Management

One of the most common issues with pets these days is obesity. A vegan diet can help with a dog’s energy levels.

Adding more crunchy veggies and fruits will help your pet feel lighter and it will be encouraged to move more. A plant-based diet will also help them lose weight.

It’s Good For Digestive Health

A plant-based diet gives your pet more fiber, which can ease constipation and other digestive issues. It also means their poop won’t smell as much!


It May Not Have Enough Nutrients To Meet Your Dog’s Needs

Meat contains higher concentrations of certain minerals and nutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin B, and protein.

You might need to add a lot of vegetables to your pet’s diet to ensure it gets the same amount of nutrients as it does from a lean piece of meat.

Some pet owners who’ve turned vegan also admit turning to supplements and vitamins to ensure their dogs are healthy. But it’s best to meet your vet regularly to see if your dog is doing well with the diet.

Consider getting a professionally-prepared meal for your dog. This will ensure its meals have the right nutrients for proper health and growth.

Meal Preparation Can Be Time-Consuming

It is hard enough to prepare your own meals especially when you have time constraints. It is doubly so when you have to do it for an animal with a high protein requirement.

Apart from grocery shopping at regular intervals, you will also have to spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing the meal and combining ingredients to make it interesting and delicious for your pet. Imagine lots of chopping, blending, boiling, and steaming veggies and fruits.

Your Dog Might Take Time To Get Used To It

Veggies and fruits are delicious, but dogs, like children, can be picky and might take some time to get accustomed to the taste.

Try out a variety of fruits and vegetables to figure out which ones find favor with your pet. And combine texture and taste to keep its teeth healthy.

Not All Vegetables And Fruits Are Good For Dogs

Another issue with plant-based diets is that not all vegetables and fruits are good for your dog. Some are even toxic, so you have to ensure you don’t include them as part of your pet’s diet.

Fruits and veggies that are toxic for dogs include the following:

Your dog might also be allergic to other veggies or fruits, so it’s best to consult the vet before you include a new vegetable or fruit to your pet’s diet, no matter how pet-safe it is supposed to be.

dog with vegetables

Destroying Myths About Vegan Diets For Your Pooch

A vegan diet can be advantageous for your dog and a healthier choice than commercial pet food. But you have to know the proper preparation and veggie options your pet will love.

That said, there are some misconceptions about feeding your dog a vegan diet. For example, a pet owner on Tumblr received a barrage of comments alleging needless cruelty to their dog due to the animal’s vegan diet.

What was obvious was the myths associated with a vegan diet for dogs. Let’s destroy some of these myths.

Myth 1

A vegan diet stresses a dog’s pancreas, which is not equipped to process plant-based diets.

Answer: False!

The pancreas of any mammal can do a good job of breaking down plant-based ingredients, and that includes starch and carbohydrates. The domestication of dogs has made them even better than humans when it comes to digesting starchy meals.

However, humans and dogs cannot process the cellulose in plants though some mammals, like cows, have evolved to deal with processing hay and grass.

Myth 2

Dogs are true carnivores because they descended from wolves.

Answer: False!

The truth is that dogs are omnivores. They can eat a combination of plants and meats, as domestication has changed their diet and nutritional needs. Though it’s true that dogs descended from wolves, they have evolved enough to display different qualities, behaviors, and tastes than wolves.

So although dogs belong to the order Carnivora, they have evolved to be able to process starch and carbohydrates that come from plants.

Myth 3

Your dog needs more protein that a plant-based diet can’t provide.


Dogs do need protein, but that doesn’t mean it has to come from meat. A plant-based diet can also provide the high-quality protein your pet needs, and legumes and some plants are good sources of protein.

Also, several studies prove that plant-based diets are a healthy option for your pets. You only need to choose the right veggies in the right proportion to ensure your pet gets its required daily protein intake.

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Bark Up The Right Tree By Doing What’s Best For Your Pet

The debate on whether vegan diets are healthy for dogs is ongoing. More and more people are choosing to adopt vegan diets for themselves, and they are wondering if this is a good choice for their dogs as well.

Your dog deserves a well-balanced and complete diet to live a healthy and happy life. Whether you want to make an ethical choice or want to do it for the sake of your pet’s health, ensure that a vegan diet can meet your dog’s needs.

Before you make a decision about whether or not to feed your dog a vegan diet, it is important to do your research and consult the veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Vegan Diets Healthy For Dogs?

Vegan diets can be healthy for dogs if they are carefully prepared to meet their daily nutritional requirements in terms of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.

What Are The Benefits Of A Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet can eliminate allergies and skin irritation and even reduce the likelihood of serious illness.

Do All Dogs Do Well On A Vegan Diet?

Some dogs may do well on a vegan diet, while others may not. The best way to determine what is best for your dog is to talk to your veterinarian about your options.


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Meet Vig, a devoted pet parent, and proud accomplice to the mischievous adventures of Dex, his adorable beagle. He is the go-to within his community for practical advice and invaluable tips on pet care. He is a strong advocate for responsible pet ownership and approaches his role as an author with utmost transparency.

His commitment to providing accurate and reliable information is unwavering and he aims to educate and empower fellow pet owners through his insightful writings and contributions.