Vegan Diet for Dogs – Is it a Healthy Option?

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Off-late, veganism has been picking up steam, because of the numerous advantages that come along with this lifestyle. The vegan diet reduces the risk of suffering from health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, some of the most common problems in the world.

As vegan diets are a healthy alternative, pet owners tend to ask the question, whether the same applies to their four-legged furry friends. Today, we will take a closer look at this popular alternative, to determine whether it is a healthy option.

Why dogs go vegan?
The first thing you need to understand is why dogs go vegan. There are two major reasons – the owner is a vegan and doesn’t want to contribute to animal suffering in any way or the canine is prone to food allergies. If a dog is suffering from food allergies, in most cases, it is sensitive to animal protein. As a result of this, it makes sense for the owner to cut off animal products.

Are dogs omnivorous or carnivorous?
One of the biggest debates at present is whether the dog fits in the carnivorous or omnivorous category. There are several reasons which indicate why dogs are omnivorous than true carnivores. For starters, their requirements for vitamins such as Vitamin A, pyridoxine, and niacin, and taurine, is much lower than carnivores. They can use vegetable oils to create arachidonic acid, even if they don’t get access to animal fat and protein sources.

Their small intestine accounts for 23% of the gastrointestinal volume, a common feature among omnivores. They possess the ability to use beta carotene (which you will find in plants), to produce vitamin A. Their molars are quite flat, which allows them to grind plant material and bones. As a result of this, dogs can eat both plant and animal food products, and remain healthy.

Potential problems with a vegan diet
Just because the canine is following a vegan diet, doesn’t mean that everything is going to be okay for the rest of its life. If you don’t provide a well-balanced diet, it will cause deficiencies in the future.

For example, the protein intake might be lower than 25 grams for every 1,000 calories. Also, the canine may not get enough amino acids, like L-carnitine and taurine. Another deficiency is lack of minerals and vitamins, such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin B.

Is it a healthy option?
Yes, feeding your dog with a vegan diet is a healthy option. However, you should practice caution while following this diet. Give this diet to your dog for 12 weeks, to see how it responds. If all goes well, your canine can continue to follow this diet. You can choose commercial vegan dog-food, as they contain the right amount of nutrients. If you plan on giving your canine a home-made diet, make sure that you use supplements!