Should Your Dog be Vegan? Five Points to Consider

If you are a vegan dog owner, you may be looking for ways to integrate your dietary and lifestyle beliefs into how you raise your dog. Like people, dogs cannot survive on salad alone, but there are things you can do to make your dog's diet relatively consistent with your ethics. As you decide what to feed your dog, here are five ideas to consider:

1. Dogs evolved from carnivores.

Fifteen thousand years ago, dogs evolved from wolves, prolific hunters and meat eaters. Because of this history, dogs are natural meat eaters. If you are a vegan due to a deep respect for nature, you may want to let your dogs eat meat because being a carnivore is integral to their nature.

2. Not all meaty dog food is the same.

If you opt to give your dog meat, keep in mind that there are different kinds of dog food made with different types of meat. To stay inline with your beliefs, look for dog food made with wild or free range animals. On an ethical level, this is preferable to dog food made with factory farmed meat. However, if you cannot bring yourself to give your dog meat, remember that their long existence alongside of humans has given them many traits of omnivores.

3. Dogs can be omnivores

In spite of their genetic history as carnivores, dogs carry many omnivore traits. Unlike strict carnivores, they can digest carbs, and they have amylase to help break down starchy carbs in their digestive system. However, for humans and other omnivores and herbivores, this enzyme resides in the spit, but in dogs, it sits deeper in the digestive tract and does not affect food until it reaches the small intestines. This means that theoretically dogs can survive without meat.

4. You can make dog food with non-meat proteins.

If you decide that you want to help your dog embrace his omnivore side, you can make food with non-meat proteins. As you likely know from your own diet, foods like black beans, garbanzo beans and lentils are great sources of protein. You can feed these foods as well as other types of beans to your dog. However, protein sources based on soybeans or tofu should be used infrequently.

5. There are commercial vegan dog foods.

If you are not a lover of cooking, do not worry, you don't have to make your own dog food. There are vegan and vegetarian dog foods available commercially.

For more information, contact Geelong Farm Supplies.