Is vegan dog food healthy?

Some pet owners who eat meat-free or completely without animal products also want to pass this diet on to their pets. Vegan dog food is an option - but to keep it healthy for your four-legged friend, there are a few tips to consider. Is vegan dog food healthy? - Image: Shutterstock / Robert Neumann

There is regular debate about whether vegan dog food is a healthier alternative for four-legged friends or even leads to deficiency symptoms. People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet often believe that a meat-free diet is also suitable or even healthy for dogs. They argue that dogs are omnivores and can therefore do without meat and other animal products.

Dog nutrition: what is healthy?

Dogs can actually - unlike cats - use foods other than meat. However, their needs should not be equated with those of a human being. Plant-based foods, for example, are part of the animals' diet, but often do not provide enough essential amino acids that dogs absolutely need. Many veterinarians therefore recommend the use of food supplements when pet owners serve purely vegan dog food.

Vegan dog food: possible reasons

A balanced distribution of vegetables, carbohydrates and meat or fish would be ideal. Finished dog food provides this mixture in some cases. However, many pet owners avoid it because it is important to them that the dog food was produced without animal testing and prefer a vegan diet.

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Avoid malnutrition with vegan dog food

However, this does not mean that dog food without animal products is automatically unhealthy for the animal or makes it sick. It is only very complex and involves some risks. If you want to give your pet only vegan dog food for ethical reasons, you have to pay attention to a lot.

It is best to speak to your veterinarian if you are considering changing your dog's food. He can tell you individually what your four-legged friend needs - and in what quantity. It is also important that vegan-fed dogs are checked regularly to avoid deficiency symptoms, for example due to too little protein.

Special case: pregnant and suckling bitches

In principle, healthy four-legged friends can also eat vegan dog food - provided the nutritional requirements are covered. However, pregnant and lactating bitches and puppies are an exception. They have special nutritional requirements. This should be very rich, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Many dog ​​breeders therefore feed their animals with beef.

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