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Can dogs be vegan?

Can dogs be vegan?

Can Dogs Thrive on a Vegan Diet? Recent Study Compares Raw Meat vs. Plant-Based Nutrition

Winchester University led a large-scale study to look at how the diet dogs were fed affected their overall health.

The study focused on 7 different indications of health in canines. For example, overall percentage of sick dogs and frequent veterinary visits

What diet is best for dogs?

The results of the study demonstrated that dogs fed traditional meat diets were less healthy than dogs fed either a raw meat or vegan diet. In nearly every case, they tended to have worse health markers.   

Vegan diet - carrotsWhat is a vegan dog food diet?

It is possible to feed your pooch a vegan diet as long as they are getting the nutrients they need. Dogs can usually enjoy a wide range of vegetables (like broccoli and carrots), leafy greens like kale and even rice and grains. 

Feeding your dog a balanced diet should always be the most important factor. Regardless of whether you opt for a vegan diet, a meat-focused one or even a raw food diet.

What is a raw food diet?

The term ‘raw food diet’ refers to any produce (vegetables and fruit) or meat that has not been cooked before being given to your pet. This means that you don’t lose any of the valuable nourishment through the cooking process.

Although, all raw produce should be thoroughly cleaned to ensure it’s free from things like pesticides before being given to your dog. Sugary foods such as fruit should only be given to your dog as a special treat to reduce the risks of obesity and digestive issues.

Can dogs eat raw meat?

Dogs can absolutely be fed raw meat, although, it should make up a balanced nutritious diet.

Their digestive systems are suitable for handling raw meat. It is still important to make sure you are choosing high-quality meat and produce to limit the risks of pathogens.  

What can dogs not eat?

Should I feed my dog dried food?

Kibble or dry food is often a popular choice for dog owners as it’s convenient and has undergone tests to ensure it’s safe and meets the nutritional needs of your dog.

It’s usually made from a variety of vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, and meat. They are then cooked and combined to produce the dried food pellets.

How to choose the best kibble

Although within the UK you are governed to label clearly and rigorously test dog food. You will naturally find that some dried foods are more nutritionally balanced or better quality for your pet than others

It can be tricky to try and decipher nutritional values listed on dried pet food bags. So, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you decide which is best for your pet.

4 things to look out for on dog food labels:

  • Healthy fats

Not all fats are equal in value to your pet’s health. You may typically see “animal fat” listed generically under the list of ingredients – this is usually a bad sign as it means that the fat has been sourced from a number of sources.

Good sources of fat to look out for are things like chicken fat or even fish oil which will provide omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Protein levels (usually found under the guaranteed analysis)

This usually serves as a super-fast indication of whether or not it’s a good choice for your dog. You want to ideally see a number above 30% to be able to provide your pooch with plenty of protein.

  • Lots of filler ingredients

This is where pet food manufacturers will try to bulk up the mix with ingredients like corn, wheat, or rice. Generally, animal protein is what cats and dogs need as opposed to carbohydrates.

Foods bulked up with lots of filler foods will usually provide a lower nutritional value to your pet.

  • Bonus Ingredients

Seeing beneficial ingredients like vitamins, fibre and minerals is great. But it’s important that there’s actually enough in there to make a difference to your pet.

Some great things to look out for are glucosamine (for joint health), probiotics (for gut health) or any antioxidants (reduce inflammation).

So, what can I feed my new puppy?

We strongly recommend you speak to the breeders about what your puppy is used to eating. If they’ve primarily been on a kibble diet, eating lots of fibre-rich fruit and vegetables could upset their tummy.

Making your puppy feel comfortable in their new home by using things they are familiar with (food, toys, or bedding) will also help them settle in!

We would always recommend that you speak with your vet before implementing a new diet with your puppy.

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