The latest polls suggest that veganism and vegetarianism are on the rise.
Not only in the US and the developed world, but worldwide generally. And it’s not only that – some researchers suggest that somewhere between 26% and 41% of Americans have consumed less meat in the past 12 month. Invariably, the trend would reach a point wherein pets would be kept on a vegan diet. So, is this healthy for a dog and what can be some of the repercussions of such treating?
Dogs are carnivores, so there is little space for an ethical argument for veganism here – they are meant to eat meat.
The real question is, possibly, whether a change of dieting regime can be detrimental to your dog’s health or if there are benefits for it?
Dogs are, as it generally viewed, able to process non-meat foods and stay healthy. They are, after all, closely related to wolves, which can go for weeks eating vegetation, in the absence of meet. However, this is an extremely tricky thing to do and one that leaves a great margin of error. Dogs require at least some animal protein and depriving them of it can cause serious damage. If this is a risk worth taking and you’re up for the task of really taking care of your dog’s diet, it is totally up to you.
Typical dog food contains Vitamins A, D and taurine.
There’s not much foods that serve these as streamlined as meat does. Even if you manage to substitute them – be sure to check up with vet on a more frequent basis, at least at the beginning of the diet change. Even minor discrepancies in dog’s health can be indicators of a much larger problem to come and prove that the diet is not suited for your pet.
Moreover, if you’ve rescued a dog and not raised it yourself – it’s a very risky thing to take such a drastic step. You’re in charge of this living creature’s wellbeing now, and it is far more important than one’s personal choices and beliefs.
On the other hand, there is a good reason to really think over such a dietary shift.
You can put aside morality and concentrate on what is dog’s food really made of? Some people detest eating at certain fast food restaurant chains. So you can imagine what they put into dog’s food! So, if you’re not going to switch your dog’s diet to a vegan one, you can still think about moving from packed, mass produced dog food. Try fresh meat from a nearby supermarket or even a local shop. Sure, these things will not have the certifications from all those pet associations, but we can argue if they are completely impartial there, can’t we?
Dogs are a very complex species.
You should nurture them because they depend on you. And you certainly should put their wellbeing above your own moral principles, as those can be simply incompatible. If you still think that the big food corporations may be feeding dogs with something not completely healthy, there’s plenty of room to experiment with foods for your pet without risking causing harm. Double-check with your vet and try something new and cool for your pet!