Vegan Dog Food, Everything You Need To Know

by | May 15, 2018

Are you a vegan family who’s wondering whether to give vegan dog food to your dog?

There are about the same number of pet dogs in the USA as there are human children! So, when we healthfully choose vegan for our pets, it makes a huge difference (to all animals, to the Earth).

Raising vegan cats is controversial (many warn against it, due to increased risk of urinary issues, while many vegans say their cats are thriving on carefully chosen plant-based diets). Dogs, however, are omnivores, just like us humans. So it’s easy to have a vegan dog!

Even non-vegans are wary of the ingredients in the most popular dog foods. While the paleo crowd talks about feeding their dogs “grain-free,” you might be surprised to learn that beef, dairy, and chicken are the most common allergens for dogs!


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But aren’t dogs carnivores?

Taxonomically, humans placed dogs in order Carnivora, but this does not mean they need a carnivorous diet. Herbivorous pandas (who eat only bamboo) are also in order Carnivora!

The difference between carnivorous wolves and pet dogs is the many, many generations of evolution and selective breeding. Dogs were first domesticated tens of thousands of years ago. Living alongside us, dogs ate our scraps, and the dogs who thrived and had more offspring were those who could eat a human-like diet. As a result, we can see in wolf vs. dog genomes that one of the main differences is dogs’ physical ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet.

Our 8-year-old dog Lupin has eaten only vegan dog food since we adopted him in 2011. My vegan partner was suspicious but agreed to give it a try and keep a close watch on Lupin’s health.

Lupin eats two bowls a day of v-dog kinder kibble. I give him crunchy kibble for breakfast, and then for dinner, I mix in little bits of whatever our human family is eating, as well as some water and nutritional yeast. I’ve recently started adding turmeric for joint health, now that he’s getting older.

For treats, he loves tiny pieces of Tofurky or other vegan meat substitutes, and peanut butter in his Kong. He also loves broccoli!

Despite jokes about farting vegans, I have never once heard/smelled my vegan dog fart, and his breath doesn’t smell gross either. He’s happy and athletic, and I love snuggling with my sweet-smelling vegan pup!

One of my proudest dog-mama moments was when a pet supply employee said, “Your poodle-mix doesn’t have any staining around his eyes! You must feed him a really healthy diet!”


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We’re very happy with v-dog (which, by the way, is a vegan-owned family business). They’ve done all the research to make sure v-dog is a nutritionally complete vegan dog food. They include vegan sources of taurine and L. carnitine that dogs wouldn’t get enough of if we just shared our human food. We buy our v-dog from their website, in bulk for free shipping. (By the way, nobody at v-dog is aware I’m writing this about their kibble. I’m just raving about it, because it’s been great for us!)

We also love that it wasn’t a big deal when our kiddo was just learning to crawl, and she’d go straight for the dog food bowl!

There are also many other vegan dog food brands, including:

Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula

Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Recipe

Evolution Food for Dogs

Gather Endless Valley

PetGuard Organic Vegan Entrée (canned)

Wysong Vegan Dry Dog Food


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Just like people, some dogs have different dietary needs. Also just like people, most dogs can easily thrive on a vegan diet!

Sources:

 

Darcy Reeder’s been a journalist, a vegan pastry chef, owned a vegan pizzeria, and now she mostly just jumps around and helps stuffed animals speak (I had a kid, Y’all!) See more at her blog Vegans in Love, her Etsy shop ItsyPunx, and on Instagram @darcyreeder.

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