A recent article from The Guardian stated that vegan diets are just as healthy for dogs as meat-based pet food. This evidence should hopefully help change attitudes towards feeding dogs a plant-based diet.
Over a third of UK dog owners believe it’s good for pets to have plant-based meals, which is reflected in demand for vegan dog food. More people are waking up to the impact of their pet’s diet as well as their own. There’s no reason why we should have the privilege of enjoying clean, nutritious diets yet still feed our animals offcuts from the meat industry?
Understandably, the main concern stopping pet owners from feeding their dogs a vegan diet is that it’s unsafe or won’t provide them with the correct nutrients. However, research shows that it doesn’t matter whether your dog’s nutrients come from meat or plants; it matters that they’re getting the correct nutrients and the right amount. The Animal Welfare Act means that pet owners must provide their animals with the proper diet for their species, which plants can achieve. You might even find that a vegan diet is perfect for your four-legged friends, particularly if they have allergies or stomach issues.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the many benefits to your four-legged friend ditching the meat.
Even though your dog may enjoy the taste of meat-based food, it might harm them. In dogs, symptoms of meat protein allergies include bald spots, difficulty breathing, skin, ear and anal gland infections, abdominal pain, and more. It’s surprisingly common to see in dogs.
Vegan and vegetarian diets are often recommended to dogs with digestive issues, this is because plant-based foods are easier to digest and contain fewer irritants for sensitive stomachs.
We often forget that our pets have a carbon footprint (or should I say pawprint). In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, owning two Great Danes is worse than driving an average car as dogs are fed an exceptionally meat-heavy diet. Dry pet food production emits a whopping 106 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
It’s no secret that the meat industry isn’t occupied with making sure it’s ethical. Every year, billions of animals are kept in horrific, torturous conditions before being slaughtered for their meat. This issue is partly down to mass production, so the more people and pets that cut down on meat, the fewer industrialised factory farms there will be.
Meat-based pet food can be filled with unknown animal parts that aren’t labelled on the ingredients list. A study found that 14 out of 17 wet pet food brands in UK supermarkets contained cow, chicken and pig DNA, but brands did not list these animals on the packaging. Vegan dog food brands can give you peace of mind because they are transparent about their products and ingredients.
You can provide your dog with the proper nutrition through plants, so why not? Plant-based food tends to be a lot cleaner, and you know about the ingredients. However, many meat-based pet foods contain potentially hazardous ingredients and even carcinogens.
You can shop around and find out which vegan food your dog enjoys most, as there is, fortunately, lots to choose from. If your pup is a fan of chicken, check out THE PACK’s No Cluck Casserole Dog Food. If your pup craves the taste of plants, check out Benevo Grain-Free Vegetable Feast with Mixed Herbs. You’re not just limited to meals either. There are also dental sticks and treats!
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