Vegan Dog Food: Photo of Vegetables and Fruits on a Countertop

Plant-based products aren’t just gaining popularity among humans. If you happen to receive targeted advertisements for dog food or you like to survey what food options you have at your local pet store, chances are that you’ve come across plant-based dog food at least once or twice. But while there’s no denying that these types of products have been introduced to the market, a better question is, is vegan dog food good for dogs?

Let’s take a closer look at these types of products and the considerations that need to be made when switching your dog over to a vegan diet.

Why Might You Want to Switch Your Dog’s Current Food to Vegan Dog Food? Is It Helpful?

Veganism is very much a human movement, and the application of these dietary changes to your dog’s diet should be carefully considered before you make the switch. Are there any health benefits to a plant-based diet that will benefit your pup? Some of the reasons that owners may decide to switch over to vegan dog food instead of traditional dog food options include:

  • Taking advantage of reported health benefits, like reducing inflammation in older dogs.
  • Eliminating unknown hormones and other contaminants that may be present in mainstream dog food brands.
  • Reducing potential allergy triggers and supporting digestion.
  • Helping dogs with weight loss and boosting energy levels.

But are there real results to these types of diets? Are there legitimate reasons to switch foods? While there are said to be numerous benefits to a plant-based diet for dogs, the reality is that there’s still limited research in this field to fully support or deny some of the assertions or claims being made by various individuals or dog food companies. There are also several challenges when turning to vegan dog food, which we’ll cover more below. Put simply, there are said to be reasons to switch, and it might be good for your dog, but there’s always more to consider to this topic that extends far beyond the ethical views or purported health benefits of a vegan diet.

What Are the Challenges to Helping Your Dog Adopt a Plant-Based Diet?

Few of us are nutritionists, and even fewer of us are hyper-aware of what many vegan dog food products contain. This can lead to a number of issues that can potentially impact your dog’s health. Some of these issues include:

  • Potential Nutritional Deficiencies in Your Dog’s Diet: Vegan dog food can be both helpful and harmful, depending on the ingredients used and how it’s formulated. Much like a human switching to a vegan diet, dog owners have to be aware of what types of nutrients dogs need, what types of ingredients offer those nutrients, and how much they’ll have to feed their dog in synthetic nutrients in order to guarantee that they’re getting their daily amount. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, it can be difficult to gauge whether or not they’re getting what they need, which can cause more harm than good.
  • Feeding Your Dog Food That’s Not As Healthy As Advertised: You can’t always be sure what’s in dog food, even if you’re buying food from a major company that’s been around for a while. As such, newer brands can be a bit of a risk as they may not have enough transparency or attention to really dig into what their dog food contains, even if things are labeled as organic or otherwise. As always, make sure that you vet the vegan dog food that you want to give your dog to make sure that it’s properly formulated for them and gives them everything they need without the ingredient or contaminants that you’re trying to avoid in other dog foods.
  • Putting Them at Risk of Developing New Health Problems or Exacerbating Present Ones: Continuing with the first point, a lack of nutrition can cause new health problems or worsen existing ones that you were trying to heal via a plant-based diet. Make sure that you carefully monitor your dog’s health and report any major changes to your vet. If you’re making your own vegan dog food, carefully research every ingredient to determine whether or not they’re right for your pup. You’ll find that we have plenty of dog food articles right here on Furzly!

Is Vegan Dog Food Right for My Pup?

A plant-based diet isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even though plant-based dog food can get quite the backlash online. However, there are numerous risks associated with this type of diet that, when executed wrong, can do more harm to your dog than you anticipated. If you’re thinking of switching them over to this diet and introducing them to these types of dog food brands, it’s best to speak with your vet to learn more about your dog’s nutritional needs, current health risks, and the pros and cons of vegan dog food. It can also be a good idea to learn more about which ingredients offer the most benefits and how much of these ingredients your dog can have on a daily basis.

If your dog is missing some nutrients, your vet may even be able to point you to dog vitamins supplements that will fill in the missing gaps. No matter what the reason may be for switching your dog over to vegan dog food, do your research, ask the experts, and vet any diets or dog foods that you see to make sure that they’re a good fit for your pup!