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Without a doubt, going vegan has proved itself beneficial for a lot of reasons. Whether for environmental or health-related reasons, adopting a meat-free diet and switching to a plant-based one is shown to help lessen humanity’s carbon footprint on a substantial level since greenhouse gas emissions from agribusinesses are more harmful to the environment than fossil fuels.
Ditching meat also results in a healthier lifestyle by urging consumers to opt for organic produce and even grow their own vegetables and fruits. Whether you’re vegan as an ally of the environment or for the sake of creating healthier choices, a vegan diet is sustainable and easy.
With the rise in the number of millennials shifting toward a plant-based diet, there’s also the debate on whether your pet should start going vegetarian too.
Should My Dog Go Vegan Too?
For vegan pet owners, you might be thinking of making your furry friend switch to a meatless diet. Research has shown that between 25 and 35 percent of meat production are associated with the food consumption of pets.
You might be at a crossroads between saving the environment and providing your dog with the best diet. Dogs are known to be carnivores, but the good news is that dogs are also omnivorous and can actually thrive on a plant-based diet. They have the ability to transform amino acids, and certain plants are good sources of protein, such as soy, beans, and whole grains that can provide the right amount of amino acids they need to survive and stay in perfect health.
In fact, the record holder of the world’s oldest dog back in 2002 actually lived on a diet of brown rice, herbs, yeast extract, lentils, and textured vegetable protein for twenty-five years.
Bramble, a collie who lived for up to 27 years (175 in dog years), outlasted the average lifespan of a collie by more than a decade and has made her the poster dog of the vegan-animal movement.
Bramble was fed by her owner, who was also a vegan, with homemade meals customized to fit a meat-free consumption.
Nowadays there are a variety of vegan and cruelty-free dog food brands available on the market. However, you may want to extend your research first as a portion of those who make this claim fail to meet the adequate nutritional requirements as implemented by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. It’s best to take precautions and to do thorough research before giving your pet dog food that is labeled vegan as some can do more harm than good, whether from the ingredients or method of production.
If you have been feeding your dog meat for quite some time, the challenge lies in how your dog can adapt to its new eating lifestyle.
If you’re ready to try it out, start by gradually mixing your pooch’s regular meat diet with plant-based mixture. Then slowly decrease the amount of meat in the mixture until you completely eliminate it. You can also introduce some readily made vegan diet food for dogs to see how they like it or if they prefer their meat snacks.
There are various recipes you can try that mix the right kinds of plants and meat substitutes to provide the right amount of protein and amino acids. Important amino acids such as L-carnitine and taurine may be insufficient on a plant-based diet and may cause cardiomyopathy, so it’s important to supplement your dog’s vegan diet with these nutrients, which are available in supermarkets or health stores.
You can also amp up their playtime with delectable dog chews and treats that are organically-made and free from harmful chemicals. It’s a way to get your pooch started with a healthy, all-natural diet to being fully vegan.
Talk to the Right People
If Bramble has proven that a vegan diet is the secret to prolonged life, your dog might surpass its average lifespan with the proper way of feeding plant-based dog food. Always consult with your vet on how to feed the right amount and variety for a balanced diet without diminishing the nutrients and losing the vitamins that are abundant in meat.
The viability and the health benefits of a vegan diet for dogs haven’t been widely researched yet, so it’s important to keep informed and follow up with a vet consultation for your pet’s overall health.
A vegan diet is normally given to pets with digestion problems, but a healthy pet can also opt for a meat-free diet as long as it is administered with the vet’s advice. For pet owners, it’s important to consider the ethical standpoint of their dog’s food consumption without jeopardizing its health.